RC Airplanes August 5, 2008
Takeoffs are one of the easiest maneuvers to perform with your RC model airplane, but some pilots still have difficulty executing smooth and consistent takeoffs. This article will show you a surefire way to perform smooth, controlled takeoffs – no matter which model you’re flying.
- Plan the Takeoff – All takeoffs are performed into the wind. Most flying fields have a windsock near the runway so that pilots can accurately judge the direction and intensity of the wind. Be sure to check the windsock before flying and position your RC model airplane accordingly. You should also look for a landmark (a bush, tree, or other object) over which to complete the initial turn after climb out.
- Position the Aircraft – Position the RC model airplane on the centerline of the runway so that it’s nose faces into the wind
- Choose a Pilot Station – Some RC model airplane flying fields have marked positions for RC model airplane pilots to stand on when flying. If this is the case at your location, choose one close to your RC model airplane.
- Advance the Throttle – Smoothly and rapidly advance the throttle to full. Advancing the throttle quickly gives you better control during the takeoff, because it moves air over the control surfaces faster.
- Accelerate – As the RC model airplane accelerates down the runway keep it aligned with small taps of rudder. If you are flying a tail dragger, then hold a small amount of up elevator during your initial takeoff roll. This can prevent the RC model airplane from nosing over into the ground.
- Climb – After your RC model airplane gains sufficient speed pull back gently and begin climbing. Do not climb too steeply, or you risk inducing a low altitude stall. Just hold the RC model airplane in a straight and gradual climb. Correct any bank by tapping the aileron (or rudder) stick briefly. Plan your climb so that you have sufficient altitude to make a turn over the landmark chosen earlier
- Begin the Initial Turn - After your RC model airplane arrives at the target location, level off and reduce throttle to ½. Turn in the desired direction by banking the aircraft and letting it turn while maintaining altitude.
Take a look at this video, which shows a takeoff done by the above procedure.
We hope that this procedure helps you perform great takeoffs, every time.