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Old 03-09-2008, 01:02 PM   #51
Bob Vollaro
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AEAJR, I've put your articles on my favorites & read and re-read.THANKS. I've been flying a SkyFly (pusher) on my G3.5 Sim. I plan to buy that plane & also a Nexstar EP RTF to fly with club instructor. However,I find it somewhat confusing going from 3 channels to 4 channelson on the Sim. Question: should I fly the SkyFly (actual field) before buying the Nexstar? Next, Why is it recommened to keep the model up wind for new flyers? As I've told you before, I fly a 360 degree course landing into wind 45 degrees off center line of landing strip. Is this still good proceedure? Bob Vollaro
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Old 03-09-2008, 02:43 PM   #52
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When you fly teh Sky fly you should move the rudder to the right stick if you are flying in North America, or any country where Mode 2 is the standard.

Your primary turning control is ALWAYS on the right stick. If you have the rudder on the let stick on the Sky Fly, that is wrong. You should move the rudder to the right stick. That is how the real Sky Fly is set up.

When you set-up in this fashion, there is no issue moving moving from 3 channel to 4 channel. Your main control is ALWAYS your right stick. Your throttle is always on the left.

While practicing with off angle wind is excellent, the rule is always to land into the wind whenever possible.

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Old 07-13-2008, 03:10 PM   #53
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KEEPING THE PLANE UP-WIND - TIPS

One of the skills you must develop at a new pilot is how to keep your plane up-wind. Regardless of how windy it is, unless it is dead calm, you will always be dealing with the flow of the river of air. When you are new, 5 mph may feel like a windy day. Then you become confident in 5 mph and that is a calm day. Then 8 mph is the challenge. Then you work on 10 and 12 and who knows. I fly gliders, no motors at all, in 20 mph winds.

Regardless of how much wind you feel comfortable with, you need to be able to keep your plane up wind. Most of the reports I read about new pilots losing their plane include how they let it get down wind. Once the plane is down wind from you it can be very hard to get it back, especially when your skills are not well developed.

Very often the plane gets down wind when we are flying a circular or square pattern. That is, you launch and fly out, into the wind. Then you are flying across the wind where the plane will tend to drift toward you. Going up wind the plane will move more slowly across the ground then when it comes down wind. When this happens the plane can get past you before you have a chance to react. Some pilots freeze when this happens and find the plane is way down wind in short order.

Here are some tips on keeping the plane up wind.

1) Plan your turns in advance. - Before you launch, plan where your pattern will be, in the sky. Use ground reference points, points that you do now want to pass. NEVER plan to have the plane fly over your head. Keep it at least 50 feet in front of you. Mark a spot on the ground in front of you and keep in your head that the plane must never come closer to you than that mark. If it does, you are on the verge of trouble.

2) Keep down wind runs short. - You might fly 30 seconds into the wind but the down wind leg of that circle or square may only be 5 seconds, depending on wind speed. Plan where you are going to make your turn. If it is a windy day, make the turn sooner than usual. As you fly the cross wind parts of that circle or box pattern, the plane will tend to drift down wind. So, turn sooner to keep the plane in front of you. And make sure it does not cross that 50 foot line from tip 1.

3) Use a figure 8 pattern rather than a circle. - Rather than using a circular or square pattern around the field, use a figure 8. The advantage is that the plane is flying into the wind most of the time which will make it easier to keep it upwind. A figure 8 is nothing more than two smaller circles, one clockwise and one counter clock wise. Using a figure 8 you can stay up wind more easily. It is also excellent practice for left and right turns.

4) Keep all turns into the wind. - Another approach is don't make any turns that put your plane on a completely down wind path. Fly up wind, then turn across the wind. As the wind tries to put the plane behind you, turn into the wind again.

How does this work? If we think of a typical circuit around the field, we might think of it as a box with 4 right turns; flying up wind, right turn across wind, right turn down wind, right turn across wind, then right turn up wind again to complete the box. Rather than doing that, try this pattern. Fly up wind, right turn across wind, then left turn up wind, then left turn across the wind, then right turn up wind. The cross wind legs will tend to bring the plane back toward you.

This is called an S pattern and it eliminates all down wind turns. This makes it much easier to stay up wind. It also eliminates all turns toward you which avoids the issue of getting confused about which way to turn when the plane is coming toward you fast and is about to get past you, going down wind.

Just a few tips on how to improve your windy day flying.

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Old 07-13-2008, 10:38 PM   #54
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Default Re-learning to fly in the wind

Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
LEARNING TO FLY IN THE WIND
by Ed Anderson
aeajr on the forums

Learning to fly in wind is one of the hardest things a new flyer has to
learn. You are trying to fly smoothly and under control, but the fluid you
are flying in, the air, is moving around.
...

Nice Post,
I have been out of RC for a good 10 years, getting back into the swing with a parkzone spitfire.

Guess what the hardest skill to re-learn is.. Flying in the wind!

I used to stay how when it was too calm... Now i get concerned when I see the trees move (anything more than a 5), its going to take a while.
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Old 07-13-2008, 10:52 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by LectricPlane View Post
Nice Post,
I have been out of RC for a good 10 years, getting back into the swing with a parkzone spitfire.

Guess what the hardest skill to re-learn is.. Flying in the wind!

I used to stay how when it was too calm... Now i get concerned when I see the trees move (anything more than a 5), its going to take a while.
How are you doing with the Spitfire? I got back into the sport with a HobbyZone Aerobird. If you find yourself crashing more than flying, consider an Aerobird 3 or a Supercub as a "re-entry" point.


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Old 07-13-2008, 11:35 PM   #56
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Going great with the spitfire, I must admit I was a bit nervous about going low wing for a first one back but I didn't want to fly 5 flights and get board...

Have about 15 10min flights in with 1x crash... wind went from 0 to 12 while I was up, panicked a bit and tried to land, didn't work out 2 well. I made a few mods in the rebuild, re-maidened her this morning. Flies better, slightly heavier and a bit more rigid. Next time I'll stay up there untill I feel comforatble. The edges of the sky are always more difficult to fly in than the centre!

The rebuild if you would like a look.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36852

I had been eyeballing the hobyzone planes before I saw the parkzone offerings, they just look more like "real" RC planes.
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Old 08-10-2008, 01:57 PM   #57
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Yeah AEAJR has been a big help to me too...this forum should give him some kinda plaque or something for his contributions....no kidding.

Better to have it & not need it than to need it & not have it...
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Old 08-10-2008, 04:36 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by LectricPlane View Post
Going great with the spitfire, I must admit I was a bit nervous about going low wing for a first one back but I didn't want to fly 5 flights and get board...

Have about 15 10min flights in with 1x crash... wind went from 0 to 12 while I was up, panicked a bit and tried to land, didn't work out 2 well. I made a few mods in the rebuild, re-maidened her this morning. Flies better, slightly heavier and a bit more rigid. Next time I'll stay up there untill I feel comforatble. The edges of the sky are always more difficult to fly in than the centre!

The rebuild if you would like a look.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36852

I had been eyeballing the hobyzone planes before I saw the parkzone offerings, they just look more like "real" RC planes.
Congrats. Good indicator of correct level of plane is that you spend more time flying than fixing. HobbyZone Commander was a great plane for my son - only 2 channel but built is confidence and got him hooked on the hobby. AB3 is my current recommendation for trainer because in Beginner mode it automatically adds up elevator when turning but in Expert mode you can stand the thing on edge in a blink and carve up the sky. All based on a flipping a switch on the transmitter.

Supercub is also a great beginnner plane but I see more damage because of heavier weight and prop out in front.


Whatever gets and keeps you flying.



Clint

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Old 11-23-2008, 05:25 PM   #59
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Default Thumb or fingers?

First of all,WattFlyer is such a great source of information--thanks to all who provide much valuable information!
My question, which may seem silly to some, but, here goes anyway. I've noticed some flyers use the thumb for right stick, aileron and elevator, while others use a thumb and finger. Is there a "right" method or is it just personal preference?
I have flown the Sky Fly and Super Cub and have ordered the PZ Spitfire. I want to develop my skills using the correct techniques before I develop too many bad habits.
Thanks for any advice!
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Old 11-27-2008, 06:09 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by LectricPlane View Post
Going great with the spitfire, I must admit I was a bit nervous about going low wing for a first one back but I didn't want to fly 5 flights and get board...

Have about 15 10min flights in with 1x crash... wind went from 0 to 12 while I was up, panicked a bit and tried to land, didn't work out 2 well. I made a few mods in the rebuild, re-maidened her this morning. Flies better, slightly heavier and a bit more rigid. Next time I'll stay up there untill I feel comforatble. The edges of the sky are always more difficult to fly in than the centre!

The rebuild if you would like a look.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36852

I had been eyeballing the hobyzone planes before I saw the parkzone offerings, they just look more like "real" RC planes.
Yup,
you are definately on the right track. Keep up the good work.

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Old 11-27-2008, 06:14 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by easyflyer01 View Post
First of all,WattFlyer is such a great source of information--thanks to all who provide much valuable information!
My question, which may seem silly to some, but, here goes anyway. I've noticed some flyers use the thumb for right stick, aileron and elevator, while others use a thumb and finger. Is there a "right" method or is it just personal preference?
I have flown the Sky Fly and Super Cub and have ordered the PZ Spitfire. I want to develop my skills using the correct techniques before I develop too many bad habits.
Thanks for any advice!
Hi easyflyer,
I don't believe there is a right or wrong way to hold the sticks. Mostly for your comfort and the feeling of control. I now use the finger and thumb method. It allows my little brain to think I am actually in control.

Talk with you soon..

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Old 11-27-2008, 12:20 PM   #62
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I am a thumb pilot, but I really don't think it matters. Whatever works for you.

I have never had my thumb slip off the sticks, and that would be my only concern.


Of more interest would be neck straps or trays.

Many pilots just hold the radio. I like to fly with a neck strap. I feel more confident in that, if I lose the grip I don't lose the radio. This is especially important to me when hand launching a plane. I only have one hand on the radio. Even my Aerobird radio is used with a neck strap. I glued a paper clip onto the radio to be an attachment point for my neck strap.

Some people use radio trays, which I understand to be more popular in Europe. This puts the radio on a shelf that is typically suspended from somekind of shoulder harness. In this case it would be like flying with the radio on a table in front of you.

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Old 11-28-2008, 02:48 AM   #63
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Thanks for the good advice. I' ve decided to just put some more time in on the FMS and see which method seems most natural.
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Old 11-28-2008, 04:29 PM   #64
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One more thought - If you use your thumbs on the sticks your index fingers are available to toggle other switches and the rest of your fingers are behind the transmitter to hold it securely.



Clint

Current - Ventura, HZ SuperCub-Freedom-Swift-AB3, PZ Typhoon, T-28 Trojan, Radian, AeroAce Biplane
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Old 12-15-2008, 03:47 PM   #65
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Let's get some new tips from the experienced flyers in this thread. Or share how you mastered the skills discussed here.

If you are getting this notice, that means you posted here at one point.

What have you learned since you last post? What tips and advice can you share with the new pilots?

Share you experience!

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Old 03-27-2009, 01:33 PM   #66
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Ed's Wattwikki entry:
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/vbgl...&catid=1&id=28

Take care and thanks for posting at WattFlyer!!

Don
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Old 04-19-2009, 03:33 AM   #67
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New pilots, are you practicing your glides?

No matter what kind of plane you fly, if it has a motor, that motor can fail, or the fuel tank can run dry, or the motor battery can run out, and now you are a glider. Have you practiced flying your plane this way?

One of the things I teach new pilots to do is to fly their planes with no motor. Better to learn this now, when you are ready for it, then to suddenly be faced with it and not know what to do.

Get your plane up high, then cut the motor. Now glide it around the field and take it in for a landing. Do this till it becomes routine, even fun. Then, when things go wrong, it will be no big deal.

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Old 05-06-2009, 12:25 PM   #68
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There is a new resource on Wattflyer to help new pilots. It is called Wattwikki. It is a collection of articles put in one place to make it easy to use.

You can find the link on the second blue bar, but here is the link, just to make things easy. http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/vbglossar.php

And don't forget to post you questions here too.

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Old 07-08-2009, 03:41 AM   #69
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Bear with me, my first post. Not sure where this reply will end up. Untill today, I had crashed by PZ J-3 Cub five straight times. So I rebuilt with new parts. Was worried where the receiver was to be placed so I strapped it to the back side of the structure that holds the battery, etc.. I tried hand launches all of which nosed down. Next, I know you'll start laughing here: I wired a small socket from my tool box and located the extra weight just behind the servos. In otherwords I was trying to move the CG backwards a bit. So I took off from a parking lot and to my amazement the plane shot almost straight up. I got control of it and gained altitude (thank you Mr. Anderson). I stalled it twice and saved it both times. Made a good landing which only damaged the prop. So what about the CG, is it trial and error?

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Old 07-08-2009, 04:13 PM   #70
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If your quesiton is about the PZ J3 specifically, I would suggest you start a new discussion in the beginners forum since that is unique to one plane and would not be appropriate to this dicussion.

However if you are asking about CG in general I can comment here.

Think of your plane as a boat for a second. It is a device that floats on a fluid. If you put too much weight in the tail, then nose will stick up in the air and it will run very badly. It might even sink.

If you stick too much weight to one side, it will lean that way and might even flip over as you are moving.

If you put too much weight in the nose, then the boat will have its nose too low or perhaps even under the water. Going forward could sink it.

However if you distribute the weight evenly, the boat will float level and will at least be stable.

As you become familiar with your boat you might find that if you move some weight forward or back it might get up on plane more easily or it may be able to handle waves better or the like. These are small adjustments that might involve where someone sits or where you stow some gear. And you might want to adjust a little based on conditions.

A properly balanced boat will atain more speed on less fuel than a poorly balanced boat. It will handle rough seas better and it will ride more comfortably. But you might change that balance slightly depending on conditions.

Now, boats are supported by water, a very dense fluid. And they don't sink if they stop moving. In this reaspect planes are not like boats.


Back to planes:

Planes are supported by a very thin fluid, air. And they depend on motion to have that fluid travel over the wings to support the plane. If you stop, the plane drops out of the air. So not quite the same as a boat.

However the balance principal does apply.

A plane that is slightly nose heavy tends to be more stable as it tends to "fall forward" more easily so it tends to maintian speed. Gusts or bumps in the air are less likely to tip the nose up too much causing the plane to slow down. But a nose heavy plane will also be less responsive as the elevator has to lift and move all that nose weight around in order to change the attitude of the plane.

A tail heavy plane will tend to be much less stable. It will raise the nose at the slightest bump and if it does not have enough speed, then it will slow down and eventually lose lift on the wings causing a stall. A stall occurs at the speed where the wings are no longer moving through the air fast enough to create the lift to support the weight of the plane.

Likewise, a tail heavy plane will be super sensitive to the elevator. Any input at all will move the nose a lot. In the inexperienced hand this will lead to stalls and loss of control.

Now, a properly balance plane is both stable and responsive. A properly balanced plane is predictable.

But what is properly balanced? That depends on the pilot, the conditions and the task at hand.

A very experienced pilot might prefer a his plane a little more tail heavy, a more rearward CG, because he likes it very responsive and knows what to do if it stalls. An aerobatic pilot might move the CG way back because it allows the plane to spin more easily.

A very new pilot would likely prefer a more nose heavy, a more forward CG, to have greater stability but the plane will not be as responsive. Too far forward and he may have trouble getting the plane to move in a timely fashion.

Most planes, whether RTF, ARF or kits, come with a suggested CG that is a bit forward, or slightly nose heavy. This favors stability. This is the "safe" starting point. As the pilot gains experience with the plane he may wish to move that CG back to make the plane more responsive. Or, in windy conditions he may prefer a more forward CG to help handle those gusts and turbulance.

Net net, there is a starting CG and then you tune to taste and purpose. Your prefered CG and mine may be a little different for a given plane. It might even change depending on what I plan to do during that flight.

CG is a tuning paramter that you can adjust over time.

The "recommended CG" is a starting point, not a law.

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Old 11-03-2009, 03:51 AM   #71
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Nice content. The tips mentioned here probably hit home to everyone who has seen a lot of beginners fly. One that I would add as it relates to beginners is airplane choice. I've seen so many people just fail because they have some cheap toys-r-us hunk of junk to start with. It's sad to see people get so discouraged, because if they had a better plane to start with, they'd have loved it. I guess I'd also add lack of instruction. It's amazing what a few minutes with an experienced friend can do.

As for more experienced pilots, I actually have one to add. EGO. This one probably relates to some of those previously mentioned. For example, how many of us have chosen to fly when the conditions aren't right just because we have a croud -- only to crash...

Anyway, I'm new to the forum. Thanks for the good topic.

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Old 04-15-2010, 02:34 AM   #72
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Default Awesome Info!

Hi,
I am new to the hobby and just wanted to say this is fantastic information you are providing. Unfortunately, I didn't find this before purchasing my first aircraft. I ended up with an A-10 which is way out of my league and not at all a beginner plane. After crashing twice and using who knows how many glue sticks, I can see where I have been wrong thanks to the previous posts. I see this site will be a wealth of knowledge and I look forward to the countless hours I will be spending soaking it up.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:17 AM   #73
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Glad you found this helpful.

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Old 09-01-2010, 02:19 AM   #74
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Hi Ed, great advice and feedback as usual. As in some of my previous posts, I have mentioned the difficulties of r/c flying in Tasmania. The two biggest problems are the weather (read gales), and lack of support. So after some months of trial and error, it looks like success is at hand. The club scene here is primarily glo powered "real" planes,, with edf, scale, combat etc in very limited circles, and mainly based around the the two big towns on the Island. So learning to fly alone is the only real option unless you are prepared for lots of travel. 3 people have asked me recently for flying lessons, so this is what I have come up with- I built two trainers. The first is based on a set of Radian wings I bought at the nearest Hobby shop, very cheaply at an end of year sale. I made an EPP fuse for it out of scrap, and a tail out of a coreflute real estate sign. Left-over electronics from old combat planes and a spare 3 channel futaba single stick radio that was not being used completed the package. The construction method is the same as my combat planes, with taped wings and tear away components that are fixed in minutes after the most incredible collisions. It flies really well, and has a great glide and can maintain height on minimal throttle. The style is the same as the easy star, with an above wing mounted powerplant. Not as pretty though, so i have called her the "uglystar" All up cost was about $80.00 AUD. It flies in the wind, can land hands off, and is much tougher than the radian or easy star. The second is the advanced trainer, a flying wing that can handle 40 knot winds, based on a very successful, indestructable, all EPP combat plane. Single vertical fin and under fuse skid protect the pusher motor and prop, reduced elevon throws removes the instant responsiveness and risk of over correction, and it also makes a great glider in high winds. If you don't learn to fly in 20 knots plus, you don't fly,period.. Gave it to an 11 y.o who had never flown before and he managed to circle it on his first attempt, but was scared of " wrecking it". I crashed it into the fence, and ground, deliberately, and then relaunched it for a series of rolls, loops etc; HIS FEAR VANISHED. So now I have two aircraft to try and encourage more people to fly, without the fear of unrepairable damage. Will post some photo's when I can , cheers
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:58 AM   #75
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Pattern, great post. Thanks for sharing your trainer designs.

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