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Old Aug 06, 2012, 03:32 PM
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Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA
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My Fair Maiden flight report -- Jun 24, 2012

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Originally Posted by Windependence View Post
(Snip)... The last accident was my BoT. The carnage of that crash can be seen on the video posted by Captain Canardly. I had done probably 3 or 4 hand throws and had the Bot flying hands off. I hooked it up to Ray's 3 meter hi-start, announced launching, and pushed it into the air. The second it left my hand it rolled hard to the left. I got on the Tx and gave right rudder to straighten it back out but it was already too far over and it caught a wing tip and went into the ground still hooked to the hi-start.
I'm a little late to this thread, I only check in here once in a while. But this has a familiar sound, so I thought I'd toss my 2-cents in.

Wayne,
Sorry to hear about your BoT's short first flight. It sounds like it stalled on the line and snap-rolled in; probably due to the tow hook being too far aft and causing the nose to pitch up to stall attitude. A little down elevator along with the right stick might have helped, but you only have a split second to react when that happens.

Next time, start with the tow hook a little more forward... something on the order of 15-20 degrees forward from the actual balance point under the wing. The resulting launch may not be too stellar, but the plane will at least launch safely. Work out any bugs that appear, then sneak the tow hook back with successive launches. The old Airtronics adjustable tow hook was great for that.

I have the usual homemade balancing jig, just two rods in a 2x4. But the base has a tilt adjusting screw and a dial level/ protractor. Instead of having the rods vertical, I tilt them to the tow hook location angle I want in that 15-20 degree range. After balancing, I just sight past the rods to the bottom of the fuselage to determine where to put the tow hook for first flights. Then I work back from there as the plane gets trimmed out.

The Aquila Grande was prone to snap-in on it's first launch if it was set-up per the plans. The tow hook location on the plans was technically correct... for an experienced pilot after the plane has been de-bugged, CG trimmed aft, and the tow hook incrementally moved aft as the plane was trimmed out. But for a first flight, especially with a less experienced pilot using a "safe" forward CG, it was a pretty automatic stall/ snap on the first launch.

That tow hook is drawn at about 10 degrees forward of the recommended 1st flight balance point (rear edge of the spar). By comparison, the Grand Esprit's 1st flight tow hook location was drawn at 25 degrees forward from the suggested mid-range CG (17 degrees from the forward CG limit), and it was really tame on first launch.

There's nothing magic about 15-20 degrees, I've just found that range to be safe for a large variety of sailplanes.

There are more technical write-ups on where the optimal CG and tow hook locations should be, and many techies will scoff at saying the tow hook should be placed some fixed location relative to the CG. Technically, they're right. What I'm suggesting is very imperical, and I'm only trying to get the plane safely launched on it's first few flights. Once it's up, and you have a feel for it, then you can get all techie about trimming it out to be it's competitive best.

Good luck with the repairs. Oh, well, I'm so late, hopefully they're complete and it's flying again by now.

Tim
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Old Aug 26, 2012, 11:38 AM
Making wood fly since 2007
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Hi Tim,

Thanks for the tips, repairs are still underway. Considering the plane hit the ground still attached to the hi-start it could have been worse. I have given it a thorough going over and the damage is not too bad. The wing held up really well due to the wing bolts shearing off, like they are supposed to. Only a few cracked ribs and a couple of popped glue joints. The fuselage took a pretty good hit and will need some repair but it is nothing that some glue and a little fiberglass reinforcement can't fix. The most time consuming repair is in the tail area where the fuse cracked on both sides right where the bell crank is mounted. I have had to take my time there so as to not inadvertently glue the bellcrank movement in place. Repairs are coming along slowly, it probably won't be in the air yet this year but it will be ready by next season. That is only due to another build project I am currently working on and wrapping up. I will post repair progress here as I go.

Wayne
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Old Aug 26, 2012, 12:18 PM
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ALES event report

Yesterday was our August ALES event and to the best of my knowledge it was the first ALES event to take place in our area. For those of you not familiar with ALES it is a style of thermal duration soaring that uses electric launched sailplanes equipped with a device which limits the altitude and/or time which the motor can run. Our event had the limiters set for 150 meters or 30 seconds, whichever came first. The objectives of an ALES event are same as most thermal duration sailplane contests, launch the plane and try to keep it in the air for a predetermined amount of time and then try to land as close to a target on the ground as you can.

The day was a little overcast but not too bad, every now and then you could see the sun trying to burn through the cloud cover but it never did. The winds were very light which made thermal detection a little easier but none of us are very good at that. We had 6 pilots show up so we decided to fly 2 flight groups of 3 pilots each. I had setup 5 launching stations, each with a 5 meter landing tape, and pilots would simply pick a station and fly from it. I did use the ALES scoring program provided free of charge by Curt over at Tailwind gliders, thanks Curt, and this made scoring the event a snap. We were launching to 150 meters and had 7 minute flight tasks.

So how did the event go? Everyone had a blast. The lift was good, the winds were low, cheers and laughter filled the air along side our planes. There was one flight where the entire flight group maxed out their time due to huge lift coming through and there were other flights where only 4 minutes was the average. Everyone agreed that we should do this again and we will. I will let some of the other participants chime in with more details and highlights but let me say that ALES is a lot of fun and we all learned a ton about lift, sink and event strategy. We will do this again and I hope to see all of you there.
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Old Aug 26, 2012, 05:21 PM
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United States, WI, Stoddard
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Hi all.What fun, the event was a truly well put together learning event.We went at it with the attitude that we need to learn how to do this.Rather than be dis qualified for small infractions we just made note of them.We all learned how to time and fly a round .The conditions from round to round were different every time.The planes ranged the sail plane spectrum,high end carbon/wood jobs to radians.In fact three radians, two pro and one stock.I flew my trusty Electra.At one point the only landing points were owned buy the stock radian.You should have herd the laughter after that landing.
Problems that I learned about, well timing, I did not have my own stop watch so the fist round I timed for Ray, it went well. He had a really good quality watch from radio shack, Then I timed for Mark, he was using a smart phone, and I've never touched one before.,It did not stop when I pushed the button.Then I felt like I messed up Marks time.Then I timed for Wayne and his was a little different again it did not stop correctly, My dumb thumbs I'm guessing.I guess my point is we should all be using the same type of watch.Group purchase?
Wayne is a master organizer, and his efforts cannot go with out mention.In two meets he has provided us with a full set of transmitter pins.Yesterday he brought five economically fabricated landing tapes, enough small clip boards for every one, and then printed score sheets that fit the boards.We then used his lap top and printer, and tail wind's program to score .That part was very interesting.
The only bad thing that happened was Mark lost his plane at the end .It is rebuild able ,I did not see it I herd it ,I wont forget that sound any time soon.
Thank you all .I had a blast and learned a lot, and look forward to the next event.
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Old Aug 26, 2012, 05:34 PM
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Event results

I just thought I would share some of the scoring details of the event. The scoring program gives a lot of useful information. Here are the individual round scores, overal scores and the normalized overall scores.

Doc, thanks for coming over and flying with us yesterday. Yes, the sound of a sailplane crunching into the ground is never a good one. Hopefully Mark can get some usefull data out of his ESC to try to figure out what happened.

Mark, I can help you with wing repairs if you want it.

Wayne
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Old Aug 26, 2012, 07:24 PM
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I wish I drove the xtra distance- but- i was with Thermal equipment yesrday- vid @ blue plaid hangout!
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Old Aug 26, 2012, 07:55 PM
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I am so glad you guys had a great contest. I like that you flew 150m launches!
Thanks for the kind words about my scoring spreadsheet.

Curtis
Montana
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Old Aug 26, 2012, 08:50 PM
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I had a great time at the contest and learned a lot about thermal flying that I never would have learned by just flying around on my own. Wayne did a tremendous job of organizing the event.

I came in 4th but would have done better if there had been points given for looping your plane (somehow I lost contact with the plane just at the 30-second point after launching and the plane went out of control for a few seconds) or if there had been points given for the longest walk to a plane after it landed!

I am really looking forward to the next ALES event.

Ray
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Old Aug 29, 2012, 10:33 AM
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Doc and Ray, thanks for the kind words and I'm glad you had fun at the event. Fun is one of my primary objectives at these events. This was probably the most organized event we have ever had. I also learned a lot watching and flying the rounds. The lift cycles were obvious and I had a really good chuckle when Eric was wanting me to hurry up and launch the next flight group so he could get into the lift from the previous one. He knew where the lift was and didn't want to miss out. I think I can safely say for the record that, as a group, our precision landing skills need a little more work.

According to my calendar our next scheduled event date is September 22nd. This will also most likely be our final scheduled event of the season. October is always hit or miss due to winter weather. Right now my thoughts are leaning towards a mixed ALES/string launched event using the same format as the ALES event. Hi-starts and my OneWinch would be configured to 450 feet and the CAMS would be set to 150 meters. I know we could make the launch heights equal and have an event open to all sailplanes types. I think it would be a blast.

Wayne
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Old Aug 30, 2012, 09:13 AM
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Trying to Get Radian Pro Going

After the event last Saturday I decided to buy a better electric sailplane, the one I have is 1.5 meter and uses geared Speed 400 on nimh battery. I purchased a Radian Pro from Kevin and I am trying to get it flying. I have a Spektrum Dx6i radio that I had used the transmitter for a Habu EDF, the receiver that came with the radio had not been used.

I struggled again trying to add Radian in the transmitter, to me the manual really sucks but I am learning. When I tried to bind the AR6200 receiver the lights were on from the start. Searching for this on the Internet I see a lot of people have had this problem. Hopefully Kevin can figure it out.

The manual for the Radian Pro sucks too, does not show details of how to connect up the receiver or about mounting it. I can see that is going to be a hassle taking the wing off with all those connections.

If anyone has any advice for me or can direct me to any resources on the Web that would be great.

Bill Kuhl
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Old Aug 30, 2012, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScienceGuyOrg View Post
After the event last Saturday I decided to buy a better electric sailplane, the one I have is 1.5 meter and uses geared Speed 400 on nimh battery. I purchased a Radian Pro from Kevin and I am trying to get it flying. I have a Spektrum Dx6i radio that I had used the transmitter for a Habu EDF, the receiver that came with the radio had not been used.

I struggled again trying to add Radian in the transmitter, to me the manual really sucks but I am learning. When I tried to bind the AR6200 receiver the lights were on from the start. Searching for this on the Internet I see a lot of people have had this problem. Hopefully Kevin can figure it out.

The manual for the Radian Pro sucks too, does not show details of how to connect up the receiver or about mounting it. I can see that is going to be a hassle taking the wing off with all those connections.

If anyone has any advice for me or can direct me to any resources on the Web that would be great.

Bill Kuhl
Bill,

I fly my Radian Pro using a DX 8 transmitter. If you like, I'll email you an Excel spreadsheet showing how I have my DX 8 set up. Just message me your email address. I tried to attach it to this posting, but it isn't in the correct format. I'm not sure how much of it is applicable to the DX 6i, but you will be able to see how I have the receiver connected.

Taking the wings on and off is a pain. I have room in my Prius to transport my Radian Pro fully assembled, so I never take the wings off. Several guys on the Radian Pro thread on RCGroups show examples of how they have mounted plugs on the wings and fuselage so they don't have to thread the wires to the receiver each time they assemble the plane.

I'd be happy to show you my Radian Pro if that would be helpful.

Ray
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Old Aug 30, 2012, 11:52 AM
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Thanks Ray for you advice, yes send me your setup to scienceguy33@gmail.com. If it will fit in you Prius it will fit in mine, leaving the wings on sound like a good option. Bill
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Old Sep 09, 2012, 08:34 PM
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September All Comers event

Hello Everybody,

This month's soaring event will held on September 22nd. I am calling it the All Comers event because it is, well, open to all comers. If any of you out there find yourselves in the SE Minnesota area on that date please feel free to join us. More detailed information can be found on our website, www.rochestersoaring.org. Look at the announcement and event pages to get all the details.

Rochester Soaring is taking the next step in event formats and this month's event will be a MoM event. The August ALES MoM event went very smoothly so I am going to try it again only this time the event will be open to both string launch and e-power planes. All planes will be competing with one another, no separate classes. I think it will be a grand time and I am sure you will too. Our events are low key affairs where the emphasis is on fun and improving our skills.

The website has all the details regarding time, place, directions to the field and all that stuff. It is possible that this could be the final event of the season as October weather is always questionable. I hope to see you there. If you have any questions feel free to post them here or you can send me an email from the website.

Wayne
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 12:28 PM
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All Comers Event update

Hello everyone,

I just want to post an update to this weekends scheduled event. The weather forecast is predicting some pretty good winds for Saturday, anywhere from 15 - 25 mph. Now I like a challenge as much as the next person but 20 mph will ground my 2M TD planes on the flat land. Hopefully the weather guy will be wrong but in case he isn't I do have a couple of options I am working on. Option 1 is to move the event to Sunday where the winds are predicted to be much lower and option 2 is to leave the event on Saturday and to move its location to the Kalmar Dam and do some slope soaring.

I have not made a final decision yet and I am looking for feedback from all of you as to which option to go with. If you were planning on coming to this event let me know what you think. I will post a final decision here on Friday evening around 8 pm so be sure to check back. In the meantime dust off that slope soarer and find some ballast, you might end up needing it.

Wayne
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Old Sep 21, 2012, 11:26 PM
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Just a quick message here, for those monitoring this thread and not receiving the emails. We will be going forward with the event tomorrow as originally planned. Pilots meeting at 10:30. Hope to see you there.

Wayne
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