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Old Jan 17, 2010, 05:45 PM
And Repairs
TyFlies's Avatar
Grapevine, TX
Joined Jan 2009
262 Posts
How much flight time should I expect to get with the stock 300 mAh battery? Mine took a 220 mAh charge after 2 hours of hand launch. Is that normal? Charged within 2 days of flying. New batt, but something hasn't seemed right since the first charge.
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 07:29 PM
Gravity sucks
SrWade's Avatar
United States, WA, Richland
Joined Mar 2006
2,474 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by TyFlies View Post
How much flight time should I expect to get with the stock 300 mAh battery? Mine took a 220 mAh charge after 2 hours of hand launch. Is that normal? Charged within 2 days of flying. New batt, but something hasn't seemed right since the first charge.
For a 2 servo plane I usually (conservatively) estimate about 100 maH discharge rate for active flying. So your numbers look pretty good. I would not fly more than 2.5 hours before recharging.

Mike
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 08:12 PM
Steve Chamberlin
schamberlin's Avatar
Bay Area, CA
Joined Oct 2009
121 Posts
still getting the hang of it

I've been flying the Alula as time permits this week, which hasn't been too often. I had a great afternoon on Thursday, played with the CG a bit, and thought I'd finally figured out how to fly the plane well. But then Saturday and Sunday, with the same setup, I was suddenly back to the same wildly oscillating flights.

This is probably just coincidence, but I always seem to do well at one nearby park, and poorly at another. I'm starting to wonder if there's something strange about the wind patterns at the second park. If nothing else, it's usually a little windier there, maybe that's part of it.

In playing with the CG, I've been surprised at how insensitive to CG the Alula seems compared to what I was expecting. I've taped a 7g weight to various spots from about 30mm forward of the dimples to 50mm backward, and while the flight characteristics change some, they all seem flyable to me. Maybe I'm so bad, I can't tell the difference between good flight behavior and bad.

One other thing I've been experimenting with is thumb-on-top vs. fingers-on-top launches. The thumb on top definitely feels more natural and comfortable to me, and that's what I've been doing up until today. But after reading a bit more, it seems like most people launch with fingers on top, so I tried that today too. I think I was getting consistently higher launches with fingers on top, but they were also closer to vertical, and they left my shoulder sore.

Here's a video of on a thumb-on-top launch at the park where I always seem to have problems. I tried to steer it around and back to myself, but totally failed.

Alula bad throw (0 min 19 sec)


Here's a second video at the same spot. This time I successfully flew the Alula back and caught it, but it was swooping around pretty wildly, which was definitely not intentional.

Alula throw and catch (0 min 19 sec)


Any suggestions on how to improve?
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 09:09 PM
Gravity sucks
SrWade's Avatar
United States, WA, Richland
Joined Mar 2006
2,474 Posts
You might still have more elevon travel than you need and that's causing over control which can lead to swooping and stalling. Suggest you turn them down a bit more and see what happens. Once your cg is nailed you need very little throw.

Mike
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 10:09 PM
practice, practice, practice
cvlex's Avatar
Japan, Tokyo
Joined Mar 2005
720 Posts
My friend Takaya flew his Alula evo under 10m/s wind at slope:

笹山RCグライダークラブ/DD 2010.1.16 (2 min 44 sec)


Landing:

笹山RCグライダークラブ/DD 2010.1.16 (0 min 29 sec)


cvlex
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Last edited by cvlex; Jan 17, 2010 at 10:13 PM. Reason: URL correction
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 12:23 AM
Registered User
ClayH's Avatar
92840
Joined Mar 2003
3,033 Posts
To anyoe whose flown both the original and the new Evo Alula's, which plane thermals better in light lift situations? Is launch performance different?

Thanks,

Clay
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 01:24 AM
practice, practice, practice
cvlex's Avatar
Japan, Tokyo
Joined Mar 2005
720 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClayH View Post
To anyoe whose flown both the original and the new Evo Alula's, which plane thermals better in light lift situations? Is launch performance different?

Thanks,

Clay
Although Alula evo is much better, it is very very difficult to catch thermal at flat field with Alula or Alula evo. Both are essentially for light to moderate wind slope.
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 09:27 AM
Steve Chamberlin
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Bay Area, CA
Joined Oct 2009
121 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by SrWade View Post
You might still have more elevon travel than you need and that's causing over control which can lead to swooping and stalling. Suggest you turn them down a bit more and see what happens. Once your cg is nailed you need very little throw.
Thanks. Can you tell anything about the CG position from watching the video? I'm finding it difficult to tell when that's right.
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 11:20 AM
Registered User
Auckland New Zealand
Joined Aug 2007
272 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvlex View Post
Although Alula evo is much better, it is very very difficult to catch thermal at flat field with Alula or Alula evo. Both are essentially for light to moderate wind slope.
But it can be done -- I all but specked out my Alula evo 4-5 times launching off the flat field last weekend. Admittedly it was a "boomer" day, but still pretty amazing to hand chuck a little foam plane and a couple of minutes later see it way up in the sky...
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 11:55 AM
Registered User
BillHones's Avatar
Sussex, NJ
Joined Oct 2009
152 Posts
schamberlin: did you use that grip tape provided for sals? i put it on mine. helped out tremendously! also, if your cg is correct, the throws need to be very little as SrWade said. i also put in expo rates on mine so i can do some aerobatics when i please, and soar nice and gracefully any other time. there is the dive test mentioned in the manual. during a 45 degree down, the plane should not climb nor dive. each one tells whether the bird is tail or nose heavy. i forget which says which! lol. also, try throwing the bird up more. i know it seems scary as smacking the ground would be bad, but it helps so much in flight times. gradually aim higher, gaining more confidence in your throw that your not going to hit the ground.

yakhakker and all: i will post my throttle-elevator mix soon! i did not forget!
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 12:45 PM
Gravity sucks
SrWade's Avatar
United States, WA, Richland
Joined Mar 2006
2,474 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by schamberlin View Post
Thanks. Can you tell anything about the CG position from watching the video? I'm finding it difficult to tell when that's right.
From the second video, I'd say you are pretty close. The launch looked smooth, if a little flat. That might indicate that you are a tiny bit nose heavy, but not necessarily. Maybe try aiming a few degrees higher on launch so you get more height without having to use your elevator. Doing the dive test is a good way to tell, but hard to do without a good bit of altitude. Much easier to do if you are at the slope where you can make sure your trims are correct for level flight before you perform the dive.

Mike
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 02:44 PM
Registered User
Tucson, AZ
Joined Jan 2010
62 Posts
Well I had an interesting first weekend with my Alula! LOL

Got her built Friday night, setup the dual rates(60% aileron, 20% elevator), CG was good, etc, etc. I was going to wait until Sunday to trim her, since that's when the "group" meets up at a local school and I know a couple of guys that would help me. But... I just couldn't resist. So Saturday me and the GF go to a local school to test it out. Well, the first light overhand toss went fine, another, went fine, so I decided to give her a little side arm lauch, again, that went fine. Being this was the first wing I've flown, it became very apparent how touchy the control surfaces were, even with the dual rates. Anyways, the belly pan started coming off, no biggie, I would just add some more tape. Well that's when I realized in all my excitement, I forgot my flight box with all my goodies. So I go back home and pickup the flight box. Well then I decided to go to another school, one that was closer but not as much open space... I give it a few moderate SAL's and I'm getting around 10-15 second flight times. So then I get careless and not take into account my surroundings and the wind. I give it a pretty strong SAL and sent the Alula noticably higher. Well then the wind picked up a little and now all of a sudden, I'm fighting, trying to keep it from flying over the school building. I start panicing and end up crashing it on top of the school building. Now I'm extremely angry with myself for being so careless. I've only been flying my Alula for a few minutes and now it's gone, maybe permanently. It's Saturday, the school is closed and even when it opens on Tuesday(closed Monday for MLK), what is going to be involved in trying to get my Alula back. All this is going through my head and I'm just getting angrier and I'm to the point where I'm thinking "screw it, it's gone." Thankfully I have an awesome GF who looks on the bright side and she was able to find a couple of utility boxes on the side of the building. It was a little scary, as I haven't climbed like that in over a decade, but I was able to get on the roof and get my Alula back. No major damage, just a little bend at the nose of the belly plate. So we leave and decide to go to a different school, one that has more room. I do a couple of pretty strong launches and I'm noticing that most of the time, the Alula goes straight up and I'm having to do a loop to bring it around. So I decide to put a little down trim and see what happens. Well, I guess I gave it too much and ended up launching right into the ground, breaking the nose in half. And that's how Saturday ended. I get home, throw some Goop on the Alula and let it set overnight. Sunday morning, the nose of the Alula looks and feels strong, although a little bit crooked. Meet up with the guys and get it trimmed right and she flys great, nice and lofty. All in all, it was a great weekend, filled with a few learning experiences.

One thing I will say, I figured I was going to get at least 30 second flights in dead air but I'm lucky to get 15. I am trying to minimize input as much as possible but I launch it and am able to get it back to me just before she lands. I'm thinking it has to do with my launch. I am launching with my thumb on the top of the wing, I haven't tried with my thumb on the bottom yet. What angle do you guys launch at? I think mine is around 30 degrees or so. Do you guys have any tips for longer flights?
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 04:08 PM
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BillHones's Avatar
Sussex, NJ
Joined Oct 2009
152 Posts
yakhakker: here are the steps to set up the throttle as an elevator trim stick on a dx6i:

i went to mix 1. set up throttle to move the elevator. thro-> elev act (what is displayed) then the rate is down +25% and up +10 percent. the rates are up to you. i probably dont need that much down. i also have throttle travel adjust set up too. down is 50% and up is 25%. my expo rates are aileron 50% and elevator 65%. aileron travel is 125% and elevator is 100%. she flies like a dream! good luck!

schamberlin: i have some videos of my launch too. they will posted sometime tonight.
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 06:05 PM
Launch high. Fly low.
United States, CA, Lake Elsinore
Joined Aug 2003
4,137 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClayH View Post
To anyoe whose flown both the original and the new Evo Alula's, which plane thermals better in light lift situations? Is launch performance different?

Thanks,

Clay

I want an Alula, too.

Jun C.
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 06:21 PM
PWP!
ajroahkni's Avatar
USA, HI, Makawao
Joined Oct 2002
3,910 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClayH View Post
To anyoe whose flown both the original and the new Evo Alula's, which plane thermals better in light lift situations? Is launch performance different?

Thanks,

Clay
The original has a lighter wing loading and is more nimble/agile. I also feel that it launches higher. It's "flicky" while the evo's more of a "driver" if that makes sense.

One vid of the old, one of the new.

Old
"Old" Alula Action (3 min 31 sec)


New
Flock Dreams (5 min 22 sec)


John
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Last edited by ajroahkni; Jan 18, 2010 at 06:40 PM. Reason: videos
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