Joined Jul 1999
I used mostly repair on the Eagle wing so I did not have the Black tape to cover up with white or blue paint.
The build goes well. It is pretty easy to do if you go about it the way I did. I made a mistake in the build. But, I showed how I corrected it before the glue started to set up.
I will do one more wing build from start to finish as I have an idea I want to try out.
The build will be the same. But, I have a idea for low cost feathers I want to try.
I spent $63.00 to have each wing and tail airbrushed.
It was worth it to me to have them done. I like them both.
Guess we will know in a few weeks if my idea works out as I will be really busy around here for the next 2 weeks with no time to R&D.
Joined Jul 1999
Joined Jul 1999
Why no elevator servo... ANSWER
The next Ornithopter video I do will cover your question in detail.
Removing the elevator servo was done for many reasons. Here is a list of a few and why.
1) To save weight. (One less servo to carry around)
2) To lower up-keep cost. (One less servo to maintain)
3) To prevent elevator induced stalls. (AKA worm dives)
4) To make the model easier to fly. (With one less control input there is less chance of giving the wrong control input.
Here is a video showing many launches and landings all done with no elevator control.
My hope is that this video answers the question "Does it really work?"
Note: As of April 2, 2014 I have not used elevator control on any of my Ornithopter flights and I have flown close to 1000 flights to date since then.
Below is a video of one of our club members. (Bob) He had never flown a Ornithopter before.
I talked him through his first flight and it went very well.
Below are tips on flying the Thunder Bird:
You will need a large open area to fly the Thunder Bird the first few flights as you need to learn how to fly it.
Here are a few tips that should make it pretty easy for you.
You Must Forget everything you know about flying a RC model airplane. This is a Thunder Bird and it has to be flown like a Thunder Bird.
Flying the Thunder Bird is pretty easy when you understand how it was designed to be flown.
If everything is right the model will climb best at 3/4 power 30 seconds or so after launch. It will fly level at just over 1/2 power.
The model can take up to 3 seconds to respond to a steering input. So, you must think ahead of the model.
Keep in mind that any time you turn less is more. 1/4" of stick movement will result in a nice turn if the
model is given time to respond. When steering, never use full stick input. Remember give it time "less is more".
Turning can sometimes result in a loss of altitude if power is not added as the turn is being made.
Never use more than 1/2" of stick movement from center for turning. Doing so will result in a great loss of altitude.
You will also stop the stick input for a turn as much as 3 seconds before you want to stop the turn. The model needs time
to adjust for the inputs being given. For this reason you will need to allow time for a response from the model. Do not
rush the control input. The model will respond different as the flying conditions change. Once you understand how the model
flies and responds to control inputs you are sure to enjoy flying the Thunder Bird.
When you clearly understand the above mentioned you are ready to fly the Thunder Bird.
1) The launch should be with the wings level and the toss should be swift and into the wind.
2) You should start flapping and increase the flap rate and time it so when you
get to full power the model should be leaving your hand heading to 10 o'clock
3) As the model flies away look for it to climb.
a. If the model is climbing lower the throttle in small amounts to the point where the model stops climbing.
At that point add back the power needed to continue the climb.
b. If the model is not climbing and headed down stop the flapping and let it land itself and try the launch again
after checking the model over for any sign of a problem in the drive line. If no problem is found move the battery
back to move the CG back. I now run my battery 1/2" to 1" in front of the bird logo at the rear of the model.
4) Your first flights will be 3 minutes or less. This is normal until you know what to expect from the model and can better control the throttle input.
5) Depending on the flight conditions you can get as much as a 9 minute flight time from a 1300 mah 40C lipo battery when all goes well.
I get the most flight time by flying high at the launch and then powering back to hold that altitude and making wide turns as not to lose altitude when
turning. As seen in the following video:
a few hundred flights on your model)
Below is a list of the items I use to complete the Thunder Bird models I fly:
You can use any 2 ch Aircraft radio (I fly with a DX18 as I use it for everything I fly)
Motor (450 size) 4200 KV outrunner with 10 tooth 48 pitch pinion gear
ESC Hobbywing Pentium 40-A
1) Servo TGY 9018MG
Battery 2 cell 1300 mah 40C
1) Tube "All Purpose Welder glue" Clear 1 FL OZ (check ebay)
Let me know if you have any questions.
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