Saturday, December 24, 2011

RC Army helicopter fun

Army Chinook helicopter RC

So Griffin got to open one his presents early this year, a remote-control helicopter exactly like the one he got last year which perished in a tragic training flight accident in the forest at Pawpaw and Grandnan's house. We sought open ground away from home this time taking it out to fly.

First was an overgrown field. The weeds were shoulder high on me (I'm 6'3") and a hassle to get around in but they cushioned the shiny new chopper's inevitable and repeated unintended crash landings, and kept it from hitting the ground. We found it climbed quite high quickly at full throttle but winds higher up made it necessary for him to learn the nuances of steering and how to land softly. There are three separate directional controls, and the throttle, to manipulate at once for controlled flight; when mastered they make the craft
go left, right, up, down, forward, backward and hover.

The rechargeable battery on the tiny craft was good for not quite 15 minutes of flight time before it was discharged. We'd kept the battery from last year's crashed chopper and brought it with us charged, and quickly swapped it for the discharged one to double our flight time. I will have to find out if extras are available for cheap, because having three or four batteries ready would be nice to have for future flights. The remote control unit (which takes 6 AA batteries) charges them so it's not much hassle, but it's still nicer not to have to wait.

For the price his grandparents paid, it would be hard to think of something a typical boy would like better than a toy like this little chopper. It's intended for 14 and up, but Griffin is learning it quickly at 9. And he's pretty sure that makes him cool. ;)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Soccery jockery

Kids are playing church soccer again this fall. Griffin is into it; Carlie plays and likes it OK even though "mama made me sign up." I like watching them when they want to play. It's a lot of running and (hopefully) paying attention playing soccer, which is good for kids around their age. Weather was perfect for it and for who knows what other fall-ish stuff we might get into soon?