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Sep 24, 2015, 12:26 AM
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micro Radian-my experience

as i am probably the most enthusiast about the lil'rad, and have posted several times about it in my blog, i want to bring them all here, so you don't have to browse through it.
i will start from the oldest post:
(so far it had 5,107 Views at september 24, 2015)

if you have any comments, please reach me here:
Last edited by phil alvirez; Oct 01, 2015 at 12:31 PM.
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Sep 25, 2015, 08:40 AM
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here is the next post on the lil rad:
Posted by phil alvirez | Apr 26, 2014 @ 11:58 PM | 5,363 Views

i have been able to fly the plane several times, but not into thermals yet. still, i have reached the following conclusions:
1.-the plane flies superb. congrats to the designer(s). very stable and predictable.
the proportions are great, and with the AS3X gyros, it behaves like its big brother rad. absolutely amazing.
(i own a big rad, so i can tell you this).
2.-but it is important to consider that a micro is a micro. a very different kind of plane. 1st of all, the way you handle it: you don't feel it (41 grams). it is like as if it comes from another dimension. you have to re-think all-or you may break it.
3.-some want to make it so the wing can be removed for carrying it in its box, but for that, you have the option of dealing with 2 microscopic screws, or modding it for magnets. i rather keep the wing permanently attached.
4.- some propose to make all kinds of mod, but to me, adding any kind of weight will impair its performance. think about it before you try. just fly it as it is (i just added a hatch to protect the cell from dirt-but that weighs less than a gram).
5.- the plane handles wind as if were a big plane. eventually i tested in windy weather (see below), and you can see these comments all over the place, including videos, to confirm this.
6.-so, there is room for it, and for the big brother too. it's just that they belong to 2 very different worlds and you have to become accustomed to each 1.
it's being discussed here:
may 9:>>>>>an update: just came back from the field. it was not only windy, but turbulent.
it was the 1st time i flew it in this kind of weather.
it was shaking and bouncing, but all went well. flies like a 2 meters sailplane!
and i don't think i could be able to survive the ordeal without the gyros.
wonderful things they make.
and in the previous flights that i made in calm weather, it also behaved much better with the gyros.
Sep 26, 2015, 05:13 AM
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improving the looks-umx radian

Posted by phil alvirez | May 05, 2014 @ 05:11 PM | 6,479 Views
improving the looks-umx radian
i noticed that the line of the canopy is interrupted at the wing's leading edge, so stretching it beyond, looks more streamlined.
at least, i like it better. anyway, in case any1 consider doing the same, i used gloss black acrylic tamiya paint x-1, applied with a small soft hair brush.
Last edited by phil alvirez; Sep 28, 2015 at 05:52 PM.
Sep 29, 2015, 09:40 AM
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micro radian-beyond fantasy

Posted by phil alvirez | May 17, 2014 @ 06:26 AM | 18,590 Views
you have to live it to believe it.
i have flown in COWT (cloudy/overcast/windy/turbulent) with other planes, way larger than this, but never imagined trying this 1-but i just did it, and it flies even better than larger 1s. the gyros just handle it. and this brings us to another dimension, because with this plane we not only can fly in almost any kind of weather-that other planes can't handle, but in smaller fields near home. even backyards large enough. streets, driveways.
win-win for all. the users, because it allows us to fly in conditions and places in which we could not even think of before, so we can fly more. manufacturers, because they sell many more affordable planes, that are compact, and need less space for storage, even without disassembling.
edit: now i have been able to thermal it and it does it too-and in smaller spaces.
designed with attention to detail, it flies out of your hand so comfortably, so effortlessly as if you were in a dream.
and all that i have to carry is this: 1 case for the tx:, the tx inside (i have the orange whenever available ). this hanging from my wrist, and the plane in my hand. that's all. the cost: plane: $90; case: $10; tx: $65. and a few cells (and s&h).
Sep 30, 2015, 02:52 PM
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atmospheric layers and tiny planes (especially micro radian)

Posted by phil alvirez | May 20, 2014 @ 07:24 AM | 5,831 Views
if you dig into my 7 pages blog, you will see that i have been deep into tiny planes. from that, and my previous experience in free flight, i have learned that there are layers (even indoors in large hangers) that, like blankets, separate the air and sometimes behave different-and therefore drag the plane into that. especially the small 1s.
and with the micro radian, that is indeed a sailplane, this is more noticeable. with it, you will see that for instance, it climbs at different angle depending at which height it is: typically at launch it climbs at 30 degrees at half throttle, then at 10 meters (33 ft) it increases its angle, and then at some 20 meters (66 ft) it increases it again. and when gliding down, the angle changes too, and when approaching the land it sinks even faster and becomes buoyant, like if floating in boiling water, to the point that even stalls. not only that, frequently the wind changes direction from layer to layer, even dramatically, like at 1 layer you see it blowing from the north and next blows from the southeast. this is more noticeable with fog, that sometimes is seen as a blanket covering a field-or at certain height-and little bit beyond suddenly disappears.
just keep this in mind and try to adjust-and enjoy the vagaries of the weather!
Oct 01, 2015, 12:27 PM
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micro radian: the best of both worlds

Posted by phil alvirez | May 21, 2014 @ 11:49 AM | 5,825 Views
i like small planes. the smaller the better. i have been doing that for the past years, starting with the 6400 receiver, then smaller with the brick from the sukhoi, so i could fly these planes at a gym or at my backyard. the thing is, they fly only with no wind.
then i got into 2 meters sailplanes, 1 reason was that i can fly them in windy weather, so i have more chances to fly, especially with the deteriorating of the weather.
then came the micro planes with gyros. and finally, the radian.
with it i can fly not only in small places nearby, but in windy weather too.
parking lots, parks nearby. before, i had to drive 30 minutes to the club's field. now i go to the park nearby (10 minutes) and have a ball.
today, when i arrived, 2 swans made the approach to the pond nearby and landed. majestic creatures they are. didn't care about my plane. there was some wind; enough to keep me from flying if i had another plane instead of the rad. but with it i could fly as long as i wanted. it is as if i were into another dimension. if it were not for the gyros, i wouldn't be flying. yes, the plane shakes, but self-stabilizes and responds to my commands so i can fly it as if there were no wind. at landing it is a little bit more tricky, as the turbulence near the ground is way more than up there, but still is manageable.
science-fiction technology that allows us to do things we didn't even think of before.
Oct 02, 2015, 02:36 PM
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micro radian: how much time available for thermaling?

Posted by phil alvirez | May 26, 2014 @ 11:45 AM | 5,586 Views
am doing field tests to have an idea of how much time we have available for thermaling with the micro radian.
as there are not (yet) means to get figures or warnings in the stock plane, these are estimates based on flights measuring the time of the motor runs and flight times, and then checking how much charge the cell had and the % it had left.
if we run the motor to climb as high as we still can control the plane and see what it is doing, then stop it (and time it), and do this several times (accumulating the time) until it slows down because the cell is reaching the point where it drops, and check the charge left (and its %), and doing other flights with same (or similar capacity) cell but then stopping before this happens, gradually less and less time, and checking charge and %, we can get an idea of when to stop using the motor and still have a reserve of power for thermaling. nothing exact, but a reasonable estimate.
cells used are from stock hobby king, and horizon 25 and 45c.
from these tests i have found that stopping the motor from 4 to 4:30 minutes total time, there is still about 20% charge (3.75v), and this could give a reasonable time for thermaling, considering that it takes little power using just the servos. and if we trim the plane to circle without sinking, there is no need for correcting and the draining the cell is very little. if going to 5-5:30 minutes, the charge drops to 9-10% (3.5v), but this could be considered too low.
how long before the plane runs out of power and goes free flight? hard to say unless getting into thermals and checking the time and then bringing it down and measuring the charge left.
i got some advice regarding this, that can be of good use: Daedalus66 said: One answer is simply to use a little burst of power from time to time. If the motor shuts down or refuses to start, it's time to land. (and i add: that is, if the plane is not so far that you can see this). so there you have it.
Oct 03, 2015, 07:28 AM
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these are the days-or how to enjoy life with the radian

Posted by phil alvirez | Jun 20, 2014 @ 09:44 AM | 5,787 Views
when you grow old, more frequently you say 'those were the days' and recall episodes of your life when things were better. as some say, all things past were better. right?
well, now that i have my micro rad and just pick it up and the radio and place it at the back of my car and drive 10 minutes, or when on my way shopping i drive to the park, launch it and have a ball for several minutes, i think, well, these are the days! nothing past can compare with the fun am having now. life is good. enjoy.
Oct 04, 2015, 02:22 PM
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thermaling with the lil radian

Posted by phil alvirez | Jul 04, 2014 @ 09:01 PM | 5,565 Views
today i had the pleasure to get my micro radian into a thermal for the 1st time.
i fly usually at dawn, as it is when i find a window in the wind, but today at 8:00 pm i looked into the window and noticed that all the trees were still, so got my rad and radio and ran to the pond nearby (10 minutes/6 km), and launched the plane. after several uneventful but pleasant flights in a blue sky without clouds, when i had done 4 minutes of motor, on the last run, noticed that it was not coming down. as usual, i was turning, so kept doing it, but after some time it was getting too high and small and drifting too far, so i brought it back. but it was a wonderful experience!
i had flown the rad consistently, but at dawn there are no thermals-at last i have been unable to detect 1-and also have flown many planes of all kinds into thermals, but with this little wonder i have the oportunity to try it at places nearby, even with some wind, so it expands my horizons enormously.
to all of you who already have got your lil rads into thermals, you understand the feeling.
and to all of you who still haven't, i dedicate this, with the best wishes that some time you will also enjoy the feeling.
it's a wonderful life.
Oct 05, 2015, 06:00 AM
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1 of those days...

Posted by phil alvirez | Jul 18, 2014 @ 10:28 AM | 5,159 Views
july 17: at 5:30 am took the lil rad to the nearby park (the pond). some wind, but great time anyway. then came back at 8:00. more flying. even got into a thermal. then went to my son's nearby for a while. then we were going shopping, but as i had the planes with me, i asked him to get the camera and film me flying at the street. but when i tried to land, the plane was overshooting, as the glide was too flat and didn't want to come down. i realized it was sloping at the houses roofs. so i had to overshoot instead of catching it. landed a little bit ahead on the street. this thing can fly almost anywhere!
Oct 06, 2015, 12:33 AM
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umx radian: auto pilot-or not?

Posted by phil alvirez | Sep 01, 2014 @ 11:04 AM | 5,126 Views
conclusions on ap vs no ap-my view.
1.-i am pleased with the rad as is, with the autopilot (ap), and from what i read, many others too.
and still there are some who think it is better without it. i think that with ap in windy weather (for which it was intended) it does much better.
2.-anyway, as the brick of 1 of my rads went south and don't have another of the same ap, i replaced it with 1 that has no ap (AR6400), so will try and compare in no wind days. some say that without ap it thermals better.
3.-well, there was a window in the weather and had the chance to evaluate the conversion.
the plane flies fine in calm, although behaves different, as could be expected. problem was, that could not evaluate it completely because the prop does not stop, even if stalling the plane.
4.- i added the esc that helps to stop the prop. it is done, so only i have to wait until next window again.
5.-now i was able to try it: with little wind it is a lively plane: sensitive, responsive, but still controllable, so it behaves just as any other plane of its size. and in no wind it is a lively nice little plane. still i have to try it in no wind thermals to see how it behaves.
so in some wind with no ap, it needs frequent commands, as any other plane its size.
and another identical plane with ap is way more stable, self-compensating for the drafts.
big difference. but it's up to each 1 which way you like it.
it confirms that only with ap it can be flown in windy weather that otherwise only larger planes can do, and in smaller places.
Oct 07, 2015, 08:57 AM
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trimming the radian

Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 08, 2014 @ 12:07 AM | 6,474 Views
what works for me
for all that i have learned about it:
1.-place the cell (so-called battery) at 1/3 wing chord and then fly it:
2.- if it takes a few clicks to fly right (3-4):
3.- just shift the cell until takes zero trim;
4.- but if it needs more, then it needs changing decalage (please note: decalage, not decolage):
5.-if trim gives elevator up, it needs less stab incidence (decrease angle of attack-raise trailing edge or decrease leading edge);
6.-or the opposite: if trim gives elevator down, it needs more stab incidence (increase angle of attack of stab-lower trailing edge or raise leading edge).
to modify decalage:
7.-if needs less stab incidence, remove a thin layer from the join of the top fuselage where it matches the tail.
8.-if needs more stab incidence, insert a thin layer at the join.
(these are paper thin adjustments)
9.-do 1 at a time and test fly until it does not need trim (zero=elevator neutral).
Oct 15, 2015, 02:00 AM
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slow start

Posted by phil alvirez | Yesterday @ 07:10 AM | 1,302 Views
1 trick that i have learned with the umx rad is to have a slow start. launch and run it at low throttle for 10 seconds, then accelerate at whatever speed you want. before i learned that, i have experienced unexpected cut-offs at about 5 seconds after launch, with the consequent dive and crash. i guess somehow the esc can't handle the surge. this happens only at the 1st flight after plugging-in a cell. now doing this it does not happen anymore.
Last edited by phil alvirez; Oct 15, 2015 at 02:07 AM.
Dec 09, 2015, 03:50 AM
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life of the umx radian

this what i have learned about the rad's duration:
there are several ways it could reach the end of its serviceable life:
1.- wearing out the brushes of the motors, be the 1 that powers the plane, or those at the servos;
2.-the resistive ink on the PCB wears out as the wiper slides through it.
the symptoms for the motors may be: for the main motor, it may just get weak, or runs uneven, even sometimes refuses to re-start in flight;
for the servo motors, the servos may run uneven or sometimes don't re-start in the middle of the flight.
and is practically impossible to check them unless having specialized equipment and may be removing or disconnecting them.
for the track on the pcb you have to remove the servo, which is sort of delicate task and also have to remove the brick.
(this is what happened to 1 of my rads, so maybe this part is the 1 that wears out before the others).
so, whenever your plane starts to behave erratical, or any of the servos stop functioning (and this may happen in the middle of the flight), it is time to get a new brick-or a new plane.
these are not complaints. to me this plane is the most wonderful i even flew, and intend to keep using it despite these facts.
just to any1 to consider this in case it happens to you.

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