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New Parkzone Super Decathalon

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Old 06-25-2005, 06:36 PM
  #1  
MachManStan
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Default New Parkzone Super Decathalon

Hi folks,

I am brand new to the hobby and just purchased a Parkzone Super Decathalon. I tried it out today for the first time and as you can imagine, it dodn't go as well as I had hoped. I was able to keep it the air a few times for maybe 15 - 20 seconds, but didn't really have much control. After a while I could'nt hand launch the plane anymore without it moving it to the left and then crashing. Can someone give me some tips on how to correct this problem?

I originally intended to buy the Aerobird Challenger, but the hobby shop guy and my wife convinced me to get the Super Decathalon instead. I am now wondering if I bought the wrong plane to start with. Too late now, so I have to make this one work.

Thanks,
Stan
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Old 06-25-2005, 09:32 PM
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Matt Kirsch
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Default RE: New Parkzone Super Decathalon

Yeah.... I don't know what the hobby shop owner was thinking. The Aerobird, ANY Aerobird, would have been a much better choice as a first plane. You may not want to hear this, but you may never be successful with this plane, especially without getting expert help. Even though this Decathlon is a simplified design that is nothing like it's full-scale counterpart as far as handling and performance, it's still more responsive and less stable than a plane designed for beginners.

The dropping off to the left and crashing is called a "tip stall." It's caused by not enough airspeed combined with an attempt to climb too steeply. The plane will always drop off to the left because the propeller is attempting to twist the plane over to the left. When the wing loses lift, the motor just takes it right over.

Somewhere in one of your crashes, you may have bent the propeller shaft. Does the plane shake now? A bent shaft robs power that the plane needs to fly. Also, after a good amount of run time, the battery could be getting run down too. Try giving it a fresh charge.
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Old 06-26-2005, 04:11 AM
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Default RE: New Parkzone Super Decathalon

I wouldn't give up on it just yet. I think you can learn with that plane, its just a matter of patience and persistence. I'm relatively new to the hobby as well, and though the not the ParkZone Decathlon, I did buy the Wattage RTF Decathlon as my first park scale plane. I haven't had much experice before flying the Decathlon, just an airhogs with variable thrust (yuck) and a Micro Flyer, so most of what I'm learning now is coming from the Decathlon. Initially I had quite a few crashes and my flight durations were about as long as urs. But now I can keep it up in the air for about 5 minutes (pretty much the duration of the battery). Right now I'm trying to learn how to do a decent landing, which I'm having a hard time doin cuz the Wattage version has a flimsy landing gear and my hesitation to turn off the prop in mid air.

As for the problem ur encountering, I'm not sure how similar the flight characteristics of the Wattage and Parkzone Decathlons are, but I usually counter that left turn by turning right. When my plane had a hard time staying up in the air, I check and see if the battery has moved around in the compartment (altering its center of gravity). And if thats not the problem, I just throw the plane harder on the next flight (I found that most of my instant crashes earlier on were the result of not throwing the plane hard enough).

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Old 06-26-2005, 10:53 AM
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Default RE: New Parkzone Super Decathalon

MachManStan:

You CAN learn to fly on the ParkZone Super Decathlon. At least I did. My first plane ever was the PZ Super Decathlon (got it a few weeks ago) and on the very first fligt I kept her up a while. After only 4 or 5 flights now, I am confident with it, and I can now do circuits around me with ease. I learned to fly on this plane, so you can.

About the throwing it and it crashing, when I fly, I get my dad to throw it while I control it. Maybe get a friend or someone to throw it for you, and look up the review on RCU, watch the video, that shows the plane being hand launched. When I went out by myself to fly, I couldnt get it up in the air because I wasnt throwing it hard enough, its tough to control it and throw it.

So, just buy some extra parts, bring a friend, and you will be able to learn on this plane.
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Old 06-26-2005, 02:22 PM
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MachManStan
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Default RE: New Parkzone Super Decathalon

Guys,

Thanks for the tips and encouragement. Matt, I have not noticed any shaking of the plane so I don't think I damaged the shaft. I have been flying the plane in a field with some fairly tall grass so that the crashes won't be as detrimental on the plane.

I tool the plane out again last yesterday afternoon and was able to get it up for about 2 minutes on a few occasions. Now it seems that all the plane wants to do is circle. I will keep trying. There is also another guy that I have seen flying on the same field and I will try to hook up with him for some help. Hopefully I will continue to progress.

Any further suggestions, please let me know.

Thanks,
Stan
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Old 06-27-2005, 08:29 AM
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Matt Kirsch
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Default RE: New Parkzone Super Decathalon

Circling... That means the plane is out of trim.

Those little slider tabs below and to the left of the stick are called trim tabs. You use those to make fine adjustments to get the plane flying straight and level. If the plane is circling to the left, you adjust the rudder trim tab to give it some right, until it flies straight.
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Old 06-27-2005, 08:55 PM
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Default RE: New Parkzone Super Decathalon

Matt,

Thanks for the tip. I did try to adjust the trip on both the elevator and rudder and I could not get either one straight or level. From the rear of the plane, the rudder is angled to the left in the neutral position with the trim all the way to the right. If you look at the plane from the side, the elevator is slightly down with the control stick in the neutral position and with the trim all the way in the up position. There are some "clips" that attach the servo cable (sorry I do not know the correct terminology) to the elevator and rudder that looks like it should be able to be adjusted, but I am not sure how. The owners manual is not very helpful at all as it does not describe how to do this. Any advice?

I took the plane out to the field today and there was another flyer out there that has about 4 months of flying under his belt and I let him try to launch the plane. He could not get it to stay in the air either. I think I will take the plane back to the lhs and see if they can help me out. My new "friend" let me fly his homemade foam trainer and I had no problems at all. It was a blast.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Stan
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Old 07-01-2005, 11:34 AM
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Default RE: New Parkzone Super Decathalon

I agree with Matt .. you're plane is not trimmed .. you need to adjust the Clevises. center your trim controls then adjust the clevises to put the elevator and rudder back to center.

being a owner of a PZ Super Decathlon i'm fully aware or its short comings and would never recommend it to a beginner.
its basicly under powered in its stock form ..

if you have a flying field with long ( one to two feet tall ) Grass i would recommend taking it there and removing the landing gear to fly it .. it will fly a bit better with out the landing gear with the stock motor ( less weight to pack).
and crashes will result in at worst a broken prop rather than a plane that will fit loosely in a small bucket
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Old 07-06-2005, 08:40 PM
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Default RE: New Parkzone Super Decathalon

Person X,

Thanks for your comments. I took the plane back to the lhs and the guy there helped me to adjust the rudder and elevator by adjusting the clevises as you suggested. I was able to get the plane to fly straight, but now it goes about 15 feet and then straight into the ground. I broke the prop and the lhs is out of them until this week.

I did remove the landing gear after the maiden flight since one of them broke off. I will let you know how things go once I get a new prop (actually a few of them.

Stan
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Old 04-23-2006, 10:39 AM
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Default RE: New Parkzone Super Decathalon

my first plane is the Super Dec, i flew yesterday and was able to keep it up for 5 min, it was a little hairy at times, but handles fairly well.
if you crash u need to take the wing off and reattach the receiver as it gets knocked out and shifts the CG, if u dont it will veer left and crash on a hand launch
the plane is fairly tough, i crashed nose in a cpl times and only broke props, and bent up the fuse behind the cowl, which i will reinforce with Great Stuff foam and some epoxy. if this is your first plane get extra parts they are cheap and reinforce it so u can keep it flying
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:21 AM
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Leo L
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Default RE: New Parkzone Super Decathalon

A few simple mods for you to make:
1) Replace the stock prop with the High Pitch prop from ParkZone. The plane will take-off and climb considerably better. The trade off is that you loose about 30-45 seconds of flight time.
2) Mount a tail wheel. Simplest way is to buy the replacement wheel for the Aerobird Challenger. The wire axle/mounting bracket has two loops. Using a needle nose plier straighten them out. Then, with the wheel up, bend them straight down. Insert the wires into the tail skid, into the space between the two fuselage halves (where the antenna comes out) Epoxy the two halves closed, sandwiching the tail wheel assembly. (Try not to get epoxy on the antenna wire in case you ever need to remove the receiver/speed control module).
3) Lay the antenna along the bottom of the fuselage and tape it down with clear packing tape. It keeps the antenna from dragging on the ground during take-offs and landings and prevents it from gatting caught and possibly breaking. If you don't coil the antenna on itself, but route it fairly straight, there is no noticeable loss of range.
4) Drip a little rubber cement into the slots where the landing gear attaches to the fuselage. The landing gear has a tendency to "walk out" of the fuselage on repeated landings. The rubber cement will keep it in place, allowing you to practice touch-and-go and landing.

Enjoy! This is a really nice plane. I'm impressed that you can fly it as your first plane since this is considered to be an intermediate plane, not a beginner plane.
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Old 05-09-2006, 12:22 AM
  #12  
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Default RE: New Parkzone Super Decathalon

thanks
Thats what I use, the high pitch, it came with it and i have several extras. there are some GWS ones that are recommended as well.
I will upgrade the motor soon. Will try taking off the gear for belly landings in tall grass, Im sure it will fly better.
There are some great ideas for mods on the PZ P-Cub thread, these planes are very similar.
I flew this past weekend and did great, went high, low, cirlces, dives, chased birds, got chased by birds, flew two batteries in a row, just a cpl rough landings. The expanding foam works GREAT to firm up the nose. what fun to fly! it is very important to make sure it is set up correctly! esp the wing.
Ive got my aerobird tail wheel, ill post how it works for me
Any one new to the Super Dec, write in, theres tons of goodies to explore once u get the hang of it.
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Old 06-01-2006, 11:56 AM
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Default RE: New Parkzone Super Decathalon

Stan:
Don't fret about buying the decathalon. It was my first RC plane too. A few crashes but now I can fly it quite well. It is alot of fun. I had a similar experience, here is what was wrong:

- Unknown to me a previous crash had broken the plastic sub-frame behind the firewall. This caused the motor to be out of alignment and always fly down and right. To fix I took off the wing pulled the nose straight to realign the plastic frame again. Then using JB Weld Epoxy on the end of a stick I glued the cracked frame back together. Flys great again.

- Recommendation that worked for me. Down-load the Real Flight G-3 simulator (demo version). It is free and really helped me with my coordination/controls etc. I used it for couple of hours after my first disasterous flights. Give it a try, it will probably help.

I just flew my SD through two batteries worth of flying lastnight. Great fun. Good luck.

Tom
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Old 06-10-2006, 09:32 PM
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Default RE: New Parkzone Super Decathalon

As for the solo-throwing goes, I learned my lesson with the PZ Decath just this afternoon, a few hours ago. I threw it myself, and it looked like it stalled- went a few feet slowly, with extremly high pitch, just a few feet off the ground. It was almost like it was underpowered. In the blink of an eye it nosed over and crashed. I paid the priced of flying alone- the prop is bent back and I cant get it straightened out. It vibrates too, so probably the shaft is bent.
I had one expirence with it last year, on about the 4th flight. Total in other planes it was about my tenth flight since bigining with a Aerobird extreme. It had been flying about 5 minutes, a constant circle pattern- I was proud of myself. Then, suddenly, it drasticly dived down, cruising power- 65-80%- WHAM!!! straight into the ground. THe "firewall" got shoved back about 2-3 inches, bent the prop shaft, prop, and made the entire tail section come off. Anyway, that was that.
My theory is, with the aerobird too, that it is just plain too light, and not very stable- minus the aerobird- which just received damage from sudden dead batteries- after today's expirience, i think its time to move up to the real flying field and a trainer plane that might accually fly like a real plane!

-KI4KWF
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:19 PM
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Default RE: New Parkzone Super Decathalon

all four of the same planes that i have seen and flew none were mine have the same problems the rudder stablelizer- rudder is not straight all were mounted crooked planes fly to the left i dont know which is worst, the for mentioned or the very much under powered geared motor setup the write up in fly rc sucks
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:30 PM
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Default RE: New Parkzone Super Decathalon

all four of the same plane had the same problems the rudder stablelizer -rudder on all four nounted crooked i checked all these planes for the people who owned them through the the months the first in 2005 the geared motor setup is very much under powered
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