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Old Aug 30, 2008, 02:34 PM
"Spark Chaser"
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United States, WI, Middleton
Joined Jun 2004
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Hair raising E-Flite T-34 Maiden

As I've mentioned previously my friend Dave has a new T-34. Well we attempted to fly it last night using a trainer / buddy setup. The T-34 is a large balsa ARF - 55" wingspan. Around the size of a ".40" gasser, but the electric power system is supposed to be .25 equivalent. We tested it static, and it pulled a bit over 40 amps on the bench, and almost 500 watts of power at full throttle.

I was on 'Master' and Dave was on the 'Slave' controller. I gave him control so he could taxi and take off, the idea being he needed to learn how and gee whiz, as long as you are gentle on the sticks and give the plane some time to build up speed, take offs are normally not a big deal.

Not this take off... Dave throttled the T-34 up and right after it left the ground it pitched back almost completely vertical! There was a lot of exclamations of "oh sh*t" all around. I took over and punched the throttle to full and gave it full nose down. I got it back under control and throttled back to 40% to 50% throttle ... the plane wanted to climb like crazy. It was all I could do to keep pushing the nose down trying to keep it level. I did a few circuits like this and then I started trying to shoot landings and bring it down. It did NOT want to come down. Even though killing the throttle completely would slow it some, I had to really push the nose down to get it to decrease altitude. Needless to say the landing was very scary, but I did finally get it down all in one piece. I don't believe there was any damage that I saw. Not my smoothest landing.

Afterwords I was shaking from the adrenaline rush. It was by far the most hair-raising flight I've had in quite a while. This is a *beautiful* balsa plane which I would have hated to damage.

From what we can tell, the CG was aft of what it should have been and/or the idea of having full down flaps (see E-Flite T-34 thread) isn't such a great one.
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