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Old Sep 09, 2003, 11:43 AM
Electric Aviator
Charleston, SC
Joined Sep 2003
155 Posts
Swap rudder and aileron controls?

I started flying with a Firebird, which is a 2 channel plane with a V-tail. The left stick of the transmitter controls the throttle, and the right stick controls the turning. I just upgraded to a JR 5 channel radio and a GWS Slow Stick park flyer, and am waiting for the weather to cooperate so I can fly. The slow stick is a 3 channel plane with rudder, but no ailerons. My radio uses the left stick for throttle (up and down) and rudder (side to side) and the right stick for elevator (up and down) and ailerons (side to side).

In order to fly the slow stick with the default radio settings, I would have to learn to steer with the left stick (rudder). My question is: should I move the rudder servo to the aileron position on the transmitter so I can steer with the right stick like I am used to? Will this mess me up any if I get a plane with ailerons?

Thanks!
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Old Sep 09, 2003, 12:28 PM
Registered User
portage la prairie,manitoba, canada
Joined May 2003
170 Posts
my understanding is that primary directional controls go on the right stick... that way, if you only have rudder and elevator, put them on the right stick. When you go to ailerons, you will put them
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Old Sep 09, 2003, 12:28 PM
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SoarNeck's Avatar
Calgary, Alberta
Joined Nov 2001
1,491 Posts
I'd stick with the way that you were used to.
Instead of thinking about it as "throttle and rudder on the left, aileron and elevator on the right", think of it as "motor and yaw controls on the left, roll and pitch on the right".

On a R/E model, the rudder doesn't provide yaw control as it would on a A/R/E model...it provides roll control.
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Old Sep 09, 2003, 12:32 PM
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portage la prairie,manitoba, canada
Joined May 2003
170 Posts
oops...sorry didn't finish
when you go to ailerons, put them on the right stick and you still have port/starboard on your right stick... no relearning
The radio doesn't care what is plugged into which receiver channel...it just tells whatever is plugged in to do something depending on which way you move the stick.
Anyone out there have a better / clearer explaination??
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Old Sep 09, 2003, 12:34 PM
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Saskatoon, Canada
Joined Dec 2002
32 Posts
Hi, sure, no problem , change over the rudder servo to the right stick, this is a lot easier to fly 3 ch., then when you fly 4 ch flying is the same i.e. turn on the right stick, rudder on the left, on 4ch rudder is mainly used on takeoff and for aerobatics, cheers Ray
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Old Sep 09, 2003, 12:35 PM
Registered User
Central California
Joined Aug 2003
1,137 Posts
Two configurations

I think of the Rudder/Elevator on right--throttle on left as my "stick and rudder" configuration and use it for all my three channel planes.

It makes no sense to combine your primary directional control with the throttle on the left and leave the right stick "blank" except for pitch.
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Old Sep 09, 2003, 06:04 PM
Electric Aviator
Charleston, SC
Joined Sep 2003
155 Posts
Thanks for great responses - everyone! I especially like the response from SoarNeck... "motor and yaw controls on the left, roll and pitch on the right". This makes perfect sense to me, and I made the switch. I hope to fly the new plane tonight. I just hope my next posting is not about fixing crash damage!
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Old Sep 09, 2003, 06:55 PM
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FEARLESS FLY's Avatar
Strathalbyn,South Australia
Joined Aug 2003
92 Posts
Hi,I've just started flying r/e (on a 2m. e/glider) after more or less learning to fly my Firebird Commander.It seems here in Australia our controls are rudder and elevator on left stick and throttle and ailerons on right, so after the FB I had to relearn my stick settings.I found that it was too easy to trip the elevator when turning with the rudder and visa versa causing the plane to vere left or right/ up or down without me wanting it to which caused me to lose control very easily.I was advised by a fellow club member to change my rudder control over to the aileron side,(his reasoning was that when the time came to fly with ailerons I would be already used to turning with the right stick),and it was much easier with two sticks controlling two separate movements,and he was bloody right!!! no more nosedives and much,much easier to fly. I am far from being an experienced pilot,but I hope this helps.
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Old Sep 09, 2003, 10:41 PM
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Calgary, Alberta
Joined Nov 2001
1,491 Posts
Glad it made sense...and good luck with the hobby. I'm 13 yrs in, with no sign of slowing down!

If you actually want to get even more pendantic, remember the old adage that "throttle controls altitude, and elevator controls airspeed". That might be a bit deep at the moment, but if you think about it, it also explains why us sailplane pilots use flaps/spoilers on the left stick.

So, if you really want to be picky, it's "altitude and yaw controls on the left, roll and airspeed controls on the right".
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Old Sep 09, 2003, 11:42 PM
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Strathalbyn,South Australia
Joined Aug 2003
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Soarneck,I can't follow your reasoning.I would have thought throttle would control airspeed(faster or slower),and elevator controls altitude (up or down).I could be wrong,if so,could you please explain.I know this is IIrelease's post but his question is revelent to my situation.
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Old Sep 10, 2003, 12:05 AM
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Calgary, Alberta
Joined Nov 2001
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I've heard it explained a couple of ways (including as a joke with an old pilot and a new pilot), but since I'm an engineer, I'll need to use an energy model.

Take the case of a model airplane in level flight, at constant altitude, maintaining minimum power. Engine power is being used to overcome the drag produced in generating enough lift to maintain flight (and the other components of drag), and the airplane has some potential energy in that it's X feet/m above the ground. The airplane is at constant airspeed, so there isn't excess thrust, or it would accelerate.

If you don't change the throttle setting (read: add energy to the system), you can't gain altitude. Sure, you can wander into a thermal, but that would add energy to the system. You can't pull back on the elevator, because that would mean that the airplane's airspeed would slow too much. The angle of attack of the wing would increase, thus the amount of lift would increase, but so would the amount of drag. Since the only forces acting along the path of flight (in our no-wind case) are thrust offsetting drag, if drag increases without thrust increasing to offset it, the airplane has to slow down (conservation of energy).

You can dive to gain airspeed, but that only converts potential energy (from altitude) to kinetic energy (airspeed). If you then use the new airspeed to climb again, you'll never come back to the same height...since drag inevitably drains energy from the system, and drag is proportional to the square of velocity (I believe).

To go up, you have to increase throttle. Thus, throttle controls altitude, and elevator controls airspeed.

Does that help?
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Old Sep 10, 2003, 01:55 AM
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Strathalbyn,South Australia
Joined Aug 2003
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Soarneck,WOW!,very technical,but I reckon I have a handle on what you say,and it makes sense.Shows you how much average/newbie pilots know about flight,(not much).Thank you,we beginners need all the help we can get,and this is the forum to get it.
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Old Sep 10, 2003, 05:07 AM
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Orebro, Sweden
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What SoarNeck is saying is actually pretty important, altough there are a lot of people who doesnīt understand it.

If you try to gain altitude by pulling "up-elevator" without adding power, you will stall and possibly crasch. This is a classic newbie mistake, and one that is made by a lot of people who arenīt newbies and who should know better. Ever heard an "experienced" pilot who crasched a plane on the last turn before landing blaming it on "interference" or "a sudden gust"? Nine times out of ten, itīs a matter of them trying to maintain altitude by pulling "up" combined with a lack of airspeed.

A correctly trimmed plane (aerobatic planes with symmetrical airfoils excluded) should allways climb on full throttle. When you need to gain altitude, throttle up and watch your plain safely rise. In very critical situations you may need to add some "up-elevator" too, but the general rule still applies.

If you ALLWAYS do it this way, you will NEVER stall a plane due to low airspeed, unless it was underpowered to begin with.

Sadly, I donīt even follow my own advice all the time, but at least I donīt blame the crasches on interference!

Anders
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Old Sep 10, 2003, 10:23 AM
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Central California
Joined Aug 2003
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One more time

The way I think about it, throttle equates to lift (as measured by vertical velocity) as follows:

Lift is proportional to the speed of the air moving over the airfoil, so the faster the prop blows air across the airfoil, the more lift, hence, more vertical velocity.

As stated, elevator only changes the airplane's pitch. This may cause a change in vertical velocity, but only if the air continues to move across the airfoil fast enough to avoid stalling.

Zeroalt's second paragraph is right on. It is hard to judge airspeed in that situation; you shoud still be one mistake high (at least) on your final turn.

I still believe in "stick and rudder" on the right, throttle on the left. Guess it's a hold-over from flying WWI computer sims. Curse you Red Baron!

Regards.
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Old Sep 10, 2003, 06:01 PM
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Orebro, Sweden
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Re: One more time

Quote:
Originally posted by Ledbetter

Zeroalt's second paragraph is right on. It is hard to judge airspeed in that situation; you shoud still be one mistake high (at least) on your final turn.
I donīt want to be nitpicking, but I feel that what youīre saying is only partly true. I donīt think that itīs any harder to judge airspeed when turning at 2' than it is at 200'. While it may be wise (but pretty boring) to do ALL your flying at "one mistake high" except takeoff and landing, it really isnīt neccessary if you adopt the doctrin of using throttle to maintain or gain altitude, and STICK with it (which Iīve found to be the hard part ). If your plane starts to drop itīs wing and loose altitude while on the final turn, power up and maybe use some opposite rudder or aileron, you simply WON`T stall.

You simply cannot stall a correctly trimmed plane by powering up. You can stall it WHILE powering up if you hold too much up-elevator, but NEVER by applying throttle only.

Anders
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