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Old Aug 24, 2013, 04:18 PM
United States, GA, Atlanta
Joined Aug 2013
207 Posts
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Landing an R/C plane

so i joined a club a few months back and they have a nice runway and stuff so i started R/c about half a year ago and i cant land.....well i can but not runway style im used to landing where ever and walking to pick it up. Is it harder to land on the simulator because you cant see the run way? its that way for me. ive attempted runway style only 2-3 times but 100's of times on the simulator like i would TRY to line up with the run way but id always be off and land somewhere else or usually throttling back up and going is there a way to get this lining up with the runway thing?
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Old Aug 24, 2013, 04:50 PM
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cmdl's Avatar
United States, CA, Rosemead
Joined Jan 2012
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i felt the same way as you - could never see the runway on the sim.
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Old Aug 24, 2013, 05:50 PM
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whitecrest's Avatar
Orleans, MA
Joined Feb 2007
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It's easier to find the runway in the simulator if you let the plane get low enough to see the treetops and other objects in the same view. Use these as landmarks to help lineup the runway to practice landing and touch and goes. Finding the runway in the simulator is not that easy.
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Old Aug 24, 2013, 06:48 PM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
Joined Mar 2009
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Simulators will be ready to teach you to land when they have 180º field of view and head position sensors so you can look around naturally. Then you'll be able to find the runway. All it takes is time and money.

You're better served learning how to land with a real model plane. When you can go for $250 Fat Sharks and a simulator that doesn't exist yet you might be able to make another choice.

By the way, you're doing it exactly right. When you start landing where you land is less important than the number of pieces your plane is in when it is on the ground and stopped!
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Old Aug 24, 2013, 10:52 PM
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United States, OR, Canby
Joined Aug 2011
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Landing on a real runway is easier than on the Sim.
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Old Aug 24, 2013, 11:27 PM
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Joined Jan 2011
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If you have the option to 'keep ground in view', try that .... some sims have that option ... much more realistic as it gives you sort of the peripheral perspective. Works great, a lot like what you see in real life. May be called something different in other software packages. I have RF 5.5.

I found the sim a real asset in learning to land properly and using the elevator to keep her just above the runway. Biggest trick is to find that speed that is slightly above stall speed for each plane. Same applies to the real thing, that speed is crucial.

Take your sim plane high, try various amounts of clicks on the throttle to find each individual stall speed, then add a few clicks for landing. You don't want to be fighting ailerons to keep it level, minor adjustments only. For me, lining it up on final is all about the rudder, I need rudder. If your new to sims some exercises in this DIY thread may help:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1892802
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Old Aug 25, 2013, 07:39 AM
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Wilson, NC
Joined Aug 2009
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You admit that your plane lands wherever it does. This means that the plane is flying itself. You need to control the plane and land it were YOU choose. Read the following as many times as needed for you to understand it.
*. Every now and then I hear someone at the field mention that they crashed during a landing because “THE WIND GOT THEM”. This looks like a strong downdraft pushed the plane into the ground. That ever happen to you? Since I always insist on determining the cause of every one of my crashes, I kept questioning that “THE WIND GOT ME” reason, since I used it also. Then I realized that these types of crashes always happened when the plane was very far away, or when I was landing at a much different angle to me than usual.

I am now convinced that these types of crashes are due to the wing stalling. Yes, stalling. The plane falls straight down because the wing lost lift. And the reason is that the plane is so far away and almost coming toward you, that you have lost your ability to estimate the air speed. So it stalls and crashes. My answer is to land the plane directly in front of you as much as possible, going right to left, or left to right, only. In that location you will be better able to judge the air speed of the plane, and how far off the ground it is. Use the throttle and the elevator during the full length of the landing approach to position the plane to touch down near to “in front of you”. Throttle extends the landing point, while elevator shortens the landing point. I usually hold a little throttle during the landing and only go to idle in the last foot or two of elevation. Please give this idea some thought. I would appreciate hearing any input on this.
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Old Aug 25, 2013, 11:16 AM
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United States, OR, Canby
Joined Aug 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villapilote View Post
...Throttle extends the landing point, while elevator shortens the landing point. I usually hold a little throttle during the landing and only go to idle in the last foot or two of elevation. Please give this idea some thought. I would appreciate hearing any input on this.
Throttle controls your decent rate while elevator controls airspeed.

Throttle will extend or shorten your landing point. Elevator will control when the stall occurs.
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Old Aug 25, 2013, 02:44 PM
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United States, CA, Sacramento
Joined Aug 2011
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One of the challenges with sim landing is depth perception. The normal view from the sim is to the side of the runway, as it would be at a flying field. Except there's no depth perception because the view through the sim is like the view through one eye. It's hard to see how well you're lined up. Sometimes the plane's shadow can provide a helpful clue. It's better to select a field in the sim that has different view positions. I find a view from the end of the runway is easier because I can clearly see if I'm lined up but of course this introduces the challenge of determining how far from the end of the runway the plane is. No view in 'mono-vision' is going to be perfect, but trying it from the end of the runway may be helpful.

The other view I find is helpful is the cockpit view or the chase view (just behind the plane). While it's true that these are not 'realistic' in that you're never going to be seeing things from that view, you're learning and this can help get the feel for lining up before you tackle the normal pilot-on-the-sideline 3/4 angle view.

I agree with the earlier poster that said landing in reality is easier than in the sim, at least regarding lining up the plane with the runway. Where I find the sim is useful is getting the feel for how to manage the throttle and elevator together to maintain a good glide slope to the landing point. I don't generally use the sim to practice lining up. Just pick a virtual field in the sim that has a large grass expanse and practice landing smoothly there. Try to get the plane to touch down directly in front of you but don't worry about the other axis initially (distance from you). Flying requires multiple simultaneous actions. The usefulness of the sim is that you can practice one action at a time and then combine them once each is learned.

The other good sim trick is that you can slow down 'time' so that everything is in slow mo (in RealFlight this is under the advanced setup "Physics" menu). If you have trouble practicing anything new, try slowing it down and learning it at half-speed, then three-quarter speed, etc. It would have taken me a lot longer to learn 3D hovering without this trick.
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Old Aug 25, 2013, 08:51 PM
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Joined Jan 2011
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Yah, depth perception sucks ... even in the real world.

Sounds like you fully utilized the features/software.
I like some of your learning methods ... good plan and good use of the Slowmo
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Old Aug 25, 2013, 11:25 PM
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Joined Jan 2012
235 Posts
RE: landing

There are two ways to get better at landing
1) assuming that you stand infront of the plane while it is landing.That you do not want to do because your oreantation is thrown off . you cant really judge where your plane really is. how far or close it is to the landing stip
stand at an area where the land is landing accross you.your judgement will be alot better

2)This is something that alot of people do. mix your ailerons and rudder together. So when you use the ailerons to bank you are also turning the rudder at the same time with just one stick movement insteedof two

By doing both of those it will help in the biggest way and you will notice it right away
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Old Aug 26, 2013, 03:21 AM
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alibongo's Avatar
United Kingdom, England, Dorset
Joined Apr 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villapilote View Post
You admit that your plane lands wherever it does. This means that the plane is flying itself. You need to control the plane and land it were YOU choose. Read the following as many times as needed for you to understand it.
*. Every now and then I hear someone at the field mention that they crashed during a landing because “THE WIND GOT THEM”. This looks like a strong downdraft pushed the plane into the ground. That ever happen to you? Since I always insist on determining the cause of every one of my crashes, I kept questioning that “THE WIND GOT ME” reason, since I used it also. Then I realized that these types of crashes always happened when the plane was very far away, or when I was landing at a much different angle to me than usual.

I am now convinced that these types of crashes are due to the wing stalling. Yes, stalling. The plane falls straight down because the wing lost lift. And the reason is that the plane is so far away and almost coming toward you, that you have lost your ability to estimate the air speed. So it stalls and crashes. My answer is to land the plane directly in front of you as much as possible, going right to left, or left to right, only. In that location you will be better able to judge the air speed of the plane, and how far off the ground it is. Use the throttle and the elevator during the full length of the landing approach to position the plane to touch down near to “in front of you”. Throttle extends the landing point, while elevator shortens the landing point. I usually hold a little throttle during the landing and only go to idle in the last foot or two of elevation. Please give this idea some thought. I would appreciate hearing any input on this.
I agree with this. To my mind, someone who feels they have to land where the plane seems comfortable settling down, can't really control their plane. Plus, as said above, you have much MORE control of your plane when you bring it in to you. Just keep practising touch and go's, or just bringing the plane in without touching ground. Also, it looks cooler bringing the plane in where you want.
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Old Aug 26, 2013, 09:05 AM
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United States, VA, Virginia Beach
Joined Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitecrest View Post
It's easier to find the runway in the simulator if you let the plane get low enough to see the treetops and other objects in the same view. Use these as landmarks to help lineup the runway to practice landing and touch and goes. Finding the runway in the simulator is not that easy.
+++ THIS, it works this way IRL as well, you will see background visual landmarks to know how far out you are without taking eyes off your plane.

One field I fly at there is a 6 foot fence 50 feet or so off the runway, I know on approach if I'm about 6 feet above that fence I'm in the glide path for the runway.
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Old Aug 26, 2013, 12:55 PM
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JetPlaneFlyer's Avatar
Aberdeen
Joined Mar 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 600Bob View Post
Elevator will control when the stall occurs.
Mark those words...

A properly trimmed plane will not stall unless you pull back on the elevator. The trick to avoid stalling on a landing approach is not to attempt to stretch the approach by use of up elevator. Let the model fly at it's own trimmed airspeed all the way until you are a couple of feet off the deck, only then flair out and do it gently so as to avoid ballooning back up.
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Old Aug 26, 2013, 05:49 PM
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United States, TX
Joined Jun 2011
1,874 Posts
Yes, landing on a sim is harder than in real life.
I agree with others who have said that. The problem is, you can't see the darn runway on the computer. But what I do is to identify some landmark off the end of the runway, like a tree or a mountain, whatever, and when I line up with that and descend...there is the runway.
Another problem with simulators is perspective. As much as they try to make it 3D-like, it isn't. So sometimes you think you're coming down on the runway and you miss it.

Simulators help, they really do. But you can't replace real life.
Still, it is a good way to fly when it's too windy outside or the weather's bad.
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