You may wonder how something called Wings Across America – 2008 comes up on a blog in 2012. Well that just happens when an adventure is soo big it takes that long to get even this far. Wings Across America – 2008 or WAA-08 was the brain child of Frank Geisler of Gloucester, Virginia. He started the idea as a way for RC pilots to connect with other pilots around them and as a way to promote the RC airplane hobby. So far it has traveled over 21,000 miles has been flown by over 500 pilots in 44 states!
I traveled to Worthington MN to pick up the plane which was a 200 mile round trip for myself. I had to wait a few days for the wind and rain to move out but considering last year at this time I was waiting for snow to melt I was more then happy with a few days to look over the log book and make an over view video of the plane so far.
I contacted the local newspaper and arranged for them to come see the plane and do an interview on the adventure. I can’t wait to see the article as it should be out in a few days. I also asked my friend Mike Stott to come out as well to assist and take a turn on the controls. The weather turned out perfect for the flight. The wind and rain were gone leaving a nice 70 degree day with a light breeze out of the west. This was perfect for Forsberg Field where I was to fly the plane. After a quick interview about the plane and it’s case we stepped out to the runway. Here is where even a good pilot should have a few nerves going. I considered this to be much like a maiden flight as it was a new plane to me and with that comes a touch of nervousness. I knew I could fly the plane but nobody wants to be “that guy” that crashes the plane and stalls or even ends the journey.
Even with the extra nerves I opted to try a “rise off ground” take off instead of a hand launch. I was able to keep it straight on the ground and with a little kick of throttle it was off and flying. At that point I felt at ease and very comfortable with the airplane. I cruised around to get a feel for it and then started some photo passes for the newspaper photographer. The reporter asked me a few technical questions while I was flying and my friend pulled him back to answer questions while I flew the plane some more. Lazy eights and low passes were the menu for the day. I didn’t want to risk anything more then that. After a couple minutes I had Mike come take the controls for a few laps so he could log on the adventure as another pilot. He handed back the controls to me to bring it in. With the nice calm breeze out of the west I setup to the east and cut the throttle back. The plane settled toward the runway with ease and with just a blip of throttle she set down on the runway with just a slight bounce.
It was a great day and a relaxing flight. Just the kind you want as part of an adventure such as this. I will charge up the lipo and bring it to my club field tomorrow to hopefully meet the next pilot that will care for the WAA-08 plane along it’s journey back to Virginia. It was a pleasure to be a part of this and I hope once it’s home with Frank he is able to find some place where people can see the story of this little airplane that is traveling across our great nation.