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Flying Probs with the Firebird Freedom

Old 12-12-2006, 04:33 AM
  #176  
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Stall strips:
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:53 PM
  #177  
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Default Need used receiver - mine went up in smoke

Ok, it was my fault. :o I retired the Freedom several months ago after many frustrating, sometimes successful flights. I wanted to try my hand at scratch building and wanted to use the guts from the Freedom before investing $300 in new rx, servos, motor, esc, etc. I devised a way to unmix the elevator and aelerons and it is comming together a little slower than I would like, but it has been fun so far. The damage occured while extending the battery leads, as the circuit board is about 16 inches from the battery. When I attached the extension leads I reversed the Pos and Neg wires. As soon as I plugged in the battery the motor started turning slowly, follwed by a smell of burning electronics and smoke. After close examination I found several burnt components that are too small to really see with the naked eye.

If anyone wants to sell a circuit board please e-mail me. I would really like to finish this project to see if it will actually fly. If this works it could be a way for others to salvage some enjoyment from a marginal product.

Charlie Crum
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:38 AM
  #178  
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Originally Posted by crummy pilot View Post
Ok, it was my fault. :o I retired the Freedom several months ago after many frustrating, sometimes successful flights. I wanted to try my hand at scratch building and wanted to use the guts from the Freedom before investing $300 in new rx, servos, motor, esc, etc. I devised a way to unmix the elevator and aelerons and it is comming together a little slower than I would like, but it has been fun so far. The damage occured while extending the battery leads, as the circuit board is about 16 inches from the battery. When I attached the extension leads I reversed the Pos and Neg wires. As soon as I plugged in the battery the motor started turning slowly, follwed by a smell of burning electronics and smoke. After close examination I found several burnt components that are too small to really see with the naked eye.

If anyone wants to sell a circuit board please e-mail me. I would really like to finish this project to see if it will actually fly. If this works it could be a way for others to salvage some enjoyment from a marginal product.

Charlie Crum
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Don't feel bad. The Freedom is a tough bird in stock trim. I flew it for 10 minutes without incident and then broke the tail when it did a spontaneous snap roll and dropped 30' when I was bringing it in for a landing. Adding 1/2 oz to the nose and stall strips makes it much more predictable.


If you send me the receiver I will do some tests to figure out if it can be repaired or if it is a total loss.


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Old 12-15-2006, 03:28 PM
  #179  
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And before spending more than about $30 on a new Freedom receiver/ESC/servos, I would look at a low cost 4 channel transmitter / receiver @$40, 2 servos @$10 each, ESC for another $20.


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Old 12-24-2006, 03:51 PM
  #180  
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Anyone have trouble with the Freedom prop making a weird nose at full throttle - sometimes followed by the plane stalling. Makes a weird sound - like the propellor cutting through a piece of paper. Not sure if the prop is stalling or if it is just flexing too much. Nexer happens at ~50% throttle. (I am going to try a different propellor and see if the sound goes away.)

Anyone flying with a different propellor?



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Old 12-24-2006, 04:04 PM
  #181  
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cbatters, I don't have one but I would suspect that the prop has been bent or nicked. I would look for skuffs or twists.
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Old 12-24-2006, 06:27 PM
  #182  
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
cbatters, I don't have one but I would suspect that the prop has been bent or nicked. I would look for skuffs or twists.
Nothing obvious.. no nicks or bends. Looks fine but sounds weird sometimes at high throttle.

If it was a prop in the water I would say it was cavitating. Sound like the prop is spinning very fast but not doing any work. At the same time it makes this noise the plane looks like it is experiencing some weird turbulanece. Chicken / egg issue. If thrust is being disruped abruptly, it would make the plane behave weird - disturbance is airflow airflow around the pod might interfere with the flow of air to the prop..

Or maybe just a prop on its way out. Easiest test is just to toss on another prop...



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Old 12-25-2006, 02:41 PM
  #183  
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Clint
Mine made the same noise that gradually got worse. Turned out to be the prop slipping on the motor shaft. It had been knocked off several time and gradually the hole was worn out, eventually would not pull any power at all. Bought a new prop at LHS and problem solved.

By the way, I'm going to buy a used radio system and scrap the FF reciever. Santa was good enough to leave cash this year.

Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year!

Charlie
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Old 12-25-2006, 03:32 PM
  #184  
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Originally Posted by crummy pilot View Post
Clint
Mine made the same noise that gradually got worse. Turned out to be the prop slipping on the motor shaft. It had been knocked off several time and gradually the hole was worn out, eventually would not pull any power at all. Bought a new prop at LHS and problem solved.

By the way, I'm going to buy a used radio system and scrap the FF reciever. Santa was good enough to leave cash this year.

Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year!

Charlie
Thx.. I'll try a prop-swap and see if the odd sound / flight anomaly goes away.


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Old 12-27-2006, 07:51 AM
  #185  
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Update: Old prop was on there very securely. Looked normal / fine but I swapped it with a new prop.

Results - Flew it for about 10 minutes today and did not experience the weird prop sound / flight anomoly. Planning to fly it again in the AM.

Only other thing wrong is that the tail incidence is not quite correct following the boom repair. I have to apply a fair amount of down elevator trim to maintain level flight and prevent stalling. (Control surfaces below stabilizers by ~1/16-1/8")

I suspect this is adding additional drag/turbulence in the tail. I will try adjusting the tail screw to raise the front edge of the stabilizer.



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Old 12-27-2006, 11:54 AM
  #186  
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
cbatters, I don't have one but I would suspect that the prop has been bent or nicked. I would look for skuffs or twists.
Originally Posted by cbatters View Post
Update: Old prop was on there very securely. Looked normal / fine but I swapped it with a new prop.

Results - Flew it for about 10 minutes today and did not experience the weird prop sound / flight anomoly. Planning to fly it again in the AM.
Clint
I win! What is my prize?
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Old 12-27-2006, 01:19 PM
  #187  
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
I win! What is my prize?
You win a 6.5 x 3 prop that looks fine but seems to flatten out at high RPM / load - or PM me your address and I'll loan my Freedom to you for a couple weeks so you can try it out for yourself. (I removed the stall strips thinking they may have been causing turbulence in front of the prop but the problem remained. Currently flying with an extra 3/4 ounce in the nose that tames the tip stalls.)

I have to do a couple more flights with the new prop and then switch back to the old prop and see if the problem returns. If it does, the prop is headed for the shredder.



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Old 12-28-2006, 12:06 AM
  #188  
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Hummmm, .... can I have door number two instead?
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Old 12-29-2006, 03:33 PM
  #189  
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Update: Flying in very cold weather (25 degrees) with a fair amount of wind - experienced the same prop noise followed by a stall. (no crash - just a brief stall/recovery.) Apparently not a defective prop.

It happened when I was initially climbing out - the wind kept popping up the nose and I had to keep pushing it back down to maintain a good climbing attitude. Noticed it made the weird noise just before it stalled.

Adjusted the elevator trims down to level out the plane and did not get the weird noise nor stalls when the plane was tossed around by the wind.

(I have noticed that the Freedom adds a fair amount of automatic up-elevator when you go to full throttle. My guess is that they added this to help the plane climb on launch but it is undesirable once the plane is airborne - especially in high winds.)

2Q

1. Any chance the wing beginning to stall creates enough turbulence to interfere with the pusher prop operation?

2. What is the proper term for an airplane propeller that stops working efficiently? (equivalent to cavitation of a propellor/impeller in a fluid.)

Last edited by cbatters; 12-29-2006 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 12-29-2006, 04:37 PM
  #190  
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Anyone running a different propeller with stock motor / battery / ESC setup? (I may have to buy an adapter for the motor so I can test a bunch of standard propellors.)

Note: I am going to do some tests to see if the Freedom with the 480 motor is spinning the propeller considerably faster than the Challenger on the same 8.4V battery.


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Old 12-30-2006, 09:50 PM
  #191  
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Regarding noise - The leading edge near the fuse was a little rough from where I had removed the stall strips (small pieces of tape / balsa) When I cleaned up the leading edge, the prop got much quieter.

My conclusion is that the noise problem was turbulence in front of the prop - very pronounced when the stall strips were stalling the inner portion of the swing.

I flew for ~20 minutes with no problems and then out of nowhere, it dropped a wing and the plane took a dive for the ground. (I was at ~40 feet when it happened so I was able to pull up some but it still hit the ground pretty hard.)

I have reinstalled 3" stall strips 5.5" from the fuse to keep them away from the flow of air to the prop and will see how it performs.




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Old 12-30-2006, 11:27 PM
  #192  
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Works like a champ!

o Stalls nose down without droppping a wing
o Very predictable stall (controls get mushy followed by nose dropping)
o Reasonable stall recovery (~30' loss of altitude)
o No weird prop noise

Winning combination: 3" stall strips 5.5" from fuse!



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Old 12-30-2006, 11:55 PM
  #193  
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I was in all of your shoes last year.. one word of advise.. if you're having challenges getting the plane off the ground, tail whipping, curbs that get in the way, etc... THROW IT! Very gently. Give it full throttle, hold the receiver in your left hand, and toss it gently outward and upward with your right. You'll have to get your hand back down to the controls quickly, but trust me, this plane will get airborne much better from six feet off the ground!

I'd try to fly it about 2/3 throttle, absolutely NO fast turns, high banks, etc... just fly in large circles, practice controlling the plane. When you graduate beyond simple manuvers, you've gone beyond the capabilities of this plane.

Oh, and if the wind is blowing..at all... stay home and save the bucks.

When you do go to the hobby store for parts, check the wings carefully. Most of them are bent. Be sure to get one with no creases in the wing. Someone mentioned earlier that you can use bamboo (like you get for shis-ka-bobs.. tape them down to the upper or lower side if the wing using strapping tape. it works great.
'
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:34 AM
  #194  
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And if you add $.50 (2 quarters) to the nose and stall strips to the wings you won't have to contend with violent tip stalls!

It is unfortunate HobbyZone did not make these mods before they shipped the plane. My guess is the plane flies great with an 8 cell 9.6V NIMH battery pack but some idiot in marketing/sales cost reduced the product to include an 8.4V battery at the last minute.



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Old 12-31-2006, 12:40 AM
  #195  
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Nah, just keep the 50 cents in your pocket... that way you don't have any reason to chase the plane down when it takes its final dive!
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:58 AM
  #196  
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Originally Posted by reyn3545 View Post
Nah, just keep the 50 cents in your pocket... that way you don't have any reason to chase the plane down when it takes its final dive!
Try adding 2 quarters to the nose and stall strips and you will have a different opinion about the plane.

And I encourage people NOT to toss it gently at full throttle - it will roll and crash every time. Give it a strong toss and it will climb right out.


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Old 01-02-2007, 04:55 PM
  #197  
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NO POWER LAUNCH
Wasn't paying enough attention and ended up launching the Freedom with the battery disconnected (Challenger and Freedom are on the same channel so I disconnect the battery when switching planes.) I had flown it 10 minutes prior so didn't bother range checking - I just looked at the control surfaces to make sure they were level and gave it a firm toss.

Plane flew straight and level about 60'. Not a test I am likely to repeat but it shows that the plane really does fly well if trimmed correctly.

PERFORMANCE IN WIND
Was flying both the Freedom and the Challenger in ~10 MPH of wind. I would give the edge to the Freedom which seemed to penetrate the wind better - due to heavier weight and possibly the lower wing location.

ELECTRONIC BRAKE
Has anyone installed an electronic brake on a Freedom? Noticed that the Freedom propellor is windmilling a lot when gliding. (Challenger propellor does not seem to windmill as much - probably due to slower flight on the Challenger when gliding.)



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Old 01-04-2007, 01:31 AM
  #198  
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Give me some encouragement guys, I am getting ready to scrap my FBF.

I am on my 3rd set of wings, and these will be last I will buy for it.

The last flight session I had with it was terrible. Prior, it had done quite well and as long as I could get a good launch and build up some airspeed it was a delightful aircraft, if a bit twitchy in a light gusts. I really like the look and 'oddity' of this plane, and really don't want to scrap it.

But this last session was awful. I count on my son to give me a good launch, but he chucked it too hard and too high on the first try and I stalled and crashed nose first pretty hard.

I should have quit then. Just put the bird back in the trunk and take it home for a thorough post-crash analysis.

Instead, newbies making mistakes again, we just looked her over and decided to try again.

Again too high an angle, again nose crash.

Again inspect and try again - it must be the toss, right? Try tilting the plane a little to the right to compensate for the hard left it wants to make...

Again crash, and this time the wings exploded

Later inspection revealed that the tail was out whack, probably by the first crash.

Today I did a detailed inspection and made sure the fuse and boom are straight and true. I got my last set of wings and new tail.

But this is it. If I can't a few more good flights out if it, its headed for the recycler.

Meanwhile, my AeroBird Extreme is flying like a dream come true. Very fun, reliable, smooth, good climber, great glider, and now perfectly trimmed - its my main RC fun at this point. I can launch it myself and go flying without any help! Too cool!

Even so, I really want to keep my FBF in fleet. There's just something about it that is cool.

I am going to try the stall sticks, and am looking at ways to reinforce my new wings (because I swear, these will be my last set!!).

Thanks all for the input! It's nice to see others having a good time with this plane, and I want some of that action too!

~mArK
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:22 AM
  #199  
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1. Add 3 quarters inside the nose (between the rubber and the plastic)

2. Add 3" stall strips on the leading edge ~5.5" from the fuse

3. Trim the plane with control surfaces 1/16" to 1/8 below the stabilizer

The problem on launch is that the plane is usually trimmed with too much up elevator and full throttle automatically adds even more up elevator causing the plane to stall and roll on launch. If you trim it with more down elevator it will launch level and climb out without stalling/crashing.



Clint

Last edited by cbatters; 01-04-2007 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:41 PM
  #200  
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Red face Thanks! Will do!

Originally Posted by cbatters View Post
1. Add 3 quarters inside the nose (between the rubber and the plastic)

2. Add 3" stall strips on the leading edge ~5.5" from the fuse

3. Trim the plane with control surfaces 1/16" to 1/8 below the stabilizer

The problem on launch is that the plane is usually trimmed with too much up elevator and full throttle automatically adds even more up elevator causing the plane to stall and roll on launch. If you trim it with more down elevator it will launch level and climb out without stalling/crashing.



Clint

Thanks Clint! I am now eager to try this and give her a go as soon as the weather clears up!

Also, I will add to your suggestions that if the FBF gets some impact, look more carefully at the tail before trying again!
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