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Old 02-10-2012, 08:13 AM   #1
NFA Fabrication
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Default Are Non-Aileron (3 CH.) Planes "Tuned" Differently?

I am new to flying, and have 9 successful flights under my belt. I chose to train myself by simulator (RF6). I wanted the "Real Plane" experience, and chose to start out with ailerons. I chose the "E-Flight Apprentice" as my starter plane, and feel the patience and self training through RF6 paid off in value far over my investment.

I have a friend that is very interested in getting into the plane aspect of RC with me (We do a lot of rock crawler type RC stuff together). He is going to have a better chance with something simpler. He is an amazing builder/customizer (Better than most I know), but may need an easier entry into RC flight (Hand/eye wise).

Here is where I get confused: I find myself using almost only elevator/ailerons to guide my plane. I have come to 2 conclusions. I am either doing it wrong, or 3Ch planes are designed differently. Is flying a 3Ch plane the same as removing the Ailerons from my plane, or are the 3Ch planes tuned to operate differently due to not having ailerons? Sorry if this sounds complicated...

Edit: My main 2 planes for comparison are the E-Flight Apprentice (4Ch), and the Hobbyzone Super Cub (3Ch) if that makes any difference.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:51 AM   #2
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Hi Normally you want to use more Rudder throw with a 3 channel Plane, and use a larger wider rudder because you dont have Ailerons, but thats about the only difference really, its Easy to get Lazy and not use the rudder with a 4 channel But the best training for using a rudder is Pattern flying IMHO, you use the rudder with a 4 channel Plane to Do Knife edges with, and stall turns, its a lot of fun to do aerobatics using the rudder, flying aerobatics will put you back in touch with the rudder Take care and Have fun, Chellie

I may be getting Older, But I Refuse to grow Up I am Having to much Fun to Grow Up LOL
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:01 AM   #3
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Thanks! I have 9 flights now, and have only found myself using the rudder when being relaxed and wanting to see how it effected the plane, but have never found it necessary for my flights. I have had no real instruction, and have only had sim training by myself. That makes me concerned that I am teaching myself bad habits.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:42 AM   #4
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Don't worry about it too much. Most average sport fliers only use elevator and ailerons for almost all of their flying. I know many people (including me a lot of the time) who only touch the rudder for taxying on the ground or occasional specific aerobatic moves.

A 3-ch plane is indeed set up differently because it needs dihedral in order for the rudder to get it to turn and that dihedral also gives it more self-correction than the average plane with ailerons. In general when a plane is designed to work with ailerons the rudder isn't very effective for turning. Obviously when you only have a rudder that ain't so .

The main difference you should notice in flying is that with ailerons when you've put it into a turn you have to give a bit of opposite aileron to stop the turn. With a rudder-only design using the elevator to get it round the turn is more important and you just centre the rudder and elevator and it comes out of the turn on its own. But these effects are quite subtle....when you're first learning you really can't tell much difference between an aileron-only turn and a rudder-only turn....provided each plane is appropriately set up.

Steve
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:09 PM   #5
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If you are flying a rudder only (no ailerons) plane, you should plug the rudder servo
into the aileron position on the receiver....that way you are flying the airplane with the right stick, just like with the aileron plane.

Helicopters don't really fly.......
They're just so ugly, that the earth repels them.
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:34 PM   #6
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A high-winged plane with visible dihedral does quite well making level turns with rudder and elevator. A high winged plane with ailerons, with little or no dihedral, needs rudder input to make graceful rounded turns. Excess dihedral with an aileron model makes ailerons less effective. Low winged models with exception of some undercambered ultra-micro wing designs, need ailerons plus rudder and elevator to make graceful turns. High-winged models act as if they have some dihedral even if wing is flat. Low winged warbird type models often have less or no dihedral but need constant aileron and elevator inputs from the flier to keep them flying level and in control, they generally don't fly "hands-off". I use aileron/rudder mix most of the time for easy flying of scale models, I can over-ride rudder with more input from the left stick when needed or disable it with a switch . When a model slows way down during a landing, the ailerons become less effective and rudder is used to level wings near the ground. Nudges of right rudder are needed to keep a tail-dragger high winger or warbird tracking straight ahead on takeoff. Rudder is needed for knife edge and certain other aerobatic maneuvers. Coupled or manually applied rudder is needed to counter "adverse yaw" where the down-going aileron puts unwanted drag on one wing fighting the turn. Differential aileron setups are used counter "adverse yaw" ( ailerons go up but not down much, or at all, to eliminate drag). Differential ailerons requires two servos connected to two separate channels and use of a progammed mix. Angling aileron servo arms forward and aileron horns at 90 degrees gives less down and mostly up aileron movement almost like differential ailerons.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:25 PM   #7
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Duplicated, www.wattflyer.com lost internet connection while on saving response.

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Old 02-10-2012, 08:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by NFA Fabrication View Post
Here is where I get confused: I find myself using almost only elevator/ailerons to guide my plane. I have come to 2 conclusions. I am either doing it wrong, or 3Ch planes are designed differently. Is flying a 3Ch plane the same as removing the Ailerons from my plane, or are the 3Ch planes tuned to operate differently due to not having ailerons? Sorry if this sounds complicated...
There is a difference between flying a rudder/elevator versus a rudder/elevator/aileron model.

With just a rudder/elevator model, giving full right rudder on a reasonably set up model will just result in the model banking to the right. It generally takes a second or three for the model to respond.

But, on an aileron equipped model, giving full right aileron will result in the model rotating on its axis, and if you don't stop it, the model will rotate up side down and keep on going. (The model response to an aileron command is far more rapid than a rudder command.) That's not a problem, we do it all the time.

For the newbie, giving a wrong aileron command on a landing approach can be a disaster.

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Old 02-11-2012, 02:12 AM   #9
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Full right rudder rolls my Slow Stick like there's no tomorrow. Matter of fact it stabilizes a vertical climb wonderfully. I feed in just about full rudder and back it off as I gain vertical speed. Does a marvelous corkscrew with nary an aileron in sight.
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins View Post
Full right rudder rolls my Slow Stick like there's no tomorrow. Matter of fact it stabilizes a vertical climb wonderfully. I feed in just about full rudder and back it off as I gain vertical speed. Does a marvelous corkscrew with nary an aileron in sight.

LOL
That's why I put this phrase in my post!

"giving full right rudder on a reasonably set up model"

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Old 02-11-2012, 03:38 AM   #11
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Dag Nabbit! (Who used to say that?) My plane is set up VERY reasonably: too much power, too much rudder throw, too little weight, why it's JUST RIGHT!

That's not reasonable?
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Old 02-11-2012, 05:38 AM   #12
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I would highly recommend any new rc pilot pick up even an old copy of a private pilots license book. It will cover subjects like this, and much more. You'll be a better pilot for it.
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by NFA Fabrication View Post
Thanks! I have 9 flights now, and have only found myself using the rudder when being relaxed and wanting to see how it effected the plane, but have never found it necessary for my flights. I have had no real instruction, and have only had sim training by myself. That makes me concerned that I am teaching myself bad habits.

Thats Ok, Follow me and i will Teach you all kinds of Bad habits , Like going to the Casino, Drinking beer and wine, ETC

I may be getting Older, But I Refuse to grow Up I am Having to much Fun to Grow Up LOL
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:16 PM   #14
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Another interesting thing. Since for a 3-channel plane you're hooking the rudder to the aileron slot on the receiver, and the rudder is your primary roll control, switching back and forth from a 3-channel to a 4-channel plane is really easy. You fly them in almost the same way.

The four channel plane will tend to be less self-stabilizing. When you put the plane into a bank, the plane wants to stay there. So you give a short blip of aileron and let the stick neutralize. The plane enters and remains in a bank. You use the elevator both to maintain altitude and to tighten the turn. When you are finished with the turn, the plane doesn't know that. You have to blip in enough opposite aileron to level the wings out.

In the three channel plane, the wing dihedral serves to automatically stabilize the plane, giving a definite leveling energy to the plane with no control input. So when you blip right to go into a right turn and let the control return to neutral like you did in the 4-channel plane, your airplane will immediately straighten out, leveling the wing. To remain in a turn you have to hold that right rudder input. Releasing it automatically levels the plane out and it resumes flying straight with no input from you.

In practice you are both anticipating what the plane will do (flying ahead of the plane) and reacting to what the plane does. Those processes are integrated and you're not necessarily conscious of where one ends and the other begins. In both instances the correct inputs become so automatic that you don't think about them and both come really naturally.

Some have said that starting with a 3-channel plane is just plain crazy because then you have to learn to fly all over again with a 4-channel. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like Denny says, what looks like a profound difference in theory becomes a subtle difference when flying.

In fact you'll find a lot of experienced 4-channel plane jockeys who in an unguarded moment will tell you that their favorite plane to fly is the 3-channel Slow Stick.

I personally enjoy having a collection of planes that are utterly different from each other in the way they fly. I don't waste a lot of time wondering which I like the best.
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by CHELLIE View Post
Thats Ok, Follow me and i will Teach you all kinds of Bad habits , Like going to the Casino, Drinking beer and wine, ETC

Girl, you after my own heart.
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Old 02-11-2012, 05:54 PM   #16
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Well my bit. (and I blame Chellie for the bad habit )

I learned on a 3 channel with the rudder on the right stick.
To this day I still screw up because of it.

Doesn't matter how much aileron I use, the freaking plane will not turn when it's on the ground. Scrapes the wing tips up pretty good, but it won't turn.

Yep old bad habit of using the right stick for turning the plane on the ground. Keep forgetting all about that left stick and how it moves left and right too.

And that's the thing with a habit, it becomes instinct, and that is a hard thing to break.

When I die, I want to go like my Grandfather did, in his sleep...... Not screaming like the passengers in his plane.
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Old 02-11-2012, 06:23 PM   #17
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Which is why the best of all 3Ch options for those of us with modern computer radios is to mix rudder and aileron in the radio so you can use either left or right stick to wag the rudder about. Then all it takes is a bit of discipline to use the left on the ground and the right in the air .

Well it worked for me .

Steve
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