Saturday was lovely. The temperature was 34 F, the sky was clear, the wind was not extremely bad, and even that died down later in the day. On this lovely day, Dad took Johnathan, Landon, Alexander and I to fly model airplanes with Mr. Wilson at a place for model airplane flyers. (The same Mr. Wilson that took me in the air balloon.) Mr. Wilson owns two model airplanes. One without a motor called the Gentle Lady, and one with a motor called the Cessna 170. We flew the Gentle Lady first.
This is the remote control. The same control is used for both planes.
To Launch the Gentle Lady, we thread a little string through a backwards hook on the bottom of the main body, or fuselage. Then the holder of the plane steps backward until the string is taut. The string is fastened on the ground across the field. The end of it is rubber.
We let go, and the string pulls the plane quickly and it sails into the air with the string still attached.
The string falls off when it is not pulled tight anymore, and the airplane is free to glide for a couple of minutes.
The airplane gets closer and closer to the ground.
Then it lands.
When it does land, Landon runs after the plane to bring it back, and Alexander or John Paul runs to get the string. Once Alexander bent over and grabbed for the string. He thought he had it in his hands, and so he went through all the motions of pulling it (he has to put his weight into the string because it doesn’t want to be stretched tight) without having it in his hand.
Sometimes Alexander with his little legs can’t keep up with us.
Dad readies to launch the plane.
Then Mr. Wilson got out the Cessna. He filled it up with fuel, and tried to start it, but it wouldn’t start. Mr. Wilson figured that he had plugged the tube that was supposed to be plugged into the fuel into the place for exhaust, and the tube for exhaust into the fuel.
He fixed that and then started the airplane with this thing that spins the propeller fast and starts it.
After a few crashes, it took off.
This airplane really doesn’t have a limited time of flight, (except for running out of gas or crashing, of course.) You can steer it close to the ground and then back up into the air, unlike the Gentle Lady. It is also very fast.
The Cessna crashed and broke a propeller, so Mr. Wilson went home to get a spare. In the mean time, we went to eat lunch. Mom came to the restaurant to take John Paul home, because he was cold and did not have snow pants. He was a little tired of watching Dad and Mr. Wilson fly the airplanes. I could not believe Alexander did not want to go home, because he should have been needing a nap and usually little kids have short attention spans in watching stuff.
We met back at the field, and Mr. Wilson flew the little Cessna.
But first Dad and Mr. Wilson had to search for the perfect runway. Dad played with this picture a little.
Later we got out the glider.
A perfect landing.
Mr. Wilson showed me how the controls worked, and then he had me fly his hand pretending to be the airplane. Then he tossed it up in the air and let me control it down onto the ground.
I crashed, nose down. On my second try, I stalled and forgot which way was up and which was down and the planes wings flew off. Fortunately, we were able to put it back together again.
To give you an idea of the wingspan…
I got to launch the plane into the air for Mr. Wilson to fly. It bumped my head gently because I wasn’t holding it level.
Alexander never tires of tracking back and forth to collect the string.
Even at the end of the day, the airplane is still a source of fascination for him. Alexander behaved himself quite well considering his age.
By the time we got home, Alexander proved how much fun he had had in a predictable way.