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Post  ticomareado on Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:51 pm

" All I could do was aim it for the 6-inch tall grass and hope for the best, 'cause when it fell silent it fell like a cinderblock! 😲"


If it flies under power like I briefly saw it fly in the video, it can be made to glide better with some adjustment work on incidences. If you can't get the engine to tune up better, you might consider a swap to a Black Widow/Golden Bee/Medallion with tank mount.

Anyway, congratulations on both of your solos.
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Post  JennyC6 on Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:27 pm

ticomareado wrote:" All I could do was aim it for the 6-inch tall grass and hope for the best, 'cause when it fell silent it fell like a cinderblock! 😲"


If it flies under power like I briefly saw it fly in the video, it can be made to glide better with some adjustment work on incidences.

The flameout was due to throttle servo adhesion failure. It came unglued from the firewall and was just flopping around in there; this made the throttle vary between full power(where the engine screamed happy-as-can-be) and 1/3 power(where it will run begrudgingly for a few moments before loading up and flaming out). It hung at 1/3 power for a moment or so too long and that made it flame out.

Under power it flew like a dream. Took off with a couple seconds' roll-out and a slight tap of up elevator. Climbed at a 20 degree angle like it was nothing and it was holding altitude just fine the entire time the engine was running. It looks herky-jerky but that's most likely going to be due to my inexperience at the sticks rather than a fundamental issue with the plane. One would figure if the plane itself had a fundamental issue a total novice like myself would have crashed it almost immediately...if they even got it off the ground at all. And tellingly, when I flew my NexSTAR the week prior, it flew the same way with me at the sticks but flew like it was on rails when a more experienced flier was at the helm.


I just need more RC Plane ! Gonna make repairs and try again next week with a full fuel load, leave the throttle open, see if I can get 30 minutes of wide open flight practice in and still have enough left on board for a powered landing. I should have plenty left in the tank.

If you can't get the engine to tune up better, you might consider a swap to a Black Widow/Golden Bee/Medallion with tank mount.

I'm happy with the engine as it is, but if I feel like I want more power, I'll probably put a #4 cylinder and TD glow head on the crankcase. Even with the choketube throttle and reed block that'll give a significant power boost, and per the thread I made about info on care and improving performance, SPI is compatible with the choketube throttle(May even reduce the loadup problems who knows).

Anyway, congratulations on both of your solos.

Thanks thanks!

I need some Powered By COX decals for the thing...
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Post  Kim on Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:57 am

Great Project!!!!
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Post  getback on Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:33 pm

cheers cheers cheers cheers Good to hear and see . looked to fly pretty well from what i could tell . The excitement is enough to give you the twitch Thumbs Up
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Post  Cribbs74 on Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:53 pm

Good job! That runway looked great, got to see a lot of it in that video. Very Happy

Just playing around, glad you got a good flight in, looks to fly quite well under power. Sometimes you just got to fly it and see! Thanks for the follow through with video. 4oz of fuel would be neat to see, maybe not the whole 40 min flight, but how well the plane performs.

Ron
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Post  JennyC6 on Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:51 pm

getback wrote:cheers cheers cheers cheers  Good to hear and see . looked to fly pretty well from what i could tell . The excitement is enough to give you the twitch Thumbs Up

Wasn't just the plane's first flight either. I had gotten a couple minutes in on my NexSTAR 46 the week prior, but that was it. Sum total of my fixed wing flight experience. And then I go and solo this one totally on my own hahaha.

It did fly great, at least while it was under power. Hopefully next week I don't have any issues with the throttle servo coming unstuck and can get a good endurance test in!
Cribbs74 wrote:Good job! That runway looked great, got to see a lot of it in that video. Very Happy
Hehehe. Yeah I'll see if I can get someone else to film it next week.


Just playing around, glad you got a good flight in, looks to fly quite well under power. Sometimes you just got to fly it and see! Thanks for the follow through with video. 4oz of fuel would be neat to see, maybe not the whole 40 min flight, but how well the plane performs.

Ron

I'll film the whole flight but I'll likely cut it in post before I upload it, mostly because my internet won't support a 40+ minute video going up. Prolly keep the unedited footage around tho, maybe with access to better net I could throw it up as well.


Gonna be a busy week for me, RC wise. Aside from the FT Commuter 049, which is going to get a full fuel load flight either friday or saturday weather permitting, I've got a new engine coming in for my Slayer Pro, some parts coming in for my SC10GT's OS engine, some fine tuning on my NexSTAR's engine...mmm. Busy busy. So many engines! Need to get more 1/2a fuel...
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Post  batjac on Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:21 pm

Hmmm...  I see a new challenge coming on.  "Unattainable"???  Unattainable my patootie!  We'll see what can and can't be done!

The Tasked Mark

Surfer_kris wrote:Here is a little guide that illustrates how the weight and engine size will affect the handling of our RC planes, and it also includes a comparison to full-scale planes:

Flite Test Commuter w/ RC Ranger engine! - Page 2 Fig210
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Post  ticomareado on Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:28 pm

Ever the pessimist me. I still suspect that UNLESS probable CG and/or incidence issues related to glide are addressed first, all the rest of the theorizing and charts will still not prevent a 737 MAX scenario.
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Post  JennyC6 on Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:47 pm

CG's right on the money and if I hold it with the horizontal stab level the wing's got about a 4-5 degree positive AOA. It's not an issue of incidences or CG. It's an issue of 'engine flameout at an inopportune time'. The thing's portly, it wasn't moving very fast, and it didn't have enough altitude to gain significant airspeed before it hit the ground. If it had been another 20 feet higher up when the engine died I probably could have gotten it levelled out before it came down.


Also the novice pilot factor comes into play. This was my first ever solo fixed wing flight and second ever time flying fixed wing; atop that, it doubled my total stick time on fixed wing RC aircraft. A better pilot might very well have been able to get it levelled out without any additional altitude.


I'm also not overly concerned about crashing this thing. It's made of foamboard. The whole airframe only costs 30 bucks brand new and it takes some real doing(RE: I'd have to spear it into something head on at full throttle) to total the airframe out. It just bounces. If it does get damaged I can fix it with hot glue and packing tape. It's not the biggest deal if it takes a tumble; tis the advantage of Flite Test kits. They can take a hit, whereas balsa planes more or less can't.
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Post  micro 0951 on Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:23 am

Congrats on your maiden! Though since you're just starting out it could be better to simply fly a bunch of 1oz flights instead, it'll keep the plane lighter and also help with landing practice. You don't wanna go for a nice 45 minute cruise only to realise you don't actually know how to land your commuter. Once you learn the ins and outs of your commuter, then go crazy! Endurance runs, acrobatics, formation flying, whatever. You'll (hopefully) be prepared for any weird things the plane may do, rather than going gung-ho and 'figuring it out as we go along'.

They can take a hit, whereas balsa planes more or less can't.
You'll be surprised how much of a beating a balsa plane can actually take. My first balsa/foam hybrid (foam wing, balsa fuse and tail) stalled out during a climbout 20ft+ up after the motor cutout. The plane hit a rather large puddle nose first at a aproxx 60 degree angle, the splash was like some kid doing a cannonball at the pool. At the speed needed to get that kind of splash, water resistance would be no different than crashing on solid ground. The plane was surprisingly, in one piece. Total damage? Both 'cowl blocks' broke off. Everything behind the makeshift firewall was soaked, but otherwise undamaged. No depron foamie i have built would have survived that kind of impact without some serious reinforcement to the front end.

Reguarding flite test kits... their strength lies in the foamboard. Paper backed foamboard is effectively a sandwich composite, with depron as the core and thick paper as the skins. It's stronger than plain depron and more importantly for people in the states (and flite test) it's readily available. Flite test uses the same foamboard for their entire DIY range, so in reality, the commuter is quite overbuilt for a plane of it's size, being built of the same stuff used in kits twice it's size.
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Post  Cribbs74 on Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:54 am

Just fly it and have fun. I suppose you could dissect everything and go through all the motions, but in my experience you learn more about flying it and fixing problems as you go.

Like you mentioned it’s $30 worth of fun. It’s not like this is a 1000hr build you are experimenting with.

Looking forward to the big tank run.
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Post  dirk gently on Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:23 am

JennyC6 wrote: If it does get damaged I can fix it with hot glue and packing tape. It's not the biggest deal if it takes a tumble; tis the advantage of Flite Test kits. They can take a hit, whereas balsa planes more or less can't.

My balsa models tend to have much longer lifespan than the few foamies that I've made, including ones made of Dollar Tree Foam. If a balsa model is prone to breaking during a less-than-ideal landing, it means it's either constructed wrong or built too heavy. I see this especially with kits, which are often made of rock hard, heavy and brittle wood, much less with scratch-builds.
In a proper crash a balsa plane will tend to break apart cleanly and can be mended with not too much effort, whereas foam will tend to disintegrate.
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Post  JennyC6 on Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:56 pm

micro 0951 wrote:Congrats on your maiden! Though since you're just starting out it could be better to simply fly a bunch of 1oz flights instead, it'll keep the plane lighter and also help with landing practice. You don't wanna go for a nice 45 minute cruise only to realise you don't actually know how to land your commuter. Once you learn the ins and outs of your commuter, then go crazy! Endurance runs, acrobatics, formation flying, whatever. You'll (hopefully) be prepared for any weird things the plane may do, rather than going gung-ho and 'figuring it out as we go along'.

I have a five minute timer set in my radio that I can reset as I go. I could fill it to the brim, start the timer when it takes off, then when it beeps do a practice landing. Take back off, fly a bit more, repeat. Also give me practice with taking off as well, though FWIW I had no trouble with that on the maiden.

I've also done some landings with a NexSTAR on RF9 at my LHS. They have a setup in the corner by the fuel cabinet that anyone can sit down and fly with, using the RC TX that RF9 comes with no less. I've gotten to the point where I can bring the NexSTAR in on the sim without destroying it pretty reliably, though sometimes it does bounce a couple times before it settles in.


You'll be surprised how much of a beating a balsa plane can actually take. My first balsa/foam hybrid (foam wing, balsa fuse and tail) stalled out during a climbout 20ft+ up after the motor cutout. The plane hit a rather large puddle nose first at a aproxx 60 degree angle, the splash was like some kid doing a cannonball at the pool. At the speed needed to get that kind of splash, water resistance would be no different than crashing on solid ground. The plane was surprisingly, in one piece. Total damage? Both 'cowl blocks' broke off. Everything behind the makeshift firewall was soaked, but otherwise undamaged. No depron foamie i have built would have survived that kind of impact without some serious reinforcement to the front end.

Hah, nice. Bodes will for the Herr Cherokee 1/2a kit I'm thinking about buying as my first low-wing plane *and* my first balsa kit. Prolly won't be seeing that fly until late autumn, maybe even winter(Yes I'm crazy enough to fly in the dead of winter! I work in a freezer so the cold doesn't bother me one iota) as I literally have no tools, adhesives, supplies to build such a plane yet, but it's shaping up to be a pretty good first kit. Flies well from what I've heard, and it's only 58 smackers right from SIG themselves.

And I'll need to know how to work with balsa planes. I already have one...

Reguarding flite test kits... their strength lies in the foamboard. Paper backed foamboard is effectively a sandwich composite, with depron as the core and thick paper as the skins. It's stronger than plain depron and more importantly for people in the states (and flite test) it's readily available. Flite test uses the same foamboard for their entire DIY range, so in reality, the commuter is quite overbuilt for a plane of it's size, being built of the same stuff used in kits twice it's size.
Huh, fascinating. I always wondered what the specific foam in there was. I do know Adams ReadiBoard and Flite Test collaborated to customize the brown stuff in the speedbuild kits. It shrugs off CA glue, water, and the foam itself is fuelproof to boot. 'long as you don't let a raw fuel spill soak into the paper the FT foamboard is pretty much good to go for glow shenanigans, and is easily sealed with Rustoleum paint. Tellingly, my Commuter is showing no signs of problems related to fuel or exhaust!

Good stuff indeed, and I do plan on getting as many of the FT Speedbuild Kits as I can, slapping engines on them, and flying them ICE. I'm probably only gonna miss out on the jets unless I can get a glow ducted fan setup into the larger ones.
Cribbs74 wrote:Just fly it and have fun. I suppose you could dissect everything and go through all the motions, but in my experience you learn more about flying it and fixing problems as you go.

Like you mentioned it’s $30 worth of fun. It’s not like this is a 1000hr build you are experimenting with.

Looking forward to the big tank run.

That's the plan! Learn to fly on the FT foamies, and once my piloting skills are up to snuff, move into larger, faster, more complicated, more expensive builds. 'Course I'll still fly the FT birds too(If you haven't, check out the Master Series builds; they're every bit as gorgeous as the best warbird kits from SIG or Top Flite or whathaveya Clapping ), but I also want to go into turbine stuff way in the distant future, multi-cylinder recips, et-al.
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Post  balogh on Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:02 pm

Congrats JennyC6 to your project, maiden flight and self learning in perseverance. I did and do the hobby in similar solitude with nobody physically helping me build and fly, and make and repair my birds among rather basic conditions i.e on the kitchen work bench sometimes sharing with my wife. In the past few years as autodidact I not only learnt how to take off, do amateurish aerobatics and land, but attained some skills in building and repairing my planes. I am not a professional builder and pilot of RC planes but earn much more joy than frustration by today, and am proud to have arrived at where I am now on my own.

Lots of useful advice obtained from CEF members in the meantime but as others also stated the best learning experience is build and fly as much as you can afford.
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