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Aerobird, unresponsive

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Old 04-21-2003, 06:15 AM
  #1
meng
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

Guys, ive been trying to fly my aerobird for a few days now, however, i find it extremeley unresponsive, and crashed it several times. Ive checkd the trims, and everythign seems to be perfect... However, when i shift the Control to the Left, or right, i notice that the VTail rudders move up and down about 2-3 mm.... I imagine that the more they move up and down, the more responsive it is.... How can i make it more responsive??? (by the way, ive read the manual, and shifted the (control wires that go to the tail) down to the last hole for (MORE MANUEVERABILITY) but it is still very unresponsive...... HELP!!

By the way, i broke the wing in half, and fixed it with Balsa wood, and Crazy Glue...It worked beautifully, yet, i broke it again due to this problem..... (i will probably get a new wing this week)... Help guys, HOW CAN I REINFORCE my new wing to be stronger than ever? Thanx!

-Ray
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Old 04-21-2003, 08:37 PM
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Default aerobird

have you checked the shaft where it goes into the body?
look inside and see if the shaft has come out of the notch.
if it has, on the bottom you will see a groove where the shaft fit in on the flat surface drill two holes and run a zip tie through it.
i also used some hot glue to kept the shaft from turning.
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Old 04-22-2003, 01:22 AM
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Default Beefing up wing

I don't own an Aerobird, but I'm sure I have read that adding some Strapping Tape (used for packing boxes) to the bottom of the wing will help.

It's available at Staples, drug stores, food stores (in the office supplies, tape area) and is used to build foam flying wing type aircraft.

Apply 1 or 2 strips across the wing bottom running from about tip to tip. The strands in the tape add "extension" strength with little weight penalty.

Sierra Gold
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Old 04-22-2003, 04:10 AM
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Default ok, ill give it a shot

Ill give the Packing tape a try.. Thanx Sierra!

Since my original Fix with balsa wood worked soo well, i was thinking of buying the new wing, and just place the balsa wood under the wing. (what i mean to say like creat another wing from balsawood, and evenly stick it on with an Epoxy Glue) its like a double wing. There will barely be an increase in weight, so it think it will work. The engine will definitely hold it...

What if I do both of the methods? Tape and Balsa wood? Ill have to try it... if it is too heavy then i would take it off...

-Ray

By the way Tg3: Im sorry for asking you this, but could you explain your method like if I was a 4 year old? (ive heard that in a movie, i think it is Denzel Washington, cant remember hehe)
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Old 04-30-2003, 01:57 AM
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Default Reinforcing the wing

I have done two things ot repair and reinforce the wings in the "bite area"

I picked up some of the orange disks that they put on the center of the wing and placed them on the back of the wing in the bite area. Also, I have seen duct tape put there as well as glass reinforced tape.

Here is a tip for all Aerobird/Firebird pilots

Last week I took a good shot in a nose first rough landing and the motor broke free of its mounting and shifted forward inside the plane. I have since learned that this is not uncommon. Also, while mine was dramatic, if it is only a small displacement, you might not notice it, but the motor can get out of the proper
thrust line.

After some experimentation and excellent advice from other threads, I have
begun to rebuild the Aerobird and repair the damage done by the forward
shifted motor. A tip on how to prevent this on your plane is at the end.

Here is what I did.

Several people who had had this same problem put various types of plates
behind the motor inside the body. Then I recalled seeing someone drill holes
from the sides, right behind the motor and put a tie wrap there. This holds
the body tight to the motor AND blocks it from shifting backward. That is what
I did as part of my repair. The holes are 1/2" apart centered on the motor. I
used an 8" tie wrap, but a 4-6" wrap would probably be better as they are a
little less bulky.

Here are pictures of the damage and the repair.
http://www.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=...21b3384c03a4f9

The photos show a yellow tie wrap, but that was just for pictures. I cut this
out and replace it with an orange one that looks much better on the plane.

After putting this tie wrap in place, there was no longer a need to put any
kind of bracing plate by the prop area. This tie wrap really holds the motor
solidly AND prevents it from moving forward.

Recommendation to all Firebird, Firebird XL, Fighterbird and Aerobird flyers
and those with similar fuselage planes:

I love the Aerobird and think the whole "bird" series is fine. However a weak
motor mount exists in all the planes. One good crash and the motor gets out of
alignment, or breaks free, like mine. I would recommend this modification be
done on ALL new "birds" BEFORE the motor mount is challenged and repairs have
to be done. If the motor shifts far enough, it will hit the control board and
wipe out all of the electronics. If it only shifts a little, the plane flies
badly, commonly to the left or right and can't be trimmed properly.

You can do the drilling and insertion of the tie wrap without having to take
the guts out of the plane. Just be careful to limit how far the drill bit goes
inside the plane. There is enough room to do this, just be careful.

When you put the tie wrap in, it may have to slip under the noise suppression
components that are soldered between the motor terminals. You can see them in
the photo. A 4" tie wrap is not as wide as the 8" wrap I used, so it will fit
more easily with less displacement of the components however I am confident
that it will be strong enough to get the job done.

To avoid the electronics on the motor, you could shift the holes about 1/4
inch away from this part of the motor so you don't have to go below the
components. Either way, just take your time and don't over tighten the tie
wrap. Just make it snug, don't distort the body of the plane.

I plan to send a note to the manufacturer and advise that this should be done
at the factory. Don't get me wrong, I like these planes, but they have a weak
motor mount. This will take care of the problem before it becomes a problem.

I hope you find this post and the photos useful. Thanks to everyone for their
advice and tips.

Don't wait, do this mod now on your Firebird, XL, Fighterbird or your
Aerobird, before you need it!
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Old 05-04-2003, 12:00 PM
  #6
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

Some times the servos can get 180 degrees out of trim due to large forces being drawn upon the lines. To check them you will have to remove the RX/SERVO board from the fuse. This is not difficult. The servo arms should both be facing each other.
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Old 05-06-2003, 02:13 AM
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

I also have an aerobird and had a few initial crashes (first time flyer) and a few injuries to the plane. I read in another forum to try a wing from an xl bird so I gave it a try. It worked well and is stronger than the aerobird wing. Now I'm back flying with the normal aerobird wing and the practice with the xl wing helped alot. Also concerning your controll movements, they don't move that much only about 10 - 20 degrees. I think it helped when I found a good place to fly with a large area. That left me with a little piece of mind while flying. Now I can fly in a smaller area and still feel comfortable. The areobird isn't all to responsive especially when there is some wind. Once you give input to the controller you have to wait a little for response from the bird so think ahead. Also if your having trim problems try to adjust the tail sections per instructions before you adjust the trim on your controller.

All that said, the large flying area gave me the piece of mind to concentrate on flying and not worring about running into any thing.
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Old 05-07-2003, 10:04 AM
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Default servo movemnt

Quote:
Originally posted by aeroexpert
Some times the servos can get 180 degrees out of trim due to large forces being drawn upon the lines. To check them you will have to remove the RX/SERVO board from the fuse. This is not difficult. The servo arms should both be facing each other.
I had this happen to me as well, but it only happened on one servo. I attach a picture of the control board out of the plane, but still connected to the motor. Look at the servo arms. You should be able to look into the plane and tell if the servo arms are at the right points. You will probably have to remove the foam block to see clearly. The two holders on each side of the foam just pull out.

This should help you eliminate this as a problem. If they are pointing toward the back of the plane, rather than at each other, you have to reset them to these positions at rest.
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Old 05-10-2003, 03:06 AM
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Default control area fix

I also had the not responsive problem with my Aerobird. I took som .020 (I think) lexan, and tapped it to the control surfaces with doouble sided tape. Also if you will move the control position to the lowest hole on the control horn this will get you more movement out of the control surfaces. Also while turning if you will give it a little up elavator it will turn a whole lot quicker. One thing you don't want to do with your Aerobird, don't nose dive it at full speed and try to pull it out of it. I did this and when I gave it full back stick the wing folded in half right in the middle, so it did a full speed dive right into the dirt. It didn't survive this one.

Another tip, the tail boom on these things is not attatched very good. I drilled three small holes thru the fuse and thru the tail boom. One on each side and one in the bottom. This will keep the tail boom from spinning out of allignment or moving backward or forward. All of these things will make you plane fly like a brick.

I hope my crashes will eliminate a couple of yours. V-tails are a little harder to fly then a conventional tail.
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Old 05-12-2003, 09:51 AM
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

I had JUST THE SAME PROBLEM and spent a fair few sessions struggling to get a half decent turning circle (excuse what I'm sure is likely to be un-pilot speak!) and finding my plane soaring dangerously away in a lazy arc, where I really dont want it to go, until just this last weekend.

So, I'm staring at the wimpy little tail control surfaces and inspiration hits. I pulled an old plastic card (a video rental shop ID card) out of my wallet - just the same as a credit card - and snapped it in half - duct taping each half to the top of the moving tail sections - with most of the half card extending beyond the edge. Another piece of duct tape on the underside to stop any flapping about... a launch... and.... wow... what a difference.

I can't tell you how much better you feel about having some control. It was super responsive - I had this thing swooping and turning just as I wanted it to. You've got to be quick on the controls and careful not to overdo it of course - much easier to send it in to a death spiral. All part of the fun though!
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Old 06-06-2003, 05:10 PM
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

I had the same problem with my Aerobird out of the box. I quickly moved the control lines from the center hole on the tail to the bottom one. This helped quite a bit. Since then I have replaced the tail with the larger x-pack one (also with the lines attached to the lowest hole on the tail) and that helped even more. I don't know why they even ship these planes with the lines connected to the center hole, that way you get almost no control at all.
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Old 06-06-2003, 11:43 PM
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

some ways to reinforce the aerobird wing, I don't recomend the balsa fix although its real handy for landing upside down in lakes
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Old 06-06-2003, 11:48 PM
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

this is a closeup of the best reinforcing, just using tape the full length of the wing, plus a folded peice of plastic x-ray negative on bite area of the trailing edge
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Old 06-06-2003, 11:57 PM
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

this mod to the standard tail will double the control surface area, or the out-of-control-area if you not careful with the stick after this mod
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Old 06-07-2003, 03:15 PM
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

Quote:
Originally posted by Tasmania
some ways to reinforce the aerobird wing, I don't recomend the balsa fix although its real handy for landing upside down in lakes
I have been the tape route, but I have not found that tape alone will help a wing that has already started to crease. I have flown them with tape, but eventually the crease builds an the tape will not keep it from folding. I learned this as I spiraled to the ground.

I presume the balsa fix it hte top one. Why do you not recommend it. That seems like the best one for a creased or folded wing.

I have three folded wings now. I am thinking of gluing and taping two together just to see how it flies. This will make it a lot thicker of course. Could be interesting.

I was thinking of taking some thin balsa, soaking it and pressing it inot the bottom of the wing to shape it to the wing, then taping it. Is that what you did? What kind of balsa did you use?
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Old 06-08-2003, 09:47 AM
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

AEAJR
the balsa fix seemed to work fine, it was shaped to the wing, the main problem was the increased weight of the balsa, I couldnít get the AB to do loops at all and it was very sluggish, I only had the 6 cell pack at the time, maybe with the 7 cells I now use it may be better.

The tape I use is very good and seems to do the job, it is a sort of fibreglass tape and will not stretch at all, it stops the wing from flexing too much, but after flying in quite strong winds far more than is recommended for the AB for a few weeks and pulling some fast loops I notice the plastic covering is starting to come away from the foam on top of the wing again, although I has been given heaps of punishment and even been stood on at one time

How about running a wire from midway along the wing to the bottom of the fuse on both sides like a wire strut Aeajr? I thought about that next but not tried it yet. If you saw the wind that this thing flies in you wouldnít believe it I even have lead in the front

Taz
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Old 06-08-2003, 01:17 PM
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

Quote:
Originally posted by Tasmania
AEAJR

the balsa fix seemed to work fine, it was shaped to the wing, the main problem was the increased weight of the balsa, I couldnít get the AB to do loops at all and it was very sluggish, I only had the 6 cell pack at the time, maybe with the 7 cells I now use it may be better.

The tape I use is very good and seems to do the job, it is a sort of fibreglass tape and will not stretch at all, it stops the wing from flexing too much, but after flying in quite strong winds far more than is recommended for the AB for a few weeks and pulling some fast loops I notice the plastic covering is starting to come away from the foam on top of the wing again, although I has been given heaps of punishment and even been stood on at one time

How about running a wire from midway along the wing to the bottom of the fuse on both sides like a wire strut Aeajr? I thought about that next but not tried it yet. If you saw the wind that this thing flies in you wouldnít believe it I even have lead in the front

Taz
I am surprised the weight of the balsa was such a factor.

You say that you have lead in the plane. Why would you put lead in an Aerobird. Get the lead out! If you are using lead ot get it to fly straight and even, you need to adjust the tail, not add lead to the front.

The 7 cell battery will definately made a difference, and with the extra weight of the 7th cell you should have even less reason to add lead to the nose.

I have thought about wires to the fuse, but that will add drag, though it might help support a weak wing.

I think I will try the balsa under the wing and shape it to the wing so that I do not ruin the undercamber, which is a major contributor to the wing's lift.

I often fly in wind and that is usually when I have had a wing fail. Under mild conditions, the tape reinforcement seems to do fine, but it can't really hold under wind stress. The tape will fold right along with the wing. Since it is not stiff, it can't really resist the folding very much.

I have only had wings fail after I have put a crease in from a bad landing. I have never had a new wing fail.

The only reinforcement I put on new wings are two stripes of the super strong mesh reinforced 3M tape on the trailing edge where the prop would bite.

Let's keep this wing discussion going. I am getting some interesting ideas and hopefully I am providing some as well.
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Old 06-09-2003, 05:08 AM
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

AEAJR
I forgot to mention that the lead weights are only used for aid wind penetration when slope soaring the AB, I use 2 weights each of 25 grams, anything from 10 to 15 knots I use 1x25gm weight and 15 to 20 knots I use 2x25gm weights, anything above 20 knots (23mph) and the ABís structure becomes compromised, down elevator no longer works as the wind strength flattens out the elevators as the elastic bands can no longer hold down elevator (even using 2 elastic bands doesnít help), the AB will then do amazing backward summersaults and even with the 7 cells fully charged the AB is flat out when trying to land behind you into the wind at this strength and the speed over ground is practically zero.

The AB is not really designed for this type of flying but it is great fun. I donít use any weights of course when flying normally in normal wind conditions , of course none of this extreme flying does the wings much good either, I use 8 size no 32 superior elastic bands to hold the wings on. Even then Iíve had the wings flip around the side of the fuse and the covering becomes baggy . But what the hell! Give it a go I say

We also fly the ABís limbo flying under an electric fence only a couple of feet off the ground , some funny pics with that story
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Old 06-09-2003, 06:41 AM
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

Slope Gliding an Aerobird? I never thought of that.

Do you spend most of the time with the motor off, or are you just flying over a slope. How much gliding do you do vs. power flying? I am REALLY interested in this.

I have not tried it, but I saw a post that said if you put a shim at the back of the wing, like a popsicle stick, that the wing would penetrate wind better with less lift characteristic. Of course that is what you would want in a 20 MPH wind. I have not tried it yet, but it seems to make sense.

In 25 MPH winds, even if the foam tail could take it, the servos may not be strong enough to operate the tail surfaces. Or, perhaps the monofilament control lines are stretching. If you replaced them with heavier line, or perhaps Dacron, this problem would be eliminated.

If you have pictures, or videos of the bird slope gliding I would love to see them.

The idea of taking two wings and taping them together might make more sense for you than it does for me. It should be much stronger and would definitely add weight.

As stated above, I plan to take two wings that are creased on the opposite ends of the wing and bond them with CA. Then I will seal the edge with packing tape, or perhaps glass reinforced tape.

This should have a similar undercamber to a single wing but present a thicker wing profile. Hopefully it will make the wing stiffer.

I tried to reinforce a wing once by taping square balsa, about 1/4 X 1/4 the length of the wing on each side. I left the part that crosses the body alone. The plane flew fine, but the wing folded at the body during an extreme maneuver. I think the weight of the balsa was just too much for it.

The beauty of hits plane is that is can take so much crash punishment that you can afford to experiment, especially if you have reinforced the motor mount, as I have. Nose crashes don't even phase my plane anymore.

Keep the info coming and post some of those pictures.
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Old 06-09-2003, 09:37 AM
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

Another mod to help increase control is drill another hole lower in the control horn and move the control line lower, I tried two holes but canít use the lowest one as the hinge runs out of travel, but the one shown in the picture works a treat, real touchy, but definitely more responsive to say the least

Also had to epoxy the control horns to the tail surface for added strength
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Old 06-09-2003, 09:44 AM
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

A few other AB mods are 2 screws either side to hold the plastic frame in place that holds the circuit board, wire threaded through fuse and wrapped around tail boom as well as a cable tie and epoxy inside and outside, an access hole to adjust servos, an extra external elastic band to hold the canopy closed, also taped across the hinge joint, a cable tie in front of the motor to save it sliding forward.
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Old 06-09-2003, 10:14 AM
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

Quote:
Slope Gliding an Aerobird? I never thought of that.
Yes its great fun, most of the time is with the engine off, I use the engine only to gain altitude if I get too low and also to bring the AB into land from behind the back of the hill, which was and still is a real scary moment for me as there is a lot of turbulence.

the longest I've stayed up for is about 30 mins, the AB could have stayed up longer I think, but I bought it back before the batteries get too low as it needs full power to get it to land against the wind.

Ive not been doing it long and I wouldnt say I'm good at it, and the AB is not realy a slope soarer but it can do most things and like you say, its practically indestructible.

heres a link to Slope Flying
http://www.slopeflyer.com/artman/pub...rticle_8.shtml
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Old 06-09-2003, 10:51 AM
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Nice touch with the added hole.

Have you tried the X-Pack tail? About 40% larger control surfaces as well as a 7 cell battery. Works great!
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Old 06-09-2003, 10:55 AM
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Default Aerobird, unresponsive

Quote:
Have you tried the X-Pack tail?
that is the X-Pack Tail
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Old 06-09-2003, 11:00 AM
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Wow! And you felt the need to put another hole in the control horn. You must be a wild one in the air. I am surprised you have not overheated the servos. They must be working near their limits if you fly in 25 mph winds with two rubberbands on the tail.

What else do you fly?
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