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Just destroyed my first RC airplane

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Old 04-06-2019, 12:08 AM
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Charles Vane
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Default Just destroyed my first RC airplane

Hey everyone, I'm new to RC airplanes but not RC; my wife and I have 5 trucks/buggies, 3 boats and a quad. Last night I finished building a Horizon Hobby Radian XL sailplane and attempted to launch it in a grassy field, destroying it in seconds. I plan on buying another and am hoping that you guys can tell me what I did wrong.

Before leaving the house, I tested all of the controls several times, making sure that both sticks were doing what they were supposed to be doing. I walked out to a field, held the plane in my right hand at its' center of gravity with my FlySky transmitter in my left hand. I was on level ground and there was no wind. I set the elevator at roughly 50% climb (about halfway up) and the throttle at 100%. I gently threw the plane as level as possible and reached for the transmitter as I let go of the plane. I never had time to do anything else. The plane climbed for a few feet, then nose-dived directly into the ground. The plane was obliterated although I saved my 3s LiPo, the receiver, the motor and the servos.

I replayed it in my head and I'm thinking that perhaps I had too much vertical climb and stalled the sailplane. Just wondering if you guys agreed or had any other ideas or advice. Thanks for your time
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:22 AM
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BarracudaHockey
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Throw it level with level elevator. you stalled
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:48 AM
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Propworn
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You have never flown before and your trying to maiden your first plane and trim it at the same time. Do yourself a favor and find someone who can help you learn to fly it will save you a lot of grief. Take it from someone who taught themselves how to fly many many years ago. If your going to attempt this on your own. don't even try it at first with the motor on. Find a field with a small rise of land and learn to hand launch into the wind so the plane glides to a landing. You will have to trim it until it fly's straight and a gentle glide path hands off the controls. This will do two things. First it will allow you to trim the thing so with the motor off it will fly the way its supposed to be so at any time you get in trouble you can just lower the throttle and guide it back to you. Second it will get you used to just how hard you have to launch it to get it to fly. You do not have to chuck the thing hard usually a smooth forward push is all that is needed. The amount of up trim on the elevator should be just noticeable from dead flat. It should glide at a fairly flat angle without any bobbing of the nose. Once you master the small rise in land find a larger hill to launch from and practice some more. The hill will give you a longer glide time to get used to it. When you do decide to try it under power try half throttle instead.

Dennis
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:52 PM
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Yes, I have a Radian XL. I give it about half throttle with a little up when I toss. Once I have both hands on the transmitter, I raise the throttle and head up. The Radian is too heavy to go up at a steep angle

Make sure the CG is where specified. Mine balances with. 3S3200. I am sure everyone has different techniques but I climb as high as I can for one minute, cut the throttle and sail around. Once close to the ground I go up for another minute. I do this one more time and end up with 10-15 min flights.

The tip above launching with motor off from a small hill is a great idea. We used to do that with all our rudder only planes in the old days. Just launch it level

Have fun

bob
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:54 PM
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Charles Vane
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Thanks to all three of you. I refuse to give up and will be ordering another plane in two or three weeks.

Soaring looks like so much fun
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:25 PM
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The Radian is so easy to fly. You sure you have the elevator neutral when the right stick is in the center?
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:09 PM
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Charles Vane
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Yep center stick was neutral (no climb or dive) but I had it set to climb
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:53 PM
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Launch it without power with the battery in, into the wind to see if it glides okay first. Plus get someone to set it up for you and make sure you spend some time on a Simulator to help with orientation - when the glider is coming towards you - left will be right and vice versa. You need to get that hard-wired into your brain so you don't have to think about it - that's where the Sim comes in. I would also buy a Bixler, from Hobbyking, as it is easier to fly and has a rear facing prop - which means it is also easier to land and you are far less likely to break a prop on landing. They are also very tough and inexpensive.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:32 PM
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Charles Vane
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Okay will do and thanks. My new Radian should be here next week
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:59 AM
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A glider with a motor is still a glider and needs to be trimmed with test glides. Prior to your first flight, see that the CG is in range and check that all controls follow the sticks in the proper direction, especially the elevator. Moving the stick towards you moves the elevator up. At the field, have all trims set to neutral. Kneel down, point the nose about 5 degrees down and give it a moderate toss into the breeze. Leave the motor off and allow the glider to glide to the ground without touching the controls. At that altitude and airspeed it cannot hurt itself. If it turns right or left adjust the transmitter a couple of clicks. Do not adjust the elevator trim. If the glider stalls or porpoises up and down you need to add weight to the nose just until the porpoising stops. It might take a few test glides to get it right. Many ARF's come out of the box tail heavy. If the glider pitches into the ground with with correct trim and CG you have a bigger problem than I can solve without seeing the airplane. Use pitch trim only as a last resort. On the final test glide touch the the aileron and rudder controls to get the feel of how the glider responds. You are now ready for your first powered flight. Launch nose up about 10-20 degrees and about 3/4 throttle, throttle up and at altitude, herd the airplane around by just breathing on the controls until you feel comfortable. When landing and down to 3-4 feet, allow the glider to land itself without touching the controls.
Have fun!
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:52 AM
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I’ve been flying RC models for over 40 years and to this day I test glide all gliders and small glow powered planes before attempting to fly with power. It’s much easier to discover and correct problems with a few tosses into the wind over tall grass. Plus it gives you a chance to see how the airplane will react to the controls. If something is horribly wrong with the plane, little damage will result from a test glide.

After a few test glides, try with a bit of power. If it climbs straight out gradually, great. If not, chop the power and glide into the grass. I have spent hours test gliding a couple of hard to trim planes, great exercise!
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