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Problem building Wing Dragon 4

Old 03-11-2007, 12:13 AM
  #101  
Tireshred
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Only way to know is to try it. I still like reading about your experiments.
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Old 03-11-2007, 01:19 AM
  #102  
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Yes I'll try it; I have the SF on my list for my next order with Horizon (speaking of which, I see that once again, they just moved back their estimated in-stock status of the Spektrum AR6000 receivers...it's gone from "early March" to "mid March" to "late March" now ).

When I flew the WD4 this morning, I was having trouble holding course on final approaches. When I was getting ready to switch over to flying my Super Cub, I raised the Cub transmitter antenna and immediately the ribbon blew straight out at 90 degress to my "runway" (parking lot) orientation. So the trouble was, the wind had shifted from when I started, and I was landing in a direct crosswind. The trouble with the Spektrum transmitter, is that the antenna is so short that it doesn't make a very good wind indicator (your body tends to shield the ribbon). I need to start a new practice of setting up another transmitter aerial as my "wind sock" while I'm using the Spektrum.

I just got the WD4 rigged for photography, with my Pencam SD mounted vertically sitting between the servos and the battery, with the lens poking up looking down the nose. I was able to reduce the dead weight by about the weight of the camera and be in balance, so it will weigh about the same as the no-camera configuration. I have two sets of nose-weights -- fishing weights held together with clay put in ziplock snack-bags -- one with camera and one without, which can easily be pulled out and swapped.
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:44 AM
  #103  
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Here's a Wing Dragon tip: one of my wing-securing rubber-bands had a nick in it, and I couldn't find the spare that came with the kit. And Hobby-Lobby doesn't seem to carry them. Well at Staples office supply, I found a big bag of rubber bands for cheap, that are exactly the same length and elasticity as the WD bands (unstretched and stretched lengths match). It's their store-brand "#33"-size rubber bands. They're not quite as thick as the WD4 bands, so if it gets to the point that I have less than two of the originals left, I will probably use six instead of four to secure the wing.
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:53 PM
  #104  
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I just use #64 rubber bands, they work fine.

I destroyed my Mini Slinger last night, I had it high when my dog decided to run after 2 labs being walked, I just shut power and ran after her, it hit nose first in the field and crushed the foam, shattered the motor mount (I use a 280 motor and lipo battery so it's heavier than stock), repairable maybe but I ordered another one this morning, they're only $35. Thank goodnes there's a fence around the field and the dogs couldn't get together. Needless to say, she won't be loose anymore when I fly.
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Old 03-13-2007, 01:27 AM
  #105  
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Well, your guard-dog saved one plane and busted one, so I guess that evens the score.

I had a successful first AP flight with the Dragon a couple hours ago. The plane flew nearly identical with the camera as without -- just a little less power due to a little more drag, which means I was at max power most of the time (I cracked it back a little now and then to avoid overheating anything). The movie came out fine...about 5 minutes of almost continuous rolls, loops, split-esses, and Cuban-8's.

But once again, the plane had a skittish mind-of-its-own on takeoff and landing rolls. The wind was 45 degrees off from the parking-lot runway heading, so I shot a perfect approach thru/over/around assorted tree, sign, and light-pole obstacles along the edge of the parking lot, down to a gentle hold-it-off landing flare, only to have the dang plane immediately jerk itself into a right 90-degree turn as soon as it touched down, then it ran into the grass at the edge of the parking lot. Fortunately it was pretty slow by then and nothing bad happened, it just made for a less pretty ending to the movie.

My next flight will be experimentation to fix the ground handling. I'm not sure if the tailwheel or the main gear is the bigger problem. I think the first thing I'm going to try will be to remove the flimsy tailwheel assembly completely and see if it rolls better with the end of the boom as a tailskid.
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Old 03-13-2007, 03:33 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by herk_1 View Post
Well, your guard-dog saved one plane and busted one, so I guess that evens the score.
Heh, I hadn't looked at it like that. I glued the wrecked one together last night and used a motor tray I had from another one (the one from this crash is not repairable) and it's ready for a maiden. I have little confidence it'll fly without oscilation since with this setup the frame is stressed to the max and any flex will cause massive problems. It's glued and taped and not as strong, but we'll see.

If you fix the landing/takeoff skiddish problems, please share.

Where's the video? I'd love to see it.
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Old 03-14-2007, 12:11 AM
  #107  
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I still gotta process that video in Windows Movie Maker.

I flew the WD4 twice today (no camera). The first time the wind was the usual 8 mph that it's been the last few days. Then when I went back, it was at least 10 or 12 mph...and noticeably even higher at altitude. I kept thinking, I better just land it carefully and go home, but every time I landed it I had to go right up again. At least directional control on the ground was easier, because the rudder was effective practically while the plane was standing still!

Meanwhile, a car pulled up, and out came two fellas with a Super Cub. First time I've EVER seen any other RC flyers out there. I kept one eye on my WD4 while walking over to greet them and tell them I had a Spektrum, so no freq conflict. Then the father (I think) set down the Cub and took off into that strong wind. Well the Cub immediately zoomed up and swerved back around toward me and crashed violently about 20 feet from me, breaking the tail completely off, an inch in front of the stabs.
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Old 03-14-2007, 04:21 AM
  #108  
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I flew the rebuilt Mini Slinger after work, I'm shocked at how well it flew. For all the tape and epoxy it flew well, almost like new. No oscillation and very little tracking problems. The only problem I had was I had to leave the ESC outside the canopy or else it glitched badly, that was never a problem before, I'll figure out why and try again.

Super Cub in 10-12mph wind? I could've guessed that outcome.
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Old 03-15-2007, 03:08 AM
  #109  
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OK, my first Wing-Dragon 4 aerial photo video is posted here.
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:17 AM
  #110  
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Nice vid herk 1, I'm not a fan of the music, but it fits! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who has jerky issues with the stock WD4 control surfaces, it seems it's hard to be smooth. Again, nice area and flying.
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Old 03-26-2007, 07:19 AM
  #111  
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Default ordered wing dragon 4.

after a lot of reading i finally ordered my first r/c plane. I use to fly line control a lot when i was a kid. I researched quite a bit and decided the wing dragon 4 was the plane for me. Almost went with the EasyStar but decided on the WD4 because of lower cost, landing gear, and aileron. Hope I made the right choice. I am very open to any advice on assembly and firt flights.
-JB
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:40 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by justbliss View Post
after a lot of reading i finally ordered my first r/c plane. I use to fly line control a lot when i was a kid. I researched quite a bit and decided the wing dragon 4 was the plane for me. Almost went with the EasyStar but decided on the WD4 because of lower cost, landing gear, and aileron. Hope I made the right choice. I am very open to any advice on assembly and firt flights.
-JB
zero wind / large field / trim plane for good glide - level flight without motor / launch level and allow speed to build to avoid stalling on launch.

Remember up elevator = reduce airspeed = stall/crash


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Old 03-26-2007, 09:38 PM
  #113  
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The landing gear is weak and flimsy, and even worse with the little fenders (take those off), so if you're going to ROG takeoff, I would plan on doing some practice taxi runs and bend the landing gear (main gear, can't really do anything with the tailwheel) until you can get it to roll straight. I'm working on a couple of different ideas for new gear; I've installed one but haven't had a chance to try it yet. I've never hand-launched my WD4, but that's just because I prefer ROG.

The power with the stock brushed motor is weak, which is both good and bad. It's good because it forces a lazy type of easy flying more suitable for a beginner, but bad because takeoff rolls are long and climbs are slow, which could tempt people to be impatient and pull back too much on that elevator stick, or to start maneuvering before getting a safe altitude. The ailerons are sensitive, and the stock radio has no dual rate, so if you get control confusion with the plane flying towards you, low to the ground, it could be standing up on a wing and slicing/spinning into the ground pretty quick. I haven't crashed my WD4 yet, but it was my fourth or fifth plane, so I had finally figured out my left from my right before I got it. Good luck!
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Old 03-27-2007, 01:47 AM
  #114  
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Hi guys, I just bought my first RC plane and chose the WD4 Sporter. I am trying to digest as much as I can about flying and this particular model before my maiden flight.

After reading the posts on this subject I can confirm that my model suffered from many of the new from the box problems(Tailplane adjustments etc.). With the help of this forum I have rectified these and should now be ready for my first foray into model flying, I am just waiting for the perfect day here in Kent, England and a bit of Dutch courage !

I practised taxing around my garden yesterday but the wind was gusting causing a couple of flips. I did notice that the servos seem to make a continuous clicking/ticking sound and wondered if this was normal?
Thanks for your advice,
Paul.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:50 AM
  #115  
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Pablo, I entered electric flight with the german version of the WD.. some things I learned, if you want to practice taxi, take off your main wing and roll it around like a car, this will save you the bumps and bruises on the wing..

Clicking and ticking, if this is durring the servos movement, you might want to identify which one is making the noise and possibly replace it. if this takes place while the servos are idle.. then sometimes a small trim adjustment on the transmitter clears it up.

Ground launch of a WD is a bit hectic from grass. the wheels are not very big and the struts are flexible to say the least, so you may end up "tail over tin cup" alot.. find a good field, pick up the plane, throttle up and throw her into the wind.. I have found this to be the most hassle free way of launching the WD. most times I take the wheels off and belly in to the grass.. that plastic hull can really withstand alot..

Welcome Up!!
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Old 03-27-2007, 08:18 PM
  #116  
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Thank you for your advice Stinkweed. We had a lovely day here in the SE England although the wind was still a little strong I felt for my maiden flight. I therefore stuck to piloting around my garden sans wings, this made things much easier. I also adjusted the trims until the ticking clicking noises subsided.
I have now charged and discharged my battery twice and feel that I am ready to start flying tomorrow. I have a field nearby with unkept longish grass that should cushion any landings, I will remove the undercarriage and belly land on your advice.
I aim to hand launch and fly into the wind gently and then bring the WD down shortly afterwards, gradually increasing my time in the air until I feel confident enough to try some turns.
It all sounds so easy on paper, I will find out for real tomorrow !
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Old 03-29-2007, 03:21 AM
  #117  
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I replaced the tail with a new set from H-L and moved the vert stab so I could put the rudder servo arm back to center and it seems to fly better, the ground handling is better anyway. Kinda like how your car runs better after you wash it?

I've really been thinking of rigging some floats on it, I have a friend who lives on a lake and everytime I'm there I daydream about it.

Anyway, here's the video. Note dog is tied to truck. The flight was actually around 20 minutes, I edited it to just over 2 minutes.

http://media.putfile.com/Wind-Dragon-4-wnew-tail
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Old 03-29-2007, 04:39 AM
  #118  
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Has anybody adjusted the amount of aileron travel on their Wing Dragon, I have been told that I may have too much for my initial flights?
I had the perfect day today for maiden flight, for both the Dragon & myself today.
I intended to fly in a straight line and then bring her down, just to become familiar with everything, however I soon found that the Dragon had a mind of her own.
The first few launches involved the plane flying ahead for a short distance and then it veered off to the right and into the ground. This happened twice more and didn't inspire confidence in myself. I found that the elevator cleat had broken which with possibly, not enough initial speed from launch, was causing the craft to stall to the right.
I eventually managed to almost maintain a straight line after a number of other attempts, however the Dragon was then in need of repair, with damage to the tailplane, elevator wing and a small amount of missing foam from the main wing.
I have deciced that I am in need of some sim practice before my next foray and will then go for altitude and hope that I can muster some better control while in flight. Even after reading as much as I could before flying I found myself still showing all the newbie traits, over control etc. by I am determined to stick with it.
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Old 03-29-2007, 04:58 AM
  #119  
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Sounds like stalls to me. You can limit the travel by moving the rod down on the servo and up on the aileron. If yours came with the FMS sim and cable, use it, I learned on the Wing Dragon and didn't use the sim until after I had the exact same experience as you. After getting where I could take off and land on the sim, the real thing was much easier.

Last edited by Tireshred; 03-29-2007 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 03-29-2007, 05:01 AM
  #120  
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I still suggest practing hand launches and trimming the plane without the motor. You should be able to get some very nice 50' flights with no damage without uing the engine. Once you master hand launching without the motor you can add power and extend the flight to 200--300' flying staight ahead. Do this 5 times and then you may be ready to try a turn.
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Old 03-29-2007, 05:10 AM
  #121  
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I tried without the engine running and found that it would just nose dive, even with it running I was having to pull back on the stick a little to pull it up. This worsened after I had made contact with the ground a few times, I looked for possible damage causing this but didn't notice any.
I have a gut feeling that I wasn't quite using enough speed through fear of damagiing it further, thus causing the stall.
I have the FMS sim and cable and will try that tomorrow, we have a weather change for a few days predicted which will give me time to practice.
Thank you for the advice guys I felt a little hopeless down there today when all wasn't go well.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:46 PM
  #122  
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Mine doesn't glide all that well either. Repair the damage, set up the FMS and go back after some practice, you'll be amazed.

My first outing was pull up too early, stall, fall over and crash. Broke the tail and bent the tail boom badly and the prop took big chunks outta the wing. After FMS, I flew several flights before crashing again, but they were milder and easier on the plane. I still have the Wing Dragon and use it as my AP platform. It's a very forgiving plane.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:29 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by pablo27 View Post
I tried without the engine running and found that it would just nose dive, even with it running I was having to pull back on the stick a little to pull it up. This worsened after I had made contact with the ground a few times, I looked for possible damage causing this but didn't notice any.
I have a gut feeling that I wasn't quite using enough speed through fear of damagiing it further, thus causing the stall.
I have the FMS sim and cable and will try that tomorrow, we have a weather change for a few days predicted which will give me time to practice.
Thank you for the advice guys I felt a little hopeless down there today when all wasn't go well.
You cannot damage the plane by throwing it too hard but it will surely stall and crash with / without the engine if you don't throw it hard enough.

The advantage of learning to launch without the motor is that it is one less thing to worry about and the damage from stalling/crashing from 5' is less that stalling and crashing from 20-30' with the motor on.



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Old 03-29-2007, 11:35 PM
  #124  
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I agree, the Wing Dragon 4 doesn't have a very easy glide. It sinks pretty fast, and if you don't keep the wings level (sometimes hard to do with those sensitive ailerons), it sinks even faster. I wouldn't recommend it as a first plane for teaching yourself to fly. More like a good second or third plane. When I started flying my E-Starter this week, I immediately felt like it is a much easier plane to fly than the WD4, especially with regard approach and landing. The E-Starter wing loading is much lighter and there's a lot more dihedral.
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Old 03-30-2007, 12:29 AM
  #125  
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I was thinking if you leveled off the ailerons, disconnected them from the reciever and hooked the rudder into that channel it would act like a 3 channel? Just a thought...
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