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Oct 28, 2020, 10:24 AM
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I could write an entire book on the 737 MAX 8 debacle but I believe someone already has.
As for the F-35, it should be used as a lesson in how not to design and build a plane. Especially if you're planning to go into combat with and expect to survive, even when the plane is trying to kill its pilot. And by the way, the F-35 has been downgraded to sub sonic. Yup. It can't fly without breaking apart at supersonic speeds.
Kinda like driving a car that self destructs at highway speeds.
But don't worry, someone like Lockgreed will come up with another disastrous design that will cost the taxpayers three times as much and deliver half the promised performance but hey, it's only money and there's plenty more where that came from.
The party's nearly over folks.
Worrying about the future of this hobby will be the least of our worries.
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Oct 28, 2020, 08:29 PM
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Coupez's Avatar
Sorry, but everything I've read from credible sources indicates that the supersonic limit only applies to the B and C model (not the majority of F-35's), above a certain altitude, and for over a certain amount of time. It's also regarded as "not worth fixing", not impossible to fix. Even a limited supersonic capability for the B model exceeds the Harrier's performance; it can't go supersonic at all. The Harrier also can't bring back unused stores to a carrier and perform a vertical landing. OK for an all-out war -- but not for training and low-intensity conflict where these airplanes will spend 80% - 90% or more of their operational lives.

I will allow that the program is what happens when three different services need new aircraft, but Congress will only fund one program. Of course three individual designs could have done better, but that wasn't an option when the program began in the post-Cold War penny pinching environment. And don't blame Lockheed for the concept; it was dreamed up by some genius in the Pentagon. Lockheed actually has done well making it work as well as it does IMO.

Moving back to the benefits of automation, it's interesting to compare the pilot's workload during vertical flight in the Harrier and F-35B. Being based on a 1950's design the Harrier pilot has direct control of the engine nozzle angles, throttle setting and control surface position. As a result he has to deal with control functions that change over the speed range from those appropriate for an airplane to something much more like a helicopter; and it takes exceptional skill to fly the airplane in STOVL mode at all.

Despite the skepticism of some British engineers and pilots working on the program, Lockheed successfully argued for a "Unified" approach to flight control functions on the F-35. That is, controllers always do the same thing if moved in the same direction as speed changes. There is no nozzle position lever, the pilot uses the conventional stick, throttle and rudder pedals. The flight control system takes his inputs and makes the intended response happen.

So, for instance, to make a vertical takeoff in an F-35B, the pilot selects "STOVL" mode and puts the throttle in the detent. He then pulls back on the control stick. The flight control interprets this as a "height rate" command, spools up the engine and the airplane lifts off. If the wind is calm it will remain directly over the takeoff spot as it climbs.

Having reached his desired altitude, the pilot releases the back pressure, and the aircraft hovers - no thrust adjustment required. The pilot can move up and down with back or forward pressure, and translate left and right with side to side pressure. The rudder pedals point the nose. Moving forward and aft is done with the throttle.

Think what a blessing this will be landing on a ship at night or in the weather, compared to juggling three or four balls as is required just to keep the Harrier upright.
Nov 04, 2020, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Dunsel
Hereís what (and why) I think the new R/C airplane vision could be (apologies to R/C heliís but, whilst I donít have the background to talk to them, I think the result would be the same).
The same applies to helicopers. I own a couple of small helicopters (i..e 250 size and lower) and they handle remakably well, are very stable with today's modern stablilization systems

Quote:
With the advancement of stabilizers (such as Horizonís AS3X), small planes can handle wind almost as well as larger, pre-stabilizer planes did.
The need for bigger planes (to handle wind and to fit the older, larger RC gear) drove the need for bigger flying fields, but with stabilizers and smaller gear, the winds arenít as much of an issue. So, bigger fields will become less needed. Score one point for smaller planes, and one point against big fields.
In the case of wind larger heavier aircraft will generally tolerate the wind better. Modern day stabilization technology does help a great deal. But there is a point where the laws of Physics kick in and a smaller lighter model will not be able to fly smoothly in strong winds despite the stabilization. I have noticed this with helicopters, if I am flying a small, light helicopter the winds will cause the aircraft to bounce and buffet around in the air while a larger, heavier will resist the accelleration due to the winds and will fly much smoother.

Quote:
So, if small, stabilizer-equipped models can fly as well as bigger ones, why not fly smaller models?
Iím wondering if the future of R/C planes is smaller, electric models (due to noise concerns), flown on smaller fields, with smaller clubs. Old parking lots will become flying fields, able to better fit in suburban and metropolitan areas. As smaller fields could then be more numerous, fliers wouldnít have to drive as far to find a club field large enough for their models. That would let the number of clubs increase, whilst the membership of individual clubs decreases.
I agree that small aircraft have their advantages, most of which you named. However, we need to keep in mind that this is a HOBBY and as a hobby there is a large margin for flying a certain sized aircraft out of pure aesthetics as opposed to just feasibility, cost effectiveness and conservation of ground and airspace. Some people simply like to fly the bigger stuff just out of preference. Some people enjoy building and flying scale models of large multiengine airliners in which larger sizes lend themselves both with respect to scale detail and realistic scale flying.
The bottom line is that as a hobby there is room for all different shapes, sizes, and user preferences.
Nov 04, 2020, 04:40 PM
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Atomic Skull's Avatar
Sorry but no you will never be able to replicate this kind of experience with a micro heli:

Having fun with the Goblin Kraken (3 min 39 sec)
Nov 05, 2020, 05:20 AM
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aeronaut999's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coupez
No, the "real thing" is one you can sit in. Models are just toys.



Ah, the "real men" argument .

Real men don't have auto exposure or autofocus on their cameras.

Real men have manual transmissions in their cars.

Real men don't use aileron to rudder mixing, or dual rates, differential or expo.

Real men walked to school when they were kids, through the June blizzards; and it was uphill both ways .

And real men miss more shots, grind more gears, crash more often, and get more hip and knee replacements than those who had sense enough to take advantage of the benefits of technology.

Full disclosure: I don't own any planes with SAFE, and my flying buddy student soon found it too limiting when he was learning to fly. But I'm sold on rate stabilizers - have them in every plane except a sailplane and Old-Timer. They react faster than my 60 year old thumbs and have saved me a lot of repairs.
It's really more of a "purist" argument. I just really enjoy knowing that everything happening to the plane is due to the laws of aerodynamics, or due to my control inputs. That just makes me happy. Mixes? They are fine, as long as I'm the one who programmed them and I know exactly what they are doing. For example for full-house sailplanes I rarely see a reason to keep a thumb on the rudder stick; for power planes I currently don't find it particularly helpful to do any kind of aileron>rudder mix, and obviously you don't want such a thing to be active when landing with wheels on a runway with a crosswind, especially with tailwheel. Flap compensation? Absolutely.

I'm sure someday I'll start using AS3X-style stabilization/damping on a few of my planes like if I ever get more into warbirds or anything else that I want to fly in a really scale-like way, but I'll always keep some "pure", because I just really like that idea. Even if it makes it harder to fly in gusty conditions.

As far as SAFE and/or return-to-home being available at a touch of a button-- I'm sure it has its places and one of those places may indeed be the really long-range LOS glider flying I like to do (as a last resort, much like an ejection seat or parachute ;( ) , so disregard what I said earlier--

Speaking of "at the touch of a button", in light of some of the above comments I'd really enjoy the idea of a receiver where I could turn AS3X or similar stabilization/damping on and off at the touch of a button, just to facilitate understanding its effects, but I don't think such a thing exists, as opposed to full-blown SAFE which is a different thing entirely. Maybe with some of the add-on stabilizers like Lemon etc?

Just my random thoughts--
Last edited by aeronaut999; Nov 05, 2020 at 05:30 AM.
Nov 05, 2020, 08:46 AM
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Captain Dunsel's Avatar
Thread OP
Whilst I do prefer to build and fly models under 2-3 lbs, I don't want to see everyone restricted to that size and weight. I posed my question because I think we hobbyists are being forced to either go to small models, or else pay exorbitant prices for electronic monitoring.

CD
Nov 05, 2020, 09:20 AM
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atreis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeronaut999
Speaking of "at the touch of a button", in light of some of the above comments I'd really enjoy the idea of a receiver where I could turn AS3X or similar stabilization/damping on and off at the touch of a button, just to facilitate understanding its effects, but I don't think such a thing exists, as opposed to full-blown SAFE which is a different thing entirely. Maybe with some of the add-on stabilizers like Lemon etc?
Kind of off topic but as an FYI, the add-on stabs have this. E.g. The Eagle Tree Guardian, and Hobby Eagle A3S3 both allow you to turn off all stabilization.
Nov 05, 2020, 09:31 AM
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Coupez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeronaut999
I'd really enjoy the idea of a receiver where I could turn AS3X or similar stabilization/damping on and off at the touch of a button, just to facilitate understanding its effects, but I don't think such a thing exists, as opposed to full-blown SAFE which is a different thing entirely.
Most of my scale planes have Lemon Stabilizer receivers which have built in rate gyros. I have a P-51 with a stand alone Freewing unit because it has four wing servos and Y cables weren't an option.

Regardless of the manufacturer, the setup is the same:

Flight Mode 1: Stabilizer ON, full rates, no expo (stabilizers don't like it)
Flight Mode 2: Stabilizer OFF, low rates, expo if needed (usually not), aileron/rudder mixing
Flight Mode 3: Stabilizer OFF, full rates, expo as needed

Mode 2 is used for first flight so the airplane isn't over sensitive. Once basic trimming is complete I will climb to a safe altitude before engaging the stabilizer. On at least three airplanes I found the stabilizer aileron channel needed to be reversed, even though I *thought* I had checked it on the ground. So don't take your hand off the mode switch until you are sure the thing is working correctly!

If your transmitter has 8 or more channels, the Lemon Rx allows you to set up a "Master Gain" control which changes gain on all three stabilizer channels simultaneously. You can engage the stab, then fine tune it by watching for oscillations in one or more axes. If you see these (usually at high speed) turn the gain down a little and try again. On the ground, you can manually turn the gain down on the most sensitive channel and leave it up on the others.
Nov 05, 2020, 09:38 AM
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Coupez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Dunsel
Whilst I do prefer to build and fly models under 2-3 lbs, I don't want to see everyone restricted to that size and weight. I posed my question because I think we hobbyists are being forced to either go to small models, or else pay exorbitant prices for electronic monitoring.
My favorite planes are scale models that are just big enough to fit in the car without disassembly. I enjoy my UMX planes, but they just don't give the same level of satisfaction; and they get pretty challenging to handle in anything over a gentle breeze.

I've had a lot of fun with a little Old-Timer model with a 52" span that weighs just under a pound with battery. The funny thing is, under the current NPRM it would be subject to exactly the same RID requirements as a 7 or 8 pound scale biplane. Carrying the extra weight of the RID beacon would almost certainly spoil its performance.
Nov 16, 2020, 02:53 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomic Skull
Sorry but no you will never be able to replicate this kind of experience with a micro heli:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWVmV_8BUxc
Nick Maxwell gets pretty close in this video from 7 years ago.

Nick Maxwell with the new Axe 100 SS (brushless version) (5 min 59 sec)


I'm sure he's had more impressive flights with newer micros but this is still pretty good.
Nov 18, 2020, 05:49 AM
pushing the envelope
rcgroupie's Avatar
This is how it's done.

Why I hate fish (0 min 30 sec)
Nov 18, 2020, 08:32 AM
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yomusj's Avatar
Hilarious!
Nov 24, 2020, 04:23 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coupez
My favorite planes are scale models that are just big enough to fit in the car without disassembly. I enjoy my UMX planes, but they just don't give the same level of satisfaction; and they get pretty challenging to handle in anything over a gentle breeze.

I've had a lot of fun with a little Old-Timer model with a 52" span that weighs just under a pound with battery. The funny thing is, under the current NPRM it would be subject to exactly the same RID requirements as a 7 or 8 pound scale biplane. Carrying the extra weight of the RID beacon would almost certainly spoil its performance.
It's too bad you won't be able to fly those either, especially since you will be under self quarantine as per orders from your illustrious governor. And even if you are allowed outside for a brief moment, you and your plane must wear a mask. That's right, your plane must wear a mask, after all it came from your house which is obviously infected and we don't want the propeller spreading the Covid-19 to any innocent women and children.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving with a can of spam and potato chip salad. Oh and don't forget, your family will have to eat in separate rooms. So is not to worry comrade. You will be enjoying hobby as long as politburo in your state capitol allows you to. I suppose you could spray the plane with a can of disinfectant......might weigh it down a wee bit but if it saves just one life....it's worth it.
Nov 24, 2020, 09:12 PM
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Coupez's Avatar
If you were considering taking up stand-up comedy -- my advice would be not to quit your day job.
Today, 08:37 AM
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His satirical humor may be a bit exacerbated, but in my humble opinion is not too far from the truth.



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