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Alpha 180 and FMA Co-Pilot.Will they work together?

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Old 08-02-2003, 12:55 PM
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Default Alpha 180 and FMA Co-Pilot.Will they work together?

Hi I've been flying an Alpha 180 electric glider for a few weeks now with good results.I am self taught so far.Having had a few hairy moments, I seem to be getting the hang of it!.
I live quite close to the sea and it is often too windy to fly(being a beginner I don't fly unless it's very calm).
I would like to fit a FMA Co-Pilot to my glider so i can fly when it is not completely calm with some confidence and also to take some of the fear out of flying and especially landing!.
Would it be possible to fit a Co-Pilot to an Alpha 180 and have it work correctly?.
My main concern is weight and finding a suitable position for the sensor.
Thank You For Your Help...
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Old 08-03-2003, 04:51 AM
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Default Alpha 180 and FMA Co-Pilot.Will they work together?

What's the total weight of your aircraft? Not being familiar with it I don't know how much help I can be, but seeing as no one else has posted...

I think it should be allright IF you plane seems to have an excess of power. But if it just barely limps along under power, it's probably not the best accy to buy. Of course, you can always get a more powerful motor...
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Old 08-04-2003, 10:32 AM
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Default Alpha 180 and FMA Co-Pilot.Will they work together?

I'm assuming this is a rudder/elevator motorglider. You should make sure the Copilot will work on a rudder/elevator aircraft first and foremost. I've only personally seen it work on aileron/elevator. However, there's no reason why it shouldn't work. The rudder levels the wings, just not necessarily as quickly.

The Copilot isn't very heavy, like a spit in the ocean on a 2m motorglider. One or two ounces won't make an appreciable difference in the flying qualities of the plane.

A motorglider/powered sailplane is configured identically to a conventional aircraft. Since the Copilot will stabilize conventional aircraft, AND helicopters, I don't see why it would choke on a sailplane.
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Old 08-04-2003, 10:24 PM
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Default Alpha 180 and FMA Co-Pilot.Will they work together?

First of all let me thank you for your replies.Much appreciated.

My weighing scales is busted right now so i can't tell you the weight, i think it's about 50 OZ/1.4 KG but i'm not sure.
It seems to fly pretty good.Struggled a bit today in the wind.It's my first glider so i don't really know how it should fly.

Read a review of the co-pilot on a elevator rudder glider and the reviewer was impressed.So i think i'll give it a go!.

One more question.
I have a charger that work with AC and 12 Volt DC input.Would two 9 Volt batteries linked together work with this?.If so, how would i Link the batteries?.
Thanks again for your help.

p.s.Just had two amazing days of flying.loops and stalls and touch and goes.Even in slightly windy conditions.Starting to gain a bit of confidence.I love it.I'm totally addicted!.
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Old 08-04-2003, 10:30 PM
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Default Alpha 180 and FMA Co-Pilot.Will they work together?

Just make sure your charger is rated to 18+ volts...
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Old 08-04-2003, 10:37 PM
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Default Alpha 180 and FMA Co-Pilot.Will they work together?

I'm guessin you mean the input?.
The input is 12-230 Volts so i guess it would be ok.
How should i link the 9 Volt Batteries.
- to - and + to + ?????
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Old 08-05-2003, 10:43 AM
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Default Alpha 180 and FMA Co-Pilot.Will they work together?

Don't you mean the input is 12 OR 230 Volts? Just because it can work at those two voltages doesn't mean it can work at every voltage in between. The 12V goes in through one cable, and the 230V through another presumably. The 230VAC is transformed and rectified into 12VDC. I am certain that if you tried to put something like 32VAC through either input, you'd fry the charger.

Anyway, are you talking about the little square 9V alkaline batteries used to power transistor radios and smoke detectors? No matter how you hook them together, they'll power the charger for about 3 seconds before they die or explode. If you're charging in a remote location, a 12V lead-acid automotive type battery is the best, safest, no-brainer choice.

A little lesson in series and parallel:

Hooking batteries in series, + to -, + to -, combines their voltage. Two 9V batteries in series makes 18V.

Connecting batteries in parallel + to +, - to -, combines their capacity. Two 9V batteries in parallel makes 9V, and the capacities of the two batteries are combined.
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Old 08-05-2003, 02:59 PM
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Default Alpha 180 and FMA Co-Pilot.Will they work together?

Thanks Matt for your help.
For some reason i was thinking two 9Vs will give me the 12Vs I need.Obviously they make 18Vs.Had some serious brain fade on the go last night!!.
Tried two AAs and a 9V (to give me 12V) this morning and the low input voltage indicator sounded after a couple of seconds.
Then went online and saw your post.you were right they lasted about 10 seconds!.
Ah well worth a try!.
After flying this afternoon in calm conditions I have decided my glider is underpowered!.
Seems to have difficulty climbing to any height and pretty much hovers when flying into the wind when trying to climb.
It's a speed 600 for me I think.
Thanks again Matt
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