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Old Apr 24, 2011, 04:33 PM
Falling with style!
Rick Ludtke's Avatar
USA, WA, Freeland
Joined Nov 2010
223 Posts
Hi Pete,

I just read the manual for my transmitter for the first time I found it on Futaba's website. It describes how the low rates for aileron and elevator are adjustable to reduce the servo travel from 100% down to 30%. I just adjusted them to about 50%, and will give that a try on the next flight.

I tried to get out today to fly it again, but it's just to windy.
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Old Apr 24, 2011, 05:45 PM
Falling with style!
Rick Ludtke's Avatar
USA, WA, Freeland
Joined Nov 2010
223 Posts
1st Flight Pictures

Here are the 1st Flight pictures...
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Last edited by Rick Ludtke; Apr 29, 2011 at 05:57 PM.
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Old Apr 24, 2011, 06:08 PM
Registered User
Methuen, MA
Joined Sep 2002
869 Posts
Congratulations on the successful flights Rick! The pics with you and your dad show how massive the plane really is. It is really impressive. Glad to hear she performed so well. A transmitter upgrade is worth considering. I did without expo for a long time, but was able to fly much more precisely after moving to a modern transmitter. If you reduce rudder and elevator throw enough for smooth comfortable flying, but then don't have enough throw for a crisp snap, you'll really want a new transmitter!
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Old Apr 24, 2011, 06:24 PM
Falling with style!
Rick Ludtke's Avatar
USA, WA, Freeland
Joined Nov 2010
223 Posts
Thanks Mike!

I'm starting to get it now. I've been flying elementary airplanes for a number of years on these old hand-me down radio systems. But now that I am stepping up the performance ladder, its becoming more clear that I need to upgrade.

I have a buddy who gave me these transmitters, and he just recently gave me another, a Futaba T7UAF Super, as he is choosing to get out of the hobby (he's traded up to full-scale, and I have been helping him). It has a LCD screen, and can be programmed. It probably has memory for multiple models, and I suspect can be programmed with exponential. I had forgotten about it. You just inspired me to go dig it out and brush it off, look up the manual, and see if I can figure out how to program it.

Cheers,

Rick
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Old Apr 24, 2011, 07:02 PM
Prunner
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Auburn, KS
Joined Oct 2008
829 Posts
Great Pitts- congrats on a great build and maiden. I agree Pitts should look be red and white
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Old Apr 24, 2011, 07:39 PM
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Lincoln, UK
Joined Jun 2005
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Hi Rick, I'd be wary of reducing the throws too much, if the model's flying nose heavy you may lack the elevator authourity to flare for landing. I'd make small adjustments one flight at a time. Best of luck with your next flight!

Pete
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Old Apr 24, 2011, 11:21 PM
Falling with style!
Rick Ludtke's Avatar
USA, WA, Freeland
Joined Nov 2010
223 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete1978 View Post
Hi Rick, I'd be wary of reducing the throws too much, if the model's flying nose heavy you may lack the elevator authourity to flare for landing. I'd make small adjustments one flight at a time. Best of luck with your next flight!

Pete
Good input, perhaps I'll dial them back to about ~70%
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Old Apr 25, 2011, 02:09 PM
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Joined Mar 2010
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Rick,

Great job and congratulations on a successful flight. I am always so nervous when flying a new plane, especially one that is a step up in performance.

Sounds like this plane can take your flying to great new levels! I look forward to seeing some video if you shoot some.

Eric
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Old Apr 30, 2011, 11:16 PM
Falling with style!
Rick Ludtke's Avatar
USA, WA, Freeland
Joined Nov 2010
223 Posts
Flight #3 Status Update 4/30/2011

Well, I did get another flight in today.

The airplane continues to require nose up trim to maintain level flight. We moved the battery aft after the last flight, but half trim deflection was still required (an improvement from full trim deflection of flight 1 and 2). The only place left to move the battery to now is the original battery position that I chose not to utilize for the 1st flight because the airplane appeared to balance tail heavy. We'll give it a go next time out. I think this should finalize the balance trim issue.

The airplanes 1st flight was with a APC 13x6.5E propeller. Its 2nd flight was with a APC 15x4 propeller. Flight 1 was fairly lengthy, but flight 2 was rather short, as I was running down on power.

Today's flight was also with the 15x4 prop, and disapointedly, the overall flight time was surprisingly short. I also found myself using much more throttle than flight 1 required.

After flight 2, I thought I preferred the larger prop, but now I am not so sure. I think the larger prop is draining the battery much faster than the smaller one, and generating less power as a result. Does this make sense? Could this be true? I will return to the 13x6.5 prop for flight 4 to confirm this hypothesis.

Todays flight was quite short, so I was not able to expand the envelope much. I did attempt one aileron roll. My plan was to raise the nose, remove the pitch back pressure, then apply ailerons to roll the airplane and let it fly a parabelic arc, returning the nose back to level. Well, the roll rate is so fantastically high on this airplane, that the roll was over before the nose even began to drop! And this was with only partial aileron input! Crazy!

I also experimented with using the dual rates on the elevator and ailerons. I don't like them (yucky!). I have never liked using low rates on any of my previous models, as I never felt like I had full control. The Pitts is very sensitive in flight, so I expected that lower rates may be helpful, but I can't handle the feeling that I am lacking full control. I would rather live with its sensitivity.

Soon I will get the new Futaba FP-T7UAF Super I recently aquired up and running, to try flying the airplane with some expo programmed in, but I need to learn how to program it first. Also, I need to order a new reciever, or see if I can get a special crystal to fit into my existing mini reciever.

We tried to capture video of flight 3 with my new Sony Handicam, but didn't capture anything useful as the LCD screen was not visible in the sunlight .

I have some thoughts about capturing video of r/c models:

Small models require zooming in to see the airplane, but it can be difficult to keep the target in the viewscreen when zoomed in. Often the airplane is lost out of the frame, the camera operator must return to wide angle zoom in order to reaquire the target. Much of the video I watch inline is of empty sky because of this (our videos today were almost exclusively empty sky).

I am thinking about crafting an open gun sight, similar to a rifle, so that the target will never get lost. I am thinking about cutting out of wood, something resembling a gun stock that will mount the video camera at one end, and rest against the operators shoulder at the other. The camera will fasten via the tripod mount. Front and rear wire sights will be fashioned and attached to the gun stock. Then the sights will be calibrated (perhaps by simply bending the wire as required) to align the sights with the camera's target.

The camera operator will have to use the view screen to adjust the zoom setting, but otherwise could use the open sights to keep the target in the frame. This will help mitigate the sun backlighting problem we had today rendering the screen image invisible.

I think this will reduce camera shake as well, because the gun stock would enhance stability without reducing mobility.

Back in the 1990's, long before digital cameras and internet video, I attended an aerobatic training camp put on by coaches recently back from training the US aerobatic team. They had a large professional video camera system on a tripod mount that they used to capture training detail, and it had a super zoom lens, augmented with an open cross hair sighting system. They were able to capture extreme close up veiws of manuvers and control surface inputs, because they used the open sighting device. They never lost the airplane target, even when zoomed in tight.

I will try to find time to develop this idea and try it out. I'll post what I learn when I learn it. If anybody out there is intrigued, please feel free to beat me to it and let me know how it works.

Tomarrows weather is expected to be even better than todays, with sun and highs approaching 70 degrees! Providing its not to breezy, and my daughters dance rehearsal transportation requirements do not get in the way, we'll get out and try it again.

Cheers,

Rick
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Old May 01, 2011, 07:59 AM
The Hun in the Sun
vonJaerschky's Avatar
Canada, BC, Comox
Joined Nov 2003
7,257 Posts
I'm not surprised that the 15X4 didn't work that well for you. The pitch speed is very low, so you needed to keep the RPM way up to try and get the pitch speed up as well. And with 15" of prop disc area, it wasn't easy for the motor.
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Old May 01, 2011, 10:15 AM
Falling with style!
Rick Ludtke's Avatar
USA, WA, Freeland
Joined Nov 2010
223 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by vonJaerschky View Post
I'm not surprised that the 15X4 didn't work that well for you. The pitch speed is very low, so you needed to keep the RPM way up to try and get the pitch speed up as well. And with 15" of prop disc area, it wasn't easy for the motor.
Good to hear Frank, it sounds like I can reverse my condition. Thats good.

I applied the rule of 1 inch of pitch decrease for every inch of diameter increase, but the results seem to demonstrate that the diameter increase had less influence on the system than the pitch decrease did.

If I wanted to increase the diameter by several inches, what pitch do you think I should target?

Thanks,
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Old May 01, 2011, 10:20 AM
The Hun in the Sun
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Canada, BC, Comox
Joined Nov 2003
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I'm not sure what your motor can handle, but I'd be tempted to go to at least an 8" pitch. Maybe a 13X8?
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Old May 01, 2011, 10:27 AM
Falling with style!
Rick Ludtke's Avatar
USA, WA, Freeland
Joined Nov 2010
223 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by vonJaerschky View Post
I'm not sure what your motor can handle, but I'd be tempted to go to at least an 8" pitch. Maybe a 13X8?
Well, the 13x6.5 makes good power, and was tested by HeadsUp r/c to develop 70 oz of thrust while staying within system limits. I just want to keep this performance with a larger diameter prop. This may not be possible, and if so, the 13x6.5 should be a reasonable answer.

The Pitts fuselage is 8 inches wide, so I worry that it blanks a large amount of the prop disk. I just hoped to improve this by increasing the diameter. The scale diameter is 17 inches.


Perhaps I could increase the diameter and keep the pitch the same (e.g. 15x6)?

Rick
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Old May 01, 2011, 10:50 AM
The Hun in the Sun
vonJaerschky's Avatar
Canada, BC, Comox
Joined Nov 2003
7,257 Posts
The only way to know for sure is to give it a try! I've had models that fly fantastic with props that nobody (including myself) thought would work, and other models that were absolute dogs with the recommended props.
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Old May 01, 2011, 07:41 PM
Falling with style!
Rick Ludtke's Avatar
USA, WA, Freeland
Joined Nov 2010
223 Posts
Flight #4 Status Update 5/01/2011

Had a very successful day at the Soccer Park today. We flew all three airplanes that were on "Up Status", the Bucker Youngmeister, the Taylorcraft, and the Pitts.

Flight 4 went really well. We returned to the original APC 13x6.5 propeller, and got a lot of flight time on the airplane. I concentrated on pattern work: take-offs, landing approaches, and landings. I must have logged 10 or so. Some spot on, some less so, but I walked away.

The balance still requires a little more adjustment, as the airplane required about 25% nose up trim. We plan to move the battery aft to the original position that my Dad established, centered on the leading edge of the lower wing. We never flew it this way, because the airplane appeared to me to balance to tail heavy. Flight testing has proven otherwise. This will likely be the final position for the battery.

I must be making progress in my flying skills, as I found myself flying at higher power settings than before. I still managed to get at least 10 minutes of flying out of the battery, possibly more.

Putting the airplane where I want it in the sky is difficult, but I should improve with practice. As I dive for energy, the speed rises, and the airplane becomes more sensitive, its hard to, say pull into a loop with the wings level. So the airplane ends up somewhere where I didn't intend it to be. As a result, stringing more than one maneuver together in succession isn't doable for me yet.

I could see that down the road I will need more power in this bird. It climbs well with this motor, but vertical lines of duration are tough. A bigger motor could swing a bigger prop, which I think the airplane could benefit from. Thatís down the road. This motor/airplane combination still offers me much challenge.

No Joy on the video. We tried, but any sunlight at all prevents the video image from being visible in the screen. I'm disappointed about that.

Cheers,

Rick
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