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Aug 06, 2008, 05:07 PM
Pronoun trouble...
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Never too late to learn.

There's nothing worse than when a plane crashes. Even a gentle crash means broken bits o' balsa.

Such was the case a few months ago when I tried to fly the Raiden Tech Zero Fighter 25 I reviewed on RC Power last year.

The one time I chose not to check the control response meant a reversed elevator and a crash on takeoff before I could recover. I was able to fix it, but doggone, the poor little plane hasn't been the same. The TE of the wing is now a bit warped among other problems, requiring lots of right aileron trim to get it to fly straight.

Stranger still was the plane's tendency to nose over on landings no matter how careful I was.

Enter our esteemed club president, a gentleman who's been flying RC for years if not decades.

To my way of thinking, a plane which wants to nose over is nose heavy and suddenly so, in my case.

The prez offered to give it a try...and pronounced it tail heavy on landing.

Tail heavy? With a tendency to scrape the cowl almost every time since its repair and with no weight required before this?

For the next test, he took the Zero up to a suitable altitude and put it in a hands off, 45-degree power dive. A balanced plane would have maintained heading, a nose heavy plane would have wanted to pull up and a tail heavy plane would have tried to tuck in and sharpen the dive.

Holy mother of CG.

The Zero tucked under.

Tail heavy!

Off to the hobby shop for some weights. An ounce of lead went on the engine mount later that day.

Today, I tried the Zero for the first time since the weight was added.

It was a plane transformed from the moment it lifted off the runway.

Gone was the twitchy elevator response and tip stalling tendencies on approach and in their place, smooth, positive control.

I greased landing after landing with the Zero this morning, not to mention quite a few touch-and-goes.

The moral of all this is simple: No matter how much you think you know, someone out there likely knows more than you do and it's a good idea to listen.

I did and I'll tell you what: One little ounce of lead ballast means I'll be saving a lot of money on chewed props!
Last edited by DismayingObservation; Aug 06, 2008 at 07:00 PM.
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