Manta, Rocket, and Blade Ray videos

Rocket Ray w/ Aveox brushless motor - the ill fated stall and crash into the rock. Flight from Berkeley Marina.

The camera was pointed backwards at the prop for the whole flight.

This clip contains the first 42 seconds, and the last 12 seconds of the flight.

These clips are at various resolutions and quality factors, with mono audio.

Since these were taken, I shoot without the canopy, and get MUCH clearer images. I'll post some when I get them converted.

0.9mbyte in MPG form 160X120 - Select here to download

(0:54) 3.8mbyte in MPG - 320x240 - Select here to download

SVSS field over the "parking lot"

Short clip (0:13) with some drop outs 790kbytes in mpg format 240x180- Select here to download

Diablo Valley Radio Controllers field in Antioch, after the 4th Annual Devil Mountain Fly-in - Oct 10,1999

There are some good examples of loops, barrel rolls and interesting wing motion in side view plus prop views thanks to panning capability, also shot WITHOUT the canopy.

I had broken the 12x8 prop, so used a 15x12 instead - too much for the Maxcim motor at full throttle, so throttle is cut back.

Audio is poor here - the mike gets too much wind noise, so doesn't pick up the prop sound as well.

Clip from midair - 1st part (1:15) 6.8Mbytes in mpg 320x240 - Select here to download

The above photo is from the tail end of the below clip:

Clip from midair - 2nd part (1:22) 6.8Mbytes in mpg 320x240 - Select here to download

Grab your barf bucket - this is a short clip from the in-flight structural failure of the right wing spar - thanks to my boneheaded move of drilling a hole in it. Several seconds in, you'll see the LZ strip in the center left of the image - we're standing on the left end, where I had intended to do a dive, so everyone yelling "Dive it so we can see ourselves in the picture!" are REALLY the one's responsible...

0:20 - 2Mbytes in mpg


UFO sighting! 1:20 in 10 Mbyte mpg

My daughter and I joined the groups enjoying the rising of the full moon from Vollmer peak in Berkeley 12/21/99 around 6:00. Without warning and silently, an object of unknown dimensions appeared at approximately 10:00 from the rising moon. Fortunately, I had my digital video camera with me! I captured roughly 6 minutes of the apparition, which lasted roughly 20 minutes. I have edited it down to a 10 mbyte mpeg file which can be seen at: ufosm.mpg The object seemed to be composed of 3 distinct segments, each of a different color - blue/green, red/orange, and yellow/green. It was difficult to determine the size or range from us, but could well have been hundreds of meters in size, and tens of kilometers in range. The speed and maneuverability was fantastic - it appeared to cross the distance from 10:00 to the moon, past the moon, and back in mere seconds, indicating a possible velocity of 20,000 mph! Yet no sonic boom was evident. The UFO also exhibited unusual attitude manuevers - twice performing what appeared to be a "barrel roll" (seen towards the end of the clip). These must have incurred fantastic g-forces on the occupants of the craft, for it clearly exhibited signs of being operated by an intelligence far superior to current technology. Speculation arises on the motive for it's appearance during this time - the obvious conclusion being that the full moon offered a rare opportunity to observe the earth at night under maximum illumination, with minimum exposure to view. Why it chose to be visible to us remains unknown - the lights may be a byproduct of it's "drive" mechanism. Could the beings opeating this craft have come from the moon? Perhaps they are visitors from Mars, having destroyed our attempts to view them recently (the Mars Polar Lander) and have traced us back to earth. During the final moments of the apparation, an unsual beeping sound was heard to eminate from a source nearby. The apparition seemed to be startled by this, as it suddenly darted to our right and vanished below the horizon, after which the beeping sound ceased. Given the velocity of sound, this indicates that the object may have been considerably smaller and nearer than earlier suspected. Local authorities have been contacted and are investigating the matter.

Here's a clip thanks to Matt Wyss of the Rocket Ray vs Piper Cub crash at Los Banos, 12/19/99. On a power off diving pass through the foamies, I collided with Mike Kaufman's Piper Cub (ouch - sorry, Mike). Ejected the bats, vidcam, and panning servo, all of whch were recovered undamaged in less than 5 minutes, thanks to all the help from other pilots! Sadly, the video recorded from the plane was overwritten by mistake on the next flight, due to the tape re-threading in the VCR. Mike has suggested we attempt to re-enact it next month...Stay tuned!

Rocket Ray vs Piper Cub 00:13 800kb mpg

Blade Ray launch 0:11 800Kbytes mpg

The Blade Ray is the latest (1/5/2000) version, designed for maximum aerobatic capability. With the bridged dual spars, the wing is MUCH stiffer. Surprisingly, the flight characteristics without the tiplets are easy to handle. The plane flies significantly faster - and the faster you fly it, the less it tends to yaw in turns. For me, the handling is even MORE like a hang glider (since I don't fly with tiplets on my Ramair either). Flat turns? Duh. Energy retention? I did a 600' dive, sharp pull up, and it climbed almost all the way back up (yes, WITHOUT power). The slower you fly it, the more it tends to yaw side to side. But it's PIO (Pilot Induced Oscillation) that cause most of the undesirable effects. I plan to fly it like this for a while, see how much I can do... Downside - it's hard to see when the wing is edge on, and hard to tell if it's inverted! The latter can be fixed with color scheme...

Blade Ray splits in half in mid-air! The Stearman was used to locate the wreckage - 10.7Mbytes

On a test of the Blade Ray at Alameda Beach, the Blade was out range about 2000', when interference caused a severe pitch oscillation, while the plane was at increased speed while attempting to loose altitude. The plane split in half at the center of the clamshell. A search of the area from the ground failed to find any sign of the plane, so a search was made from the air. Thanks to Milo & Chris of Aerial Advertising of Oakland Airport 510-568-1299 for the search. What a thrill! There's nothing quite like the sound of the Stearman engine, annd the ride in an open cockpit. The plane was located on the top of the Alameda High School roof, and was recover later that day - all but the main bats and motor controller.

Los Banos Bash 12/1999 and 01/2000 - 15.3Mbytes

There are two segments in this clip - one a set of edits from the 12/1999 BASH which ends with a landing. The second half is the 01/2000 BASH, which ends with a perfectly executed tree landing - complete with panned view in the tree ("I meant to do that")!

SVSS 2000

SVSS Spring Fling 2000 - 2:38 - 9.3Mbytes

The SVSS gents kindly asked me to demo the Blade Ray at their fab Spring Fling, so I did a little 10 min demo flight, trying to get as many passes by and over the crowd as I could. Resolution is not great, and I've edited this down a lot, but it shows my near collision with the umbrella in the LZ, the camera being panned back to see the prop, camera tilted down (as in this shot), and camera down al the way - looking back at the prop. Had a great time!