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E-Flite Stearman PT-17 - Maiden Flight Report

Old 06-10-2012, 09:09 PM
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Timewarp
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Default E-Flite Stearman PT-17 - Maiden Flight Report

Well everyone, I have been reading up on the PT-17 for awhile now trying to get as many lessons learned for reference as I have gone through my build. I took a few recommendations from everyone like going with a power 25 motor, adding a 5 oz lead weight to the nose and I upgraded the foam wheels to the DUBRO 3" low bounce wheels.

Today we had pretty ideal conditions for flying, 4-5mph winds, with a temp of 75. so I decided to take the Stearman out to our local flying area and attempt the maiden flight. I was a bit anxious since this was my first balsa ARF build and my first biplane. I could really feel the butterfly's as I started to taxi the Stearman around the runway, luckily I had a few friends close at hand to cheer me on and wish me luck.

I am happy to announce the maiden flight went great and without a hitch. The Stearman rolled out and lifted off without any problems. I took the recommendation of many of the folks here and once I gained altitude I continued strait ahead until I had it comfortably trimmed (which took about 6 clicks of elevator) and then I put the Stearman into a slow turn circling back to my direction. The flight went well. I landed into the wind with a few clicks of throttle and once she touched down I made sure to bury the elevator to assure that the plane didn't tip over. I kept the initial flight short I flew for about 8 minutes and still had plenty of battery left. I ended up with 3.8 per cell on a 3S 3200 battery after 8 minutes of flight, so plenty of battery left if I decided to stay up for awhile longer.

Thanks everyone for all of the tips, every recommendation I used worked out perfectly!

Here are a few shots from today's flights!
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:42 PM
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xmech2k
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Congrats on a good maiden! That's a good looking plane.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:56 PM
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max2112
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Timewarp is being very modest here guys. He absolutely nailed the maiden and greased the landing. You would think he's been flying this model for two seasons if you saw how smooth his landing was.

This model is beautiful in person. The fit and finish of the kit are fantastic. I never thought I would like it, but after seeing TW's up close I'm tempted to buy one of these before they're all gone.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:26 AM
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Timewarp
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Thanks fellas, I appreciate the support. I am really looking forward to flying the PT-17 again, she handled very well for a maiden.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:56 PM
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TW obviouosly has good tail dragger piloting techniques and understanding of set-up including CG setting for the maiden. I think that many model flyers who crash on their maiden with this and other nice flyable ARF's lack good tail-dragger skills and try to fly "yank and bank style", full throttle, often off of too-deep grass, and in spaces with trees, backtops and other distractions. Bipes tend to rotate to a nose up position after takeoff and pilot needs to reduce throttle and level off to a moderate climb angle to avoid stalling and spiral dive. Best to let model lift off when ready at 3/4 throttle and keep climb and turn angles gradual until you get the feel of the model. Use elevator trim as needed for level flight at cruising, high speed flight, and landing reducing throttle to let model's main wheels settle gently on the runway, followed by up elevator when slowed to keep tail wheel on the ground and prevent nose overs.
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