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Old Jan 29, 2015, 03:35 PM
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effect of foamies on flying

last year at Chenango bridge airport I noticed a definite swing towards not flying in wind.

so I wanted to throw it out there and see what your thoughts are.

I have flown models since 1968, and when the foamies hit the market my son and I saw it as a cheap way to get dog fighters that we did not have to build. while some are maintenance nightmares and others are rock solid that is pretty much luck of the draw. I did notice that my foamies did not react to minor corrections as positively as my wood and glass planes. with a woody I just lean on the stick a little and wait and it will slowly give the desired correction. with a foamy it just ignores the input until I add enough movement to take up the sponginess in the system.

at CBA I think this has reduced the acceptable wind speed for most fliers, or is it just the economy?

Joe

CTE - for years we fought to get good materials for pushrods that grew and shrank similarly to the wood and glass. now the foam has a huge CTE and if you fly in a temperature range of 110degrees F (-10 to 100) it is quite often that I run out of trim on the tx because of temperature variance's between flying sessions.

Vs

lower wt leading to lower stall speeds and allowing many more pilots to fly war birs, and now even train on them.
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Old Jan 29, 2015, 04:00 PM
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paladin -

I've referred to this "sponginess" as being softer on the sticks.

I have the impression it's mostly the surface texture of the foam airplanes that causes what might be minor turbulence making some of them react that way. Also, due to the park-flyer friendly nature from the makers, the airfoils used are more in the higher lifting variety which makes them act like a ballooning trainer at times.

I have impressions from several planes that don't exhibit those traits. One is my old Phase 3 P-40 that flies like a larger pattern ship though is very light. It is definitely a point-and-shoot airplane but being light, it still gets blown around a bit. Next is my FMS Stearman that has all the natures of my old contest winning 51" span N2S-3 with it's O.S. .40 chugging away up front. It doesn't particularly like the wind but it's bipe and, neither did the larger one.

Finally, I think the size can make a difference to the positive. My 1.7m foam P-40N takes the wind fairly well but is mild on the sticks and lightly loaded. Weathervaning during ground handling is it's biggest sore spot.

The wing loading is a considerable factor, too. That Ph.3 P-40 has only a 13 oz/sq.ft. loading and the big P-40N about 23 oz./sq/ft.

I remember the days of the nyrods being annoying in balsa/composite birds. Interestingly, eps seems more temp. stable than epo is.

I know, regardless of what type of model I've enjoyed, I started shying away from flying on days where the wind takes too much of the enjoyment out of it and flying was more like work or a chore. I live in Kansas, wind is a constant companion and just going out to challenge myself is no longer enjoyable to me. Perhaps some would call it past-my-prime but that's too narrow a focus. Conditions in the world right now make me want to seek true relaxation, not go out and try to keep from wrecking an airplane 'cause it's supposed to be fun.
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Old Jan 29, 2015, 04:17 PM
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i do not fly in such a wide range of -10 to 100 F. my range is much narrower - about 50 F to 100 F. i have not felt expansion issues that you have. my plane has flown fine in either temperature.

i haven't read here or seen anyone on my field fly a foamie warbird as a trainer. maybe with Horizon's SAFE but i haven't seen that yet in person.

as for wind flying, during the highest winds on my field (20mph+) its usually just me flying with my foamie. maybe another foamie or balsa join in. didn't notice any wind issues between the foam or the balsa.

never flown balsa so i can't comment on the sponginess but gnats already covered that.
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Old Jan 29, 2015, 04:43 PM
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When I turned up for the first time at our club ( very small only a dozen members ) I had my new Starmax 1400mm Piper Cub. There was quite some interest and plenty of willing helpers to get it and me flying. It's a great looking cub or should I say it was LOL. Of coarse these guys were mostly balsa and IC. I think we all suffer from moulding reality just a tad to suit what we want or believe. It didn't take long to get the message that eventually I would need to get a serious balsa model. "The trouble with the foam planes is they are not precise enough". So yes I've heard all this many times before and there must be some merit to the argument. However I think much of it is due to the light push rods and fittings, don't forget small servos, used on many of these foamies. Not that that is peculiar to them only.
What strikes me is the number of balsa planes , my own included, that flap around with lose coverings. I can't stand the stuff ! My balsa planes are covered in tape .

Brent.
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Old Jan 29, 2015, 06:26 PM
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The biggest difference I have noticed between my Built up models and foam models, is not sensitivity to control input or the effect of wind. I feel the precision of maneuvers is less due to flex. The older my foamies get the more flex seems to affect them in high G maneuvers.

Eg. Coming out of a loop the wings tend to flex which alters the ailerons slightly. This alters the direction and the loop gets a little screw in it.

My wood models are stiffer and if my loops get screwy it is my bad pilot skills.
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Old Jan 30, 2015, 03:04 AM
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At the end of the day it does not matter one bit on what its built from but how it built .
Pick up an EPO fuse and then pick up an ESM or CMP fiberglass plane and tell me the one that feels more solid .
Same with wing design, add carbon to foam wings and watch the flex disappear and performance improve .
Once my Bryan Taylor 82" corsair is cut in foam I will prove this theory by building a Giant WW2 scale plane at a goal of 40% lighter then original design in wood with a goal of better performance at a lower wing loading .
Foam is as limited as we mentally allow it to be , look at the 1/4--1/5 scale P40 in Foam on RC Groups, redefines the limits of foam .
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Old Jan 30, 2015, 11:50 AM
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As long as you are building in sizes where slight differences in weight are not critical, foam covered with something can give very good results. For us cheap guys, pantyhose or brown paper can be the ideal way to get more durability and stiffness, and a smooth surface.
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Old Jan 30, 2015, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perttime View Post
As long as you are building in sizes where slight differences in weight are not critical, foam covered with something can give very good results. For us cheap guys, pantyhose or brown paper can be the ideal way to get more durability and stiffness, and a smooth surface.
+1, yes.
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Old Jan 30, 2015, 02:08 PM
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perttime, excellent idea!

I HAVE PUT A COAT OF DUAL KOTE ON MY SCALE FOAMIES FROM TIME TO TIME.

I have found my self planning to take the foamies out when the wind is light because they fly better then. but then have to realize that I have much more expensive planes that really deserve that time.

Joe
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Old Jan 30, 2015, 04:24 PM
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It doesn't really matter to me what the plane is constructed from.

If I like the plane I'll buy it, mod it and fly it.
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Old Feb 02, 2015, 09:15 AM
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I agree!

my field has electricity to the flight line. so my son and I pioneered (for lack of a better word for" were the first") mass charging of large batteries. then over the next 3 years watched as liquid propelled models became the exception. now I can go to the field on a 15-20mph wind day and be the only one there. they were always scared of the wind but now it seams anything over 10mph and they all run for home.

Joe
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Old Feb 02, 2015, 10:47 AM
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Flyin' in the "Windy City"

Being a Chicago area r/c pilot, I made a decision early, to learn to fly in some considerable wind... I used a PZ T-28, and did not let wind stop me from flying , on any particular day, and used the wind to my advantage, ie. "Take-offs/Landings. I also learned to HOVER that plane into the wind, where there was NO forward movement of the aircraft at all. It was so COOL to keep the aircraft in one spot, for as long as I could. I even learned how to roll-in-place. Don't get me wrong, I had my fair share of mishaps, but I would glue her back together, and try again. (Great thing about Foamies...) Talk about a confidence booster, as well as improving flying skills. I've told several newer pilots, Don't fear flying in wind, use it to learn to fly better, but use your better judgement. For general flying, I don't fly in over 15 mph. winds..I can & have, but it's not very enjoyable.
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Old Feb 02, 2015, 10:48 AM
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Hello paladin-34 Joe,
I'm the VP at the club next door to you in Endicott - AGS. Your observations of active flyers when the wind is up is basically the same all over. My conversations with club officers across the country have them making the same comments. And this is across the line of airframe platforms whether it be they fly balsa or foam. My fleet of 12 warbirds is primarily foam with 3 balsa(OV10, P-39, A1). All my birds are approx. 1/8 scale putting the w/s from 55-70 inches. I believe that my foamies fly just as tight as my balsa birds and so I basically concur with Ldm's perspective that foam vs balsa construction material isn't a factor. The real factor with the lack of flyers when the winds comes up is what I call the "pucker factor". Because of the lack of skill level, most pilots are afraid to lose their 'prize' so they stay at home. Look at the amount of gyro and AS3X systems being marketed and you can draw your own conclusions. Only about 15% of our club members are active fliers which is average with other clubs I've chatted with. I am at our field 3-4 times a week(retired) if the wind is less than 20 and a lot of times alone but I just enjoy putting a grin on my face like I was 10 yr old boy again(being a 5x cancer survivor does that). If per chance I have a pilot error due to a chemo brain event which causes damage, well it is modeling and I can repair/rebuild.
Best Regards,
Warbird Charlie
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Old Feb 02, 2015, 12:38 PM
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A lot of these bnf/pnp models just have really bad servos compared to what you'd choose for a balsa kit or arf. My durafly spit was bad enough that I replaced the elevator and rudder servos with hitec. The stockers are terrible.
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Old Apr 23, 2015, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OV10Bronco View Post
Hello paladin-34 Joe,
I'm the VP at the club next door to you in Endicott - AGS. Your observations of active flyers when the wind is up is basically the same all over. My conversations with club officers across the country have them making the same comments. And this is across the line of airframe platforms whether it be they fly balsa or foam. My fleet of 12 warbirds is primarily foam with 3 balsa(OV10, P-39, A1). All my birds are approx. 1/8 scale putting the w/s from 55-70 inches. I believe that my foamies fly just as tight as my balsa birds and so I basically concur with Ldm's perspective that foam vs balsa construction material isn't a factor. The real factor with the lack of flyers when the winds comes up is what I call the "pucker factor". Because of the lack of skill level, most pilots are afraid to lose their 'prize' so they stay at home. Look at the amount of gyro and AS3X systems being marketed and you can draw your own conclusions. Only about 15% of our club members are active fliers which is average with other clubs I've chatted with. I am at our field 3-4 times a week(retired) if the wind is less than 20 and a lot of times alone but I just enjoy putting a grin on my face like I was 10 yr old boy again(being a 5x cancer survivor does that). If per chance I have a pilot error due to a chemo brain event which causes damage, well it is modeling and I can repair/rebuild.
Best Regards,
Warbird Charlie
hi Charlie, j and I were out this last weekend from 10-2 both days and got a tone of flights because we were the only model fliers there. we had two members drop by throw a plane in the air then pack it back up and drive off and lots of full size activity. we even had several modelers show w/o airplanes? then drive off?

I hope this is not going to be the summer?

well we are looking at ways to reduce out foamie inventory.

Joe
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