Radar Gun For RC Airplanes Speed Runs

I’ve been researching the ways to obtain the actual speed on my planes for quite awhile and there are many options available to our RC community. They range from the various sized personal GPS units, Eagle tree and other data recorders using a pitot tube, Doppler effect using a sound file, and Radar guns.

I first started with a older GPS personal unit that was large and unlike the personal training and smaller units on the market now, it is literally the size of my hand and was too large for most applications. So awhile ago I bookmarked the Bushnell Velocity Radar Gun that Amazon.com was selling and thought if I showed further interest I’d buy this model. Well I finally succumbed to my curiosity, helped of course from re-occurring discussion amongst our friends and others about how fast we are flying our planes.

It’s an attractive unit and small size fits perfectly in a Plano Gun case . I was able to start testing the Radar gun well before my friends arrived with their planes using a camera tripod, a couple long lengths of velcro to hold the Gun and also to hold the trigger down. This allowed me to start getting speed runs on my Parkzone Corsair and getting instant feedback without assistance from anyone. The process of an accurate reading is matching the height of the Radar gun and  flying the plane directly towards the radar without any  angles. If you are not lined up in a straight line with the radar beam it will not read correctly. Easier said then done but the radar was able to pick up the quickly moving plane further out than I would’ve anticipated and allowed enough time to avoid decapitating my own head. I performed several of these passes with my Corsair and decided to wait until the others arrived for follow-up testing.

Corsair Solo Test

The friends arrived and I let them know my numbers on the few passes I just achieved. I explained the operation of the gun. Damn simple. Pressing the trigger down and holding it all the way through the speed run until the plane passes. The LCD will read the MPH real time during the pass and then after releasing the trigger it will read the highest MPH for the run. We had quite a few passes that evening to break in the new radar unit and managed to get some great information to what we have been only guesstimating in the past.

RESULTS-

Special HonorPhase3 Ducted Fan Jet Fastest Crash After Launch – 44MPH! (friend rebound to new Spektrum Dx8 and control surface was reversed. Flight check before flights people!)

Seconds After Launch!

My Parkzone Corsair with MODS (batt, motor, esc. etc)  – Tops runs were 85mph, 81mph, 78mph (wind assisted runs). Weekend runs 78mph consistent.

3DHobbyshop Extra – 78MPH was the fastest but this number can certainly improve.

Various Supercubs – 68mph was the fastest

next weekend we got numbers on these #’s at the AMA field –

Hangar 9 Funtana 125 – Power 110 – 89mph with additional room to improve

Top Flite Mustang gas – 88mph

World Models Skyraider 2 nitro – 107mph