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JohnBuckner 10-06-2011 09:34 PM

A 4H controlline trainer
1 Attachment(s)
Last week end one of the fellows daughter about 12 I think got a shot at it during the during the Ringmaster flyathon and apparently she got totally excited about it and turning it into her 4H project.

She is heavily involed in 4H for some years and apparently this kind of project and 4H presentation does fit under some sort of aerospace catagory.

Anyway Her pop (one of my past RC students) asked me to put together a trainer for her that would fly very slowly and strictly an around the pole type that could be flown on sixty foot lines.

The plan is to use a Magnum .15 RC engine that he has and the deal is I would bash an airplane for that mission and here it is just finished it tonight.

The fuse is a left over Quickee pylon ship and the wing is an unknown small sport aerobat for RC of some short. Had to do this thing quickly and the bash has taken about four days.

I provided a line slider to make the ship practical for the long lines in the common breezes and it is quickly adjustable with one wing nut for those calm mornings. Out thrust and fin rake are also employed.

One interesting experiment are the old ailerons which I choose leave intact and provide dead ended rods and clevis and in this way not only can the roll be trimed but more importantly with this full camber control lift can be increased to slow down the flight or chamber can be reduced to increase flight speed a little'

Ready to go minus the engine prop and engine mount she weights 19 ounces Wing span is 42 inchs and wing area is 378 square inchs.


skylark-flier 10-07-2011 03:47 AM

RE: A 4H controlline trainer
John, your "bash" looks great! I especially like the idea of the ailerons still being adjustable, neat idea. Being that the plane has a rather long tail-end, it should make a GREAT CL trainer.

I asked my granddaughter about the 4H aeronautics thing and she told me there's a whole program there, aimed primarily at stuff like crop-dusting but apparently there's no "top end" and the kids can go pretty much as far as they want into it. I like that!

Should any of the kids decide they want to go further into this and actually try building/learning what it's all about, I might suggest the SIGAkrobat - another great CL plane in the .15 engine range. I taught my daughter to fly CL on one of these and she had no troubles at all. Once she was comfy with the control rod all the way down at the bottom of the elevator horn I started moving it in - she now flies CL as well as I do (maybe better - she doesn't have to pay for repairs, I do) and has moved in on my Skylarks & Shark-45.

mikeainia 10-07-2011 04:11 AM

RE: A 4H controlline trainer
Great job on the trainer be sure that you don't end up tail-heavy. Our experience is that RC planes are usually much more tail-heavy than c/l'ers and that converting them takes care to make sure that they are flyable. Even more so, since this is a trainer and your plan is to use a pretty light-weight engine. As a starting point, I would make sure that you balance no more than 10% or so (of the chord) and even as far forward as the leading edge.

Good luck to the young lady - let us know how it works out.

JohnBuckner 10-07-2011 04:58 AM

RE: A 4H controlline trainer
Good to hear of your success with your daughter Skylark. This young lady was a surprise I have been mentoring her father through many RC venuues and only recently controlline and out of the blue asked to try controlline after witnessing it at our little Ringmaster flyathon contribution. The real surprise is she has not interest in RC but very much so controlline.

On this little trainer CG is not a problem. During the bash since I did not have the final engine and hardware I substituted a TT .15 RC engine and prop I did have on hand along with the engine mount and the type tank to used and utilised these as tare weights to finalise the wing position which is not where the original 500 sq inch quickee wing was located. This wing is approxmatly one inch back from the position used in the quickee and I choose to position it at 15% MAC whereas most of them were at around 28%

Thanks Mike and Skylark


JohnBuckner 10-09-2011 08:18 PM

RE: A 4H controlline trainer
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The 4H Trainer got its maiden this evening after sunset just two flights but they went great. Sorry no pictures this time.

This pic is at the field several days ago when I gave it to the Dad to hang the engine. Anyway the Dad called me about several hours ago shortly before dark to tell me he was gonna run the engine and when that went good he conned me into making a late run to the field and test the ship.

Arriving at the field the sun was very low and the breezes were around four miles per hour. These conditions sure would be a litmus test to see if this little ship could with that lowly 15RC engine could stay out there on those long sixty foot lines. I made the decision to adjust the line slider to the full rake position.

This proved to work out well and its a sweet little ship that flys quite slow but still stays out there on the unusually long lines for a fifteen. It was a pleasent first flight that I thoroughly enjoyed. My take off we delayed to just as the set was fully set to and we had just enough time for the dad to have a go since he is the one who will be mentoring the young lady.

The chamber controll wing was set at neutral with the symetrical airfoil and no changes were made but it will be interesting to explore a bit.

The daughter was extremely excited when she received the the airplane several days ago and has been researching modeling extensively for her presentations. She was not at this maiden flight since she was ill tonight. But I think its gonna be a great day at the official maiden and her first flights.

There will be more to come on this one;)


gcb 10-12-2011 11:22 AM

RE: A 4H controlline trainer
John, You keep mentioning those 60' lines, the diameter (weight) is just as important as the length. I usually fly .15's on 52'x.012 lines. If those 60 footers are .015, you might be pushing it.

Good luck with it...nice ship.


JohnBuckner 10-12-2011 12:31 PM

RE: A 4H controlline trainer
yup The lines are 60 footer by .018 and nope that is the setup I intended and the purpose was the longest lines to slow the pilots rotation as much as practical. It worked perfectly on the test flight in slightly breezy conditions and flew exactly as intended. Keep in mind This is not an aerobat it is strickly a primary around the pole trainer that will pull the long lines. Although it could be flown as an aerobat (OK stunter if you will) that way on shorter lines and perhaps some tweeks but that is not its mission.

There is a group of more 4H folks coming very interested in this I may have to go find my old jig for this fuse.

There are many things about this project that goes aginst the traditional wisdom: Use of a clunk type tank, the use of an old RC engine and not a controlline engine, The long lines for slow rotation, The full span reflex control and an effective well set up instantly adjustable line slider.

None of these things is normally avalible to the beginer but all of them can make the transition easier with the right mentoring.

Traditionally new folks are alway led in to the 1/2A which Of course must use much shorter lines, well sorry but I think (perhaps a little outside the box) that new folks would respond so much better if using full length lines on an appropriate airplane.

Just some thoughts


Clancy Arnold 11-10-2011 06:29 PM

RE: A 4H controlline trainer
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I have a good Control Line trainer. It is a Ringmaster Trainer designed by Pat King. It has the outline of a Ringmaster but the Wing and Tail are held on with rubber bands like a Free Flight model. It is powered by a Blue Bird 25. Lap tiles have been flown from 6 to 12 seconds per lap.

Mine has one of my U/Tronics Control single channel units and this allows the flight speed to be adjusted in flight and if the student pilot is having a problem they can shut the engine down. It is fun to do several Touch and Gos during a flight.

JohnBuckner 11-16-2011 02:29 PM

RE: A 4H controlline trainer
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The 4H project lives and is blooming beautifully. The 4H trainer is reaching its design goals very well and has just graduated its first student. The little ship is flying slowly and steady pulling the sixty footers and the speed is ideal.

The young ladies first two solo flights occured early AM this morning and to date there has been no incidents or anything close save for an occassional nose up rolling to a stop and one broken prop.

The solo was done in light winds perhaps three mph but with the line slider all the way to the rear it handled the breeze well even with the long lines.

Interest in this local group is high and its all girls! So I and some other club mentors have kitted up three more of the 4H greenies for others.

The flight times are selected simply by 'one, two or three' cranks of the geared manual pump.

This being the 'Wilds of Northern Arizona' we take no prisoners and always get our shirt tails when anyone solo's any kind of aircraft and normally its run up the flag pole, later signed by the instructor/mentor and presented back to the solo'ed flyer.

Will add pictures shortly.


flyingagin 11-16-2011 03:49 PM

RE: A 4H controlline trainer
Good job
Post a picture of that handle if you would please. Looks like a double handle and I have never seen one before. Great ideal.

JohnBuckner 11-16-2011 04:33 PM

RE: A 4H controlline trainer
Absolutely flying agine will make some pics tonight. Its at the pops house and he is gonna drop it by tonight so I can make some photo's.

That handle I originally made to fit my Bill Young electronic handle for gettin folks involved before I had to use the wheel chair. That became a moot point in the chair to use it with anyone standing anyway.

I gave it to her dad whom I had taught fly controlline, to use for this project and he adapted it to another home made aluminum handle that I have no idea where I got it.

Anyway they are easy to make, the idea is to have the instructor handle along side but around three or four inchs aft of the students handle which is the main or primary handle. As you can see this works very well and allows the student to just pivot and the instructor just does a shuffle that is not to bad at all with a plane that is slow and uses long lines.

Will get some photos up later tonight.



flyingagin 11-16-2011 04:39 PM

RE: A 4H controlline trainer
<div>Hey thanks</div><div>Yeah I can see were a chair would make it tough. Even painful[:@]:D</div>

JohnBuckner 11-16-2011 07:37 PM

RE: A 4H controlline trainer
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Indeed but here is one of my RC students and we are determined to find a way;)


also got the handle pics hope this helps.


flyingagin 11-16-2011 08:19 PM

RE: A 4H controlline trainer
ThanksJohnBuckner<span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: tahoma, verdana, arial; font-size: 11px; background-color: rgb(251, 252, 255); "></span>
Excelent ideal. I recal being told pull the handle up to go up pullit down to go down and don't do either one very much. I maybe got 1/2 lap first several flights before crashing, and then progeresse to maybe 2 or 3 before crashing. Eventually flying out a tank.
I like that a lot, again thanks and that should help a lot of other would be u-contrlers out there.

WINANS 01-20-2012 08:24 AM

RE: A 4H controlline trainer
HI John,

I just came upon this thread, and am happy to see it. I was involved in 4H Aerospace as a kid in Az (Pinal Co) in the 70's and 80's. My father was the County Agent for Pinal Co in the 70's through early 90's. We had several aerospace project clubs going in Casa Grande, Coolidge, Oracle, and San Manuel. There was a button at the time that I liked - "4H isn't all Cows & Cooking". Our clubs came out of a fellows passion in San Manuel for getting kids with no money flying. He came up with constucting half-A control-liners and free flights from cardboard & pine engine blocks, and we shared a few Cox Baby-Bee's amongst many planes. His name is Steve Hernandez - a dear friend and mentor to me. Those clubs and our fly-ins were a blast, and did great things for a lot of young boys. Not many girls had any interest or support for that activity then.

SO, it's nice for me to see the words 4H and flying in one place again.

Good luck with your 4H ventures.

Scott Winans

fix-n-fly 01-20-2012 02:13 PM

RE: A 4H controlline trainer
Want to fly control line from a chair? Maybe this will give you some ideas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZum9FLpPC4.

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