I went back out to the airfield Sunday with the new transmitter. I’m still burning it in, learning the ins and outs of the controller, and this time a few of the more experienced pilots were there.
They ribbed me pretty severely (and with tongues firmly planted in cheeks) over my purchase of the RadioMaster instead of the club-standard Spektrum transmitters, which was fine: I can give as good as I get, and laugh just as hard. It’s a good club, and even though I was using a foreign transmitter, one of the pilots went out to help me figure out what was going on with my plane and its wonky flight paths.
I am still unhappy with the throttle cut. The switch for the throttle cut to be armed is “down” – the default position for the switches on start up, so that means the throttle is enabled by default. I can pull the switch up and disable throttle properly – the throttle cut works – but I still need to invert that at some point.
I got the plane up in the air, and the other pilot took over the radio to work on the trims (the way the plane is set to fly level in the air). He laughed and said that my controls were reversed – and was I going to be able to land the plane?
Well, of course – I’d flown it a few times already and had no idea the controls were reversed, so it was just a matter of bringing the plane down as I already had. This apparently impressed them, but it’s an experience as an accident; I was just using the controls and adjusting to what the plane was doing! It certainly wasn’t any skill on my part, but we got the plane down and set about configuring the transmitter.
That’s where my use of EdgeTX works against me. With the Spektrum being more or less the club standard, everyone would have known exactly how to invert the controls, had they needed to do that; instead, I got to hunt in the model configuration until I got to the servo configuration, and adjusted the “differentials” to -100% (meaning, “send the opposite of what the physical inputs say.”)
With that, the plane didn’t act any differently, but at least I was controlling it properly, the way everyone else uses their controllers! I’m pretty sure there’s actually an easier way to invert the controls, but I didn’t see it at the field.
The plane is still in “safe” mode, where it’ll try to level itself off. I have a plan for configuring this, but I still haven’t applied it or tested it yet.
Flying was okay. I had a few relatively bumpy landings and one really smooth one; the wind was pretty steady so my flying was a little curtailed, especially with the safe mode; I couldn’t tell where I was controlling the plane or the receiver was controlling it.
I find I don’t like flying safe mode much. I am glad it’s there, because it prevents me from actively destroying my one plane, but I also think it’s a safety net that prevents me from really growing as I’d like to as a pilot. I still want to configure the controller where I can turn it on and off at will, because I’d like my kids to be able to learn on the transmitter as I am doing, but that means being able to turn it off, too.
It was a productive day, and the best part about it is that I can now say with some moderate confidence that my RadioMaster transmitter is “good to fly,” even though I still need to configure it better than I have.