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Old 05-15-2005, 09:14 PM
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kitcar
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Default newbie, sort of.

Howdy everyone, a new member here.

I've got years of experience in simulators so I understand the dynamics of flight. Now, I guess I caught the R/C bug; I bought a "yellow bee" plane for $29 dollars and before I realized that it's not exactly a "real" R/C and plowed it into a tree during a gust of wind (It's still there, I've got a plan to get it down) I was able to fly it for several cycles of the battery. When it did go into the tree, it was covered with tape from crash damage; the darn thing turned like a bus because of the "using the props to turn" deal. I was able to get it to take off from a parking lot a few times, so I was happy.

So, I think I want to move up to something that actually flies like I expect it to. I've looked and looked and found a Parkzone RTF J-3 Cub Electric at a local hobby shop for about a hundred and a half. I was thinking about purchasing a less expensive plane, but I want to opt for something that looks more realistic.

My question is this; is it as advertised and a good trainer?

At this point, I should probably stick with a rtf until I decide to build one on my own.
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Old 05-15-2005, 10:16 PM
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Default RE: newbie, sort of.

Welcome to the forum! This is a great place to share stories and learn about RC flight. I am very new myself and don't feel qualified to answer your questions, but I can tell you this:

After doing a lot of research and reading up on a good "first plane" I bought an Aerobird Challenger. I could go into all the reasons why one might choose a Challenger, but it all boils down to this. The plane is cheap (<$150 ready to fly), extra parts are cheap and readily accessible at your local hobby store, and with a few simple modifications before you fly, the plane is incredibly durable. Do a few searches here and elsewhere on the Aerobird Challenger. There are many choices out there, but the Challenger fit the bill for me. I love the plane, and it has taught me to fly from scratch. I have yet to crash the plane causing damage, and I have about 15 flights on it.

There are a few downsides - if you plan to "get into" RC flight and upgrade and buy more planes in the future - the electronics in the Challenger are not desirable as they cannot be removed from the plane and reused. But for the money - and if you don't have interest in building your own kit right out of the starting gate - I think the Challenger is a great deal.

Just my two cents worth. Good luck in your search.
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Old 05-16-2005, 08:32 PM
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kitcar
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Default RE: newbie, sort of.

Thanks for the welcome!

Well, I got the plane out of the tree, got a repair kit (new wings, props, etc.) and have a new plan. I'm going to make this thing fly.

Seems to me this (and most other) differential thrust planes have a common problem; The motors are too close to the axis of the plane causing sllooowww turns. I've got the thing apart and am going to move the engines farther apart. I'm also going to add 12" or so onto the wings as a polyhedral extension so it will be more of a glider with greater lift and shallow glide slope. I'm hoping that this will stop the need for the "tap" method of flying these planes.

I've also found that Gorilla glue is great stuff for foamies. Strong and dries in 3 hours or so. Foams up when drying but is clear and easily removed from the foam.

So, here's the plan: Remove the plastic frame from the center of the wing, split the wing, move the motor housings outboard by 1.5 inches EACH (3 inches between the motors), add an extension to the center of the wing (so the wing cutouts match the motor housings), add polyhedral extensions to the wings for stability. I'm going to use a mix of hot glue and Gorilla glue for attaching the new parts.

My goal is to get better control for turns, better gliding for power off and longer flight times.

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Old 05-16-2005, 09:42 PM
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Default RE: newbie, sort of.

Hello: I hate to stifle your enthusiasm to get this thing to fly, but I must. You will spend countless hours to repair and rebuild, only to find new problems each time you "try" to fly it.

Its steering system is a loser. It probably has no elevation control either. I don't know why they make these things. JUST THROW IT BACK INTO THE TREE, THATS WHERE IT BELONGS.
Get an airplane that has real servos, true elevation and tail control. And a real ESC. You won't be happy with what you have.

I've been through a similar experience.

John
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Old 05-17-2005, 07:18 AM
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Default RE: newbie, sort of.

I have concluded it should be criminal to sell those things! First, they are junk. Second, if you learn to fly it all (doubtful, but, some do) you have learned almost nothing that will help you in real RC flying. With the price of two or three of those things you could buy a REAL RC plane that will give you hours and hours of fun! And, if you get the right one to start with, you can move the expensive stuff on to lots of other planes to fly and many of those won't cost as much as you paid for the junk plane. Once you have the electronics, you can get a Slow Stick for 35 dollars! It is one of the most fun and easiest (in my opinion) to learn to fly on! I have several planes, but I still love my Slow Stick!

I went the route of a few of these things at first, believing the package that said it actually flew! One I had did have a rudder! I got it to make one flight and could not make it stay in the air ever again. It looked like a painted up Zero. They make conversion kits now that will actually make it a real RC plane. I still have it and may try it one day.

There is no telling how many of these are being sold and disappointed would be RC'ers giving up all together.

Criminal![:@][8D]
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Old 05-17-2005, 09:57 PM
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Default RE: newbie, sort of.

Suggest naysayers take aerodynamics class like I did. Simple effect of lift, thrust and direction, Einsteins' theory correct.

Okay, moved the motors outboard 3" each. In theory, this should increase moment of movement through the axis. Moved the left motor (torque causes left turns under power) 10 degrees to the centerline - that is, I pointed the prop toward the left of the tail (pusher prop) of the plane by 10 degrees; under power from both motors, should stop left shift in flight, figuring the power of the motors at full thrust and full batteries. Added 6" to the center of the wing. Wings now 6" longer, 3" per side. Used Popsicle sticks to strengthen the centerline at the body of the plane.

Went to park, took off from parking lot. Plane drifted to right. This is direct opposite of original design. Shifted weight to left, experimented with center of balance, got it right. Plane now turns nicely to left and right. Made several left hand loops around trees, changed direction and made several right hand loops around trees. Brought plane in to parking lot for landing. Gear collapsed. Used Popsicle sticks to strengthen landing gear, repeated flight, landed; no problems, gear intact. May add rubber wheels around silly plastic wheels at later date. All takeoffs and landings from parking lot, no hand launches. Method is to gain speed, balance direction using thrust, gun motors. Used normal hot glue gun to add mods to frame and body.

Wind speed, 3 mph. Took off into wind. Added weight with mods, 4.3 oz. All weight at centerline of plane (inboard of motors). Adjusted fixed Vtail to add up lift during flight. Original design had plane looping under full power. Now plane just gains altitude, i.e., goes up, not over.

Plane now ready for prime time. Next mod to be servos slaved to motors. Turn left, shifts Vtail in proper direction, Turn right, same action to other direction. Will add crispness to turns.

Answers to questions:

1. Yes, it turns slower than a 3 or 4 channel but not by much. Would turn faster with motors at tips of wings. Wing strength issues with a foamie, may try that later on if I can find correct foam for wings.

2. Wing dip is slower with motors mounted farther out with longer wing length. Stalls not happening at all even under full single motor thrust.

3. Method is to stop motors, tap opposite direction of wanted turn, tap full motor speed to stop wing stall.
Completion of turn, tap out of turn with opposite motor.

4. Flight time, 12 minutes. Batteries not exhausted, approx. 40% amps left.

Video to follow this weekend. Videos will be 45 seconds each (limits of memory in camera).

Now for the downers: mods not for the faint at heart. Takes planning, knowledge and tools at hand. Total cost is rising: $30 for plane, $2 for Popsicle sticks, $6 for foam board for centerline of plane, several thousand dollars for classes. Needed longer screws for Vtail and wing. Had on hand, cost not known.
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Old 05-17-2005, 10:02 PM
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Default RE: newbie, sort of.

But, you are not a 7 year old kid buying one off the self at WalMart thinking it is going to fly stock! Criminal!
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Old 05-17-2005, 10:04 PM
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kitcar
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Default RE: newbie, sort of.

Oh yeah, almost forgot. Taxied plane around house without wings attached to get used to using engine thust for steering for several hours. Drove wife, cats, turtle, frogs and kids nuts with buzzing.
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Old 05-17-2005, 10:14 PM
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Default RE: newbie, sort of.

True, not a kid. But, kids don't shop at Harbor Feight (they bought the discontinued stock of these planes and sell them cheap). The real criminal part is that these things aren't designed correctly. If they had the motors outboard, all had a Vtail and had GOOD instructions, anyone good at video games could fly them. It's sad that I had to use higher learning to get this thing to fly.

But on the other hand, there are a lot of products that need to be modded to work correctly. They're all criminal in one way or another.
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