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Old 03-03-2011, 02:30 AM   #1
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Default Mixing Flaps and Ailerons when you only have ailerons?

I'm working on a Cessna L-19, 51" WS. The plans were designed for rudder-elevator, but I've designed in ailerons. I seem to remember from years ago that you can have the ailerons act as flaps while acting as ailerons as well, but I'm completely new to flaps, really. I guess my questions are if you might know if this is aerodynamically feasible, and two how one might hook that up electronically? I might imagine mixing - like a Y connector - certainly I would need one servo for each aileron.
Yes, my brain is a bit muddled on this one.
Or do you think since I'm designing in ailerons should I go ahead and design in flaps?
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:34 AM   #2
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It's very easy to do and can be very handy. I have it programmed into my Shoestring to help slow it down on landing.

What radio are you using? each aileron has to be plugged into the Receiver separately and in the case of JR/Spektrum you choose the Flaperon wing type.

The when you pop the flaps down they will still function as ailerons only with a slight droop in them, not full on flaps but it can help for sure.

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Old 03-03-2011, 02:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Zocane View Post
I'm working on a Cessna L-19, 51" WS. The plans were designed for rudder-elevator, but I've designed in ailerons. I seem to remember from years ago that you can have the ailerons act as flaps while acting as ailerons as well, but I'm completely new to flaps, really. I guess my questions are if you might know if this is aerodynamically feasible, and two how one might hook that up electronically? I might imagine mixing - like a Y connector - certainly I would need one servo for each aileron.
Yes, my brain is a bit muddled on this one.
Or do you think since I'm designing in ailerons should I go ahead and design in flaps?
Yup, the newer comuterized RC transmitters such as the Spektrum DX7, and a lot of the older 72 Mhz radios have mixing commands that allows the modeler to mix in flaps with the Aileron commands.

If you've got a model with "BIG" ailerons, the "flaperon" can be effective in slowing the model down for landing. But if you've got narrow strip ailerons, the flapperon command is less effective.

If you program in the flapperons, be certain to test the model at full flapperons with right and left aileron turns, just in case your model doesn't like flapperons. Things like adverse yaw, where when the ailerons are given a left bank, the nose of the model turns to the right. That would require rudder to straighten out the model during the turn. That was real noticeable on my 1/4 scale Cub of 10 years ago.

And as mentioned in this thread, you need a receiver with an extra unused servo slot for the mix function.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:55 AM   #4
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I've got a single model I've done that with so my experience is certainly limited.
It does slow down. Control also is pretty awful if it starts to turn at all. I have to turn it off to regain control. Not something I'd do in a real landing situation.
It has full length strip ailerons.

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Old 03-04-2011, 11:05 AM   #5
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If you use any more than a few deg of flaperon you loose roll control . You can overcome it to some degree with using rudder mixed into aileron .Still reducing control of your roll control at low airspeed and low altitude can be very very unsettling . On the other hand using the Ailerons as spoilerons helps to slow you down but also it increases the sink rate but it does not effect your roll control ,of course you have to mix in elevator trim which in the spoileron case you trim for a slightly nose high attitude. That nose High atitude helps to slow you down nicely IMHO.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by StephenW View Post
If you use any more than a few deg of flaperon you loose roll control . You can overcome it to some degree with using rudder mixed into aileron .Still reducing control of your roll control at low airspeed and low altitude can be very very unsettling .
Probably depends on the model. I've got a Showtime 50 model where the flapperons are programmed in at about 15 degrees or so. It still has full roll control at full flapperons. .

But, as indicated before, this might be VERY different on different models. "Your results may vary".

Still think that at least on the models I have, standard flaps are more effective than spoilerons.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:25 PM   #7
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I have been trying to program flaperons on to a plane with my dx6i, but when they go into flap position, they get out of trim. Does anybody know how to fix this?

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Old 03-04-2011, 08:31 PM   #8
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Hi, using a FUTABA 6EX and programe flapperons on every model I have that has 2 aileron servos. I set mine to 40%. This gives my good lift at slow speed and still gives me roll control (much more sedately). You have to be careful that when you activate flaps, then roll, that you dont max out your servo travel, as this is possible. I had to go back and increase my servo travel by use of the linkages etc.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Catalina View Post
Hi, using a FUTABA 6EX and programe flapperons on every model I have that has 2 aileron servos. I set mine to 40%. This gives my good lift at slow speed and still gives me roll control (much more sedately). You have to be careful that when you activate flaps, then roll, that you dont max out your servo travel, as this is possible. I had to go back and increase my servo travel by use of the linkages etc.
40%? what deflection does that give you I use about 40% on one of my carbon bird gilders which is not enough to call flap its just a mild change in Chamber which helps to increase light air ability but if you use the throw to full deflection eg 70 degs Roll control is virtually none existent this has been the case on all my 2 servo wing models . I prefer my 4 and 6 servo ones which allows me a great wing geometry for most conditions ,However when it comes to slowing my 2 servo jobs down High nose attitude and high sink rate make a fast model nice and draggy and still maintain full control of al axis.
this is one of my models unfortunately didnt get the lading in but you can see the speed it has to wash off.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:03 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by skyman View Post
I have been trying to program flaperons on to a plane with my dx6i, but when they go into flap position, they get out of trim. Does anybody know how to fix this?
Don't know about the DX6i transmitter, but the DX7 transmitter has individual travel adjustments for each servo channel that resolves your problem. And, as others have indicated, you've got to make absolutely certain you don't drive the aileron servos beyond their full range of travel. Doing so is definitely NOT good.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:57 AM   #11
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Someone asked what 40% meant, and I would like to know this too. Is it 40% of full control surface travel? 40% of 90 degrees from "neutral" (36 degrees)?

Something else?

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Old 03-05-2011, 02:05 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by FlyWheel View Post
Someone asked what 40% meant, and I would like to know this too. Is it 40% of full control surface travel? 40% of 90 degrees from "neutral" (36 degrees)?

Something else?

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On mine it is 40% of servo travel, which leaves 60% for aileron function which seems to be enough to slow roll.
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
Don't know about the DX6i transmitter, but the DX7 transmitter has individual travel adjustments for each servo channel that resolves your problem. And, as others have indicated, you've got to make absolutely certain you don't drive the aileron servos beyond their full range of travel. Doing so is definitely NOT good.
Alright, thanks. I have trimed it out so it is straight in flap mode, but when I go back into regular aileron mode, It's not straight. Strange...

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Old 03-05-2011, 08:39 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by skyman View Post
Alright, thanks. I have trimed it out so it is straight in flap mode, but when I go back into regular aileron mode, It's not straight. Strange...
No thats wrong mate, has to be straight in normal mode and down in flap mode.
When you have activated flaps they should be down by whatever you set them as, but when you touch aileron stick they should still operate as ailerons. When you go to max left on you stick, you should still see both servos moving, if not you have run out of travel on one (it will most likely be making a loud buzzing noise as it reaches its end stop). Then try max right on the stick.
If you still have both servos moving with flaps set then you are right to go. If not you have to change the set up of your linkages etc to get more travel manually (swap to a closer hole on your alieron horns etc). Then try again. You could also reduce your flap setpoint as well.
Remembering the more you add to the flap setpoint, the more likely you are to get to the servo endpoints.
Hope this helps.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:09 AM   #15
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I'm working on a plane right now that has a front wing flap, and ailerons mixed. A bit different from your flaperons, but still possible to have aileron differential. If you plan to use 1 servo per aileron, then you can program differential. It can be helpful for planes like the L19, but not necessary, as I have similar planes that fly well without it. I've started using 1 servo per aileron, as it does provide the ability to use differential. As I understand it, you may want differential added, when the flaps are down.

Depending on your radio, this can all be easy to do. I finally started using a computerized radio a few years back, and only recently started taking advantage of the functions. Some of it has caused me to pull a few hairs, although it's not terribly difficult to figure out. I have a DX6 and DX6i. Last night, I setup differential ailerons on the DX6i. While setting up differential, I eventually realized that you had to go to the mixed flap channel, which is used for the left aileron, to change its values. This is also true with travel adjustments and reversal. The right aileron plugs into the aileron channel. I believe your DX6 will work like the DX6i, when setting travel rates. You have to move the stick in either direction, to set the rate in that direction. It will show up as a +XXX% and a -XXX% on the screen, as you move the stick back and forth. Therefore, as stated before, you will need to adjust the travel on both the aileron and flap channel, as receiver's aileron channel is the right aileron, and the flap channel is where your left aileron plugs into. It took me a few to figure that all out. I believe you can now still mix the differential ailerons with another channel (ger?) to activate the flaperons. Someone may know of shortcuts/simpler methods also, so don't be afraid to ask.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:11 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Catalina View Post
No thats wrong mate, has to be straight in normal mode and down in flap mode.
When you have activated flaps they should be down by whatever you set them as, but when you touch aileron stick they should still operate as ailerons. When you go to max left on you stick, you should still see both servos moving, if not you have run out of travel on one (it will most likely be making a loud buzzing noise as it reaches its end stop). Then try max right on the stick.
If you still have both servos moving with flaps set then you are right to go. If not you have to change the set up of your linkages etc to get more travel manually (swap to a closer hole on your alieron horns etc). Then try again. You could also reduce your flap setpoint as well.
Remembering the more you add to the flap setpoint, the more likely you are to get to the servo endpoints.
Hope this helps.
I am referring to trim. They go into flaperons when I hit my flap switch, and go back into regular ailerons when I flip it back up, like they should. The flaperons are working great. The problem is that in aileron mode, they are trimmed even on each side, but in flap mode, on flap goes down further than the other when i'm not touching the sticks.

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Old 03-06-2011, 07:06 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by skyman View Post
I am referring to trim. They go into flaperons when I hit my flap switch, and go back into regular ailerons when I flip it back up, like they should. The flaperons are working great. The problem is that in aileron mode, they are trimmed even on each side, but in flap mode, on flap goes down further than the other when i'm not touching the sticks.
I had a problem like that with my DX6, when slaving one retract servo to another. One retract would only go part way, either down or up, but not the full distance in both directions. I can't remember offhand how I solved it, but it may be similar to your problem. I'll have to look into the settings, and maybe I'll remember what I did. When it had the problem, I can vaguely remember trying to increase slave or mix values, but couldn't get the one landing gear to move all the way.
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Old 03-06-2011, 03:55 PM   #18
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Yeah sounds like a mix problem. You may need to adjust the travel amount on one to get it leveled out to match the other. Could be that if you used the tx to adjust the aileron trim, it's adding or subtracting that when you operate the flaps.


Something else I just thought of, in reference to the original poster.
Your bird was originally designed to be a 3 channel. Bet it has a lot of dihedral in the wing because of it. If so, adding ailerons is going to be a bit of a bugger, flight wise.

The ailerons will be fighting the dihedral, so instead of clean banking turns you may end up with a big time yaw or crab. Will have to mix in aileron differential, rudder/aileron mix, and/or remove some of the dihedral in the wing to compensate for it.

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Old 03-06-2011, 06:21 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Glacier Girl View Post
Yeah sounds like a mix problem. You may need to adjust the travel amount on one to get it leveled out to match the other. Could be that if you used the tx to adjust the aileron trim, it's adding or subtracting that when you operate the flaps.


Something else I just thought of, in reference to the original poster.
Your bird was originally designed to be a 3 channel. Bet it has a lot of dihedral in the wing because of it. If so, adding ailerons is going to be a bit of a bugger, flight wise.

The ailerons will be fighting the dihedral, so instead of clean banking turns you may end up with a big time yaw or crab. Will have to mix in aileron differential, rudder/aileron mix, and/or remove some of the dihedral in the wing to compensate for it.
Okay, that makes since. I bet it's one of these, I will try both. Thanks a lot!

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Old 03-11-2011, 03:21 AM   #20
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This has helped tremendously - both from a general perspective but also specifically with the 3 -channel designed L-19. Glacier Girl, you hit the nail on the head! I hadn't thought of that. There is a ton of dihedral in it. Additionally, the ailerons I'm adding are fairly small. I think instead I'll try to find a kit that has flaps or flaperons (in fact I'd better look on this site for ideas) to give me a better idea of what's involved. I also found that I have a Dx-5 Spektrum - no flaps ability seemingly. The fifth channel is just on-off.
Good stuff. Thank you for the thread.
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