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Old Nov 13, 2010, 07:37 AM
jackerbes is offline
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USA, ME, Ellsworth
Joined May 2008
18,079 Posts
Maiden Flight Report

OK, I got this wing out and flew it yesterday on Old Yeller (BB 33). Unfortunately the hat cam let me down for some reason and did not produce a usable video.

I added a little weight to the nose (1/2 oz. or so) to get the CG right at 3" back from the leading edge. First launch was uneventful other than I happened to choose a nearly depleted battery that had missed the recharging drills.

But there was enough power for a slow and low circle back to a gentle landing, sort of a extended circular test glide. Low power test glides are a good thing!

The next launch was with a fresh battery and it flew away nice. A little bit of jerking around as I found the sticks and quickly learned that this wing has some pretty good aileron authority, more than I anticipated. I dropped back to low rates (50% all around) and quickly got it trimmed out.

I found the plane to be a pretty snappy flier as far as aileron response but still easy enough to control. It is no longer a beginner's plane, the best results will be with a calmed down pilot and more gentle touch.

The aileron control was very good, it soon became easy and instinctive to start and stop turns and rolls. As I expected, I had to be responsible for stopping anything I started but it was not too demanding as I let the subconscious take over.

Rudder only turns were surprisingly good, it seemed to induce a little bit of roll too. A coordinated rudder/aileron turn at a gentle rate was very nice and usually eliminated any need for elevator to maintain altitude. Big gentle circles and flat figure eights were very nice.

I was interested in how the roll rates would be with the flat wing found that to be quite nice too. From level flight at full toot (90-100 watts or so) half stick travel or so on ailerons would put it into a nice series of rolls. The rate was pretty quick, like one per second or so. I couldn't time some elevator in at that rate so I would get a series of two or three slowly descending rolls before I'd chicken out on diminishing altitude and stop it.

There was some "barrel roll" aspect to the rolls but was about what I would expect to have with the high wing and slab sided fuselage I think. This will turn the BB 33 into a good aileron trainer though, no doubt about that.

Vertical or near vertical climbing rolls to either either direction were easy and controllable.

It inverted very nicely and only needed a small amount of down elevator to stay in easily controlled inverted flight. Loops, and half loops, Immelmanns and the like were easily accomplished.

The wing loops easily either inside or outside and when I went back to high rates it would do very tight and continuous loops. All the cheap thrills were there.

All in all, a nice flyable wing and a step forward in the fun and skill levels for the BB 33.

So I celebrated my success by losing Old Yaller in the sun while I was in a full throttle fairly low approach. I just couldn't visually recover or decide what the attitude was and I augered it in a full throttle, burying the motor in the soft muddy ground, destroying a prop, and breaking my new wing!


The blindingly bright low sun on a winter day in Maine can be a heat breaker when it is right behind your favorite approach.

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