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Jul 31, 2019, 07:08 PM
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Thread OP
Help!

Beginner journey. A lot of advise needed


Hi guys, I am new here, my name is Luis F. Corado, I am from Venezuela and I am just starting in this hobby.

About 5 month ago I decided to get my first RC Airplane, after reading a lot of reviews and opinions here and finding a good deal on a open box item on ebay I bought a Champ S+ , great flyer, easy to learn.

I have a public park near by my apartment, it has a small baseball field that gives me about 130m square of free space and after that small trees, but since it is next to a road and is always windy here, according to windy.com is usually at 5-6 knots with gust of 25 knots. (here is the google maps location of the place: https://www.google.com/maps/@10.0770.../data=!3m1!1e3)

So I flew my Champ S there, first with all Safe options on, second flight with inter medium mode, and third flight with SAFE turned off (although I think it never gets complete off). When there is a lot of wind, I cant fly it with SAFE off, at least not in a good controlled way.

This got me exited, and after all my real goal was to fly a self made balsa wood airplane, I decided to purchase a kit to begin with. For some dumb reason (maybe online advertisement of something) I got a Dancing Wing Mini Tiger Moth with the hopes I could fly it in the same place. I bought the Kit, electronics, covering film, tools for covering, fast forward a few weeks and the model was done (I used to build rubbered power models when i was young with my father). Here are some pics:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/D4MErHiBfB22Q9nh7

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZqBdCvqU9JnAJNaJA

I when to fly it for first time, too windy+tail heavy: crashed. The plane took off really fast, when 90 degrees then side ways and crashed, I practically had no control over it. I think I miss read the plans and balanced the airplane too far to the rear. The plane weigh 770g by now, close to what the instructions said.

Repaired, balanced it again (I had to move the battery all the way forward, below the motor, and add about 220g of steel in the box behind the engine to make it balanced on the point according to the plans (this cant be a good sign) and was weighting now almost 1kg!

When to fly it again, this time there was a really windy day (10kts and 28kts gust according to windy.com), the wind moved the plane with it was just sitting on the ground, but i am really stubborn so I decided to give it a go any way (should know better). The plane took off, this time needed about 8m to do so, right from the start it felt like I had no control over it, it turn to downwind practically by it self, the 20s I spend on air felt a bit under powered (at least compared to my Champ S+), but like I said, it was windy, I am not used to a "heavy" plane like this, so the plane was moving down wind, when I started to turn upwind simply went down like a rock and crashed on its nose (it could have been a gust). I picked up the parts, the damage was not as bad as i tough it would be, but the motor base broke so that was it for the day. I returned home and decided to get help here.

In parallel, I am doing a RC conversion of a Guillows Piper Super Cub 95, but after this big failure I am really down, not sure if I should keep doing it since I dont think I would tolerate the windy conditions here. (although, I still havetry fly at early morning, should be way better). I am using one of this combos to do it: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 , I think it would weight about 180-200g once finished.

So my I am asking for advice on the following:

1. Is the Mini Tiger Moth suitable to fly under the described conditions? (5kts-10kts winds, about 130m square space) Because maybe is not worth to try it make it work.

2. Is there any balsa kit you could recommend me to fly under this conditions? I prefer balsa because I really like the construction part of this hobby.

3. Could you recommend me some sort of specs for this kind of conditions? I would love to design an balsa airplane my self for this conditions but dont know where to begin.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Jul 31, 2019, 07:46 PM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
Your idea of flying early in the morning ( at sunrise ) will give you the best chance of calm wind . Flying in calm wind is like learning to walk ( you should do that first ) , then flying in wind is like learning to run ( you should do that second ) .

In My Opinion , here are the requirements for flying in wind :
1) pilot skill ( comes from lots of practice )
2) high power ( thrust )
3) low drag ( a very streamlined airframe )
4) a heavier plane carries more momentum than a lighter plane

My best wind flyer ( it does not care about wind ) is a warmliner motor glider , the DuraFly Excalibur . The Excalibur is actually fun to fly in wind ! I don't know if there is a comparable balsa glider kit available , but if there is ..... it needs to be very strong to handle the speed and power .

Here is an Excalibur flown by RC Group's Jason Cole , you can see why it would be a good wind flyer ( fast forward to 3:00 minutes ) :


HobbyKing Durafly Excalibur Warmliner Review (8 min 4 sec)
Aug 01, 2019, 05:14 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
Also consider some of the delta shaped models, as they can also cut through turbulence fairly well.

What you don't need on a windy day are models with lots of drag, the Tiger Moth is probably not suitable, or underpowered models.

.
Aug 01, 2019, 05:17 AM
Registered User
guaro3D
Sorry if this sounds harsh but I fear you are trying to do too many things at once and not mastering any one of them first.

Your field looks adequate but in any sort of wind those tree will cause turbulence that will make control difficult, particularly close to the ground when control really matters!
It takes practice to handle turbulence but of course your Cub S+ will try to do it for you so you wont know the problems hence your difficulties with 'safe' turned off.

Your dancing wings Tiger Moth is a slow flyer so will not be easy to handle in turbulence and as it has no 'safe' so all the control is down to you all of the time.
An RC Guillows conversion is likely to be no better.

My advice would be to learn to fly your Cub S with the safe off (preferably disabled!) by picking days or time when there really is virtually no wind at all.
Then pick days when there is a bit more. Don't rush this. it is an eye/hand interpretation learning process that needs to be repeated many times for it to become second nature.
Without 'tuition' learning to fly is not easy

As you have found building and successfully flying a 'home built' kit raises a whole new series of issues like weight & build quality that were completely avoided when you bought the 'ready made' Cub S.

There is nothing stopping you building planes, it too take practise to do well, but learn to fly well before you try to fly them..
Aug 01, 2019, 10:02 AM
Registered User
Extreme Sports's Avatar
My thoughts:
  • Not a bad flying site relative to what some folks propose
  • Wind and trees creates turbulence. The more wind, the gustier it is and the bigger the trees (or other buildings or nearby features) the worse it will be. As everyone has mentioned, that is going to be a problem for small, light and/or slow planes. And not much fun even for big, fast planes. 5-6Kt is probably quite OK (a bit windier than I like to fly in but I'm spoilt). Gusts of 25-28kt are going to be a handful for just about any plane and pilot.
  • The best strategy is to fly high enough to get into the clean air above the turbulent level. However, the higher you go, the higher the wind speed, so plane size and speed become important
  • So the Tiger Moth is not ideal for your site because it is a high drag, slow flying plane. Even the full size ones are only nice to fly in calm air. I'd be nervous of flying it above the turbulent layer as one gust of 28kt could blow it away! The Guillows Piper is unsuited on many dimensions - too light to fly in the turbulent air and too slow and small to fly up in the clean air.
  • Both would probably be fine if you can be restrained and only fly when there is no wind (yup, I know how hard that is when you're eager to test your new creation!)


Is there any reason you are set on Balsa? For your conditions I'd consider something tougher and go for non-scale planes (since they don't look so bad after they have been fixed many times ). My guess is that the gusts and turbulence mean that perfect landings might be few and far between. Have you though of making some simple correx (SPAD) designs? Simple and cheap, so you can afford to crash ('land badly') and remarkably tough. Then once you've mastered the conditions and learned to wait for calm weather, then finish off your balsa builds . Here is a link to some simple flying wings that I've built and which can handle wind, turbulence and crashes: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...tor-WITH-PLANS
Aug 01, 2019, 11:19 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Hi Guys, thanks for your awsers.

I think i going to keep the tiger moth on ground for some times, you guys are right, I am still learning.

I prefer balsa mostly because of shipping cost, here in my country there are none hobby shops or anything like that (I am actually want to start one of my own, but that is a bit down the road) so materials like foam and similar are quite expensive to import due to shipping (big volume) and the ones that I can find locally are not suitable for models, so Balsa kits and balsa wood is way cheaper to import since the balsa it self does not take much shipping volume while is on sheets, and a entere plane is a relatively small box. And well I do like the balsa construction aesthetics and method a lot.

Now, do you happen to know a material similar to Foam or alike, but something that I could get on liquid form (to save on shipping), that would definitely be something interesting. My father used to use expandable urethane foam in liquid form to make hulls for sailboats scale models, but as I recall it, the final surface finish was not flat, he needed to add some sort of putty to the surface and the end result was kind of heavy, cant imagine using that exact same method for an airplane, but I am probably missing something.
Aug 01, 2019, 01:24 PM
Registered User
Extreme Sports's Avatar
You say the foams you can find locally are not suitable for RC planes, but even commonly available expanded polystyrene can be used. There was a guy from Brazil a year or so back who collected salmon fish boxes from his local restaurant, sliced and sanded the foam into wings and made some quite successful planes.

So maybe look around a bit and see what you can find. Even corrugated cardboard has been used successfully by many people. In the US and elsewhere correx/coruplas (a corrugated plastic material) is used for election posters and estate agent signs....if you can find the thin stuff (2mm or 3mm), it can be a good material. The best thing about these materials is that they are generally free, so the pain of crashing is a lot less.

I recently saw a video of a guy making wings from polyurethane foam, but it was a very involved process and the results were not great.

I agree there is something special about balsa, but not the best if you expect to crash/ land badly a lot
Aug 01, 2019, 03:23 PM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Extreme Sports
You say the foams you can find locally are not suitable for RC planes, but even commonly available expanded polystyrene can be used. There was a guy from Brazil a year or so back who collected salmon fish boxes from his local restaurant, sliced and sanded the foam into wings and made some quite successful planes.

So maybe look around a bit and see what you can find. Even corrugated cardboard has been used successfully by many people. In the US and elsewhere correx/coruplas (a corrugated plastic material) is used for election posters and estate agent signs....if you can find the thin stuff (2mm or 3mm), it can be a good material. The best thing about these materials is that they are generally free, so the pain of crashing is a lot less.

I recently saw a video of a guy making wings from polyurethane foam, but it was a very involved process and the results were not great.

I agree there is something special about balsa, but not the best if you expect to crash/ land badly a lot
The guy in Brazil ( Gil ) put together a video of his scratch-built RC airplane journey :


Aeromodelo de isopor fácil e simples de fazer (7 min 28 sec)



Sep 20, 2019, 12:35 PM
Registered User
Thread OP

Victory!


So I am very happy, today was a calm morning, I went to the park to fly my Tiger Moth and it was great! See the video:

Dancing Wings 980mm Tiger Moth Maiden (0 min 54 sec)


I was alone so I recorded it with my phone holded by the controller, so not greatest video ever. One of the wheels of the landing gear was stuck, so I had to hand launched it, and the landing was bad too, but I am really happy for a first flight.

I also teste a 600mm wing span trainer I designed and cut on my A3 laser, here is the video:

600mm balsa wood trainer (3 min 58 sec)


It flown great, can fly slow, make tight turns. It was great.

thanks for your help.
Sep 20, 2019, 03:22 PM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
Good job !
Sep 27, 2019, 06:48 PM
Roger that!
Quote:
Originally Posted by balsa or carbon
Good job !
Agreed!
Sep 28, 2019, 08:11 AM
Registered User
wmetcalf's Avatar
Guaro3D congrats on your biplane maiden. Looks like you have already developed some skills. If you want to fly in some wind with a plane that is still suitable for a relative beginner, I would suggest you consider a Multiplex Fun Cub.

The Fun Cub is a very well-rounded and very forgiving flyer with a wide speed envelope, the ability to perform spectacular aerobatics, and is fully capable of flying and hovering in a 15 mph wind ( if you have a modest bit of flying experience - and it looks like you do). It is easy to build and repair, and it's springy landing gear allow it to operate off almost any surface.

Although it looks somewhat like a Cub, it has a much more forgiving airfoil and wing shape and will not stall and bite you like a true Cub's wing will. If you have been flying smaller/lighter aircraft your biggest challenge will probably be in adjusting to keep your speed up a bit more than you are used to to avoid stalling.
Sep 28, 2019, 09:56 PM
Sokol
JureZ's Avatar
very good, congratulations Guaro !


a few suggestions:


feel free to fly higher than tree top level, do not be afraid ( less than 100m anyway ).



Actually, altitude will give you margin to recover from errors.


Also, fly with the wind blowing in your face and the sun on your back.
Oct 01, 2019, 10:10 PM
pull up -- PULL UP!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by guaro3D
Now, do you happen to know a material similar to Foam or alike
I can imagine Venezuela is not exactly over-run with well-stocked hobby shops. Hence your need to innovate.

Suggest you Google the following: "rcgroups cardboard airplane". You'll find there's a fair history of use. And the price and availability are right.

If you can find suitable designs for delta-wings and flying wings, those have an advantage in wind.
Oct 03, 2019, 08:18 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Hi Guys, thanks for the great advices. Right now i am focussed in improving my 600mm balsa trainer design, I really liked how it flew. I am revising the design, and this time I will build it taking much better care of alignment. This version will have independent servos for each alerion, I am hoping to learn a thing or two about flaplerions, it will also have a landing gear to practice landings.

Here is a few screenshots of the design, any advice would be welcomed. I need ideas on how to make the lids easily removable, there is one at the bottom for battery that should be really easy to access to swap batteries fast and another one on top for the ESC that could be more permanent but easy to access if there is a problem with the ESC.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1TH...WQrIzp8-IEgcD5

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1PN...kvzza_hzmUIrO1

The Tiger Moth will be grounded for a while, I loved how it flew, but It was a very stressful flight, I mean, there were people around and the street full of traffic is jut next to the park and I was really afraid that any mistake could lead to an accident and get banned or similar (people here are not used to RC vehicles). If I found a better place to fly I would definitely try the Tiger moth again, in the mean time I will focus on small models (less than 900mm and less than 250g)


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