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Old Nov 18, 2012, 08:52 PM
Faster is Better
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Originally Posted by StarHopper44 View Post
How'd you guys configure your arms-horns linkage to get both effects?
Differential? Any over-travel on the servos? Or reversals?
Plain vanilla for mine right now: No changes mechanically and, on my DX7s, no overthrows, no differential, no reversals. Flaperons and spoilerons are both set at 60% without any elevator mixing right now... but I expect to change that eventually. However, all of my answers are worthless until I have a chance to verify if my settings produce useful flight characteristic changes. What little testing I did do produced no noticeable "bad" behavior.

I'll report in... as soon as I get my poor prop fixed.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 12:30 AM
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I'm just gonna have to take a closer look when I get it out of the box again - I wouldn't have thought there was sufficient travel with the servos to get such upwards and downwards deflections without the pushrods striking wing surface or running out of mechanical range.

Oh and, TELL ME about always forgetting something *LOL*. I meant to add above, re flaperons - remember that flaps & crosswinds aren't friends. Got smart & quick rudder-thumb?
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 07:45 AM
Lou
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Originally Posted by OldeMan View Post
Plain vanilla for mine right now: No changes mechanically and, on my DX7s, no overthrows, no differential, no reversals. Flaperons and spoilerons are both set at 60% without any elevator mixing right now... but I expect to change that eventually. However, all of my answers are worthless until I have a chance to verify if my settings produce useful flight characteristic changes. What little testing I did do produced no noticeable "bad" behavior.

I'll report in... as soon as I get my poor prop fixed.
IMHO .... stay away from the flaperons, they will lull you into a nasty low altitude stall. Start out with spoilerons to slow the plane down.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 07:54 AM
Faster is Better
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Originally Posted by StarHopper44 View Post
... I wouldn't have thought there was sufficient travel with the servos to get such upwards and downwards deflections without the pushrods striking wing surface or running out of mechanical range. ...
I honestly don't know how much surface deflection is "enough" to produce the desired effects. I was able to achieve something that "looks about right" without any surgery... and that seemed like as good a place to start as any.

In the flap/spoiler links you posted... one comment made me really smile. It went something like this: "I'll trust anyone who says 'Here's what works for me', sooner than any guy who says, 'I've been in this hobby for 20 years.'" I love that. I have enough background to know what "looks about right"... and zero experience to back it up with "and it works for me".

I need to be in the air.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 08:49 AM
Lou
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Originally Posted by OldeMan View Post
In the flap/spoiler links you posted... one comment made me really smile. It went something like this: "I'll trust anyone who says 'Here's what works for me', sooner than any guy who says, 'I've been in this hobby for 20 years.'" I love that. I have enough background to know what "looks about right"... and zero experience to back it up with "and it works for me".

I need to be in the air.

Hmmmmm .... a LOT of people on these boards have very, very little experience in the hobby. Thousands of posts and they will tell you in a hurry what works for them but, they have only been in the hobby for a year. Us '20 year' guys have a lot of background knowledge and experience that we use to make our decisions with. There is a difference in Googling 'aerodynamics' and getting the five minute answer to a question and actually reading a book and studying the subject. A lot of us old guys here are not five minute pilots.

Your correct about you needing to be in the air. Go out and fly your plane, figure out what you can and can not do with the plane and what the rates are that you need for your control surfaces.

Understand that this plane flys past and can easily land hot if you are not careful. My 25 years of experience say to go with spoilerons, but that is a preference.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:06 AM
Faster is Better
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Originally Posted by Obake View Post
IMHO .... stay away from the flaperons, they will lull you into a nasty low altitude stall. ...
Yeah. After reading a bunch on this... that is turning out to be the most popular opinion.

If there is anyone out there who has actual experience with flaperons and/or spoilerons, on this particular aircraft, we would love to hear from you. I have read comments from those who say landing this without help is no big deal for them... that's great. But I have limited field length (compounded by limited experience) and could use a little help.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarHopper44 View Post
How'd you guys configure your arms-horns linkage to get both effects?
Differential? Any over-travel on the servos? Or reversals?
Its all 'mixing magic' in the radio. Only prerequisite is that the two 'aielron' servos be on different channels. No mechanical changes are required.

Basically the starbord ail servo goes on the aileron channel and the port servo plugs into the flap channel. All the rest is done by mixing in the transmitter. It gets a little involved getting all the end points and sub trims to line up but its not to hard.

The t9CAP transmitter is quite versitile for its age.

Oh yea, be ready for some 'hot' landings without some sort of flaps.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 02:20 PM
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Hot landings.. yeah. I think I've managed to get this thing down a total of 3 times without something needing epoxy (cracked fuse mostly). She just doesn't want to stop flying! Spoilerons it is. I wonder if one could split the ailerons and do some creative mixing for proper spoilers (retaining ailerons) or even crow. The extra glue weight should help it cut through the wind better right? RIGHT??! hahaha
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by KaiWE View Post
I use 2 three-way switches on my DX-8 to get the configs I use.
Flight mode switch up for Reflex, mid for Cruise and down for Camber and the Flap switch up for spoilerons, normal in the middle and down for flaperons...

And I agree with UlteriorModem, great fun to play with flaperons/spoilerons to get "precision" landings
How much throw to you have on your spoilerons and flaperons. I'd like to try the same setup with one of my 3 position switches.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:45 PM
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Reading some posts I occasionally wonder if we are talking about the same model. I must admit that I can only talk for me with my Blaze and set up for me. The Blaze after a lot of flying is still in one piece and no damage whatsoever other than those rather fragile tips which are now reinforced on mine but the damage has been my fault and down to hangar rash.

I find the model so benign and so lacking in tip stalls (if flown correctly) that although I do have it with spoileron arrangement so far I haven't used them. We have a good grass strip but the cut strip is limited for space crosswise and of course the wind just loves blowing across the strip. In still weather the Blaze can be circled tightly down to an altitude of about 4 - 6 feet maybe two hundred feet out and then flown in to drop near the flier. For me it is slightly more awkward when we have a crosswind because I have to hop the Blaze over a low (4ft) fence before reaching the strip.

What I'm saying is not meant to be clever but I feel we may be over thinking this model somewhat. I truly believe it isn't much harder to fly or land than my Radian but much, much easier than my Siren although that has more weight, more inertia. Do whatever each of you want because your model is your model but experience has told me that too much in the way of spoilerons, crow or whatever can be counter productive in very light models.

Without being too much of an old f...t back in the 70's and 80's I mainly flew sailplanes (two meter and 100 inch span) and IC old timer. With those sailplanes most I built and flew had rudder/elevator and sometimes but not often, air brakes. When flying old timers once the engine stopped either deliberately or limited fuel eventually the only way was down. Both types of flying gave you no real option other than to plan your landings very carefully if you wanted the model to land where intended.

The delight with electric is that power usually remains on tap so my current planning is to aim for getting the model into the right location and altitude before bringing it home to a landing point with small increments of power. Of course you do need to know how the model handles low speed and exactly what the stall is like and whether you can recognise it. Once these skills are learned some of the difficulties will reduce or even go away. With the Blaze what you cannot do easily is to have too much speed, shut off the power and assume it will descend like a power model. It is at this point it cruises by at head height and the only choice is to go round again.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by David Hipperson View Post
...
Well you seem to be very knowledgeable so maybe you can let me know what I'm doing wrong.

Just for background info I'll let you know what my flying conditions are. Winds are usually 8-13mph from the south or southwest. A day with less wind is a rarity especially in the cooler seasons, and so I have resigned myself to flying in the wind. I don't try and fly in winds over 15mph.

My "field" is essentially that. A largeish soybean field in the middle of a circle of houses. The field is longer from north to south, and along the west side there is a row of trees. I usually fly from the middle of the north end of the field or increasingly from the north west corner do to the sun protection from the tree line.

I have 4 choices for landing. The gravel road running east-west along the south end of the field in front of the houses. The narrow strip of grass in front of that (it has a bit of a "ditch" so it's easy to catch a wingtip landing there). A section of tall brush on the south west corner (i've used this as my "oh crap" landing spot before). The only available place to land into the wind is going away from me into the field which in the cooler months is dirt clods. Easy to catch a wing tip there too.

Here is what I've experienced on landing.

I typically will try to land motor off. This is because either I don't want to break my prop or my ESC cuts my motor off. My flying times are very inconsistent depending on if I'm gliding or on power more of the time so it's difficult to set up a timer.

So what I'll do is typically power off at altitude and try and get as far as I safely can downrange toward the east typically attempting a landing going west on the grass or field. If I want to land on the field going south I would have to circle over the houses which I don't like doing.

I will circle around until I am about 20 feet up because at that point I don't want to get too slow and drop a wing that low which sometimes happens on my upwind part of the circle. at about 20 feet I will straighten out and start my landing run coming toward me to the west.

Usually one of two things happens at this point. I will get too slow and she will either nose down into the ground or drop right out of the air, or she won't bleed off speed at all and come in like a bat out of hell usually catching a tip and spinning on the ground, cracking the fuselage under the wing mounting bolts.

I'm sure this all sounds crazy and stupid to you but keep in mind I've never had anyone to teach me the proper way to fly and so I've learned entirely by trial and error (read: crashing).

Also, do you think nylon wing bolts would help by shearing off when I catch a tip instead of ripping the fuselage?
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 02:59 AM
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Dear John,
none of this sounds stupid at all and the learning process for the "lone flier" is more than difficult. I can tell you with complete honesty I have trashed more models over time than I would wish to count so you are not alone.

There are difficulties in several areas. The first is being totally honest with yourself in your own ability. Likewise knowing your own shortcomings. Too often we purchase models that either simply appeal when they shouldn't if we thought about it or that someone else says this easy to fly. So another of those difficulties is knowing what his ability is.

If there was a "difficult scale" from 1 - 10 with 1 being ultra easy while 10 is a real b...ch we'll say the Radian is a 1 for me and the Blaze possibly a 3. However for you the scale may be different with the Radian possibly being a 2 - 3 and the Blaze a 4 - 5 so you have to temper anything I say with those things in mind.

Like everything there is no substitute for continual practice. I know a number of modellers who appear to use three settings for the throttle. Full off, full on and somewhere roughly halfway. In reality and with practice the throttle movements may only require a single "click" on the stick up or down to do what is required. Similarly we all get a bit nervous with our handling of the elevator as the ground looms large. All of us have, at one time or another, been a bit heavy pulling on the elevator stick, a zoom results and we get into trouble. Most of the time only the gentlest pressure on the stick would have done the job we really wanted.

A thing most people don't practice is stalling. Do this at altitude but where you can comfortably see what the model is doing. Deliberately stall the model power on and power off also don't do it just into wind but also crosswind and even down wind. When you are fully familiar with the model you'll have a pretty good idea of what it may do close to the ground but you also will be much more used to handling things if they do go wrong.

I drew up a sketch of your field as described and you may be getting a bit of turbulence from the houses or any trees and I think you are right to stay away from the houses anyway.

Your description of the landing seems to indicate that with irregular wind you come in about right but perhaps the wind drops momentarily leaving the model effectively with less air flowing over the wings which is why it drops out of the sky. Been there, done that!

Coming in too fast is reasonably common and given enough room obviously it is not a problem. Because you have a certain amount of restriction on your space so I'm sorry if all I can say is keep on practicing.

Nylon bolts may help but with a model like Blaze shearing off even a nylon bolt involves a fair amount of load.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 05:51 AM
Earthbound Skyhound
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United States, NC, Richlands
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If I can stick my nose & 2c in....
First off, amen on the practicing. Can't find enough time to practice? If you can find time to fly, you can!

I consider myself as 'still learning'. For point of reference, I'll keep that consideration for the rest of my days.
"But conditions constantly change day-to-day, & require different approach to landing strategies! So how", one might ask/think/ponder, "do I get the learning experience applicable to TODAY'S conditions, wind, etc?" Simplest thing in the world!

But first, let's back up a moment & address a (as I see it) fundamental problem in your strategem. Namely, don't fly your batteries dead! Stop trying to figure time according to powered/gliding periods. Set a time which, under ANY conditions, you KNOW your LiPos will have more than sufficient life to provide all needed power. It might be 10 minutes, or even 6, but stick to it! Get a countdown timer, set it to x minutes + 15seconds.....start it, slip in your shirt pocket & launch during the 15 seconds. When the alarm goes off, land. Set your # of minutes to a time which will still allow power for 2-3 go-arounds.

This should eliminate the fundamental problem. So now, back to the original train of thought - practicing today's conditions. It might have dawned upon you by now, but the simplest solution is to shoot several landing setups as part of each day's flying sessions. And I'm talking, every time up - not just each day, as conditions change thruout the day. EVERY time I load a fresh LiPo & launch, I spend the last 4-5 minutes doing what I call 'near' touch-&-goes. 'Near' becuz I fly mostly gliders, long props etc, & belly floppers, so 'near' is purt' much a must.

Jumping ahead a bit - "But I want to fly longer than 'just a few minutes'!" Simply put, that's why God gave us extra LiPos. I started with typical flying sessions of 5-7 minutes, depending on the plane & conditions. As you learn how each power setup 'works' due to how much 'juice' it takes to re-charge your LiPos, you should find you can extend your flying time for each plane gradually, to maximize the flying time for that model - but always keeping in mind to save enough power for a couple go-arounds. My 'typical' period for the same LiPos where I started with 5-7 minutes now extend to 12-15 minutes. Which, for what it's worth, for me is plenty, & at which point I want to take a rest anyway.

Now, if I'm in a good glider eg my Minimoa that thermals well & conditions are favorable, I've flown well over 30 minutes. Because I've had a good feel (from experience) for how long the LiPo would hold up, & knowing I had only run the motor for 2-3 minutes, I could have kept it up there probably over an hour. But JEEZ! My neck can't take it! *LOL*

But anyway, that's the practical side -- what follows gets more into the esoteric end of things. I don't mean this to be 'insultory' in any way!, but are you the type that can read something & actually learn from it while you're reading? I only ask that (rhetorically of course) because I know some folks can't, or don't very well. If perchance you can't, then this might be lost on you...but it (the basis) is still something worth knowing.

It's a conclusion I made which, as counterintuitive as it might sound at first thought, nonetheless was one of those magical epiphanies that hit us now & then. Basically said, I learned probably more about landing than from anything else, from learning about takeoffs!!

"Why, that's crazy talk!" one might think. But I swear it's true. You know those things we....not neccessarily 'study' but as we're taking in, that 'little light comes on'? Know what I'm saying there? I'll just say as I was reading this, thru the course of reading it several lights came on! I think that's what made it reach the epiphany status. *LOL*

Anyway, this has grown longer than I thought when I started - hopefully not too long - so will break off at this point. Give y'all time to catch your breath. And if you or anyone is interested in that 'thing' I'm alluding to & want to read if yourself, just say the word & I'll post up a link. Its title is 'Airline Flying 101 - Anatomy of a Takeoff'. And good lord I hope I haven't embarassed myself here!!
Blue Skies!
~Hopper
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 07:26 AM
Lou
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Originally Posted by johnwohl View Post
I'm sure this all sounds crazy and stupid to you but keep in mind I've never had anyone to teach me the proper way to fly and so I've learned entirely by trial and error (read: crashing).

Also, do you think nylon wing bolts would help by shearing off when I catch a tip instead of ripping the fuselage?
Short answer ... learn to plop the plane down using spoilers.

Set your plane up to have as much spoiler travel as possible, without stalling the servos. You probably will not need much more than 10-15mm up anyway. Put the spoiler on a slider if you have that on your TX.

Do not mix any elevator into the spoiler until you know how the plane responds with deployed spoilers. Some nose up and some nose down. Depending on weight, CG, decalage, speed, etc.

Avoid sweeping turns into the final leg.

Power off, maintain airspeed. Watch for wing wobble, if wing wobbles then apply power and stay OFF the ailerons, retract the spoilers. Use rudder stick for directional control.
Once at safe altitude set up for another attempt.

On final slowly deploy spoilers, keep hand on elevator stick and apply necessary input to control attitude, altitude and airspeed.

Observe speed and energy of plane and apply spoiler/slider elevator/stick to find the correct nose up attitude that is not a full stall but is also a flying wing. Generally you want to pick a spoiler setting and keep it the same until touch down. It is not a good idea to retract spoilers as this changes the dynamics of the wing and will often lead to a low altitude stall. However, you can apply more spoiler at the end of the float out if you feel you can get away with it. Once you determine what is an optimal spoiler setting, you will use that setting on future landings and be able to couple the elevator in to the spoiler.

Once speed bleeds off you should be able to sit the plane down on the terra firma with only a foot or two or run out.


As for the wing bolt .... maybe and maybe not but, usually yes. Wing tips are a write off on this plane. I trimmed my back the day I got the plane and have not looked back. Problem here is this plane have two wing bolts.

A single nylon bolt attachment will must usually snap on a bad landing. A two nylon bolt system will hold better. Either way, nylon will break quicker than steel. If you plan on upping the motor specs on the plane then I would stay with the metal bolts, if you are staying stock then go with the nylon bolts. Just be certain to inspect the bolts from time to time and try not to wring the plane out in the air as these are not very wide bolts.



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Old Nov 21, 2012, 12:31 PM
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Thanks a lot for the suggestions guys, I really appreciate it. I'm going to try a number of the suggestions, the main ones being practice, and spoilerons.

I think it will help not to run my battery down and force myself into a landing as in that case I don't have the option of a go around so I probably panic a bit and I don't set up the landing as well as I could.

I'll start practicing those "near landing" passes and get the hang of how the spoilerons effect the flight characteristics on final.

Overall I have a good feel for how the plane flies. It's very nice and not out of my difficulty curve at all. The main thing I noticed is that it will drop a wing if you get slow, but it's pretty easy to tell when that is going to happen.

The other plane I have is a Sky Surfer (like Bixler) with a larger motor and prop, and frankly I got bored with it. I love flying the Blaze, it's just when the flying has to stop that is giving me problems.

The landing characteristics are very different between the two. The Sky Surfer bleeds off speed very well by itself and loses altitude very predictably on final to where it eventually lands itself within a pretty small area as long as you have it low enough before stall speed. The Blaze, not so much. It wants to keep flying!

UPDATE!:

Landing practice went well today. I think I've figured out two key things. Number one, I should try and land into the wind. The plane carries much less speed that way. Two, as David H. mentioned I am indeed getting some VERY nasty air up to about 20 feet off the ground. Making progress though!

My flight was cut short by one of the screws that "hold" the wooden tray in falling out and getting caught between the motor and fuselage. Also one of my aileron control horns coming loose, which means all control horns are getting replaced. Didn't realize they were just kind of clipped onto the backings. I actually didn't notice anything was wrong until I tried a roll. Bravo for flying fairly well minus an aileron.
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