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Oct 27, 2010, 12:18 PM
Registered User
Discussion

What makes a plane a good wind flyer?


Yestereday we had 45 mph gusts and about the same here again today in Iowa, so... I'm thinking about... the wind.

I'm a 10-week beginner and I learned on the Champ RTF (best decision I've made so far in this hobby!). I learned on really calm days (< 5 mph) but now that I have some experience, I've flown my Champ in 10+ mph breezes with no problem what-so-ever and still plenty of fun.

But... I spent a lot of time "grounded" when (I thought) it was simply too windy for a beginner with an Ultra-Micro like the Champ. I've decided that my next plane purchase will be the UM T-28 (I'm REALLY sold on these UMs ...inexpensive, light-weight shrugs off damage and best of all - you can fly them pretty much ANYWHERE meaning you get a lot more stick time on the "spur of the moment" when you've got the time and conditions are the way you want them.

One of the planes I see people like for flying in the wind is the F-27C Stryker (a couple of guys in our local club have them and I'm seen them fly very successfully no matter what the conditions).

One notion I've picked up from reading lots of threads on wind, a plane that will fly successfully in the wind is a plane with stable and predictable flying characteristics so you can react well when the wind does something to your plane. There are a surprising number of threads where people praise the Champ for its ability in the wind! And... I quite agree.

Having said that...

When Spring comes to Iowa next year, I'll want a plane that I can enjoy and can handle decent winds whenever our club gets together. So...

What qualities make a good electric plane to fly in the wind?

Weight? Design? Power? [edit] Speed?

And... please explain your ideas with examples or your experience!

Plus... what contributes to a wide flying envelope? (fly slow when you want, fast when you want ...in the wind when you want)

Or... success in the wind means a somewhat single purpose design and flight parameters?
Last edited by MiddleMarc; Oct 27, 2010 at 03:30 PM.
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Oct 27, 2010, 12:51 PM
Glenn
wellington53's Avatar
Weight.
Oct 27, 2010, 01:25 PM
Kamikaze Ace
Glacier Girl's Avatar
2nd the weight, and also you need power.
Also experience helps a lot.

I've got a couple of flying buds that will fly Slow Sticks no matter what the wind.
I've seen them take off when the plane is rolling backwards from the wind.

In their cases, the planes even thou they are lightweights, are high powered planes and the pilots have a lot of stick time on them.

Oh just thought of something else. SPEED! You mentioned the Strykers, and how they fly well in wind. They do so for the most part because of the speed they can fly.
Oct 27, 2010, 02:05 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glacier Girl
...Also experience helps a lot.
Agreed. Just in short time I've been flying I've learned much more about how to fly in the wind.
Oct 27, 2010, 02:43 PM
Team Hitec, Customer Support
Xpress..'s Avatar
80% piloting skill, 20% airframe. That's what it is.

I'm comfortable flying in the wind, so I don't have a problem flying my little 5o foamy in 10-15mph winds.
Latest blog entry: Weekender Warehouse
Oct 27, 2010, 02:50 PM
globemaster
nicoyenny's Avatar
weight, power, skill, add:
- thin wings
- skinny fuselage
- short wings

Of course, those are relative... when it is windy here, the thin winged gliders and pylon racers are up like nothing....
Oct 27, 2010, 03:27 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicoyenny
weight, power, skill, add:
- thin wings
- skinny fuselage
- short wings

Of course, those are relative... when it is windy here, the thin winged gliders and pylon racers are up like nothing....
So... a glider like the Radian might make an excellent plane to fly in the wind? Has power, thin wings, thin fuselage. I've seen a few planes "ballon" upward when caught by gust of wind (almost like a kite). Perhaps a long thin fuselage like the Radian puts the elevator back on a long moment arm (like a lever) to help keep the plane "straight"?
Oct 27, 2010, 03:31 PM
Built For Comfort
Tepid Pilot's Avatar
Airspeed that is greater than the wind speed.

TP
Oct 27, 2010, 03:46 PM
The building never ends!
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiddleMarc
So... a glider like the Radian might make an excellent plane to fly in the wind? Has power, thin wings, thin fuselage. I've seen a few planes "ballon" upward when caught by gust of wind (almost like a kite). Perhaps a long thin fuselage like the Radian puts the elevator back on a long moment arm (like a lever) to help keep the plane "straight"?
The Radian would be a terrible plane to fly in the wind. It has long wings and a high-lift airfoil designed for soaring in thermals, instead of going fast. Think something like a Multiplex Blizzard, which is a hotliner.
Oct 27, 2010, 04:02 PM
Registered User
Winds in excess of 35mph can cause the cancellation of an AMA sanctioned event.
Wind of 45mph is an excellent reason to turn on your flight simulator.

BM
Oct 27, 2010, 04:27 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillM
Winds in excess of 35mph can cause the cancellation of an AMA sanctioned event.
Wind of 45mph is an excellent reason to turn on your flight simulator.

BM
Let's say for the sake of this discussion... 20 mph winds or less. Seems like there's lots of days that would fit that definition. My Champ will already handle something on the order of 10 mph with no problems. So... looking for planes that will fly well at a little higher wind speeds but not in a "storm".
Oct 27, 2010, 05:43 PM
Registered User
IMO, skill is #1.

After that, it's mostly the shape of the airframe and the way the plane is powered. Advantages go to zero dihedral and generous control throws.

My best windy-day plane is a GWS Formosa, about 17 oz. all-up, and about 35 inch wingspan. Pattern planes, in general, make good windy-day fliers.
Oct 27, 2010, 08:02 PM
Frequent Flyer
whitecrest's Avatar
A faster plane relative to the prevailing wind speed would probably feel easier to fly. Adjusting elevator trim for maximum speed ought to help in managing high winds. Ailerons with adequate throw are a must to respond rapidly to random turbulence, especially near the ground. Also, keeping the flight pattern going into and with the wind and the plane upwind can make flying in high wind more manageable.
Oct 27, 2010, 08:23 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by whitecrest
A faster plane relative to the prevailing wind speed would probably feel easier to fly.
Aye, and there's the rub. Flying fast requires skill... not much time to think.

My buddies who fly FunJets will tell you that they're the best planes for wind. But they're too danged fast for me.

Similarly with zero dihedral and generous control surfaces... it takes skill to use them.
Oct 27, 2010, 08:29 PM
Registered User
The only 3 planes that I will fly when it's 15mph+ winds out are my Mini Ultra stick, EPP Assassin combat wings and my modified brushless Wing Dragon/Begin Air.


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