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'Nuther Patriot XL Build and Fly

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Old 10-07-2005, 10:17 PM
  #1  
SitNFly
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Default 'Nuther Patriot XL Build and Fly

Having completed and flown my Patriot XL, I thought I would bless the fine readers of RC Universe with my critique of the instruction manual and a few building tips. As always, this advice is worth exactly what you paid for it. Flying impressions are also given. So, without further ado, here is my blow-by-blow review. There will be several posts because I haven’t quite mastered embedding photos yet.

Quotes indicate original manual instructions.

Page 4 – “Robart #607 90-Degree retract for the nose gear (3/16” (4.8mm) wire strut)”
--This gear has a 5/32” strut and you will need to buy a 5/32” Great Planes slip-on axle for it.
Page 4 – “3/16” x 2” (4.8 x 51mm) slip-on axles (GPMQ4278)”
--That’s the Great Planes part number for the bolt-on axle. You’ll need the slip-on axle, GPMQ4282, for the main gear and GPMQ4281 for the nose gear.
Page 6 – To minimize delays, I build all the skins and doublers before proceeding. Skins and doublers are on pages 8, 11, 12, 14, 19, 23, and 24
Page 8 – If you like using the Great Planes slot cutter, layout and cut the slots on the stab and fin trailing edges before you construct these parts. You can’t get to all the slot locations with your cutter, otherwise.
Page 17 – If you like using the Great Planes slot cutter, layout and cut the slots on the wing trailing edges before you glue on the wingtips. Same reason as above.
Page 18 – I didn’t like the wheelwells being unfinished, so I rolled some 3/32” balsa around a paint spray can and glued them in position. Gives the sheeting something to attach to, instead of just an open hole into your wing. You’ll still have to cut part of the well liner away to route your retract lines, but at least it helps keep some of the bugs and trash out of your wing. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to fuelproof the nose wheelwell as it is right beside the exhaust. I didn’t do it; just think it would be a good idea. Maybe the epoxy fairy will do it for me.

To Be Continued…..
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Old 10-07-2005, 10:20 PM
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Default RE: 'Nuther Patriot XL Build and Fly

I'll keep on truckin' and see what happens....

Page 20 – Pull some string from the servo mounts to the center of the wing before you sheet everything up. Much easier to fish the servo leads afterwards.
Page 21 – I don’t see where the instructions tell you to capstrip the bottom of the ribs. Plans show it, but no mention in the instructions.
Page 23 – You laminate two pieces of crummy three ply together and wind up with a crummy six ply firewall. If I built another Patriot, I think I would cut a new firewall out of 5 or 7 ply ¼” aircraft ply.
Page 24 – I pinned the firewall with small dowel in four places.
Page 29 – I built a small weight box on the underside of the radio hatch since this plane builds nose heavy. I also used one of the punchouts from the fuse bottom and made another hatch. There is a lot of equipment in the tail of this plane and another hatch made it much easier to access.
Page 35 – I reinforced the cowl with fiberglass cloth and PVC cement. Will be looking for a fiberglass replacement in the future, I’m sure. You have to split the cowl on the cylinder head side to allow easy removal. Screw it down with a couple extra screws at the split and it looks fine.

To Be Continued…..
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Old 10-07-2005, 10:23 PM
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Default RE: 'Nuther Patriot XL Build and Fly

Keep on keepin' on.....

Page 36 – I built tail fairings out of balsa. Much better looking. Didn’t use the air intakes. Also built a tail cone out of balsa. Hollowed it out and put 3 ounces of lead shot in it before gluing in place.
Page 37 – Mine took 1 ½ ounces of lead in the left wing tip to balance laterally.
Page 37 – The instructions are out of sequence here. They tell you to do the final servo, control horn, and receiver installation before covering. I covered it first, then installed all the hardware.

The plan show 2 ¼” main wheels, while the instructions show 2 ½” wheels. Not a big difference but it makes a whale of a difference in how the plane takes off. If you use 2 ½” wheels, it doesn’t want to rotate.

If you use Robart 605HD retracts, don’t forget to file a flat in the strut for the set screw since that’s all that keeps the strut in the base. I didn’t and a mainwheel strut rotated 90 degrees when I was taxiing before the maiden. Reminded me of that Jet Blue Airbus landing in LA. Not good and it’s not even mentioned in the retract instructions. Picked the plane up and the strut fell out of the wing. Dodged a bullet there! The nosewheel retract needs flats for the steering arm and the collar that holds the strut in the base. Don’t forget flats for the slip-on axle and wheel, while you’ve got the file out.

To Be Continued…..
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Old 10-07-2005, 10:26 PM
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Default RE: 'Nuther Patriot XL Build and Fly

Last one, gee, only fumbled one upload.....

Flight Impressions
The first flight was interesting because I flew it with the big main wheels. Went screaming down the runway. Plane didn’t give any indication that it was ready to takeoff, so I pulled a little elevator. At that point, the wing transitioned from negative to positive angle-of-attack and straight up she went. After I got that sorted out, the landing was another adventure as the plane was very noseheavy and it landed like the space shuttle. Note to self: balance with the gear down, not up. Have since changed mainwheels and rebalanced.

But the bad news is that this rig will still not rotate for me. I fly off a field at 5600’; maybe that has something to do with it. I’m going to try shimming the main gear forward a little and moving the mainwheel as far up the struts as the wheelwells will allow. But right now, takeoffs with this plane are a rodeo and I keep getting bucked off. The main gear just seem to be too far rearward.

Here’s my setup

Engine – Jett 90L
Prop – APC 11 x 9 (will try 10 x 10 next)
Servos – Flaps – JR 537. Elevator – JR 811. Rudder – JR 2721. Ailerons – JR 4735. Retract – JR 537. Throttle – JR 537. You could use standard servos all around; I just had these on hand.
Receiver – JR 649
Balance weight – 3 ounces in tail cone, 2 ounces in radio hatch weight box, 1 ½ ounces in left wing tip (still noseheavy but haven’t fiddled with it as I am trying to get takeoffs in semi-control before I do too much trimming)
Battery – JR 1100 mah 4-cell
Switch – Fromeco Superswitch
Retracts – Robart 607HD
Covering - Gold, black, and red Ultracote
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Old 10-08-2005, 07:08 AM
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Bob.R
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Default RE: 'Nuther Patriot XL Build and Fly

That is one mean (and cool) look'n Pat. BTW, you are not the first to have difficulty getting the big Pat to rotate on takeoff.
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Old 10-08-2005, 12:06 PM
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jon_focal_plane
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Default RE: 'Nuther Patriot XL Build and Fly

I had the same issue with difficult rotation. I dial in 30 or 40 degrees of flaps and it lifts off effortlessly.

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Old 10-10-2005, 08:59 AM
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Default RE: 'Nuther Patriot XL Build and Fly

Real nice looking XL !!! I like the colors.

As Jon noted, the flaps help a bit.

If you can re-adjust your nose wheel axil location, set the plane so it sits a degree or so nose-high. Nose down is definately bad.

Also, work your way back on the CG a bit. With a full fuel tank, the plane gets pretty nose heavy, thus the rotation can be a problem. As you fly the plane and get experience, move the CG aft a bit each flight - and be careful toward the end of the flight as you hit that AFT CG range.

If the plane is nose heavy, it makes a big difference in take-off performance.
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Old 10-10-2005, 10:37 AM
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Default RE: 'Nuther Patriot XL Build and Fly

I had the same problem with my freestyle the plane seems like it sticks to the ground, which is a blessing and a curse. When I come in for a landing it always sticks them, never once giving me a bounce after take off. Taking off was just as you discribed, I had to yank back on the elevator and shoot the nose way up. The solution is to use flaps or flaperons and you will have perfect landings and smooth perfect take-offs.
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Old 10-10-2005, 01:17 PM
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Default RE: 'Nuther Patriot XL Build and Fly

Thanks to all for the input. I tried half-flaps on one takeoff. Helped some but still was a rather "sudden" liftoff.[X(] I'll try full flaps next time. I've got the nosewheel as far down the strut as it can go. It almost touches the former where the wing seats, so can't go any further. Can still move the mainwheels up the strut a little to get the rear of the plane down. I am almost convinced that the CG is causing a good bit of the problem. Thanks for the tip there, Bob. It feels very noseheavy the first few minutes in flight. I need to burn a few minutes of fuel and then roll inverted and see what gives. I do believe I'll move the CG back before next flight, though. Also, Bob from Jett (Bobba Jett?), I'm using an OS F plug and the transition is good, but feels like it's still a little rich at idle. Do you typically run several tanks before fiddling with the low speed needle or can it be adjusted right away? By the way, engine peaks at 13,600 with 11x9; I'm running it at 13,400. Will probably go to an 11x8 or 10x10. Thanks again to all for the tips.
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Old 10-10-2005, 01:45 PM
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Default RE: 'Nuther Patriot XL Build and Fly

SitNFly......

I will assume for a bit that you have the break-in stuff completed with the small prop. Switch over to the 11x8 or a 12x6 for a while. Allow the engine to loosen up. You want it over 14K peak for at least a half dozen flights or so. RPM with the 11x9 is about right... but let the engine turn a bit more at first. Then go back to the 11x9 or 10x10 if you want some additional speed.

Yes, after a handful of runs, you will see the idle settle in better, and it may show itself being a bit rich. You can tweek the low speed needle a bit. Lean it out about 1/8 turn at a time.
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Old 10-12-2005, 06:55 AM
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Default RE: 'Nuther Patriot XL Build and Fly

I ended up shimming the complete retract assembly in the nose 3/8 of a inch to stop the rotation straight up launches on take off-it stopped them, the airplane now sits nearly level on the ramp
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Old 10-14-2005, 08:33 AM
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Default RE: 'Nuther Patriot XL Build and Fly

I was showing this thread to a friend last night..... we decided that this black and gold color scheme would look great with the SJ-90LX up front - the gold muffler matches nicely

Seems like he is leaning that way for his new patriot.
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Old 03-26-2006, 11:14 AM
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Default RE: 'Nuther Patriot XL Build and Fly

Old thread but thought I would update. I'm now flying with the original 3 oz of lead that I built into the tailcone, plus an additional 4 oz in the box I built in the tail. And it feels like it could use more. Sheesh, gotta fly around with half a pound of lead in the rear end of this thing. On the brighter side, takeoffs are much improved as the CG moves back. I also shimmed the nose gear down with 1/4" ply and that helped. Had another close call with the Robart gear. The nosegear cylinder unscrewed itself and drained the system. Luckily I had just taken off and noticed that the gear wouldn't retract. Lucky me[X(]! Got it back down without a problem. Cleaned the cylinder up and used Loctite on the threads this time. Also checked the main gear cylinders, too. The Jett 90L just gets better and better. Have gotten questions on what ducted fan I'm running. Nope, just winds up like one. Anyway, things are getting better. I've got about 30 flights in including one cartwheel on takeoff. Minimal damage; very strong airframe. Tower's got 'em on sale for $99.99. Not a bad deal if you're willing to futz with it for a while.
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