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Old Jun 08, 2002, 06:21 PM
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Lefty and Leroy's Avatar
Central Texas
Joined Jan 2002
377 Posts
Another Switchback success storyÖ

6:15 am on my way to the flight line. I live close to a high school parking lot where the marching band practices. Not many rocks on a very smooth area about the size of a football field. Itís next to a large field that has grass about a foot high on it, a good place to go if youíre in trouble and have to do a really bad landing.

I did all I could to prevent the maiden flight getters. Everything checked several times. Had a mental flight plan for a worst-case scenario but as I turned onto the parking lot the nervousness came anyway. Shortly, I had the Switchback on the pavement with the battery plugged in. I like the little beep beep the Pixie-20 makes when the throttle is armed. I noticed that same shaky hands that spent three weeks trying to put on that super thin covering were now at the controls.

There was just a whisper of a breeze to take off into about 1 mph. I wanted to do a little taxi, let it get air-born, about 2 to 3 feet high, reduce the throttle and let it glide to a landing. This would let me know what the CG was like. As I fed in the throttle it wasnít long before the Switchback was in the air. Off the throttle nose down just a little and a gentle glide down to a nice touchdown. I adjust my cap and then myself, this time Iím going for it.

Throttle up to about half stick and a straight run, and itís easily in the air. I keep it straight and in a nice steady climb, no trim needed. I let it climb a little more and then level out, ready to do the right hand turn. Easy on the stick and a gentle turn begins, no rolling spinning dive, just a nice level flight coming back to me. No trim needed. I flip the retract switch and of course they snap up into the wing, so cool. No trim needed.

I flew several circuits at about 100 to 150 feet high, slowly reducing throttle. I finally got it to fly with the throttle trim all the way up and the throttle stick all the way down. Flying it slower and slower to see when it would stall, finally it did, so gentle.

Now for the landing, with a fair amount of altitude I cut the throttle off completely and set up a nice long glide that was slower than I expected, nice approach. Eight feet off the ground and the landing gear snaps down and a few moments later and the Switchback is touching down. What a plane.

I collect my self and take off again to do several more landings, all just as good as the first. I only have one battery so most of my flying was really easy. That first charge went a lot longer than I expectedÖ maybe 15 Ė 20 minuets it seamed. It would be about an hour and a half before the second flight, which I got a little more aggressive.

This is a great plane but most of you guys already know that and Dougs retracts work perfectlyÖ more on that latter.



Thanks to all that helped out,
-LL
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Old Jun 08, 2002, 06:42 PM
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Paul Susbauer's Avatar
Hong Kong, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
Joined Apr 2001
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That is an awesome looking SB. Very nicely done. What is it covered with?

--Paul
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Old Jun 08, 2002, 06:59 PM
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cfossa's Avatar
Stow, MA
Joined Mar 2002
1,040 Posts
SwitchBack vs. Zero

LL,

I see that you have a Zero too. I've got a Zero and I'm thinking of the SwitchBack next. How would you compare the flight characteristics of the Zero and the SB?

Thanks,

Carl

p.s. That is a great looking SB
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Old Jun 09, 2002, 04:07 PM
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Central Texas
Joined Jan 2002
377 Posts
RC_Eflyer,

The yellow covering is SoLite I got when I ordered the Switchback. The black striping and cowl is Ultracote. The striping on the canopy is Ultarcote with two layers of polyurethane to keep it from pealing off and it gives it a glassy look in real life. The red strip behind the cowl is scrap leftover from another plane I donít know what brand. The red and black paint on the prop is Model Masters black and Italian red. The red on the spinner is my wifeís lipstick! Oooh sooo sexy! Donít you think?

She was not impressed.

-LL
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Old Jun 09, 2002, 04:33 PM
BEC
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Auburn, Washington USA
Joined Jan 2001
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Welcome to the Switchback Sport RG club!
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Old Jun 09, 2002, 05:28 PM
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Lefty and Leroy's Avatar
Central Texas
Joined Jan 2002
377 Posts
cfossa,

Bad news, I havenít flown the Zero the reason why is a long explanation, way longer than I want to go into now. Iíll fly it once I get more familiar with the Switchback and ailerons.

If you want to do a comparison I think the best thing is to compare wing loading. The Zero is higher than the Switchback (Iíll let you find the numbers and do the math). That tells me that the Switchback will land at a lower speed and landings are required.

Iíve seen video of the Zero and read post saying that it likes to fly fast and does just about all the maneuvers you would want a real Zero to do. From the videos Iíve seen the Zero looks very scale like in the air, just like watching it at an air show but you would know better than me about that.

The Switchback is lighter and has a lower landing speed and going into a little breeze will get almost as slow as the Tiger Moth. Throttle up and it will really haul! It will go almost straight up too! The control surfaces are larger and that help a lot at lower flight speeds. On my second flight I did several repeating loops and a few easy rolls. It loops really fast from level flight at about 1/3-1/2 throttle.

This sport will do way more than Iím capable of but Iím planning on growing into it. (I need more batteries Doug) I have a feeling this plane will do all kings of eye popping, gut winching, high angle maneuvers you would ever want to do and if your really hot, go for the 3D wing.

I would say if you want a scale looking plane that flies in a scale like fashion the Zero would do that, again you should know better than me.

If you want a plane that will do quick snappy maneuvers and has a wide flight speed range the Switchback will do that. Keep in mind this opinion is coming form someone who has never flown the Zero and has only four flights on the Switchback.

Good Luck,
-LL
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Old Jun 09, 2002, 05:45 PM
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Stow, MA
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LL,

Thanks. I've got 38 flights on my Zero ... four of which ended abruptly . It does like to fly fast and looks nice in the air. Your Zero looks a lot nicer than mine though

I think you will have fun with the Zero, but it is definitely more of a "scale warbird" flyer than a fun acrobatic plane. It is not hard to fly. My four crashes were all explainable:

1. C.G. too far back set by the manual. Nosed up, stalled, and crashed.

2. Tried to do an aileron turn at about half throttle. Not enough power, stalled in the turn, and crashed.

3. Flying when it was too windy and it blew behind the trees.

4. Too much elevator control and it snapped in a roll, then spiralled to the ground.

So, I've got a record of 34 w and 4 L with the Zero

Anyway, it sounds like the switchback is just what I'm looking for in a park flyer. I'll have to talk to the boss (wife) and get an order in

Carl
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Old Jun 09, 2002, 07:32 PM
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Lefty and Leroy's Avatar
Central Texas
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Thanks BEC,

I also made it the sute case version... Thanks for your inspiration.



All I need now is a case and some more batteries.

-LL
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Old Jun 09, 2002, 07:42 PM
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CharlesD's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Aug 2001
313 Posts
NICE!! I just ordered a Switchback 3D RG kit from Doug.

How about some more info on the suit case version procedure?

Charles
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Old Jun 09, 2002, 07:43 PM
BEC
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Auburn, Washington USA
Joined Jan 2001
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L&L,

Look for a cheap shotgun or archery bow case at a sporting goods store or perhaps something like Wally World.... The one I have will hold a much bigger plane than the Switchback (and was used that way initially). That plane, sadly, is gone.

Ah, I see you know where the pic of my SB in my case is.... so you know this already .
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Old Jun 09, 2002, 07:49 PM
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Central Texas
Joined Jan 2002
377 Posts
Hello CharlesD,

Follow this thread on page 3 and then you'll know the rest of the story.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...5&pagenumber=1

Charles, are the retracts you're getting the beta version or has Doug released them to full production yet?

-LL
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Old Jun 09, 2002, 07:54 PM
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United States, IN, Indianapolis
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He was hoping to get them finished today.

Thanks for the link!
Charles
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Old Jun 09, 2002, 09:05 PM
BEC
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Auburn, Washington USA
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removable tail and (and gear) mod

Since the stabilizer mounts on the bottom, making it removable is REALLY easy. First, cut a piece from scrap from the 1/8 sheet in the kit and fill in the space above the stab on the bottom of the fuselage with this sheet. Then, lightly tack glue the stab in place (easier before covering) and drill two holes through the center section of the stab and into the fill-in sheet with the drill the right size for 4-40 tapping (I forget the size - it's one of those number drill sizes).

Then, tap the holes in the fill-in piece 4-40, and then harden the threads with thin CA and let that cure fully.

Meanwhile drill out the holes in the stab to 1/8 inch (this is a slight clearance on 4-40 screws). It doesn't hurt to harden these with thin CA, either.

Once the threads have cured, GENTLY go back into them with the tap to kinda clean them up. That done, once the stab is covered you can install it with two 4-40 X 3/8 nylon pan-head bolts (I get mine at Lowes).

This mod adds almost zero weight and makes the plane eminently "packable", especially if you either have the RG version or do the same sort of thing with the landing gear mount and the bottom of the nose of the fuselage to make the fixed gear removable. This is more easily done if you don't take the little triangular piece out of the gear mount but instead glue it in, and put one of the nylon mounting bolts through the middle of it.
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Old Jun 09, 2002, 09:18 PM
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Lefty and Leroy's Avatar
Central Texas
Joined Jan 2002
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Yep... and it looks something like this...
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Old Jun 09, 2002, 09:30 PM
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Martin Hunter's Avatar
Kamloops, BC, Canada
Joined Feb 2002
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I've been waiting for your flight report, LL! That plane is a blast isn't it? Does that now make 3 of us with SB SP RG's, or are there more that either you or Bernard know about?
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