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View Full Version : Is a water rudder really needed?


Franny
06-04-2007, 08:51 PM
Hi All,

I am adding a set of GWS floats to my Little Gasser 16oz 400 size airplane and am wondering if I need to add a set of water rudders. The Gasser's rudder is pretty affective in the air, but I don't want to have to retrieve it after every landing. I will be flying off a dock on a small lake. What do you think?

Thanks,

Franny

Jim Casey
06-05-2007, 02:38 AM
I have a granite slab engraved: "If your motor is running you can control the taxi with the rudder. If your motor is not running,...it doesn't matter. " SInce this is the electric forum there is a high chance your prop will turn enough to get you back unless you run completely out of juice.

Neutralize elevator and stop the prop. The plane will point into the wind.
Hold full up and go to a speed somewhere around fast idle. The noses of the floats will ride up and the plane will weathervane downwind.

Back off the throttle a little and it is possible to taxi crosswind, steering with the throttle and holding the upwind wing down with the aileron. However be advised that a crosswind taxi is tempting the demon of being blown over. Three-channel airplanes are just a blowover waiting to happen.

Or if you taxi fast while the floats are skiing atop the water, you can go pretty much any direction. Still: be conscious to use a little aileron to hold the inside wing down in the turns lest you tip to the outside, hook a wingtip, and make a big embarassing splash.

Franny
06-05-2007, 02:55 AM
Thanks Jim! Sounds like you have done this before! The ailerons on the Gasser aren't the most agressive, but I will take your advice. I'm also thinking short bursts with the rudder in the direction I want to go might also work.

I won't bother with the water rudders. I bet the electrics will make it a bit easier than I remember it being with the prop always spinning...

Thanks,

Franny

stevecooper
10-20-2007, 02:42 AM
Franny::I build BIG over-sized rudders on mine, Seems to do the trick, your bub, stevecooper

cyclops2
10-22-2007, 11:46 PM
I like Jim's logic.

No motor no go. :sad:


Prop blast should swing it around at a stand still. Water rudder is effective when some speed has built up.

Bill G
10-24-2007, 04:07 AM
Steve, that GWS float give ideas for hulls.

I have a GWS Beaver on GWS floats. It doesn't steer worth crap with the air rudder, and once you get it to turn, you usually over do it, and it swings around.

Detroit Dave
11-16-2007, 07:14 AM
I have to back up Bill G. They don't steer well with just the air rudder.
I have several planes that I fly off the water....none electric yet, but that is coming. I've found that even with the prop spinning, it can be a real challange at times to get back to the shorline where I'm standing.
I wouldn't even consider a floatplane without a water rudder. You only need one water rudder and it doesn't matter which float you put it on. Two water rudders look way more impressive, but I't just personal preference.
You can make the rudder out of thin aluminum or plastic and use 1/2A hinge. I run a control cable teo different ways. It can come from the rudder servo arm or loop back from the rudder control horn to the rudder.
If you haven't got a water rudder, make sure you have a rescue boat!!!

Have Fun, Fly Safe, Dave

Murocflyer
11-16-2007, 10:03 AM
I couldn't get my E-Starter to steer at all with its stock rudder. I doubled its size, as Steve suggested above and it worked well enough and it was very easy to do. Would a water rudder be better? Yes, but the larger rudder worked well enough to keep me from wading out in the lake.

Frank

stevecooper
11-16-2007, 04:29 PM
Detroit Dave (http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/member.php?u=18351):: "If you haven't got a water rudder, make sure you have a rescue boat!!!"got it covered my bub,, and thanks again for the thrust angle's, You are a smart guy an I think I'm gonna learn a few things from you! I glad you found this site, your bub, stevecooper

Murocflyer
11-17-2007, 12:15 AM
Steve,

I really like your rescue boat!!! So much in fact, I am going to make one for myself. Thanks for the idea!

Frank

JRickey
11-27-2007, 02:42 AM
I found with my SS that I can make it do tighter turns a slow speeds with full down elevator. It forces the front of the floats into the water and the plane pivots on them. My floats are home made flat bottom.

CygnusX1
11-27-2007, 02:57 PM
I just recently started lake landing my easy glider with floats and, no, it does not steer on the water at all with the air rudder. I found myself always trying to land the plane coming at me so that I could come straight in. THe problems with this are obvious. It's tough to judge the proper landing distance so as not to run ashore. The other problem is that if there is any wind, you restrict your landing direction.

Jim Casey
11-28-2007, 01:00 AM
If one JUST tries to steer with the air rudder it can be disappointing.
It is almost always necessary to couple with the elevator.
No power: weathervane into the wind.
Full UP and enough power to ride up on the bow wave makes the tails of the floats dig in so far back that the plane pivots DOWNWIND around the tails of the floats. Any more power than that and the plane will hump OVER the bow wave and pop up on the step.
My experience has been that blipping the throttle for an air blast just makes more noise as I drift into the God-forsaken swampy briar patch.
No matter what, always have a rescue boat handy.

Murocflyer
11-28-2007, 01:49 AM
Jim,

Which guy is you???

Frank

constantCrash
11-28-2007, 02:43 AM
Is it me, or is that one REALLY big stump in that picture.

Detroit Dave
11-28-2007, 07:43 AM
I have three planes on floats and one seaplane. They all have water rudders. They all have only one, two looks impressive on a float plane but only one is usually necessary for good handling on the water.
It's almost no weight and it makes handling on the water as easy as a plane with wheels.
The bottom of the rudder only needs to be about an eighth of an inch below the floats. When you taxi slow, the rudder will be in the water, when you pick up speed and the floats are up on the step, the rudder will be out of the water since you will have the speed for the air rudder to take over.
But for now, around here anyways, it's too cold for float flying....the floats work great on snow and for that you don't really need a water rudder.
Well, maybe I'll go work on the bipe I have on the building table.

Dave

Jim Casey
11-29-2007, 12:02 AM
Jim,

Which guy is you???

Frank

HeeHee! I stumble into these pics on the net from time to time, and I hold on to them for situations such as this.

Franny
11-29-2007, 12:48 AM
Hi Guys,

So, I thought you might like to see a few photos of the Gasser on floats and an E-Starter on floats at the lake up in Seattle this summer.

I have found that if the speed is low, then there is almost no authority of the air rudder, but if you get it up on plane then it works great! You have to keep your nerve up with the speed though... I do like coming to a halt and having it weathervane into the wind.

Flying off water is, some how, quite a bit different than flying off land. It should be about the same, but I tend to fly a lot slower with lots of low passes. Weird... Love greasing it in over glass and then full power and watching the water drip off the floats as it heads up. Very Zen...

Franny

RocketMan
11-29-2007, 04:27 AM
Wow, those are fantastic pictures and great flying too by the looks of it! I'm having a hard time deciding if being the photographer or the pilot would have been more satisfying.

I'm dying to try my E-Starter on floats but 'common sense' is yelling at me to wait until next summer (or until I can try them on snow)...

RM

Franny
11-29-2007, 04:48 AM
Thanks RM! Those GWS floats take an entire hour to build I think. The E-Starter even has that rear slot all ready to go! It is a great airplane for floats and, as you can see, it floats!! I say Go for it!

That was an AWESOME vacation! I got to fly in the morning and afternoon each day right out in the back yard. It sure is great to have relatives that bought right may years ago right on a lake. God bless 'em!

f

RocketMan
11-29-2007, 05:49 AM
Thanks RM! Those GWS floats take an entire hour to build I think. The E-Starter even has that rear slot all ready to go! It is a great airplane for floats and, as you can see, it floats!! I say Go for it!

That was an AWESOME vacation! I got to fly in the morning and afternoon each day right out in the back yard. It sure is great to have relatives that bought right may years ago right on a lake. God bless 'em!

f
Hi Franny, I keep seeing that picture of your E-Starter on its back and the fact that I don't have any kind of rescue 'boat' yet :-) I think maybe I should build that rescue 'boat' first and then if the lake hasn't frozen over yet have a go at it! I have the luxury of living next to a lake - the houses across the street from me are on the water and there is lake access from a small park about 100 yards away. Oh yeah I should have mentioned that there is a dam at the end of the lake near where I would be flying and the water flow over the dam is more than it should be this time of year. I can visualize my E-Starter drifting slowly but surely towards the model airplane equivalent of Niagara Falls. lol.

On the other hand the lake is going to freeze over by sometime in January and then I will have my own flying field within 5 minutes walk! I understand that the GWS floats work really well on the snow. I can hardly wait to give it a try after the first big storm. Cheers,

RM

Franny
11-29-2007, 07:13 PM
Hey RM,... Sorry about that. I guess I wanted to show just how well it floats! Look at that! The leading edge is out of the water! It is a fabulous airplane for the lake. I would suggest that you use that CorrosionX on the electronics to protect them and if you have a mis-hap, just wait for the wind to blow it ashore. That E-Starter was powered with an E-flight 370 outrunner and a 900mAH Lipo. That was a great setup. Nice long flights, low cost and perfect balance. I was even able to make use of the stock motor and mount.

Well, I hope you decide to take the plunge - so to speak!

Franny

stevecooper
11-29-2007, 07:44 PM
Franny (http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/member.php?u=4355):: you done good, real good! Your planes are So pretty! MINE ARE UGLY!!took me half the night to put my last 3-4 GWS floats togather ( micro ballons, cabasile , mill-fibers & epoxy, etc,) and I use um on most my planes ( tall grass but sometimes H2O) CorrosionX is the hot set-up no matter the high $, , your bub, stevecooperPS my fundango's gone after 12 years, BOO Hoo!

RocketMan
11-29-2007, 08:08 PM
Hi Franny I totally agree with stevecooper that your planes are beautiful and I really like that little gasser! I did have some problems preventing my GWS floats from leaking so it took me a lot more than an hour to put them together... lol.

I have a brand new bottle of CorrosionX ready to put in service.

Have you looked at the Capricorn flying boat?

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26120

I've been collecting materials to build one. It might be a good backup to push that E-Starter to shore :-)

Cheers.

RM

stevecooper
11-29-2007, 08:54 PM
RocketMan:: (http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/member.php?u=16465)It might be a good backup to push that E-Starter to shore :-) heres my 10$ back-up! your bub, stevecooper

Franny
11-29-2007, 09:09 PM
Thanks guys!

The Gasser is a favorite of mine too. Kinda like a Jr. Falcon.

Steve, sorry to hear about the dead 'Dango. That is one of my favorites too. I tell ya though... if it wasn't for the drastic different color top to bottom, I would have pinched that thing in many times! It is SO hard to keep track of in the air on the simulator.

RM: That is a great idea! I have one of those Miss Hydro thingies that I have never flown/floated. I built it but never flew it... I should see about getting that ready for next year...

Franny

Franny
11-29-2007, 09:12 PM
Steve, that is OUT! Very Ma and Pa Kettle! I just love it. That must be a hoot to see in the water!

Franny

stevecooper
11-29-2007, 11:39 PM
Steve, that is OUT! Very Ma and Pa Kettle! I just love it. That must be a hoot to see in the water!

Franny
Franny::She needs a 40 to plane-out but a 19 fills the bill for fetch'in, thanks your bub, stevecooper

Franny
11-30-2007, 12:03 AM
That really is awesome.

RocketMan
11-30-2007, 03:31 AM
That looks like it would make fetchin as much fun as flying!

Back in May I was playing around with an AeroAce in the little park next to the lake and it ended up getting blown into the water by a gust of wind. It landed upright so I walked down to the shore and I was going to see if I could taxi her in when I dropped the transmitter into the lake by accident! I was so annoyed I went back to the house and put on my shortie wetsuit and retrieved it by swimming out to it (about 200 yards maybe). Boy was the water ever cold, my hands and feet were numb! That was the day I started thinking about the rescue boat :-)

RocketMan
12-11-2007, 02:56 AM
Hey RM,... Sorry about that. I guess I wanted to show just how well it floats! Look at that! The leading edge is out of the water! It is a fabulous airplane for the lake. I would suggest that you use that CorrosionX on the electronics to protect them and if you have a mis-hap, just wait for the wind to blow it ashore. That E-Starter was powered with an E-flight 370 outrunner and a 900mAH Lipo. That was a great setup. Nice long flights, low cost and perfect balance. I was even able to make use of the stock motor and mount.

Well, I hope you decide to take the plunge - so to speak!

Franny

Hi Franny, I've been away on business for three weeks and when I got back today the lake next to where I live is frozen solid! So I guess I'm off the hook for ROW for now. lol.

I saw your new thread with the the Lit'l Gasser pictures in the snow and they are awesome. Kudos to the photographer!

Cheers,

Rick