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Jul 10, 2002, 07:06 PM
Thread OP

1st flight of Switchback 3d ..... SCARY!!!!!!

I finally got my SB done. I had never flown ailerons before (just TM and Duskstick). Being a bit on the nervous side, I waited till the wind calmed a bit. The grass was too tall to ROG, so against my better judgement I full throttled it and hand launched it. It didn't seem to be trimmed to badly from the start, but it got going way too fast, way too quick. I kept it full throttle trying to get 2 or 3 mistakes high, but it decided to roll by itself (overcorrection on my part). I was able to recover and then I ended up accidently doing an inverted loop. I got out of that okay, but the whole time it was sheer terror, I thought it was going to come down hard. I finally calmed down enough to cut the throttle down to about 1/2. Then it was much better! I had to figure out how to land the sucker. I cut back a bit more and circled a few times till I got low enough, I thottled down and landed. Tipped on the nose lightly, but not bad. I picked up the plane and walked back to the car Shaking and needing to change my pants

Overall first aileron flight - Successful

Now I just have to coax myself into trying it again.

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Jul 10, 2002, 07:19 PM
Mountain Models Wannabe
CoClimber's Avatar
1/2 throttle!

I'm really glad to hear you don't need a fuselage kit. Congrads on the first flight.

Jul 10, 2002, 07:35 PM
Registered User
Kevin Murray's Avatar
Overall sounds like a not too bad first flight.
Brought it home in one peice.
Sounds like the SB was flying you for a while
Jul 10, 2002, 07:48 PM
Clinger, MAGA
rclark's Avatar
Scott, I'd say you did REALLY REALLY well to get the SB 3D down in one piece if this is your first aileron plane ! Congrads! Invigorating isn't it .
Jul 10, 2002, 08:00 PM
Registered User
Dorme's Avatar
You might want to use dual rates to start flying so that it is easy to handle. Straight rates on a plane like this for one like yourself that has not had alot of time with ailerons will scare you (as it has!). Flying should be fun and when you find yourself flying behind the plane instead of before it (anticipating your next turn/move) then it is time to land and catch your breath.
Jul 10, 2002, 08:27 PM
Thread OP
Yeah, I have an old futaba am radio, no expo no dual rate. I think I might have to drill another hole in the servo horn to lessen the aileron travel. It was Definately FLYING ME!
I wish the wind would quit, I think I have myself talked into trying it again....... at half throttle
Jul 10, 2002, 10:10 PM
Checking the wind
kansascloud's Avatar
Better yet, order a sport wing kit from Dave and store the 3D wing for awhile. The sport wing is really just a duskstick wing with ailerons. Should be a lot slower and you can fly it at much less throttle.

Jul 11, 2002, 12:15 AM
Live to ride... and fly!
Tres Wright's Avatar
Congrats on getting it back down in one piece!

Mike beat me to it, so I'll second his suggestion of getting the Sport wing. The 3-D is not a good setup for learning aileron flying! Flying ailerons in itself isn't particularly hard, but the 3-D wing is a flat wing wih a symmetrical profile- great for aerobatics, bad for stability. It will NOT self-correct. The Sport wing will give that in-between training setup of stability AND aileron capability.
Jul 11, 2002, 12:20 AM
Leave me alone!
Martin Hunter's Avatar
From a TM and a Duskstik to a Switchback 3D ??!! WOW!!! That's impressive! Keep up the good flying! Something that you can do to "cheat" the 3D's very manoeuverable characteristics is to droop both ailerons about 10 degrees. This will semi-simulate a flat bottomed airfoil such as the sport wing, but without the dihedral. Make sure you add some aileron differential if you do that, such that the "up" aileron moves more than the "down" one. Most importantly, do like you already said... keep the throws low! I've got mine capable of rolling 3x per second, so she's quick when you make her be, but she can also be very gentle on that wing too. Keep at it!
Jul 11, 2002, 04:46 AM
(aka Cliff Lawson)
Wright Flyer's Avatar

Starting with the 3D?!?


You started with the 3D wing but had never flown ailerons before? My God, that's nothing short of amazing! I had flown quite a lot of aileron on more "sedate" planes and went for the SB Sport rather than 3D and, even then, I found that my pulse was still about 120 about 20 minutes after I'd landed from my first SB Sport flight. What it would have been like if I'd had the 3D wing God only knows!

Get FMS and BasketCase's FMS models of the 3D and Sport and you'll get an idea of how the performance differs. Even now I find it pretty hard to control the 3D plane in FMS but after a lot of practice I find the Sport (and the real thing) reasonably easy to fly.

Unless you are a very quick learner, if I were you, I'd "park" the 3D wing for the time being and, like the others have suggested, get the Sport wing kit from Doug. Build that and use it until you get totally familiar with the plane and then consider giving the 3D another try.

Jul 11, 2002, 08:21 AM
Visitor from Reality
You did great to get it up and back down again in one piece, considering your "background". Still recall the abject terrorr of my first aileron flight, when I discovered that ailerons operate completely differently to a rudder.

Can only echo the others - get something calmer before you bend the SB3D too badly. You might "get lucky" and get the hang of ailerons on her if you cut the throws to a tad under what's recommended, and make sure she's balanced a tad nose-heavy, but you are betting heavily here and the loser's prize is a wrecked model.

Wind is no friend to a newbie either - you need to figure out what you did and are going to do about it, and that's difficult or impossible if the durn model can't even fly straight in the sky thanks to wind and turbulence..

A couple of months on an 'aileron trainer' type of model and you'll be wondering what all the fuss was about.
Jul 11, 2002, 08:24 AM
Congrats on gettin her back down safely! I agree with clawson and the others. Since the Switchback was designed to handle both the sport and 3D wing, why not start with the sport wing first? You'll be ready to tear up the skies in your 3D in no time. I believe the cost of the wing was only about $20 and if the kit is as nice as I've heard (just ordered mine) then you could have it together and ready to fly very quickly.

BUT...if you've got the machismo to continue down the dark path (as I've done myself many times)...I highly highly recommend some major stick time on a flight sim. I'm looking to buy a new sim myself. I've been out of the power scene for a long time and can't find the Dave Brown Flight Sim I learned on.

And remember you don't have to get 2 or 3 mistakes high in the first 5 seconds of flight. Fly nice and easy in a straight line all the way up (if you're field is large enough to allow it). When you fly full throttle it just makes the controls that much more sensitive. Keep enough throttle to avoid a stall, but don't go screaming into the air at full throttle on your first flights.

I guess it just comes down to your personality. Some people I've taught to fly love the adrenaline rush and want a wild ride full of excitement and stories to tell at the watering hole. Others are looking for a relaxing glide through the air. If you want the excitement and are willing to take the risks...then by golly go for it! And be sure to give us those great stories here afterwards. I love a good story.
Jul 11, 2002, 08:44 AM
(aka Cliff Lawson)
Wright Flyer's Avatar
Originally posted by Reflex
I'm looking to buy a new sim myself. I've been out of the power scene for a long time and can't find the Dave Brown Flight Sim I learned on.
Reflex, I think the general consensus these days is that there isn't much point BUYING a sim to practice on because one of the best ones out there is a completely free download anyway - rumour has it that it's got a lot of the commercial R/C sim developers quite worried. I've previously bought two sims - Aerofly (which cost 110 - about $160) and Cockpitmaster - Backyard Edition ($29.50) and yet now I don't fly anything but FMS as they were all similar in performance but, probably because it IS free and there's also free tools to let people design new models FMS has literally hundreds of extra planes available to download from sites all over the internet.

To get FMS just go to their web site and follow the "downloads" link. Don't worry that the latest version is called "Beta 7" - there's nothing very "beta" about this software - it's as stable (if not more so) as anything I've bought.

Jul 11, 2002, 09:47 AM
Thanks clawson. I installed FMS on my home computer last week and while it looks beautiful I have a couple problems with it. First and foremost it runs about 3 times faster than it is supposed to. Kind of like watching a videotape on your VCR while in fast forward mode. Second, I don't have a joystick and find that flying with the keyboard doesn't give me a realistic feel.

If I could get past the speed problem, I would buy one of the kits that hooks a transmitter to a serial port via the buddy cable port and be as happy as a pig in a mudhole. But I don't expect to get much technical support on a product that is given away for free. I guess I got what I paid for.
Jul 11, 2002, 11:59 AM
I love this report It kind'a made me feel, like WOW!! a new plane, I can't wait and see kind'a thing. I back'd down in purchasing a GWS ZERO after the flame didn't make it in the forum, but the Switchback it didn't just smell balsa wood and glue, you can feel other flyer's rush of excitement through, via internet, feel the way their feeling through smileys they leave behind in post or threads.

Building the SB, thoughts and visions runs into my head, and saying "Hurry up, hurry up"

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