Flying in the Wind Can Be Fun!

A few days ago, I was out flying my Champ in somewhat heavy winds (somewhere between 5 and 15 mph) and I, for the first time in my life, thought that flying in these winds was… fun. Yes, fun.

It took a lot of concentration, skill, and a little luck. This was the first time that luck was not a significant factor for me in the wind. My wind flying skills finally just clicked. After two years of flying various RC aircraft (one year of hobby grade flying), I was finally able to fly in more than a very light wind on aircraft not equipped with AS3X.

Before attempting to fly on winds over 5 MPH in an ultra micro, do these steps:

1. Master the plane in calm air before moving on to “windyish” conditions.

2. Practice in light wind, then moderate wind, and then more…

3. Know that you will be spending the time keeping the plane on course. Not doing crazy flying.

4. NEVER maiden a plane in wind. I have heard this repeatedly on forums and common sense would say this, too. Leave each plane’s first flights for calmer days.

Flying in that wind improved my precision in no wind an allowed me to fly more often (the wind is usually about 10 mph around my house).

Thanks for reading. Leave a comment, share this post, and enjoy!


What are AS3X and SAFE?

AS3X (Artificial Stabilization 3 aXis) and SAFE (sensor assisted flight envelope) are two fairly recent Horizon Hobby innovations. But what are they? Read this post for an explanation!

Firstly, all planes equipped with SAFE also have AS3X.

AS3X is a 3 axis gyro system, meaning that if an outside force (like wind) knocks the plane off course, the gyros will compensate for this and put the plane back on course. But, if you move a the sticks of the radio, it will let the plane change to your new course. This system allows a RC plane to fly in heavier winds than without AS3X.

SAFE is the same thing as AS3X, but SAFE has an accelerometer, which brings in self leveling. SAFE also has flight modes and, sometimes, a Panic switch. A switch on your transmitter will activate Panic mode, which automatically brings your aircraft to level flight!

SAFE usually has 3 flight modes: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Beginner mode has a limited bank angle and self leveling. Intermediate mode has a less limited banking angle and self leveling. Finally, Advanced mode has no bank angle limits and no self leveling.

You can progress through the modes, from beginner to expert, with just a flip of a switch or two (again, depends on the transmitter)!

And, with Panic mode, you don’t have to worry as much as usual about getting the plane into a bad attitude or it getting out of control; just press the Panic button/flip the Panic switch and the aircraft returns to level flight.

To learn more about SAFE and AS3X, visit these two web pages:

AS3X Link


Thanks for reading! As a continuation of my AS3X posts, I will post a review on an AS3X plane and an AS3X mod in the next couple of Sundays.


Update: After flying the Sport Cub S, I have found that, on planes, there is only self leveling in Beginner mode. Quadcopters and helicopters have self leveling in Intermediate mode, but planes do not. Just keep this in mind.