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Beginners New to e-power flying? Get the low down in here from experienced e-power RC pilots!

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Old 01-04-2007, 04:37 PM   #26
cbatters
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Default Resist the urge

One small tip not mentioned:

Resist the urge to add a little extra up-elevator trim "just for good measure" on a new plane. In many cases the extra up elevator trim will cause the plane to immediately nose up / stall / roll and crash. MUCH better for the plane to start flying level and then begin climbing out as it picks up more airspeed/lift.

This is especially critical if the plane has a tendancy to tip stall and roll - unrecoverable on launch by even an experienced pilot.

I have gotten in the habbit of testing/adjusting model trim with several hand launches before trying to use the motor. If you can't hand launch the plane successfully without power, chances are it will crash from a higher altitude with more speed / causing more damage with the addition of power.



Clint

Current - Ventura, HZ SuperCub-Freedom-Swift-AB3, PZ Typhoon, T-28 Trojan, Radian, AeroAce Biplane
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Old 01-04-2007, 06:53 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by cbatters View Post
One small tip not mentioned:

Resist the urge to add a little extra up-elevator trim "just for good measure" on a new plane.

..............

I have gotten in the habbit of testing/adjusting model trim with several hand launches before trying to use the motor. If you can't hand launch the plane successfully without power, chances are it will crash from a higher altitude with more speed / causing more damage with the addition of power.

Clint
I fully agree with you on the up elevator point.

As for the glide testing, I often employ this approach BUT not all planes should be handled in this way. Some planes will not glide safely from a hand throw.

Many beginner parkflyers have an excellent glide but there are many planes, especially if the wing loading is over 15 oz/sq ft, that may not glide well and will drop like a rock.

Look for the tall grass to try these first hand glides with a plane you don't know. If this is one of those rocks, it could save your plane.

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Old 01-04-2007, 07:40 PM   #28
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No intent to argue... but would like to understand the issue of hand tossing heavier models without power.

Challenger has a wing loading of 14.7 oz / sq ft and my estimate is that the Freedom is up around 16 oz / sq ft. Neither one of which have any problems gliding from a firm hand toss.

Edit: Finally found the wing specs for the Freedom. 226 sq inches - 23 oz AUW - 14.6 oz/sq ft - almost identical to the Challenger 14.7 with 167 sq in / 17 oz AUW

Besides having to throw harder to achieve adequate airspeed on a plane with heavier wing loading, is there any other reason there would be a problem hand launching any model without power?



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Old 01-04-2007, 08:51 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by cbatters View Post
No intent to argue... but would like to understand the issue of hand tossing heavier models without power.


Clint
I feel debate is good and useful. It brings out information.

The 15 oz/sq ft is not a hard number, it isn't even a well thought out number. You can have planes with 20 oz/sq ft that will glide great, and you can have planes with 15 oz/sq ft that don't. The key is you don't know until you try, and if you assume ALL planes have nice glides you could do some serious damage.

My Electrajet, with 8 cell pack, glides poorly from a hand toss. Ask me how I know.

I would not want to take a 60 Glow trainer, or an electrified equivalent, and hand toss it on a glide to see how it does. Damage could be serious.

Hand tossing my 3.4M scale sailplane is challenging. If I get it going fast enough it will do fine, but it is just as likely to drop and break, if I don't get a good throw on it. I do those throws over the tall grass.

That's all. I am just adding some caution to your statement so that people will think, "will this thing glide?", that's all.

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Old 01-05-2007, 01:52 AM   #30
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Got it. Tall grass is good!

Also sounds like it would be more appropriate for me to suggest hand launching lightweight electric planes/electric gliders without power to test for proper trim.


Clint

Current - Ventura, HZ SuperCub-Freedom-Swift-AB3, PZ Typhoon, T-28 Trojan, Radian, AeroAce Biplane
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Old 01-08-2007, 05:10 PM   #31
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Yeah, and I have also found that handlaunching is a learned art, power on or off! I usually fly over long grass, so handlaunching is mandatory; however, two things interfere with my handlaunching, long grass (I am uncoordinated enough to find something to trip over on SHORT grass!), and old age (legs just don't operate the way they used to...) . Crashes are less traumatic though, both for me and the airplane.

Handlaunching big/heavy models can be tricky alright, and if it is big enough to require a runway, I have had success using the old high-speed taxi/short-hop routine. Most problems show up early on, like tail-heavy, control sensitivity and all that.

And there is no way I could bring myself to handlaunch a 3.4 Scale sailplane, Ed, indeed a challenge!
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:49 AM   #32
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I've read the entire thread as part of my learning curve. Very useful info. I have been working on the taking off and landing to better get the feel for controlling those items. I'm learning that the planes I have do not handle that well on the ground. Any little gusts get me in trouble. I do understand about the wind and what problems it can cause a beginner (can be frustrating). However I admit that I am anxious to fly and see that I am improving. I'm thinking that other beginners feel the same.
Again, thanks for all the good info.

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Old 05-03-2007, 07:02 PM   #33
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The Seventh Key to Success - Getting and Giving Help

Regardless of how you learn, if you have become a successful pilot, make a point of seeking out and reaching out to the new guys who are trying to go it alone. Don't shove it down their throats. Offer a hand. And if they refuse, still be ready to help them when they need it.

Be ready to help.

Give them tips.

Check their planes.

Help them fix the damage.

I promise you that, by helping others you will become a better pilot, a better builder a better fixer and a better person. You may have learned on your own, but wouldn't it have been more fun if someone had helped you?

Many of the new pilots on Wattflyer are self training. In the glow world this is rare. We can do this because our typical trainer planes are made of resilient or easily fixed foam or plastics. So they can tolerate some poor landing without turning to toothpicks. And their light weight means there is less energy involved when they crash. This "try, crash, try again" method is not the best way to learn, but when your plane can bounce and survive, you can certainly give it a try.

However, learning with the help of an experienced pilot is the best way to learn. Joining a club or finding an experienced coach is the best method for learning. If you are going it alone, be very careful, and do a lot of reading. Flight simulators can help a lot but they are not the same as flying a real model in real air.

Do your early flights when there is no one around. Remember you could be putting others at risk if you are not careful. Don't do your first flights when there are others in the area unless those others are your coaches.

If you choose to be your own teacher, you had better make sure you have studied the material before you take the test. A preflight on your plane also includes a preflight on yourself. Are you REALLY ready to fly? Are you really ready to take responsibility for what will happen if you lose control?

Get help if you can. And be willing to accept help. When I hear "I know I know" it is usually followed by a crash or a plane in a tree.

I may have thousands of flights to my credit but when the more experience pilots speak, I try to take the time to listen. There can be gold in those words, but even if there isn't, someone cared enough to offer me a hand. Am I so accomplished that I can not accept a little help? Not now, not ever!

Having a coach or an instructor is the BEST approach and you will make new friends in the process. I had help when I started and I seek help today. It made and continues to make all the difference in the world. I was never on a buddy box, but that does not change the fact that I had lots of help.


This is a great hobby, but it is so much better when we share it with others and we help one another to be successful.

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Old 05-05-2007, 03:13 PM   #34
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Very well said....

(And help them put a label on the plane / battery with name - phone number in case the plane gets lost.)



Clint

Current - Ventura, HZ SuperCub-Freedom-Swift-AB3, PZ Typhoon, T-28 Trojan, Radian, AeroAce Biplane
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:17 PM   #35
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Default Guidance from beginner to beginner

Thoughts for beginning RC pilots
  • Get an RC flight simulator that comes with an RC receiver and teach yourself to fly in virtual space. We’ve crashed $250,000 worth of models (and counting) and the rebuilds are a button click. As you learn to build models, you can use the edit functions to explore engine size, prop diameter and pitch, wing shapes etc on models that are similar to the one you’re building. BEFORE you go fly, be honest with yourself and make sure you can reliably take-off, fly under control, and LAND. Challenge yourself to take-off and land several times without incident before you commit real time and money launching your precious model into the unknown.
  • Get a good radio. Its hard enough to learn to fly, you don’t need radio interference to contribute to the problem. A spectrum DX6 radio with its micro sized AS600 receivers is a fantastic investment.
  • Start with a plane like the Super Cub from HobbyZone (ok, it comes with its own sort-of-hokey radio, but it works …). Your first plane is tool that you offer up as a sacrifice to the “oops gods”, and this plane will take A LOT of abuse. We still fly ours all the time because it’s just plane fun.
  • Fly high. Altitude that is. So many demonstration videos are shot near the ground – so that prospective buyers can SEE the model – that its easy to get the impression that this is how its done. Get way up there, then mess around. Bad things happen too fast near the ground.
  • Build your own planes. It’s not for everyone, but building your own models will teach you how planes work. I derive as much enjoyment in “the shop” as I do in the field. When the weather is poor, it gives you something to work toward. Kits are fairly cheap, so you can try out many different designs.
  • When you start to build models THINK light. It’s tempting to “reinforce”, but here’s the physics. Energy (the destructive forces in a landing or crash) is proportional to mass x velocity[squared]. When you add weight, you add destructive potential in two ways. First, you add more mass. More importantly, your model has to fly faster to stay in the air, so you add speed. This means all the little extras you put in to make your plane stronger add mass and speed[squared] to your model and rather than making it “stronger”, they actually add to the likelihood that even a sort-of-reasonable landing (much less a crash) will do damage. The opposite is also true. Ultra light builds mean you can get away with a smaller (lighter) battery, motor, speed controller and prop combination and still get great performance. Smaller is generally less expensive too.
  • The generous dihedral angle in your main wing (the amount of “V” as seen from the front) and the flat bottom airfoil that are common features of “trainer” models are both your friends. Both features add stability to your model in the sense that it makes the aircraft “self-orient”. You WILL lose track of spatial orientation during flight and it is hugely helpful to fly models self-orient (when you cut the prop and let go of the sticks in a moment of confusion).
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:56 PM   #36
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Plane Locators

During my self training I learned how hard it can be to find a plane that
has landed in the woods, tall grass and other places. On my second
flight, I lost my Aerobird when a huge gust of wind carried it over deep
woods and I was too inexperienced to deal with it. Even though I
was certain I knew where it went down, after 8 hours of searching, I
could not find it. I bought another Aerobird and fly it often.

When I moved on to sailplanes in July of that year , I started flying a Great Planes
Spirit 2 Meter. Again, during my early learning phase, I got into trouble
and it
went down into heavy woods and brush in a very hard to search area. I went
into the woods about fifty feet, trying to decide how to proceed when I
heard Beep Beep Beep. The plane was about 200 feet away in heavy tree
growth. I could not see it, but I could hear it. I had the plane located
and out in
10 minutes. Believe me, where it had landed I likely would not have found
it.

The difference was a little device you put in the plane that gets attached
to the receiver. If you turn off the transmitter, the thing starts beeping
loudly and you can hear it from quite a distance.

I use one of these in my my sailplanes, slope gliders and parkflyers.


SkyKing RC Lost Model Locator - $20
This is my new favoriate because it works with PCM receivers too!
http://www.skykingrcproducts.com/accessories/lostmodel/lost_rc_model_alarm.html
Review
http://www.slopeflyer.com/artman/publish/skyking_lost_model_alarm.shtml

The Lost Model Alarm - I have a bunch of these
http://www.californiasailplanes.com/Lost%20model%20alarm.html

These two are similar in size and appearence and have similar features. I use both.

They hook to any channel or share a channel with one of your servos.
They have a connector to pass through to the servo. This will work in any
plane with a 72 MHZ receiver.

Low Voltage Watch

In addition to helping me find the plane, they monitor my
battery pack voltage and sound an alarm if the pack voltage gets below a
safe level. This is especially valuable on my glider. If I catch a good
thermal, I could be in the air for over an hour, so a pack that tested good
on the
ground could run low during the flight. The digi-alarm would warn me during
the flight.

Channel Conflict Test!

As a test to make sure no one is flying on my channel I turn on the receiver
only. If the device does not go into lost plane mode then someone else is
on my frequency. I may have just saved my plane, or someone else's.


Here are two more I have not tried.


lost Model Locator - $10
Does one job, but does it well, I hope.
http://www.allthingsrc.com/webshop/product_info.php/cPath/24/products_id/39

RC Reporter - $24

A bunch of features
http://www.rcreporter.com/products.html


27 MHz

My Aerobird does not have a conventional receiver. The electronics and
servos are one integrated circuit board. There is no place to connect one
of the above locators. However the HobbyZone combat module makes a
GREAT plane locator. Hit the fire button and it makes a heck of a noise.
I found mine quickly using this method.

On the Aerobird and other 27 MHz plane you can also use a
key ringer. www.keyringer.com One
of these goes on the plane and one stays in my pocket. If I am looking for
the plane, I click the one in my hand and the one on the plane
answers. It has an effective range of between 50 and 150 feet depending on
conditions. I have attached a photo so you can see how I mount it. It does
not seem to hurt the plane's performance. I use it mainly when it is windy
now, but I used to put it on for every flight.

Every plane I ever own will have some kind of locator and/or a battery
monitor from now on. Of course I could move it from plane to plane, but at
$15-30 they are cheap enough I can put one in every plane and forget it!


LONG RANGE

For really long range finds, measured in miles, there is the Walston system.
The plane unit is about $150 while the tracking unit is hundreds of dollars.
This is especially appropriate for purchase by sailplane clubs, where a
sailplane can cost $2000. A $150 transmitter is worth the cost.
http://walstonretrieval.com/main.htm


SUMMARY

If you are trying to learn how to fly and you lose your plane, it can make it very hard
to continue your learning. So consider putting one of these plane finders on your plane
so you can recover from that landing in the woods, the tall grass or on some roof somewhere.

Most new pilots don't know about these devices. Now you do!

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Old 09-08-2007, 03:51 PM   #37
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YES!!!

I am so glad someone else has rediscovered the greatness behind the RDF plane/dog locators. They are not too expensive and will pay for themselves the first time you use it to find a down, lost plane. You can get them for low $$$, and transmitters are cheap. You can use dog tracking collars, they operate on the same freq. Just get rid of the collar part.

I've screwed around with FMS a bit in 2006, and didn't really see much in it, I had better luck with FSX....then again, I was using my joystick and not a radio. It seems like you can connect your tx to your computer via the buddy box port

I've bought two lost plane alarm locators from the jns guy in ebay, they work well are were only 10 bucks each. I like it better than RC reporter because it sounds whenever tx/rx connection is lost, and does not require an extra channel...you just plug it into any old servo port, and then plug whatever was going to go into that port into the buzzers female plug!

Although it has been a while since I last messed with my Firebird Outlaw, one of the biggest killers for first timers is WIND. Please wait until yo uhave a calm day, especially with lighter, easier planes to fly. The ultimate choice for a firstpland is a GWS slow stick...a very popular plane, and very versatile...

Most important, one of the best tools that you can have in your shop is Wattflyer a place where you can get answers quickly, with great guys. RC plane forums are one of the few forums that you will find clean, nice and knowlagable guys willing to help.

There is such a word as Jigawatt!!!!


Prject Glbetrtter
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:26 PM   #38
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We spend so much time focused on our planes we may be overlooking some
important items that bring comfort and safety to our hobby. Here are a few
of mine. You add your own items to the list.

Many of the new flyers I teach do not think to bring these things. In fact some seem resistant, but eventually they come around as they realize the benefits.

Hat - I never fly without a hat. I keep my flying hat in my car so I never
forget it. The brim helps shade my eyes from the sun and it protects my
head, since there isn't much hair to do the job anymore. It is also where I
display my flying permit, as required by the county.

Sunglasses - I never fly without sunglasses. I even have a spare pair in my
field tool box. If I happen to fly too close to the angle of the sun, the
sunglasses help me keep the plane in site. More importantly they protect my
eyes from harmful UV rays.

When I am flying I am looking directly into the sky, with tons of UV A and B
rays raining down on my face and directly into my eyes. Whether I realize
it or not I am probably going to sunburn my retina if I don't wear
sunglasses. I even wear them on cloudy days since UV rays penetrate clouds.

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Old 10-26-2007, 11:22 PM   #39
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Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I am ready to go and fly!

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Old 12-10-2007, 03:23 PM   #40
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I'm a beginner; great advice. I fly real flight G3.5.I consistantly fly the Electristar. I set wind @ 5mph coming directly toward the plane and take off. I make a180 and fly parallel to runway, make a 180 at~ 100 ft and set up for landing into the wind. Is that a correct proceedure. I'm now able to put the plane back on the runway most times.
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:12 PM   #41
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Good procedure.

Now get further out fly around for a while. Then set up for landing.

Crank up the wind to 10 mph and put it 45 degrees off to one side of the runway and practice that.

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Old 12-20-2007, 07:09 PM   #42
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USING BALLAST FOR WINDY DAY FLYING
by Ed Anderson
December 2007

You have been practicing with your plane. You can fly reliably in low to
moderate winds. But those windy days are still giving you trouble. What to
do?

Enter ballast, something I learned about from flying gliders.

By making the plane heavier, thus increasing the wing loading, it will be more
stable in wind. It will need to fly faster to stay in the air but on a windy
day, that is true anyway. More importantly, when you turn the motor off, or if
you drain the battery, it will glide faster too, giving you more control in
wind. We do this with gliders all the time.

BTW, you will typically use more throttle in the wind, so be prepared for
shorter flights. And practice your gliding in wind so, if you hit low voltage
cutoff, you don't panic... it will be just another glide.

How do you add ballast?

First, option is to go to a larger capacity, heavier battery pack. Or consider
adding a cell if your ESC can handle it. Or maybe you do both. This will give
you more power and more capacity which also helps in windy conditions. This is
not required for the next step but I would try it first if it is convenient.
Make those
ounces work! Besides, who doesn't like more power?

To add ballast, tape a large flat iron washer, or some other weight, right onthe
center of gravity. For stability, tape it on the BOTTOM of the fuselage. Inside
is best but put it outside if you have to. Just make sure it is secure.

I would start with about 5%-10 of the model's weight. So if it weighs 16 ounces,
somewhere between 3/4 and 1.6 ounce would be a good start.

By adding the weight as low on the plane as possible it will promote stability.
However, if you have to, put it on top. Inside is better than outside, but again, do
what makes sense. Just make sure it is on the CG. I have even put ballast under
the rubber bands that hold on the wing, as long as I can get it over the CG point.
Then I add some tape to make sure the ballast is secure.

You will need a bit more throttle, and you will have to land it a bit faster or
it will stall. Practice this in calmer air so you are prepared for the windy
stuff. This extra speed will give you more control in the wind as you land.

In strong wind, say over 15 mph, you might go as much as 25% of the plane's
normal weight. But add it gradually at first, until you know what it is going to
do. And watch for any excessive flexing of the wing.

I would not go more than 25% and I would limit high stress aerobatics in high
winds unless you feel the wing is very strong. The combination of added weight and
gusty wind might over stress the wings. I have seen $1000 glider wings break when a strong
wind hit them on too strong a launch. Respect the wind!

There is a reason why this is 40 posts into the thread. This is not something I
recommend to new pilots. But try it, once you are a
master of the
plane. I think you will find that windy day flying can be a lot of fun!

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Old 12-27-2007, 02:58 AM   #43
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Nothing is as satisfieing as once becoming totally familliar with a small foamy as successfully flying it in a stiff wind.But befor you are ready nothing is as dissastorus.When in doubt there is no doubt save the plane for a calmer day.
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:03 AM   #44
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what about defron parkjets does any know or is an expert on them
http://www.parkjets.com/free-plans.html
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Old 12-30-2007, 04:51 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by avirst View Post
what about defron parkjets does any know or is an expert on them
http://www.parkjets.com/free-plans.html
Avirst,

This is the wrong place to post this. It has nothing to do with the topic of the discussion. Please start a new thread on this.

As this is your first post, you might not understant how a forum works. This discussion is about the 6 Keys to successfully learning to fly. It is not about parkjets or any other airplanes.

No disrespect intented. Just trying to help you understand how to be a good forum participant. This post belongs in its own thread and would probably be best placed in the Parkflyers forum.

If you don't know how to do this, send me a private message and I will help you. You send a PM by clicking on my name, AEAJR in the top left of this post. Then select the option to send a private message.

Welcome to Wattflyer.

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Old 12-30-2007, 06:10 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
Plane Locators



SUMMARY

If you are trying to learn how to fly and you lose your plane, it can make it very hard
to continue your learning. So consider putting one of these plane finders on your plane
so you can recover from that landing in the woods, the tall grass or on some roof somewhere.

Most new pilots don't know about these devices. Now you do!
Thanks Ed,
I had no idea there were items like this to help find a lost plane.. Appreciate the information..

Bruce
AMA 873912

Project Globetrotter participant
If it ain't broke, I'll fix it till it is.
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:43 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by TLyttle View Post
Yeah, and I have also found that handlaunching is a learned art, power on or off! I usually fly over long grass, so handlaunching is mandatory; however, two things interfere with my handlaunching, long grass (I am uncoordinated enough to find something to trip over on SHORT grass!), and old age (legs just don't operate the way they used to...) . Crashes are less traumatic though, both for me and the airplane.

Handlaunching big/heavy models can be tricky alright, and if it is big enough to require a runway, I have had success using the old high-speed taxi/short-hop routine. Most problems show up early on, like tail-heavy, control sensitivity and all that.

And there is no way I could bring myself to handlaunch a 3.4 Scale sailplane, Ed, indeed a challenge!
Maybe he's launching it off a cliff?

"Give a man a plane and he'll fly for a day.
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:50 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by cbatters View Post
Very well said....

(And help them put a label on the plane / battery with name - phone number in case the plane gets lost.)



Clint
The A.M.A. makes excellent "pre"laminated lables especially for this. I requested some when I sent in my membership application. A pack of 10 is only a buck or two and could easilly mean the recovery of a multi-hundred dollar plane.

"Give a man a plane and he'll fly for a day.
Teach a man to build a plane and he'll fly for a lifetime"
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:22 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by FlyWheel View Post
The A.M.A. makes excellent "pre"laminated lables especially for this. I requested some when I sent in my membership application. A pack of 10 is only a buck or two and could easilly mean the recovery of a multi-hundred dollar plane.
I use Avery 8167 address labels with a piece of clear tape for waterproofing.

(And don't forget to label the batteries and other gear that may get left at the field.)



Clint

Current - Ventura, HZ SuperCub-Freedom-Swift-AB3, PZ Typhoon, T-28 Trojan, Radian, AeroAce Biplane
Maiden - F-27C Stryker
10 years Ago - ElectroSoar 2M Glider, 2M Foam Glider, Mirage 550
Retired - Sky Fly, Red Hawk, Extreme, Challenger
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:54 PM   #50
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For those who may be interested, I have posted something .... different. I call it an e-book made up of a series of articles. It can be found here:

Everything you wanted to know about electric flight.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31071

I hope you find it useful It will grow and expand over time as I add articles and perhaps reorganize it into chapters.

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  WattFlyer RC Electric Flight Forums - Discuss radio control eflight > Electric R/C Airplanes > Beginners

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