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Old Sep 04, 2006, 12:41 PM
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flying evader's Avatar
United States, TX, Frisco
Joined May 2006
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Discussion
V-Tail, T-Tail, Conventional? Where to go?

Hi There,

Can someone provide a link or provide a good description of the pro's/con's of each tail characteristics? I know the basics such as:

Conventional Tail
Pro's: Ease of construction, sturdy
Cons: Any?

T-Tail
Pro's: Places Stab on top of wing turbulence which can lead to smoother flights, Looks (looks neat!)

Cons: Not as easy to construct, fragile, Tail heavy plane may need significant nose weight

V Tail
Pro's: Less drag, combines 2 functions (ele, aile-rud) in one
cons: medium diffculty (as compared to conventional)


Other thoughts regarding:

Overall weight of model? ability to fly in windy days? stability? ability to detect thermals? compatible with dihedral? Poly-D?

Any other comments or links are appreciated!
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Old Sep 04, 2006, 02:07 PM
Ace of glue
Langenase's Avatar
Barcelona, Spain
Joined Apr 2006
115 Posts
Visit
http://www.charlesriverrc.org/articles_modeldesign.htm
Lots of info on V-tails, hope it helps.
I myself prefers the T configuration for smoother control and easyness of assemble/disassemble, but recognize its inherent building complications (scratchbuilder here) and weight increase just where you want less weight
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Old Sep 04, 2006, 05:43 PM
The Lone Blue Plaid Flyer
Bob Cook's Avatar
Seattle
Joined Jan 2003
7,586 Posts
Hi Guy,

Bob in Seattle here. I have been in this hobby for 3 1/2 years now. I have one of each kind of tail in my collection of planes. Maybe it's just because I'm new at this, but when they are up in the air, the differences between them are very suttle. The V tail on my Omega tends to do the wag wag, dog tail dance at slower speeds. My T tail hasen't broke off yet. Some folks think they tend to break off on hard landings. My normal tail plane flies just fine. For me, the work involved in doing a V tail rigging was very hard, my first one. I think in the end, it's really about what you like to see going through the sky. You could debate this for years. They all work. Right now I am leaning towards the "standard" tail design. Go with what you like visually and what your confortable with. There is no best one answere. It's a personal thing. Good luck.

Bob in Seattle
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Old Sep 05, 2006, 04:15 PM
Ace of glue
Langenase's Avatar
Barcelona, Spain
Joined Apr 2006
115 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by flying evader
........Conventional Tail
Pro's: Ease of construction, sturdy
Cons: Any?............
I forgot this one. With a conventional tail, depending of the type of terrain you make your landings, there are much more risks of getting your stabilizer damaged or even torn off than with T or +......
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Old Sep 05, 2006, 07:52 PM
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MrThermal's Avatar
NE Indiana
Joined Sep 2001
185 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Langenase
With a conventional tail, depending of the type of terrain you make your landings, there are much more risks of getting your stabilizer damaged or even torn off than with T or
No problem, just use a bamboo skewer heated into a U bolt shape roughly and
mount into 2 alum tube pieces inside fuse.

Broke my first one the other day after using for more than 125 flights.
Came home and made a new one in about 20 minutes, installed and
flew next day.

I call them landing skegs
Great for protecting conventional tails

Steve
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Old Sep 08, 2006, 12:23 AM
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flying evader's Avatar
United States, TX, Frisco
Joined May 2006
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i looked at the links.. great resources!
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Old Sep 08, 2006, 06:56 PM
To many projects
66tbird's Avatar
USA, AZ, Litchfield Park
Joined Aug 2004
1,055 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Langenase
I forgot this one. With a conventional tail, depending of the type of terrain you make your landings, there are much more risks of getting your stabilizer damaged or even torn off than with T or +......
After building/designing hundreds of gliders, the V tail/ conventional tail question really comes down to that quote above. Plus if you tend to ground loop(spin) a little, the V tail will rise, which tends to keep the nose down.

If its a heavy ship that lands at mach 7 on a smooth field, build what you like
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Old Sep 09, 2006, 09:02 AM
The Lone Blue Plaid Flyer
Bob Cook's Avatar
Seattle
Joined Jan 2003
7,586 Posts
Hi Mr. Thermal,

Bob in Seattle here. Where in the fuse did you mount it ? Under the tail ? or at the CG under the wing or ???? Can you post a photo for us unimaginative people. Thanks. Bob in Seattle
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Old Sep 10, 2006, 07:26 PM
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MrThermal's Avatar
NE Indiana
Joined Sep 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Cook
Hi Mr. Thermal,

Bob in Seattle here. Where in the fuse did you mount it ? Under the tail ? or at the CG under the wing or ???? Can you post a photo for us unimaginative people. Thanks. Bob in Seattle
No rocket science here Bob. Knew the tail would be in danger @ landings so I decided to protect it when building the fuse. I came forward of the end/fuse ~8" to a former and blocked/glued an AL tube in verticle, flush with bottom. Did the same thing ~4" rear of that (or next former). Made sure the pushrods were clear. AL tubing was whatever I had on hand that would work with my bamboo skewers.

Used a candle flame to heat/bend the water soaked bamboo.
Go slowly ! ... I gained about 2.5" of clearance below bottom/fuse

Full disclosure: Knew about the bamboo bending from my kite building days which I still do to some degree.

Sorry no pix, ..... Steve
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Old Sep 11, 2006, 05:44 PM
Bax
Registered User
Central Illinois
Joined May 2003
274 Posts
Or you can make a wire skid and have it below the tail. Did that on an old glider. Made it just long enough so that the stab tips would not touch the ground when the wingtip did.

bax
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 06:06 PM
Detail Freak
target's Avatar
Harbor City, CA
Joined Oct 2003
21,880 Posts
V tails are much harder than T or cross tails at getting the incidence or decalage set perfectly without a lot of trial and error.

T
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 06:48 PM
The Lone Blue Plaid Flyer
Bob Cook's Avatar
Seattle
Joined Jan 2003
7,586 Posts
Bob in Seattle here. Target is VERY right about that. I have an Omega V tail that flew really bad for a long time. It turns out that the V tail and the wing were mis- alligned by 3 degrees !!!! I couldn't move that tail, I had to move the trailing edge of the wing up about 1/4 " to make the decalage equal. I will now check before I glue any V tails for that problem. Invest in 2 Robarts incidence meters. That's how I found the error in the alignment. Bob in Seattle
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Old Sep 16, 2006, 05:05 AM
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Ireland, Kildare, Leixlip
Joined May 2002
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Conventional Tail
Pros: Easy construction, separate elevator/rudder
Cons: Highest drag, can be vulnerable when landing

T-Tail
Pros: Low drag, easy rigging, separate elevator/rudder, won't snag when landing
Cons: Heavier, more complicated construction and linkages

V Tail
Pros: Low drag, lightweight, easy construction, unlikely to snag when landing
Cons: Combined elevator/rudder, more difficult to install accurately

I put in separate elevator/rudder as a pro because it's often considered better for aerobatics since there's less coupling and more power is typically available on each function.
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