A Resurrected Ornithopter – the Flytech Dragonfly

The Flytech Dragonfly was one of the most innovative flying toys when it came out in 2007. It was the first radio-controlled ornithopter mass-produced for the general public. Sadly it is no longer available for purchase. To add insult to injury, there has been nothing in the market for ten years that delivers remotely the same level of giddy fun for the money. Some recent event reminded me of the Dragonfly from WowWee, so I went through boxes in my basement to find the two units I bought in 2007.

Dragonfly With Remote

Brand new Dragonfly with remote control

Unfortunately their tiny lipo batteries have since gone bust. With help from ancient posts on rcgroups.com, I managed to resurrect one of my dragonflies with a new setup. It allows me to reuse abandoned lipos from my Blade Nano QX which I have aplenty. Suddenly I no longer need to wait for 20 minutes between flying sessions to charge the built-in battery. I can now effectively fly it non-stop by plugging in replaceable batteries.

Resurrected Dragonfly ready for its maiden flight. A 1S 180mAh lipo is inserted from behind.

Resurrected Dragonfly ready for its maiden flight. A 1S 180mAh lipo is inserted from behind.

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HHAMS Paintball Event by DMS Films

HHAMS Paintball Event - video by DMS Films

HHAMS Paintball Event – video by DMS Films

One of our newest members turned out to be a professional filmmaker and FPV guy. He made a short video of our annual paintball event where kids turn up in droves to try to shoot at model planes. In a decade we had not had a film made of this event. Everyone at the club are duly impressed. Click on the image above, or this link, to watch it.

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Ode to FlightLineRC 1300mm Focke-Wulf Ta 152 H-1

This is not a real “ode”. And I don’t know how to write one. Nevertheless I find myself compelled to publicize the greatness of this model warbird, after flying it time after time in the last month. I am talking about the FlightLineRC 1300mm Focke-Wulf Ta 152 H-1.

Battle-tested TA 152. It has suffered runway rash, and has lost all plastic guns and cannons.

Battle-tested TA 152. It has suffered runway rash, and has lost all plastic guns and cannons.

Unlike a few occasions in the past where I felt the need to praise some planes (e.g. Extreme Flight Laser) but sat on the idea, this time I actually decide to comment on rcgroups.com. It was then only natural that I consolidated my comments into a quick article here.

If I must use one sentence to describe this 3S-capable plane, I would say that, when run on a 4-cell 2,600mAh lipo, it turns into a graceful speed demon in the sky.

Update 2017-07: the ESC on the plane they shipped me was apparently faulty. It burned up midair and the plane crashed. Sigh. After making some noises on rcgroups.com, I got a call from MotionRC. And I explained that the product pages (for the plane, for the 2-blade prop, etc) should clearly say that the 2-blade prop can only be used with the motor upgrade, as part of the “High Power Upgrade Set”.

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Restaurants – Sarasota wiki vacation part 5

This is part five of the Sarasota Wiki Vacation series. This trip to the Sarasota barrier islands yielded a large number of pictures which I’ve added to various Wikipedia articles. The unusually-long post I wrote became too long and unfocused. It is about 90 pages long. I am now breaking it up into specific posts by location and theme.

This one is about restaurants we we stumbled upon in this trip. I loved them, and their food. In the order we visited them: Mar Vista, Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar and Ophelia’s on the Bay.

Ophelia's on the Bay

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Siesta Key – Sarasota wiki vacation part 4

This is part four of the Sarasota Wiki Vacation series. This trip to the Sarasota barrier islands yielded a large number of pictures which I’ve added to various Wikipedia articles. The unusually-long post I wrote became too long and unfocused. It is about 90 pages long. I am now breaking it up into specific posts by location and theme.

This one is about Siesta Key. We visited three beaches on this barrier island: Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach.

Folks Enjoying Sunset at Siesta Beach

The immensity of Siesta Beach

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Lido Key – Sarasota wiki vacation part 3

Adventure Kayak Guided Tour Cormorant among the Fleet

Watching a dolphin breach

This is part three of the Sarasota Wiki Vacation series. This trip to the Sarasota barrier islands yielded a large number of pictures which I’ve added to various Wikipedia articles. The unusually-long post I wrote became too long and unfocused. It is about 90 pages long. I am now breaking it up into specific posts by location and theme.

Chatting with Locals at Lido Beach

Enjoying lobster rolls at the beach

This one is about our trip to Lido Key, comprising an ecotour in the morning of the Sarasota Bay and its red mangrove trees, and a visit to the Lido Beach in the afternoon.

Previous posts on this series can be found at:

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World’s Largest Miniature Circus – Sarasota wiki vacation part 2

This is part two of the Sarasota Wiki Vacation series. This trip to the Sarasota barrier islands yielded a large number of pictures which I’ve added to various Wikipedia articles. The unusually-long post I wrote became too long and unfocused. It is about 90 pages long. I am now breaking it up into specific posts by location and theme.

This one is about The Howard Bro. Circus, undisputedly  the world’s largest miniature circus, located within John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

Ringling Museum Scale Model Circus Entrance

1:16 Scale Model Circus – Main Entrance

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Anna Maria Island – Sarasota wiki vacation part 1

This is part one of the Sarasota Wiki Vacation series. This trip to the Sarasota barrier islands yielded a large number of pictures which I’ve added to various Wikipedia articles. The unusually-long post I wrote became too long and unfocused. It is about 90 pages long. I am now breaking it up into specific posts by location and theme.

This one is about Anna Maria Island, also known as the Anna Maria Key, where we explored Coquina Beach, Cortez Beach, and marveled at cast-net fishing at beautiful sunset.

 Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island

Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island

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Sarasota, Florida 2017 – an iPhone Wiki Vacation

Here is the latest installment of my series of Wiki Vacation posts, from a short stay last week in Sarasota, Florida. The timing could not have been better – daytime temperature was around 85˚F. Not too hot – a quick application of sunscreen was good enough for walking on the beach all day long. And not chilly – Gulf water was warm enough for swimming.

Coquina Beach Lifeguard Station on Anna Maria Island

Lifeguard station at Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island

The range of day trips covered Siesta Key, Lido Key, Longboat Key, Ana Maria Island, and Sarasota City itself. Activities included paddleboarding by the beach, tunneling through red mangrove trees on kayaks, looking at manatees at the aquarium, and marveling at the world’s largest miniature circus at the Ringling museum. It’s amazing that we managed to visit 7 beaches in just a few days: Coquina Beach, Cortez Beach, Lido Beach, Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach. In addition, we also packed fine dinning into this busy schedule. For lazy people who woke up every morning to look at tourist maps gotten at the airport before figuring out where to go, this trip was a resounding success.

Points of Interest around Sarasota Bay

Points of Interest around Sarasota Bay

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Jenn’s Wedding: Saint Thomas 2009

This is an offshoot of a series of Wiki Vacation posts from my tour of the US Virgin Islands in 2009. The series covers Saint Thomas, Trunk Bay and Caneel Bay. This article documents the main reason we were there in the first place – to be at Jenn and Chris’ wedding.

Jenn's wedding

Jenn’s wedding – accompanied by her dad

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