Helicopter vs. Lamp: No Winner

I've reached the point where I can "hover out" a battery pack. That is, I can hover the helicopter without crashing until the battery runs out. This is much harder than it might sound. Hovering a micro-helicopter is much like riding a unicycle, with an extra dimension. Keeping the thing steady for a few minutes takes a lot of concentration, and is mentally exhausting. It's taken several weeks of practice, but I can do it.

So I decided to try something more interesting: take off from the dining room floor and land on the living room coffee table. I've got a small apartment, so this is a flight of only twelve or fifteen feet, but it was my first attempt to travel from a point A to a different point B. This also tests my altitude control, as I need to pass over some furniture to get to the coffee table. The coffee table is pretty big, so landing shouldn't be too difficult.

I took off smoothly. The helicopter kept drifting to the left. I should have landed and adjusted the trim, but decided to just keep going. I made it about halfway to the destination, but the leftward drift took the helicopter into a tabletop lamp. The crash was pretty spectacular, as parts flew in all directions.

The lamp shade looked bad, but was easy to fix. It is covered with frilly fabric, and I was able to adjust it so that the frills looked fine.

The chopper needs a little work. I broke the tail rotor into two pieces, but I already have a replacement part. The landing gear broke as well, but that gear has been breaking continuously. It's a common problem with the Ikarus Piccolo landing gear: after it breaks once, it will break on any hard landing.

So I need to balance a new tail rotor and wait for the glue on the landing gear to dry. I'll be flying again later tonight. I may move the lamp before I try.

© 2003-2023 Kristopher Johnson