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What is the secret to grass take off??

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What is the secret to grass take off??

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Old 10-18-2018, 12:37 AM
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Jarhead2005
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Default What is the secret to grass take off??

I've got a 48" flyzone Cub. It flies great and has quickly become my favorite aircraft to fly. However, for the life of me, I can't get it to even move in Grass. What's the secret?? I removed the wheel covers, and have put on slightly larger wheels thinking that might help. But no. It won't roll and at any throttle, the only thing it does is try to nose over. What am I doing wrong?
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Old 10-18-2018, 04:13 AM
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No pants, bigger, fatter wheels and shorter grass.

Failing that, in the words of the Tool Man, More Power!

I typically go with nothing less than 3 inch wheels for grass and preferably 3.5 or even 4 inches.

Last edited by Appowner; 10-18-2018 at 04:26 AM.
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Appowner View Post
No pants, bigger, fatter wheels and shorter grass.

Failing that, in the words of the Tool Man, More Power!

I typically go with nothing less than 3 inch wheels for grass and preferably 3.5 or even 4 inches.
Alright so I had the right idea by bigger tires, I just didn't go big enough right? I had these laying around and being they were about 3 times the width I had hoped they would work.
So basically I need much larger?
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:54 AM
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Are you holding up elevator to hold the tail down until rolling?
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by shleprock View Post
Are you holding up elevator to hold the tail down until rolling?
It won't even roll. Fill up elevator and it still just noses over before I can even get quarter throttle.
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:53 PM
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I would suspect that your landing gear may be set too far back. it's not out of the ordinary to have to place the gear a bit further forward than normal placement when the plane is used on a grass strip all the time. if you can, go to a asphalt run way or empty parking lot and try to taxi up to or near take off speed and see if the plane wants to nose over. if it still does, your gear is most likely too far back. if it does it on asphalt, it most definitely is set too far back for grass, or the plane is way nose heavy.
you might also check your balance. if fairly nose heavy, it will still fly decently but it will like to nose over on grass.
big wheels are a cure for grass and rough surfaces, but they aren't a cure for landing gear that is set too far back. the idea is to prove out the tendency to nose over by running on a hard smooth runway and then change to bigger wheels for grass, knowing the gear is in the right place..
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by r ward View Post
I would suspect that your landing gear may be set too far back. it's not out of the ordinary to have to place the gear a bit further forward than normal placement when the plane is used on a grass strip all the time. if you can, go to a asphalt run way or empty parking lot and try to taxi up to or near take off speed and see if the plane wants to nose over. if it still does, your gear is most likely too far back. if it does it on asphalt, it most definitely is set too far back for grass, or the plane is way nose heavy.
you might also check your balance. if fairly nose heavy, it will still fly decently but it will like to nose over on grass.
big wheels are a cure for grass and rough surfaces, but they aren't a cure for landing gear that is set too far back. the idea is to prove out the tendency to nose over by running on a hard smooth runway and then change to bigger wheels for grass, knowing the gear is in the right place..
Thank you for that knowledge as I really didn't know that.
However, I've already got near 100 flights on it from asphalt with zero issues of wanting to nose over. I barely have to give it any up elevator for that matter when taking off. It flies wonderfully and very level without any imput from the tx. I'm just wanting to expand where I can fly from.
Side note, how short should the grass be?
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:45 PM
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most runways are cut pretty short, for obvious reasons. it might just be that the turf you're flying off of is rough. I know I can't roll very good in my own yard, even with 3 inch wheels. don't forget that plane for a grass strip should have it's gear a bit more forward than a plane for a hard strip..... it's pretty hard to get around that. as I said, big wheels alone will help, but won't necessarily cure the problem by themselves, if the gear isn't forward enough. I usually build with some adjustment in gear placement for this reason. whatever you do, don't compromise the balance to keep the nose off the ground. get the balance right and move the gear. I've had planes where I had to move the gear forward and then patch the hole left where the gear used to be by making a filler. not the greatest looking, but it's better than not being able to roll out decently the trick is to move the gear only just enough to kill the urge to nose over. I've also seen plenty planes climb out from a tail down attitude because they wanted to nose over for any of the various reasons they do. with tail draggers, that's all part of learning how to take off.
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Old 10-18-2018, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by r ward View Post
most runways are cut pretty short, for obvious reasons. it might just be that the turf you're flying off of is rough. I know I can't roll very good in my own yard, even with 3 inch wheels. don't forget that plane for a grass strip should have it's gear a bit more forward than a plane for a hard strip..... it's pretty hard to get around that. as I said, big wheels alone will help, but won't necessarily cure the problem by themselves, if the gear isn't forward enough. I usually build with some adjustment in gear placement for this reason. whatever you do, don't compromise the balance to keep the nose off the ground. get the balance right and move the gear. I've had planes where I had to move the gear forward and then patch the hole left where the gear used to be by making a filler. not the greatest looking, but it's better than not being able to roll out decently the trick is to move the gear only just enough to kill the urge to nose over. I've also seen plenty planes climb out from a tail down attitude because they wanted to nose over for any of the various reasons they do. with tail draggers, that's all part of learning how to take off.
Unfortunately, I can't build right now as I've been living in an apartment, so the planes I have are all foamies. I know how some people feel about them, and I used to feel the same way. That said, electric foamies have given me the ability to easily get back into flying. Point is, moving the gear isn't really an option. It could be, but would add allot of weight with cutting foam and adding glue. I'm gonna try larger tires. If that don't work then shorter grass. I've just been going to the park and was hoping that I could fly from the grass there instead of the road. However, if I'm stuck to the road, so be it. I still love flying this cub.
I've got a slightly larger wingspan c47 I've been itching to take up but haven't yet. Haven't gotten the courage to try lol almost there. As soon as I can move into a house where I have room to build, I'm gonna!
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarhead2005 View Post
Thank you for that knowledge as I really didn't know that.
However, I've already got near 100 flights on it from asphalt with zero issues of wanting to nose over. I barely have to give it any up elevator for that matter when taking off. It flies wonderfully and very level without any imput from the tx. I'm just wanting to expand where I can fly from.
Side note, how short should the grass be?
Think Golf Green. That's ideal except for the hole they put there. And those little balls. And the golfers. And the gofers.

Another thought is the texture of it all. Is the grass clumped? Is the ground itself smooth? Things like that. Clumps act like wheel chocks. Bumpy ground, even small bumps can make for a rough start.

And Ditto on the location of the gear. I was assuming the model was built according to plans in which case, grass should have been taken into consideration. But maybe not.

While I think of it, I have a little scratch built Champ I use to fly from grass. Actually it handled grass pretty well. I'll have to check the wheel size on it but I know it's smaller than 3 inches. Tail wheel is free castoring and ground handling is great on it.

Last edited by Appowner; 10-19-2018 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:22 AM
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i'll bet most ARF's are built to be flown from tarmac. the reason is that the smaller wheels look better on the plane (more scale looking), are most probably less expensive to purchase in bulk for the manufacturer and are lighter than an appropriately sized wheel for grass. branders don't care about whether the plane is flown off of grass or tarmac, they are going to have the plane built to customer appeal and the more commonly known the plane is the more important that is to the brander. take off is also always easier on tarmac, so it is easily justified for the brander to strongly suggest flying off a hard runway and that justifies and supports the choice of smaller wheels and the placement of landing gear. win-win for the brander as usual.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:18 AM
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All valid points that I have failed to consider lol
my thing is, I've looked this plane up on YouTube and have seen others fly it from grass. Now I couldn't tell what wheels they had other than they did take the wheel pants off, nor could I tell what the grass looked like.
Not to mention seeing tons of other planes land and take off from grass, both electric and nitro planes. I just assumed I was doing something wrong.
If I am stuck to asphalt, that's fine so be it. The plane flies wonderfully and I don't wanna do any major modification that would change that.
Thank you all for your help!
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarhead2005 View Post
All valid points that I have failed to consider lol
my thing is, I've looked this plane up on YouTube and have seen others fly it from grass. Now I couldn't tell what wheels they had other than they did take the wheel pants off, nor could I tell what the grass looked like.
Not to mention seeing tons of other planes land and take off from grass, both electric and nitro planes. I just assumed I was doing something wrong.
If I am stuck to asphalt, that's fine so be it. The plane flies wonderfully and I don't wanna do any major modification that would change that.
Thank you all for your help!
Well good luck to you. And maybe all you need to do is try a different patch of grass. Or try it right after the mowers have hit it.
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:01 PM
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I looked up the specs on that plane. If I am looking at the right airplane the original wheels are 1.6. A bit small for grass. I fly off of grass, I cut at 2.5 and use 3.5 wheel. I hold up elevator and power up to get it moving. Increase power and lower elevator as it speeds up to flying speed.

The spec sheet says it may nose over if grass is too tall. They then recommend hand launch. Just keep trying and see if you can get to take off. But you may need larger wheels and shorter grass.
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ETpilot View Post
I looked up the specs on that plane. If I am looking at the right airplane the original wheels are 1.6. A bit small for grass. I fly off of grass, I cut at 2.5 and use 3.5 wheel. I hold up elevator and power up to get it moving. Increase power and lower elevator as it speeds up to flying speed.

The spec sheet says it may nose over if grass is too tall. They then recommend hand launch. Just keep trying and see if you can get to take off. But you may need larger wheels and shorter grass.
Yes the wheels that came on it were really narrow too. I had a spare set of 2" wheels that were about half an inch wide vs the barely 1/4" that came on it. That's the first thing I did was take the wheel pants off and put on larger wheels. I'm just thinking that they aren't large enough.
I also have an idea to take some of that black think plastic people use in their flower beds, and seem it together for about 100' x 12' section and use tent spikes and make me a mobile runway with it. That way I can easily roll it out wherever fly then roll it back up.
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Old 10-20-2018, 04:00 AM
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Here is a video I found long ago. Similar to what you have in mind, it may help. Looks like he uses a 36 carpet runner that is sold by the foot. Good luck.

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Old 10-20-2018, 06:08 AM
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one of the best things you can do is to plant more grass on your runway. throw some seed down every fall and let it get nice and thick. then cut it fairly short in the spring and keep it that way all summer. the strip will get smooth and firm in just a couple years time and you'll have a great runway.
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