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Ribcracker
06-09-2006, 02:52 AM
I spent the dark hours of this past winter meticulously assembling the Stevens Aeromodel Cap 232. I really took my time to make sure everything was perfect. As a matter of fact, all told, I'll bet I put close to a hundred hours into it. I'm a slow builder. I guess it just doesn't come natural to me. I enjoyed it in spite of a few screw-ups that I had to undo. I know Stevens kits have a good rep but the intructions are definitely not idiot proof. I proved that. And I don't like the fact that you have to take the wing off to access the battery. But damn is she beautiful.
Rather than use the recommended Hacker A20-20L, I used a cheaper Ultrafly Frio with similar kv and watt input. A 9x5 prop was recommended but I put on a 9x6 cuz that's what I had.
It was calm last night when I tightened the last screw. So I walked out into the yard and set it on the grass. I took a deep breath and advanced the throttle. I figured it would leap after 2 or 3 feet but it rolled out about 10 and nosed over. So it's going to be a hand launch. I don't like to do that with bottom wing planes because you have to grab it behind the wing and that makes it want to pitch downward. So I threw it toward the sky and cracked the throttle. It torqued left toward the tree line 20 feet to my left and I had to make a split second decision whether to turn it back toward me or try to clear the trees. I made the wrong choice. Debris rained down from the tree like confetti. I'd say she was airborne about two seconds. One hundred hours of work. Two seconds.
I never even got a chance to get a picture of it.
This is the downside of this hobby. Your hopes well up with anticipation till you can't catch your breath. And then comes the joy...or the agony.
I'm still in shock, I think. I guess I've just made myself numb.
It helps to get this off my chest. But not enough.
Maybe tomorrow I'll start a new build.

Don Sims
06-09-2006, 02:57 AM
It hurts just reading this!! Sorry you dorked the plane in!!

firemanbill
06-09-2006, 03:05 AM
:eek: Ouch:eek: Rib, that hurts me too reading that. Don't know what to say other than Sorry... I really hate that for you.:(

Twmaster
06-09-2006, 03:16 AM
Oh man. That is a tough one. Sorry Rib.

Now get building! :D

Rugar
06-09-2006, 03:42 AM
That really sucks Rib. Sorry to hear about it. But look on the bright side! (Yes there is a bright side) Look at all the experience you got from building. The next one will come out way nicer, and now I'm sure you know a few short cuts along the way that you learned from building this one. Just order another kit, as by the time you get it you will be ready to get started.

TManiaci
06-09-2006, 03:06 PM
That really blows, sorry for all the lost work.

I always take my maiden flights out to a massive, open feild where I can deal with those initial trim and balance issues, and have the whole sky to myself without any obstructions... on a wind-free day. It's never fun when you have a bird that is not doing predictable things, and couple that with maybe being under-powered and out of trim. Once I get the feel for it, then I know the lmitations and capabilities, then I know where and when it's safe to fly a given bird.

redgiki
06-09-2006, 03:18 PM
Luckily, I'm in a similar boat to TManiaci. I have a new bird to maiden on Sunday, and I'm blessed with an absolutely massive dry lake bed a half hour from my house. If I turf her in due to any reason other than mechanical failure, it's my fault.

Speaking of mechanical failure, Ribcracker, what were your thrust and tach readings on the bench? It sounds as if either your thrust angle was way off, or you weren't generating enough thrust or speed...

Heidelberg Germany Flyer
06-09-2006, 05:34 PM
I'm feel sorry for you, Rib, but congratulations on building a bird that you were proud of... I bet it did look nice.

Did you mount the motor pointing a few degrees to the right and a little down when you mounted it?

If it torqued to the left and sailed high on a hand launch, it may not have had enough torque adjustment to the right on the motor mounting. Did your first attempt also nose over to the left?

Stay with it, as Ruger said, you're a more experienced builder, now!

You'll have better luck with the next one!

HGF

Ribcracker
06-11-2006, 03:08 AM
I retrospect, I did many things wrong. First and formost, I was in a big hurry. I had to send my radio back for service and the warranty was about to expire. I was almost done with the plane and wanted to get it maidened before I had to part with the tx for who knows how long. And the weather was perfect. So...instead of doing some bench testing, I just slapped in a motor and prop that worked well with my mini Funtana. Well, the MF weighs a pound and a half and the Cap weighs a pound.
Recommended cg is 1/8 inch forward of main spar. Under no circumstances should it be more than 1/8 behind the spar. Well, with the battery all the way forward, it still balanced slightly behind. I thought I could handle it.
Also, the manual recommended certain throws for the surfaces, but I set them for as much throw as I could get and set dual rates at 50% figuring that should be fine. It was way too much throw.
There is no one to blame but me. I hate that. I'd feel much better if it was a mechanical failure. It was a me failure.
Live and learn? Naw, not me.

Bill G
06-11-2006, 04:34 AM
I had a similar experience. Fortunately, its probably stronger now than before, and doesn't show crash damage. Rubber band wing attachments help a lot. I don't like them, but they have merit.

I built a plane early in my career, never flew it for a year after building, and never re-visited the CG. When I went to fly it, I actually thought I did pretty good to keep the mechanical bull in the air as long as I did. I should have crash landed it on a few chances that I had, that were better than the one it picked on its own.

What impressed on me was experimenting with weights on cg setting. When you realize HOW MUCH weight is actually throwing off a cg by even a small amount, it gives a better feel for it.

Ribcracker
06-12-2006, 03:58 AM
So...I sent the Flash 5 to Hitec for repair and dug out my old 3 channel AM Focus. I'll have to ease my withdrawal somehow, so I converted 2 of my favorite planes to AM. I disabled the rudder on my Funtana and put the other AM rx in my sailplane (Skimmer 400).
Only trouble is, this tx doesn't have model memory and the elevator servos need to be reversed when I change planes.
Last night I had a great flight with my sailplane; 25 minutes with just one run-up. I thought I'll be fine until I get my radio back.
Tonight I walked out with my Funtana, gave her a heave and while the prop wash was still on my face, pulled the stick to go vertical. I think you know the rest of the story. I deserve this, ya know. Stupid is as stupid does.
Maybe I should find a less risky hobby. Checkers?

Bill G
06-12-2006, 04:48 AM
The part that gets me, is that when elevator is reversed, we just KEEP ON PULLING IT IN THE SAME DIRCTION, as if something different is going to happen. A not so funny story is what happened to Alexander Onasis (Onasis' son) in a real airplane. Someone accidentally reversed the aileron control cables on the stick. He still did the same thing. Its just one of those things we don't think about trying the opposite, while in a panic situation.
I've learned not to do this. Problem is, after a while, its like anything else, which can be forgotten. Since you are used to selecting model memory, in essence that's how you've avoided reversing. Makes it tough when you have to try a new method. Is the Funtana repairable?

Our pres was starting a 50foot high hover, when he realized that his elevator linkage was loose. Well he didn't exactly realize it at the time, but you know the effect. Amazingly, it was not that bad. Needs a front end rebuild.

Twmaster
06-12-2006, 04:55 AM
Rib, I'm sorry about the Funtana getting crunched. However I am compelled to yet again point out that this could have been avoided with a proper ground check of the controls before launch.

Expensive lessons.

Bill G
06-12-2006, 05:04 AM
Rib, I'm sorry about the Funtana getting crunched. However I am compelled to yet again point out that this could have been avoided with a proper ground check of the controls before launch.

Expensive lessons.

The things you can say on the forums:eek:
I'm not the best looking guy, but I like my face as it is. I think I'd refrain from telling that to Ribcracker in person.

Twmaster
06-12-2006, 05:10 AM
I don't worry. I'm 6'6" and 350 pounds....

:D

Bill G
06-12-2006, 09:54 PM
I know it was all in good humor TW. Hope he takes it that way too.

watt_the?!
06-12-2006, 10:03 PM
i did the reverse elevator thing at a national meet last year....did exactly as bill says.

pushed forward to keep a nice low climb out...plane rose ''unexpectedly''. so of course i keep pushing forward dont i?


ove the top of the loop it goes. so then i think,- if i can pull the loop tight then i wont go in....so then i pull back, as the plane is exiting the loop...

result...straight in. nose first. total flight time on that bird...about 5 seconds.

it was the maiden and i had waited for hours for my mate to get the servo extensions to me.....wired them up in the pits, checked the right channels, put the prop on.....walked out to the runway.

no pre flight check...was worried about how much aileron throw i had.

full power takeoff.....left like a rat up a drainpipe..

rest is history.

tim

Ribcracker
06-13-2006, 02:54 AM
Thanks, guys. I actually do see the humor in it and yes, these are expensive lessons. Lessons that, for some reason, don't stick. Put your hand on a hot stove a couple of times and you'll stop doing it, right? I still get burned now and then. Who knows? Maybe my brain has a loose wire. Truth is, I always do a system check. Well, obviously not always...how 'bout almost always.
Sharing your similar woeful stories actually does make me feel better. It shouldn't....cuz I wouldn't wish that on anyone. But we're human and therefore screwy. Thanks for your sympathy...and empathy.
I need to quit beating myself up. Maybe I should let Twmaster do it.

dinsour
06-13-2006, 05:49 AM
i did the reverse elevator thing at a national meet last year....did exactly as bill says.

pushed forward to keep a nice low climb out...plane rose ''unexpectedly''. so of course i keep pushing forward dont i?


ove the top of the loop it goes. so then i think,- if i can pull the loop tight then i wont go in....so then i pull back, as the plane is exiting the loop...

result...straight in. nose first. total flight time on that bird...about 5 seconds.

it was the maiden and i had waited for hours for my mate to get the servo extensions to me.....wired them up in the pits, checked the right channels, put the prop on.....walked out to the runway.

no pre flight check...was worried about how much aileron throw i had.

full power takeoff.....left like a rat up a drainpipe..

rest is history.

tim
Hey!! I thought I was the only one to do half a loop.

ram3500-rcu
06-14-2006, 08:33 AM
I know that this won't help bring your plane back, but consider this. I once put (3) planes in, in the span of about 1hr. A 96" laser, a 70" Extra 260 (with a Saito 182 twin), and a 60 size Cap 23. All stupid mistakes. The Laser was repaired, but the others were totaled. That was 14 yrs ago. I didn't fly for a month after that, then, the bug bit again and i'm glad to say, that 'black Saturday' was never repeated. I have had crashes since, but now, if i'm having a bad day, even if I don't crash, I just pack up and watch. You have those days. You'll get back in the air and enjoy more flying. I know you will.

FunFlyer
06-14-2006, 08:33 AM
Here in Oz we have a game called 2 Up......toss two coins in the air & see if they come down heads or tails.....
When doing my ground checks, rudder and elevator are straightforward, but I have recently twice goofed on ailerons. So now I say "to, up" standing behind the model. The aileron on the side that I move the stick "TO" must go "UP". It has saved me from re-building the Sr Telemaster again!
FWIW....
Adrian

havoc
06-14-2006, 08:36 AM
i did the reverse elevator thing at a national meet last year....did exactly as bill says.

pushed forward to keep a nice low climb out...plane rose ''unexpectedly''. so of course i keep pushing forward dont i?


ove the top of the loop it goes. so then i think,- if i can pull the loop tight then i wont go in....so then i pull back, as the plane is exiting the loop...

result...straight in. nose first. total flight time on that bird...about 5 seconds.

it was the maiden and i had waited for hours for my mate to get the servo extensions to me.....wired them up in the pits, checked the right channels, put the prop on.....walked out to the runway.

no pre flight check...was worried about how much aileron throw i had.

full power takeoff.....left like a rat up a drainpipe..

rest is history.

tim

I made the same mistake with a T33 EDF many moons ago. Handlaunch..........smack.....wtf??....oh.......du h.

tunretni
06-14-2006, 03:02 PM
This reminds me of a lesson I learned from my flight instructor when I was working on my private pilot certificate. It works either way but I usually grab the left horn of the yoke with my thumb pointing up, roll the yoke clockwise, and then verify that my thumb is pointed at the 'up' aileron.

I think it was because of the onassis story.

Interestingly, my instructor also said that if it ever happens that you take off with ailerons reversed, the best thing to do is let go of the yoke and fly with rudders/throttle/and pitch trim. Apparently even the best pilots are pretty much screwed with reversed ailerons.

I am learning how difficult it is to undo these habits right now as I am focused on learning to fly inverted with my helicopter simulator.

The part that gets me, is that when elevator is reversed, we just KEEP ON PULLING IT IN THE SAME DIRCTION, as if something different is going to happen. A not so funny story is what happened to Alexander Onasis (Onasis' son) in a real airplane. Someone accidentally reversed the aileron control cables on the stick. He still did the same thing. Its just one of those things we don't think about trying the opposite, while in a panic situation.
I've learned not to do this. Problem is, after a while, its like anything else, which can be forgotten. Since you are used to selecting model memory, in essence that's how you've avoided reversing. Makes it tough when you have to try a new method. Is the Funtana repairable?

Our pres was starting a 50foot high hover, when he realized that his elevator linkage was loose. Well he didn't exactly realize it at the time, but you know the effect. Amazingly, it was not that bad. Needs a front end rebuild.

ChinehamGeorge
06-14-2006, 06:46 PM
Hi Guys

Went to a 'Electric Fly-in' recently and captured this video of a guy who had 2 different sized Lancaster's programmed in his Tx and he selected the wrong one, everything was the same except the ailerons. Well the video shows the result.
http://www.putfile.com/chinehamgeorge/media
(2nd one down on left side)

I have learnt from his misfortune and before every flight, I don't just twiddle the sticks, I move, hold and check every direction.

Sorry to hear all your stories

Cheers
George

fabricator
06-14-2006, 10:32 PM
Let me tell ya about the brand new ministick I reversed the ailerons on, it looked just like that lancaster, only it all happened about ten times faster.:D

BillAdair
06-16-2006, 12:30 AM
After ten years of flying R/C, with only a few dumb thumb accidents, my luck finally ran out.

Preflight was completed by doing control surface checks holding the stabilizer between my legs, as I always do before every flight. Checks are done with the engine running, to insure there are no vibration induced glitches in the radio system. The Futaba computer radio had only one model setting, and had been fully charged after flying all day on a previous trip to the field.

I checked the throttle, moved the ailerons left and right (insuring the proper throw and direction), then turned part way around so I could see the tail feathers (but not the ailerons at the same time), and verify the elevator and rudder were correct. Opened the throttle to full power and checked again, then throttled back to taxi out for takeoff.

Perfect takeoff and climb out, then a gentle turn to the right to parallel the runway, and do a low level roll. Fed in full aileron, and watched in horror as the 4 Star 40 rolled and pitched down suddenly, impacting the ground under full power! :eek:

When I got to the impact site, the radio was still on, so I switched off and carried the airplane back to the bench. There I switched the radio back on, and did another control system check, and found that full aileron also gave me full down elevator! Something I couldn't see while watching the ailerons, or the tail feathers. :confused:

I had some exponential on ailerons, so the elevator mixing wasn't very noticeable at small aileron throws, but at full aileron throw, the elevator was full down!

At home, I verified the aileron elevator mixing, and some weird exponential settings that were not there the last time I flew?

Reconstructing events, my granddaughter admitted that she had a few friends in my computer room, while they took turns using my computer. My Futaba computer transmitter was sitting on the shelf above my desk, and the boys were looking at it, while waiting their turn on the computer.

Evidently, one of them turned it on, and played with it! :mad:

Bill

thunder1
06-16-2006, 06:11 AM
Sorry for the loss. It was probably time to get a new model anyways, at least that's what I tell myself when I lose one.

I wonder why they thought it was a good idea to even touch your transmitter, let alone reprogam it??? Heck, my office is completely off limits to anyone but me. But I've got a computer in every room so there's not any reason for them to be in there anyways.

Sounds like a new rule is in order. No touching my stuff under penalty of death! I've instilled the notion of "if your friends break it, you're at fault" in my kids. It actually works pretty well. But for the grandkids, what can you do??? Sorry kiddie, your next birthday card is going to be a little light. Granddad has a new model to buy;-)

BillAdair
06-18-2006, 08:26 AM
Thunder1,

Thanks, but it was not a great loss, as the 4 Star 40 was several years old, with more than it's share of wear and tear.

The important thing, is that I should have caught that problem on the ground, but I was sure that my preflight checks were thorough enough. Turns out they were not, so that has changed to a complete controls check on the bench, followed by the power on check before takeoff.

Think we all forget how easy it is to bump a servo reversing switch in transit, now that some manufacturers are mounting them externally.

My first Futaba radio had the servo reversing and mixing switches under a hatch, where they were not likely to be disturbed. Too bad they changed.

Bill