flying an RC airplane all 3,000 miles across the
United States sometime in 2014.
& Additional Details Video
2011: Year of Flight. We
master general flight dynamics, including
1) Design: wing
shape, aspect ratio,
thrust ratio, and prop selection, and
In short, we want to
be able to build a high-performance airplane from scratch
that can match or exceed a kit.
2) Implementation: how to fly in wind, how to take off from the ground
via launcher, carriage, and hand launch, and how to fly with agility.
2012: Year of FPV
& Technology Aided
Flight. As we will be flying
out of sight
of the airplane most of the time, we'll need tons of technology to help
us get to our
landing spot miles away. We'll need autopilot so we don't have to hold
the airplane steady for 12 hours a day, On Screen Display to show us
critical information (amp hours used, altitude, heading, etc.), GPS
integration to tell us where we are, where we're headed, and
how to get there, Return Home functionality in case we lose signal
and need to recover the airplane, gyroscopes to help the flight be
also be covering the following topics: transmitters,
equipment, cameras, how
to record on a laptop, how not to interfere with the signals that
control our airplane, how to select optimal transmission frequencies
(900 mhz, 2.8 ghz, 5.8 ghz), how to fly from a camera perspective, how
to build an airplane
that gives an unimpeded view, how to build an airplane that can carry
all this equipment, how to make the airplane aerodynamic with all this
stuff onboard, etc.
2013: Year of Long-Range
need to get to the point where we can fly miles away at high speed for
over an hour. We'll learn how to build fast, efficient, powerful
airplanes that can, without stopping to cool down or recharge, cut
through a hundred miles of air in less than an hour and a half.
2014: Year of Trip
Lastly, 2014 will be the year of building the actual airplane that will
make the journey, gathering all the support equipment, practicing with
team that will travel with us, and, finally, making the trip of a
We're always open to
ideas on how to make this trip safer and
constructive to our hobby's image.
will NOT make
trip unless it is safe, legal, and socially responsible to do
we are going to post the video online for the whole world to see anyway.
- This trip is
still years away, and a lot can change during that time, so we can't
the legal/social environment will be when that day comes. We want to be
able to make the trip at that time if it is appropriate to do so.
- We have no
reason to fly within three miles of an airport (we will, in fact, stay
farther from airports at all times). We will obey the current and any
subsequent FAA notice(s) to successfully make the journey.
- We are planning
this trip with safety--not convenience or speed--in mind. We are making
detailed plans to completely avoid airports (from major to local
sizes), cities, hospitals, schools, stadiums, and basically anything
that is sensitive that should be avoided. This will add significant
travel time and planning effort to the trip, but it is the right thing
- We realize
there isn't a 1-mile by 3,000-mile unoccupied public park we can fly
over all the way from San Diego to Boston. We realize that there will
be times when we fly over a home or place of business. We do not take
this lightly. We will not make this trip unless we have established,
tested, and proved multiple redundant safety mechanisms. This
is going to take us years of testing, learning, and proving to make
- A majority of
the trip is going to be near interstate highways, where there is
nothing but pastures and open fields.
- And finally: We
know that there will be those in and out of our hobby that will still
disagree with the trip no matter what precautions we take, and we do
not intend to be disrespectful in pursuing this goal.