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Firebird XL....No more V-tail


Old 02-16-2004, 12:45 PM
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Default Firebird XL....No more V-tail

I got the Firebird XL a couple years ago...wasn't too happy with her overall flight. I mean, the plane itself is nice, it's enexpinsive and tough...but I wouldn't recommend it for someone who wants to go on into the RC aviation hobby using this as a starting point. The reason is, it takes a while to get used to the 2 channel control, where your thrust is what controls altitude...for a newbie to go from this setup to say a three channel (throttle, elevator, rudder) would probably have a little difficulty.
Anyways, here's my question. The V-tail is busted, and rather than buy or build a new V, I have decided to completly gut the Bird. A friend gave me the tail to his downed and destroyed ParkPilot...fairly sturdy foam rudder and elevator, not TOO much larger than the Birds V-tail. So I am planning on putting in my own flight pack and connecting the ParkPilot tail to my bird and having a nice three channel setup. The problem is, I am not sure how to attach the new tail to the carbon fiber boom...the end of which have a small v-shaped cradle for the foam V....anyone have any ideas would be appreciated!!
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Old 02-17-2004, 08:23 AM
Matt Kirsch
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Default RE: Firebird XL....No more V-tail

Actually, the Firebird XL in its v-tail form teaches you good habits, and the proper way to fly. The elevator is not the Magic Up Stick(tm), contrary to popular belief. Without adequate airspeed and power, pulling up elevator makes the plane go down! The plane just pitches up and stalls. A proper climb involves adding power, just like you do on the Firebird XL.

The real reason many people believe that the elevator makes the plane climb is because they fly around at full throttle all the time. Few full-scale planes are flown around at full throttle for the entire flight, yet far too many modelers believe that the throttle stick has just two settings. Getting used to throttle management will extend flight times (especially helpful for electric planes), keep the noise levels down (especially helpful for glow fliers with sensitive neighbors), and make you a better pilot.

Doesn't the Firebird's V-tail bolt on? You could just glue the conventional tail to the bracket that held the V-tail on.

Make sure the new tail doesn't weight more than the old tail. There isn't a whole lot of room for moving components up to the front of the plane for balancing, and it takes 4-5 ounces in the nose to balance 1 ounce in the tail.
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