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Vivat Acromaster!

About one year ago I bought a very, very cool foamie. Expensive as hell for a foamie, but it flies heavenly. I’m talking about Multiplex‘s Acromaster, a very well engineered (German, d’oh…) air model. While the technical specs are rather common (around 1010 mm – 1,01 m – wingspan, 1120 mm length, powered by a 3536-class electric motor developing almost 1,3 kgf of thrust when using an 11×5,5 in propeller and powered from a 11,1 V (3S) 2200 mAh, 20C Li-po battery pack) the plane is wonderful to fly. The first time I flew it (during this contest) I’ve been amazed by its fantastic agility and very good aerobatic capabilities but also by its ability to react calmly to inputs (in a different setup, of course), which makes it both a great 3D plane and a very good second plane. I’ve been witness to this usage, when Romulus dared to fly it after only three months spent with R/C gliders. Continue reading Vivat Acromaster!


A while ago a friend of mine was telling me that he plays “airsoft”. Air+soft… not necessarily a self-explanatory syntax – or is it?

(For the record, when I was a kid we used polyethylene pipes – the rigid tubing used to build the cable ducts in concrete walls / floors / ceilings – cut 80-120 cm long to shoot paper cones by blowing HARD. Some idiots would put needles in the cones’ tips, which was rather dangerous, but most sane kids would not. Definitely, by the end of the day the areas around our blocks were white from the “used ammo”, cones of paper all over and, naturally, all parents and neighbors outraged by the insane mess we left behind. Those devices were using “air” and the ammunition was indeed soft. But it required a lot of effort to blow hard through an entire day, and ammo was scarce and difficult to make out of notebook sheets. Eh… those were the days…)

The game of  “airsoft” has been played for the first time in Japan, around 1970. Since the Japanese law forbids ordinary citizens to own/use firearms (a pretty decent idea, the same is valid here in Romania as well) people started using tiny (6 mm, 0,2 – 0,3 g) plastic balls to shoot each other with. Around this leisure activity an enormous industry has grown in a very short time, since this game provides good entertainment and lets people get  close to military-grade combat – as close as possible within a given set of safety constraints. It allows them to carry military-style equipment (suits, vests), protections (elbow- and knee-protections, helmets, safety goggles – by the way, the safety goggles are MANDATORY in an airsoft-playing area / complex!), comms systems (radios, groovy!) and, most important, “WEAPONS”. Ok, ok, not the real “iron” but a close enough replica, made of better – or less better – materials, like iron, ABS, aluminum or plastic. These devices are usually powered by a separate power supply like a gas tank (as is in paintball) or an electric battery. There are bolt-action devices as well: sniper rifles, shotguns and pistols. A lot can be said about it, but I’ll let you parse the Wikipedia article where you’ll find more details and links. Continue reading Airsoft

Un vis devenit realitate

WARNING: this post is in Romanian. For certain personal reasons, I chose this approach. If you’d like a translation, let me know and I’ll try to provide one.
Stiu ca blogul asta e in engleza. Ma rog, l-am migrat eu la engleza cu oarece timp in urma. Dar bucuria pe care am simtit-o azi ma face sa doresc sa scriu in romana. Asta pentru ca s-ar putea sa citeasca postul asta si anumite persoane, care nu sunt neaparat foarte bine familiarizate cu engleza.

Astazi am avut parte de “materializarea” unuia dintre cele mai mari dintre dorintele mele. De mai bine de 20 de ani, de cand unchi-miu Sergiu mi-a pus prima data o radiocomanda in mana – pentru un velier cu radiocomanda, nu va inchipuiti avion din prima 🙂 – mi-am dorit sa ies si eu cu el, sa zburam impreuna, fiecare cu “pasaroiul” propriu si personal. Continue reading Un vis devenit realitate

Happy Easter from the airfield!

So, finally, “I can has good weather”. After being kept inside by either bad weather (what a lousy winter…) or various duties and tasks, I decided to use wisely the first day off with decent weather in this year. So, on Sunday April 4th – the very first Easter day –  we headed to the excellent airfield near Luica, where our friend Mihai managed to fix the access road only the day before.

Since I didn’t want to restrain either Maxie or both Maxie and milady at home, we went over there all together. Preparing the transport was a little tricky because the Extra does not fit upright behind any front seat, and since Logan has no folding backseat… I had to put the Extra on the passenger seat, thus restricting the available space in the rear. No problem for Maxie, though – she found a very nice space right under the plane, and she slept almost all along the way. Especially on the way back…

Continue reading Happy Easter from the airfield!

First indoor RC flight attempts

It is one week – or even less – until this year’s Aeropower Indoor Challenge event, which takes place, as usual, in the Concordia sports hall in the nice village of Chiajna, near Bucharest. Given that Milady has bought me an indoor flying model – Malibu F3P – as a Christmas present (on the condition that I go there to fly, and given that my indoor flying time was absolute nil, zero, nada, I decided to take the opportunity and join my friend Allen in a trip to Buzau, 120 km off Bucharest to the NE, for an indoor air models contest to be held there. So we loaded everything up around 06:40 this morning and we left for Buzau. The trip was more than ok, despite the -23 degrees Celsius on the road, and though the news reported the evening before that the road was closed due to snowstorms we found that the tarmac was dry as in hot summer. The only difference was in the snow on the roadside – and on the plains along the way… Continue reading First indoor RC flight attempts

More – and better – photos

I like taking pictures. It’s already stated in my profile, if I remember correctly. And so far I managed to take quite a bunch (over 20k) with my old Canon EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) – and boy, are they some nice memories! Still, the camera’s early technology was annoying me by the day, and despite the fact that I bought an extra battery (the original one, now around 6 years old, would give up rather soon especially when I would make heavy use of the Tamron 80-210 mm “gun”, let alone several flash fires) it was still annoying me when it came to downloading the pictures to the computer over the snail USB1.1 link. I had to replace the battery a couple of times in order to “persuade” it to download all 880 photos shot by Milady at the maiden flight of my new Extra 300S.

Now, my old Tamron, bought in 2001 during a trip to the Netherlands (just a mere months before the lift of the visa requirement for Romanian citizens traveling to the Schengen area) is a decent lens for its price tag, and I bought it together with my first SLR camera, a Canon EOS 3000 (film camera) since I always dreamed about such a camera paired with some reasonable telephoto lens. Until yesterday this lens did its job, although it’s possible that it got some dust specks within (they may be on the sensor as well, but I dare not get my hands on the sensor neither have I the knowledge and tools required to disassemble the “gun”) and the shots against the sky tend to emphasize them. Continue reading More – and better – photos

Inaugurare reusita

In  sfarsit apuc sa ma exprim si pe blog… (Si mai am  de terminat kit review-ul de pe forumul RHC – damn; in fine, l-oi termina si pe ala). Cert este ca ieri, intrucat vremea se anunta frumoasa, am hotarat sa ne indreptam spre modelodromul de la Luica. Desi sunt 60 km pana acolo, imaginile evocate de vizitatori precedenti m-au facut sa-mi iau inima-n dinti si sa aleg acest loc pentru zborul inaugural al Extrei 3ooS de la Black Horse Model, pentru a carui finalizare mi-a trebuit o droaie de timp (aproape doua luni) – spre disperarea colegilor modelisti 🙂 Continue reading Inaugurare reusita

Renault Roadshow Bucuresti

Mai mult carat de doamna (care e cu masinutele, eu sunt ala cu avioanele) am zis ca “hai, dom’le, sa mergem la Renault Roadshow, ca la cat tam-tam i-au facut poate chiar o fi ceva de vazut”. Ok, intrucat ieri la 11 noaptea eram chiaun de somn, azi ne-am trezit pe la 11 si intr-un final apoteotic pe la 12:30 eram spre Piata Constitutiei, o picatura din suvoiul enorm care se bulucea prin preajma zonei de spectacol, ca sa zic asa.

De vazut, ce sa zic… am cam avut ce vedea. In apropierea zonei centrale – unde practic incepe acel enorm semicerc ce descrie Piata Constitutiei – am avut o deschidere destul de buna, si in ciuda faptului ca nu vedeam capatul dinspre Piata Cosbuc, de unde veniseram, am avut o perspectiva interesanta asupra zonei centrale, unde am putut urmari niste evolutii incantatoare. Continue reading Renault Roadshow Bucuresti

Machete si drift

Dupa o destul de indelungata absenta, am revenit la lucru. Pe de o parte m-am apucat de Extra (in continuare…) iar pe de alta parte am decis sa iesim azi putin din casa deoarece unu la mana am dat peste o mica problema la Extra, iar a doua la mana tot voiam sa mergem la expozitia de machete de la Muzeul Militar National. Mai mult, la Baneasa, in parcarea mall-ului, este si un eveniment de tuning si drifting auto – asa ca de ce sa nu vedem si ceva de pe-acolo? Apai, sa purcedem la drum!

Desi am plecat relativ tarziu (pe la 12) ne-am indreptat spre Muzeul Militar, o destinatie relativ cunoscuta noua in urma celor cateva vizite facute pe-acolo. Din fericire am reusit sa gasim un loc de parcare chiar in fata muzeului, drept pentru care am profitat de posibilitatea de-a parcurge o distanta extrem de redusa pe jos (maxim 30 m) din masina pana la interior. Continue reading Machete si drift

Prima experienta cu dirijabile

Dupa cum spuneam alaltaieri, am avut ocazia sa ma dau cu un dirijabil. Model, desigur. Oportunitatea a venit cand amicul meu Mircea mi-a solicitat ajutorul intrucat el urma sa evolueze cu acest aparat la o reuniune desfasurata la Targu Mures. (Un oras frumos, in care mi-ar placea sa revin cateva zile pur si simplu pentru a-l vizita. Dar asta e subiect separat.)

Continue reading Prima experienta cu dirijabile