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SS - Flying Problems...

Old 07-14-2008, 09:27 AM
  #1  
jakc
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Default SS - Flying Problems...

Took the plane out on its maiden flight at the weekend. Although I had FMS down with the SloV model (with winds/gusts on) it was a some what different experience in the field...

Location: UK, farmland, crop fields and hedgerows. Very mellow slope with wind usually coming up the slope - (slope is 5-15 degrees).

Wind: When I got there was completely still - by time id done range checks, paranoia checks, etc it had picked up - (dropping somew grass from shoulder height, would land 2-3 feet from my feet (make sense?)

I think sensible option would have been to pack up then, but I decided to not be sensible.

Hand launched into the slight wind. Unable to take off from ground, as grass was a good couple inches high and ground was a bit bumpy. Also, I did some taxi-ing on some concrete and the plane kept veering to the left. However, the rudder was dead straight so assumed it was to do with u-carriage.

Put throttle at around 90% (with 2s battery). I didnt pull up on the elevator, but the plane shot up high and had to counteract with down-elevator. However the other problem was that the wind I throw the plane into was winning - it took the plane back to the same direction as the wind and ended up crashing into a hedge. No damage done.

I repeated this again and pretty much same again. Decided to call it a day.

I know that I need a completly still day, but I was still not expecting the plane to be that jumpy/affected by such a low wind speed (def less than 3-5mph).

Before I head out again, what advice would you have - Perhaps I need more weight for stability? Perhaps I need to adjust my COG for stability?
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:13 AM
  #2  
M.T.
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As a fellow 'learner', I would say that wind (and not being sensible enough when there is too much of it!) has been my biggest downfall (literally!).

With my sensible head on....
I would wait for a totally still day when learning to fly, it is cheaper.

The problem is we don't have too many of them in the UK.
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:25 AM
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jakc
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I agree.

Was reading some other threads and was wondering if I should be applying the thrust mod.

I have a TowerPro BM2408 and have mounted it following this thread. The fact that the plane was shooting up with 3/4 throttle on throwing it into the wind suggests that I perhaps need to alter something? Maybe try the COG first?
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Old 07-14-2008, 03:29 PM
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gzsfrk
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The Slow Stick is very responsive to wind, due to that big, floaty wing with lots of dihedral. That's not to say that you can't fly the SS in some amount of wind, but you do have to learn how to deal with it, so it's certainly not something you want to deal with on your first flights. As M.T. said, you really should wait for a perfectly calm day to learn to fly. Early morning should normally be the best for this. Also, RoG takeoffs with the Slow Stick are highly recommended for your first flight, since you need to have both hands on the sticks. But if you just don't have some open concrete/asphalt near your flying spot, then you can stick with the hand launch, but it will be riskier.

One other thing you might consider is setting up some EXPO on the rudder/elevator controls. This will make the plane easier/gentler to control by making the rudder and elevator less sensitive nearer the center position while still giving you full control when needed. You can read about how to set this up in the DX6i manual. Personally, I just leave mine without any expo and learn not to overcontrol.

But honestly--I think that once you get out at the field with zero wind, you'll be fine. Just remember what I said about not overcontrolling; when you first start out flying, the temptation is to jerk the sticks around to the extremes. But so long as you're flying in calm conditions, you shouldn't need to move the sticks more than 20 degrees off center when flying the SS in gentle flight.

Good luck and blue skies!

Last edited by gzsfrk; 07-14-2008 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 07-14-2008, 03:43 PM
  #5  
Pudknocker71
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Yep...without reading all that, the SS sucks in wind. Plan early mornings in dead calm conditions. That wing is nearly a parachute. As you get better with it you'll learn to head it into the wind and just glide. My SS is now converted to ailerons and 5 inches shorter. Still flies and glides well. It's what I call my Super Stick or 3D stick.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:12 PM
  #6  
gzsfrk
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Originally Posted by jakc View Post
Put throttle at around 90% (with 2s battery). I didnt pull up on the elevator, but the plane shot up high and had to counteract with down-elevator.
Oh, and can't say I didn't warn you.

Originally Posted by gzsfrk
Also, on your first flight, be ready for the SS to literally jump up when you give it full throttle. You need to be prepared to compensate with some down elevator. Not a lot, since you don't want to nose dive it into the ground. But if you let it go up to steep, you can lose control and either flip it over or tip stall it.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:42 PM
  #7  
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Here's my 2 cent. A SlowStick with a lot of power will try to climb like crazy. You can try to compensate with down elevator' you'll need to really' but that creates some strange behaviour. I've seen my wing stretch the rubberbands in a dive more than once. It's a slow flyer but you still need some pitch speed to overcome any wind. Be conservative with the throttle. Also I had problems with a rolling launch when starting. I had better succes' it was recommended to me' by hand launching. I don't think tje thrust mod is needed at this point but couldn't hurt either.
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:36 PM
  #8  
Dorsal
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I have flown airplanes (starting with balsa, tissue and dope models) for over 30 years. It wasn't until I learned when NOT TO TAKE OFF that I started bringing my models home in one piece, and not a garbage bag. I don't write posts like this to steal anybody's fun, I write them so you can learn from my mistakes.

I believe that learning to respect the wind is the most difficult and important lesson for a beginner to learn.
If there is any wind at all, don't fly your plane. Watch others, learn, talk, but don't fly!
If you think the wind is low enough, it probably isn't!
If the thought passed your mind the wind might be too high, it definitely is!
There is only disappointment if you decide not to fly. If you fly in too much wind there will be expense, repair work, embarrassment AND disappointment. You decide.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:51 AM
  #9  
M.T.
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Originally Posted by Dorsal View Post
I believe that learning to respect the wind is the most difficult and important lesson for a beginner to learn.
If there is any wind at all, don't fly your plane. Watch others, learn, talk, but don't fly!
If you think the wind is low enough, it probably isn't!
If the thought passed your mind the wind might be too high, it definitely is!
There is only disappointment if you decide not to fly. If you fly in too much wind there will be expense, repair work, embarrassment AND disappointment. You decide.
+1

It is a difficult lesson to learn... I am still in the process.
Over-enthusiasm seems to be very costly in this game!

Broken planes:
My very sensible older brother = 0
Me = Too many to admit to.
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:15 PM
  #10  
yossarian
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I would seriously try to find a place where you can take off from the ground. This does two things for you straight away.

The plane will fly when it has enough airspeed and also, your thumbs will be at the controls where they need to be.

Turning to the left as you apply power is actually normal, especially noticeable in tail draggers like the SS. Part of the reason is the angle of attack for the prop when the plane is on the ground, creating more thrust on the ascending blade, then on the descending blade, this translates into a yaw to the left. This phenomenom is called P-factor.

Basically, the second that prop starts turning it's trying to turn the plane left, but even at lower power settings, the prop wash, or wind created by the prop, is running nicely over the elevator and rudder, giving you control of those surfaces before the main wings have enough airspeed for flight. If you've ever seen STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) competitions, you'll notice many of the pilots will use prop wash alone to lift their tail off the ground, even before the plane is actually moving. Even at 0 ground speed.

Here's a cool example of a Bush Pilot STOL competition in Alaska. Notice the rear wheel leaves the ground before the planes wheels even start rolling forward.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_dgrBevUOw&NR=1[/media]

You have that same authority over your tail surfaces as these cessnas and cubs. So as you're applying throttle, keep in mind you want to simultaneously add a little right rudder, to keep the plane moving down the runway straight. Once you're able to hold the tail off the ground to pick up airspeed, P-factor will go away. It will come back as soon as you start to climb again, and will be noticeable at low air speeds especially.

So stick with it! Keep practicing those take offs from the ground. Once you master taking off in a tail dragger, Tri-cycle gear planes will be a cake walk.

Last edited by yossarian; 07-16-2008 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:45 PM
  #11  
JRickey
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I wouldn't modify anything till you can get it into the air and get the cg set, wing set and mess around with counter weights and get use to flying it. Then I would try to modify it but only one mod at a time so you know with one is effecting which characteristic.
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Old 07-18-2008, 03:48 AM
  #12  
John Canfield
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Originally Posted by jakc View Post
--snip--
Put throttle at around 90% (with 2s battery). I didnt pull up on the elevator, but the plane shot up high and had to counteract with down-elevator. However the other problem was that the wind I throw the plane into was winning - it took the plane back to the same direction as the wind and ended up crashing into a hedge. No damage done.
--snip--
With 90% throttle the plane should vigorously climb - that's how you gain altitude in a full-scale aircraft. The elevator is adjusted for the desired angle of attack (as in keeping the wing flying and not stalling it.)

A 2S battery with a low kva brushless motor and a 10-7 or maybe an 11-6 prop should give you enough performance to fly out of trouble, but not overwhelm you with plane speed.

Couple of suggestions-

  • Like others have said, do wait for wind of less than 6-8km for your first few flights
  • As a complete beginner, be completely sure the plane is balanced correctly - with the CG too far forward or aft, the plane will be a little tricky to fly
  • Avoid the urge to keep the plane low and close to you -always fly high - "three mistakes high"
Keep at it and keep reading the forums - you will be a success!
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:11 AM
  #13  
TheDustyPagan
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Set your CG exactly 4 1/8" back from the leading edge of the wing. This is the "sweet spot" on the Slow Stick. From that point.. you can make your fine adjustments to get her exactly how you like her to fly in the air.
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:20 AM
  #14  
diverdon
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I sometimes have a hard time judgeing the wind .. And really wanting to go I used to have a lot of adventures because of it .. I found a cool in expensive wind meter thru Watt flyers ...

It's a Dwyer meter that I got thru something like forestry service tools ? look up Dwyer wind meters on Google on the net ... 18 bucks worth every penny .. very cool reads low wind speeds accurately too ... Much over 10 mph and it's a no fly for the slow stick ... REALLY just gonna crash for sure if I try ..

Hope this helps .. Don J.
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Old 07-18-2008, 03:48 PM
  #15  
flydiver
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Put a ribbon on your TX antenna-just a plain old skinny floppy ribbon about the same length as the antenna. If it hangs loosely you are good to go. If at 45 degrees to vertical an experienced flier can handle the SS, likely not a newbie. It it sticks straight out it's pretty risky to fly a stock SS unless you are pretty competent. Take off and landing are really dicey.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:04 AM
  #16  
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I understand your troubles! Sounds like my first few flights with my slow stick. Do make sure your cg is correct for every flight till you get use to flying it. I have two different batteries and I can cause the ss to be nose heavy if I don't check it. I agree lots of height is your friend! Try to fly in as little as wind till you get more experience. Keep trying!
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:46 AM
  #17  
jasmine2501
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Your SS should fly easily in 5mph winds. Sounds very much like a rearward CG issue. I know lots of people recommend 4 1/8 inch for the CG, but for beginners I would move it up a bit particularly if you have lots of power to spare. Then make sure you have all the other basics correct - prop not backwards, radio working, ESC armed and programmed correctly, etc. Try moving things around and check the basics before you do anything like a thrust mod. I've never needed that on mine and it flies fine in plenty of wind.
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Old 08-12-2008, 03:38 AM
  #18  
ministeve2003
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it took the plane back to the same direction as the wind
if it was blowing it around and you didn't have control to turn back into the wind... then its prob a packin up time.... as a beginner its much better to learn to fly in very low wind...

if the plane has propper cg and still climbs to much with power, its ok to put some down thrust on it.... just a little thin washer will do.... it will make it track better... the way you check this would be to get it up and cut throttle.. if it glides ok, but jumps upwards when you start applying throttle... then try adjusting a little down thrust...


SK
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:09 AM
  #19  
jakc
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Sorted

Ive got her flying ok now. Still not entirely happy with how she flys - I think I might re-do the COG as I want to create a camera mount now.

Thanks for everyones help - much appreciated.
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