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How Do You Even Pilot a 450 MPH RC Plane?

We’ve seen remote control airplanes powered by tiny jet engines before. But what’s mind-blowing about this particular RC craft is that it weighs just 17 pounds but can blast through the skies at an astonishing 450 miles per hour, making you wonder how any human has the reflexes needed to keep this thing from crashing.

Launched by an elastic band catapult, the delta-wing RC plane needs to be moving at a certain speed before its stubby wings produce enough lift for it to fly. Now obviously fighter pilots manage to wrangle aircraft at speeds that exceed well over 1,000 mph, but it’s an easier feat when you’re actually sitting in the aircraft, or have a first-person view like drone pilots do.

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When you’re remotely flying a plane at 450 mph while looking up at it from the ground, just maintaining visibility seems almost impossible when the aircraft can race through your field of vision in just a few seconds. But somehow this pilot makes it look as easy as throwing a paper airplane.

[YouTube]

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DISCUSSION

I fly propeller RC planes about that size that go up to around 50 mph. I can tell you, it’s not easy. It takes time and lots of simulator practice to get comfortable. The orientation challenges of being outside the plane, and the speed at which things happen, can be lots more challenging in some ways than piloting a real plane. Real pilots struggle when they try RC for the first time.

I can’t imagine flying something THIS fast. Heck, in the blink of an eye, the thing will be so far away that you can’t tell how much the wings are banked unless you have a spotter with binoculars. And a plane that fast can kill someone if it crashes.

I would think the best thing to do with something like this is put a camera and a transmitter in it and wear video goggles to fly it first person. That would be fun as heck.