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Dec 06, 2012, 08:40 PM
Registered User
dangerdan's Avatar

Question Re: Mystique Canopy

The left side of the fiber glass canopy (brand new, never been flown) has a slight warp that protrudes out (1/16 inch) just far enough to interfere with the tip of the prop when it is folded back manually. Not being familiar with a folding prop, is there concern for damage when the motor is stopping or starting. I have only turned the prop by hand.

Is there a fix for this or do I have to order a new one.
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Dec 06, 2012, 09:00 PM
Tossing planes into the snow
Originally Posted by gvdl1
I live in Ontario, Canada (bit cold right now but I fly all year round) and yes there is an ALES contest circuit here run through the Southern Ontario Glider Group, SOGGI. Plan to enter this year, meet lots of folks, have some fun, become a better pilot and some day return the favour and help others who get hooked like I am. (and no, not win anything, just fly)
I live in Smithers BC and also fly all winter. We have contests here exactly zero times per year. I am probably the only person within hundreds of miles who even has an RC glider. Who knows how far it would be to drive to a competition..Oh well it's nice to have the airspace without anybody in my way except for crows.
Dec 06, 2012, 09:43 PM
Registered User
Hi, dangerdan.

With the bulge on the right side it's not likely to grab the prop since the blade will be moving away from the bulge. That being said, fixing the bulge might be as simple as wrapping the canopy with tape or rubber bands and letting it sit for awhile. If that doesn't work you might be able to shape it with the careful application of heat. Another option would be to coat the inside with fiberglass cloth while holding the canopy in shape.

Dec 06, 2012, 10:12 PM
Airborne whenever I can.
PAT-T's Avatar
Originally Posted by Jovanx
I live in Smithers BC and also fly all winter. We have contests here exactly zero times per year. I am probably the only person within hundreds of miles who even has an RC glider. Who knows how far it would be to drive to a competition..Oh well it's nice to have the airspace without anybody in my way except for crows.
Same thing down here, no contest I am aware of, and the local MAAC RC field is on private land, but not really a club, MAAC members just come here and fly there aircraft. Did not see many people last summer. Most of the time, I am pretty much alone at the field, if I don't count the owners Labrador. My glider arrived today, will take my time to get it together. Fly mostly all year if weather permits. This plane will be fun also.

Dec 06, 2012, 11:18 PM
Registered User
dangerdan, my canopy also bulged a little on each side. I carefully used a hot air gun (for monokote) and warmed the inside while holding it in my palm. Some gentle squeezes made the shape skinnier, and now if fits very nice. A hair dryer would probably work well too. The fiberglass resin starts to flow at a warmer temp, just don't over do it and get it too hot. Easy does it.
Dec 07, 2012, 08:52 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
similar technique to how we uncrunch foam. A little heat can do great things.
Dec 07, 2012, 09:57 AM
Registered User
Gordysoar's Avatar

More on why CG became a preference

Years past things flexed....pushrods were made of nylon, they weren't supported their full length, fuselages bent when the elevator tried to move the nose out of a dive. Elevator and horizontal stablizers twisted under those same loads and ....models actually blew apart if their speed got too fast in a dive.
(the flexing made it impossible to pull the nose up out of a dive and the dive would increase as speed increased and things flexed even more..this became known as "tucking".)

So to "protect" against this from happening, CG's got moved forward and stab incidences (fixed stabs) got glued on to fuselages with some 'up'. It made for some crappy flying models but good pilots adjusted to the crooked airframes and the porpoising that came with them. They got really good at managing their models speed to avoid it...those were the "top" guys back then.

CGs were set at the spar (30% of root chord)...now we set them at 45%. because those things don't flex anymore and our models don't blow up in the air during high speed dives.

When some of the top guys realized what was going on (aero-elasticity) and took steps to correct it, they also realized that they could get a more predicatable flying sailplane, one that didn't need all that up trim and as a result all that nose weight...the gap between the top guys and the rest grew wider.

They started building and flying full flying horizontal stabs so that they could adjust incidence as they experimented with balance. Which got mis-understood as we see in this thread, "that balance is tunable to preference". They weren't looking for some kind of mystical "feeling" or stability, they were looking for a model that didn't change attitude with airspeed. (That's attitude not altitude :-).

When they tried to share their information, they were told they were crazy because the status quo wanted to still be "right" since they have years of experience with setting CG and incidence...so couldn't be wrong.

Back in 1997 the expert reference pulled out to justify CG preference (as is Dr Drela is paraded in this thread) was Martin Simon..a seriously brilliant guy who contributed a tremendous amount to our hobby. His information was 100% correct, just not for task rc soaring.

His discussion about CG and dive tests was answered by JW in one of the most enlightening posts I've ever read on both topics, it was posted on  12/30/1997 on RCSE. (no, do your own leg work).

His post caused the status quo to stand just short of outrage..."heresy!" and continues in this thread. He went on and continues to have more wins across the task soaring spectrum than anyone else on Earth.

Years have passed and a few back I talked to him about the post and his thoughts on balance today...he pointed out that now days he has moved his balance forward from those days....

to which you preference guys now say, "ah ha!"

To which I say, Horizon offered the best CG for a good set up, not a great one....JW's set up isn't what it used to be likely because there's no need, in those says model weight and performance wasn't near what it is today. They didn't have the poly-hedral of today, penetration or light weight, lots of things. If JW's CG was set at 55% back in his younger days, you can bet its not at 38% now.

I don't intend to speak for JW, I don't even get close to understanding the hobby as he does, but I learned by asking questions, reading, and weighing what I heard and read. If I had a hard time flying a top guy's model, I took it that I had a lot more to learn about flying rc sailplanes, not that I could make mine better by hobbling it with nose weight. (PS, properly balanced does not equal "way back", a tail heavy model can only fly backwards, a nose heavy model can only fly nose downwards, a properly balanced model will fly straight regardless of speed).

Flying a crooked unbalance airframe will cause you to learn how to fly crooked unbalance aiframes, when handed one that isn't - Liike Ed you'll find it hard to control. This is "radio controll" not free flight with options :-). Because I learned this early on, I can fly indoor micros, thermal, slope, powered of all ilks, and Turbines (helis not so much:-).

Latest blog entry: Check out my YouTube Channel
Dec 07, 2012, 10:49 AM
Registered User
Gordysoar's Avatar
I am a fan of Ed's work, and his friend.
Latest blog entry: Check out my YouTube Channel
Dec 07, 2012, 12:03 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Gordy and I are friends, but we often face off on the forums, some times over subtle shades of gray. Sometimes we are in absolute alignment. But the back and forth can bring out things for you to think about and bring forth resources to help you understand this wonderful world of soaring that we both love. We both hope you grow to love it too. And we both hope to fly with you some day.
Dec 07, 2012, 01:53 PM
Tossing planes into the snow
I have always appreciated aeajr's posts because he has more experience than me, and speaks in a clear and understandable manner. As a Canadian, I also appreciate his way of being polite and not offending anyone.

On the other hand, there are times when it makes sense to be blunt, and Gordysoar has that part figured out. We need both the yin and yang and I have learned much from both of you guys.
Dec 07, 2012, 01:54 PM
Registered User
mertz's Avatar

Finally got my maiden flight in!


You know how you go over everything twice sometimes more just to make sure your new plane is ready to go. Well I went over the Mystique numerous times just to make sure I had everything ready. I tested every servo, measured all throws and checked the CG numerous times, all is good. I went to my local field and put it together and got ready to send it in the air. Oh and by the way I have the 1250 version of the bl-25 motor, thank god!

I checked the cg with a 2650 sky fly 3s and strapped it in using the Velcro strap and buckle. I usually place Velcro on the batt and the frame just to make sure it stays put, Can you guess where this is going? I tossed it in the air with power at 1/2 and it took off like a rocket. 15 seconds later it starts going straight up, I applied down elevator and it straightened out, when I took it off it did it again. Here starts my ride as a bronc buster that can not get off the horse.

This plane was all over the place, I could not risk bringing it in for a low pass to see what could be wrong because it was way too tail heavy so I took it high and tried to figure out what could be wrong. I slowed it down so I could control it with the elevator. all control surfaces worked like they should but when I applied more speed it went out of control. At one point I actually had it hanging on the prop. I thought how the heck am I going to land this and how many pieces is it going to be in.

I slowed it down to a manageable speed and let it level out. After a 5 or 6 passes I had enough confidence that I could get it on the ground. After a very long glide in I put it down with 20 feet to spare before it was in the sage brush.

When I opened up the canopy I found the battery had slipped out of the Velcro strap and was in fact lying aft of the rudder and elevator servos. Let me put all your fears about the wings coming lose to rest. This plane did 5 or 6 big loops and numerous wing stalls, those wings were on there just like when I launched it. I have all the confidence in the world in this plane. I haven't flown my corsair on purpose like I flew this plane yesterday. And let me tell you she floats just fine.

I had nightmares last night about this flight

Last edited by mertz; Dec 07, 2012 at 05:13 PM.
Dec 07, 2012, 02:20 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Good report and good warning about the battery. Velcro on the battery pack is an excellent practice

Also a backstop so the pack can't slide back seems to be in order.
Dec 07, 2012, 02:22 PM
Woodstock 1's Avatar
Originally Posted by Jovanx
On the other hand, there are times when it makes sense to be blunt, and Gordysoar has that part figured out. ....
Lol, you should be in the Diplomatic Corps !

Dec 07, 2012, 05:20 PM
Registered User
Good one, Chris.

Alas. I'm not much of a diplomat myself. That's one reason why I drink more beer during the winter months! I started before the party tonight, because it's snowing, so I can fake diplomacy if I really, really, try.
Dec 07, 2012, 05:45 PM
Registered User

Forgive me, good people, I just have to do this.

The simple fact is that different fliers demand different things from their planes. A person flying a Radian for their first flight ever demands an entirely different performance envelope than someone flying a Pulsar in a local ALES event. And neither of those will necessarily correspond to a regional, national, or world thermal duration event or an advanced LSF task.

A beginner needs a plane with positive stability so that they can learn the special kind of hand/eye coordination it takes to fly a model. They might also have to compensate for rookie mistakes in setting up their controls and incidences. These problems are easier to overcome if one has experienced fliers to help one out but a great many people, like those who live in rural areas, don't have that resource readily available.

In the most general of terms: a sailplane set up with the CG towards the front of the recommended range will be easier for an inexperienced pilot to fly. A forward CG will also result in a predictable combination of attributes for experienced pilots flying a new plane. Think of it as an error on the side of caution. It might come as a shock to learn that some manufacturers get the whole CG range wrong. It happens but setting up at the front of the recommended range will almost always prevent one from running into a problem like Mertz had when his battery shifted back. This approach, of beginning with a forward CG and gradually moving weight back until the desired performance has been achieved, is a time honored approach among almost every pilot I've ever met.

Many of the pilots getting this sailplane are making a significant step up in size, performance, and complexity. Those are three very important variables. One of the things that one can do to reduce the learning curve is to set up the initial CG to, hopefully, give rather benign handling for the learning period. Then, as one learns the habits of the plane, one will then adjust the CG to give optimum performance and that optimum performance will differ between pilots and whatever task they wish to perform.


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