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Sep 02, 2011, 12:21 PM
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Newbie Learning How to Fly Pattern on the UMX Beast

Well I've been bit by the pattern bug. Sure, I can fly maneuvers at WOT and they could pass as the maneuver I was attempting, but I really never had amazing control to make it look like butter - especially with anything less than WOT.

So every session I've been trying like hell to perfect a few simple patterns.

1. Take off
2. Level Flight out
3. Half Cuban-8
4. Level flight back
5. Stall Turn

The Cuban-8 seemed easy at first. But then I noticed something. I was flying it at WOT and it really didn't look smooth at all. The plane was yawing in the loop from wind/setup issues, I wasn't coming out of the half cuban-8 at the same altitude as I ended, etc, etc, etc.

What seemed to be a rather simple maneuver has really made me crazy trying to get it to look smooth in all directions.

To make this look more smooth, it has really come down to three main things for me when practicing on the UMX Beast:

1. Use of rudder in the loop.
2. Flying on very low rates to get the ultra fine control for these precise maneuvers.
3. Throttle management.

Most people and beginners like me know how to use the rudder but use it sparingly, because let's face it: Rudder controls on the throttle stick just feels odd when compared to real rudder pedals. In a real plane, rudder pedals are almost instinct because you can feel the plane and your foot almost wants to press on the pedal to correct the yaw without even thinking about it. We know how it works and usually apply it to some turns here and there and in knife edge. However, without using rudder all the time to yaw the nose back in to a directional vector, it is impossible in my estimation to make these precise maneuvers look smooth, controlled and execute them properly.

My epiphany happened while using the sim. I decided if I'm ever going to perfect this damn cuban 8 and make it look like as smooth as hot butter on hard hard toast, then I'll need to practice the loop, and practice it so much so I can control any pitching or banking during the loop. I tried a lot of different things to center my plane off in the air and bring the 3rd and 4th quadrants of the loop down where I wanted it to be, but nothing was working 100%. If a wing dropped slightly during the inverted part of the loop I tried to center the wings off immediately but to no avail.. the 3rd and 4th quadrant of the loop would be now skewed and not be symmetrical in reverse direction as the beginning of the loop.

To fix this, I had to incorporate usage of the rudder in the loop to bring the nose of the airplane back to the direction in which I want my 3rd and 4th quadrant of the loop to finish. But that wasn't enough, I still had to correct any bank in the wings so that the wings were level once again.

When combining the rudder and the ailerons, I was now able to control my plane through the inverted portion of the loop and make my loop much more symmetrical. Such a simple maneuver can become extremely hard when you actually want to perform it correctly. Any eight year old kid can pull back on the elevator and make his/her champ do a loop, but it takes a lot of practice and finesse to properly execute a loop that is controlled in speed, direction, and pitch.

The point to getting more control in these movements was to fly the Beast with much lower rates than my standard 100%/40% expo rates that I've grown so accustomed with.

This is what I have set my low rates to now and use them when pattern flying these basic maneuvers:

Aileron: 50%, expo 40%
Elevator: 50%, INH
Rudder: 50%, expo 25%

This seems to give me the control I was looking for at the slower speeds. Reducing the elevator from 100%/40% to 50%/INH was the most effective for my slow cuban 8s. This gives me less "mooshy" elevator control and allows me to really nail down the loop and speed so I can stay out of a stall. At least in the sim Gotta wait for the wind to die down to try it in real life.

The third thing was to control the throttle properly. With the idea that it takes gentle rudder movements in the air to properly yaw the plane in the inverted portion of the loop, and the new low rates, I was able to properly see the point in which I needed to reduce my throttle. I needed to reduce it at the 3/4 mark, not the 1/2 or 5/8 mark which is a mistake because the plane will stall, especially if you're correcting the pitch/yaw still at this point. This now gives the plane proper speed in to the 45 degree down and I can reduce throttle once I have the proper 45 down inverted glide path.

Hope this helps someone. I figured I'd document my learning path to proper cuban-8s and loops with the Beast in hopes that it assists another beginner out there.

Fly high guys
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Sep 02, 2011, 03:59 PM
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