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Old 12-18-2015, 10:07 PM   #1
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Default Shorter Landing Tips?

Flying a Dynam Hawk Sky, an EasyStar clone. Having trouble getting it on the ground in a reasonable distance. I start my approach as far out as I can and it still sails past me head-high. I have to dive it at the ground a ways out and then save it last second. Must be a better way?
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Old 12-18-2015, 10:28 PM   #2
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Try some gentle "S" turns on approach to scrub off some speed or just about 1/4 way down your runway do a soft 360 degree turn. It will scrub off more speed and a bit of altitude.

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Old 12-18-2015, 10:38 PM   #3
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Is there space to fly it in a circle in front of you? Or perhaps you can fit some spoilers to the airplane to scrub off air speed.

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Old 12-18-2015, 10:49 PM   #4
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You could try a forward slip, but it's a quite advanced skill top properly master. Basically a forward slip landing is when you side slip the model using opposed rudder and aileron. The side slip increases drag and brings the model down much faster. You have to be real careful not to stall, keep the nose down.

Here's an extreme forward slip landing on a full size plane:
YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:42 PM   #5
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Slips are tough to master with a model. They are hard to see and require quick reflexes. The smaller the plane, the more tricky they are. I can do slips in my open cockpit Experimental home-built that are so extreme I scare myself silly, but am pretty poor at applying them to a model.

It would be better for the inexperienced to play with stalls at altitude. Learn how slow your plane can fly without stalling. It's probably slower than you think. When you get a good feel for slow flight it becomes easier to set up a proper approach.

Once you set the plane's attitude (pitch) to a nice slow descent rate, you just (try to) keep it in that same attitude all the way to the flare. Like it's just sliding down a string. Throttle determines whether you will land short, long, or on your intended target (while you carefully hold a consistent attitude). Changing the pitch will determine the plane's speed. This is a challenge. A challenge that can be fun and interesting. Shooting approaches and landings in various configurations and conditions is my favorite thing.

The root of your problem is just that you are coming in too fast.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:49 PM   #6
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WAMBO
First are you sure you are not trying to fly it in to an area too small for your skill level? I assume you are landing directly into the wind.
The Hawk Sky has quite an efficient airframe so it is probably best to use a 'glide' approach.
The first thing is to trim it so it has a nice steady glide. When gliding like that you should not really have to touch the elevator at all.
Start your usual approach but just gliding with no power.
If it still has too much height by the time it reaches the chosen landing spot go round again and start the approach from the same point but this time a bit lower.
If you find it is likely to land short you can always apply power but this will upset the glide so it is probably best to go round again and start a bit higher.
If you find that to land at the required point you are having to start the approach too low for comfort then start higher but a bit further out.
What you need to get fixed in your mind is its the planes glide angle from your required landing point and then get the plane on that path.
Once you have the plane descending in a stable condition and on that path it will land at the required point with little or no input from you as in this video.
YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.

The wind does add a complication as the stronger it is the steeper the glide angle appears to be. Actually the plane comes down at the same rate but it simply moves more slowly over the ground.
Turbulence make life even more difficult as in effect the wind becomes variable both in speed and direction. It is probably best to avoid such conditions until you can land the same very time.
Judging and achieving the correct glide path takes practise. You wont get it right every time so be strict, analyses what was wrong and endeavour to get it right next time.

Remember not all planes act the same. A plane with a poor glide may well require power to achieve a satisfactory approach angle but the need to set up stable flight down glide path remains the same - just as it does with full size!
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Old 12-19-2015, 02:12 AM   #7
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I have the same plane as in the video. I chuckle when he says on his landing approach "just let it fly". That's fine with a head wind. My problem is on a calm day it glides forever. "Just let it fly" to it's own landing makes for quite a hike.

I'm already doing the entire approach unpowered, so can't go slower. I think I'll work on down-spiral up at the end of the field. Maybe I can get my approach started from a lower altitude. My vision isn't sharp enough to take it a lot further away for a more distant setup so getting it lower earlier seems to be my best option.
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Old 12-19-2015, 02:53 AM   #8
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you just answered your own question Wambo,

landing isn't nearly as hard once you'v mastered the approach. I like to come in low and turn at the end of the field so i use as little space as possible. my field is huge and if I always used it's size ,I wouldn't be happy at smaller fields.

I must admit though,I visited a recently reopened club that flys over water and has a paved runway. most all my balsa models would run off the length of the runway into weeds. also the approach is to come in low and bank at the tree line. my depth perception while standing there stunk.....sure glad it's not my clubs field. i wouldn't be able to slow down my hog bipe or rv 4-40.

do endless touch and go's even if it does make for a less fun day flying one or two batteries. you'll be glad you did.

narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 12-19-2015, 03:05 AM   #9
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Do you land under power? I learned on an Easy Star and when I wanted to land I would completely power down about 100' away (still air) and let it glide in. Usually it would slide to a stop right in front of me. OK, sometimes I would cheat and give the elevator a small downward tap to 'break' the ground effect if it looked like it was going too far.

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Old 12-19-2015, 03:07 AM   #10
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WAMBO, I know what you're saying. I had the Bixler 1 previously, and like yours these things just want to keep going. It's like they hit ground effect and they are quite happy to keep on going. You've gotten good advice on the S turns and circling. They both will work, it's just the nature of the beast so to say. Each has it's own flying/landing type.

I see you are doing your upwind approach with power off, you may want to reduce power before even that to help with your speed.

This was something that was addressed when the Bixler 2 came out, they added flaps to it. Drop the flaps down fully and you need to have some power on to keep moving.

I can line mine up and nearly drop it vertical with the flaps, kinda like slamming on the brakes.

Maybe down the road you could look at adding flaps to yours, not that hard at all.

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Old 12-19-2015, 04:15 AM   #11
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Could I get the same effect by rewiring the aile servos and going flaperon?

Yeah, I think one thing I could practice is cutting the throttle while still moving away, and then just allow it to lose altitude with a high-banked turn to start the approach.
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Old 12-19-2015, 04:36 AM   #12
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Nose up a little... so the aircraft requires power to stay in the air.

There is an attribute of any fixed wing aircraft called the "Power Curve" It is actually a curve that relates power needed to maintain level flight at any given airspeed from wing stall to maximum airspeed. This curve always has the same basic shape.

(There may be more than one curve based on altitude but we won't notice that with our models)

Near stall you need significant power and the power needed goes DOWN as speed increases to a certain point, which is minimum power level flight speed (maximum glide endurance speed...), then power goes up again as airspeed goes up.

You want to be in the zone between stall and max efficiency.
Its very common for people to make their approach close to the maximum endurance speed, where just touching the elevator can result in a quick trade of airspeed for altitude ("ballooning")

http://myclimbrate.files.wordpress.c...ed-command.jpg

Slow down. Get the nose up to where you have to add power to maintain a lower speed even though you are descending.
You want to see the bottom of the wing on final approach.
Go to the local airport and watch some small aircraft arriving from as close to the same perspective as you would be watching your model. Note the aircraft attitude will be nose up, not pointed down at the runway. You will see the bottom of the wing, NOT the wing as a thin line and not the top of the wing.

If you trim the model for this attitude you then control the descent with throttle, not elevator.

Your landings will become more predictable.

**********

Flaps down shifts the power curve... you added drag so you need more power and the maximum duration point will need more power.
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Old 12-19-2015, 04:44 AM   #13
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I did the aileron flaperon on a low wing airplane. It worked nicely with ailerons going UP to prevent a tip stall. Tried on a high wing and it didn't work. I need to give it some more throw and try again. Speed wasn't a problem but I was just trying to get the fuse to land nose high rather then nose down and then flipping on the grass.
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Old 12-19-2015, 05:02 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dave180 View Post
I did the aileron flaperon on a low wing airplane. It worked nicely with ailerons going UP to prevent a tip stall. Tried on a high wing and it didn't work. I need to give it some more throw and try again. Speed wasn't a problem but I was just trying to get the fuse to land nose high rather then nose down and then flipping on the grass.

I often recommend the "spoileron" use of ailerons... and there are always people who say don't ever do it...

But it works EXTREMELY well for many models.
There are also a lot of models where it can get you into deep trouble very fast.
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Old 12-19-2015, 05:29 AM   #15
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I cannot help to say this is just a lack of skill and understanding of basic flight. The skill you lack is proper approach speed and how to set a plane up for landing. You are flying it into the ground, not landing.

Fist thing you need to learn is how to fly slow. To do that you need fly the plane with the nose pitched up a few degrees and hold altitude. Think of it this way what every small plane pilot learns from the instructor day 1. Air speed is controlled by the stick (elevator) and vertical speed is controlled with the throttle.

All real planes are landed using Full Stall. So learn to use your throttle and elevators to fly nose up a few degrees relative to the horizon while holding altitude. Each plane is a bit different but to hold altitude with nose up, throttle will be 1/3 to 1/2 power give or take. On final just relax the throttle a little so the nose drops just back to level and a gentle decent.

Once you get a few feet above the ground pick the nose up just a bit with the stick and let the plane level about a foot off the ground. You will be in a nose high position again and getting ready to stall. Then gentle cut the power and hold the nose up. The plane will stall and land on the rear landing gear at slow speed.

Practice that right from the start by making approaches until it becomes comfortable and natural. Sounds complex but it is not difficult. Right now you are flying the plane to the ground which in reality is a controlled crash. Watch videos of any plane, even commercial jets. All of them are in slow flight nose high and stall the plane to land.

So sit the plane up flying slow nose up, and use the throttle to control vertical speed. If you want to go up or slow the decent increase the throttle. To go down relax the throttle.
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Old 12-19-2015, 08:12 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by WAMBO View Post
Flying a Dynam Hawk Sky, an EasyStar clone. Having trouble getting it on the ground in a reasonable distance. I start my approach as far out as I can and it still sails past me head-high. I have to dive it at the ground a ways out and then save it last second. Must be a better way?
Lots of good answers given here, here is one more, before you land, cut the throttle way up in the air, and learn to fly your plane like a unpowered glider, you will learn slow flight that way, if you get into trouble, power up again then cut the power after you gained control. fly your plane like a glider, that will teach you a lot when it comes time to land. and it will land much slower.

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 12-19-2015, 09:15 AM   #17
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+1 dereck You should always have plan of what you are going to do when flying. So that in mind practise touch and goes with a model you fly well then do the same with this one until you know it well
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:05 AM   #18
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To be fair to the OP sailplanes (without spoilers or flaps) are some of the trickiest types of model to spot land accurately especially in smaller fields. From the advice given such as " Then gentle cut the power and hold the nose up. The plane will stall and land on the rear landing gear at slow speed" It's clear that the advice giver either has never flown a sailplane or missed the point that this is a sailplane.
Sailplanes (without spoilers) do their approached 'dead stick' so 'cutting power' just before touchdown is impossible because it was cut before you even started the approach.. otherwise it wouldnt have come down at all! As already noted the tend to float on seemingly forever. With a sailplane a small error in altitude or speed on your turn into your landing approach causes a long walk. The same error on a typical sport/aerobatic model doesn't matter because you can correct with throttle on the final approach.

It's alight saying 'come in low and slow' but 'low and slow' is the classic recipe for a stall and crash if you get it even a little bit wrong. The margins for error are very small.
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:29 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by WAMBO View Post
Could I get the same effect by rewiring the aile servos and going flaperon?
No No No ... you'll most likely increase the problem AND make her more liable to stall.

If you have split aileron servos ... create a SPOILERON function. You only need a few mm UP on both ailerons and she'll lose height at a greater glide angle. But still be controllable.

My 540 racer is a pain for endless landing distance ... but 2mm up on ailerons once she's in glide slope cuts that a lot ... without change of speed.

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Old 12-19-2015, 01:25 PM   #20
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Actually... depends on the airplane.

The ones where the spoilerons are bad, usually do fine with flaperons.

for a sailplane with the ailerons only on the outer appx 1/3 to 1/2 of each wing, flaperons are generally bad and spoilerons are generally good.
I have to say generally... because there are cases where its reversed.

Test such things with PLENTY of altitude and be ready to put the spoileron or flaperon back to normal mode. You'll know very quickly if its good or bad.
Get the plane flying level, power off and slowly reduce speed by bringing the stick back to prevent losing altitude.
If its OK, the stall will be gentle and the plane will go straight, dropping the nose and regaining speed. You can just keep pulling back and it just repeats that.
If its not OK it will drop a wing and spin with no warning. Recovery might be impossible without putting the ailerons back to normal. (why you do it way up high...)
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Old 12-19-2015, 02:57 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
Actually... depends on the airplane.

The ones where the spoilerons are bad, usually do fine with flaperons.

for a sailplane with the ailerons only on the outer appx 1/3 to 1/2 of each wing, flaperons are generally bad and spoilerons are generally good.
I have to say generally... because there are cases where its reversed.

Test such things with PLENTY of altitude and be ready to put the spoileron or flaperon back to normal mode. You'll know very quickly if its good or bad.
Get the plane flying level, power off and slowly reduce speed by bringing the stick back to prevent losing altitude.
If its OK, the stall will be gentle and the plane will go straight, dropping the nose and regaining speed. You can just keep pulling back and it just repeats that.
If its not OK it will drop a wing and spin with no warning. Recovery might be impossible without putting the ailerons back to normal. (why you do it way up high...)
True.

But one point missed often is that Spoilers / spoilerons do not usually cause a pitch up change on the aircraft unlike flaps / flaperons. They may cause a nose down slightly - but unlikely because of the small amount needed to be effective. This means no need to look at mixing in elevator etc.
If you find model dropping too short ... adding power to lengthen the glide with spoilerons will not increase that nose up as would flaps.

My view is that flap varieties are to INCREASE lift and to allow slower airspeed. This usually incurs longer glide slope if not controlled well.

Spoilers and their varieties are there to increase glide angle due to reducing or spoiling lift, not to change speed. Therefore glide slope is shortened.

But as you say - all depends on model.

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Old 12-19-2015, 03:10 PM   #22
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Basic flaps are to increase drag and alter the stall. Low deflection will do more to alter when the center of the wing stalls relative to the tips (partial span flaps) than anything else.

Fowler and a couple of other wing area increasing types also reduce stall speed by increasing wing area.

Deploying flaps at speed and seeing the plane balloon gives the impression that they add lift but that is actually the change of effective wing incidence. You could put flaps on the elevator channel and have a fixed elevator and fly the plane. There wouldn't be as much authority as the elevator well back on the tail-plane though, especially with the fixed stabilizer damping the control authority.

For control line we commonly linked flaps to elevator to increase authority, reducing loop radius.

There were some early RC models that used the flaps for pitch control because of the unreliable radios. Modest authority and other design features resulted in the plane self-stabilizing at a higher or lower airspeed depending on flap position if control was lost. Sometimes they'd have a spring load on rudder to initiate a Free Flight style circle if control system failed.
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Old 12-19-2015, 03:29 PM   #23
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My Kiel Kraft Radian stunt machine had coupled Flaps and Elevator ... so I know what you mean.

The problem with most models is that you do not increase wing area as on full size commercials with flaps ... models just change apparent wing incidence / AoA. Spoilerons do similar but other way and cause the steeper glide slope.

For some reason when that glide slope steepens - flyers don't react usually by trying to pull back ... because I believe the models attitude still appears relatively flat and normal. But with flaps / flaperons - they react by pushing nose down to keep that flat attitude.

I realise that there are two camps on this .. I was a flaps man till I tried spoilerons instead and found my fears were unfounded. My 540 certainly proved it to me. My ASK 21 has spoilers set in the wings ... amazing diference.
Pal of mine has his big glider with Spoilers and inboard ailerons that deflect together or separate by use of switches. So he can deploy Spoilers alone or add inboard flaps alone or as well. What he does with that model is just incredible.

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Old 12-19-2015, 03:47 PM   #24
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There have been 3 time's I've saved planes with elevator failure by applying flaps and controlling pitch with throttle.
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Old 12-19-2015, 05:01 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
No No No ... you'll most likely increase the problem AND make her more liable to stall.
Yep...just read several dozen posts over on RCG on pros and cons of flaperons and spoilerons and decided wasn't for me. I haven't actually totally missed the runway yet -- I'll just work on it and get better.
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