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Old May 10, 2012, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Larry Jolly View Post
Dave,
New is good, but the Perfect is still a very good airplane. The Pike ET is about 4% better than the original Pike. Philip is having quite a run with his designs. I am thinking the Prestige is really not much better than an ET on paper but certainly does have advantages in handling. New does not mean better..I mean the Vulture and Egida are new !!!!!! And you won't see many of those in South Africa. I watched Alp Tashkent in very windy conditions outlaunch and wallop several X2 pilots in Bulgaria. One thing to remember when practicing in high winds at 3 kilos is come back to the circle with plenty of safe altitude to get the landing...and be careful the ground is still just as hard and punishing if you mess up your landing. I would never underestimate, a guy flying a Supra, Perfect, or Stork....you might get your a$$ handed to you..........
LJ I anticipate getting my ass handed to me this is a given! The current crop of WC pilots are showing some skill sets that are years away for me. But you cant get better sitting at home. So I will go and do what I can and improve where I can.

I am hoping that all my preperations for the windy conditions are in vain and we wont see that much wind but...ill be ready just in case. I anticipate that due to my lack of experience in high winds I will be basically surviving the rounds instead of considering how to edge into the fly offs - It would not matter what plane I fly in this regard. High Winds sepperate the men from the boys in a contest.

Thanks for the help-
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Old May 10, 2012, 01:32 PM
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Wind practice is never in vain..... Practice gives you the chance to learn without damaging the Team Score.... You need to fly enough in wind that you know how much to put in. The more you practice the less ballast you will need. The most practiced pilot will want a high enough wing loading to hold postition and use elevator and or reflex to move. Practice gives you the experience to know how far is safe, and how far is pushing it. You don't want your competitors glancing at your model and saying to the timer..that guy isn't coming home..........
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Old May 10, 2012, 04:28 PM
JimN8UAY
United States, OH, Medina
Joined Oct 2004
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Originally Posted by Kiesling View Post
Not to mention even older designs such as the Sharon, Stratos, Tragi 701, or Escape. In the right hands, all these models are capable of winning. . .

Tom
Gee, Tom, great to know that the Muller Escape I just picked up has the capabilities to do well! I just hope I can figure it out and get in enough practice! The finish on this ship sure is nice, too. Sorry to hijack this thread a moment but will ballast help this one or should I just learn to fly it at the 79oz it came in at? Back to the Xplorer thread....i'll search the archives, thanks!

Jim
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Old May 11, 2012, 08:46 AM
In F3J size does matter!
roydor's Avatar
Israel
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Dave,
The Perfect first came out a couple of months before the 2006 WC.
The airfoils of the Perfect, as well as most other airfoils today, where designed using the tools developed by Dr. Drela (Xfoil) so most airfoils and planforms are VERY similar (no wonder considering the same code is used to rate their performance).
The main differences between models are due to performance tradeoffs, building limitations and handling tradeoffs.
For example, if a manufacturer assumes the building weight will be higher (Perfect Vs. Supra for example) he will choose airfoils with a higher max Cl (exactly what you see in the Perfect and Supra design).

As for weights of the models, most manufacturers won't build super light models because they assume the modelers will end up using them in heavy winds and blow them up, giving a bad rep to their models.
For a time, Nan models refused building models lighter then 1.8 kg to all but the top competitors in Europe (who they could trust to have the sense to fly stronger models when needed).
With the advances in materials and techniques (and pilots willing to get little to no paint and an occasional pin hole in the finish), weights went down lower and lower but with strength remaining reasonable (at a cost to durability perhaps?)

It's a beautiful thing to have advances in materials and construction techniques pushing the boundaries and design of the models but as the 1.7 kg Supra wasn't Superior to the 2.2 kg Perfect in the 2006 WC (I know as I flew a 2.2 kg Perfect into the flyoff then), so the Xplorer II won't be superior to the other models available today, old or new, as they have a similar design in their very base (Xfoil)

I suspect that a true leap forward in aerodynamics will only be possible with a leap forward in technology (a better Xfoil for low Reynolds). Until then, all we can expect is an a slightly better tradeoff between performance and handling.

Keep practicing and good luck in the WC this year!
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Old May 11, 2012, 01:06 PM
Marc PUJOL
Joined Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by roydor View Post
Dave,
The Perfect first came out a couple of months before the 2006 WC.
The airfoils of the Perfect, as well as most other airfoils today, where designed using the tools developed by Dr. Drela (Xfoil) so most airfoils and planforms are VERY similar (no wonder considering the same code is used to rate their performance).
The main differences between models are due to performance tradeoffs, building limitations and handling tradeoffs.
For example, if a manufacturer assumes the building weight will be higher (Perfect Vs. Supra for example) he will choose airfoils with a higher max Cl (exactly what you see in the Perfect and Supra design).

As for weights of the models, most manufacturers won't build super light models because they assume the modelers will end up using them in heavy winds and blow them up, giving a bad rep to their models.
For a time, Nan models refused building models lighter then 1.8 kg to all but the top competitors in Europe (who they could trust to have the sense to fly stronger models when needed).
With the advances in materials and techniques (and pilots willing to get little to no paint and an occasional pin hole in the finish), weights went down lower and lower but with strength remaining reasonable (at a cost to durability perhaps?)

It's a beautiful thing to have advances in materials and construction techniques pushing the boundaries and design of the models but as the 1.7 kg Supra wasn't Superior to the 2.2 kg Perfect in the 2006 WC (I know as I flew a 2.2 kg Perfect into the flyoff then), so the Xplorer II won't be superior to the other models available today, old or new, as they have a similar design in their very base (Xfoil)

I suspect that a true leap forward in aerodynamics will only be possible with a leap forward in technology (a better Xfoil for low Reynolds). Until then, all we can expect is an a slightly better tradeoff between performance and handling.

Keep practicing and good luck in the WC this year!
Full y in agreement. One of the improvemnt se CAN expect is about dynamic behaviour And specialy in yawing. This Will conduct into longer fuselage...
Thé consequence is an easier flying control.

Marc

Marc
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Old May 11, 2012, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by roydor View Post
With the advances in materials and techniques (and pilots willing to get little to no paint and an occasional pin hole in the finish), weights went down lower and lower but with strength remaining reasonable (at a cost to durability perhaps?)
Good post. What about lighter model "survivability" when fully ballasted? Assuming periodic hard competition landings and the fact that these lighter planes will have to be flown with more ballast and more often, am I the only one who sees this as a guarantee that at least the fuselages will have much shorter lifetimes?

Or are the super-light layups holding up as well as the prior generation? Maybe it's too soon to ask for the X2...

Chris B.
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Old May 11, 2012, 05:33 PM
In F3J size does matter!
roydor's Avatar
Israel
Joined Nov 2006
853 Posts
As with all new models, the first batches are where the problems are best shown although it seems this model has been flying for awhile by Nan team pilots in order to get it "broken in" and since it's very similar to the X1 I assume many of the problems are well known and have been worked out. I'd say it's probably a safe bet as long as you don't push it where it was never designed to be pushed (as with any other model)

As for ballast survivability, I believe that during landing, the ballast mostly loads the nose area and that can be stiffened to a more then reasonable amount with simple low weight methods by the manufacturer (and probably being done already) so I'd assume that it won't be too fragile.
Having said that, I still believe in having at least one model with a "regular layup" as the work horse during training and good weather flying. It would probably be 200-300 grams heavier than the super light version and have a slightly reinforced spar, wing (especially the LE) and nose area in order to take some abuse.

Also, training with a slightly heavier model for most of my training sessions made a better pilot out of me in F3K, the super light models are sometimes to easy to fly (when the conditions don't require ballast)
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Old May 11, 2012, 07:01 PM
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webbsolution's Avatar
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CG at 121 now

Conditions were calm with pronuonced thermals at the field. Easy flying. You really could not miss today. IF there was any wind it was a thernal indication only !

So I took the opportunity to play with my CG - I placd some lead on the fuse and moved it back until the plane was almost rock solid in the dive and used that for a CG setting - I liked it very much! I had no idea where I was but the cg scale indicates 120-121 which required that I remove only the 14 grams I used to attain 115! So no digging of the fuse lead required.

This is good but also bad...I wont be able to use the ENloope packs I love in the SL's version I have coming....so ill have to consider a lighter pack.
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Old May 12, 2012, 04:43 AM
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Jyvaskyla, Finland
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Originally Posted by SoaringDude View Post
Good post. What about lighter model "survivability" when fully ballasted? Assuming periodic hard competition landings and the fact that these lighter planes will have to be flown with more ballast and more often, am I the only one who sees this as a guarantee that at least the fuselages will have much shorter lifetimes?

Or are the super-light layups holding up as well as the prior generation? Maybe it's too soon to ask for the X2...
Roy wrote a nice post as an answer to your question.

In recent years NAN has done really good work with their structures. My experience with 2011 light st 3.8m Xlorer (same structure as current std lamination to Xp2?) is that it is not a heavy weather plane, but if necessary, can be flown up to 8-10m/s winds. Wing seems to bend mostly from joiners which are surprisingly soft. Directional stability in line is ok even under high pressure, no flutter, indicating that torsionally the wing is quite stiff. Also the v-tail seems to ok despite its very light weight, solid elevator response all through the launch.

Obviously NAN uses UHM carbon for the spars - wing does not bend much, it just breaks. I do not know what happens if I give my light Xplorer an extreme direct tow with thick line and wind blowing at FAI limit 12m/s. It may survive... ....or then not. I do not want try.... One never knows as the very windy conditions are clearly outside of the safety zone of the structure. If the plane hits a wing gust or thermal while still in line, pressure can build up very quickly. In recent windy Dupnitsa eurotour some planes (but not so many) were destroyed.

My favorite plane for windy weather is double carbon c68 Aspire. In addition to the stronger double carbon skin it has stronger spars, sub spars and joiners, stronger fuselage (cabin area and tail boom) for landings with ballast, bigger servos, thin glass on top of carbon for smooth finish and slightly beefed up elevator. Ready to fly weight is 2.4kg. Wing loading is not much higher than typical Pike Superior 10 years ago (??), but still I do not enjoy flying this heavy plane in light conditions. But in medium to strong winds it is a very relaxing experience. With max AUW of about 3200g I never run out ballast. Wing does not crunch when handling the plane in high winds, launch is rock stable and zoom higher than normal model ballasted to same weight (measured more than 25 meter difference in 8m/s wind, in 12m/s wind it zooms like an F3B plane). The general appearance of the plane is robust robust robust...

According to 2012 standards, C68 structures are little old-fashioned. What I am now thinking is something like spread tow 80 double carbon as an ideal structure for windy weather plane (take a look at best structures in F3B and ask your plane manufacturer). This kind of plane would be even stronger than my 68 double carbon, yet the weight for 3.8 meter version could be at 2.2kg (??), making it much more attractive as an allround plane. With the more slippery airfoil of Xplorer 2 it could match the double carbon Aspire as the king of heavy winds. One just needs a tungsten ballast set.

I talk about this because I think plane plays an important part of contest success in heavy winds. FAI limit is 12m/s but I contest directors generally overlook the wind unless it gets really really strong. Basically, one has to be prepared for all possible conditions. When flying double carbon plane in strong winds in a contest my rate of 1000s is maybe 50:50, better than with any other plane (and I am not that good pilot). With it I can out launch the opponent, follow thermals downwind and make decently landing. Basically a normal contest flight while the others are more or less struggling (or even damage their planes).

So what to buy when you already have 2-3 decent F3J planes for light and normal conditions? Maybe it is something stiffer?? Economy choise is C80 or C93 center section with C68 tips. This kind of plane would also make a very good tool for everyday fun flying and practice. Or if you are prepared to pay some extra, ask for the lightest possible double carbon. Read Larry's report from Dupnitsa, it is a good one.
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Old May 12, 2012, 11:32 AM
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You both make good points and I have to admit that flying a heavier model is a lot like using a short bungee - it forces you to fly smooth - get to the lift fast and its nice to launch with impunity and just push the nose for the 100 knowing the model is as strong as it can be.

Dropping to the lite model in a contest then seems like dropping a heavy backpack after a long hike in the mountains (assuming you are familiar with the weight)

I remember switching between two Stratos airframes I had, one lite and one medium to heavy and it was quite a bit easier and I did more with the lite plane when I practised with the heavy model.

I just dont anticipate Nan could work in a special layup for me with the volume they are likely seeing already.
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Old May 13, 2012, 01:26 AM
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Roydor, I guess we'll see over time how well the X2 fuses hold up. The point you made about training with a heavier reinforced model is pure gold.

Tuomo, thanks for sharing so many details, very helpful. Your approach of a separate reinforced plane for windy days makes the most sense to me. Loading a super-light with tons of ballast seems more like a grand stress test every time you fly in high winds. I'll check out Larry's Dupnitsa report and I appreciate the plane suggestions.

Chris B.
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Old May 13, 2012, 03:43 AM
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webbsolution's Avatar
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Originally Posted by SoaringDude View Post
Roydor, I guess we'll see over time how well the X2 fuses hold up. The point you made about training with a heavier reinforced model is pure gold.

Tuomo, thanks for sharing so many details, very helpful. Your approach of a separate reinforced plane for windy days makes the most sense to me. Loading a super-light with tons of ballast seems more like a grand stress test every time you fly in high winds. I'll check out Larry's Dupnitsa report and I appreciate the plane suggestions.

Chris B.
The X2 has two fuse options. The standrd X2 has the exact same fuse as the x1 - which has been proven for years -

the SL's have a spread tow and foam solution. I dont anticipate ballasting that fuse unless I have broken everything else.
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Old May 13, 2012, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by webbsolution View Post
The X2 has two fuse options.
Wasn't aware of those options, that makes really good sense! Thanks for the heads up.
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Old May 13, 2012, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by webbsolution View Post
The X2 has two fuse options. The standrd X2 has the exact same fuse as the x1 - which has been proven for years -

the SL's have a spread tow and foam solution. I dont anticipate ballasting that fuse unless I have broken everything else.
This is true, most pilots have several planes. Why buy and SL and then throw in a bunch of ballast? I think to further save weight they should not even have ballast provisions in it. If the wind picks up, grab the heavier plane and ballast if need be.
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Old May 13, 2012, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ak79 View Post
This is true, most pilots have several planes. Why buy and SL and then throw in a bunch of ballast? I think to further save weight they should not even have ballast provisions in it. If the wind picks up, grab the heavier plane and ballast if need be.
The unfortunate reality, one I hope to avoid in Sout Africa is that things get broken - collisions - travel damage etc. You have to be ready to fly in all conditions with any possible model.

While not ideal to say the least the small ballast ring of the X is not a considerate weight issue.

Not having any provision to ballast and having ONLY that model left could be far worse. So from a J perspective I am all for haivng the option of ballasting. No its not ideal but it could come down to your last plane and then the wind picks up... you might be really happy that little ring is there!
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