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Old Mar 13, 2008, 08:00 PM
Not your average DiggsyBear
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Raleigh, NC
Joined Dec 2006
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I think this question will fit here ok. I was checking out another thread and someone mentioned using a Rate Gyro on the Pitch control on their plane. I am curious if any of you have considered this or tried it? Seems like it would do a good job of keeping the plane level while shooting video. Also, I think it might help gliding at high altitude when you have a hard time determining the attitude of the plane. Seems like it may keep the nose from rising or dropping, and when up high this can be subtle to where you can't tell.

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Diggs
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Old Mar 13, 2008, 09:43 PM
Fly FPV, sleep; repeat
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Germantown, MD
Joined Mar 2006
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zaguru has used one on ailerons apparently.
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Old Mar 14, 2008, 02:12 AM
Just trying to get a nut.
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United States, VA, McLean
Joined Oct 2006
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Rate gyro in pitch...I was originally thinking of using it in yaw to ease navigation...but since preventing a loss of altitude cuased by a large pitch transient is probably more important, I'm goint to test that next...

Good flying weather today and tomorrow...I'll report back...
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Old Mar 14, 2008, 02:13 AM
Just trying to get a nut.
scrtsqrl's Avatar
United States, VA, McLean
Joined Oct 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoPilot
Have you considered running an OSD? http://www.intelligentflight.com/Sol...DragonOSD.aspx

That seems like it'd be very useful, especially for this 2km journey.
Yes, I am...but I am on a budget and other things are a priority at the moment...
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Old Mar 14, 2008, 01:41 PM
Just trying to get a nut.
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United States, VA, McLean
Joined Oct 2006
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Big Wing Easy Star Development Snapshot

Today, my Easystar flew it's 10th flight hour (10.2 to be exact) since I got the big wings and upgraded the motor/ESC/Prop.

Some numbers:
Hours flown on stock wings: 6.8 hrs
Hours flown on big wings: 3.4 hrs
Number of sorties on stock wings: 11
Number of sorties on big wings: 8
Longest flight on stock wings: 1.1 hrs
Longest flight on big wings: 1.7 hrs

Number of hard landings: 4
- Landed in a tree (had a hard time maneuvering w/ big wings in windy conditions)
- Landed hard after I flew out of range closer than expected after I lengthened the control antenna
- Landed hard after I stalled on touch down while flying w/ stock wings after having landed multiple times w/ the long wings
- Landed hard and broke the tail boom after loosing Video because of a dead battery at the worst possible time. I was trying to recover from oscilations induced by a poorly placed CG.


On the airframe:

I finally got the airframe all tuned up today, thanks to everyone's help. The CG is where it should be and the trims are set. It flies and glides on either wingset really well again. Perhaps the source of most of my problems was the new, significantly more powerful motor/esc/prop set-up. With the stock set-up, the pitching tendencies were relatively un-noticable. With the stronger drive train, the airplane tended to react more in pitch to changes in power setting. Now I know what to expect when I advance the throttle (a bit of up elevator) or reduce power (a bit of down elevator or trim). I think I will mix throttle and elevator later...

On the power train:
The ARC Motor is awesome...what else can I say?

I tried 3 different props:

The original 5 X 4 APC- This gave the longest flight time with the stub wings, and adequately flew the plane with the long wings...Made the plane a very gentle flier....

6 X 6 APC- Quite disappointed with this prop...I thought I would get much more thrust out of it. It delivered more than enough power, but really didn't come into its own until the plane was flying really fast...unfortunately, flying really fast isn't exactly what I like to do...The speed was gained at the expense of a higher throttle setting while cruising w/ endurance in mind.

6 X 5 out of a 7 X 5 APC- Probably the best prop on this airplane. It has a bit more area, a plus because it turns at a relatively slower speed because I only run on a 2S LiPo. It pushes the plane with enough authority to climb out at around 40 degrees w/ 2 X Flight and Video Batteries. At cruising speed, the throttle setting was very close to the orig 5 X 4 prop.

Flight Characteristics:

Without ailerons, the big wings are really for lofting more payload or flying slow on CALM DAYS. On rough days, the rudder simply doesn't have the authority to correct disturbances. Enlarging the rudder wasn't the best solution, because at some point, it counteracts the roll caused by the wings with the "dutch roll". Best bet here is to add ailerons, which I will do as noted earlier, when I get a better radio. On the big wings, the plane isn't as nimble, making ops in confined spaces more difficult...

Othewise, the big wings give the plane long glides, gentle turns, excellent "hands off" stability (again only on CALM DAYS), and a noticably reduced power setting for a given weight. Though the long wingset is awesome for endurance, it is not neccessarily good for "range" because it flies slower. Getting more speed requires significantly more power.

The way ahead:
- I plan to install a rate gyro in pitch.
- Ailerons.
- I have to work on increasing the range of both the Control and Video Links.

That's it for now...sorry it's a long one...just wanted to share my thoughts...

Thanks for reading...
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Old Mar 14, 2008, 01:57 PM
Not your average DiggsyBear
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Raleigh, NC
Joined Dec 2006
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Good update. Going to have to go back to the prop thing again. I see that the 5x4 provided the longest flight time, but you like the 6x5. I would be curious to see what a 6x4 or 6x3 would do. You aren't after speed so decrease that pitch and let the torque of the larger prop do the work. I am guessing the current draw would reduce with less pitch, gaining you more flight time and would still have plenty of thrust. The throttle setting on the 6x5 and 5x4 being about the same tells me you can be more efficient with less pitch.

Just a thought.

Diggs
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Old Mar 14, 2008, 03:13 PM
Just trying to get a nut.
scrtsqrl's Avatar
United States, VA, McLean
Joined Oct 2006
6,470 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diggs
Good update. Going to have to go back to the prop thing again. I see that the 5x4 provided the longest flight time, but you like the 6x5. I would be curious to see what a 6x4 or 6x3 would do. You aren't after speed so decrease that pitch and let the torque of the larger prop do the work. I am guessing the current draw would reduce with less pitch, gaining you more flight time and would still have plenty of thrust. The throttle setting on the 6x5 and 5x4 being about the same tells me you can be more efficient with less pitch.

Just a thought.

Diggs
Thanks, Diggs. You are probably right.

I will try to see if this prop significantly impacts endurance. If I get around than 50 minutes on one pack, I'll keep it as it is. I kinda like to have the power margin, especially with external stores.

We'll see...
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Old Mar 15, 2008, 10:08 AM
In the middle of nowhere
_Spud_'s Avatar
Muskoka, Ontario, Canada
Joined Mar 2008
931 Posts
a Couple questions

What is your estimated weight with 2x radio and video battery and will the small wing safely lift that weight?

What is your estimated video/radio range ATM?

Do you do anything to reduce the drag of all the outboard equipment on the plane? Do you cover the cockpit?


Also,,, I'm sure you've read this but,,, I read a post where some guys were putting the rate gyro @ a 45 degree angle so that it worked with pitch and roll. Have you considered this?

Good update. I always look forward to an update on this thread.

Cheers,
Spud.
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Old Mar 15, 2008, 12:26 PM
Just trying to get a nut.
scrtsqrl's Avatar
United States, VA, McLean
Joined Oct 2006
6,470 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Spud_
What is your estimated weight with 2x radio and video battery and will the small wing safely lift that weight?

What is your estimated video/radio range ATM?

Do you do anything to reduce the drag of all the outboard equipment on the plane? Do you cover the cockpit?


Also,,, I'm sure you've read this but,,, I read a post where some guys were putting the rate gyro @ a 45 degree angle so that it worked with pitch and roll. Have you considered this?

Good update. I always look forward to an update on this thread.

Cheers,
Spud.
- I think it's around 33 oz. with stub wings, around 34-35 with the long wings. It flies just fine, if not a tad faster with the stub wings. I avoid loops or any high g-loading...The wings tend to flex quite a bit...

- I don't know what the theoretical max range is...All I have is empirical data. To date, I've gone out to around 1.5 kms w/o any problems...

- No I don't try to reduce the drag. On something this small, I don't think it matters much...

- Yes, I have...It was Pete Schug that stuffed a 45 deg Rate Gyro on his tiny Tiger Moth. I installed a pitch rate gyro (report to follow), because I thought that on my plane, being stable in pitch is more important than in roll or yaw...I will eventually put one on a 45 as you described when I get around to it...

Thanks for the kind words...
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Old Mar 15, 2008, 12:42 PM
Just trying to get a nut.
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United States, VA, McLean
Joined Oct 2006
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Rate Gyro and Endurance Test

We managed to get out to the beach today. It was awesome.

Rate Gyro:
It worked as advertized...It keeps the nose really steady. This helps a lot in turns and when large power inputs are introduced...Additionally, it dampens out the oscillations following a stall. It does not fly it out of a stall, but at least makes the recovery even more gentle than it already is. I may be able to make it more stable by increasing the gain. I'm pretty happy with the way it is. So I'll keep it as is, for now...

Endurance Test:
I flew with the 6 X 5 prop. My wife clocked me at around 1 hour. But that included a quick switch of wing sets. I started off with the stub wings because it was blowing around 8 knots. I climbed to altitude and proceded to make holes in the sky at minimum throttle setting. Right around the 40 minute mark, I swapped over to the long wings and started to test out its behaviour in these conditions. I kept going until the low voltage cut-off. On a "max endurance" profile, it's safe to keep it airborne for around 50 minutes.

I did not manage to fly with two packs...I had to spend time playing with the kids...And I did not have a "Co-pilot"...He was too busy hanging out with his friend...

Handling:
I don't know if it's the gyro...or that the air was relatively "clean" at the beach...I was happily surprised that the Long Wings handled pretty well. I was able to fly low and fast. (Unfortunately, I did not capture that on video. Another problem with long flights is that I run out of GigaBytes as well...2 Gigs = around 40 minutes in the Aiptek.) It handled the wind really well. I may have to recant my conclusion that long wings and rudder only combination is a "calm weather only" set-up.

Overall an awesome day...I think the airframe is proven. Now I work on the video & control link.

Out in the distance was the light house...I'll make it there this summer...
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Old Mar 15, 2008, 12:52 PM
Not your average DiggsyBear
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Raleigh, NC
Joined Dec 2006
8,859 Posts
Thanks for the update! I am happy to hear the Gyro helped some. I might do this on an EZ star or glider in the future. I have a hard time seeing pitch when I am up high, but then again, I can't see the yaw that well either. However, I think pitch without a doubt is going to have a larger impact on duration gliding. Looks like your prop delivered! Once I get my first easy completed, I will fly it for a while like it is. Basically stock with a brushless upgrade and extended balsa rudder.

I think I am going to invest in the EG Pro and use it as my first official glider. I might do some wing swapping, but I don't have camera gear at this time. Once I get into that, i will join you in this quest

Diggs
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Old Mar 16, 2008, 02:22 AM
Just trying to get a nut.
scrtsqrl's Avatar
United States, VA, McLean
Joined Oct 2006
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Accept your destiny...

Diggs,

Start w/ something like this. We use these in Eourpe a lot...Its low power will never allow you to fly beyond visual range (though some have made it out to 1/4 mile on the stock antennas)...great for when your learning...once you're ready, you can move up by simply buying a Patch antenna ($40) and you just doubled the range. Later, a camera and 500 mWTx (You can use the same Rx).

Get goggles like these...They are slim enough that you can peek around them to see the plane...Again, awesome if you're already an experienced flyer, learning FPV. Once you're ready, throw a shirt over your head and you're fully immersed!

You could set it all up so that you can use it on ALL of your planes...I hear they're great on wings, slowsticks and, of course, Easystars...

Accept your destiny...get a rig...you know you want to...
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Old Mar 16, 2008, 11:11 AM
Not your average DiggsyBear
Diggs's Avatar
Raleigh, NC
Joined Dec 2006
8,859 Posts
No, I will never turn to the Darkside!

Oh, who am I kidding, I am done. I can't justify it right this moment, but after I get through the fun and expense of SEFF, I might sell off some stuff to fund this project! I need to find a place I can test those goggles before I purchase them. Want to make sure I can see something that close to me Plus I wear glasses/contacts. But I very very much want to do this. Primary goal right now is a cargo trailer for hauling my gear.

Diggs

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrtsqrl
Diggs,

Start w/ something like this. We use these in Eourpe a lot...Its low power will never allow you to fly beyond visual range (though some have made it out to 1/4 mile on the stock antennas)...great for when your learning...once you're ready, you can move up by simply buying a Patch antenna ($40) and you just doubled the range. Later, a camera and 500 mWTx (You can use the same Rx).

Get goggles like these...They are slim enough that you can peek around them to see the plane...Again, awesome if you're already an experienced flyer, learning FPV. Once you're ready, throw a shirt over your head and you're fully immersed!

You could set it all up so that you can use it on ALL of your planes...I hear they're great on wings, slowsticks and, of course, Easystars...

Accept your destiny...get a rig...you know you want to...
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Old Mar 17, 2008, 04:49 PM
Just trying to get a nut.
scrtsqrl's Avatar
United States, VA, McLean
Joined Oct 2006
6,470 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diggs
Primary goal right now is a cargo trailer for hauling my gear.

Diggs
Sweet...All I have is a "carry-box".

Here's a quick video from the weekend...

No gyro...It turns out that you have to "start-up" the plane w/ trims set to zero for the gyro to properly initialize. I didn't know that at the time, so I just by-passed it and flew anyway...

Nothing big...just proof that it flies very "normally", even in 8 kts of wind, now that CG, & rudder size are all sorted out...

It flies even better w/ the gyro on. I'll post video when I get some later...

Big Wing (Pitch Rate Gyro Off) (1 min 36 sec)


One note: with a high AOA, it feels like the wings mask the rudder reducing rudder authority...the procedure to get out of it is push the nose down a bit and add power...
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Last edited by scrtsqrl; Mar 17, 2008 at 04:55 PM.
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