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Old Nov 13, 2004, 09:21 AM
Newby extrordinaire
rob.elliott's Avatar
Mannheim, GERMANY!
Joined Sep 2004
166 Posts
My slow stick refuses to fly - WHY?

All,

After the maiden voyage of 10 second flight a few days ago I got up enough courage to try again. I went to the only flat area we have after making sure the center of gravity was correct, and taxied around a bit to make sure she pulled straight. Once I got the trimming all set up, I went to hand launch and she immediately dove hard right. I pulled up on the elevator and she went into a pretty impressive right spin even though I had full left rudder. I was heading straight for some guys running so I hollared out to them, but managed to clip two of them before they got away. Managed to gain some altitude but still at full elevator and left rudder it wasn't a pretty sight. Now 10 seconds into the flight, I let up on the elevator and held left rudder. She gradually desended to a perfect landing. Nothing broke! Great! I'll try again!

Practiced taxiing a bit more and tried to correct the pulling through trim adjustments. Hand launch again but this time it dove hard right again, so full elevator and left, only to end three seconds later in the gravel with a laughing group of soldiers watching my pick up prop parts. What gives!??!

I had the elevator trimmed to perfectly straight as measured with a straight edge, and the same with the rudder. Do I need to change to 5 degrees up and left to correct the beast to get it to fly?

Your light-heartedness, jokes and recommendations appreciated...

Rob
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 10:11 AM
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thekingofmice's Avatar
Point Pleasant, WV
Joined May 2002
93 Posts
Have you checked your balance from side to side to make sure that one wing is not heavier than another? And you should check to make sure that the wings aren't warped.

Those are the only things that come to mind immediately. I have built a coupe of SS's and they were dead stock: no thrust modifications, etc. They both flew perfectly right off the board other than a couple of clicks of trim, so I know that the thrust line isn't that much of an issue.

Just keep at it. If these things don't help there is someone here that has the answer -you can bet on that! The stick flies great, and you will be pleased with it once you get your problem straightened out.
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 10:25 AM
Just one more plane!
JWarren's Avatar
Port Saint Lucie, Florida, United States
Joined Aug 2004
2,537 Posts
Rob it sounds like you are nose heavy. Try to push the batteries back a bit.

As for the plane wanting to turn to the right it sounds like you may be heavy on that side. Hold the plane by the motor shaft and one finger near the tail of the plane, on the bottom. Your plane needs to balance this way too. If the right side of the wing is dropping, this could be the reason why you have to apply left so much. Look for any obstruction which could keep the rudder from moving left or right. Make sure your linkage to the rudder is not bending or bowing as the rudder is being moved.

Balance the plane first. It must be near balance on both axis. Front to back and wing tip to wing tip. Sight the rudder and elevator to center. Hand launch the plane. You want to do the trimming in the air not on the ground. Launch the plane near level, not at a steap incline. You sould be able to throttle the plane so it flys at one altitude (level). Then adjust the trim on the rudder if its turning one way or the other. Leave the elevator streight until you get your balance correct. So, check your balance.
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 10:38 AM
Rat
Come get me if you can
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Rats nest Grafton ND
Joined Aug 2004
2,249 Posts
Quit trying to hand launch it and just set it on the ground and apply full power. If it does not track straight and start to lift off the ground on its own then you need to adjust the rudder and elevator surfaces. Once it is properly trimmed it should lift off the ground straight and level in less then 20 ft and climb at a gentle angle under full power.

if you are goign to keep handl launching an ill setup plane then you should plan on a few trips to the hobby shop for parts to repair crash damage.
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 11:20 AM
Cal
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San Gabriel, California
Joined Aug 2004
1,583 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rat
if you are goign to keep handl launching an ill setup plane then you should plan on a few trips to the hobby shop for parts to repair crash damage.
Well, Rat, he's gonna have a pretty tough time finding a hobby shop in Baghdad.

And if there were any hobby shops in Baghdad, they probably stock RPG's, AK-47's, C4, and Improvised Explosives............That seems to be the current hobby of choice right now among the locals, no?
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 11:45 AM
Rat
Come get me if you can
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Rats nest Grafton ND
Joined Aug 2004
2,249 Posts
LOL forgot about that.
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 11:45 AM
Valid8r
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Boston and Belgium
Joined Jul 2004
943 Posts
I have to agree with Rat though, try a take off from the ground Rob, you are less likely to do damage if you do it that way too. If the right wing drops, worst you'll do is touch the wing tip to the ground and spin around, possibly breaking a prop. You should be getting 2 new SS's in the mail any day now as they were shipped to you on November 2nd along with all the other gear - so the trip to the LHS won't be an issue.

Where exactly are you setting your CG by the way?

Jon
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 11:54 AM
Live to ride... and fly!
Tres Wright's Avatar
Forney, TX
Joined Mar 2002
15,165 Posts
Rob, sorry to hear of the problems! Since you've got the tail set up properly and it's still pulling hard right, it's got to be one of 2 problems. Either the motor thrust line is well off-line or the wing is warped. Based on how much you said it's pulling, my guess is that the wing is warped. Put the wing on the plane and set it on the ground. Stand in front of it about 10' away and look straight at it (align your eye with the fuselage stick). Check each wing panel for warp. I'm betting your right wingtip will have wash-in while the left has wash-out. Wash-in is when the trailing edge of the wing is below the leading edge. Wash-out is the opposite (trailing edge is above leading edge). What you want is a a little bit of washout on both wingtips, that helps with stability. Wash-in on either or both wings on the other hand hurts stability and can cause odd behavior. Washin on one wingtip can cause the condition you're describing. It can be tricky to fix on the Slow Stick because of the foam wing. You can try applying heat to it and warping it back to shape (use a hair dryer if you have one). If that doesn't work, try wetting it and applying heat again.

Another thing to check is that you have the wing on straight. Rubber-band it to the plane and measure from the tip of the tail to each wingtip. The measurements should be equal. If not, move the wing around until they are.

Good luck, let us know how it goes!

PS- like the other guys said, if you have a nice smooth area for take-off than try that rather than the hand toss. The nice thing about ROG is you have both hands on the TX when the plane takes off, so you can immediately adjust for out of trim conditions.
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 12:40 PM
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lehma's Avatar
USA, TX, Lewisville
Joined Nov 2004
375 Posts
If you have problems getting spare parts for your slow stick I can help you. I am just browsing the boards at the moment looking to get a plane. I have been flying with a couple of friends and fear I am hooked.

When and if you need parts let me know and if I can afford them I will buy and ship them to you (within reason!)

Thanks for being there for us.
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 12:44 PM
WAA pilot #21
Vanning's Avatar
Princeton NJ
Joined Dec 2003
3,166 Posts
Well rob, your first mistake was maidening a plane in front of witnesses.
You KNOW that if nobody was around it woulda flown perfectly.

Some thoughts:
You now know to check its lateral balance, but honestly i think it'd hafta be really far outta whack to make the plane turn hard.

A nose or tailheavy plane can be a nightmare to fly for sure, but again, it wouldnt logically cause a plane to turn hard.

When you landed, was the rudder straight? You mentioned you trimmed full left while in flight. If your trimmed full left & the rudder is still straight, then its possible you bumped the servos forward when you land-launched it. (notice that sliding the servos forward pulls the rudder into a right-turn position) Its also possible the servo horn is for the wrong brand of servo and fits loosely on the servos splines. The horn coulda skipped a few teeth then grabbed...
Also inspect for binding in the pushrod guides. The rods are thin, they work well when PULLING, but can bow when PUSHING. A little oil on the rods and careful positioning of the guide can help. This problem is more apparent when the plane tracks normally but the plane turns right much better than left.
I dont think any of the above are your problem (except the witness issue) but you should check em anyway.

Now you gotta check wing warping. This is a big deal, and in that desert heat i imagine it would be easy for a wing leaned against the wall to take a little tweak...
Remove the landing gear. Set three cans of Uncle Sams finest Chipped Beef MRE on a flat table. Support the plane with one can under the nose and one can on each side of the tail to hold the plane level. Measure from the table up to the 4 corners of the wings. the left rear corner is much higher than the right isnt it?
Shouldnt be. Anything more than say, 1/4" to 3/8" is too much. I suspect your well over an inch.
The good news is that its easy to fix.
Mark the high corner and remember how high it is. Flip the wing over and pull the high corner a little farther than necessary. If your tip is a 1" high, pull it back 1 3/8" or so. While you hold it, have a friend run a strip of packing tape diagonally all the way from the rear tip up to the leading edge by the fuselage, making it taut and sticking it firmly to the foam the whole way. Flip the plane back over & check the washout again. Adust tape as necessary.
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 01:10 PM
Newby extrordinaire
rob.elliott's Avatar
Mannheim, GERMANY!
Joined Sep 2004
166 Posts
You guys aren't going to believe this, but maybe you may understand since you all are my "flying crew", and are amazingly smart people. There's no way I could have ever even thought of doing this by myself, and I am grateful....

While performing repairs tonight, I was going over everything for the 100th time. I realized...that... the Flash 5 was set to the trimming and servos on FMS. It was set to plane #1 which is my set for FMS, and #2 is the SS. The problem lies in me being over anxious to get in the air infront of a crowd, and not checking to make sure the TX was on the correct channel. DUH. One of the servos on the SS has to be reversed, the rudder. So I guess when the plane went a little right, I gave left and when it only got worse I gave more left - hence the right dive. It's my fault for getting antsy.... At least nothing is permanently damaged, the tail just popped off and the motor mount popped off (stock glue let go). The wings aren't dented, warped, ect...

DUH.....but I bet I'm not the first one to do this, and at least I got to wing some people and everyone laughed and had a good time which is what my flying here is all about. I guess overall it wasn't too bad and at least I know what the problem is now.

LEHMA, thanks for the offer but Cliff at Atlanta Hobby sells me everything I need at his cost and I just order things every week to keep them coming in. He's a great man! Thank you for your offer though! This is addictive!

By the way, the mail system here is really stopped up. It took a month to get the ESC's from Castle!

Thanks for all of your support and help though, I'm going to try again tomorrow.

Vanning - so tomorrow I'll take off from the ground, with maybe one other person watching????... (unless you think more than one set of eyes will cause a crash)
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 04:18 PM
WAA pilot #21
Vanning's Avatar
Princeton NJ
Joined Dec 2003
3,166 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob.elliott
You guys aren't going to believe this....
BUAHAHAHA!
Dont be insulted. I only laugh because my first flight had the same problem. I shoulda known better though - i had 15 years of experience with rc cars though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob.elliott
Vanning - so tomorrow I'll take off from the ground, with maybe one other person watching????... (unless you think more than one set of eyes will cause a crash)
Youve been warned already....
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 05:29 PM
Valid8r
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Boston and Belgium
Joined Jul 2004
943 Posts
As others have already said, flying with the wrong program on a computerized radio is a common problem. Why it is that the radio vendors don't make it possible to have a text based label in the LCD screen of the Tx is beyond me. I've only seen one advertised that did this and it was a high end Tx. The overall programming user interface is terribly annoying for such simple programming. One of these days, someone will create a better programming and user interface for our Tx's and offer it at a decent price.

Hang in there Rob and post us to let us know how great your flights were tomorrow!!!

Jon
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 06:55 PM
Been There! Done That!
boomerace's Avatar
Eugene, Oregon, United States
Joined Sep 2001
19,187 Posts
Glad you figured it out! One final thought.... No matter how hyped up to begin flying ALWAYS set the plane on the ground and check all the control surfaces for correct movement BEFORE attempting to fly! I have been flying RC since in the 1960's and the other day I had setup a new plane and without thinking had checked the settings on another plane on my computer radio and not changed back to the plane I was setting up. Went to fly the plane I had forgot to change from and on the preflight check found everything was screwed up and took me a good 5 minutes to figure out my stupidity! The plane I was trying to fly is a very responsive 2:1 powered 3D model and if I had not done the preflight I'm sure I would have destroyed it as my normal take off mode is full power doing rolls straight up to specked out height! We all make mistakes! Clear skys and good air.
boomer
www.boomerseflight.com
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 07:19 PM
Live to ride... and fly!
Tres Wright's Avatar
Forney, TX
Joined Mar 2002
15,165 Posts
LOL! This is why it's so hard to troubleshoot over the 'net, sometimes we don't even think to mention the easy stuff! Glad you got it figured out.

Check through this post before the next flight, it is a sort of checklist of preflighting before your maiden:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79212

As Boomer said, the control surface movement and direction needs to be checked before every single flight. Especially if you have a computer radio as you discovered. You'll see it mentioned several times in that checklist. I've logged thousands of flights, but because of that quickie check before flying, I've caught myself several times on the wrong model memory.

Good luck with the next flight! May it be a long one
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