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Old Dec 13, 2001, 09:30 PM
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jimmyray's Avatar
Oxford, Alabama USA
Joined May 2001
642 Posts
Fokker Dr1 Guillows - Fly It?

I've built the Guillows Fokker Triplane, 18.5" on top wing, and have loaded uo the necessary RC equipment. It has the GWS A with an APC 8" x 6 prop. The all up weight is 7 oz. with 8x50 mAh sanyo's, for a wing loading (est.) at 8.0 per foot.

I built no dihedral into the wing, and have rudder and elevator control. Wire landing gear attached under the wing and to the firewall. (no pics available)

I've turned it on, and run it on the floor in the hallway, but I'm scared to fly it!

I've flown lightsticks, pico jets, and zagi's, and have the Kyosho F-16 in the works, but this easily took more work to build than all of the others. I love the way the Triplane looks, and want to see it in the air, but just know if I fly it I will no longer have a displayable plane.

I know, nothing ventured, nothing gained, but (sniffle, shiver, cower) I'm afraid, mommy!

I need words of (you decide) from you knowledgable fliers - risk the agony for the thrill, or leave on my desk?
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Old Dec 13, 2001, 10:16 PM
Registered User
United States, PA, Canonsburg
Joined Sep 2001
187 Posts
Fly it!!! Just make sure your landing is smooth. I used to build Guillows kits for free flight all the time, and they just don't take the punishment. Unless you beef up the structure, at 7oz you need to make a really flawless landing. Don't worry about it, it will fly fine and then all you have to do is land it.
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Old Dec 13, 2001, 10:33 PM
Faster Faster!!
RCFlybry's Avatar
Kaysville Utah, U.S.A
Joined Oct 2001
1,717 Posts
I had the same worries as you with an 81 inch spitfire that I built a few years back.
I kept looking at it sitting there on the floor and finally I couldn't take it any more. After about 2 months I put it in the air and am glad I did as it flew beautifully.
It has served me well over about 6 years now and is still going strong but is beginning to show it's age a little.
No sense in turning it into a hangar queen. Ya built it with the idea of flight or you wouldn't have put any electrics into it.
Just wait for a good weather flying day and put it up there.
If the Center of Gravity is on and you don't have too much throw in your control surfaces I'm sure you'll be fine.
You should have plenty of lift with 3 wings, and coupled with the drag you should pull off of the airframe I would think it should be a pretty good slowflyer.
Believe me, the thrill you have of looking at your great work will be multiplied by 10 after your first successful flight with it.
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Old Dec 13, 2001, 11:29 PM
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Joined May 2000
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OK I'll be the naysayer, the grinch, the voice of reason. How do you plan to turn this thing with no dihedral? I envision rudder applied and the plane sliding off on a wing into terra firma. I am open to any argument that can prove to me that a rudder elevator ship can be easily flown with no dihedral.And especially a labor of love that will reward the builder with a messy looking pile of little sticks if lightly dorked. Put in ailerons or park it on the desk. The HL foam version of this plane would not fly either. Please put the flightpack/motor in something that will respond correctly to control input. my 2 cents Best Regards
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Old Dec 13, 2001, 11:43 PM
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jimmyray's Avatar
Oxford, Alabama USA
Joined May 2001
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(fingers in ears, looking at Bleriot)




There's the rub - so much work, so easily toasted! The no-dihedral scares me too!

Do you think coupled ailrons with the rudder would work, or just eliminate the rudder and put in the ailrons?


PS - why did the HL version not fly well, same reason?
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Old Dec 14, 2001, 12:22 AM
Mie oo Karjala poikii
Tyson's Avatar
Ruokolahti, Finland
Joined Apr 2001
704 Posts
I've got a 20'' depron Fokker DRI on my building list. I'm going to have ailerons and no-dihedral wing and I'm expecting them to work fine.

But no-dihedral wing without ailerons will most likely not work. On rudder-aileron controlled plane you must have dihedral, otherways it won't turn very well (or at all).

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Old Dec 14, 2001, 03:29 AM
Most Exalted Windbag
Newark, DE USA
Joined May 2001
1,632 Posts

Sorry, but I have to concur with Bleriot and Tyson. The physics just ain't there to turn or even maintain roll stability with no dihedral and no ailerons.

Don't needlessly crash a beauty. All my teenage Guillows models were for display.

I guess it's too late to chop out some ailerons.


"Ailerons on EVERYTHING"
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Old Dec 14, 2001, 10:36 AM
ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι
Gerald's Avatar
Joined May 2000
3,339 Posts
Never too late to add some ailerons. Coupling ailerons with rudder should work OK if you don't want separate control. Although there is no easy way to tell in advance how much throw to use with each, I'd say set the ailerons up for max throw while the rudder gets only about 25%. I would recommend against aileron and no rudder on this plane. It will probably need both to turn well.
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Old Dec 21, 2001, 05:54 PM
Tight is Right
Darren Hintze's Avatar
Lehi, Utah, United States
Joined Dec 2001
7,702 Posts
This is a timely thread, I'm just finishing the same kit I planned as a mini-electric. I also did not add dihedral, but I do have top-wing ailerons/elevator control.

I'm still debating a light-weight motor and pack. I'm leaning towards a GWS direct (scavanged from a Tigermoth) on 4-5 300mah NiMH because I have both handy and the solution is plausible. Ideally, I'd prefer a lighter motor.

Any suggestions?
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Old Dec 21, 2001, 08:19 PM
Todd Long's Avatar
North Bend, WA.
Joined Apr 2000
1,832 Posts
I have flown many DR1s and none of them had diheaderal. Every single one of them turned better on rudder than ailerons.

The reason it turns so well is the same reason the GWS Tiger moth turns better than the Pico Stick. It has a fuselage with side area which gives the rudder something to push against.

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Old Dec 21, 2001, 08:30 PM
Master of the Wind
AIR MOVER's Avatar
Joined Jun 2001
3,044 Posts
perhaps you should fly it but... as a electric control line plane ... the wing loading would be greatly reduced.. and no need to worry about the wing mods .. as it is finished. or as simple as (round the pole) type flying with just a nicrome wire wiper speed control to advance it into the air or power transformer from a train set. these methods of watching it fly are much safer then the ol toss it in the wind and pray bit. without guestion these small planes need all the control and stability you can ..im sure with some care you could have a nice lil indoor round the pole flyer slash controliner on good calm days.... best of luck that plane was not a easy build i would charish your efforts. unless you got to have it make a foam version same size . find out what it takes to make that one fly be prepared to apply those tricks to the wooden version and make sure your a cracker jack at the sticks with the lil foam wonder before you risk showing off to the boys in the gym with it...... but ahh the glory eh wut.. those lads will gringe and drool as you work the three wing wonder through its mission... ( to find ze british slowflyer and shoot her out of der sky) perhaps a lil water bomb useing super thin plastic half oz bombs that burst like water ballons ... lil water in the dogs faces will show them the Red Barron Is Ace of Der Skys....... full up elevator and bombs bustomatic splatastic..... awayyyyyyy... .. and add a lil sound board for a rat-tat-tat machine gun burst.. that sounds off at full thottle... oh and make sure the pilot waves with rudder input .... lol ahh well you get the idea.. have fun good luck with it ..
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Old Dec 21, 2001, 08:56 PM
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crossup's Avatar
Annapolis, Maryland USA
Joined Feb 2001
2,450 Posts
I have to agree with Todd Long and point out that the Tripe is not an unheard of subject for free flight. If the lack of dihedral meant the total absence of roll stability then many planes could not be flown free flight. In reality, very few models cant be modeled. As long as you have radio control , this stability isnt necessary anyway, you are supposed to fly the plane after all.
Dont let the dihedral issue affect your decision.
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Old Dec 21, 2001, 09:01 PM
Master of disaster
Travis's Avatar
Northern Virginia
Joined May 2000
707 Posts
On planes this size ailerons only help when combined with
rudder. On the other hand rudder works fine as long as the bank
is not to steep. Keep some power on while landing to keep it
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Old Dec 21, 2001, 09:38 PM
Lance Armstrong- 7 times!
flybike's Avatar
Madison, Wisconsin
Joined Sep 2001
1,335 Posts
Fly it! I have flown a few rudder/elevator scratchbuilts with little or no dihedral, and they fly fine. Todd makes a good point about TM vs LS. The models I flew seamed to bank quite well w/o ailerons and no dihedral. There's probably some more accurate explanation for this, but one conclusion I came to is this: When then rudder is pushed to side A, the plane turns, and when it is turning, the side B wing is traveling faster because it is on the outside, therefore producing more lift than side A wing, and having more or less an aileron effect. Maybe someone with more experience on this topic can tell me if this sounds correct or not? Anyway, the end result is it will probably fly- try it, the worst that can happen is you will spend the rest of the winter gluing your fingers together. Hans
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Old Dec 22, 2001, 03:46 AM
Grand Poobah of Nothing
Trizza's Avatar
Once Australia, now Finland
Joined Feb 2001
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There is some aerodynamic reason for it. I'm sure there is.. you'll have to grab an aerodynamicist to chat about it.
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