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How do I know if I'm ready for ailerons?

Old 01-15-2014, 03:21 PM
  #101  
maxflyer
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Since RC flyers don't have to pass a written or a check ride, many don't really understand the function of ailerons, or their proper use in coordinated flight. Ailerons are not something to be feared. They actually extend the flight envelope in several useful ways.

Where inexperienced RC flyers can get in over their heads is when they choose an aircraft type that incorporates a high roll rate. The model's response to inputs can be surprisingly quick and it's not difficult for the pilot to get behind things. Try to get hold of some basic info on aircraft flight controls and study it until you fully understand their functions, and how and when to use them.

That said, I am a private pilot, but still a relative RC noob myself. The responses required for RC flight are very different than those necessary for a full size AC, and as I am still conditioning myself to work with the physical disconnection from RC models, I find it necessary to have models with slower responses at this stage.

I have constructed a couple of scratchbuilt foamy trainers for myself, to serve this purpose. They cost me just a few dollars and a few hours to construct, fly just as well as most $200 factory trainers, and go a long way towards reducing the pucker factor while learning. If I crash, my main concern is retrieving the gear from the airplane, though it is usually the case that the plane itself is easily repaired due to it's simple nature (No...they don't look like warbirds, but in the air I don't even notice).

I have little success in convincing younger flyers to go this route, even though they would be far better off for having learned something about how to build, equip, trim, and repair a model. But then...I've been on this planet for quite some time, and the species seems to have chnged.
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:29 PM
  #102  
DavidR8
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Originally Posted by maxflyer View Post
I have constructed a couple of scratchbuilt foamy trainers for myself, to serve this purpose. They cost me just a few dollars and a few hours to construct, fly just as well as most $200 factory trainers, and go a long way towards reducing the pucker factor while learning. If I crash, my main concern is retrieving the gear from the airplane, though it is usually the case that the plane itself is easily repaired due to it's simple nature (No...they don't look like warbirds, but in the air I don't even notice).
I'm interested in the plans you've used for your foamies. Can you share links?
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:51 PM
  #103  
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Years ago, at the tail end of the brushed motor era, I dabbled briefly with teaching myself to fly using a cobbed-together 3CH glider I constructed, using a toy store chuck-glider foam wing and a slab of blue construction foam as the fuselage.

When I got back in a year or so ago I continued my self-instruction using a great 3CH profile design by Charles Pirkey, called the STC Trainer, the simple plans for which are still available on RC Groups.

That design not only served to get me comfortable with flying 3CH in a variety of conditions, and to a point where landings were second nature...it also taught me tons about the new Brushless and LIPO technologies, and re-introduced me to the RC marketplace.

My next step was to construct another 3CH design of my own, which was more suited to flying in some wind, and also familiarized me with what it was like to have an enclosed fuselage in which to mount my gear. All this time I am learning techniques for building with foam.

When I got to the point where I was totally competent with 3CH flying I constructed my own 4CH trainer using dimensions from a known good-flying type which someone else had already designed and tested. No plans were involved. I just kind of hacked things together, discovering more tricks and techniques along the way, such as my own simple, but sturdy landing gear design, which I could apply to many future models.

If one is willing to forgo the urge to have a "scale-looking" model right out of the gate, you will find the internet rich in free ideas and designs for good flying sport and trainer models that are inexpensive and easy to build, without actual plans. All you need are the basic dimensions of the airframe components. Since these components are going to end up being unsophisticated, usually rectangular, shapes and forms, they are easy to hack together on the fly. You will make mistakes and waste some time and material (Hey...that's what cheap foam is for), but are unlikely to make the same mistakes again.

Over time you develop experience that enables you to start tweaking things to find out what happens. Does it make any difference if I round off the wingtips instead of leaving them square? What happens if I mount a larger motor to this airframe?

I cannot overestimate the value of this approach. The only hobbyists this method will be wasted on are those who just want to see what it's like to fly an RC airplane, and have no real interest in models or flight.

By the time you have constructed several scratchbuilds like this, not only will your flying skills and knowledge have increased exponentially, your pucker factor will be a lot lower, and you will probably have accepted that you are likely to crash and deform any model you are going to be flying in the near future. It may change your mind about whether or not you want to dump $200 (an invaluable sum for the scratchbuilding stocks) into a pretty factory airplane just yet.

This method has served me well and makes me remember that in any hobby like this, the hum-ho factor WILL set in at some point, and it's good to have many facets to explore, to extend one's interest. I could probably write a book on this approach, but again, I find that "Kids Today" have little patience for anything besides instant gratification. Working towards a goal seems to be a concept that has been lost to most of society.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:57 PM
  #104  
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Default Learning to fly

I wonder if OP is flying after all these years?
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:04 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by warningshot View Post
I wonder if OP is flying after all these years?
Likely not....has not been on WF since May of 2006....
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:25 PM
  #106  
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My “Noobness” just burst through at the seams. Didn't even notice how old this one was. What a waste of what little rant ability is left in this old husk.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:48 PM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by maxflyer View Post
My “Noobness” just burst through at the seams. Didn't even notice how old this one was. What a waste of what little rant ability is left in this old husk.
Max, great writeup on your philosophy and experience. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:48 AM
  #108  
kyleservicetech
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Originally Posted by maxflyer View Post
Since RC flyers don't have to pass a written or a check ride, many don't really understand the function of ailerons, or their proper use in coordinated flight. Ailerons are not something to be feared. They actually extend the flight envelope in several useful ways.

Where inexperienced RC flyers can get in over their heads is when they choose an aircraft type that incorporates a high roll rate. The model's response to inputs can be surprisingly quick and it's not difficult for the pilot to get behind things. Try to get hold of some basic info on aircraft flight controls and study it until you fully understand their functions, and how and when to use them.

That said, I am a private pilot, but still a relative RC noob myself. The responses required for RC flight are very different than those necessary for a full size AC, and as I am still conditioning myself to work with the physical disconnection from RC models, I find it necessary to have models with slower responses at this stage.

I have constructed a couple of scratchbuilt foamy trainers for myself, to serve this purpose. They cost me just a few dollars and a few hours to construct, fly just as well as most $200 factory trainers, and go a long way towards reducing the pucker factor while learning. If I crash, my main concern is retrieving the gear from the airplane, though it is usually the case that the plane itself is easily repaired due to it's simple nature (No...they don't look like warbirds, but in the air I don't even notice).

I have little success in convincing younger flyers to go this route, even though they would be far better off for having learned something about how to build, equip, trim, and repair a model. But then...I've been on this planet for quite some time, and the species seems to have chnged.
IMHO, the one big difference between Rudder Elevator Motor, and an aileron equipped model is that roll. With a REM model, hitting full rudder might give a very quick turn, but still stay right side up. At least with reasonable rudder control. But hitting full aileron (as in landing) could very well roll the model upside down. And, a newbie could panic and put it in. Once the pilot has progressed to where they are comfortable with aileron control, it does make landings a lot easier. And, those same ailerons will allow far more acrobatics in the flight pattern.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:11 AM
  #109  
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There is a very good reason trainers... often.... come with nothing but Rudder, Elevator & motor.

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Old 01-27-2014, 02:26 AM
  #110  
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As someone who flew 4-channel for the first time yesterday, I can attest to the value of the somewhat small amount of 3-channel time I had.

No question on the difference and how much 4 channels extend the fun factor.
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:25 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by maxflyer View Post
My “Noobness” just burst through at the seams. Didn't even notice how old this one was. What a waste of what little rant ability is left in this old husk.
Hello Max. Thank you for posting, your ideas are the same as mine, particularly regarding scratch and kit building. A seemingly lost art in Australia.

I learnt to fly RC planes in the early 80's, my trainer was Aeroflyte Hustler, a high wing balsa trainer with ailerons powered by an Enya 7.5cc 2 stroke glow engine. I didn't put much effort into finishing it like a professional job, it was a trainer after all.

My instructor got me learning on the aileron/elevator combination (Mode 1) of turning and keeping altitude, whilst leaving the rudder until later on. Now that I'm starting up again, I remember this technique and will be teaching myself this time.

The new plane will be an Apprentice S 15e on it's tightest flight envelope settings to minimise out of attitude conditions until I am competent again.

I had considered sailplanes (or gliders) as my first choice, but the lack of suitable slopes around locally, made this difficult.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:25 PM
  #112  
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Bimy,

From what I've witnessed at our field, I don't think you can go wrong with the Apprentice. The new revived S version with the gyro is the bees knees.

Good luck and have fun !

-Hawk
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:40 PM
  #113  
maxflyer
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Yes, I've even changed my initial impressions of the Apprentice. I think it serves a useful purpose, though it might not be the best option for those who are budget-limited, want something that generates less of a pucker factor, by reason of being cheaper and more expendable, or for those who see a little farther down the road and realize that a lot of money is going to be spent fully equipping themselves with all the supporting items necessary for the hobby, and perhaps they would like to spread available funds into some of those areas.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:08 PM
  #114  
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Hello hawk, max.

It was this video that made the Apprentice S 15e my future choice:

http://www.horizonhobby.co.uk/aeroon.../e20-safe.html

If the S 15e can get itself out of strange attitudes like someone holding it's tail, then it should be able to self correct anything I can get it into.

There are that many chargers on the market, is seems a bit of a mine field of fakes and trying to find the one that will charge your (expensive) batteries correctly.

I may have to delay my flying a little longer, I'm not sure, but I may have acquired a speeding fine. :|

That will mess up my schedule somewhat.

Cheers
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:09 AM
  #115  
cj2563
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I have heard that the e-flite apprentice is a good aileron trainer and it comes with a spektrum dx5e. Check it out on youtube it has some neat features.
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:12 AM
  #116  
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The e-flite apprentice comes with a spektrum dx5e and is a good aileron trainer it has beginner intermediate and experienced mode and has a panic button if you get i trouble. So you might want to check it out.
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