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Old May 27, 2012, 07:45 PM
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United States, PA, Meadville
Joined Feb 2011
156 Posts
Finally I Maidened It

I built the Polaris over a year ago and was too chicken to try to fly it which was perhaps a good thing as I am somewhat better at flying now. I was going to go with the recomended settings but at the last minute decided to remove the expo and dial down the throws to what looked more familiar in light of the other planes I have built. Ending up with about 3/16 throw on the ailerons at low rates and rudder mixing. I went nose heavy for the maiden and was rewarded with a very gentle first flight. The only negative was the plane has a lot of white and it was a low viz gray sky and I almost lost it momentarily. A gentle plop in the long grass and I was grinning from ear to ear. A challenging build and a great model with no negative characteristics.
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Old May 27, 2012, 09:37 PM
TonyS
United States, AR
Joined May 2010
594 Posts
davovinch,

Congratulations on your successful flight! No you can steadily tweak it to meet your needs and desires.

TonyS
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Last edited by tonystro; May 27, 2012 at 09:39 PM. Reason: smooth it.
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:07 PM
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Australia, WA, Madeley
Joined Jul 2011
645 Posts
Well its time for the first repairs on my Polaris. I suppose I did fairly well to get about 30 flights before needing to do any real surgery on it at all.

I did my usual post flight inspection yesterday and realised that I have cracked the forward part of the hull lengthways from the step to the first fuselage former. Straight down the guts.

I was tooling around in low-altitude, high-alpha and failed to throttle up fast enough when I started to lose the correct angle. I think I may have landed on a rock and just been unlucky that it was just in the weakest part of the hull.

No matter, just have to replace the forward hull panel, retape and away she goes. I may even take the opportunity to take off the aft hull as well to see how the insides are holding up to my plane abuse
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Old May 27, 2012, 11:21 PM
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Joined Sep 2006
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Most flights

Has anyone kept track of the total flights on a single Polaris? What do you suppose the highest total would be?
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Old May 28, 2012, 02:08 AM
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!
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Melbourne, Australia
Joined Apr 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob93447 View Post
Has anyone kept track of the total flights on a single Polaris? What do you suppose the highest total would be?
Yeh but started logging sometime after the Maiden. I'll kick off the figures but I'm sure there will be others out there with an old crusty with lots of flights on it. I use RCLogbook on my iPhone for my planes and batts.

My original Polaris is currently sitting on 188 but it's probably more like 200+ if I had logged every flight. It's had the top fin snapped off due to a flip over, top deck surgery to replace a bad ESC and belly surgery due to hot glue letting go on the rudder servo. Otherwise good service.

Vectaris is currently on 53 flights and going strong. Had to modify my modified tip floats otherwise going strong.

My MiniP is on 29 flights, probably because I prefer to fly the bigger ones. It's had belly surgery three times all due to hot glue letting go on all servos. Otherwise no external damage and good service.

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Old May 28, 2012, 07:43 AM
59 years of RC flying
Daedalus66's Avatar
Canada, ON, Ottawa
Joined Feb 2006
16,128 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob93447 View Post
Has anyone kept track of the total flights on a single Polaris? What do you suppose the highest total would be?
My old Polaris #1 was built in summer 2009, has about 200 flights on it and is still flyable. See photo below, taken while it was still in good shape!

Most of the flights were made in 2009 and 2010, as for me 2011 was mainly the year of the Polaris Mini and XL.

Old #1 has had five major crashes (ones where extensive repair or rebuild was needed). Three were caused by various radio problems (see photo), one was pilot error (split-S at too low altitude!), and one involved a mid-air with a 40-powered model.

It's on its second motor and ESC but the original Hitec HS-55 servos are still going strong. It has had Spektrum, Orange, FlySky, Fly Dream and FrSky radio equipment installed at various times.
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Old May 28, 2012, 08:07 AM
59 years of RC flying
Daedalus66's Avatar
Canada, ON, Ottawa
Joined Feb 2006
16,128 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by davovinch View Post
I built the Polaris over a year ago and was too chicken to try to fly it which was perhaps a good thing as I am somewhat better at flying now. I was going to go with the recomended settings but at the last minute decided to remove the expo and dial down the throws to what looked more familiar in light of the other planes I have built. Ending up with about 3/16 throw on the ailerons at low rates and rudder mixing. I went nose heavy for the maiden and was rewarded with a very gentle first flight. The only negative was the plane has a lot of white and it was a low viz gray sky and I almost lost it momentarily. A gentle plop in the long grass and I was grinning from ear to ear. A challenging build and a great model with no negative characteristics.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I think that the most significant decision you made was to cut the aileron throw, as high aileron responsiveness is what seems to give more people trouble than any other aspect of Polaris behavior. Elevator sensitivity is much less hazardous, but it's a good idea to reduce it.

My usual advice is to use dual rate to reduce throw on A and E to about 2/3 of what is called for in the manual, at least for initial flights.

I also think that large amounts of expo, combined with large throws can contribute to over-control when people bang the sticks around. I wouldn't go as far as you did and eliminate expo altogether, though, as I think mild expo (20-30%) is nearly always helpful.

I'm not arguing against the recommended throws for experienced pilots who want lively response. Moreover, when I use those throws, I find the suggested 40% expo about right. What I'm saying is that for relaxed and precise flying, and for pilots not used to a highly responsive aileron model, taming down the throws and using less expo works better.

One caution, don't go too far in reducing elevator or you may get into the other problem that seems to beset some pilots, an inability to hold the nose up in turns. Reducing elevator sensitivity means you have to use more up stick in turns. The real solution, of course, is improved piloting skills, so work on your turns!

With respect to aileron-to-rudder mixing I tried it and thought it helped on approach. If others do try it, go easy on the mix. I found about 10% was plenty.
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Old May 28, 2012, 01:46 PM
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Joined May 2012
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to AK68

Thanks for the good advice. I need to take a couple of hours and read through all the Polaris posts. This is my first build and it's been a help to follow some of the youtube vids from How2RC.com.

Thanks again, have fun flying in NZ!
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Old May 28, 2012, 04:26 PM
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Nederland, ZH
Joined Dec 2011
620 Posts
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Originally Posted by ghammerstone View Post
Thanks again, have fun flying in NZ!
Hai Gary,
I am just a newbee from Holland (the Netherlands) which is exactly the opposite to NZ. Antipodes. Makes flying inverted more easy.
You are from western NC. North Carolina?
Regarding the thanks: Thanks should go to daedalus for sharing pic's and complete and practical info. Spot-on. He has about 58 years more experience than I have in flying RC. You will notice that in his explanations.
Have fun flying! Keep us informed about your progress. Looking forward to evidence of maiden.

AK68
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Old May 28, 2012, 04:35 PM
59 years of RC flying
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Canada, ON, Ottawa
Joined Feb 2006
16,128 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghammerstone View Post
Thanks for the good advice. I need to take a couple of hours and read through all the Polaris posts. This is my first build and it's been a help to follow some of the youtube vids from How2RC.com.
At 16,500 plus, the Polaris posts are going to take more than a couple of hours to read.

You should, though, take a look at the very first posts on the thread by the designer, Steve Shumate (Jetset44).

I'm assuming you have the ModelAero construction guide:
http://modelaero.com/pdf/Model%20Aer...on%20Guide.pdf

It reflects some changes made along the way, such as a different nacelle design and push rods for aileron instead of the torque rods used on the original (both ways work well but most people find the push rods simpler).

Don't be shy about asking questions. It's a very friendly group.
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Old May 28, 2012, 05:05 PM
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Nederland, ZH
Joined Dec 2011
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Originally Posted by Capslock View Post
Nice video! I just got off the plane after a week in Amsterdam - what a great week of weather over there!
It has been the only week like that this year and you shared it! Even the Dutch people are not used to presents like this.

AK68
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Old May 28, 2012, 09:10 PM
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Melbourne, Australia
Joined Apr 2009
1,187 Posts
Chalked up another two flights on the original Polaris over lunch at work today.
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Old May 28, 2012, 10:43 PM
59 years of RC flying
Daedalus66's Avatar
Canada, ON, Ottawa
Joined Feb 2006
16,128 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by nrg2go View Post
Chalked up another two flights on the original Polaris over lunch at work today.
Mine is dormant and not likely to fly for a while. But I'll have a new XL to test shortly.

A particular challenge is that I'm building the XL for a simple 4-channel radio with no throw adjust, D/R, expo, etc. I haven't had to do that for years. It's actually quite daunting, as I have to get everything right mechanically and I want it to be an easy flyer for the intended pilot. I ended up making a new longer horn for the elevator with three holes to give me some adjustment. Aileron I can get at, as I never attach the rear fuselage bottom until after I've flown it and am satisfied with rudder and aileron action.
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Old May 29, 2012, 01:02 AM
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United States, WI, Wisconsin Rapids
Joined Nov 2007
96 Posts
I really want to thank everyone for there help and advice, especially nrg2go, D66, and Scott. Going on your advice using the 2212-6/40amp-ESC/and 2200mAh batteries I nixed the vents and just went with the heat sink. Plus I just saw a video on youtube where a Polaris gets dunked on landing and figure an absence of vents would really be a plus.

Also, D66 once warned me not to over think this build but I guess my OCD is really flaring up. With all the recent talk regarding the negative incidence angle on the elevator/engine nacelle it got me wondering. The underside of my nacelle is set at zero plane to the wing (to help disguise the negative incidence) with the motor and the top of the nacelle/elevator set at the -2 degree down angle. With the underside of the nacelle being as wide as it is I figured it would act as a control surface so I widened the elevator by an inch for more control. My question is will this be enough? Or am I just over thinking this again and don't sweat it.
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Old May 29, 2012, 01:17 AM
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Australia, WA, Madeley
Joined Jul 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Han2007 View Post

Also, D66 once warned me not to over think this build but I guess my OCD is really flaring up. With all the recent talk regarding the negative incidence angle on the elevator/engine nacelle it got me wondering. The underside of my nacelle is set at zero plane to the wing (to help disguise the negative incidence) with the motor and the top of the nacelle/elevator set at the -2 degree down angle. With the underside of the nacelle being as wide as it is I figured it would act as a control surface so I widened the elevator by an inch for more control. My question is will this be enough? Or am I just over thinking this again and don't sweat it.
lol, my 2c is "If it aint broke, dont fix it"

I think that the control surface effect of the bottom of the nacelle will be fairly minor. The existing design appears to be relatively resilient to small discrepancies so I think you should be fine with the existing elevator width. In my (admittedly limited) experience, the Polaris design seems so resilient to minor CG shifts and to have plenty of elevator authority that I think any small incidence shift on the nacelle bottom can be trimmed out pretty easily using a combination of those two variables.
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