Flying Probs with the Firebird Freedom - Page 5 - WattFlyer RC Electric Flight Forums - Discuss radio control eflight

ParkFlyers Talk about all backyard and parkflyer aircraft here

Flying Probs with the Firebird Freedom

Old 09-21-2006, 12:01 AM
  #101  
Joe 1320
Super Contributor
 
Joe 1320's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sebring, Florida
Posts: 1,140
Default

Originally Posted by patnchris View Post
After every landing I had to get out the pliers and do more creative bending. I even tried larger, softer wheels, but that seemed to amplify to issue.
Oh, that sounds familiar. Mine finally disappeared in a group of trees, never to be seen again. You would think white would stand out against brown and green, even the prop must have gotten knocked off or jambed because activating the throttle didn't give any sound so that I could locate it. In retrospect, I don't miss it at all.
Joe 1320 is offline  
Old 09-25-2006, 01:56 AM
  #102  
rx20040
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 48
Default Another reason for random behavior

I was flying my freedom earlier today, and I noticed that it was less responsive and that it randomly pitched up and down and turned left and right, making it almost impossible to fly. After landing, I discovered that one of the control surfaces came loose from the main part of the tail (see attached pictures). I can only assume that the problem was a faulty tail or that I just flew it too much (I probably had 20 flights in on this tail). I will replace the tail and my "stabilizing device" (piece of wood with a crossbar, see my earlier posts on this thread for more detail) tomorrow. This is now my fourth tail; the first three were lost due to crashes which were caused by mechanical failures.
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1772.jpg
Views:	316
Size:	14.9 KB
ID:	17288   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1770.jpg
Views:	291
Size:	31.8 KB
ID:	17289   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1771.jpg
Views:	296
Size:	41.0 KB
ID:	17290  
rx20040 is offline  
Old 09-25-2006, 01:59 AM
  #103  
jcblough
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 469
Default

Originally Posted by rx20040 View Post
I was flying my freedom earlier today, and I noticed that it was less responsive and that it randomly pitched up and down and turned left and right, making it almost impossible to fly. After landing, I discovered that one of the control surfaces came loose from the main part of the tail (see attached pictures). I can only assume that the problem was a faulty tail or that I just flew it too much (I probably had 20 flights in on this tail). I will replace the tail and my "stabilizing device" (piece of wood with a crossbar, see my earlier posts on this thread for more detail) tomorrow. This is now my fourth tail; the first three were lost due to crashes which were caused by mechanical failures.
helluva plane heh? Mine is in a landfill somewhere.
jcblough is offline  
Old 09-25-2006, 03:47 AM
  #104  
reyn3545
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 33
Default

Put some plastic tape on your elevon hinge, douse the plane in lighter fluid, light it and take off! Watching melted foam drip to the field while the Firebird Freedom flies closer to eternal doom would have to be one of the most satisfying experiences in the hobby!
reyn3545 is offline  
Old 09-25-2006, 04:10 AM
  #105  
Ejet42
Member
Thread Starter
 
Ejet42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 170
Default

Gentlemen,
Since I started this thread, I want to tell the world what I have done, and am enjoying successful flight after flight. I believe I have stated a wing modification that can be made fairly easily to add wash-out to the factory wings. I have done this on a "stock" Freedom and it absolutely lessens the tip stall tendency - but does not eliminate it. Still, definitely NOT a ZONE 1 (beginner) aircraft.

I purchased another one that had receiver problems which was no problem at all. I removed the internal "stuff" (or any other word that may describe the Freedom's electronics package) and replaced the circuit board with a piece of 1/16" plywood with servo holes cut out in the same relative locations as the original servos were. I added yet a third servo (3ea. 9g servos now incorporated), a Castle/Berg Microstamp 4L receiver and a 20A Blue Arrow ESC. Power now comes from the stock 480 / pusher prop, but energy comes from a 3S 11.1v 2000mAh LiPo (8C) from CommonSenseRC. The third servo now drives DuBro's Micro Steerable Tail Wheel Assembly using nylon fishing line in a Pull-Pull arrangement (fisherman's loop knots on the servo, Firebird Commander monofilament adjusters on the tail wheel - 15# test nylon threaded down the hollow boom to a point about 4" ahead of the tail wheel - small XACTO knife drilled holes angled toward the tail on each side of said boom. Transmitter is JR 8103 with Delta mixing (using elevator and aileron channels), rudder on tailwheel servo with a transmitter switch to couple rudder and aileron (I always have trouble taxiing and taking off using the rudder and aileron controls separately). This way, flip a switch and do it all with the aileron stick. Talk about SWEET and pretty!!! Plug the battery in, taxi out and down (paved) runway, turn into the breeze and take off! Lots of power with the 11.1v / 480 motor for loops from level flight, etc. ........ and NO ACT (Anti Crash Technology, no sensors, etc.) Landings are really nice with an up elevator flare right before touch down. Then, taxi back to the truck and park. A long time coming, but a pretty good flying ship and a lot of fun .......... now
Ejet42 is offline  
Old 09-25-2006, 03:32 PM
  #106  
patnchris
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 46
Default

So what you're basically saying is that you buy a $150 plane, that is supposed to be for a beginner to learn on. You bring it home. You go out and buy a $250 transmitter, a $40 receiver, a couple of $15 dollar servos, a couple of $40 dollar batteries, and a $50 charger to charge the batteries. Then you completely redesign the aircraft. (assuming you have theknowlege and skills to do it)....AND THEN....IF YOU'RE AN EXPERIENCED PILOT, YOU CAN FLY IT PRETTY WELL.......That's prety sad.....I, too, modified and learned to fly my Freedom....But the end result was.....WAS IT WORTH IT.....And what about all the hype about learning to fly, and "This airplane is ready to fly, right out of the box." I'm sorry, but Hobby Zone really blew it on this plane......Pat
patnchris is offline  
Old 09-25-2006, 03:42 PM
  #107  
cbatters
Super Contributor
 
cbatters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,050
Default

I had no trouble flying the SkyFly nor the Challenger (which claims to be Zone 2) However, as per my earlier post, I had problems getting the Freedom to hand lauch successfully and was lucky to return/swap it for a Challenger before I caused any damage.

I have to agree - the Freedom should not be marketed as a Zone 1 plane for beginnners based on high flying speed and harsh stall characteristics.



Clint
cbatters is offline  
Old 09-25-2006, 06:12 PM
  #108  
Ejet42
Member
Thread Starter
 
Ejet42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 170
Default

Patnchris and Clint,
My sentiments exactly - I just happened to have the equipment except for the receiver and ESC (approx. $55). Actually I flew the thing this morning and it was really too windy as evidenced by a 3ft. landing roll! This is the only Freedom I have purchased - the first Freedom that the thread was started about was one purchased by a beginner friend for the $140 tag, and was really a disappointment - due to HobbyZone and Horizon Hobby's claims AND Backyard Flyer Magazine's glowing report of this "albatros"!! The lesson learned here is that magazines certainly cannot be trusted to give unbiased reports, since advertizing dollars are certainly at stake, and to tell the truth about a product would surely cost a lost client!

My friend did not fly his Freedom this morning. Had he, the plane would surely require significant repair by now. The only real salvation for me this morning was the "Tim Taylor Syndrome - MORE POWER (grunt, grunt)". The 3S 2000 mAh LiPo gave enough power to help correct and "pull through" gust problems. Incidentally, CommonSenseRC sells a pair of 2000mAh 8C 3S LiPo(s) for ~$42 ($21ea). Pretty good price!

The thing that really "hacks me" about Horizon Hobby is their refusal to admit that they have served up "tripe" with this product; and of course the lesson learned about magazine reviews.

All that being said, my Freedom is fun to fly - and landings are a thing of beauty. But as you stated, this should not have to happen with the beginning flyer. His money would be much better spent purchasing an $85 Commander 2 which is an excellent flyer! I certainly would not recommend this correction path to the beginner or anyone else - unless he is "hell bent" and determined to make this plane fly. If that is the case, these changes will make that happen. I will be more than glad to help anyone that requests it.
Ejet42 is offline  
Old 09-27-2006, 01:54 AM
  #109  
unterhausen
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 13
Default

Originally Posted by ejet42 View Post
Gentlemen,
Since I started this thread, I want to tell the world what I have done, and am enjoying successful flight after flight.
I've thought about doing your mod, maybe I will now. Of course, it means putting about $100 into the plane. Can't see putting a steerable tail wheel on it though.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 09-27-2006, 01:55 AM
  #110  
jcblough
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 469
Default

Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I've thought about doing your mod, maybe I will now. Of course, it means putting about $100 into the plane. Can't see putting a steerable tail wheel on it though.
Just get a new plane. I don't think there's $100 worth of joy in a freedom after you've learned to fly it good enough to move on.
jcblough is offline  
Old 09-27-2006, 02:19 AM
  #111  
Ejet42
Member
Thread Starter
 
Ejet42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 170
Default

The tailwheel is just a novelty - and absolutely useless unless you have a paved runway / taxiway. We are flying off a double-wide road, and I taxi from the back of my pick-up truck to the road, turn and take off. I am using the delta mix on the radio, and an aileron-rudder mix to control the tailwheel steering. This way, when I take off (or land), I am controlling direction with the aileron stick, no matter what the speed or stage of take off or landing. As far as JC's coment, I say to each his own. I have other planes that I fly - I typically have 3 at any flying session. I guess the real satisfaction of my Firebird Freedom is that I have taken a plane that is absolutely marginal and made it into a plane that I now enjoy flying, taxiing, taking off and landing. I took on the challenge - and won. I have one of the very few good Freedoms. Most folks "give up", "use lighter fluid", "move on", etc. Was it worth $100 For me it was worth the effort - I won this one in spite of the odds!!!

Last edited by Ejet42; 09-27-2006 at 02:30 AM. Reason: clarification
Ejet42 is offline  
Old 09-27-2006, 03:02 PM
  #112  
cbatters
Super Contributor
 
cbatters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,050
Default

Originally Posted by ejet42 View Post
The tailwheel is just a novelty - and absolutely useless unless you have a paved runway / taxiway. We are flying off a double-wide road, and I taxi from the back of my pick-up truck to the road, turn and take off. I am using the delta mix on the radio, and an aileron-rudder mix to control the tailwheel steering. This way, when I take off (or land), I am controlling direction with the aileron stick, no matter what the speed or stage of take off or landing. As far as JC's coment, I say to each his own. I have other planes that I fly - I typically have 3 at any flying session. I guess the real satisfaction of my Firebird Freedom is that I have taken a plane that is absolutely marginal and made it into a plane that I now enjoy flying, taxiing, taking off and landing. I took on the challenge - and won. I have one of the very few good Freedoms. Most folks "give up", "use lighter fluid", "move on", etc. Was it worth $100 For me it was worth the effort - I won this one in spite of the odds!!!
3Q

1. Can you post some pics of tail wheel mod

2. Did you ever try caster configuration of tail wheel (passive steering)

3. I have never flown a Commander but am very pleased with the Challenger. Does the Commander fly like a Challenger trimmed with a little up elevator but without the third channel for elevator control during flight? (Trying to decide if Challenger is a reasonable next plane for my son that is outgrowing a Hobbico Swift Flier 2 channel / thrust vector plane. Time to introduce hijm to proportional throttle and steering controls - and later introduce pitch control.)

Part of the reason for asking about the rear wheel is that my Challenger does not handle well on the ground. (Probably due to VTail configuration.) I have been very successfuly teaching my son how to control plane / transmitter (including control reversal) with the plane on the ground. Great way to learn a new plane / transmitter and put a couple charge/discharge cycles on the battery before flying.
cbatters is offline  
Old 09-27-2006, 10:12 PM
  #113  
Ejet42
Member
Thread Starter
 
Ejet42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 170
Thumbs up

"C"

My response to your 3Q.
1. No pics available, but see comments below.
2. No - I suppose the Dubro assembly could be used that way, but without much control area, it takes a lot of prop blast to get any deflection of the tail. If you want to get deflection, remove the tail wheel and let the tail slide on one of the nylon head tail hold-down screws. That should be a "neutral" with no guide force as possible without much fuss. I personally like the stock tail wheel to help hold the tail straight until ground speed increases to allow rudder-vator steerage. I am successful with the steerage on the Freedom because I have replaced all airborne electronics (one servo for each rudder-vator using the "V" tail mixer in the transmitter for aileron/elevator (aka delta mix) and have installed yet a 3rd. servo for the tail wheel (only) from the actual rudder channel.
3.You are right on with the Commander 2's flight characteristics - what you want to do is to balance lift generated by forward speed (motor speed) against the weight/drag properties of the model so that it flies level. Full throttle always produces a "porpoising" (repeated stalls) effect that is not very controllable, but throttling down the power makes it really beautiful in calm or gentle breeze conditions.

Regarding your son's "next plane", if he is really successful and totally proficient with the Hobbico Swift, the 3 channel Challenger would certainly be O.K., but I am told that the new Eflite Super Cub is a really terrific flyer by some folks who readily admit the flaws of the Freedom. That would probably get my vote. If you wanted to wait a little while, I think that the Aerobird Swift (due Nov) would be an excellent plane. They have taken the Freedom concept, redesigned the wing (ala Commander with ailerons (looks good!!!) and now use discrete components (which may allow for the use of a 3S LiPo for more power (grunt, grunt)).

Hope this is helpful. H2
Ejet42 is offline  
Old 09-27-2006, 11:20 PM
  #114  
cbatters
Super Contributor
 
cbatters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,050
Default

Thx.. I think I'll give the Dubro Micro TailWheel a shot on the Challenger and see how it goes.

Were you talkiing about the eFlite or the HobbyZone Super Cub? eFlite is a balsa model which seems like it would be risky for a young pilot.

(Even I am reluctant/afraid to fly a Mirage 550 that I built 10+ years ago. However, I have a NIB Superstar EP ARF that would be fair game and should have similar flight characteristics to the Super Cub. I bought the Superstar after I had trouble with my first Electro-Glider but got out of the sport for a while.)


Clint
cbatters is offline  
Old 09-27-2006, 11:28 PM
  #115  
Ejet42
Member
Thread Starter
 
Ejet42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 170
Default

Clint, I am not aware that the Eflite Super Cub is balsa - if it is, I agree. I really think it's foam, though I may be wrong. The add below states "Z Foam construction" and they are offering an extra battery from this site. http://www.hobbyzone.com/rc_planes_h..._super_cub.htm

As far as the tail wheel on the Challenger, do you have a rudder servo? If so, the DuBro wheel will work with a "pull-pull" arrangement from said servo. If it is like the Commander 2 series with a "wheel with line attached, it may be more difficult, but not impossible. Just a challenge.
H2 (Henry Hopper)
Ejet42 is offline  
Old 09-28-2006, 01:39 AM
  #116  
jcblough
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 469
Default

Super Cub is Z foam like the stryker and typhoon - good and tough, ca safe and very repairable.
jcblough is offline  
Old 09-28-2006, 02:33 AM
  #117  
cbatters
Super Contributor
 
cbatters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,050
Default

Originally Posted by ejet42 View Post
Clint, I am not aware that the Eflite Super Cub is balsa - if it is, I agree. I really think it's foam, though I may be wrong. The add below states "Z Foam construction" and they are offering an extra battery from this site. http://www.hobbyzone.com/rc_planes_h..._super_cub.htm

As far as the tail wheel on the Challenger, do you have a rudder servo? If so, the DuBro wheel will work with a "pull-pull" arrangement from said servo. If it is like the Commander 2 series with a "wheel with line attached, it may be more difficult, but not impossible. Just a challenge.
H2 (Henry Hopper)
100% agree... HobbyZone Super Cub looks interesting...

When I googled "eflite super cub" I got this page first. http://www.modelflight.com.au/eflite/eflite_j3_cub.htm
cbatters is offline  
Old 09-28-2006, 03:14 AM
  #118  
Leo L
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 589
Default

I must agree with ejet42 that it is very satisfying to take a poor performing plane and convert it to a good flyer. While I have not played around with my son's Freedom ( he went from AeroAce to Freedom and then to Slow-V, which he loves to fly), I spent a considerable amount of time and money to get my Megatech Airstrike to fly decently. I went through a number of motors, gear drives, speed controls, transmitter/receivers, and servos before finding a good combination. Yes, I could have bought several RTF planes for the money that I spent, but the satisfaction of overcoming the poor flying characterisitcs and creating a good flying machine through your own efforts and imagination cannot be assigned a dollar value.
Leo L is offline  
Old 09-28-2006, 03:31 AM
  #119  
cbatters
Super Contributor
 
cbatters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,050
Default

Originally Posted by ejet42 View Post
As far as the tail wheel on the Challenger, do you have a rudder servo? If so, the DuBro wheel will work with a "pull-pull" arrangement from said servo. If it is like the Commander 2 series with a "wheel with line attached, it may be more difficult, but not impossible. Just a challenge.
H2 (Henry Hopper)
I think I have the design worked out on paper and will report back with the actual results (although I suppose I should be posting this in a Challenger mod thread not a Freedom flying problems thread) If it works as good as it does on paper, it will actually increase reliability of the control system and should work on any V tail Pod/Boom plane.


Clint
cbatters is offline  
Old 10-01-2006, 07:19 PM
  #120  
psc33
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 9
Default

"This time it flew long enough to get enough altitude so it could hit the ground good and hard. It wasn't the nose dive that broke our plane. It was the abrupt stop at the end.

The rod that is the fuselage snapped right where the tail mounts on it. The tail screws are bent and the motor mount is bent a bit. I've applied some gorilla glue and a dow to put the tail back on...hopefully that will return it to "flying" condition."


I Too wish I found this thread b4 I bought this plane , my plane broke at the tail and i gorrila glued it and brought it back out to try again, it then made a funny whiny noise when i plugged the battery in,everything to work fine till i walked 10 fet away and everything shut off. it then would just turn on for no raeson and the controlls would go by themselves a few seconds stop and do it again,( question where does the recicever wire go onto in the fuselage?) my first plane and I am frustrated and out 140$ i paid with my credit card so iam thinking of stopping payment on thta transaction. any thoughts or comments? Thanks
psc33 is offline  
Old 10-01-2006, 09:50 PM
  #121  
patnchris
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 46
Default

Use the experience, but save any money you'd spend fixing the Freedom, and put it towards a HobbyZone Super Cub......Pat
patnchris is offline  
Old 10-02-2006, 02:31 PM
  #122  
cbatters
Super Contributor
 
cbatters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,050
Default

No argument that Super Cub would be better than a Freedom fopr learning but I have a different suggestion for a self training plane.

Pretty much guaranteed you will crash at least a dozen times before you become reasonably proficient at launching, flying , landing. IMHO, the first plane should be something that is durable and easy to repair / replace.

(Freedom is heavy enough that you have to hurl it to get it airborn in winds less than 5 MPH. A gentle throw will reward you with a not-so-gentle crash every time. It is also heavy enough that a serious crash WILL cause extensive damage.)

My first RC plane (and biggest mistake) was a beautiful 2M electric glider with balsa wings/fuse which I flew for the first time in 15+ MPH winds. I spent 15 seconds in the air and days repairing only to get another brief flight and days of repairs. All bad.

Better approach is to buy an under $50 plane to learn on. The plane will be lighter, less prone to damage and easier/cheaper to repair. After 10 years of not flying, I bought a 2 channel thrust vector plane (Hobbico Swift Flyer / Sky Zap) and have invested $0.00 in repairs after 20+ flights and a couple serious crashes. Wing/tail still perfect. Just some minor damage to front of fuse which was easily repaired with glue.

A lightweight - two channel plane without pitch control will teach you that a well trimmed plane will fly just fine without a lot of control input. IMHO, most crashes within the first 10 seconds after launch are caused by excessive up-elevator leading to stall/dive/crash or turning before the plane has climbed to 50+ feet. Two channel plane will also help you learn to control altitude with power.

What you save in repairs on your Freedom will easily pay for a second low cost airplane and give you a lot more stick time.



Clint
cbatters is offline  
Old 10-02-2006, 09:59 PM
  #123  
cbatters
Super Contributor
 
cbatters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,050
Default

One more comment to psc33.

I seriously doubt the plane was defective so that would not be the basis for withholding payment. However, I think you could easily sue for the cost of the airplane in small claims court and win based on "false advertising."

Freedom Flyer is not a defective plane, it is just incorrectly marketed/labeled as a Zone 1 / beginner plane. If it had been correctly labelled as Zone 2 or Zone 3 you would not have bought it.


Good luck,

Clint
cbatters is offline  
Old 10-03-2006, 01:13 AM
  #124  
Joe 1320
Super Contributor
 
Joe 1320's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sebring, Florida
Posts: 1,140
Default

This whole thread in a way, makes me laugh. I bought the plane for the sole purpose of sending it up high above the tree line to test the winds prior to sending up anything else of any value. That's all I needed it for so I didn't expect much at all. It's a cheap flyer, plain and simple.
Joe 1320 is offline  
Old 10-03-2006, 09:36 AM
  #125  
psc33
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 9
Default

hi joe,

Thanks for the input, But I dont make alot of money and was interested in getting into flying and was told this is a begginer plane and you wont crash if you get it high enough,Well I got it high twice and it nose dived twice after flying for a few mins.( maybe my fault for relying on ACT?)
I just think this will send many new flyers away frustrated and out of a good sum of $$ ( as i am) Just a note after a little tickering I found that the radio wire in the plane had come desoldered from the circuit board and i soldered it back on and tested to see if it would stay running after 10 feet , so far so good, now to get a nice day and try it again, i also orederd a bare fuselage to transfer the motor and electronics over to.

Thanks for the info guys
psc33 is offline  

Quick Reply: Flying Probs with the Firebird Freedom


Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.

Page generated in 0.18619 seconds with 15 queries