I'm getting ready this weekend to maiden my Escapade. I have it balanced, everything checked out, all of the throws correct, etc. I have to say, I crashed my Kaos do to equipment malfunction the last time I flew, so I'm a bit gun shy here. I bought my Kaos from someone else at the club, so it had already been flown many times before I started flying it a year and a half ago. This will be the first time I maidened an aircraft(save for the foamy park fliers I've flown in the past), and coming off of my first major crash, I'm a bit nervous.
Anyone have any tips, ideas, etc. for me to do to have a successful maiden flight? I know the obvious; just take it up and fly it gently until you get used to it, etc. One of the old guys in our club who doesn't fly anymore for health reasons(he's the one who taught me to fly) used to say put a little up elevator trim in it because you can always take that out easier than when you have to put it in to keep it in the air. Just curious as to what you all do to have successful maiden flights.
Like you said, take her at least 3 mistakes high. Trim her out. Then take her higher and check how slow you can go before the stall, and how she behaves in the stall. This so you can get a feel for how slow you can go for landing. (Also taught to me by one of our old-timers.)
The hard part is not being nervous. When I maidened my first edf, the Dynam Turbojet(Like a Cessna Citation bizjet), My hands started shaking so bad, I can't believe my inputs were still worth a darn, but i got her down without a scrape. I realized what was really worrying me was something falling apart or a mechanical or electrical issue. 'Did I forget to secure a control horn?' 'Did I remember to loctite the setscrews for the fans?' etc. I guess there was some 'Can I handle an EDF?' thrown in for good measure. All that work you put into these things... (And it was only a little foamie ARF! Can't imagine how the people who actually build their planes feel!)
When I'm in the pits before the maiden, I give it another look-over. Make sure everything is secure, all the clevis retainers are installed, servo arm screws present and secure, tug on the glued on bits. (Foamies!) I try to be pretty thorough back in the hangar (my garage) before I get to the field. I see lots of guys still fiddling with their planes at the field. Stuff that i think should have been done already. Control throws, CG, etc. Other than the old timers who actually are building planes there for fun, I'd rather have that sort of stuff done before I get there, usually even a range check. When I get to the field, I know that stuff is done already, my plane taxi's straight, etc. I'll give it a once-over, but it's done. (At least should be done, that's what the once-over is for. And it doesn't hurt to have another well experienced modeller look it over, too, for anything you missed.)
Then I get out to the flight line and tell myself, it's just a plane, just fly it. Go over the maintenance stuff one more time in my head and say 'that's all you can do, worry about it after you get it back.' 'Just fly!'
Speaking of which, I get to maiden 'my son's' 64mm F-35 this morning. (I really started liking the looks of this one as it went together.) One last thing is the range check when we get to the field. But that's another story.
Good luck on your maiden! Let us know how it goes.
Yes, do that range check at the field before the first flight and double check that all surfaces are moving in the correct direction. If you did not install the hinges on the control surface, give each hinge a gentle tug to make sure it will not come loose in flight. I've seen this happen with some ARF's.
Success! Not a scratch on her after 2 successful flights. Range check perfect. The up trim made her take off on her own, so I had to trim that down, and just a couple clicks of the aileron and she's perfect. Even flies straight inverted with no push needed on the elevator. Scary, as everything else I have I run a little nose heavy, but when I add the 4s battery, it'll be a little nose heavy, just went on 3s today.
I actually check control surface movement and direction when I power up, or when I set the plane down at the runway before I go, every time.
Really intrested in how you like your Escapade. I have had three of them and found them fun to fly but fast to land. I now also have the Escapade 61. I modified the 40 size with flaps. They seem to help with the landing speed. Good Luck.
My dad ran his escapade a bit a couple of times. It seemed to fly well, but was bought used with a bit of hangar rash. The landing gear was hot glued in, and on a lvc trying to hit the feild, the landing gear went through both halves of the wings. Not a major repair, but enough word we haven't gotten back to it.
Ours was the .40 size with a older rimfire motor. Ate batteries, and seemes to be fairly heavy for its size, but I think that is because it us more or less designed for a slimer.
I think we only got 3-4 flights on ours before our hard landing.