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Old 06-10-2014, 07:20 PM   #1
skyler
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Default How much wind is too much for flying?

Had a lot of trouble today learning to fly an electric Gentle Lady. Have been adjusting the center of gravity and getting familiar with new transmitter.

The plane was unstable, and there were wind gusts of 6 to 7 mph. HOw significant is this amount of wind for this type of plane? At what point does the wind become significant?
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:28 PM   #2
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Depends on the airplane and the pilot skill... Generally if you have to land at 1/2 throttle and hold it on the runway with power to keep from having the plane get blown backwards its too much wind for the airplane.

EDF in my avatar stalls at 30 knots... it can handle 15 knots direct crosswind takeoff and landing.

Gentle Lady can have problems in 5 knots if you don't know how to make it handle wind. I've flown one in up to 15 knots.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:41 PM   #3
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Another good indicator or rule of thumb a few clubs I frequent uses as a safety factor:

"When sitting on the flight line, the craft moves (gets pushed around by environmental conditions) more than a foot in any direction from it's original ground position (regardless of the crafts size)......a red flag is thrown up"......(fly at own risk, but not at the risk of others person or property)........there's always one very experienced pilot in the bunch who will fly regardless......he's the club President.....lol

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Old 06-10-2014, 07:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by skyler View Post
Had a lot of trouble today learning to fly an electric Gentle Lady. Have been adjusting the center of gravity and getting familiar with new transmitter.

The plane was unstable, and there were wind gusts of 6 to 7 mph. HOw significant is this amount of wind for this type of plane? At what point does the wind become significant?
Years ago I flew one of those Gentle Lady models. It was a very good model for learning to fly thermals and so on. Later on, it was electrified, making it an even better model.

As for wind, one thing to watch for is the possibility of the wind picking up your model and cartwheeling it after a landing. Not to much of a problem with a model that has no landing gear. It is a concern on some of the lightweight models that are available now. With pure sailplanes, another issue is getting down wind. If the wind is to high, you can't get your model back to the pilots area.

We've got a number of club members that fly both $$$$ giant scale, wet turbine, big gasser models. And, when the wind hits 15 MPH plus, those same guys haul out those jet foamies that with a good pilot can handle just about any sort of wind.

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Old 06-10-2014, 08:42 PM   #5
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skylar,

Not sure about the Gentle lady but in general, it's normally pretty windy here in North Texas and the light foamies can be a challenge. Can't fly in wind, you just can't fly at all here. Calm days are a rarity. So you learn to cope and adjust your squadron accordingly. Some planes I leave home when I know the wind will be gusting.

But there are limits to everything. I lose comfort in 15-20. No fun fighting it. If it's 10-15, I'm okay with it but on my toes. . The larger, heavy balsa planes and edf's do okay. I never have a wind problem with my edf's. The park flyers get tossed around with the exception of my overpowered T-28. The golden zone for me is 5-10. Yowzer ! I'm out there. When it gets over 100deg F in the summer, a breeze actually feels pretty good.

Been using www.windfinder.com A nice app. Gives you a forecast and even a super forecast. It's better than our own weather station at the field.

Good luck !

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Old 06-10-2014, 09:28 PM   #6
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Generally, I consider anything over 30MPH to be too much wind but, sometimes, I'm out there in it anyway.

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Old 06-10-2014, 10:22 PM   #7
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Default I think no wind is best for training

I will only fly early in the mornings when there is zero wind until I am proficient....

I need to control the variables and wind is one of them.

It's just too hard to get past the training mode when the ratio or repair time to air time approaches a very large number.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by skyler View Post
I will only fly early in the mornings when there is zero wind until I am proficient....

I need to control the variables and wind is one of them.

It's just too hard to get past the training mode when the ratio or repair time to air time approaches a very large number.
Do you have any RC clubs in your area? If so they have trainer cords and instructors to help out.

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Old 06-10-2014, 11:13 PM   #9
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Some clubs are better than others about welcoming beginners...
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:34 PM   #10
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Beginners mostly should not venture out in more than 5mph, esp. with a beginner type plane. Those tend to be slow, draggy, and lots of surface area the wind affects. The GL would be worse than some. It's in the name......GENTLE.
Can't say I'd recommend balsa for self-taught learning. Too much difficult repair for the inevitable crash.

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Old 06-10-2014, 11:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mclarkson View Post
Generally, I consider anything over 30MPH to be too much wind but, sometimes, I'm out there in it anyway.
If you can fly a gentle lady in 30mph wind then you are a much better man than me.. As the maximum flying speed is no more than 20mph you would certainly have to be game for a long walk. Even taking a gentle lady out of the car in that much wind would be sure to rip the wings off.

30mph is very windy to be flying any RC model. At that wind speed all landings, even on quite large heavy models would be flying backwards (relative to the ground), which would make things pretty 'interesting'

Personally, for fixed wing power models, it stops being fun at about 15mph and I wouldn't fly at all at about 20mph.. The big helis will cope with more.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:36 PM   #12
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+1 on THAT! The only thing I'd take out in that kind of wind is a sloper, and...it would still be a handful. That's a LOT of wind.

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Old 06-10-2014, 11:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by flydiver View Post
+1 on THAT! The only thing I'd take out in that kind of wind is a sloper, and...it would still be a handful. That's a LOT of wind.
Yes, i have flown fast slope soarer's in those sorts of winds but it's only that strong at the ridge edge, fly back from the ridge and you generally find calmer air that makes landing possible.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:45 PM   #14
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Yep as others have said, it all depends on the type of plane and the pilots skill, 30 MPH wind is the most i will fly in, I love to make my plane fly backwards in a stiff wind people see that and say, thats not suppose to happen Take care, Chellie

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Old 06-10-2014, 11:58 PM   #15
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sounds like your on the right track Skyler,i am the same way as hawk.15mph+ is ok. if 15mph was to much i would be grounded most weekends. over 15 requires the right plane. i just ordered another superfly delta for fathers day . it's my favorite windy day flyer. it'll surf 20+mph with ease. it has to be pretty gusty to ground me.

i use flags to judge wind speed.while driving around if i see flags flopping a little bit its 5mph+.if its gently raising to what i call 3/4 lift[not straight out off the pole] it's 10mph to 15. of coarse if it stays aloft and flapping straight off the pole it's 20mph+.
i used to hang glide with a few good friends at ellenville NY and we got real good at judging wind direction and speed using land mark flags on the drive to the mountain......some days we would get half way there and turn around do to weather reports not being right. to get lift and stay aloft off the mountain top with a hangglider the winds had to be mostly straight into ya at 10 to 15mph,much more windspeed would ground me even though my buds would fly. i stopped hanggliding 26years ago when i got married and had my first little one.

my rule for flying even rc is "fly with your head,not over it" better to not screw up and crash and just watch others fly.

narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:35 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
30mph is very windy to be flying any RC model. At that wind speed all landings, even on quite large heavy models would be flying backwards (relative to the ground), which would make things pretty 'interesting'
Not sure about current contest regs... but Pattern Aerobatics rules used to say 40 knots direct crosswind was a reason to cancel a contest. No mention of any speed if the wind is in line with the runway...

We used to love 35 to 40 knot (appx 33 to 45 mph) winds on the slopes for our "ridge rat" racing planes. I used to launch a Sig Kougar into the ridge lift just taking the prop off the overweight glow model.

And I have flown the big EDF in 20 knots gusting to more than 30. (18 gusting to 25 at an airshow...) Not a problem at all. A stiff headwind helps with the takeoff and landing.

There are no definite rules as to what is really too much wind... If you are willing to stand in it there's probably a model that can take it.
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:52 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by flydiver View Post
Beginners mostly should not venture out in more than 5mph, esp. with a beginner type plane. Those tend to be slow, draggy, and lots of surface area the wind affects. The GL would be worse than some. It's in the name......GENTLE.
Can't say I'd recommend balsa for self-taught learning. Too much difficult repair for the inevitable crash.
Based on your input then, I am thinking that the 6 to 7 mph wind was a major factor in my difficulties. I'll try again when the air is perfectly still. I have tried to fly with more skilled pilots for guidance but have not had good luck. I built a really nice gas powered trainer and on the maiden went out with a skilled pilot to get guidance and on the maiden he crashed, in the air, with another plane. My plane was totally destroyed.

I'm going to do my best solo....
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:52 PM   #18
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If your truly flying as a beginner, couple things you should do. the wind can be a tool. wind is generally only a factor when you compare it to a fixed ground position. once your in the air, the plane doesn't know its windy.

pointing your plane into the wind for take off give you an instant airspeed before the plane moves forwards. same if you are coming in to land. what screws with me is gusty wind that varies in speed. makes things difficult. for me personally, ill fly until its windy enough its no longer fun. if your doing slow.circle above your self and it takes 5 seconds one direction and 30+ back, your just fighting the wind.

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