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Old Dec 26, 2012, 07:36 AM
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helios 2

hi,

what changes would you like to see on the new helios?

things i aim for:
-all parts to be used on H1 and H2
-still using the same airfoils
-slightly less tapered wingplanform to make it even more stable
-lenghten the nose by 1cm to get down the auw (i feel the helios flys really nice at lower wingloading unlike the xxlite which need some weight to perform best


any input ?

thanks and best wishes for 2013!

-kristof
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 07:44 AM
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My $.02 extend the nose and less taper in the wing. I'm so happy with my two Helios its hard ask for change . Not having to add nose weight would be nice and if its possible to make it more stable I say go for it.

Alan


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Originally Posted by krikkens View Post
hi,

what changes would you like to see on the new helios?

things i aim for:
-all parts to be used on H1 and H2
-still using the same airfoils
-slightly less tapered wingplanform to make it even more stable
-lenghten the nose by 1cm to get down the auw (i feel the helios flys really nice at lower wingloading unlike the xxlite which need some weight to perform best


any input ?

thanks and best wishes for 2013!

-kristof
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 07:46 AM
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Kristof,

I'll be frank in admitting my #1 issue with the Helios (and XXLite) has been the overall build quality to price ratio. Don't get me wrong, I think the plane is fantastic and a wonderful performer in capable hands!! But, I have seen some great looking examples and some where the details are lacking. At this price point, you are competing against a lot of pro built ships that are readily available stateside. Its no longer enough to have a plane that flies great, it must look FANTASTIC as well! Most evident is the cleanliness of the leading edge across all models. So, my #1 recommendation is to look at improving this area, either using 12K spread tows or split carbon rods to armor the leading edge and improve the overall build quality.

My other thoughts:
1) Yes on interchangeable parts
2) Compare the plan form to Geralds and see what tweaks can be made to improve low speed stability and overall performance in turbulence
3) Maybe look at going 4 in the pod to reduce wing loading? Might eliminate the interchangeable parts deal, but not necessarily.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Alan C View Post
My $.02 extend the nose and less taper in the wing. I'm so happy with my two Helios its hard ask for change . Not having to add nose weight would be nice and if its possible to make it more stable I say go for it.

Alan
hi alan,

centered masses is very important on a dlg , not only on launch but also how it behaves wile circeling , thats why the helios an most of all the xxlite feels very nice to fly from the start.
i will add some lenght to the nose but not to the extend of balancing the plane out with a 15gr 1s lipo .

thanks for your'e input!

-kristof-
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by samc99us View Post
Kristof,

I'll be frank in admitting my #1 issue with the Helios (and XXLite) has been the overall build quality to price ratio. Don't get me wrong, I think the plane is fantastic and a wonderful performer in capable hands!! But, I have seen some great looking examples and some where the details are lacking. At this price point, you are competing against a lot of pro built ships that are readily available stateside. Its no longer enough to have a plane that flies great, it must look FANTASTIC as well! Most evident is the cleanliness of the leading edge across all models. So, my #1 recommendation is to look at improving this area, either using 12K spread tows or split carbon rods to armor the leading edge and improve the overall build quality.

My other thoughts:
1) Yes on interchangeable parts
2) Compare the plan form to Geralds and see what tweaks can be made to improve low speed stability and overall performance in turbulence
3) Maybe look at going 4 in the pod to reduce wing loading? Might eliminate the interchangeable parts deal, but not necessarily.
hi sam,

the LE issues are adressed on the later kits and i started using 2k paints which clearly improves overall finish aswell.

good point about the armored LE , planning to offer it as "free" option on kits (weight gain is about 5gram) i moulded such a wing recently.

i'm at around 240gr for the current helios in the light option , plan to get it down to 230 gr on the new one with servos in the wing , also i will be offering mouded in wing servo's for the new one (top-drive)

thanks for the input

-kristof-
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 09:13 AM
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I don't own a Helios, but I've flown one and thrown one. The ones I've seen have been VERY nice planes. I've never thrown a plane higher than threw my buddy's 9oz Helios. Even launching like that, though, it still floats very very well. Widening the tips should improve circling performance in tight lift at the expense of a little more rotational inertia, which will affect launch height. It's a tradeoff. From what I've seen and heard, increasing the nose length slightly to lower AUW would be beneficial, though. One thing I would really like to see stay the same (or close) is the price if possible. Knowing I could get two solid core Helios for about the price of one of some of the other top ships is a big selling point.

B
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 09:22 AM
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Kristof,

I am glad to hear you've improved quality. At the price point it is a fantastic value as Brandon has mentioned.

230g is DARN light, even 240g is very very light-same weight as AG series Taboo's but with superior airframe stiffness and aerodynamics. Basically we are talking a killer ship
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by bwill6 View Post
I don't own a Helios, but I've flown one and thrown one. The ones I've seen have been VERY nice planes. I've never thrown a plane higher than threw my buddy's 9oz Helios. Even launching like that, though, it still floats very very well. Widening the tips should improve circling performance in tight lift at the expense of a little more rotational inertia, which will affect launch height. It's a tradeoff. From what I've seen and heard, increasing the nose length slightly to lower AUW would be beneficial, though. One thing I would really like to see stay the same (or close) is the price if possible. Knowing I could get two solid core Helios for about the price of one of some of the other top ships is a big selling point.

B
prices won't increase , garuanteed!

i'm looking for small improvements it won't be much but the mould needs to be updated so i might aswell make some improvents based on the feedback i got from helios pilots

thanks
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 12:41 PM
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The old rule of thumb about widening tips to improve slow speed and thermal turn behavior was based as much on the old tip airfoils performing relatively poorly at low Reynolds numbers as anything else. I'd suggest running some numbers rather than relying on rules of thumb. The results are more assured that way. Anyway if one widens tips typically one needs to increase washout and that may be a good solution or it may not be. The whole flight envilope needs to be examined. I'd suggest comparing against my published reference design and trying to beat it, if anything on the floaty end of things or in handling characteristics. Any ZV2 wing is going to be capable of being fast, and if the taper ratio is not too low, it will also launch high.

Of course, testing results after running numbers is even better!

If you can, it might be worth it to you to get hold of one of Tom's wings as it is the closest to the reference design of what one can get (at least his newer ones; the older ones deviated quite a bit in the last couple inches). Do a little flying with it to see what sort of differences are possible.

I designed the reference wing more for handling characteristics than for raw performance (though performance is there of course). The foils were already designed for performance. I figured reducing pilot workload slightly and overall making the wing design have pleasing flight characteristics particularly in turbulence was worth more than pushing the performance slightly farther. YMMV!

I would think leading edges could be armored for less than 5g weight penalty. Not that you might want to do it the way Phil and I did it, but I think the weight penalty was about half that, or less. We didn't armor the full span because a hit near the tips tends to spin the plane with little damage anyway. A hit near the middle is where one gets a solid whacking since the plane cannot spin out of the way as effectively. It is hitting against linear inertia rather than angular inertia and our planes are designed to minimize angular inertia. Armoring the inner 2/3 span is likely sufficient in practice. Reduced armoring towards the tips is not a bad idea. One doesn't want to add mass towards the tips. That hurts maneuvering and launch height.

I do not know how the current Helios is set up for tails and wing tips, but...

I pretty strongly advocate extending control surfaces to the tips of the flight surface. This always reduces drag compared to stopping the control surfaces short of the tips. One may argue that one does it for durability, but I published years ago how to do it for flaperon tips while keeping them pretty bulletproof, and I can't think of a single legitimate reason to do it for elevators! One could argue for stopping a rudder short on the bottom so one can have a skid pad, but I see no other place... 0.02c. Note, if a control surface is extended all the way to a tip, then the required control deflection is reduced. For instance for elevator, that would be best accomplished by shortening the elevator horn. Actually elevator is the one that bugs me the most on some designs out there.

Speaking of elevators, and horizontal stabilizers - they are always working at near zero lift coefficients. Having large taper ratios and narrow pointy tips hurts performance. This is due to the Reynolds number penalty incurred by those little tips. Horizontal tails with shapes more reminiscent of the Supergee-II and the TabooGT would be more efficient. Essentially analyze the horizontal tail as a small wing, which it is, that needs to have minimal drag for a required (by stability) slope of lift vs alpha, while operating probably 99% of the time with nearly zero lift coefficient. Higher aspect ratio reduces the area requirement for the same slope of lift vs alpha. But higher aspect ratio penalizes the resulting area by having it operating at a lower Reynolds number. Try to find a good balance between these factors.

Additionally, have the hingeline be at a constant percentage chord. Since we spend a lot of time circling, we spend a lot of time with the elevator deflected. If the hingeline is not at a constant chord then the result is a twist in the resultant horizontal tail. This creates a twin vortex and sucks a little energy from the plane that didn't need to be lost.

I think many tails out there are just drawn because they look "pretty" in some sense, with little analysis done beyond the old tail volume coefficient equations (which only tell part of the story). Tails make a HUGE difference in how a plane flies. They are a critical factor and should be designed accordingly. The vertical tail is hard to analyze because of the launch requirements, and we don't have any free software capable of doing the analysis. However the horizontal tail can certainly be designed. It is easier than designing a wing, and the free software is fully up to the task.

By the way - a note to all designers: It might be worth while having two horizontal tails available. One slightly smaller for maximizing performance at the cost of some increase in pilot workload and a requirement for better tuning, and one slightly larger for minimizing pilot workload at the expense of performance. Which is appropriate would depend on the pilot skillz and possibly on the conditions. A beginner for instance would do better with the slightly larger horizontal tail, whereas an F3B pilot would do better with the slightly smaller one.

Gerald
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 12:55 PM
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this should be a fun read... subscribed
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 02:03 PM
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gerald,

it's hard to compare having build only one wing with 12k carbon tow on top and bottom but 3meter of this tow+resin should come out around 5 grams .

my LE'ges are already armoured by an extra layer of (heavy) carbon fabric at 45

putting this tow in really makes it chop thru wood for guy's(including myself!) who end up climbing in trees or bushes once in a while to retreive theire plane .
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 02:27 PM
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Good post, Kristen, this applies to xxlite but maybe Helios too. Firstly If the finish and build quality of mine are anything to go by then no need to change it. My rx sits perfectly on the servo tray, sadly this obstructs the ballast rod so Im having to re think the rod locator mechanism. If you could clear this area it might help others too, could the rod somehow be fixed nearer the end of the ballast tube maybe, opening up a whole load of install opportunities. I just can't get my rx and 2c lipo in nose at the moment.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mrdoodah View Post
Good post, Kristen, this applies to xxlite but maybe Helios too. Firstly If the finish and build quality of mine are anything to go by then no need to change it. My rx sits perfectly on the servo tray, sadly this obstructs the ballast rod so Im having to re think the rod locator mechanism. If you could clear this area it might help others too, could the rod somehow be fixed nearer the end of the ballast tube maybe, opening up a whole load of install opportunities. I just can't get my rx and 2c lipo in nose at the moment.
hi,

the ballastrod needs to be slided in too isn't it a problem with rx on top of the aileron servos?

(which rx are you using?)
-kristof-
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 04:38 PM
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Kristof,

Its hard to argue against the weight gain of the armoring, you have as good a scale as any. At least on my wings, mostly because they are hollow molded and it would require extra tooling, I don't have the extra 45-45 carbon wrap along the leading edge. I'm not sure how your leading edges come out with this heavy carbon and the 12K tows, but it seems like a lot of thick material to add in a thickness critical area of the wing. Really extra tough though! The pre-cured rods Gerald mentioned are also lighter than 12K tow, having the exact resin ratios required.

I agree with Gerald on all his points. Tails can make or break a ship (Akcent-2 is a great example, the wing and fuselage are fantastic but most top pilots switched to Swindell's tails to get the most performance). Tom really nailed it with his latest horizontal, so it might be worth acquiring the whole plane to see what's up.

I really tweaked the Zone-v2 planform to end up with something on the floatier side, and I'm carrying wider tip chords than anyone else to my knowledge. Slightly too wide. At 730mm the root the chord is 72mm. At the very tip, its 43 mm. Root chord is 185mm and wing area is 22.63 dm^2. I say that as a little narrower at the tips might boost launch performance a smidge and give up nothing on the low end as you reduce mass at the tips.

For some background, I started this en-devour from a custom Zone-v2 bagged wing (the famous blue wing) that did everything I could dream of. My Aurora does as well now but its been a long time getting there, as I've needed to get the AUW down below 280g to get the low wing loading needed. Its pretty clear you've realized the same as I have-the Zone v2 loves light wing loadings but can handle the heavy wing loadings you rarely need to settle the plane down in turbulence.

Best of luck and whatever the tweaks it'll be exciting!
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 07:19 PM
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Whatever you do, don't sacrifice the stiffness in the wing that you've achieved with the Helios. I threw for another competitor at our NATs and Team Selection contests and was completely thrilled with how the Helios felt on launch. It's just plain fun to throw.

On the other end of things, the taper of the wing *seems* to me to give the Helios a racier feel than the Fr3aK and some others using ZV2. That racy feel may cause intermediate pilots to lose patience or confidence in marginal air. I know it's one of the reasons I've tweaked slightly higher in area on the SuperFr3aK. If you do tweak the taper ratios, start slight so you don't end up with a whole different feel.

Good stuff either way.
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