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Hand launch or Rolling Take off?

Old 07-29-2009, 11:25 PM
  #1  
eric.huntley
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Default Hand launch or Rolling Take off?

I've heard more than once that beginners should hand launch their planes, instead of performing a rolling take off. Any opinions on this?

I'm a beginner, and have only one flight so far. It was hand launched, but I would like to try a real rolling take off sometime soon.
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:31 PM
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skiman762
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If the hand launch went well stick with it for now get some time and then try the ground take off.
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:33 PM
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Yes and no. Less skill is needed sometimes for hand launch. However the distance to the ground is about 5 feet +/- a little, and the distance from the ground to the ground is zero feet. Back in the day of heavier planes a nose-in from hand launch was more than enough to destroy a plane.
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:33 PM
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Ive never done a rolling take off due to the fact i have no wheels. I would have thought lots of runway so you can trim up as you build speed slowly, rather than launch , splat! Not trimmed up right. It's what i would do. Prob going to buy a supercub and use an airfield that belongs to a farmer i know.
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:36 PM
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Octavius
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Originally Posted by Danelaw View Post
Ive never done a rolling take off due to the fact i have no wheels.
At one time in my life I thought no wheels meant no ground take off. I've seen several forum members prove that wrong.
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:43 AM
  #6  
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I've only ever ROG. Granted I started with .40 glow trainer, so you can't really hand launch that. But even with my SS and other park flyers, I've always ROG. And when I've been teaching my g/f to fly, I've always ROG.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Something with ROG is that the torque of the motor can cause it to not go straight, if you don't have a steerable tailwheel, or aren't quick with the rudder, it can be startling. Just something to keep in mind. But most plans ROG so quickly that its not a big issue.
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Old 07-30-2009, 01:09 AM
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eric.huntley
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Originally Posted by blueapplepaste View Post
I've only ever ROG. Granted I started with .40 glow trainer, so you can't really hand launch that. But even with my SS and other park flyers, I've always ROG. And when I've been teaching my g/f to fly, I've always ROG.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Something with ROG is that the torque of the motor can cause it to not go straight, if you don't have a steerable tailwheel, or aren't quick with the rudder, it can be startling. Just something to keep in mind. But most plans ROG so quickly that its not a big issue.
It's nice to hear that it is atleast possible. The SC does have a steerable tailwheel, so that shouldn't be an issue. Perhaps I'll try a ROG with my next flight.
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Old 07-30-2009, 01:18 AM
  #8  
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I remember my first rolling takeoff,I didnt have enough speed so as soon as the plane got airborne it stalled & crashed.Now its always full throttle on takeoff

Its kinda weired because you wouldnt think a hand launch would generate that much speed
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Old 07-30-2009, 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolling Thunder View Post
I remember my first rolling takeoff,I didnt have enough speed so as soon as the plane got airborne it stalled & crashed.Now its always full throttle on takeoff

Its kinda weired because you wouldnt think a hand launch would generate that much speed
Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely have to remind myself. Full speed ahead!
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Old 07-30-2009, 01:34 AM
  #10  
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Hand launching scared the heck out of me when I was learning to fly and I still don't like it, but like it's been said, it works for some people. The way I see it, with a rolling take off, the plane is accelerating at a fairly constant and predictable rate. If you don't like what's going on, you can stop at any time, and even if you go off the side of the runway, what's the worst that can happen, you hit a weed? If you hand launch, you're stuck with what you get, it's either going to go or hit the ground. Also depends on what you're flying. Some planes can be a real handful on the ground until they get some air over the rudder. Pretty much comes back to what what works for you.
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Old 07-30-2009, 01:43 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Rolling Thunder View Post
Now its always full throttle on takeoff
This is good advice, but I'd also add that I think it also helps if you gradually add throttle, and not just jam it. With some planes if you just jam it the torque of the motor can really make it become squirrelly on the ground, but by doing a gradual throttle increase is much more manageable.

And by gradual I mean just a nice smooth increase, don't take 5 min or anything.

And for the OP, something else is that since you do have a steerable tailwheel, you could/should try taxiing it around a little bit to get a feel for it. Then maybe do some 1/4 throttle and 1/2 throttle runs (w/o taking off!) down your runway or parking lot or grass or whatever you take off from to get a feel for it.

With something like a SC, it will probably almost fly itself off the ground, maybe just a touch of up elevator. Just make sure you use the slightest elevator, you don't want to yank it off the ground into a stall.
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Old 07-30-2009, 01:50 AM
  #12  
C140
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Originally Posted by blueapplepaste View Post
Just make sure you use the slightest elevator, you don't want to yank it off the ground into a stall.
When teaching my father to fly, I found he had an incessant urge to pull up when things got squirrelly. This usually gets you just high enough to break something.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:04 AM
  #13  
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do some taxing with the cub you will notice that it will want to go to the left as more throttle is applied. Give it a little right input and don't jam full throttle build up speed and gently squeze back on the up. First time I went to ROG full throttle hard left and sharp circle. Read on thread here to take it easy do alittle taxing to get used to rog. This practice paid off. It's amazing even for a SC how fast it seem's on the ground and how quick you can get yourself in trouble. I enjoy rog's now, taught me also it's okay to abort a take off if it's going bad. Cheaper to abort than to repair. Have fun.
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:18 AM
  #14  
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...

Last edited by Louis; 08-22-2009 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 07-30-2009, 04:04 AM
  #15  
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Definitely practice both HL and ROG, at some point in time you might want to get a plane that cannot be HL like a balsa war-bird or similar.

If you are flying the HZSC ROG can be challenging if your gear has been bent out of alignment, I used to give it a little toe-in and that seemed to help it track better. If you are having problems with it suddenly turn in one direction try applying the power slower.

Octavius: I ROG my EZ* which is wheel-less. I have skinned the bottom of the fuselage with plastic from a 1 gallon water jug and it slides like its on ice.
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Old 07-30-2009, 04:08 AM
  #16  
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[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWkBOxVpd8s[/media]
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:31 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Louis View Post
If you are going to do the hand launch, then I strongly encourage you to launch with your left hand.
100% agree.


I'm 100% left handed.
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:35 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by blueapplepaste View Post
This is good advice, but I'd also add that I think it also helps if you gradually add throttle, and not just jam it. With some planes if you just jam it the torque of the motor can really make it become squirrelly on the ground, but by doing a gradual throttle increase is much more manageable.

And by gradual I mean just a nice smooth increase, don't take 5 min or anything.

And for the OP, something else is that since you do have a steerable tailwheel, you could/should try taxiing it around a little bit to get a feel for it. Then maybe do some 1/4 throttle and 1/2 throttle runs (w/o taking off!) down your runway or parking lot or grass or whatever you take off from to get a feel for it.

With something like a SC, it will probably almost fly itself off the ground, maybe just a touch of up elevator. Just make sure you use the slightest elevator, you don't want to yank it off the ground into a stall.
Oh man, excellent advise!! Yes I have always prefered the ROG myself, it just aint right otherwise. But then Im a scale flight freak so that goes with it.
But this advise folks is what its all about. And it brings out what I love about the ROG tak off, you are nearly never committed to taking off. And this makes it rehersable over and over till ya got it right, and you'll know when its right cause she wont really need any coaxing to lift off. Some planes wont need any, others may need just a nudge.
You'll find that the left turning tendecy lessens quickly as the plane speeds up and the aerodynamic forces on the airframe take over. The main thing being the tail feathers. So you give lots of right rudder to start the roll, and then smoothly relax it back to neutral as the plane speeds up. At the point the tail comes up, there should be no rudder input by that time if not right before. And if it sways hard to one side then the other abort, it aint right yet. Gonna ground loop if keep on. get her back to TO position and start over. She shouldnt be allowed to swing more than in inch or so to one side or the other.
Now as for taxiing.
Now here's what an old friend and pilot told me once, "Remember, a taildragger always wants to become a trike." So, It'll always try to bring its tailwheel around to the front so constant dilligence is nessicary from the pilot to keep the tailwheel back there. Watch a full scale taildragger taxiing, and pay attention to the rudder movements and notice how the pilot is working it constantly to keep it tracking straight. And also you'll see them actually zig zaging down the taxiway. But thats on purpose in order to be able to see where they are going and stay on the taxiway as you cant see forward going straight.
Last words:
Practice, practice, practice...................
Ok, one more............"Finnesse"
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:26 AM
  #19  
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i guess its personal preference.
i find that a ordinary takeoff is easier than hand launch, and i always did ordinary takeoffs from flight 1.
i learned to fly on a nitro powered low wing trainer, and for those, hand launchs is rarely performed.
it was only when i started with edf that i started with hand launch takeoffs.
i did then, and do still today, find them tricky.
i hate to just throw the airplane into the air without having both hands on the stick.
i think it feels a bit out of control, even though i have doen it many times now, and it usually goes well.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:36 AM
  #20  
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I prefer taking off from the ground. But it depends a lot on the plane and perhaps even more, the surface you have available. Small planes with small wheels on grass can be a real problem. On solid surfaces they're much better.

My logic is always that with a hand launch you have the plane suddenly 5 or 6 feet in the air and not really flying yet. You're just hoping it will work out how to fly sometime before it hits the ground. At least on a takeoff the plane stays on the ground until it's ready to fly .

Steve
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Old 07-30-2009, 01:31 PM
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I have always hand launched. One time my Trojan arced right into the ground, like half an M. Broke it into pieces. Since then I have been using this tip, it works well if you have a DX6i or other programmable receiver.

Rolling take-offs are easier I think.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJiuYOblZFs[/media]
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:30 PM
  #22  
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Man I tell ya there's nothing more cool than the dust cloud that kicks up when I take off from this dirt running track on a field near where I live.
It just looks so neat, and ya wont ever see that hand launching it.
My Christen Eagle does it the best, it's got quite a big blast coming off its 10in prop, and its also low to the ground to begin with.

And another thing I cant ever see doing a maiden flight by throwing the plane. I want as few things to go wrong on a maiden as possible. And belive me there's a lot to go wrong throwing a plane. Heh, I've even seen a guy trip and fall doing this, and then to finish his plane off he fell onto it crushing it after it plowed in.
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:33 PM
  #23  
Octavius
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Originally Posted by Nitro Blast View Post
100% agree.


I'm 100% left handed.
I'm sure you guys do left handed because you have control the whole time, but for myself I can't move the control much when holding the xmitter with one hand so it doesn't matter. Are you guys using neck straps?
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:44 PM
  #24  
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It's not a very good example, but I like the video, so...

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSw8c1FM84g&feature=fvw[/media]

You can see on the take off at 2:10 that he's holding right rudder from the time he starts rolling, but he slowly lets it out as the tail starts working, then neutralizes it as he gets in the air. That's Cessna 140 knife edge there at 2:45 BTW
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:17 PM
  #25  
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When hand launching a neck strap is a very good idea.

I saw a guy do this and read about others seeing similar launches.
The guy held the plane and threw the transmitter.
It's not that uncommon.

Also keeps you from knocking the transmitter out of your hand when you grab with your launching hand.

I prefer taking off from the ground, whenever the terrain permits it.
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