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  1. #1501

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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Thanks Olivier,

    Had only one flight this morning at the field, the temp was a little hot at 105 degree F, sunny and hot with a slight cross wind. I wanted to try the 30 degree flap setting with speed break, and yes indeed the F18F came in really nice. I porpoised slightly till I got the speed and AOA right on and then she just slowly with a nose high angle glided across the landing strip with mains touching down so nice.

    That is the ticket.


    Kevin

  2. #1502

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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Well guys,
    I put two flights on the F-18 yesterday!!! What a great flying plane. First flight went as I figured, landed long though...this bird will fly slower than I would have imagined. Second flight...FLAME OUT two minutes into flight! But, got it back with little issues...found out how slow it will fly with no flaps and gear down.

    Kevin, you were correct on the rudders!!! As I added rudder in my first turn, I found the plane headed nose down right away...forgot how little rudder the 18 needs in turns. Went straight to low rates on rudder from then on. The gear mod is just about about right. Landings were a none issue as far as wing rocking but takeoffs...I found myself using Aileron to help steer the plane a bit since the nose gear was pretty sensative with the direct drive servo...even with low rates and a soft expo setting of 30.

    Elevators are touchy for sure. Will need to work on that part as I get the landings in the groove. Ran with 20 degree flaps on take off and landing. Have CG set at 180 and the plane still jumped off the runway...not to 60 degree climb but around 40 anyway. Then changed to 15 degrees flaps on next takeoff and it was so much better. WIll try 30 degrees on flaps for landing next time and have speed brakes functioning well and will try Olivers technique with the mix on landings.

    Had issues with ECU Battery so did not get to fly it more. Headed to KY for Jets Over KY this Wednesday and will take it with me...as long as I can get a new sheer pin for the Nose Gear in time. Slightly bent it on first looooooong landing when I rolled it into grass after landing

    Overall, this plane is so nice in the air and on the ground...it has been a loooong time since I was so caught up in how good the plane looked on approach that I almost forgot to land it!!!

    Thanks to Oliver, David, and Kevin...for the good info and keeping this thread positive rather than bashing FEJ (other than Andy, who I think has a legitimate gripe). It's a very good airframe and I am glad I did not give up. TAM, even though I had to mortgage my house to get your pipe, as always, you are the very best! Thanks for sending the Gear FS overnight...got it!

    Rex
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  3. #1503

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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Congrats Rex,

    Wish we could have seen some video, nothing like that first maiden after spending hours of hard work on a bird. Best of luck at Jets over KY.


    PS. For the front , I am using the stock FEJ Retract unit (has alot of slop however) and yellow front wheels. The wheels use a greater diameter axle then the stock FEJ front wheels and therefore stronger. I had bent the FEJ axle every time I flew Bird #1. Wayne Lane made me a new axle and drilled the front strut to fit. NO MORE PROBLEMS.

    Many more happy flights.

    Kevin

  4. #1504
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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Hi Rex,

    Congratulations !
    I am glad that you did a nice maiden.
    For the takeoff and landing roll into cross winds, never forget to apply some ailerons into the wind.
    The less flaps you'll use for takeoff, the less jump you'll get, but the longer the takeoff run will be.

    On landing, if you see the plane starting to bank on one side, just apply full brakes. It will sit her on the ground.
    Now I always apply full brakes very soon after landing to avoid having too many problems with tilting her.
    I have made up a stock of sheer pins since these ones are here to work as a fusing device. DO NOT make them with hard steel or you'll brake the wood structure than holds the gear plates...

    Regarding the elevators, as I wrote here before, this plane needs much less throw than expected. Avoid using any exponential since it increases the auto-pitchup characteristics.
    Also treat this bird with a lot of respect when you'll start doing aerobatics: the handling radius is very big and the plane DOES snap stall if you pull too much on her...
    Never forget that she is heavy...
    Oli. Utimate Jets, Weatronic USA.

  5. #1505
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    RE: Flyeagle F18F


    ORIGINAL: Kmarks

    Thanks Olivier,

    Had only one flight this morning at the field, the temp was a little hot at 105 degree F, sunny and hot with a slight cross wind. I wanted to try the 30 degree flap setting with speed break, and yes indeed the F18F came in really nice. I porpoised slightly till I got the speed and AOA right on and then she just slowly with a nose high angle glided across the landing strip with mains touching down so nice.

    That is the ticket.


    Kevin
    Hi Kevin,

    I am glad that you liked this tip.
    You can try to pull her on a final approach to see how resistant she is to the auto-pitchup with the speed brakes deployed.
    Oli. Utimate Jets, Weatronic USA.

  6. #1506

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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Oliver,
    I am having a local flying buddy of mine make up some more sheer pins...NOT from hardened steel, I agree totally. I was speaking with a former F-18 pilot and he was telling me the flight characteristics of the real bird and it was pretty close to some of the things I was experiencing as I made control inputs too.

    I am seeing why the CG can go back further too, these planes seem to love to be tail heavy. I will dial the Elevators to a lower expo setting. and slowely take them to 0 (I believe +18 is 0 on JR 12x radios)

    I'll keep you posted on more flights as I progress.

    Kevin, Thanks! Yea, the only real video I think he got was when he thought I was going to crash when the engine flamed out! It was so funny...I landed it and rolled it right to the entrance of the tarmack! I think he was disappointed.

    Rex
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  7. #1507

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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Rex,

    Good to hear the maiden flight went well. I look forward to seeing it fly at Kentucky Jets, that will be just the motivation I need to start assemblying my hornet.

  8. #1508
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    RE: Flyeagle F18F


    ORIGINAL: rbxbear44

    Oliver,
    I am having a local flying buddy of mine make up some more sheer pins...NOT from hardened steel, I agree totally. I was speaking with a former F-18 pilot and he was telling me the flight characteristics of the real bird and it was pretty close to some of the things I was experiencing as I made control inputs too.

    I am seeing why the CG can go back further too, these planes seem to love to be tail heavy. I will dial the Elevators to a lower expo setting. and slowely take them to 0 (I believe +18 is 0 on JR 12x radios)

    I'll keep you posted on more flights as I progress.

    Kevin, Thanks! Yea, the only real video I think he got was when he thought I was going to crash when the engine flamed out! It was so funny...I landed it and rolled it right to the entrance of the tarmack! I think he was disappointed.

    Rex
    Could you post the video of the deadstick landing ?
    That would be a great help for everyone of us since you're the only guy on the planet who deadsticked this bird safely to the ground...
    Oli. Utimate Jets, Weatronic USA.

  9. #1509

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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Oliver,
    Will do. I think I can get Jim to do that before we head out to KY Jets. FYI, I went NO FLAPS and gear down AFTER I new I could make the runway for sure. Made sure I kept the nose down all the way through to the point of landing flare. Elevators remained extremely responsive all the way through the event. Actually, need to give lots of credit to Joe Rafalowski...whom was cheering me on and giving me good advice all the way through.

    I'll talk with Jim this afternoon about getting the video to post here.

    Rex
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  10. #1510
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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Thanks
    Oli. Utimate Jets, Weatronic USA.

  11. #1511
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    RE: Flyeagle F18F


    ORIGINAL: rbxbear44

    Oliver,
    Will do. I think I can get Jim to do that before we head out to KY Jets. FYI, I went NO FLAPS and gear down AFTER I new I could make the runway for sure. Made sure I kept the nose down all the way through to the point of landing flare. Elevators remained extremely responsive all the way through the event. Actually, need to give lots of credit to Joe Rafalowski...whom was cheering me on and giving me good advice all the way through.

    I'll talk with Jim this afternoon about getting the video to post here.

    Rex
    Congrats Rex!
    The bitter taste of poor quality lingers long after the sweet taste of low price is forgotten.

  12. #1512

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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Here is the link to the video Rex was referring to. This was the 2nd flight and I had already shut my camera off thinking it will be just another uneventful flight, then the silence! Turned it back on to get the last few seconds of flight followed by a nice recovery and landing. Rex is certainly one lucky guy! It really slowed down very nice w/o flaps. Rex forgot to mention that that it was a down wind landing as well, albeit light winds. It was shot in HD...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3kIyHO1iVc

  13. #1513
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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Well done Rex.
    The trees were pretty close !
    Your elevator is definitely too sensitive. How much throw do you have ?
    Oli. Utimate Jets, Weatronic USA.

  14. #1514

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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Oliver,
    The trees...they look closer than they really are. My flameout occurred at that end of the runway so I was pretty far, actually into the wind on that leg of the flight. When I realized I had a Flameout, I turned immediately back to the runway and kept the nose down all the way till I knew I had it made. It was a downwind landing, winds were anywhere from calm to 10 mph, quartering towards me.

    Anywho, Elevators...I had full rates at that point with 70mm of throw and +30 on expo. Remember, for the 12x, 0 or linear is +18.

    I had the plane set up with 70mm for high, 60mm for mid, and 50mm for low. Since it was my first day on the plane, I hadn't had time to dial things in as I want. Suggestions????

    I did notice Ailerons have tons of authority and so do rudders. Dialed rudders waaaay down and flew Ailerons at low rates with 15mm travel.

    Andy, Kevin...thanks!!!

    Rex
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  15. #1515
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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Yes, the elevator was way too high.
    Start with 55 mm/ 48 mm/ 40 mm on the 3 DR settings with no expo.
    Should be fine with your CG setting.
    Oli. Utimate Jets, Weatronic USA.

  16. #1516

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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Thanks Oliver, I will make the adjustments for the next flight.

    Rex
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  17. #1517
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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    25 flights reliability report.

    Hello guys,
    Here are my findings after the 25th flight ( 35 landings ).
    The main gear plate system and retract do have serious weaknesses.

    I saw the gear taking more "angle" from looking at the ground posture. So I decided to do a small inspection.
    Good on me because the gear wouldn't have taken more landings.

    The glass fiber plate is broken in the middle.



    The rear main former ( the one that holds the rear wing tube joiners ) is broken:



    The front gear former is broken as well (1) and unglued from the fuselage (2):



    What happens is that the landing efforts ( 1 ) create a momentum that pushes the upper part of the formers out (2) and the lower part in (3)
    So the formers flex and brake at the weak point.
    Note that I anticipated this and reinforced the main former with a carbon/balsa sandwich plate (4), and harwood blocks across the gear plates but this was not enough.
    Also note that this flexing momentum cracks the lower fuselage skin. When you see this crack appearing (5) this means that your formers are cracked as well...



    I am going to redo the whole thing and put the new FEJ gear upgrade kit at the same time.
    I strongly advise everyone to keep a close eye on this area and do an inspection every 20 flights.
    I also strongly recommend a good reinforcement strategy. I will come back soon with suggestions.

    The retract is also almost dedad as well.
    The trunion sliding pin clearance has gone enormous ( 1,6 mm at the down lock ):


    Here is the other side of the trunion groove ( up lock ):


    The trunion rotation axis is also completely ovalized.

    So I am in the process of making new retract side walls with my favorite Alumec 89 from Alcoa. I will also make a new larger titanium trunion axis stopped by a set screw fastening in the trunion.

    BTW I did not have any hard landing with this plane.

    Oli. Utimate Jets, Weatronic USA.

  18. #1518

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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Your mods intentions sound really good Oliver.

    I have always expected that the alu quality is good enough for a 25Lb aircraft, but defenetly not good for a 50-60Lb

    The former woods and the aluminium gear are soft. The wood quality of the gear upgrade kit that FEJ sent for the gear mods have a MUCH better ply quality.

    Hope they are learning......keep us posted on your mods, please

    Congratulations on your maiden Rex

    Regards

    Nuno

  19. #1519

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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Well guys,
    Just returned from Jets Over KY and had a darn good time! Lewis did it good and did it right, for sure! Got three more flights on the F-18. Had a bad landing and broke a main gear rail but my builder had it fixed and I was up the next day! Well, should have checked closer on the left main gear...lower strut was loose and pivoted on take off and it caused me to veer left and I had no nose steering to the right at all. Had to choose to kill the engine and hit the trees for a total loss OR...stay with full power and pull up...which happened and I missed a runway light by about 3 feet!!!! The Rhino is definitely enought to fly this bird because I was able to climb out at 30 degrees with 12 degrees of flaps, gear down and only about 500ft. of runway rollout before I rotated THANK GOD!

    Anyway, Nothing hurt and landed it perrrrfect and got a standing O from the crowd. They probably did that because they figured I was a "newby" with the ugly takeoff I did

    Anyway, the plane was very impressive and very stable. Really had a chance to wring it out for a few 7 minute flights. Just need to get the approches down better. Had a perfect landing on Thursday morning and then a crappy one on Friday late morning. Builder, Johnny worked to get her flying again and took it up again on Friday afternoon and greased it in again. Saturday winds were a howling crosswind up to 25 and just hung out with Eric Clapp and company.

    Rex
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    AMA Contest Director #7484
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  20. #1520

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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Rex,

    Glad that it turned out OK. I love the way my F18F flys but the landings have such a narrow window to grease it in. I had a beautiful flight and a perfect approach only to set her down just a tad bit to heavy and broke a sheer pin that protects the gear I have from breaking. I have allready installed new pin and she is ready to go.

    Congrats on a great weekend of flying, and keep us posted on your success.



    Kevin
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  21. #1521
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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    ORIGINAL: rbxbear44

    The Rhino is definitely enought to fly this bird because I was able to climb out at 30 degrees with 12 degrees of flaps, gear down and only about 500ft. of runway rollout before I rotated THANK GOD!


    Rex
    Well Rex I'd say that if you would have had the FEJ pipe, you might not have made it considering the amount of thrust lost into it.
    The Rhino is enough with the Tamjets pipe...

    So on that respect I'd say that your investment in a Tamjets pipe just paid back...
    Oli. Utimate Jets, Weatronic USA.

  22. #1522
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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Very well done guys.
    I am finishing the gear plates mods ( removable carbon/plywood flex plates for the mains ) and will return to you with the pictures.
    I am also waiting for a quote from my metal supplyer for Alumec 89 corners to make new stronger retract walls.
    Oli. Utimate Jets, Weatronic USA.

  23. #1523
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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Nice job Rex. Wish I could have made KY jets this year. Looks like you had a blast.
    The bitter taste of poor quality lingers long after the sweet taste of low price is forgotten.

  24. #1524
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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Hello guys,

    I had a very nice flying session yesterday in a massive 15 kts crosswind ( I consider this as the maximum allowable crosswind for this plane with the wide stance ).
    I did two flights with only landing practice, touch and goes, and go arounds.







    I have finally pushed the CG back to 180 mm. The main reason is that when pushing the flight times to 14 minutes, the plane becomes unstable during approach ( the auto-pitchup effect comes back again ) with flaps 30.
    The cure is to use flaps 15 for landing.
    However at 180 mm the plane does not show this behaviour. I think that when at 190mm, the planes comes very close to the rear limit with an empty front tank.

    The flex plates are doing a great job. They work a bit like blade spring suspension.
    They are made of three layer ( from retract to top ): 3 mm aviation ply, 2 mm carbon plate, 6 mm aviation ply NOT GLUED TOGETHER
    Similarly, the plates are not glued into the formers. Just inserted. This allows them to slide one to the other and act as a suspension system.



    Note the former reinforcements made of 6 mm aviation grade ply on the rear one and 3 mm on the front.



    I have not used the formers provided by FEJ because I don't like the new geometry. The angles are good but I find the retract placed way too low ( almost 1 inch lower ). This gives a massive negative angle ( -2°) on the ground.
    So I have made the new plate with the modified geometry I used before: same gear position as the original but tilted outward by 20°.
    This works really great with smooth-like-silk takeoffs and a nice wide stance that really helps in crosswind or during taxi.

    I had to stop after the second flight because I am starting to get slop in the right elevator. I think that a bearing is going south there. I'll keep you informed.
    Oli. Utimate Jets, Weatronic USA.

  25. #1525
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    RE: Flyeagle F18F

    Elevator system feedback:

    The bearings are fine. In fact the elevator system rear mounting screws ( al 44 of them ) were loosing up. It appeared that I forgot to put thread locking liquid on these ones...
    No arm anyway since I do my routine inspection after each flight.

    However to all F-18F users: check these screws and MAKE SURE that they are loctited.
    They are extremely solicited during the flight and WILL unscrew if not properly fastened with possibly dramatic consequences.

    Now I have to go flying again...
    Oli. Utimate Jets, Weatronic USA.


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