In this post, I’ll be discussing some of the items that you should take to the flying field with you and give you a couple of examples of flight or field boxes to keep these items in.
In the first photo, we have a “glow stick” actually this is a rechargeable battery with a built in glow plug connector. Moving from left to right is the “chicken stick”, a hardwood dowel with a rubber coating on one end to protect the propeller. It is used to flip the prop when starting the glow engine. This helps save the fingers.
Next is a homemade chicken stick made of aluminum stock also with a rubber coating on one end. This is for starting the big engines. Some of the bigger engines will kick back so hard, the force will actually break the wooden chicken stick.
The next item is a glow plug connector with extension leads that allow you to connect it to the flight box. Very handy and with a larger battery, it will enable you to start several RC model airplane engines before it needs recharging.
Finally, in the top row is a field charger that allows you to recharge your flight pack batteries while you are at the flying field. Bottom row left side — an electronic tachometer, helpful for tuning the nitro fueled engine for maximum safe performance. The last two items are an electric starter and a trainer cable.
My point is there several items that you may want or need at the flying field. So far I’ve listed only a few of the items needed just for starting and tuning the nitro engine. You will probably need some extra props, a prop reamer, and a prop wrench as well as some glow fuel and a means of getting the fuel into the tank.
Shown below is a modified multi-layered, two-wheeled toolbox that is used for a flight box. The bottom section contains the 12 volt gel cell battery that powers the fuel pump and the power panel. Also, the flier keeps a gallon of glow fuel in the bottom compartment and it is connected to the electric fuel pump. The power panel provides for a couple of different voltages for powering the glow plug on your radio controlled model airplane or heli. This makes a very versatile and handy method of keeping a supply of the needed items for maintaining flight.
Here are some views of the various trays and compartments. This flight box has everything needed to get your model in the air and ensures that you will have what you need to keep it flying all day. The first photo is the inside of the bottom compartment where the battery and fuel system is located. The next two pictures are lift-out trays filled with various needed items.
The above described flight box is set up with just about anything you could possibly need. Not everyone will want to take along so much equipment each time they go flying. Below are front and back views of a flight box that I purchased in 1980 and it is now owned by one of my sons. It is more compact than the previously shown flight box, but it does have enough of the bare essentials to facilitate a days flying; barring any major mishaps, that is.
I hope that this will give you some idea of what to take with you and you can see there is quite a variation in what flight boxes consist of. If you are handy with wood working you can use your own ideas and build what suits you. The only suggestion that I would offer on building your own design is to use light weight materials, because a fully loaded flight box can get quite heavy. As you plan what to take, remember some of the basic hand tools such as needle nose pliers, an assortment of small screwdrivers and if your model uses rubber bands to hold the wing in place, keep a good supply of them in your flight box as well.
A couple more items that really come in handy is some cleaning solution and some rags or paper towels to clean your radio controlled plane after you finish flying. They can sometimes get very messy. I know that some manufacturers produce special model cleaning solutions, but I have always used stuff that I mixed myself. I mix equal parts of water and either “Windex” or rubbing alcohol and add a couple drops of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. Don’t overdo it with the dishwashing liquid or it will leave your model sticky.
Each time you go to the flying field you will think of other things that you may need so if you are making your own box, allow a little extra room. Have fun flying and keep it safe. This is the OldManFlier and I’ll see you next time.