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Old Dec 12, 2012, 07:42 AM
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United States, WA, Moses Lake
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I wanted to comment on a couple of things. Regarding the Bixler, do you think it was porpoising because it was tail heavy? That's what it sounds like. What might work better is to try to use a larger battery. It'll put more weight in the nose and you'll get longer flights too.

I learned on a Multiplex Easy Star about 6 years ago. I've been building a lot longer than that, but that's when I actually got my RC "wings". My opinion of the Easy Star is that out of the box, it isn't the greatest, but BOY does it have a lot of potential!!! Out of the box, it was underpowered and the rudder was so small that it didn't have enough control authority. Especially with that tiny 5 inch prop.

Fast forward to today. After many bang ups, old reliable is still flying and is one of my favorite planes to take up. Of course, now it has ailerons, a much more powerful motor, a 7x4 3-bladed pusher prop, and a much larger T-tail that I built myself. With the 2200 mah lipo, it'll fly for half an hour (gliding a lot of the time). The thing about the EZ Star is that, like the Bixler, it has a really great wing.
And my thrust angle with the brushless outrunner is neutral. Seems to fly better that way.

So experiment with your Bixler some more. Try a little more nose weight, or use a little down elevator trim until it flies hands-off perfectly. Try a larger 3-bladed pusher prop to get more out of the motor (but use a watt-meter to make sure you don't over-stress your motor). Change the thrust angle to something more neutral maybe. If my EZ Star ever finally dies a horrible death like my AXN Floater Jet did, then I will replace it with the really large Bixler. But I've flown that thing through a barbed wire fence once and it's still flying. (That's a funny story I should share some time).

About the AXN Floater Jet, what a misnomer! That is no floater. It is a very fast plane with a very powerful motor! It's also aerobatic. But it's a tricky one to fly.
It was slightly tail heavy all I had was a 1300 mah battery. I added three pieces of 1/4 oz fishing lead to the nose it could have used slightly more so yeah the battery could be bigger. It will fly again after I have crushed everything else I have built. Thing is, with a two dollar airframe you laugh at the dumb thumb crashes but with a hundred dollar airplane you sorta cry a little.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 10:10 AM
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Justin might very well be able to launch and fly his plane but I got to sport flying and horsing around with mine and lunched it a little. Ok a lot. So while I had to order a servo I broke I went ahead and bought some other hardware and motors and batteries. Also a 9x radio so I wouldn't be stuck with whatever proprietory simple box I got with the plane. So for the cost of a nice new kit plane I can get parts for three planes plus a better radio and build my own planes cause I sort of like doing that anyhow. I didn't account for the cost of the tools I bought cause I just like tools anyway.

I think Justin ought to start with that combo Dan talked about or similar and build something to practice with and a decent radio that he can fly several planes with and then buy the kit version of the bix and put his parts in that when he feels ready. He needs to fly a nose heavy or out of trim or tail heavy plane if he does that he might be money ahead down the road.

I wouldn't have the guts to put a camera and stuff in a plane and toss a few hundred bucks into the ground. That would suck
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 10:12 AM
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Justin could build Al's Super Ugly plane course if there are people around he might have to wear a disguise or a bag on his head lol
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 10:13 AM
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I'm going to build me one too Al
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 10:35 AM
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United States, OH, Amesville
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Be nice to SUE

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Originally Posted by Low and Slow View Post
Justin could build Al's Super Ugly plane course if there are people around he might have to wear a disguise or a bag on his head lol
"The plane that makes even you look beautiful!"

Actually, I like it because I'm a big fan of Function over Form. It's going to be a good test bed for all sorts of ideas. Since I'm trapped in this business trip with nothing to do in the evenings, I've been reading about low Reynolds number airfoils and other aerodynamic concepts. I want to try some of the ideas on various SUE's... such as the KERFLUFFLE SUE and the PIFFLE SUE.

I suppose this is an old idea in this forum - have people made a pseudo wind tunnel by putting a test stand in the back of a pickup truck or on a trailer ? A nicely DAQ'ed test stand would allow me to collect some real data, as opposed to the subjective data I'd get if I depended solely on my ability to fly the plane. In that case I imagine my notebook would have a lot of entries such as:
Test 8: CAMBER SUE with 4% camber, 15% chord, 15% wing tips - Results - It seemed to go much faster than the Test 6 model without wing tips, and seemed more stable. Difficult to be certain since I crashed it into the ground 22 seconds into the flight.
Yeah... gotta work on them flyin' skillz.

Ad Astra
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 10:40 AM
Exodus 4:13
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Originally Posted by Dan_D View Post
"The plane that makes even you look beautiful!"

Actually, I like it because I'm a big fan of Function over Form. It's going to be a good test bed for all sorts of ideas. Since I'm trapped in this business trip with nothing to do in the evenings, I've been reading about low Reynolds number airfoils and other aerodynamic concepts. I want to try some of the ideas on various SUE's... such as the KERFLUFFLE SUE and the PIFFLE SUE.

I suppose this is an old idea in this forum - have people made a pseudo wind tunnel by putting a test stand in the back of a pickup truck or on a trailer ? A nicely DAQ'ed test stand would allow me to collect some real data, as opposed to the subjective data I'd get if I depended solely on my ability to fly the plane. In that case I imagine my notebook would have a lot of entries such as:
Test 8: CAMBER SUE with 4% camber, 15% chord, 15% wing tips - Results - It seemed to go much faster than the Test 6 model without wing tips, and seemed more stable. Difficult to be certain since I crashed it into the ground 22 seconds into the flight.
Yeah... gotta work on them flyin' skillz.

Ad Astra
Test 9: CAMBER SUE 2: Same camber specs as original. Results - Lift seemed significantly higher than CAMBER SUE.... Before I crashed the pickup truck into a tree 41 seconds into the test.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 11:28 AM
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Twenty two seconds is better than my last flight by about 21 seconds. Oops. I learned something though it really doesn't work too well dragging the plane tied to a trailer hitch. So much for my wind tunnel test
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 11:37 AM
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Twenty two seconds is better than my last flight by about 21 seconds. Oops. I learned something though it really doesn't work too well dragging the plane tied to a trailer hitch. So much for my wind tunnel test
I've wondered if there was a way to make a wind tunnel and use a vehicle to create the wind. Turbulence would be my only concern there. Dragging a plane behind a tow hitch would have a lot of turbulence from the vehicle's wake.

One Idea I've been tossing around upstairs is wondering if a plane could be rigged up to something on the hood of a car. It would have to be captive, on some sort of a frame, but you could test out all of the controls and see how it does using your radio and someone else driving. Don't let a cop see you pulling this stunt though.

For me, I still use the tried and true method of maiden testing planes over a field of tall grass...which can sometimes be a challenge to find in the southwest.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 11:41 AM
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Please Share

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Originally Posted by builderdude View Post
If my EZ Star ever finally dies a horrible death like my AXN Floater Jet did, then I will replace it with the really large Bixler. But I've flown that thing through a barbed wire fence once and it's still flying. (That's a funny story I should share some time).
Please share the story

Ad Astra per Comedia
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 12:06 PM
Hot glue held together by foam
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Whoops !

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Originally Posted by Dan_D View Post
Please share the story

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I wonder if it went something like this :


RC Plane Crashes into a Gate (0 min 35 sec)


I'm surprised the guy didn't say " poopies ! "
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by builderdude
If my EZ Star ever finally dies a horrible death like my AXN Floater Jet did, then I will replace it with the really large Bixler. But I've flown that thing through a barbed wire fence once and it's still flying. (That's a funny story I should share some time).

Please share the story

Ad Astra per Comedia
Alright.
I have about 6 years flying experience. Much longer building experience, but I was a free flighter, previously. Anyway, I bought a Multiplex Easystar to learn on, after a disastrous crash with my first plane, a Chinese-high winger. (One of the servos went full deflection and not even my instructor could save that plane).

The Easystar was a good beginner's platform. It's underpowered with the Speed 400 motor, and the tail surfaces are too small, but it worked and I learned. Anyway, I was flying with the Taos Flyers in Taos, NM at the time (www.taosflyers.com), and it had just snowed. The weakling motor couldn't take off ROG from the grass, but on the snow it could. I had just done a ROG take off, and landed it. I was taxiing it back and it was into a headwind. Well, just before I got it back to where I was standing, it took off while taxiing into the wind on the snow. It was heading right for Mark's head and would have nailed him on the back of his head while he was up flying his airplane. So I gunned the motor, pulled up, and went around for another landing. He literally felt the plane whoosh over his head and looked around like "what was that???"

So being a newbie, I didn't have a lot of skill yet and was desperately trying to bring it around for a new landing approach and misjudged my height. It flew RIGHT into a barbed wire fence, and came to an abrupt stop. The barbed wire dug about an inch into the leading edge of one wing and gouged a few spots on the fuselage. So I took it home, cut out a block around the damage, and then carved out a new section out of balsa wood and glued it in place.

All these years later, I still have that plane. It now has ailerons, a strong brushless outrunner with a 7x4 3-bladed pusher prop, and a custom-built wooden T-tail with the proper size surfaces this time around. Here's a pic of "old reliable".

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Old Dec 12, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bhoov128 View Post
Test 9: CAMBER SUE 2: Same camber specs as original. Results - Lift seemed significantly higher than CAMBER SUE.... Before I crashed the pickup truck into a tree 41 seconds into the test.
WOW... I literally rolled back in my chair and laughed at that one.

Ad Astra per ooopsie
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Low and Slow View Post
Justin could build Al's Super Ugly plane course if there are people around he might have to wear a disguise or a bag on his head lol
I might change SUE's name to DSDDC ( Dirty Sue , Done Dirt Cheap ) !

It's all about the fun !

Al
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by builderdude View Post
I've wondered if there was a way to make a wind tunnel and use a vehicle to create the wind. Turbulence would be my only concern there. Dragging a plane behind a tow hitch would have a lot of turbulence from the vehicle's wake.

One Idea I've been tossing around upstairs is wondering if a plane could be rigged up to something on the hood of a car. It would have to be captive, on some sort of a frame, but you could test out all of the controls and see how it does using your radio and someone else driving. Don't let a cop see you pulling this stunt though.

If you cantilevered the plane off the front of the car you would get relatively undisturbed air, although I'd worry about the "bow wave". I'd want the plane far in front and up as high as practical.

On the other hand, my thought was to use a trailer being towed behind and accept that the air is highly disturbed. Place the model as high as possible to get the "cleanest air", and then smooth it with screens and vanes. For example, two or three layers of the light grid used on fluorescent lights, with coarse screens in between, would do a lot to make the air flow smoother. Mount the plane on a test stand right behind that and use cheap DAQ devices to collect the data For example the DataQ corp makes A/D converters that read 200 s/S for well under $100. Buy some cheap load cells on eBay and you could make a cheap 8 bit test stand.

One could take data at various AOA and use the RC xmtr to change the flight surfaces.

This might be attention getting, but shouldn't be too illegal.

Oh-oh... I'm going into hyper-geek mode. I need to get home and start cras... flying my planes again.

Ad Astra
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 08:59 PM
Oh you pull BACK on the stick?
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Joined Feb 2010
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Alright, so

I've been watching this thread for some time now watching Dan's progress and I couldn't stand it anymore, I had to get in on this!

Hi Dan,
Like I said I've been following your thread for a while now and just love it! Your writing is spot on and so is your humor. I've been flying for about 7 years now but your views on RC are very similar to mine, find humor in everything.

Anyway, I wanted to just mention a couple things, firstly you have the absolute best attitude on learning to fly I have ever seen. Seriously. You rock. Also, I admire your resolve, you'd be surprised how many people give up on this incredible hobby!

Now, after making this post it's only fair I share one of my many funny RC stories, and trust me, there are many, many of them. So you can laugh at me and know everybody's been there.

So, this was about...3 years ago now, I had just gotten my Parkzone T-28, it was to be my first aileron plane (I really didn't start advancing myself in the hobby until a few years after I learned to fly), Now, you have to picture this, 14-15 year old kid all excited about his new plane, ready to fly it and yet completely terrified out of his mind! We get to the field, plug in the battery, check all surfaces, range check, yada yada yada. Set the plane on the runway, take a deeeeeep breath, and then gun the throttle- and damn if that plane didn't get going in a hurry. Wait though, it's moving BACKWARDS!! Wait wait wait!! In all the confusion in my inexperienced glory, I proceeded to shut off my tx (an old 72 system at the time) which failed to kill the throttle like I had hoped. So my grandpa and I both went chasing this T-28 running wildly around our field backwards, until we finally caught it and pulled the plug on the battery. Whew! Turns out we had the wires connecting the motor to the ESC mixed up and the motor to spin the wrong way

My grandpa and I still laugh about that one. Moral of the story is keep going, worst case scenario (like mine) you don't learn anything but you get some funny stories at the very least!
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