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  1. #151
    IronCross's Avatar
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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    Look nice Jim.. I don't understand the trouble with getting them to stay put though ?.. I leave mine bolted to the fusalage and just swing them back and tie them down at the end of the day.. The other end I have small ball joints on and they just snap on and off... No problems yet
    Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened

  2. #152

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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    Jim and all,
    Great looking plane.The photo looks like the real deal!Got the dolphin back together after tearing the landing gear out.Flew it today and it's sweet. Have the wing halfs together on the Decathlon and ready to finish.Thanks to everyone for the great input. Steve

  3. #153

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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    Today was a beautiful day for flying. Ben got a good bit of air time on his. He still amazes me at how far along he has come in such a short time. I don't know where he gets it from . It sure ain't Dad. He's still struggles with his trainer. But I bet he has just as much fun.

  4. #154

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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    Well I flew my SD for the first time on Wednesday; it only went up, gave it trim and land it. The plane is very touchy on the ruder, so I had to be very gentle with it. I was very nervous because the weather has been very bad here in south Florida (wind, rain and gusts of 20-25 mph). I did the maiden flight after 2 hours of waiting for a break on the weather. The next day, Thursday, the weather did not changed so again I waited for some milder winds 10-15 mph and took off, it flew very nicely; I did a few low passes and land it. So far between both days I have put about 3 minutes of air time. Friday came and of course I went out again, this time took off and flew for about 4-5 minutes, the weather turned ugly again and had to land with some mild rain. My anxiety for flight is increasing exponentially, so I watched very carefully the weather report which announced a sunny day, well not in my area, again wind, rain and gusts that would scare the best of pilots.

  5. #155

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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    I gave the plane to Eddy, one of the most experienced pilots at the field to fly it for me; he gave it all the plane could handle, from a simple inverted flight to a sustained knife edge and then a nicely executed hover. Even though the plane is not built to perform these maneuvers, or so I was told, it did them with out much problems. The plane was balanced a little nose heavy so I need to add some lead to the tail, about an once or so. I will try to go fly tomorrow and see what happens. I am frustrated with the weather, and since I am not so experienced I rather play it safe and wait for breaks on the weather.

  6. #156

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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    My set up is as follows
    OS .50SX , about ΒΌ inch from the tip of the mount
    12X6 Master Airscrew propeller
    Stuck muffler
    Hitec eclipse 7 radio
    6V, 5 AA 2000mah RX battery, just behind the servos
    Rubber wheels (stock foam wheels were out of balance)
    And one once lead on the tail

    I will tell more about flight characteristics and such as soon as I can get some flight time, what I can say is that landings and take offs are very tricky and ruder must be used carefully. So far a very nice plane, I am sure it will teach me a lot. (Not for beginners).

  7. #157
    Primodus's Avatar
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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    Anyone have a spare axle for this bird? I had one strip out.
    I fly all my planes like I am mad at them, so if I crash I can\'t be anything but happy.

  8. #158

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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    Was it hanger rash or at home maintaince or is there a strory to be told?????????

  9. #159
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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    I over-tightened it when I was replacing the wheel pants.
    I fly all my planes like I am mad at them, so if I crash I can\'t be anything but happy.

  10. #160

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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    Well I have put at lest 5 tanks trough my decathlon and I like it more with every flight. I am building up my confidence and I started to flight it inverted and performed some basic maneuvers. The take offs still get me, and some times I loop on the runway, but I am getting much better at it.

    One thing that I am having trouble with is performing loops, It starts very nicely but as soon as the plane is in the inverted 12 o’clock position it dives downward rather than finishing the loop, I think is me, but then again I can do loops all day long with my friends P-51 and Guiles 202.

    So far the structure of the plane is rock solid and the only thing that has come loose is the wing struts. I have the hardware to put the ball cups but I will do that later on. I flew it without the cowl all this time but I will put it on for my next flight, I have the engine nicely tuned so its time to give it the nice looks it deservers.

    I will try to post some pictures before my next flight in two weeks or so.
    Any recommendations on cowl trimming? Are the 3 holes in the front enough ventilation? Should I block one hole to route the air flow to the head?
    Suggestions are welcomed. Right now I only have one small opening for the igniter, and the cowl fits without any cutting for the engine head, but I don’t want to be dealing with dead sticks.

  11. #161

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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    Sarge on my son's we run a Thunder Tiger .46 with an APC 12/5 and have had no heat issues yet. The only holes in it are for the glow starter and the needle valve other than the stock holes.

  12. #162
    john neilson's Avatar
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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    Well, time for me to jump in. About done with my Phx and checking balance which seems to be nose heavy like others reported here. I started by mounting an OS52 4cly as far back on std mount as possible. Battery in back of servos and still seems to want tail weight. Manual states CG at 100mm from leading edge. That is 3.973" and they say a 10mm margin or 4.1". This seems a little far back than norm. My question is where did you guys find the CofG? Thanks!


    JOHN

  13. #163
    IronCross's Avatar
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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    Hey John
    We are talking Pheonix right ?..
    If so I did my first one at 4 inches and found it very tailheavy in flight.. Looked kind of like a porpoise in flight . I changed the CG to 3 1/2 which seemd to be a much better starting point on both of mine...
    With both of mine (Saito .56 and Saito .72) I had to mount the battery about 2/3 of the way back in the fusalage to come out right.. To balance I finish the plane up minus the battery, put the plane on my CG stand then slide the battery pack down the fusalage until the balance is where I want it.. Then cut the bottom of the fusalage open at that point and mount the pack ..
    I am waiting anxiously for your flight report .. I think this one flys a lot better...
    I also added some differential to the ailerons on mine... Helps a lot doing those slow speed turns
    Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened

  14. #164

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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    Well I have decided to go fly tomorrow afternoon if the weather permits. I will leave the cowl with the 3 holes in the front the way Abell has it. In the past I have not been too successful with the cowl and keeping the engines running smooth…should I richen the engine before my first flight or should I leave it as is? Does any one know the operating temperature for an os .50sx?

    John- mine balanced right at the spar, where the wood ends from the leading edge on the top of the wing. I am not sure of the distance as I have not measured it. I have found that balancing is mostly pilot preference, I balance mine depending how it flies upside down. if when upside down tends to go downward it is nose heavy, if it goes up it is tail heavy, I like it a little nose heavy this way is some what easier to land.

    IronCross idea is very good, although it requires cutting the cover it allows for no added weight which it is a big plus.

    Also, has anyone installed a gyro on the ruder to help on the take off? it should also help in the turs, just like differential mixing. I have not tried this but I am thinking of giving it a shot since I have a few laying around from my helicopters.

  15. #165
    IronCross's Avatar
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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    Hey Sargento
    Looking forward to the flight report... I usually leave the cowl off mine also for the first few flights.. If you have to change the thrust angles etc it's nice to do so before bolting the cowl down
    I use a lheadlock gyro on mine so I have to turn it off befor I attempt a turn or it will fight me all the way ... I put differential in the ailerons... I set the endpoint on channel one 75/100 and channel 6 100/75... Then set the dual rates to set the throws... Turns real nice now with no rudder required...
    I agree CG is a matter of preferance... 4 inches back as recommended by Pheonix is very difficult to fly.. The elevator is way to sensitive.. As above I went 3 1/2 back which works very well.. Then add a little nose or tail lead for that final touch.. I prefer mine a little tail heavy.. I like to come in flat with a couple clicks and land on the mains... Inverted I like to have to hold a touch of down so I don't forget which up I am using
    Looking forward to the flight report and pictures
    Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened

  16. #166

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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    IronCross, I will assume you set the gyro gain to a channel controlled by a switch to do the on/off. Which gyro do you use and what settings do you have on the gain? I have a 401 headlock but I was thinking of installing a GWS PG03, this do not have a remote gain so i don't think I could turn it on/off it will always be on. Maybe a low setting gain 30%-50% will allow impute control while holding when no impute is given.
    I will not try this tomorrow as I am dealing with the cowl, baby steps.. baby steps...

  17. #167
    IronCross's Avatar
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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    I am using the Futaba GYA 240 I think it is.... I have the gain set per the instructions .. I would have to take the plane apart to get to it and check for sure as it is way down in there under a false floor... I have it on channel 5 right now a two position switch which is set to give me off and headlock... Originaly I had it on a three position switch which gave me normal mode. headlock and off... I found the headlock mode worked the best and a three position switch is hard to keep track of so I went to the landing gear switch with just off and headlock... With head lock on I cannot use the rudder stick... It really messes up the headlock etc... I really enjoy seeing it go straight down the full length of the runway and gently lift off...
    Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened

  18. #168

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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    Well I went to fly today and with all the excitement I left the cowl at home [], the whole purpose of today's flight was to test the plane with the cowl... oh well. the weather was very hot must had been on or near 100 *F and the engine quite on me after 3 minutes or so of flight, I richen the top and lean the los a few degrees and the problem was fixed. I think my low was a little rich to begin with.

    The plane flew very well, actually better than any other time, I was very relaxed and performed Cuban 8, loops and inverted flight very cleanly, I noticed that the loop have to be flown to look good, just give a little down elevator while inverted at 12 o’clock and then continue the normal motion to finish the loop.

    I am more and more in love with the plane; it is teaching me how to flight!! I though I knew... Definitely the Decathlon is a very good school to sharpen your skills..

  19. #169

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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    Ok guys I'm putting mine together. Trying to mount a magnum 61. The book says the thrust washer should be 4 1/8" from the firewall. I assume without the prop pushing the washer out? With the washer all the way in with no prop and the 61 as far back as possible it's 4 3/8s".

    Mine didn't come the the metal plates and machine scews/nuts they refer to in the book. Also my mount is a blue plastic one not the metal one pictured. Anyone else run into this?

    Thanks Jason

  20. #170
    john neilson's Avatar
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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    Jason,

    I'm pleased you posted about the engine mounting. I too was missing the metal plates, screws, and assumed I had misplaced them or thrown them out in error. I used 6/32nd bolts and lock nuts w/ washers which fit my OS52. I then cut back the underside arms of the mount to get the 4 1/8th, drilled the mount to match, allowing the lock nuts to fit flush. The OS is a rear carb and it is right next to the motor mount. I did this to move the weight as far back because many here said it was nose heavy. Mine appeared to be and was! The battery is mounted toward the rear about 5-6 ". Made a tray that slides in and velcroed the pack with a velcro strap around the tray holding it down. This way I was able to move it to get the right balance and then epoxied down to the rails I put in. No cutting of the covering and came out good. Other issues going on so I haven't flown it yet ( IC ) but will post when I do ! It has a DX7 radio and one of those no tell GYROS. Be careful !

    JOHN

    PS: There was a question about the CG which they stated as 100mm from leading edge. Hard to measure with the wing on but I noticed a vertical pencil line on the inside, right side of fuse. It is right on and I would assume they put it there to assit us. But, I did not see it in the instructions. I'll now forgive them for no engine plates[>:]

  21. #171
    IronCross's Avatar
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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    The thrust washer they are refering to is the one that is on the engine and the back of the prop backs up to... Not the one that goes on the front of the prop.. The idead here is to get the engine positioned so the prop will clear the cowl... I didn't even measure mine... With the 4 strokes I just mounted the engine as far back as practical and bolted it down... No big deal .. You can move the cowl in and out quite a bit to postion it on the engine.. Set upi emgine on the mounts and then slide the cowl over it and into postion to make sure it goes far enough back to mound on the plane if you are concerned... If the cowl wont go over the engine hold it alongside the engine and eyball it... These are not critical measurements..
    As for the blue mounts, I have two of the SDC's and they both came with the blue plastic mounts... I prefer them to the metal ones for a lot of reasons I won't go into now..
    It is a solid build and a great flyer..
    Enjoy
    Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened

  22. #172
    john neilson's Avatar
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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    IC...I beat your reply by less than one minute! Just sitting here when Jason posted. I think we both covered his question quite well.

    Hope all is well...

    JOHN

  23. #173

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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    I just took a straight edge to it and looks like the 4 3/8s is as close as I can get measuring from firewall to the inside washer. I really can't take any off of the mount because it's the screw in the mount that will hit a screw on the carb on my 61 magnum. I'm not worried about the cowl fitting just trying to keep the weight toward the rear.

    So I guess I'll be the only one trying to fly this thing with no gyro? Is the decathlon the only tail dragger with this ground handling problem? I'm looking to add a monocoupe and taylorcraft to my collection wonder if they will be the same?

  24. #174

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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    Another thing... When you guys put the servos in the wing did you have to extend the wires or just hook a y harness to them? My new Jr servo wires will not come out far enough to tape back as shown in the book. I can get 3" extenders at my lhs.

  25. #175
    john neilson's Avatar
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    RE: phoenix decathlon

    I was just able to get them out far enough to attach a Y harness, JR as well. I used servo connector lock boxes after tapeing them so Im safe but they do not match the picture. If you get extensions you might see if they have the connector lock boxes, if not, tape them or heat shrink them together. I had to grind the head down on one motor mount screw to clear the carb. My fault for poor measuring.

    As for the gyro thing, some say it is needed and others say it is either lack of skill's or you shouldn't be flying a Dec. Very arbitrary issue for which there is more input on the Seagull Dec thread. I have made a stand there and have said enough. If you can afford one, do it !

    Most scale type taildraggers are sensitive to rudder input and you be the judge. Full size requires a special license certification and the question is not will it ground loop but, when will it... GOOD LUCK!

    JOHN


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