In RC model building since 2007, I have assembled or built some ARF and kits, of course smashed some, repaired quite often, and had fun doing it all.
My first plane maiden was a Robbe Mirage... short maiden in fact and quite logic and predictable event succession until I gave what was left of it to my son as free flight glider!
After that, I've flown a GWS Focke Wulf. It had 2 motors andf 5 cowls until now, the present cowl being a TupperWare I stole to my wife! The Wulf is still there waiting for more action.
A Graupner Spirit of St. Louis came next as my first wooden structured ARF. Not so many flights because I was afraid to crash it, so it is still completely intact.
Then came some home made Depron foamies: a nice and light SE5A bipe slow flyer with plank wings, an acrobatic slow flyer with very large control surfaces which spent a night with a wing struck into a 20m high tree branch, a kind of Lingcat pusher jet which made very sharp and unexpected vertical dives (into the ground) , a large mirage which never flow and on which I finally jumped with both my feet, etc. I spent nice evenings building, preparing and repairing, and liked it as much (maybe even more) than flying.
The ThunderTiger Velocity with the HET inrunner was the fastest delta I've flown with success. Really a pleasure to draw straight vertical lines in the blue sky with that one. An what a scream it made! It is certainly the model with the longest airborne time I had. but an accident came at some point when pulling little late after a vertical dive. Too bad, I miss it much now. Some repairs were possible, but it still lacks a bit of wing to fly again and is a little too crooked for a reliable "speed champion".
A friend of mine got a MPX FunJet at about the same time I had the Velocity. After 1 1/2 minute "flight" time (in 3 launches, though), he told me: "take it or I smash it by hand! I know he was serious, so I took it. I gave him his electronic back and stuffed it with mine. After a first flight, shaky but ok, my friend's spell came back to the FunJet and I couldn't make it fly anymore. Three crooked noses later it doesn't look like a bird that wants to fly! When I see the guys flying it in the extremes of the arctic Swalbard Islands, I wonder why I am such a bad pilot! Well, maybe some planes are just not adapted to anyone.
forgot to mention a nice chinese Extra 330. Brought back to life after my most spectacular crash: I burned an E-Plane! Lost control, vertical dive into the ground, 3s 2200mAh lipo continued its way down into the back protruding outrunner shaft, and then a large grey smoke and some flames! The fiberglass coil didn't melt too much, but the ply structure was turned to ashes in the front. So I shaped a new fuse front (I mean the front half of the fuselage) out of Depron sheets and balsa, iron covered it and I've flown the Extra many times since then.
The MPX EasyGlider Pro is also here, just waiting for the next successful flight. I like that one for its simplicity. It is my first E-glider and it runs well also for slope flying.
Well there are a few others around, ready to take off or on the working bench. But my most important project comes last.
I am currently building (from a kit) and equiping an electric SIG Kadet Senior (6s 9000mAh lipo, 560RPV outrunner brushless, 14x7 prop) with Xbee/Nunchuck remote pan&tilt camera, intelligent Flight video Tx/Rx, digital still camera for vertical snapshots, ArduPilot autopilot, additional ArduPilot board for pan&tilt and Xbee serial processing, LocoSys LS20031 GPS, Inspire OSD and probably also Maxbotics ultrasonic range finder for autolanding. Goal is to survey for archaeological sites in my region, taking archaeologically relevant aerial pictures (digs, sites, monuments) and eventually extending this to other potential missions. I'm having a lot of fun building, tweaking and certainly flying this UAV since I started the project. I hope to be finished and ready sometime end of spring or early summer 2009.