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RC Car Action - May 2013

Car Guy Go Fly! WORDS

Car Guy Go Fly! WORDS ERICH REICHERT PHOTOS HOPE MCCALL While their real meanings aren’t so literally connected to the titles, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd, and even the Foo Fighters have all written songs about it— learning to fly. Working in the Air Age offices, I’m constantly distracted every time I hear the whir of propellers from the other side of my cubicle wall and something falls and knocks over everything on my desk. For nearly a year now, I’ve been taunted by Model Airplane News’ Gerry Yarrish’s ability to do tricks and fly things around the office to everyone’s amazement. That is, until the other day when these two little bad boys showed up from Traxxas addressed to me and only me! The DR-1 dual rotor helicopter and QR-1 quadcopter are Traxxas’ quantum leap into the realm of flight and with the brand crossover from cars to helis, this is my chance to show everyone that I can fly too. Eat your heart out, Yarrish! DR-1 RADIO — ONE FOR ALL Both RTF (Ready To Fly) DR-1 and QR-1 models come with an all-new dual stick 2.4GHz radio. While RTFs include their own transmitters, you can use one for any and all Traxxas helis you own. When turned on, the radio automatically binds to the helicopter and is ready to go. Traxxas also sells “EZ- Connect” versions of both models, which have all the same gear minus the transmitter. That way, if you buy a DR-1, you can get the EZ-Connect QR-1 and fly it with your DR-1’s controller (and vice-versa). QR-1 SPECS QR-1 Price: (RTR); EZ- Connect (ARF) Length: 4.7 in. (120mm) Width: 4.7 in. (120mm) Rotor diameter: 2.2 in. (55mm) Blade circle: 5.8 in. (147mm) Weight: 1.16 oz. (33g) As with every Traxxas product, the first and foremost goal is the user’s success. To make a good first impression, Traxxas keeps it simple. Everything you need is included such as a USB-powered dual battery charger, two 3.7V LiPo packs, an extra set of propellers, instructions, a small screwdriver and even AAA batteries for the radio. DR-1 Price: (RTR); (ARF) Length: 8.9 in. (225mm) Width: 1.14 in. (29mm) Blade length: 4.1 in. (104mm) Rotor diameter: 8.7 in. (220mm) Weight: 2.4 oz. (67g) BEST FOR Car guys looking for a change of pace, any heli fan 42 MORE FROM THIS ISSUE AT RCCARACTION.COM

The first thing I noticed was that the QR-1 was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. I assumed (mostly by the shape of the box) that it would be roughly the same size as the DR-1, but it actually measures about the same size as the diameter of a coffee mug (Note to self: Try to take off from the top of my coffee mug). It’s very lightweight and the main body is rather bug-like in appearance, especially with the two eye-like LEDs in the front that indicate the QR-1’s readyto-fly status and when the battery is getting low. Extending out from each corner are arms that house a small brushed motor that’s pressed into place. All the wiring for each motor is fed out through the bottom and protected from the ground by a small cage-like shape in the foot of each extension. The QR-1 comes with two 240mAh LiPo packs that keep weight down but still offer plenty of runtime (I was able to get between 5-8 minutes each once I got the hang of things). PERFORMANCE FLIGHT #1: Look out! To say that the QR-1 has enough power to get up in the air quickly is a huge understatement. Its light weight and quad motors thrust the tiny heli up in the air faster than I’d realized until it hit the ceiling and in a panicked “Cut the throttle!” moment, the QR-1 crashed back down from its maiden voyage and bounced with a small thud. Upon further inspection, I found that everything was just fine and had survived entirely unscathed which only meant one thing—another try! After two more attempts, I was able to catch the quad before it hit the ground; later on this would become a game for me. I felt as if the QR-1 was hyperactive, every little input sent the copter flying in one direction or another and it was all I could do to keep it from crashing into things. Gerry heard me struggling and took mercy on me to come over to shut the Expert mode off that I had inadvertently activated. Come to find out that Expert mode increases stick response exponentially to give the QR-1 the ability to flip and roll in the air. FLIGHT #2: Having learned the importance of the throttle control and small stick movements rather than drastic correction, I took to the air for a second time. With the QR-1 about a foot off the ground, I tried my hand at rotating and moving around … until I met the business (and propeller-damaging) end of desk drawers. Again, lesson learned, I needed to get up above things that I could drift into. Lucky for me, the QR-1 comes with a spare set of blades to keep the fun going— or to cover up your tracks if you have a photographer to answer to … FLIGHT #3: A few more attempts and I was getting good (and daring) enough to fly over the cubicle wall to the dismay of my fellow coworkers. A few crashes, decimated desktops, and apologies later, Gerry decided it would be in everyone’s best interest to give me proper lessons (Ed. note: Go online to RCCarAction.com or check out the digital edition of this issue to see how Erich fared in flight school!) and with practice, I was flying at what I would consider pro level (although maybe not so by Gerry’s standards). FLIGHT #4: I have a confession: at this point I was ejected from the office. It seems that while I thought I was doing great and that, like racers with an RC newcomer, everyone was really patient with me while I learned to fly. There did come a point, however, where my Evel Knievel antics were wearing thin on my coworkers who apparently were nearly at the brink of revolt if I didn’t take it outside. Lucky for me, it wasn’t breezy out and I was able to fly outside where there was plenty of room and little for me to crash into. MAY 2013 43

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