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Flying the Great Planes XPD-8 EP / Miglet Ducted Fan Flying Wing

Old 09-25-2008, 09:16 PM
  #1  
cbatters
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Default Flying the Great Planes XPD-8 EP / Miglet Ducted Fan Flying Wing

Several threads on building these wings but very little about launching and flying so I figured I would start a thread.

TRIM FOR FIRST FLIGHT
You can save yourself a half down launch-crash episodes by trimming the rear edge of the control surfaces approximately 3/16" above flat measured near the fuse. Without this "up elevator" the wing will dive immediately into the dirt.

Note: I always do unpowered trim test bflights and I am confident I prevented major damage by getting this trimming done before adding power.

HAND LAUNCHING
While the fuse has a cutout for your thumb and fingers, it is still hard to give it a good toss. MUCH easier to launch if you hold the plane between your thumb and fingers but add a control horn or some other bump-out on the fuse several inches back to engage with your index finger.
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:43 PM
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Joe 1320
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My fix for the lack of grip was to glue a few pieces of rought grit sandpaper to the finger grip recesses. No problems now!
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:11 PM
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Good suggestion.

Another launch tip is that the plane has enough power that you can launch it at a 30 degree up angle to buy more time if you do not have enough up elevator dialed in.

I'm still trying to get landing down. The sync rate in terms of ft/sec is considerably faster than my gliders but it is also moving much faster so it covers a lot of ground even after you get it down to only 5-6 feet off the ground. Really have to set up a low approach and fly it down to the ground.




Clint

Last edited by cbatters; 09-30-2008 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 10-19-2008, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe 1320 View Post
My fix for the lack of grip was to glue a few pieces of rought grit sandpaper to the finger grip recesses. No problems now!
Great suggestion. I added some sandpaper after a bad launch this AM when my finger slipped off the fuse. MUCH easier to reliably launch with the sandpaper.


Clint
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Old 11-01-2008, 05:35 PM
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Hey Clint,

I figured I'd use this format to contact you - how did the flying go yesterday afternoon with the Miglet?

I am cranking up construction on mine today - yesterday I test ran the 370S 4400kv inrunner with the stock impeller - 265W!! This is going to be much more than a "leaf blower". I am fitting a 1000mAh 3S 25-35C LiPo under the hood (canopy); 2.4gHz JR 6100 receiver and a TowerPro 30A ESC.

I am planning on building a "fairing" for the 3 wires to help streamline the motor lead exit/hood entry for motor power - probably 1/32" plywood. Should look like a large straightening vane, but my design is not yet finalized.

What is pretty well finalized it the fact that EVERYTHING except the servos will be mounted in/on the upper half of the fuselage. I am also going to attempt to install a 1300mAh 3S LiPo (20C) under the hood - will be very tight - same thickness/width as the 1000, but approx. 5/8" longer. We'll see.

Comments? ( ....... anyone)?

H2
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Old 11-01-2008, 07:37 PM
  #6  
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Flew this morning and headed out to fly the Miglet again.

Couple thoughts:

1. Plannning to set up the XPD-8 I bought for brushless with similar gear to what you are using. 3S 1300 MAH is going to be tight.

2. At 265W I believe you will have unlimited vertical. (Brushed motor provides 50-60 degree climb rate and reasonable speed)

3. Not sure if there is any benefit to V deflector versus shrink tubing over the three wires formed into either a flat profile or a V.

4. Currently running with CG at 6" from front of wing. (Manual calls for 6 1/8") No complaints

5. Make sure to dial in some up elevator as noted earlier. (I will be very interested to find out if you also have to dial in at least 1/8" of up aileron to achieve level flight. (Wondering if my CG is too far forward but it is pretty close to build plans and plane flies very well.)

Good luck - anxious to hear about your success.



Clint

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Old 11-01-2008, 08:19 PM
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Update. Tried moving CG backward about 1/4" but still needed 1/8" up elevon to fly level. Plane was a little twitchy so I am moving CG back to 6".

OMT regarding build. I am definately going to try the magnetic attachment for the winglets to minimize damage and simplify storage. Let me know if you don't have any magnets - I will order enough for a couple planes.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHiHls-c-S4&feature=related[/media]

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu0tWhp7rtg&feature=related[/media]



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Old 11-01-2008, 08:41 PM
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Clint - thanks for the good info. Hadn't thought about the magnets. Have some from Hobby-Lobby. Do you use several (4) on each winglet or 2 and a washer. They sound like they really snap to! Still wrestling with the 1300 mAh 3S. Haven't made any cuts ..... yet. The ESC is the problem child right now. To paraphrase someone some time ago: "Too many wires, too little space". I am thinking of using RTV to permanently attach the receiver and ESC - then velcro for the LiPo.

Tell me more about the magnets - where are you getting them?

H2
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Old 11-02-2008, 02:32 PM
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Haven't actually installed magnets on the winglets of my new XPD-8 yet - just saw the video on YouTube and thought it was a great idea to improve durability and storage. I had some early damage on the Miglet which would not have occurred if the winglets were held on with magnets (although this was mostly due to bad launches which were solved by installing sandpaper on grips)

Might make sense to add pieces of carbon fiber to the wing extending out to the edge of the elevon otherwise the elevon is likely to get damaged if the winglets break away on a rough landing.

Current plan is to use 4 magnets on each winglet. (Magnet to magnet is stronger than magnet to steel washer) I am ordering Neodymium 1/4" x 1/16" magnets that are ridiculously strong. I can order some extras if you don't already have your own stash.

I also found it was useful to add an additional magnet as a spacer to the canopy. Makes for a more forgiving and easier to assemble fit. (Reduces the risk of the canopy flying off because the magnets aren't actually in direct contact due to tight fit.)

OMT - Video of stock XPD-8 performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcgyvJjkfh4


Clint
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Old 11-02-2008, 05:15 PM
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Hi Clint,

Uncertain of the "stock" aspect of some of these on You-Tube, but the RPM sounds higher than my stock fan. Yet, 70 Watts on a clean body may be totally sufficient! It was difficult to see the "XP" due to the photography.

BTW, I have found an excellent way to keep up with moving planes for photography - keep both eyes open, one through the viewfinder and one viewing direct. It's pretty cool! you can easily keep up with the plane with unobstructed eye, with the viewfinder frame superimposed over the actual plane. Now, all you have to do is to keep the plane centered in the viewfinder. Not really difficult at all, but almost impossible to do just looking through the viewfinder!

Just got in from flying - 3 days in a row!. Now to work on the "XPD-8". I am going to take pics of the installation once completed. Have already used Devcon clear silicone sealant to attach the JR6100 and the TowerPro 30A at opposite ends of the canopy seat. Had to use the Dremel to remove a little foam from the rear of the canopy to clear the 3 power wires.

Have found that the "Industrial Strength Velcro" from Wal-Mart will not adhere to the paint on the canopy seat. Will now go to epoxy for a couple of strips down the sides of the radius'd area such that the Velcro will not increase the actual height of the battery - still installing the 1300 mAh 3S.

Plan on taking your advise re the wires coming from the motor. I will use 3mm silicone wires from the motor, and make a wire "sandwich" between two 3/8 x 1/32" plywood slats, held together with heat shrink. I plan to route this from a slot cut in the tail cone into the canopy housing - then back to the ESC. I will attempt to make an aerodynamically clean and short as possible run from the motor to the "hood".

At this time, I am also considering attaching only half of the fan unit to the upper housing using silicone again; and then possibly the silicone again in spots to hold all together. This should make removal easier, should it be needed, although with the brushless fan, I am thinking it probably won't.

One more letter to write - then off to the above task.

H2
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Old 11-02-2008, 05:43 PM
  #11  
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Pitch recorded on the video agrees with my Miglet unit so I would say it is stock. (I can only imagine what the EDF sounds like spinning 50% faster on BL)

Completely agree on silicone to hold EDF in place. There is a grove in the fuse and only a couple pounds of force under any condition except a crash acting on the EDF and motor.

Congrats on figuring out how to get it to squeeze in under the hood. (An extra magnet on the canopy will give you some wiggle room.)



Clint
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Old 11-02-2008, 07:30 PM
  #12  
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Default Magnets

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.4248

Super-Strong Rare-Earth RE Magnets (9mm x 1mm / 100-Pack) .360x..040

Price: $7.70

Super-Strong Rare-Earth RE Magnets (10-Pack 9 mm)
Price: $2.09

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Last edited by max-nix; 11-05-2008 at 06:05 AM. Reason: More info added
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:11 PM
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Just went back to check datasheet on EDF on brushed and realize they are predicting 114 watts and 29,000 RPM on 3S LIPO versus 221W and 38,600 RPM from BL on 3S LIPO.

Plane is pretty quick for my flying skills on brushed but I want to be able to defy gravity and go straight up.



Clint

# LiPo Cells Voltage Current Power Static Thrust RPM Effl ux Effl ux
Speed Speed
Motor: Brushed Speed 370BB (GPMG3910)
(meters/second) (miles/hour)

3 11.1V 10.3A 114W 240g (8.5oz) 29,000 32 m/s 72 mph
Motor: Brushless 20-40-3500 (GPMG5140)
2 7.4V 8.7A 64W 215g (7.6oz) 27,000 28 m/s 63 mph
3 11.1V 15.7A 174W 400g (14.2oz) 35,800 46 m/s 103 mph
Motor: Brushless 24-33-4875 (GPMG5170)
2 7.4V 17.2A 127W 330g (11.6oz) 32,300 41 m/s 92 mph
Motor: Brushless 24-45-3790 (GPMG5185)
2 7.4V 9.7A 72W 230g (8.0oz) 27,120 28 m/s 63 mph
3 11.1V 19.9A 221W 485g (17.1oz) 38,600 53 m/s 118 mph
4 14.8V 32.6A 482W 820g (28.9oz) 48,000 74 m/s 165 mph
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Old 11-03-2008, 02:55 AM
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Well guys, it's hard to believe, but I am ready to "maiden" the XPD-8 mañana. If all goes well, I'll do some photos of the packaging. It isn't real pretty, but all is tucked in under the hood. I did add a single loose magnet disk to the front latch - it gives a little extra height, and provides the desired magnet to magnet "click" on the front of the canopy - the back was OK. Lots of Dremel-ing to get the 1300 mAh, 30A ESC and JR6100 to share the same cramped space.

When I initially tested the power draw at 265W, I was using a 2200 mAh 20C 3S. With the 1300 20C, I am down to approx. 160W, and the voltage is < 9.8 WOT.

OMT - I might have damaged my 4400Kv 370. I cut the two motor leads to "stagger" the splices for running the motor wire back to the ESC which is mounted at the rear of the canopy. I didn't realize it, but the wires that are brought out are the actual winding leads - you know, shellacked magnet wire. It, of course, would not solder. After realizing my faux-pas, I got a razor blade and scraped the stranded wires, for soldering, but might not have been totally successful at removing the paint. Time will tell.

The XPD-8 will move with authority along the carpet - I don't doubt that it could ROG if the grass was freshly clipped. Even at 165W, it is still about 150% more than my stock brushed motor (same fan) had.

I'll let you know ..........

H2
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:24 PM
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Best wishes for your maiden flight. Just remember to add sandpaper to the finger-grips and at least 3/16" up elevon and you will avoid several nose dives into the ground on launch.

I can now launch mine without touching the controls of the transmitter. I just dial in extra up elevon - go to full throttle and the plane climbs out without touching the controls until it is up to 150'.



Clint
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:05 PM
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Well!!!

Talk about an experience - and challenge! Initially I plugged in the 1300 mAh 3S Zippy 20C, and it would not support full throttle - ESC low voltage cut-off taking it out. (in retrospect, that depressed voltage was probably what was reducing the initial wattage somewhat). Installed a 1000 mAh 3S Zippy 25C-35C. Throttle response was good - seemed to be spinning quite well. (future note: purchase ONLY 25C+ LiPo batteries when expecting to draw over 15C).

Forgots:
1. Approximated that the CG was 6-1/8" behind wing L.E. @ fuse with fingers holding XPD-8 upside down. [Observation: it is not very accurate and difficult to tell exactly where your finger tips are, even if the markings are on the bottom of the wing and the plane is upside down.]
2. Flying wing configs are pretty sensitive to CG, since the fuselage is relatively short.
3. JR 9303 controls set at 100%; LIN. (No exponential)

First launch - approx. half throttle (remember 4400kv 370S inrunner) - Super squirrel-ly - Flight duration - approx. 3s. Went "bonk" on its nose in tall grass - some protection there, but now nose ring is positioned slightly left.

Second launch - A little more throttle - Did a loop in about 3ft. from launch - Same control response - "allowed" an approximate wings level landing (like I had a choice in the matter - too low; too erratic - took what I could get) - no damage! Flight duration: approx. 2s.

Third launch - more power - 45 deg. toss - still extremely erratic, but was able to keep the nose up - wings level - another matter. Extremely responsive. WAAAAY toooooo responsive to aileron. Throttled back to less than half throttle. Was able to steer around a bit. Made several laps; adjusting trim - full up; full left. Attempted several loops (snap rolls out of loops - need to not give as much control surface input, more power out of loop). Also did a couple of axial rolls, but caused a significant snap roll out of the last one and was seriously over controlling. Plane was coming down, so cut throttle and again took what I could get. Didn't even open the canopy on landing!! Flight duration: approx. 2 minutes. Quite a feat, considering the flight characteristics!

This morning, I built a balancing jig with two pencils in holes drilled in a wood block. Actual balance was approx. 6-3/8" back; maybe a little less (right in front of the servo cut-out).

New learning experience - took lots of lead (Pb) to move the CG 5/16". Not real happy about the extra weight, but seems to be required.
Also, heat shrink joining the pushrods per the book is extremely effective! With the drop of super thin CA, "they ain't no slip!".

Conclusion:
1. I had some UP in both elevons, and it certainly is needed. With the extra weight, it will probably be even more-so.
2. Will start off with dual rates and approx. 80% exponential on both rates for pitch and roll. Launch will be on low rates. I highly suspect that high speed will also necessitate low control surface travel.
3. It is most probable that the far aft CG coupled with excessive control surface travel caused all of my super instability. Looking forward to better control Friday.

H2
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Old 11-05-2008, 01:54 AM
  #17  
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Not so bad. Welcome to the nose ring positioned slightly left club.

Not sure if you can avoid some of the initial trim-bumps. I did a few unpoweered launches to figure out it needed up elevon. Probably saved a lot of damage.

Landing is also different- needed to get used to flying it down instead of dead-stick like I do with all of my other park flyers.

Best wishes for Friday's flights.



Clint
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Old 11-05-2008, 05:28 AM
  #18  
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Another great place to buy magnets is

magcraft.com/products/rod/index.html

I have used the .250 x .250 size.
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Old 11-08-2008, 01:28 PM
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Flew this morning - near zero wind. Nothing but positive things to say about how this performs even in stock trim.

The only thing I should do is fly at a larger field. (Currently flying at a small field rimmed with trees and a baseball backstop and a couple picnic tables - don't ask! No problem launching or flying above the trees but landing requires circling down inside the rim of trees and then flattening out to land.)

Headed back later this morning when the clouds lift. I was losing sight at ~150' due to low clouds.



Clint
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Old 11-08-2008, 04:57 PM
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Clint and all,

Flew the Miglet this morning, and wow! Keeps you on your toes, but flies really well. I wouldn't recommend it w/out a computer radio for exponential and dual rate adjustment. Control rod attachments are at the outside for both the servo arm and control horn. Approx. 60% travel w/50% exponential for aileron; 100% w/30% exponential for Elevator. The most important thing is balance. I had to add approx. 1 oz. to the nose. I'll post pics later. At the above throws, rolls are very reasonable, and with 250+ watts (4400Kv 370S inrunner, stock fan) vertical performance is dazzling! Low throttle flying is quite good also, with no problems landing - minimal to no power. The really cool maneuver is extremely large loops (power required). I even rolled it upside down for a while, and recovered with power and down elevator - nice! The only down side is visual - it is difficult to see, and can get pretty far out really quick (got to respect the throttle on straight and level flight). Aileron response is much "quicker" than elevator, so be ready. As indicated earlier, this little bird (bat) keeps you on your toes, but is great fun to fly!!!

H2
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:37 PM
  #21  
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Congrats.. sounds like you had some good flights.

I placed the battery forward with rec/esc combo in the rear area of the pod. In this config with 900 MAH 3S the COG is 6.0" from leading edge of wing. (I wiggled things aft to move CG back .2" but handling got twitchy so I went back to original trim.)

My only surprise was how much up elevon was required to trim for level flight. Perhaps to compensate for weight or drag of pod on top of delta wing.


Clint
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:56 PM
  #22  
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I am going to attempt to get an exact measurement on the location of the CG. I think mine is around the 6" mark - certainly not further back than 6-1/8" from the LE at the fuselage wing root. Since I have added weight there, I may need to get a better (easier) reference point i.e. the front of the servo cut-out unless you have modified that on yours. Otherwise, perhaps the TE at the fuselage wing root. The only reason I mention this is that I suspect +/- 1/16" makes quite a difference in flight characteristics. I'm currently working on an "Ultimate" http://www.nitroplanes.com/pubrelulbiar.html - but I'll be getting the XPD-8 out of the truck to take a few pics. I'll photograph the control surfaces with the current trim settings.The magnet in the rear of the canopy came out prior to my first flight this morning - need to get a little CA or epoxy flowing here.

H2
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Old 11-09-2008, 02:51 AM
  #23  
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Attached are some photos of my XPD-8 showing the arrangement to support the 370S 4400Kv motor, 30A ESC, 1000-1300mAh 3S LiPo and JR6100E 2.4gHz receiver.

The balance on this plane is at 5-7/8" from the leading edge root at the fuselage or 14mm in front of the forward edge of the servo cut-out.

There are 2ea. of the bullet sinkers installed in the leading edge of the wing at the fuselage. I think these are 1/2 oz. but they may be 3/8 oz. They are 27mm x 9mm; CA'd in and filled w/Micro Fill.

I centered all controls and began with the bottom of the elevons even with the black/grey color line (which is actually an extended line from the top of the wing. This gave the thickness of the elevon "UP". From this point, I had to add a little more up and a little right aileron trim. I'm sure that the aileron trim will vary, but as Clint said, some "UP" elevon is required - this makes a standard "reflex" type airfoil (trailing edge reflexed up), common to many flying wings.

Let me know if there are any questions or comments.

H2
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Old 11-09-2008, 01:55 PM
  #24  
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Wow - That's tight!

Mine has lots of spare room in comparison with only a 900 MAH 3S and a combo REC/ESC unit I salvaged from a defective AB3.

Flew this morning for a few minutes but lost control and bounced into the ground when I took my eye off of the plane for a second to adjust trim. No major damage and am off in a few to fly it again.


Clint
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:14 PM
  #25  
Joe 1320
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Originally Posted by cbatters View Post
Not so bad. Welcome to the nose ring positioned slightly left club.

Clint
Oh man...... mine is slightly to the right. Can I join too?


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