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Apr 15, 2004, 08:49 AM
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The Saga Continues ......

Hope this doesn’t bore you guys ...... I’ve got no real experience / success with slope but I’ve been a fan of this forum for a couple of months. I love the pics, movies, stories and especially the information. A real wealth of information.

Just thought I’d bring you guys up to date on my reentry to R/C. I use to fly glow 20 years back never got real good at it and recently I decided to give it another go .... I’m a windsurfer so slope seemed the obvious choice.

I really enjoy the building and designing aspect of the hobby so a scratch build was the way to go. I posted this a while back ........ used Ace foam wings ...... she always went into a spiral when turning. Got heavier and heavier with every repair!

wingspan 52”
length 34”
w/loading @ 18oz (after several repairs)
Wing: brown paper over foam
Fuse: fiberglass over balsa

Well I was very concerned about the V-tail (my first) and spiral stability so I tried again ....... same wing BTW. I did wise up when it came to color schemes though ... try looking for a black and beige plane in tall grass ........

Wingspan 52”
Length 34”
W/loading @ 13oz (the day it got lost)
Wing: brown paper over foam
Pod: fiberglass over balsa
Boom: fiberglass tube
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Apr 15, 2004, 08:51 AM
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The yellow one worked a lot better in test glides but had the same spiral tendencies when I went out to the big slope. Now this big slope I refer to is not the one in the pic (that’s my test slope very gentle) The big slope does have good lift .... guys paraglide off it when the winds are mild. But there’s no real LZ and and there’s dense bush everywhere.

Well on the fateful day my baby executed one turn ...spiraled and was never seen again!
Apr 15, 2004, 08:53 AM
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I was down but not out! Did some research ...... apparently that Ace foam wing is a bit of a dog, so I decided I’d have to build my own. Along came the thread on the worlds cheapest foam cutter ..... great info! Thanks TFLG!

Downloaded MacFoil, made some templates, cut some cores. It wasn’t that simple but I did manage to produce sort of an eppler 205 shape.There’s no LHS around here and everything has to be mail ordered so I decided to build with what I could find locally. Carved a 2 piece male mold, waxed it, laid up with 7oz cloth, joined the halves and viola .... my first all fiberglass fuse.

This plane was modeled after the Upslopesoaring “Spinner” with rudder and elevator ........ I also decided that seeing as my pilot skills obviously sucked I may as well add a single axis gyro and a lost plane alarm. Hey the technology is there ...why not use it!

Weight 40 oz
Wingspan 60”
Area 355” sq
W/loading @ 16oz (fuse and wing a bit beefy)
Wing: brown paper over foam with carbon spar
Pod: fiberglass
Boom: heavy carbon tube

BTW ..... anyone else use a gyro? Is it a dumb idea?
Apr 15, 2004, 08:54 AM
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Didn't post the pic ....sorry
Apr 15, 2004, 08:58 AM
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Well then I found a new slope! ....... Only about a 30 degree incline, but the wind blows right into it and guess what ...... I stayed up for a full minute ..... made a series of turns, I actually maintained altitude until a sloppy turn (too much up elevator going into the turn) kind of stalled me and I lost too much altitude ........ but I landed the plane, sort of .... I did pop out a blind nut on the wing hold down, but I’d just epoxied them to the floor of the fuse so I wouldn’t bust up the wing in the event of a crash.

I was jazzed! ......... 16 oz per sq foot ... what I assume is light lift ........ and it stayed up a full minute. Hey we’re getting somewhere!

So what did I do ..... fix the wing bolts and toss it again ..... that would be the logical course of action wouldn’t it? No way I went back into the workshop and made this instead!

Weight 32 oz
Wingspan 64”
Area 466” sq
W/loading @ 10oz
Wing: brown paper over foam with carbon spar
Fuse: balsa with one layer of cloth (from rear of wing saddle to nose)

This one has a gyro to
Apr 15, 2004, 09:00 AM
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Another shot ...... Yeah, I know I’m not too creative when it comes to paint jobs!
Apr 15, 2004, 09:01 AM
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One more pic ... the duo .... I’m looking forward to the weekend!
Apr 15, 2004, 09:26 AM
VTPR & Slope Aerobatics
surfimp's Avatar

Man, I admire your tenacity. Not only are you learning to slope, but you're learning with your own scratchbuilt designs...impressive to say the least. Your ability to manage what must surely get frustrating is an inspiration

The planes are looking good, though to be honest 10-18oz. wingloadings are definitely in what I would think of as a medium to slightly heavy range for a first sloper. You will have to focus on keeping the planes flying fast and smooth to avoid stalls. The rudder-elevator planform is, to me, more suited to a more of a "floater" type aircraft that doesn't fly quite as fast, and gives you more time to allow the plane to respond to turbulence, obstacles, and so forth. This is not a criticism of your planes but just an observation.

For your next plane, I would like to encourage you to try ailerons. IMHO, ailerons are far more suitable and almost necessary for slope soaring, as having roll control allows you to get out of all the crazy sorts of problems your planes may get into. But by all means, go with what feels right. But consider ailerons

I think the paint jobs on your planes look cool. They are high-contrast and should show up well against any number of backgrounds, which is the most important thing of course for an RC aircraft.

Barbados is a wonderful place. Do you fly over by Soup Bowls?


P.S.--About the gyro: try flying without it at first, and making sure that everything is working well. Then add it in, and see if it makes any improvement or not. Mainly I would think that they might be used to minimize oscillations in yaw or pitch, but perhaps you are thinking to use them for roll control? If you are having spiral stability problems maybe what you really need is a larger rudder and vertical fin area? Just a few thoughts.
Last edited by surfimp; Apr 15, 2004 at 09:29 AM.
Apr 15, 2004, 10:19 AM
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Thanks for the comments Surfimp

Yeah I agree the wing loadings are a bit higher than I’d like, but with the materials I’ve got (brown paper and boat building epoxy resin) ... what can a guy do.

To tell the truth though the 16 oz plane wasn’t that quick really ... and the new slope has great visibility and lots of space to make mistakes ... we’ll see what the weekend holds.

Ailerons, well I never had them when I was flying glow so I was hesitant to try them on my first sloper .... oh that’s actually my first 4 slopers ... hee hee

I live 2min from soup bowl and my new slope is just mile or so up the coast from Parlor ( heading south) I can walk there.

Maybe I’ll dump the gyro for a bit .... but it does seem to slow down control response a bit ..... which for me is a good thing

Spiral problems, I think the Ace wing was just tip stalling, that and the fact that the pilot would just freeze up once that twirling decent began!
Apr 15, 2004, 10:41 AM
Blue Stick's Dad
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One thing I learned early on when experimenting myself is that a polygon shaped wing is more stable with only rudder and elevator control than a dihedral wing. If you just add one more angled joint in the wing on each side you'll notice a tremendous improvement in control. Dihedral wings work better with ailerons for a novice pilot.
Apr 15, 2004, 11:14 AM
Wow. I'm impressed! Not only are the planes nice looking but they even fly. And scratch built no less! Like Brian and Steve said, give ailerons a shot. Heck even build another set of wings and use them on the same plane. You'll really like the response you'll get with ailerons. Make your dihedral a bit lower, also and you'll get blown around less IMHO. Don't make it flat though

In fact you've inspired me to make my own "worlds cheapest foam cutter" and try it out! What's the worst that could happen? <evil grin>

What kind of foam did you use?
Apr 15, 2004, 11:29 AM
VTPR & Slope Aerobatics
surfimp's Avatar
We need to send this man some EPP and a roll of packing tape!! Who is with me?

Seriously, some EPP would be great for your purposes, crashbuilder. You could cover the wing in packing tape and it would be way lighter and a lot more durable than the glassed foam wings, enabling you to build a lighter plane that would probably be a lot easier to fly.

But anyways, keep up the good work and most importantly, keep us posted! I enjoy reading about your progress

Apr 15, 2004, 11:31 AM
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Had to use white foam no blue available anywhere on the island ..... island life can suck sometimes ........ 8 x 4 sheet costs US$ 50.00! ........ I guess it costs a ton to ship “air” all the way to the tropics!

The foam works fine but the TE is really delicate after the hot wire so I tape it as soon as it’s cut and keep it in the cradle out of harm’s way.
Apr 15, 2004, 11:34 AM
Insert custom witicism
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Man, I've got to try that wing cutter method. Nice job crash, it looks like the time you're putting in is paying off. Keep going!

Apr 15, 2004, 11:50 AM
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Got some questions for you guys:

1. What’s a light wing? My 60” 355”sq wing weights 16oz and my 64” 466”sq wing weighs 10 oz (the second wing is always lighter)

I’m warming to the idea of ailerons so ......

2. Is there anyway to modify a Hitec neon fm so you can do flaperons... I could build a mechanical mixer and use the throttle to adjust the flap angle but I’d prefer a electronic solution.

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