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Old Oct 12, 2013, 11:55 AM
Toy Flyer
glover's Avatar
Flying Field, Work Bench
Joined Mar 2004
613 Posts
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A tough trainer with added stability

Start with an aileron Albatross from CTH with their suggested components and instructions, then make a few modifications.

1) Cut off fuselage pointy end squarely for motor mounting.
2) Mount landing gear from a Stevens Aero SQuiRT. (Glue foam wedge cut from rudder as a tail skid.)
3) Glue unused ends from supplied wing spars along both fuselage top edges as a saddle to add stability when mounting the dihedral wing.
4) Install an Eagle Tree Guardian 2D/3D flight stabilizer between servos and RX (check Eagle Tree forums for discussion).
5) AUW is just 3oz above specs at 30oz.

No video capability, but its flight characteristics are quite similar to those of my favorite toy for training others, the Stevens Aero e25 Shaft which also has the same stabilizer. (Since some trainees are reluctant to begin with a stick built toy like the Shaft, I built this Albatross as a foam option.) It too works-a-charm! Cross wind landings without need for aileron and elevator inputs are a hoot. The 2D rescue mode works flawlessly when flight dis-orientation occurs. (No buddy box is needed, just reach over to TX and switch to 2D mode.) Landing gear works quite well from grass when performing touch-and-go practice.

While it seems quite straight forward to me, the assembly of this trainer might be a bit much for someone's first build. For that I still suggest either an EasyStar (or clone), or a Mountain Models DuskStick. I also believe that whatever a beginner chooses for their first build, they should purchase two of them. The second build of the same design will be done quite a bit better

Fly safe, Glover
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Old Oct 12, 2013, 07:24 PM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
Joined Mar 2009
4,742 Posts
Why #1. That is one of the things that makes it so predictable. Wouldn't be that way unless there was a good engineering reason for it.
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 09:35 AM
Toy Flyer
glover's Avatar
Flying Field, Work Bench
Joined Mar 2004
613 Posts
I'm not an engineer, just a toy flyer

I read the Crash Test Hobbies instructions and watched at least a little of all of the Albatross videos available on their web site. From that experience and when I compared the Albatross components with those of all other toys in my hanger, I concluded that a squared off nose would not have negative flight characteristics. (The instructions and videos show that the Albatross with a pod mounted motor having neither side nor down thrust flies with ideal "trainer" characteristics.) I also assumed that the reason for the motor thrust angle was related to the self-righting characteristics of the original bent wing and would not exist at nearly the same degree with the aileron wing. I've been wrong before, but that was my assumption based upon the pod motor mount option.

Since the purpose of having an Albatross in my toy hanger is as a device to train other flyers, being able to launch from the ground is a requirement of mine. The instructions state that Albatross hand launches should be at a slightly upward angle and moderate throttle; but on wheels, I did not think that angle would be possible.

I trust that the original bent wing and "different" motor angle thrust Albatross works perfectly. Other than on the CTH web site, I have not seen one fly. I have seen my rendition of a CTH Albatross fly, and it works quite well. The first flight was initiated with flight stabilizer turned off until I got it "up to altitude". Once "at altitude", I flew the Albatross through my typical trainer patterns (stabilizer both on and off) and observed that it flew just like videos of the pod mounted motor Albatrosses.

My Albatross may have been able to perform wheel take-offs with the built-in motor angle, but I will never know. I did save the removed piece of foam just in case I needed to glue it back on, but now I don't think I will need to do that.

Fly safe, Glover
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 10:17 AM
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1fullbird's Avatar
United States, NE, Omaha
Joined Nov 2011
1,257 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by glover View Post
I read the Crash Test Hobbies instructions and watched at least a little of all of the Albatross videos available on their web site. From that experience and when I compared the Albatross components with those of all other toys in my hanger, I concluded that a squared off nose would not have negative flight characteristics. (The instructions and videos show that the Albatross with a pod mounted motor having neither side nor down thrust flies with ideal "trainer" characteristics.) I also assumed that the reason for the motor thrust angle was related to the self-righting characteristics of the original bent wing and would not exist at nearly the same degree with the aileron wing. I've been wrong before, but that was my assumption based upon the pod motor mount option.

Since the purpose of having an Albatross in my toy hanger is as a device to train other flyers, being able to launch from the ground is a requirement of mine. The instructions state that Albatross hand launches should be at a slightly upward angle and moderate throttle; but on wheels, I did not think that angle would be possible.

I trust that the original bent wing and "different" motor angle thrust Albatross works perfectly. Other than on the CTH web site, I have not seen one fly. I have seen my rendition of a CTH Albatross fly, and it works quite well. The first flight was initiated with flight stabilizer turned off until I got it "up to altitude". Once "at altitude", I flew the Albatross through my typical trainer patterns (stabilizer both on and off) and observed that it flew just like videos of the pod mounted motor Albatrosses.

My Albatross may have been able to perform wheel take-offs with the built-in motor angle, but I will never know. I did save the removed piece of foam just in case I needed to glue it back on, but now I don't think I will need to do that.

Fly safe, Glover
You couldn't have picked a more durable aircraft to modify and teach new pilots. I have been using mine (bent wing, pod motor mount) for several years to teach new pilots to fly and to introduce experienced pilots into the world of FPV. (Yes, it carries simple gear on the unobstructed nose)

The odd looking pointy nose is a hold over from free flight. It enables the aircraft to climb out straight, allowing new pilots better control over the direction. You'll now have to compensate with additional control inputs--but again it's a learning experience.

The pod mounted motor flies just as well as the pointy nose ones. Only the prop isn't likely to get pranged on landing (not counting tree landings). Even the bent wing version will teach newbies aileron control as the aircraft rudder is connected to the aileron channel and controlled on the right stick (mode 2). The aircraft will bank very similar to one with aileron input. The Albatross in the video is one I teach on--only the throws on the RET are dialed down to limit inputs when training. It can be very aerobatic in the hands of an experienced flyer, yet still retains all the forgiving characteristics.

Albatross "Antics" (1 min 57 sec)
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Old Oct 13, 2013, 12:00 PM
Toy Flyer
glover's Avatar
Flying Field, Work Bench
Joined Mar 2004
613 Posts
Yep, my Albatross flights have been quite similar to the ones in your video (also seen on the CTH web site). The major differences in my flights occur due to having the landing gear, aileron wing option and the flight stabilizer. I still don't know about the Albatross's toughness though, as LOL my grandchildren have not yet flown it.

Fly safe, Glover
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Last edited by glover; Oct 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM.
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