View Full Version : The Bird is BACK!

09-02-2006, 03:48 AM
After a bad choice of BL motor which left me $100 short and powerless for months, I bit the bullet and got an E-Flite outrunner Power 10 for my converted Bird Of Time ARF.

It looked kinda small on there but it runs a 13" prop and burns off over 200 watts with the 8 cell NIMH cells and a 30 A ESC. It turned out to be just fine! It climbs nicely, but like everything else it does, it does so slowly and gracefully- and just beautifully.

Having recently lost an Ascent glider in a thermal, I felt the need for spoilers to ensure a safe return from monster convection- as well as a way to make it land in my small field!

I chose the cheap Graupner spoilers but after removing the covering and notching out the ribs I decided not to use them! The plate they sit on is a wide flat spot that ruins the airfoil all along their span!

If I do get another set they will be the pop ups which won't ruin the foil when they are retracted, since they have a small footprint when tucked away.

I felt the others were so poor they would not need to be deployed to drag it down- it would already be dragging away fulltime! May as well tie a drag chute to it!

Hoping to see the hurricane air clear this weekend for some sweet soaring. Its good to be back!

Green Air

09-02-2006, 04:48 AM
what is a spoliler? thanks.


Sky Sharkster
09-02-2006, 08:06 AM
HI Chris, welcome to the Sailplane Forum! Spoilers are control surfaces on the upper surface of a glider wing that rise up into the airflow to "spoil" or disrupt the smooth movement of air over the wing. This destroys enough lift to allow the aircraft (full-sized or model) to descend from strong thermals and/or great altitude safely and quickly without overstressing the wings.
The two main types of spoilers are the "blade" type which raise up straight vertically from (usually) the high point of the airfoil like a "wall" or fence. They are placed on the inboard section of each wing panel. These require a slot within the wing and some sort of driver like servos to push them up and retract the spoilers in unison. As Telsa noted, it is difficult to add these to an already-built airframe without distorting the airfoil.
Another type of spoiler is the trailing edge "flap", similar to ailerons. These are also located on the inboard panels and raise "up" together. They may be combined (via mixer) with flaps or ailerons into a dual-function surface, in this case they would be called "flapperons" or "spoilerons"
Fatlion has a good glider-specific glossary here;
http://www.fatlion.com/sailplanes/glossary.html This will help with some of the more common terms used in Sailplane "lingo"
Good Luck!

09-02-2006, 05:12 PM
Thank you so much. :) so much to lern in this hobbie. But i love to learn so its enetrtaining in all aspects.


09-02-2006, 06:43 PM
Chris, welcome to the sport. YES! There is a LOT to learn. Many of us have been at it for decades and still learn new things all the time. Maybe that is why we didn't get bored and move onto something more challenging! This is satisfying on so many levels- the building, trimming, and soaring.

I have flown many kinds of (real) planes but my favorites were also the quietest and most graceful- sailplanes- and the challenge of soaring invisible solar powered lift!

Most people don't even know it is happening right over their heads, and yet we make a fine art of emulating the vultures and riding it cross country or just thermalling around the field.

I feel that there are two good ways to get into this hobby. One is a foam delta, the other is a 2 meter electric glider. Got my first soaring hour with a ZAGI Speed 400 powered foam delta that also let me crash without damage while I was learning to fly and also did a load of aerobatics that taught me a lot!

Excellent explanation of the spoiler, SKY! A larger heavier slippery sailplane wants to keep on gliding so flat that they are very difficult to land without some kind of airbrake- and these do the job! They are great for diving out of tremendous lift also- so you get to keep the plane and fly another day!

Good luck to you, Chris! You are getting started at a time where any question you may have is easily answered by way of the internet. You won't find a better site than this one for helpful and friendly people who will share their hard won knowledge- and the fun too!

Fly high. Land soft.

09-03-2006, 03:58 AM
Hi, thanks for the welcome. So far i spend 2-3 hours a day flying in FMS. and iv yet to get bored. pretty amazing really. I have one of them personalitys i tend to get bored easy. So yeah i can see how it would be hard to get bored flying. I guess you could get bored of crashing. lol.

Iv just been learning to fly on the Flight simulator and the Aero Ace biplanes.

I added LEDS so iv been getting night pratice in too. That is real good pratice for learning your oritation easy to get it wrong at night. even tho its basic skills iv been learning with out touching a bigger 4ch plane. I do think i have a lot of the basic skills masterd.

Iv been thinking getting a wing for my first plane. I think you pretty much convice me to go for it and see what happens.
The problem you see is I live in the desert. ( lots of vultures and thermos tho ) is the rocks, so all the first planes they recomend dont really work for my enviroment. I need a EPP foam job no landing gear, etc. that can take a beating. The wings iv seen and they seem to take a ebating and you can just tape them up when they tape gets thrashed and go aagin.

right now i have a futaba skyport 4ch. so im gonna buy a new radio this week ithink.

I was orginaly gonna get a Optic 6. but after reading of all the problems they have had with the syth module. Im leading torwds the eclips 7
not much more money. like 40.00 more.


164.00 i wont bother with ths ythmodule. just regular crystal for now.

since i dont have any planes, this is not really a big issue.

but still doing research. finding a good radio is hard. heh.

the DX6 seem to be well recomend. but lack some.

i figured id just let that radio grow up some more before id get in the band wagon and who knows maybe the recivers will go down in price. :)

iv looked for the same problems the optic 6 has had in the eclips iv not read any yet,

so, ill go back to doing my homework on radio's.

thanks again for the welcome.


also fuond a local club 20 mins away, but no responce on the emailf rom them. Im assuming they are mostly snowbird memebers.

09-07-2006, 05:47 AM
Chris, I replied but took too long and the page timed out- even tho it said I was still logged in. The only way to post it without rewriting it is as an attachment, so here it is!

Luck and Lift

09-07-2006, 07:19 PM
Hi Tesla,

Great to hear you are back in the air. I'd love to see a picture or two... I still haven't had mine up yet, but I ran some tests on the motor and I'm pulling about 250-275W at full throttle so that sounds like it will work just fine. I do get a little heat from the motor, but I think it won't be a problem as the motor shouldn't be running too long. Also it is mounted to that large chunk of steel in the nose which helps dissipate the heat a bit. Hey, let me know what you decide for spoilers... I know that will be an issue for me too... I've hooked up with The Sky Sharkster here localy and he is going to help me with the first flight. Really looking forward to it!!

Oh, I do have another question for you regarding elevator throw. I was only able to get the minimum recomended throw due to the way the servo mounts in the tail. To get more, the arm would have to protrude out the fuselage a bit... Do I need to worrk about it? How pitch sensitive is the BOT? That is one honkin' elevator on that thing so I'm guessin' it is pretty sensitive, but I like a bit more control than less...

Take care,


09-08-2006, 01:41 AM
Hey, Frannie! Long time, BOTMAN!

Sounds like you have all the power you need! You have more power than I do- yet I am pleased with the climb- even tho I am pushing the 1800ma 8 cell NIMH too hard, which only gets me 2 or 3 good climbs.

I miss my monster 4AH Lipo packs, since I killed em by leaving them plugged in to the ESC overnight! My forced reversion to heavy metal chemistry is no thrill!

Even so, at full power, I have to hold some down elevator to keep it from pitching straight up! You won't be disapointed!

The full flying stab is not especially sensitive, as I had also imagined it to be. The arm of the HS-85 Metal Gear servo does protrude just a tad thru a slot in the tailservo cover.

To get just a bit more than the recomended throws, I am at 65% of throw on my Futaba computer radio for pitch. I trimmed it with minimal throws (the less we steer, the better it flies) in still air that first morning.

By afternoon, the lift was cooking and I had to increase the throws since I was running out of both pitch and roll control in the turbulence!

For the first time, I had set the computer radio to ATV (servo throw mode ) while I flew and was able to add a bit as I flew and test the results immediately. Even my old Hitec Focus 6 had gain pots to increase or decrease throw on the main channels- but this is... sweet!

Especially important is to allow enough UP to stall the plane for a landing flare and enough down to level the plane quickly- before it stalls- if the nose was wayyy high! I use a series of short abrupt stalls to degrade the glide on aproach.

Running the motor at minimum power- and speeding up a bit- adds some drag- but makes turns weird due to the adverse yaw of all that drag way up front, so watch that when turning while low- rotten place to do a deep stall and drop a wing! The instructions' throws are a good place to start.

You are in good hands with The SHARK! The Shark is wise... :D

Why fly it? You are already a mile high! Just put it in the car and ride around a bit and she'll get higher than mine EVER WILL down here at barely 1,000 ASL! :D

She is a great ship! The way it rises in lift- level- is unique! Turns are just a bit wider due to the great span, but you'll quickly learn to enjoy the way it handles and keep your turns clean.

The first time I powered up high I had no trouble spotting lift when I was in it- and turning, once you get the feel of the control mix is faboooo!

Landing is another story! So many times I thought it would plop at my feet- but was a few feet up and had a lonnggg way to go yet and just whizzed on past for another go-round.

A French sailplane aproach is something I picked up in a sailplane book. Basically, it is a series of S-Turns to burn off altitude on aproach- just don't bank too far while close to the ground! Flying fast, early in the aproach with the prop barely powered will help pull you down- and the prop prevents it from overspeeding too much, helping to dissipate the energy of that big glass slipper!

Slip turns help to drag it down too! Bank the wings but don't pull up. It will lose altitude while presenting the fuse sideways a bit to the wind, adding drag, steepening the glide a bit.

Of course spoilers fix all this in a more civilized and predictable manner and give you protection from A bomb sized thermals!

See Hobby-Lobby's Graupner TECH spoilers, popups that have a minimal footprint when retracted, about $50.

Let me know how you like it!


09-09-2006, 02:15 AM
Holy cow! Thanks for the novel! Yes, yes the spoilers... Hmmm. Let's see; 10' wing span, and ground effect starts around twice the span, so at two feet you can safely assume you are in the pocket. So, at twice the lift it will just go, and go, and go...

Thanks for the info on the elevator. I think more is better so I'll be looking into that. Hey, did you see the BOT slope video on Google: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4483444780912030838&q=Bird+of+Time

I found it from jooNorway (http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/member.php?u=8560)'s Post... Pretty cool. And this one which is even more nutty: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3411658453816113895&q=Brid+of+Time+and+MIRAJ

I'll let you know how it goes!



09-09-2006, 03:03 PM
The novel? :D Ya coulda just waited for the movie!

The short answer? Just throw it in the air- its only money!

Thanx for the links to the Bird at play. Biggest spoilers I've ever seen- THAT'LL drag 'er down!!