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Jul 18, 2003, 08:24 PM
Thread OP

Switchback 3-D Maiden (no carnage)

Finally got a chance to maiden my newly built Switchback 3D this morning. First, here's a picture of it before the flight. I'll post a flight report a little later on...

Executive summary: great plane, minor trim problems, flys like a champ.

Setup: Razor 400, C gear, 8-cell KAN 950s, 10x8 prop.

Patrick (pfm) also maidened his newly rebuilt Dandy Sport this AM as well. His flights were excellent. He's flying with a Razor 350, C gear, and 8-cell 720s on a 10x8.

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Jul 18, 2003, 08:30 PM
j_z_123's Avatar
Nice! I love how the prop is see thru in that last pic

Jul 18, 2003, 10:29 PM
Patrick Mahoney
Both Derek and I maidened our newly built creations at a local park this morning. I flew my recently reconstructed Dandy Sport and Derek flew his brand new Switchback 3D.

We flew at a park that doesn't really have any place to use as a runway. And with that intro, I recall my most vivid memory of Derek's SB3D maiden this morning. It started with him handing his newly built, lovingly crafted, beautiful new plane to me, myself taking a firm grasp on the fuse behind the wing and then him nodding to me while firing up the throttle, followed by a really bad hand launch. I was put off by the fact that I couldn't grip the plane on it's CG point - but excuses aside I swear I thought that I'd destroyed it on it's maiden. It headed towards the ground and Derek recovered nicely and let it get it's speed up while flying low and fast over the ground. Derek flew it like it wasn't his first flight with a new plane, nor his first flight with a wing with no dihedral.

I was really impressed with the SB3D. It seemed very aerobatic - and Derek had the rates very low - and yet very stable.

And my new Dandy is much better than the Dandy that it replaced. There's no wing warp this time (there was a minor bit on the last one) and the plane flies without trim - a big difference from my Dandy Sport v1.0. I like all of the new fuse changes and the new wheels. I'm happy to have my Dandy back. It's like missing my favorite blade in a pocketknife. I have my other planes to chose from, but the Dandy is my favorite choice.

I was flying with a RZ-350, GWS C-geared (4.43:1) and a 10x8 prop with 8 AAA cells. Plenty of power and the batteries seemed ok with the current draw. They get warmer on the charger than they were when I pulled them out today.
Last edited by pfm; Jul 18, 2003 at 10:31 PM.
Jul 18, 2003, 11:58 PM
Thread OP
Well, finally a bit of time to write up my flight report. Patrick has already given you glimpse into the morning.

I was pretty nervous about flying. So, Patrick graciously agreed to fly first. He hand-launched (the field was not suitable for ROG) and off the Dandy Sport went. And went. Straight up. The most impressive vertical I've seen except perhaps for the Hangover. Granted, my first hand experience is quite limited. But that 350-powered Dandy had some gitup.

So, I went next after several preflight checks and rechecks. Patrick hand launched it for me. The plane dove pretty hard toward the ground. But it was not the fault of the launch. I actually had the CG set -way- too far forward. I managed to keep it up although I was pretty twitchy on the sticks. After about 20 yards, I heard this pinion-popping, gear-crunching, there goes your motor right off the mount sound. This only added to my nervousness and I decided to put it down. Not very gracefully. Luckily, no damage resulted.

Brought the plane back and checked it out. Everything seemed OK. I dialed in 50% dual rates in addition the 30% expo I already had going on all channels to help smooth things out a bit. At this point, I had not diagnosed the CG problem, so I blissfully hand-launched her again. This flight went much smoother. I was able to fly a few circuits around the field. Though I was really wrestling with the strong nose-down tendency.

I finally tired of wrestling to keep it in the air and decided to land and switch packs. On the second pack, I moved the CG back quite a bit. I don't know where I got the idea that the CG was supposed to be right on the spar. But, I had my pack shoved almost all the way into the nose. And it still seemed to balance towards the tail (measuring right on the I-beam of the spar).

So, for the second flight I think the CG was probably right behind the spar. This flew much better. I finally could get a feel for how the plane really handles. And man does it handle well. It tracks unbelievably well as so many others have reported. This thing goes right where you point it. I had also cranked up the dual-rates to 80% for the second pack since I was a bit more confident. Tried a few rolls just to check out the roll rate. It rolls very axially and pretty durn quick too. Even with 80% throws (I have the servo horns on full throws and the surface horns on medium), the rolls were good. Can't wait to try them once I have the plane trimmed out. It did tend to fall out after the second or third roll. But this was entirely due to my nose down attitude.

All in all, I am extremely pleased with this plane. It is going to be a lot of fun to fly. Hope to learn the basic pattern manuevers and zoom around the sky. Now, I've got to get back to building my Dandy Sport fuselage (my third)...

Another happy SB3D owner,

Jul 19, 2003, 12:02 AM
Thread OP
Jon: the see through prop comes from it spinning with a bit of flash (bounced off of the ceiling). Pretty neat effect. Certainly more fun than it sitting there motionless

Jul 19, 2003, 01:04 AM
Leave me alone!
Martin Hunter's Avatar
That's a cool shot. Congrats on getting in some great SB flying. I really need to recover my GT/3D wing for some razor powered action

Jul 19, 2003, 10:50 AM
Thread OP
Well, there's carnage now. Patrick and I went flying again this morning. This time, we decided to try taking off from the parking lot that borders the park where we were flying. This involves a quick roll out (which is really no problem with the planes involved) and then flying between/over some trees.

I went first. I moved my CG back to where it's supposed to be and powered up. The SB climbed out at a 60 or 70 degree angle and all was good. This flight went much better than my first flights yesterday. The CG was definitely my problem there. Only problem was my pack (KAN 950) only lasted for about 5 minutes. I think it has not been properly broken in. I've only got a couple of flights on it so far. Landing was the usual touchdown, flip over affair we're used to at this field. The grass is just too grabby.

Patrick flew his DS next. I'm still amazed at the power the Razor 350 brings to that plane. And with only 8 cell AAAs. Can't wait to see it with the 3s1p Thunder pack he's got coming.

My turn again. This time, and here comes the carnage part, I powered up and started to roll out. As it picked up speed, it increasingly yawed hard to the left. To the left on this runway is not a good place to be. I took off while trying to pull it back to the right. It wasn't enough and I smacked it into a handicapped parking sign pretty hard. Hit the left wing and sheared most of it off close to the fuselage.

I was really hesitant to walk over and assess the damage. It sounded really bad. A sharp "smack" into the signpost. Just when I was starting to get the hang of the plane too. Fortunately, the damage is not all that bad. Definitely repairable. The wing is in 2 pieces and the fuselage has a crack in it. Back to the workbench again...


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