Cant Keep my Mini Max IN the Air-HELP - RC Groups
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Aug 26, 2002, 10:31 AM
Registered User

Cant Keep my Mini Max IN the Air-HELP

Hi All,

Well I got my first R/C Plane, a Wattage Mini Max. Put it together just like the plans say, checked the C/G, etc.

Woke up bright and early Sat morning, no wind, could not wait to fly it.

Went to my local school yard, tried to take off from a baseball field (brickdust) no luck. Decide to hand launch..... Set the throotle to full and gave it a gentle throw, and off I went.

I started with a gentle climb, but then noticed it was pulling to the left, tried to adjust with a little rudder, and it goes into a spin right into the ground.

Damage report: busted prop, bent gearbox shaft.

2nd attempt: After repairing the damage, tried it for another flight Sunday morning. Hand launched again and all was going well, tried to circle around, and once again down it came.

It seems like to controls are way too touch and sensitive. I have the rods in the closest hole in the servo and I have double checked all of my adjustments.

Any suggestions on this plane. Not a good starter plane?

Power is a 9.6V/800Mah NiMH on a 270 stock motor.


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Aug 26, 2002, 10:47 AM
Horrible Test Pilot
Peter- Welcome to E-zone.
It sounds like you're doing the same thing we all have done as a new flyer. A light touch on the controlls will go a long way.
If you can, you should get a simulator so you can get some practice before flying your real plane. I use FMS, it's realistic enough for you to learn the basics, and it's free.
Also, you should try to find an experienced pilot to help you learn.
Good luck.

Aug 26, 2002, 10:53 AM
Registered User
die fliedermaus's Avatar
Recheck the center of gravity too.
Good Luck!
Aug 26, 2002, 02:25 PM
Embedded Systems Engineer
MX's Avatar
Also make sure you have the required 3/8" of down elevator

Aug 26, 2002, 02:41 PM
Moderated. Severely.
TheAddler's Avatar
I agree. Recheck CG. And if the CG is right on, add a little nose weight. You might be better off makeing sure its more on the nose heavy side then the tail heavy side. Not much, but enough to be sure. Tail heavy planes don't tend to fly
Aug 26, 2002, 03:00 PM
Registered User
timw's Avatar

been there...

this sounds pretty similar to some of my early flights, except i also had a massive climb then stall at the same time....

... as said above, be gentle with the inputs. if you wait until the plane is in a turn to return the stick to center, you've held it way too long. i started out using a lot of push the stick to a side for a second, and let it return to center immediately. if the plane didn't turn enough, repeat the procedure. do NOT hold the stick in a turn for any length of time (e.g. greater than a second) unless you want a major (read fatal) turn.

once you get more advanced, you will see the plane begin to react, and be better with the controls.

also, what was very helpful for me was to fly with an experienced flyer. the experienced person is very helpful for trimming the plane, and giving a lot of guidance.

finally, the minimax will fly with a lot of epoxy (mine was basically flying epoxy before it retired), so don't fear the crashes. the wounds will heal, and chicks dig scars...

good luck!
Aug 26, 2002, 03:02 PM
Registered User


Just a thought, but is the rudder moving with the stick? Maybe you have your channel reversed. Plane veers left, you counteract with a little right, but right is left, that'd put it into a spin real quick.
Aug 26, 2002, 04:19 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the advice guys.

I am going to double check everything once again and give it another try.

Is there another plane that would be worth getting to learn on that is better than the Mini Max?

I also downloaded FMS so I will play with that as well.


Aug 26, 2002, 04:44 PM
Registered User
timw's Avatar
i found the tiger moth to be much easier to fly as a beginner. it flies much slower. so slow, it's 'cool'.

however, i think the minimax is actually more rewarding, and can do more stuff (goes faster, and is more responsive).
heck, it's probably worth $50 for a tiger moth, but i would keep your mini max, since it's a great plane as well. both can use the same servos and receivers, but you would need a different (lighter) battery pack for the tm.
Aug 26, 2002, 05:06 PM
Registered User


I don't have a Tiger Moth, yet, but I love my Mini-Max. It was my first three channel plane. I crashed it the first two times I tried to fly it, the second one destroyed the firewall, but a little epoxy and it was as good as new. I haven't crashed it since and I've got a ton of flights on it. The Mini-Max will fly very slow if you let it and from what I hear handles the wind much better than the Tiger Moth.
Aug 26, 2002, 05:53 PM
Plane hugging cat
Vonbaron's Avatar
That 800mah 8 cell battery pack will add enough weight to speed the Mini Max up a LOT. With the added weight impacts will cause more damage too. It might be alright when you get the hang of flying but for starters I'd go with a 7 cell 280-360ish mah nimh pack first. It will slow the plane down a lot and won't hit the ground as hard when it goes in.

Personally, I've found the Tiger Moth and Mini Max very easy to fly - when the Max uses a light battery.

Definitely check the CG. The Mini Max with an aft CG is almost uncontrollable.
Aug 26, 2002, 07:02 PM
Registered User
IncredibleITGuy's Avatar

best battery pack

I have been looking around and non one states the correct size of the battery.

What is the optimum battery for the mini-max????

1) Size cells
2) Number of cells
3) Configuration of cells

I have a mini-max on the way,
and someone recommended a

7-8cell Flat AAA NiMh pack @ 800mah

anyone else????
Aug 26, 2002, 07:35 PM
Motor Maniac

Battery too heavy?

My guess is that your battery is too heavy. What is the AUW of the plane with the battery?

My now retired Mini Max (one too many crashes) was a good starter plane (that and the Tipsy). I think the Tipsy was a little easier to fly, but the Mini Max could be more fun and had a better flight envelope.

My Mini Max balanced beautifully with a 6-cell 650mah NiMH pack (AAA cells). I also flew it with a 7-cell 700mah pack, but it didn't really fly any better than with the 6-cell pack. I think keeping the plane light and just slightly nose-heavy is optimal for learning to fly. A heavier plane will be more difficult to control and will not want to climb if the CG is too far forward, or will be too sensitive if too far back.

I would recommend ROG instead of hand launch. You have to be very careful with the rudder on ROG, but it is more rewarding to ROG and allows both hands to be on the controls. A very gentle straight climb up to about 20 feet before starting a gentle turn is best. My first few crashes were due to trying to turn before getting enough speed and altitude. Once you make your first full turn you will be having a load of fun.

Yes, the controls are very sensitive on the Mini Max. I now have a computer radio and use exponential, so it is easier to control (on a Crazy Max now).

If you are willing to drive to the Yorba Linda area I can show you how it's done!

IncredibleITGuy, I would recommend a 6-cell AAA pack to begin with in a 2X3 configuration. This fits in the fuselage nice and neat. 8 cells is hard to fit and not really needed.
Aug 26, 2002, 07:43 PM
Registered User
BFedRec's Avatar
I basically learned to fly on my minimax (well relearned and I crashed a glow plane a couple times somewhere in there too)... and it was pretty good for learning.. but you have to learn.. it's not entirely intuitive (that sim suggestion is a Great one!).

The other issue I know I had was that I needed to cycle my batteries a couple times before I had enough oomph to get myself out of trouble or even to keep from a gradual decline in altitude...

I agree on the checking the rudder... I did that my first couple flights... spiraled down due to the servo needing reversing...

I talked trash about my minimax when I first tried to fly it.. but after a few flights I really grew to love it... now it's a pile of rubble in the garage (that last power dive folded the wings... ) and I'm using it's electronics in an ugly scratch park flyer that is having numerous problems (TLAR building your first scratch park flyer isn't the best plan I think).

Keep at it... check the rudder, cycle the battery, check the CG, and go get airborne again!!!

Charles P
Aug 26, 2002, 09:02 PM
Crash Master
Gene Bond's Avatar
I still blow the dust off my MiniMax from time-to-time. It's a great trainer. Turn the EPA down on your rudder once you sort out the center trim.

6 cells are plenty to fly the plane comfortably. in fact, I don't wast my 8 cell packs on it, it simply is wasted weight! I've even flown it on 5 NiCd cells for the heck of it.

Keep the faith, you'll get it figured out.

BTW, I think it's a much easier plane to fly than my TigerMoth, as it has more power, to overcome the natural reaction to just pull the stick back. Both have great flight and mistake tendancies, but the MM is a little more forgiving, and MUCH easier to repair!