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Old Oct 28, 2012, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by chucksolo69 View Post
Your post cannondale is EXACTLY the opposite of the way mine flies. It is critical that the HZ Firebird Stratos be correctly trimmed before she flies. I flew mine in 15 mph winds today and she flew great. Trim her right the first time and you will be amazed at how she flies. Maybe you just got a lemon. I have way over 100 flights on mine with NO problems whatsoever.
I also would agree with chuck...

I also wonder which hole was used on the rudder clevis - and if the control rod connecter has maybe come a bit loose (similar to Ginohio).

The differential thrust wouldn't be enough to toss the plane into an extreme bank.

Just my thoughts.

... Lennie
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 08:45 AM
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United States, NC, Raleigh
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Originally Posted by cannondale1974 View Post
I'm not sure where all the praise for this plane is coming from. I've been flying for 25 years and helped a guy last Thursday fly his Firebird. It may have been one of the worst flying airplanes in recent memory. I think the differential thrust with the motors coupled to the rudder might be mostly to blame.

When I would give moderate rudder input the plane would bank hard, climb and then spiral downward. You had to give VERY slight rudder input to complete a smooth (level) turn. With the power off and gliding, the rudder was mostly ineffective. It seemed that it would turn left but at no point would it turn right off power. I doubled checked all the controls and everything worked fine. I think the engineers really over thought the electronics in this thing, I was actually nervous trying to land it! I've flown 140 mph airplanes that offered a less stressful experience.

Maybe most of the praise is coming from guys that are new to the hobby and haven't flown anything else but I can promise you there are FAR better trainers on the market.
I'd bet that something is wrong with the model you flew. Even in low rates with power off the Firebird Stratos turns equally well left and right, and practically lands itself. I'm not saying there aren't better trainers on the market, but many beginners have been successful with the Firebird Stratos, so it can't be that hard to fly.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 11:05 AM
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Lexington, KY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucksolo69 View Post
Your post cannondale is EXACTLY the opposite of the way mine flies. It is critical that the HZ Firebird Stratos be correctly trimmed before she flies. I flew mine in 15 mph winds today and she flew great. Trim her right the first time and you will be amazed at how she flies. Maybe you just got a lemon. I have way over 100 flights on mine with NO problems whatsoever.
I would have guessed it was a lemon as well but this is the second fuselage (brand new) the owner has been through. He said the original fuse (complete with electronics flew exactly the same way and as a result crashed it many times. Sent it back to Horizon and they sent a brand new fuse with electronics. (great customer support I might add) I witnessed him flying it with the original fuse and it would pitch up sharply in turns then bank into the ground.

When I flew it it behaved the same way but I was able to save it. Trust me, I've flown "plenty" of planes over the years and it was trimmed correctly, the trim wasn't the issue. It was the fact that it seems to be designed to automatically add elevator input when rudder is given however WAY too much elevator is given resulting in a stall and immediately losing altitude. I watched the rudder on the ground, it moves equally to the left and right but in the air gliding (off power) the thing wouldn't turn right. I have a hard time believing two separate fuselage's complete with electronics were defective.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 11:06 AM
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I bet the elevator was not set-up correctly to the manual instructions. Which means it most likely has way to much elevator compensation built into it. As far as power off gliding, you still get differential trust with the motors. This is easy to see when after you arm the throttle, return to off and then apply left and right rudder. In fact this feature is the only thing that really bugs me from a safety standpoint.

I do admit I think the transmitter feel is not good, especially if you are use to a higher quality transmitter. As a club instructor I've been recommending this plane to new fliers on a budget if they are interested in joining our club to learn to fly. I'm pretty sure I can get a new pilot soloed in as little as 6-8 flights. I know a lot of people are learning on this plane by themselves, but flying at a club field with other planes means we need to make sure the new pilot is not a danger to the other pilots and can learn to land every time on the runway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cannondale1974 View Post
I'm not sure where all the praise for this plane is coming from. I've been flying for 25 years and helped a guy last Thursday fly his Firebird. It may have been one of the worst flying airplanes in recent memory. I think the differential thrust with the motors coupled to the rudder might be mostly to blame.

When I would give moderate rudder input the plane would bank hard, climb and then spiral downward. You had to give VERY slight rudder input to complete a smooth (level) turn. With the power off and gliding, the rudder was mostly ineffective. It seemed that it would turn left but at no point would it turn right off power. I doubled checked all the controls and everything worked fine. I think the engineers really over thought the electronics in this thing, I was actually nervous trying to land it! I've flown 140 mph airplanes that offered a less stressful experience.

Maybe most of the praise is coming from guys that are new to the hobby and haven't flown anything else but I can promise you there are FAR better trainers on the market.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cannondale1974 View Post
I'm not sure where all the praise for this plane is coming from. I've been flying for 25 years and helped a guy last Thursday fly his Firebird. It may have been one of the worst flying airplanes in recent memory. I think the differential thrust with the motors coupled to the rudder might be mostly to blame.

When I would give moderate rudder input the plane would bank hard, climb and then spiral downward. You had to give VERY slight rudder input to complete a smooth (level) turn. With the power off and gliding, the rudder was mostly ineffective. It seemed that it would turn left but at no point would it turn right off power. I doubled checked all the controls and everything worked fine. I think the engineers really over thought the electronics in this thing, I was actually nervous trying to land it! I've flown 140 mph airplanes that offered a less stressful experience.

Maybe most of the praise is coming from guys that are new to the hobby and haven't flown anything else but I can promise you there are FAR better trainers on the market.
I have 20+ years of RC flying experience and my Stratos flies superbly. The thing nearly flies itself. I've taken off at full throttle with no control input and landed the same way. Very tame. It's been a nice relaxing flyer for me and is an excellent trainer for my wife and my 6 y.o. stepson.

This is the 2nd time that I've read about the Stratos not having sufficient rudder control authority without power but I've never experienced it myself, even on one occasion when I reached LVC.

The plane flies so nicely that my flying buddy (5 years RC experience) ordered one and is now flying his as well and also has no problems.

I'm wondering if the owner of the Stratos in your post has correctly set up his plane per the manual, allowing for some up elevator at low throttle and neutral elevator at full throttle. Also, is the transmitter in low rate mode? Did the Virtual Instructor get turned off?

Either way, it definitely doesn't sound like a typical Stratos flight scenario to me. Something's definitely askew.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jrtubb View Post
I bet the elevator was not set-up correctly to the manual instructions. Which means it most likely has way to much elevator compensation built into it. As far as power off gliding, you still get differential trust with the motors. This is easy to see when after you arm the throttle, return to off and then apply left and right rudder. In fact this feature is the only thing that really bugs me from a safety standpoint.
+1 on jr's thesis. Concur, setup trim is probably incorrect.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 12:10 PM
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By the by, I flew my 3rd, 4th and 5th flights this morning (about 1 full batterys worth)... I hand launched at full power and that sucker really wants to CLIMB - I actually had to add in some down elevator to keep her from stalling. I then tried adjusting trim with a couple of down elevator clicks. Thing flew very well - nearly zero wind, perfect weather.

My friend took video, will post as soon as I get it...

Oh... and (fingers crossed) I had no crashes.. lol

... Lennie
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 12:16 PM
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I'm not sure how the owner set up his Firebird. It could have been on high rates and I'm also unsure if the virtual assistant was turned on. (does it fly better turned off?) I trimmed it for level flight hands off at half throttle and it would fly well in that orientation. However, again, any significant rudder input was almost catastrophic if you weren't ready for it. Gliding off power, I had trouble getting the plane back to us as it would only go left. I thought at one point I had lost signal it was so unresponsive.

It is possible there is something wrong with the transmitter or motors as those have stayed consistent. Yes, the transmitter gimbals have a really cheap feel to them but that wasn't the issue. Also, I noticed the differential thrust working in both directions with the throttle off when I would give left/right rudder. I'm at a loss, sounds like most love this plane but this particular example was awful.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cannondale1974 View Post
I'm not sure how the owner set up his Firebird. It could have been on high rates and I'm also unsure if the virtual assistant was turned on. (does it fly better turned off?) I trimmed it for level flight hands off at half throttle and it would fly well in that orientation. However, again, any significant rudder input was almost catastrophic if you weren't ready for it. Gliding off power, I had trouble getting the plane back to us as it would only go left. I thought at one point I had lost signal it was so unresponsive.

It is possible there is something wrong with the transmitter or motors as those have stayed consistent. Yes, the transmitter gimbals have a really cheap feel to them but that wasn't the issue. Also, I noticed the differential thrust working in both directions with the throttle off when I would give left/right rudder. I'm at a loss, sounds like most love this plane but this particular example was awful.
I would definately check the rudder linkage for slipping. mine appeared normal in presetup trim, but would crash as yours did, I found my linkage slipping at the joint which if you read through this thread you will see many others with the same problem. get her trimmed correctly and add a dab of CA glue at the joint. for both rudder and elevator. This corrected my problem hopefully this will work for you also.

Greg
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 02:26 PM
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Hello. I did my first flight with my stratos firebird and I am a noobie to rc planes. Well, I should picked another day to fly it when the wind was right but I wanted to fly my new plane and did not wait. Well, the wind was probably around 12 or more miles per hour and when I took off I threw the plane into the wind and it just shot up quickly and went to the left and I gave a lot of right rudder and that didn't work and the wind just pushed it behind me. No matter what I did I could not get control of it and it nosed dived. So, I did get to repair it today with some hot glue. It cracked the top part of the plane open right above the nose and the plastic tab that keeps the battery door in place broke off and it is all good now. I learned my lesson. Wait until there is no wind at all with this plane. I was dissappointed that I could not save it from doing this but hopefully next flight will be a good one with no crashes and absolutely no wind.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 02:35 PM
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You're right on there, chaddlee - best with wind from zero to about 4, 5 mph.

But stick with it...

Congrats on choosing the Stratos... it's a good plane.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 02:59 PM
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See "Control Surfaces Centering" pg 10 http://www.hobbyzonerc.com/ProdInfo/...-Manual_EN.pdf

It isn't intuitive from a normal RC plane and experience. You have to trim the elevator level by adjusting the elevator clevis with the throttle at max (discount the wing and motors).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cannondale1974 View Post
I'm not sure how the owner set up his Firebird. It could have been on high rates and I'm also unsure if the virtual assistant was turned on. (does it fly better turned off?) I trimmed it for level flight hands off at half throttle and it would fly well in that orientation. However, again, any significant rudder input was almost catastrophic if you weren't ready for it. Gliding off power, I had trouble getting the plane back to us as it would only go left. I thought at one point I had lost signal it was so unresponsive.

It is possible there is something wrong with the transmitter or motors as those have stayed consistent. Yes, the transmitter gimbals have a really cheap feel to them but that wasn't the issue. Also, I noticed the differential thrust working in both directions with the throttle off when I would give left/right rudder. I'm at a loss, sounds like most love this plane but this particular example was awful.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 06:03 PM
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I went back and made sure my elevator and rudder wings are set up right again and made sure everything is good. If there were no wind at all would the stratos have flown really good? I have been training on the phoenix simulator and been practicing on the high wing trainer and been doing good with landing and orientation. I just want to do this for real and not by simulator. Thanks for everyone's help and the stratos was easy to fix. We just shot some of the hot glue in the cracks where it had split and pushed the sides together and left pressure on it for awhile.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 06:08 PM
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I think the only suggestion I can offer, chaddlee, regarding your hot glue is - use sparingly, I would think it will add weight and will, over time and use, affect your CG.

... Lennie
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 06:49 PM
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Zero wind is best for someone trying to learn on there own. As far as throwing by hand, push throttle stick up to max and throw with your left hand so you can be ready with controls on the right stick. Try too get some altitude before making any big turns. You can trim it out after you are a couple of mistakes high.

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Originally Posted by chaddlee1978 View Post
I went back and made sure my elevator and rudder wings are set up right again and made sure everything is good. If there were no wind at all would the stratos have flown really good? I have been training on the phoenix simulator and been practicing on the high wing trainer and been doing good with landing and orientation. I just want to do this for real and not by simulator. Thanks for everyone's help and the stratos was easy to fix. We just shot some of the hot glue in the cracks where it had split and pushed the sides together and left pressure on it for awhile.
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