The weather on the day of the test flight was unusually benign, just the gentlest of WNW breezes and warm sunshine. Axel placed the 'Wots Wot' on the runway and took off. The yellow plane climbed to 400ft AGL and levelled out. It was as Axel attempted to turn back towards the field that events started to take a sinister turn (or not turn in this case). Bystanders swear that they heard an artificial voice say 'I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that' . Axel's face turned ashen as the model failed to respond to his frantic stick twiddling and carried on in a steady WNW direction, beautifully straight and level.
To the north west of Hexham field, alarms sounded and screens flashed up warnings at the Shovelmadman missile base. There was an unidentified aircraft flying into their restricted airspace at 400ft! Two Tornado's were scrambled to intercept. Despite incessant radio calls, the unidentified aircraft would not respond.
Squadron Leader Narra taking aim
The HAL system before meeting Terra Firma!
Ripmax have issued the following statement concerning the HAL 2100;
We recommend that a Throttle Failsafe is installed in every aircraft with a HAL 2100 AutoPilot fitted. Because HAL will return the aircraft to straight & level flight in the absence of pilot control inputs, if radio contact is broken between the Transmitter and Receiver, the model could potentially continue to fly until it ran out of fuel! Or worse!