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Old Jun 03, 2012, 08:11 PM
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Ginohio's Avatar
United States, OH
Joined Mar 2012
1,018 Posts
ugghhh wind is to high here for me to attempt another flight....I am short one foam spinner...I can't believe that would effect much.. on another note...My prop runner seems bent on my Mini Super Cub from the last crash....I tossed it in the backyard tonight even with the wind to see how off it was...Didn't seem to bad but I new at this and nothing seems to bad,,lol... ohh found someone local that has a Mini Super Cub Plane no TX for 15.00 I see a parts plane coming ....I know this is not all just the Firebird Stratos just ranting....
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Old Jun 06, 2012, 07:27 PM
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United States, TX, Richardson
Joined Oct 2011
298 Posts
OK, my time came up with my Stratos. Due to a stupid mistake on my part, I let it auger into the ground. I was planning to land it and on the first approach the plane was too high so I gave it some power to go around. Downwind leg went fine - I thought I would keep it low all the way around so it wouldn't come in too high again.

On the turn from downwind to crosswind at the other end of the field, because of the way the sun was, I lost sight of it for just an instant. When it came into view it was augering into the ground with no time for me to do anything but drop the throttle. I'm guessing what happened is that due to my slow speed, it stalled when I made that turn. Double mistake 1) I should not have been flying that low and 2) it looked like I had plenty of throttle because it moved right along downwind, but I'm sure I did not give it enough throttle to fly after making that turn.

So now I know how it handles a dive into the ground. The nose broke off and was laying nearby. The wing was completely off with one of the motor wire connectors pulled apart. There was not any other damage that I could see.

On the nose, I just glued it back on using CA glue. In reading over the previous posts it seemed like that is what most others did also. Am I correct? Did I do the right thing?

Putting the wing back on was easy but I may have a potential problem. The rod on the back of the wing that holds it in place was gone! No sign of it anywhere. With those two screws clamping down heavily on the flat side of the rod, I don't see how in the world the rod could jump out of there.

In examining the force it takes to push the wing off the plane, I found out that the magnet on the back is VERY strong. It was extremely difficult for me to push up the back of the wing - that magnet is super strong. But, maybe it take less force to slide the wing off.

Here's my question: Can I safely fly my Stratos without that rod in the back? I assume the concern is that the wing might come off in flight. But really, could that happen with that super strong magnet holding the wing down? Should I put a round toothpick in there? Or maybe donate a drill bit of the proper diameter to the cause? I sure don't want to buy a whole new fuselage just to get the rod.

What do you guys think and suggest?
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Old Jun 06, 2012, 09:08 PM
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United States, OH
Joined Mar 2012
1,018 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by fotoflyer View Post
OK, my time came up with my Stratos. Due to a stupid mistake on my part, I let it auger into the ground. I was planning to land it and on the first approach the plane was too high so I gave it some power to go around. Downwind leg went fine - I thought I would keep it low all the way around so it wouldn't come in too high again.

On the turn from downwind to crosswind at the other end of the field, because of the way the sun was, I lost sight of it for just an instant. When it came into view it was augering into the ground with no time for me to do anything but drop the throttle. I'm guessing what happened is that due to my slow speed, it stalled when I made that turn. Double mistake 1) I should not have been flying that low and 2) it looked like I had plenty of throttle because it moved right along downwind, but I'm sure I did not give it enough throttle to fly after making that turn.

So now I know how it handles a dive into the ground. The nose broke off and was laying nearby. The wing was completely off with one of the motor wire connectors pulled apart. There was not any other damage that I could see.

On the nose, I just glued it back on using CA glue. In reading over the previous posts it seemed like that is what most others did also. Am I correct? Did I do the right thing?

Putting the wing back on was easy but I may have a potential problem. The rod on the back of the wing that holds it in place was gone! No sign of it anywhere. With those two screws clamping down heavily on the flat side of the rod, I don't see how in the world the rod could jump out of there.

In examining the force it takes to push the wing off the plane, I found out that the magnet on the back is VERY strong. It was extremely difficult for me to push up the back of the wing - that magnet is super strong. But, maybe it take less force to slide the wing off.

Here's my question: Can I safely fly my Stratos without that rod in the back? I assume the concern is that the wing might come off in flight. But really, could that happen with that super strong magnet holding the wing down? Should I put a round toothpick in there? Or maybe donate a drill bit of the proper diameter to the cause? I sure don't want to buy a whole new fuselage just to get the rod.

What do you guys think and suggest?
I lost that rod also due to my careless self...forgot to tighten the screws...I just use a toothpick now thanks to Yousefs suggestion...you may need to scrape a bit off the toothpick to fit but works fine...also...I have flown mine without anything but the magnet holding the wing on unless your gonna do loops I think your safe.... Happy Flying
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Old Jun 06, 2012, 09:40 PM
Sir-Crash-a-Lot
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United States, IL, Edwardsville
Joined Jun 2011
330 Posts
I would just use a toothpick.
Go ahead and glue the nose on, but check your center of gravity and move your battery accordingly before the next flight.

Stalls happen quick with this plane. You can stall on a climb, stall in a turn, and stall landing with low power very fast. I keep playing with the throttle on climbs, turns, but chicken out when landing and nose in a lot. The plane does not like falling 3-4 feet nose first. It is not like landing a tail dragger like a Champ. It is easier I think to land gearless in the grass than to come in on the tricycle gear under some power.
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Old Jun 06, 2012, 10:26 PM
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United States, CA, Oceanside
Joined Apr 2011
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I find that when I land my FB Stratos, I point her into the wind and cut all power and she just floats down. I fly over dirt and asphalt and have landed using the trike gear no problem. The beauty of this plane is that it levels itself out after you cut power and let go of the sticks. After I cut power I don't give the plane any input until just before touchdown, then I give a little up elevator and presto, it lands on the gear perfectly. Once you start landing with the gear, I assure you, you will not want to belly land again. It is just too much fun seeing the Stratos make a perfect 3 point landing; same thing with the Champ. Just wonderful. BTW - I have only been flying my FB Stratos and Champ for a little over a month and have about 60+ hours on my Real Fligh 6 sim. The sim has taught me the landing aspect of flying RC very well.
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Old Jun 06, 2012, 11:16 PM
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United States, TX, Richardson
Joined Oct 2011
298 Posts
Thanks to all of you guys for your comments. I'll go ahead and use a toothpick in place of the rod.

I did NOT know this plane was prone to stalling. I have not seen ANY indication of that up to now. So it's good to know and be careful of.

I've been flying mine without the landing gear and like the way it lands on it's belly on the short grass of a city park. But after this incident, I put the landing gear back on to make sure the plane is set up per factory instructions - like regarding COG. I suspect just adding the glue to the nose will shift the COG forward a bit so I'm going to look for that the next time I fly it.
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Old Jun 07, 2012, 02:24 AM
So I'M meant to be in control?
Colonel Blink's Avatar
Ilkley, West Yorkshire, UK
Joined Nov 2008
3,467 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by fotoflyer View Post
OK, my time came up with my Stratos. Due to a stupid mistake on my part, I let it auger into the ground. I was planning to land it and on the first approach the plane was too high so I gave it some power to go around. Downwind leg went fine - I thought I would keep it low all the way around so it wouldn't come in too high again. On the turn from downwind to crosswind at the other end of the field, because of the way the sun was, I lost sight of it for just an instant. When it came into view it was augering into the ground with no time for me to do anything but drop the throttle. I'm guessing what happened is that due to my slow speed, it stalled when I made that turn. Double mistake 1) I should not have been flying that low and 2) it looked like I had plenty of throttle because it moved right along downwind, but I'm sure I did not give it enough throttle to fly after making that turn......
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Blink View Post
........when you are flying downwind, the ground speed is high but the airspeed is low - possibly lower than you think. As an aircraft banks, its stall speed goes up. This is due to the lift force acting at an angle, so needing to be larger to counteract gravity which still works vertically. So you are cantering downwind, model disappearing quickly, but its airspeed is low. You haul it around, the stall speed goes up to meet the deceptively low airspeed, and the thing just seems to drop out of the sky. Happened to me several times when I began flying in stronger winds!!
I'm not trying to be smug, here.... I posted that because I first flew RC 15 years ago (slope soarers), I fly full size, and have been flying RC R/E/T foamies for 18 months before I got the bottle to fly in stronger winds. What happened? Exactly the same as you - several times, and always from the downwind to base leg turn. Suddenly the thing drops the inner wing hard, and spirals in - and I didn't have the excuse that I'd lost sight of it!

So don't feel bad about it - it is (as they say) 'a good learning experience'!!

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Old Jun 07, 2012, 06:46 AM
Bit-Twiddler and Flyer
USA, VA, Chantilly
Joined Apr 2002
1,665 Posts
With the Stratos you need to keep throttle on in the downwind leg of landing to keep airspeed up. Do not reduce throttle until after the final turn into the wind for landing. Yes, throttle management is needed in wind, more wind, more throttle on the downwind and turn to base, turn to final.

One other tip, it is better to land long than try a steep climb out with a missed landing. In a landing go around, keep the airplane straight and level while throttling back up until you build up airspeed, then start climbing. This is especially true if your battery is getting low.

-- ggunners
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Old Jun 07, 2012, 07:04 AM
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LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggunners View Post
With the Stratos you need to keep throttle on in the downwind leg of landing to keep airspeed up. Do not reduce throttle until after the final turn into the wind for landing. Yes, throttle management is needed in wind, more wind, more throttle on the downwind and turn to base, turn to final.

One other tip, it is better to land long than try a steep climb out with a missed landing. In a landing go around, keep the airplane straight and level while throttling back up until you build up airspeed, then start climbing. This is especially true if your battery is getting low.

-- ggunners
Is this so unique to Stratos? Wouldn't this be true of most aircraft? Heck I follow this practice with gliders. Keep the speed up on the downwind because the speed I observe is not the air speed it is the ground speed and ground speed doesn't generate lift.
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Old Jun 07, 2012, 07:20 AM
So I'M meant to be in control?
Colonel Blink's Avatar
Ilkley, West Yorkshire, UK
Joined Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by aeajr View Post
..."ground speed doesn't generate lift".
Excellent quote!! I will use that, if I may......
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Old Jun 07, 2012, 08:36 AM
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United States, TX, Richardson
Joined Oct 2011
298 Posts
Thank you all very much for your educational comments regarding my incident. I was aware of this potential problem and with my other planes I have learned to increase the throttle on the downwind run knowing that the airspeed is not as fast as it appears to be.

But for some naive reason, I thought the Stratos with it's on-board artifical pilot would somehow keep the plane from stalling so I wasn't concerned about the airspeed on the downwind run. But as aeajr suggests, this is true for all planes, not just the Stratos. When you stall you're done flying and even an AI pilot can't get out of it - unless he has anough altitude to speed it up and getting it flying again.

So, as with almost all crashes, I learned another important thing.
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Old Jun 07, 2012, 09:34 AM
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I read in someone's signature:

"the ground is my best teacher, not my favorite"
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Old Jun 07, 2012, 10:05 AM
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United States, CA, Oceanside
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The "Virtual Insructor" works as designed as it has proven itself to me many times. I have gotten a little bit over my head at times and I have just let go of the sticks and it settles into a smooth level flight pattern. I was flying yesterday evening in winds about 8-9 mph and had a heck of a time while turning into the wind. After my final circuit, I pointed it into the wind to land and gave it a bit of down elevator, got her to a good altitude for landing, cut power, and let go the sticks. The Stratos glided in and executed a nice landing with a little up elevator at the end. I know I won't be flying her in wind that high again. I would say my Stratos can handle about twice as much wind as my Champ, and that ain't much. The manual says 5-7 mph. I think between 4-5 is more realistic for a beginner like me. Oh yes, I almost forgot. When executing a turn with the Stratos, I tend to give the plane up elevator without thinking since I do this on my sim and with my Champ. This can sometimes make the Stratos want to stall during a turn if I give it too much so I have to consciously tell my self NOT to do that when flying the Stratos as the "Virtual Instructor" does this for you automtically. Keep that in mind when flying the Stratos and you have been training on a Simulator or with another plane like the Champ. At this point I don't want to turn off the "Virtual Instructor" just yet.
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Old Jun 07, 2012, 10:21 AM
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LI, New York, USA
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Remember that it is the pilot, not the plane that handles the wind. Oh, for sure there are practical limits based on the plane but you will see that, if you think 4-5 today it will be 8-10 at some time in the future. It may not be ideal for the plane but you will be able to handle it.

Also know that there are ways to make planes more air worthy in higher winds. The most common is to add ballast to make it heavier. In the case of most small electrics the easiest way to do that is to add a heavier battery pack which adds weight and usually capcity.

Enjoy your Stratos.
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Old Jun 07, 2012, 10:27 AM
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United States, CA, Oceanside
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aeajr, you are absolutely right that is why I pointed out that I am a beginner and not ready to take on too much wind yet. I have been practicing on my sim with up to 10 mph winds and have been able to fly and land well in those wind speeds. It is a bit trickier in the real world though. Yes, I was thinking about getting a bigger battery pack to add weight. I may try that this weekend.
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