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Old Nov 10, 2012, 04:16 PM
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An old newbie... a new oldster...

Hi,

I'm Dan. When I was a kid (LBJ was president) my dad had an RC plane. It was soooo expensive I seldom got to fly it. Mostly I flew control line planes. I always wanted an RC plane, but back then it would have cost a whole summer bean picking money. Too much.

I "grew up", got a job, got married, all that stuff. Then a few months ago I was digging through my closets and I found a Gentle Lady kit... I forget when I bought it - it had been sitting there for years. I decided it was time.

So, I scoured the internet to find blogs and forums about Gentle Ladies. This forum has helped a LOT. I've been cutting and sanding and gluing for a couple of months. During that time I've become attached to my plane - acetone helped.

Meanwhile, the bug had bitten me. I didn't want to wait the month or so until I finished my Gentle Lady. SO, I bought a Hawk Sky. It arrived yesterday. I charged the battery, built it up, and waited for this morning.

This blog will be about my ... learning curve.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 04:29 PM
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Flight 1

Okay, it's MORNING. Time to get the Hawk Sky into the sky. I carry everything out to our hayfield and set up a table. I turn on the transmitter, I plug in the receiver. I get...

BEEP *wait* BEEP *wait* BEEP - None of the controls work. Do I have to bind it? I try this, I try that. Nothing.

Checking this forum, I find that the Dynam transmitters need to bind to the receiver within 12 seconds, while the lights are flashing. Well, those furshlurgener red connectors on the battery are NOT conducive to such rapidity... so, a little work with an Xacto, and now they are redesigned, tapered, and slide nicely. BUT, it still protects the contacts. I can connect in 4 seconds. YAY.

Back to the field. I get the plane in hand, run up the motor, and give it a toss into the wind.

Wind? Your experienced ears perk up? Did you say WIND? Well, ya... okay, it was windy... but I was eager. Besides, I had been practicing a lot with Clearview simulator, even the 10 mph winds. I figured that the wind wasn't more than 8 mph, gusting to 12... You know... EAGER but dumb...

So, I toss it into the wind. I find it is nose heavy, so I quick give it up elevator and it goes UP. I give it a little aileron and elevator and it turns. HOLY POOP! It WORKS.

Then I notice it's over my head... and heading downwind. Okay, I've practiced this. Turn it upwind and give it the go juice... I manage to get a few meters upwind. Then I turn, and it's going downwind again... okay, lets just turn it and land upwind. Enough to say "Maiden Flight". I turn it, and the wind grabs the wing. I recover, turn it... grab, grab, grab... and made a nice three point landing.

In a tree.

Forty feet up.

Fortunately, I am a volunteer firefighter... 35' extension ladders... NO PROBLEM. So, an hour later the plane is out of the tree...

Test the control surfaces... They seem to work. Test the motor. It doesn't work. I look inside and everything is up in the nose... including the ESC, which has three wires and connectors hooked to NOTHING. Oh dear.

However, nothing badly damaged, just some repair. So... Okay... I'm okay with this.

I decide to take it inside, repair it, reconnect everything, and try later, when it's calm.

Stay tuned...
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 04:39 PM
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Flight 2 - Black doesn't always connect to Black

So, I have the Hawk Sky in the house... I manage to fish the wires back into place. That's a story in and of itself...

I connect the red wire to the red wire, and then there are two blacks... I figure that if it made a difference they would have made them red, black and some other color. So, I hook black to black, and the other black to the other black. Reassemble everything, and go back to the hayfield. It's several hours later, and the air is calm... half the time. It does gust up to maybe 6 mph, but ... yanno... eager and dumb.

So, I test the flight surfaces, they all work. The motor spins. I'm good to go !!!

I get in the launch position, run up the throttle, and give it a toss. It almost climbs back into my face !!!! Instead, it crunches at my feet. Total time, 5 seconds, total distance 5 feet. Not impressive.

You experienced people will immediately know what happened. The motor was going BACKWARDS. Well GOSH... I just learned something. So, back to the table, and spend some time reversing the black wires. NOW it works okay. Test control surfaces, looks good. Lets GO.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 04:46 PM
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Flight 3 - Its getting BETTER.

Okay... Flight three. I have the wires hooked up right, the air is calm but gusty... lets do it again !!!!

Test the flight controls... all good. I test the motor - its even going the right way !! WHOOOOO BOY, lets FLY.

I launch and it's doing great... up, turns, up, turn... and then about 50 feet up the plane decides to go WEST. Even when pointed north or south. Oh... seems like we have a little wind sheer going on. No problem, I point it into the wind and get good airspeed... however, the groundspeed is still westerly. Okay, we can handle this. Lets turn and land. No 50' high maple trees to eat the plane most of the way up. This is near my drive way, which only had 20' high dwarf apple trees. Surely I can get over those...

Hmmm... lesson about wind sheer... plane flies really different when you go from sheer to calm... and look, there is an apple tree ready to give my plane a home.

Fortunately, I still have the ladder truck and so it's not too long to get it out of this tree. Check, and all the controls seem to work, except the ESC has headed to the nose again. I'm going to have to get some 1/4-20 bolts and bolt that sucker to the floor !!!

Still, almost 2 minutes... I'm getting BETTER. Today the trees, tomorrow the world !!!
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 04:52 PM
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Fourth and last flight of the day

Okay, I didn't break anything permanently ...

So, I have just pulled it from the second tree... tested the control surfaces twice, check the motor, everything seems good. Maybe I'll even manage to land on the ground rather than the trees. That would be so kewl...

So, I launch... and it starts to fly. YAY. I pull back on the stick... and the plane continues to fly. I try the stick again... it's still flying level... I try waggling the wings - they waggle.. There is a hay bale ahead and it's just about at the flight height... I try rudder... I try rudder and aileron... I try... oh ... I've run out of time...

Total time ... 12 seconds... total distance... 100 feet. Final disposition ... upside down.

I run a check on all of the control surfaces. Ailerons, rudder, throttle ALL WORK. But the elevator doesn't. Oh, the little nut that holds the little brass coupler to the horn is gone. It's all just sort of flopping around loose. No elevator. Oh dear...

So, that was my first day flying. I have to run into town to see if Lowes has the m1 nut (or whatever) to fix my bird.

I hope my stories have amused some of you. Any comments welcome, although I already know I'm green, incautious, and probably look pretty dumb. You don't have to rub it in.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 05:00 PM
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Dan, you stick with it
I'm about to assist a newb tomorrow and hope to keep him away from trees (I have no big ladders). Amusing, but I can detect progress, so it's all good
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 05:46 PM
Hot glue held together by foam
United States, WA, Vancouver
Joined Aug 2010
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You seem to have a good attitude and sense of humor - certainly helps when learning to fly RC !

Is there any place nearby that has a large open area with no trees ? Might be worth it to go there for your future flights .

By the way , the Gentle Lady is the first RC plane I have flown - LOVE that plane !

If you don't mind building a plane , here is a good practice plane that's SUPER EASY to make ( and inexpensive - Dollar Tree foam board ) and flies very well . You could say it's kind of a disposable trainer airframe ( $ 2 ) that protects your electronics if you do crash . Easy to fix or replace .

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1685988

Step by step instructions http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1702077


Al
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 05:55 PM
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Welcome to the board, Dan!

You are doing just fine, keep it up!
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 10:25 PM
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United States, OH, Amesville
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balsa or carbon View Post

Is there any place nearby that has a large open area with no trees ? Might be worth it to go there for your future flights .

By the way , the Gentle Lady is the first RC plane I have flown - LOVE that plane !

If you don't mind building a plane...

Al
Well, I live on the edges of Appalachia. It's all hilly around here, and there isn't a lot of bottom land. That means there are a lot of small fields with trees around them. Here is a Google Earth of my lower hay field. I've marked a few of the hazards. The "top of the slope" is about 20' above the creek, so there is a nice launching site if the wind ever comes from the N. The field is about 1100 feet long, and 380 feet wide. HOWEVER, that yellow line across the middle is a 14 KV power line. ANNOYING.

HOWEVER, if I go to the top of the ridges we do have wicked fun looking slopes, because of the 1930's strip mining. There has been just enough time to cover it with a thin layer of "soil" and so it's grassed, but not enough for trees. That's actually what prompted me to buy the Gentle Lady years ago. Here is a snip from Google Earth of the ridge right near my house (1 mile). The yellow line is the ridge road. From the bottom right, the "steep slope" is almost 60' drop of well manicured hayfield. The first strip mine in the middle has an almost 120' drop to the house in the middle of the circle. The older strip mine above the ridge road is long and deep, but it has trees. The one on the upper left is about 80' drop. There are dozens of sites like this all over the county, so I'm looking forward to doing slope flying.

I don't mind building a plane. NOPE, not at all. I'll get that package of electronics and start on the delta plane as soon as it the package arrives. I've been trying to figure out what servos, etc., for the GL, and so this will give me a good chance to have some hands on experimentation with "loose" parts.

Thanks for your advice and kind words. Thanks to everybody, even though I've just commented on one responder. Soon I'll post some GL build pics... My wife is tired of seeing them.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 02:36 AM
Hot glue held together by foam
United States, WA, Vancouver
Joined Aug 2010
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SUPER EASY flying among trees

Paul "FlyingW" here on RC Groups made a SUPER EASY and posted these videos of it flying amongst the trees in his back yard .

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...4#post22943192

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...3#post22996533
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 12:39 AM
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Flight logs, Flight 5 and 6

Okay, first of all, I've gone out and bought the foam board, tape, and adhesive. I've ordered the parts, so hopefully next weekend I'll be flying a SUPER EASY. That will be good, because I'm going to need to fly SOMETHING...

My poor Hawk Sky deserves a medal... after it gets out of the hospital. It had a Very Bad Day Indeed.

I practiced more with the flight sim, and felt good to go. The morning was pretty calm, with occasional small gusts.

I took your advice and traveled a few miles to a friends 60 acre hay field... PLENTY of room. It's right on the edge of the local village, so I quickly attracted a small group of pre-teens, all asking questions and eager to see it fly. PRESSURE IS ON.

Flight #5. Tested the control surfaces. Everything worked, so, throttle up, toss it like a foot ball... it starts to nose down so I give it a little up elevator... it starts to roll left so I gently nudge the stick to the right... trying not to overcorrect. Nothing... I push more... NOTHING. It's getting sideways !!! I ... watch it hit the ground and do a nice cartwheel... Total time - 5 seconds, total distance - 75 feet or so...

The peanut gallery loved it... applause, cheers...

Flight #6. Put the plane back together... checked the COG, still in limits. Tested the control surfaces... good, good... GOOD TO GO. SO, back we go. Lets say this was an exact repeat of the previous flight... Nose down, up elevator, starts to roll left, give it a little aileron... NOTHING. more aileron.. MORE NOTHING... and SPLOT... The plane does an explosive disassembly over a rather large area.

The crowd of youngers went WILD. YAAAAAY... except one little girl who just won my heart. She said "How sad..." We shared a moment... and then I went to collect the various parts of the plane.

This time the plane is worse for wear... the motor pylon has torn out of the foam and the prop is broken...

I checked one thing... the controls still work... AND the ailerons are not reversed. I just don't understand. I can fly the thing perfectly in the sim... and I've actually managed to get up into the air and make turns and level flight and land in trees... so, I don't think I was using the stick wrong... I'm confused. The wind is out of my sails. I'm discouraged. I think I'll go home and kick a bottle of whisky and drink my dog... or sumtin...

Okay... well, I have a plan forward. First, more time on the sim... I'm going to adjust the parameters to try and bring it more into line with my experience. The sim Hawk Sky can go straight up under power... my real life Hawk Sky can't do that. Second, make a SUPER EASY and get a little air time on that. Then return to abusing my poor Hawk Sky.

I think I'm going to put some nose art on it... call it "Purple Heart"
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 02:46 AM
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You keep at it Dan ...

You'll get there .........

Nigel
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 12:02 PM
Hot glue held together by foam
United States, WA, Vancouver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan_D View Post
Okay, first of all, I've gone out and bought the foam board, tape, and adhesive. I've ordered the parts, so hopefully next weekend I'll be flying a SUPER EASY. That will be good, because I'm going to need to fly SOMETHING...

My poor Hawk Sky deserves a medal... after it gets out of the hospital. It had a Very Bad Day Indeed.

I practiced more with the flight sim, and felt good to go. The morning was pretty calm, with occasional small gusts.

I took your advice and traveled a few miles to a friends 60 acre hay field... PLENTY of room. It's right on the edge of the local village, so I quickly attracted a small group of pre-teens, all asking questions and eager to see it fly. PRESSURE IS ON.

Flight #5. Tested the control surfaces. Everything worked, so, throttle up, toss it like a foot ball... it starts to nose down so I give it a little up elevator... it starts to roll left so I gently nudge the stick to the right... trying not to overcorrect. Nothing... I push more... NOTHING. It's getting sideways !!! I ... watch it hit the ground and do a nice cartwheel... Total time - 5 seconds, total distance - 75 feet or so...

The peanut gallery loved it... applause, cheers...

Flight #6. Put the plane back together... checked the COG, still in limits. Tested the control surfaces... good, good... GOOD TO GO. SO, back we go. Lets say this was an exact repeat of the previous flight... Nose down, up elevator, starts to roll left, give it a little aileron... NOTHING. more aileron.. MORE NOTHING... and SPLOT... The plane does an explosive disassembly over a rather large area.

The crowd of youngers went WILD. YAAAAAY... except one little girl who just won my heart. She said "How sad..." We shared a moment... and then I went to collect the various parts of the plane.

This time the plane is worse for wear... the motor pylon has torn out of the foam and the prop is broken...

I checked one thing... the controls still work... AND the ailerons are not reversed. I just don't understand. I can fly the thing perfectly in the sim... and I've actually managed to get up into the air and make turns and level flight and land in trees... so, I don't think I was using the stick wrong... I'm confused. The wind is out of my sails. I'm discouraged. I think I'll go home and kick a bottle of whisky and drink my dog... or sumtin...

Okay... well, I have a plan forward. First, more time on the sim... I'm going to adjust the parameters to try and bring it more into line with my experience. The sim Hawk Sky can go straight up under power... my real life Hawk Sky can't do that. Second, make a SUPER EASY and get a little air time on that. Then return to abusing my poor Hawk Sky.

I think I'm going to put some nose art on it... call it "Purple Heart"
Sorry to hear about your Hawk Sky experience - but fly or crash it's always a crowd pleaser either way !

If you have any questions during your SUPER EASY build , let me know I'll be glad to help !

Here's a video of an SE built by a total beginner . It shows his first flight where he over steers quite a bit and crashes . He straightened out the nose and took it up again with less over steering and had some nice flights ( almost hit his wife/camera operator at the end though! ) .

Plane Take Two (1 min 6 sec)


Al
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 12:26 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about your Hawk Sky, Dan. Fact of the matter is, I just wrecked my AXN Floater Jet last week and held the funeral for it Friday, where I ripped out all of the electronics and dumped the remains in my trash can. But in my case, I had the ill-flying turd of an airplane doing about as well as I could and had it flying a couple of complete circuits around the flying field, and then while I was on landing approach, it hit a pipe sticking out of a shed because I didn't see it as it disappeared behind the van I was standing next to.
Oops.

But anyway, that aside, first let's address your aileron problem. Many planes now are coming out of China. I have had Chinese servos lock up at full deflection before. Like it'll wait until you touch the controls and then zip, locks up a servo. This could have happened.
What also could have happened was that one servo was badly out of adjustment. And another possibility is that in your previous impacts, the Y-connector harness could have come unconnected. It'll be hard to tell unless you do a little forensic research.
But I don't consider the left roll problem with your last flight to be because of your flying skills. That's not it at all. Something else was wrong...with the plane, not you.
Of course, always always bench test everything before launching. Better to find out on the ground rather than when it's heading down.

I thought of something else that might have caused it. Maybe your aileron control on your transmitter got reversed, so that when you tried to go right aileron, it deflected left, and when you went full right, it went full left. Again, a ground check would have revealed that.

About the problem you had securing stuff inside your compartment, here's a tip. Get some of that self-adhesive backed velcro and velcro the stuff in place. Then it won't move around on you.

The Hawk Sky is a good flying plane though. My friend got one at the same time I got the AXN Floater Jet. I wouldn't recommend the AXN Floater Jet, but another Hawk Sky might be okay. What would be better, albiet more expensive because it's German, is the Multiplex Easystar II...the one with ailerons. That is a pretty sweet flying airplane. Of course, I would go ahead and soup up the motor with a much more powerful brushless outrunner, because in my experience, that Speed 400 brushed motor was barely adequate for the job. But try it yourself and see what you think.
Even though I'm all "learned" now, I STILL like to fly my original EZ Star, now with ailerons and bigger motor, because it does fly so sweet.

I have a Gentle Lady that I built from a kit too, at least 20 years ago, possibly longer. I still have it hanging up in my office. That plane is one sweet flyer. My only criticism of it is probably that it doesn't have ailerons. But that's easy enough to correct on your plane while you're building it. I'd recommend for you, getting a good power pod to go on top of the wing. Eventually, when you're more skilled, try a high start.

And I'd definitely recommend hooking up with another pilot and have him help you.

Please do not get discouraged. You'll get it. I think you should stick to foamies until you get your "pilot's wings". And then in the meantime, build your Gentle Lady (maybe consider adding ailerons).

I am including two pics for you.
First is my Gentle Lady, now retired due to a cracked main wing spar...



And here is a close-up of the ailerons I custom built on my very similar Sophisticated Lady:



And how it looks skinned:

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Old Nov 12, 2012, 12:33 PM
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By the way, if you do decide to add ailerons to your Gentle Lady, then do not add the recommended polyhedral. Just stick with the dihedral at the center of the wing and keep it straight on the outer wing panels. The reason for that is to keep it less sensitive to crosswinds. The polyhedral on the wingtip would tend to make it want to turn downwind during crosswind flying. (Even though having ailerons does still help in a polyhedral situation).

And no, in case you're wondering, the Sophisticated Lady does not come with a motor in the nose, nor with Snoopy as the pilot. I added those.
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