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Apr 16, 2019, 10:48 PM
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Multiplex Heron thermal flying

Today was a perfect weather day that started out (April 16, 2019) with cool temps (60F) but warmed up to about 75 by noon. Winds diminished to about 5 mph and no clouds. Lift was light but just enough for the Heron. I used the Lithium Ion (LiIO) charge setting on my $110 Hitech Black 2 pack charger. This puts about 90 percent into the Lipo 2200 3S 45 C pack and does not over charge the pack. On the first flight I flew for about 25 minutes using about 1.5 minutes of full power climbs. I only go full throttle for about 15 seconds each so this was about 4 or 5 climbs. After landing I had 55% remaining on the pack. I adjusted one flap and launched again into light but steady lift every where. After climbing to about 1000 feet and turning off SAFE Self Level I did about 1 minute of aerobatics with aileron rolls and loops. Max dive speed with SAFE on is limited to about 60-70 mph because the gyros limit dive angle to about 40 degrees. No wing flutter or flex was observed from the foam wings with aluminum wing spars. Energy retention is not like heavier fiberglass designs but is fun anyway. The full flaps and crow with full down elevator stick provides a nice 40 degree slow dive to a round out and flare right in front of you. The single wheel protects the belly and allows for friction free rollouts that are about 30 feet long . There is not friction on the wheel but if it had then this could provide for less rollout distance.

I am still learning the flight characteristics of my Heron. The pack is secured as far aft as possible but dive tests show positive stability and pull out. However I have experienced stall when in a tight thermal turn with up elevator. I will reduce up elevator in this flight mode so no unintentional stalling and spinning will result in a tight uu turn.

So far I am enjoying the AR 636 receiver programming with the Spitfire gyro settings. I have not had to use receiver programming for this or any other SAFE receiver. I have entered a few spins with the Heron and I have recovered quickly with only about 20-30 foot altitude loss by going full power, releasing the sticks for leveling then using up elevator to regain the lost altitude. I am confident that by reducing up elevator in thermal turns that no more stall and spins will occur. I will post the spm file when further flight testing confirms the throws.
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