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R/C Carrier Launches R/C Plane
September 18, 2013 9:47 PM   Subscribe

Three years ago, we resolved to fly an R/C airplane from an R/C aircraft carrier

Note the steam rising from that catapult and the functional AN/SPS-48 search radar.
posted by Confess, Fletch (40 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Excellent filmmaking and sound editing and--are you sure it's a functional radar, in that it sends out and returns signals? Really? Amazing if so--but to me the best part was the Choptank towboat, both in aesthetic detail and function. Wonderful overall.
posted by oneironaut at 9:59 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was hoping they'd have an elevator system to deliver the plane onto the deck. Still, very cool. Good for them.
posted by cribcage at 10:04 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


The radar is as functional as the steam in the catapult.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:04 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Positively full of whimsy.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:04 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


really the challenge is to land the motherfucker. anyone can take off.
posted by phoffmann at 10:31 PM on September 18, 2013 [13 favorites]


...and they're all more functional than the Lockheed-Martin F-35...
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:52 PM on September 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


really the challenge is to land the motherfucker. anyone can take off.

I know this from watching Top Gun.

Interestingly enough, I was watching a video just last night of a radio controlled model Land Rover Defender launching a radio controlled model boat.

What would we do without geeks.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:59 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


The radar is as functional as the steam in the catapult.

..which was awesome.
posted by jimmythefish at 11:09 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


where is the R/C treadmill?
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 11:33 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


The line between hobby and military-industrial complex has never (in recent memory) been so thin.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:14 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Have you people no joy? This is fantastic.
posted by incessant at 12:25 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Fantastic. All we ever did with model carriers when I were a lad was stuff them full of M-80s and glue and set them on fire.
posted by Fnarf at 12:27 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cool project! I wonder when the first all-drone aircraft carrier will sail? (I guess this thing is pretty much it, even though its potential for power projection is quite limited...)
posted by Harald74 at 1:27 AM on September 19, 2013


Regarding radar it seems like these days radar comes packaged as a 5x5 mm single chip. Yours for the reasonable sum of $16.
posted by Harald74 at 1:32 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


As a kid, I would have loved to have toys like that. Thunderbirds are go! Bang! Bang!

As an adult, I don't want noisy war toys spoiling peaceful lakes and parks.
posted by pracowity at 2:04 AM on September 19, 2013


I hope that when they get tired of their R/C carrier, they turn it into an R/C shark that launches R/C scares at non-R/C jet skiers. That would be pretty sweet.
posted by orme at 2:20 AM on September 19, 2013


No, the real win was the R/C tugboat pushing the R/C carrier out of dock before the R/C plane launched.

Of course, since I'm a member of United Nitpickers*, I have to point out they're using the Wrong Catapult. You want to launch off the bow catapults, so you can *also* recover planes on the angled deck.

So, how would you get video of the launch? Easy: From the R/C Guard Destroyer that would be on station for rescues in case the R/C Pilot ejected.

Then someone can take their R/C submarine and sink the carrier for the ultimate in ... errr, something.




* Local 312.
posted by eriko at 2:58 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


You liked that one? Let's sink the Titanic.
posted by HuronBob at 3:11 AM on September 19, 2013


The credits don't name the pilot, but from the way the plane is flown, I'm guessing it's John McCain.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:15 AM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Ship needs to be to scale with the plane. Just sayin'.

Also...Props for using the Kitty Hawk (CV 63)
posted by Thorzdad at 4:28 AM on September 19, 2013


Also...Props for using the Kitty Hawk (CV 63)
posted by pracowity at 5:15 AM on September 19, 2013


Through my secret periscope,
A little catapulted plane, buzzing like a barber.

Plane, I'll swallow up your hope:
Yours, the breezes, yours, the air, but mine, mine the harbor.
posted by pracowity at 5:15 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's only a matter of time before the Navy catches on and builds drone carriers for drone fighters.
posted by Renoroc at 5:24 AM on September 19, 2013


pracowity: "Yours, the breezes, yours, the air, but mine, mine the harbor."

....said Barnacle Bill the Saaaaaaailor!

Renoroc: "It's only a matter of time before the Navy catches on and builds drone carriers for drone fighters."

Maybe sooner than you think. A small autonomous ship with a complement of drones doesn't project the sort of "oh shit" power of a carrier strike group, but I'd be surprised to no end if there wasn't something well underway already (ha).
posted by jquinby at 5:28 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was a bit shocked to see the guy taking a picture almost directly in the flightpath after what happened last week where a R/C helicopter enthusiast sliced his own head off.
posted by srboisvert at 6:23 AM on September 19, 2013


I wonder when the first all-drone aircraft carrier will sail? (I guess this thing is pretty much it, even though its potential for power projection is quite limited...)

That's an interesting question. I wonder if there would actually be enough logistical/tactical advantages to justify this. Obviously it'd be faster and use less fuel than dedicated bases but it could also turn out to be an expensive boondoggle.

And we all know how loathe the military-industrial complex is to get involved in those.
posted by graphnerd at 6:29 AM on September 19, 2013


srboisvert - that's a Parkzon Ultra Micro T-28. You could crash it full speed into yourself and I don't think it would even leave a scratch.
posted by smoothvirus at 6:53 AM on September 19, 2013


For actually landing an RC model airplane on a carrier nothing tops the Enterprise Jr which was actually built by the Navy back in 1965. If only it was still around now that we have FPV.. sigh.
posted by smoothvirus at 6:59 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is great but it does really bug me that the ship isn't on the same scale as the plane and that they're using the wrong catapult. It also bugs me a little bit that it doesn't look like the sort of plane that would ever be launched from an aircraft carrier. Aren't there bunches of R/C planes based off of WWII fighters that they could have used?

Now I'll wait for someone with way too much time and money to build one that will launch one of those R/C jets. Some quick research and calculations puts the length of that "model" at about 95 feet long if it were to scale (about 11.5:1 I think) with a Nimitz class carrier though so I won't hold me breath.

Doing the same thing for the model plane used in the video (which I figure is about a 30:1 scale) would put the carrier at about 27 feet long to scale with a WWII era aircraft carrier like the USS Enterprise which looks like it would mean their next model would have to double in size so I suppose I'll try not to let the lack of scale bother me too much.
posted by VTX at 7:16 AM on September 19, 2013


You go to R/C war with the R/C plane you got, not the R/C plane MeFi wants.
posted by Mick at 7:40 AM on September 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


It also bugs me a little bit that it doesn't look like the sort of plane that would ever be launched from an aircraft carrier.

It's a model of this plane. I have the same model.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:21 AM on September 19, 2013


Man, I really want those toys! Especially the tug, it was cute!
posted by Mister_A at 8:33 AM on September 19, 2013


I was going to snark about this, but really, what have I accomplished in the last 3 years?
posted by elmer benson at 9:28 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I really liked this at first but then I started loving it once I saw the song they used is called "Rise A Hero". Go little plane!
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 10:11 AM on September 19, 2013


RC Tugboat needs to be a meme.
posted by GoingToShopping at 10:58 AM on September 19, 2013


I knew it wasn't going to happen but I, too, really just wanted to see them LAND the plane on the deck. They pull that off and they can call themselves the best R/C pilots ever.
posted by chrominance at 11:08 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I did not know that I wanted an R/C tugboat, until now. I really, really want one.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 11:45 AM on September 19, 2013


Yeah, I want to build this now, only have the ship and the plane be on the same scale, have the plane be R/C as well, have the plane LAND on the ship afterwards, and then slap a Go Pro on the plane, too.
posted by Imperfect at 1:09 PM on September 19, 2013


TEAM TUGBOAT
posted by danny the boy at 2:36 PM on September 19, 2013


Imperfect, don't forget the FPV system for the plane and also a scale meatball for the carrier.

Actually there's a couple of guys I fly RC planes with that are former carrier pilots who would be pretty fond of that setup.
posted by smoothvirus at 6:41 PM on September 19, 2013


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