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Building A Cheap RC Glider, Part 2: Flying

In the first article of this series, I showed you how to add RC controls to a common toy store chuck glider, the Air Hogs Titan. It may not be pretty, but it has elements that most budding RC pilots truly need: simplicity and affordability. This time around, I'll illustrate a few techniques for using the Titan to learn how to fly. You'll probably get some exercise while you're at it!

No matter what model you are using as your primary trainer, the learning curve is always eased when you have an experienced pilot who can show you the basics. Most RC clubs have a process ironed out for training new pilots. The Titan probably doesn't fit that traditional training template. However, it would still benefit you to enlist the aid of a seasoned pilot to get you over the initial hurdles. If you don't have access to a pilot, any eager helper with a decent throwing arm and tireless legs is a useful alternative. Kids seem to enjoy it and there are plenty of opportunities for hand-on physics lessons.

Gentle hand launches of the Titan will provide a low-stress path to grasp the rudiments of RC flying without much crash risk.

As you go through the process of learning how to fly, you will make a lot of mistakes…that's okay. The airplane will be flying slowly and close to the ground most of the time. So you're not dealing with much energy. Additionally, the Titan has several ways of dissipating energy when it hits the ground. It isn't likely that you will break anything.

In most minor crashes, the wings will pop loose from the fuselage. Just put them back in. A harder impact may cause the battery to rip free of the Velcro. Again, just put it back in place and keep on flying. If you do manage to break the Titan, repairs can be made with white glue or even tape. So go forth with no worries about breaking the airplane. It's no big deal.

Tested Builds: Real-Life LEGO MiniFig Cosplay!

Our latest project with Frank Ippolito lives at the intersection of creepy and amazing. For this year's Comic-Con, Frank designed, sculpted, and painted a LEGO-inspired mask, made to look like a real-life version of a minifig. We're calling it the creeppyfig, and it found its way home wandering through Comic-Con's exhibit hall.

The Creature Sculptures of Dominic Qwek

We stop by the booth of artist Dominic Qwek at this year's Comic-Con. We're big fans of Dominic's sculptures and resin kits, and chat with him about his digital sculpting process and how it differs from working with physical materials like clay. His work inspires us!

Adam Savage Moderating the Expanse Panel at Comic-Con

In case you didn't know, Adam Savage LOVES Syfy's series the Expanse. So when he was asked to moderate the panel with its stars and producers at Comic-Con, he jumped at the chance. (By the way, if you're not watching it, you should give it a try!) Here's the panel in full.

Taking My Bear Costume Out for a Spin in San Francisco

I finished my Revenant Bear costume for Comic-Con about a week ahead of time. Just putting a costume on for a few minutes or a half-hour in the shop doesn't tell you how it's going to wear at an environment like SDCC, where it's hot and crowded, and one must navigate turns, uneven ground, etc.

I also wanted to know how hot the costume would be under real-world conditions. So I took the bear out for a spin in my SF neighborhood of 24 years: the Mission District.

I walked around outdoors for about 30 minutes to see how it was to move around and avoid hitting obstacles. I did OK! I made it several blocks, to some very funny reactions from my neighbors.

For the most part everyone on the street took it in stride. People noticed, but then they just went back to whatever they were doing. It was actually hilarious.

Simone and Norm Tour Comic-Con 2016!

The Tested team strolls through the massive Comic-Con exhibit hall in our annual walkthrough of the show! It's Simone's first Comic-Con, and we make sure to stop by the Star Wars, Weta Workshop, and LEGO booths to gush over costumes, collectibles, and artwork. Here are some of the best things we saw in our whirlwind tour of the floor!

Adam Savage Incognito as a Bear at Comic-Con 2016!

It's time for Adam's Incognito walk through San Diego Comic-Con! This year, Adam's costume is a creature of his own creation--a bear suit that's more realistic than cartoonish. But he also couldn't help making it pop-culture related, so he made it inspired by the Leonardo DiCaprio film, The Revenant, complete with a Leo prop!

Star Trek Beyond and Star Wars Costumes from Anovos

With every big sc-fi film release, we look forward to costume replicas that fans can cosplay at conventions. Anovos debuted new costumes from Star Trek and Star Wars at Comic-Con, and we chat with them about their process for sourcing fabrics, replicating patterns, and making costume kits.