can't fly without ailerons - RC Groups
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Sep 09, 2001, 05:48 AM
Registered User
DS's Avatar

can't fly without ailerons

I am interested in this hobby and as a complete newbie I tried using a simulator (CSM v10 and FMS) with my Graupner MC16 transmitter. Since I didn't actually know better I used the simulator for hours and hours flying on elevator, ailerons and motor.
The first few take offs did not make it in the air, but after a few trials I can now get the plane(s) airborne just as 1-2-3, flying is a piece of cake and landings are ... uhm ... most of the time succesfull.
So, after a few weeks of training I went to a hobby store to look around for a small slowflyer or park flyer type of plane.
To my surprise most of all those 'beginner' airplanes are controlled only by rudder and elevator (and of course motor).
So, I went back home and tried the simulator with only rudder and elevator, no ailerons.
But now, even after weeks of fl.. errr ...trying to fly, I am not able to make nice turns and landing is absolutely impossible without crashing.
Then I just give up and fly on ailerons ... nice turns, start a loop, stop halfway and use the ailerons to get the plane facing upwards again (a roll ?), smooth landing with the plane horizontal to the ground (thanks to ailerons).
When I try to take off, make a turn and land using only rudder and elevator it's crash after crash !

So, why can't you find a 'beginner' plane with ailerons and which doesn't cost to much ($50-$80) ?
What should I do right now ? Still try to master the rudder/elevator only ?


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Sep 09, 2001, 06:39 AM
Tacoma, WA, USA
William A's Avatar
Sounds like your a prime candidate for a Zagi.
Sep 09, 2001, 07:10 AM
Registered User
Andy W's Avatar
A model with rudder/elevator can be as easy to control as one with aileron/elevator. My SR cutie comes to mind (my only R/E ship). I wonder if you mean you are confused by having the rudder on the left stick. It shouldn't be - the primary steering axis should be on the right stick, whether it's ailerons or rudder. IF you have both, then ailerons on right, rudder on left. Otherwise, there's little difference for basic flight. Ailerons are obviously beneficial, but even a R/E trainer like the Cutie and do rolls, loops and (as I had a lot of fun with yesterday) massive spins!
Sep 09, 2001, 07:20 AM
Registered User
DS's Avatar
What I meant is that the plane doesn't seem to respond very well when using rudder instead of ailerons. With ailerons you can easily make the plane level with the ground, and turning is just a matter of a little aileron followed by elevator to turn, while with rudder it takes much more time for the plane to actually make a turn ... and the turn-circle is taller as well.
Maybe I should try with rudder on left stick when no ailerons ! I thought leaving the rudder on right stick to avoid confusion when ailerons are available or not.

But even then, using the keyboard (for testing) and the free FMS simulator, I could fly with ailerons, and I could not with rudder ! For me, it is as if I don't have enough precise control for the plane to fly level when using the rudder.
Sep 09, 2001, 07:37 AM
RPV builder & operator
Pierre Audette's Avatar
If you're trying to fly a model with A/R/E by controlling only the R & E, you will have problems. Planes with ailerons don't have any or much dihedral, so using the rudder alone isn't very effective.

Models with only R & E have lots of dihedral to help turning, and are self levelling at the end of the turn.

I wouldn't worry too much about learning with ailerons on a simulator. It will be much easier to fly a plane with only R & E, as you won't need to level the plane after a turn.

And as Andy mentioned, make sure you use the horizontal right stick for turning with either type of planes. Only move the rudder to the left stick if you have ailerons.
Sep 09, 2001, 07:50 AM
Registered User
Andy W's Avatar
If you're using the keyboard, you will have no sense of how it will feel to control a model set up for R/E control. There is almost NO difference in feel between an aileron trainer and a correctly set up R/E trainer. They are equally responsive.
Sep 09, 2001, 08:04 AM
Registered User
You sound like the typical beginner (wanting the best cause it looks good). Flying on a simulator is one thing. Flying the real thing is different. I remember my first time on a simulator, was TOOOOOOOOOOOO easy. I flew an aerobatic low winger plane in a 40 knot wind with ease, yet if I was to do this for real in the same wind I'd quickly end up with matchsticks. If you really want to fly YOU HAVE TO GET OUT THERE and fly the real thing not a computer simulation. Computers CAN'T simulate wind gusts like mother nature. Regarding using R&E, sounds like your plane doesn't have enough dihedral. Rudder and elevator planes fly just fine when set up correctly (they just don't turn as quickly as a rudder and elevator plane). Besides you say you're a newbie. Why are you wanting to start on a e & e model anyway???? Learn the basics properly on a R & E plane first.
Sep 09, 2001, 09:03 AM
Registered User
Dauntae's Avatar
Originally posted by Andy W:
If you're using the keyboard, you will have no sense of how it will feel to control a model set up for R/E control. There is almost NO difference in feel between an aileron trainer and a correctly set up R/E trainer. They are equally responsive.
Andy, He is using a radio interface. I do know what he is talking about though, I learned on A/E/T myself and find it difucult to bring in rudder planes in level at times but it just takes a little practice to control it the way you want, one or two flights you will be used to it.
Sep 09, 2001, 09:52 AM
Registered User
DS, first of all welcome to Ezone!

I suspect the plane you're playing with on the simulator has very little or no dihedral. Dihedral is the upward angle of the wing from root to tip. If it is a straight wing then yes, the rudder will have little or no effect on roll. With enough dihedral though the rudder will cause the plane to roll. Notice that all those 'beginner' airplanes you looked at all have a fair amount of dihedral. In fact dihedral reduces the effect of ailerons.

Dihedral also has another effect which is useful in a trainer: it makes the plane more stable and gives it a tendency to automatically keep itself level. This is why most trainers use rudder for steering and not ailerons.
Sep 09, 2001, 11:17 AM
Registered User
Bob has it right. Make sure you are using a model in the simulator which is set up with rudder/elevator controls (note, the rudder will usually be set up on the "aileron" stick of the transmitter). Planes with ailerons are simply not set up to turn correctly with rudder.

In FMS try the slow flyer and switch ailerons off (set them to an unused channel). For CSM you'll have to find a model set up that way. I've never seen a real slow flyer for CSM but there are some 3-channel models which will give you the idea e.g. or from my CSM page

As for why you can't find a 4-channel cheap slow flyer. More channels are more expensive (extra servo/s plus more complex construction) and a slow flyer doesn't need ailerons for what it's intended to do.

Sep 09, 2001, 04:35 PM
Registered User
DS's Avatar
Thank you all for the replies.
I did indeed try a plane with 3channel (R/E only) on the simulator, and it was setup correctly with dihedral, no ailerons ... downloaded from somewhere I can't remember right now. It is a trainer type (high wing), but still I find it much easier to fly and land a mustang p51 with ailerons over that trainer like airplane ... never managed to land it even once !
But I do have to admit that rudder was on right stick, so I will put it on left stick and try again.

Masterpiece :
Rudder and elevator planes fly just fine when set up correctly (they just don't turn as quickly as a rudder and elevator plane). Besides you say you're a newbie. Why are you wanting to start on a e & e model anyway????

What is an 'e & e model' ?
R/E planes don't turn as quickly ... that's what I'm having troubles with to level the plane

But I will do my homework and try again on a simple R/E plane

I'll keep you informed about the progress.
Sep 09, 2001, 07:15 PM
Registered User
ShinySteelRobot's Avatar
So, why can't you find a 'beginner' plane with ailerons and which doesn't cost to much ($50-$80) ?
(Where is tic when you need him? Okay, I'll suggest it...)

The Sky Scooter is *exactly* what you're looking for. It is aileron/elevator/throttle control. It's made of foam, so it bounces but doesn't shatter when you hit the ground. You can buy the kit version (no radio included) for $70US at Hobby People or for $60 from Servo City.

The Scooter is what I learned to fly on. Speaking as someone with experience with "real" (ie, full-size) airplanes, it was just too weird flying a rudder-elevator-only plane.

[This message has been edited by ShinySteelRobot (edited 09-10-2001).]
Sep 09, 2001, 08:38 PM
Rehab is for quitters
LuckyArmpit's Avatar
aileron plane, do a zagi or sky scooter pro.
My scooter flies fine on stock setup. I now have the aileron throws almost full blast.
It loops and does rolls nicely as long as the speed is built up. Actually, best plane to learn on is the T-52. Mine is setup for rudder/elevator. However, you can build it
also for aileron as well. I nosed mine in this evening due to windy conditions and cracked the front and bent the motor shaft.
Epoxy it up, use some tape and she is good as new.

Sep 10, 2001, 01:19 AM
Lil hornet and twinstar are both aileron ships.

Sep 10, 2001, 04:28 AM
T-52 over Seattle
Silver's Avatar

Be a little careful about drawing too many conclutions about flying performance based on the FMS simulator. Many of the model builders take great pains to create a great looking model, then they copy the flight parameters from another plane that seems to fly well. Unless you verify that the model you are flying has the correct dihedral (V-faktor), Aileron size, rudder size, elevator size, wing lift, drag, etc. you could be flying a Pico Cub with the flight characteristics copied from a Lite Stik.

Another problem is that a lot of the models were copied from the Aerofly program. I think the FMS program responds less to the size of control surfaces than Aerofly does. Many of the messages on the discussion board have suggested increasing the size of the control surfaces and increasing the thrust of the motor to get a more accruate flying plane.

Only a few people bother to translate the parameter files from German and correctly model the plane for real flying response. I have modified the "Partner" high-wing trainer to fly much like my T-52 trainer and it now has all the same responses of a R/E type plane.

Bonne chance!