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phoenix decathlon

Old 12-30-2006, 10:37 PM
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ABELL
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Default phoenix decathlon

My son got a Decathlon for Christmas , Santy Claws done and brung it to him. He has gone through the trainer stage and has made a Tiger 2 do everything that a Tiger will do. When we get it together he insists on doing the maiden hisself. I have all the confidence in the world in him, but I do have a question or two. Does the Decathlon have any ground handling quirks? Does it have any bad habits in the air and does glide in to land or does it need some throttle to land? We are powering it with a TT Pro .46 is that enough? What would be a good prop? Thanks ahead for the help[8D]
Old 12-30-2006, 11:04 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

G'day Mate,
I don't have one, but I have seen em fly, & they can be a PIG, on the ground & in the air, get a very experienced pilot to check it out for you, & take it up, they are not as they seem.
But once trimmed & adjusted, they are OK.
Old 12-31-2006, 01:29 AM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

Well one good thing about the Decathlon is that it will teach him proper take off and landing techniques. I bought that very kit with the thinking that it would be the best of both worlds.
Meaning that it would fly like a trainer and still be aerobatic when I wanted. Well it did neither very well. I tried a .60 two stroke and a .65 four stroke. It flew like it needed a 1.20 in it. It's a 7-8 pound airplane so don't expect much with a .46. Some people have that combination and love it. Just think Clipped Wing Cub with lots and lots of paint. Or as Allan put it, a Pig.
Sorry to sound so negative, but I've talked to many people at my field and they all feel the same way.
It is a very well built kit and is quite striking on the ground and in the air. It has no bad habits other than being really heavy.
Good luck. I wish you and your son the best.
Old 12-31-2006, 10:14 AM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

Thanks guys. I think he is expecting more from the plane than what I am hereing, but mabey He won't be too disappointed
Old 12-31-2006, 01:42 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

I have a 52 size 2 stroke in mine and from the way it flys I am sure that ya 46 Pro will work just fine. The plane is heavy but with a 52, the plane is a rocket! The best way to do a take off is to slowly throttle up and watch for the plane to want to start turning left. Correct it with rudder right away and hold it and the plane will take off a few seconds later. Wait too long and the plane will start swerving all over the place. If this happens, chop the throttle right away and try again! Once its in the air I found it to be very sensitive but easy to fly because it is predicable. You need to keep some speed on while landing or the ailerons suddenly quit working! You don't need to use throttle to do this, just use the elevator because it does have a positive glide. I found that the rudder is still effective at very slow speeds so I am going to try switching to rudder to land instead of keeping the speed up to use ailerons. Hope this helps. [8D]
Old 12-31-2006, 06:08 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

Thanks Fastsky! I Know my son can handle it. He has been flying for about a year now - last 8 months on a Tiger 2. He has proably put 15 gal of fuel through it now. He is a very capable pilot but I would like for him to know ahead of time of any quirks the plane might have. He has advanced a lot faster than myself. His eyes and reflexes are younger than mine ( he is 13 and I am 46) plus he gets to spend more time on the G3.5 sim than I as I have to work to pay for all this hobby stuff[&o] Hopefully we will have it together by the weekend and can put it in the air on Saturday. Will post how it all goes
Old 12-31-2006, 06:12 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

Looking forward to the flight report!
Old 01-02-2007, 07:17 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

I am just starting in r/c and I have a Phoenix Dolphin.I love it.I was thinking about a Decathlon for my next plane.Would you let me know how it goes? Thanks,Steve
Old 01-02-2007, 10:03 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

Part of the problems that some people have with a Decathlon is that it requires that it be flown like an airplane. That requires some special piloting skills and technique like smooth application of power on the ground, making certain that flying speed is reached before rotation on take off, judicious use of rudder and really advanced stuff like that. This plane does not handle well when slamming the throttle forward and jerking back on the stick. It's a really good plane for developing piloting skills.
Old 01-02-2007, 10:39 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

Your right Jim! I know I have to pay a "lot" more attention to what I am doing for the takeoffs and landings. Once its in the air I have some other planes that react similiar to the controls (very brisk and precise response) even though it doesn't look any thing like my other planes. [8D]
Old 01-03-2007, 12:13 AM
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ABELL
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

Sounds like Ben is going to have to learn some scale piloting skills. With his Tiger and trainer he pretty much slammed the throttle and pulled back after a little ground speed, although he is capable of some scale looking roll outs and take offs when he wants to. Steve I'll be glad to give a report when we finish assembly and get to fly it, hopefully Saturday
Old 01-03-2007, 10:56 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

OK, I've seen two of them recently. Like in the last two weeks. And one is mine. And both have a problem with takeoffs.

Mine has had an OS55AX and OS46AX in it. Both are ok for it. Both pull it at MACH 3 if I'm dumb enough to let them. The airplane is the heaviest 40 size ARF I've built in a year and a half. So I figured it'd need the 55AX. It doesn't. It actually hasn't shown one bad habit yet. Except for the takeoffs.

The other guy showed up with his first. I didn't even know he was building it and had maybe a day's worth of work to finish mine when he brought it out for it's maiden flight. He had fits. The sucker wore him out trying to get it off the ground in one piece.

I got mine out a couple of days after watching him deal with his little beauty. I wasn't looking forward to my maidens. So I was extra careful on the first couple of takeoffs. And did a number of touch and gos the first flight. He is a SLAM AND PRAY type of flyer when it comes to takeoffs. And therein is the solution to the mystery. Mine didn't show a single problem on takeoff on the first three or four flights. And I was baffled about why his was so different than mine. And then I did a slam-the-throttle takeoff. Or should I say, I TRIED a slam-the-throttle takeoff. And not being a real fast learner, I immediately tried it again. And both of them gave SUDDEN ground loops.

The airplane has a VERY EFFECTIVE rudder. That is, AFTER it builds enough speed on takeoff for the rudder to get some clean air and enough airspeed to fly. So if you slam-and-pray it's not going to control engine torque one bit until it hits that speed and by then the torque has the airplane by it's ......... And you've probably got max rudder deflection..... and the airplane scares everyone watching.

After my Decathlon did it's little tricks on those takeoffs, I've not once tried the jam-it routine. And not once has it done anything but take off like a kitten.

I got $20 bucks says your son will ground loop the sucker if he's a jam-it-and-pray kind of flyer.
Old 01-03-2007, 10:57 PM
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da Rock
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

BTW, I think I heard my buddy telling someone he'd sell him his Decathlon for what he had in it. And he hasn't brought it back since that first day.

I've had mine out every day since it's maiden. It's a kewl flying airplane.
Old 01-03-2007, 11:03 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

BTW, I wound up putting the battery in mine in a special box I built behind the wing TE in the top of the fuselage. I wanted a rear CG and that gave me one. So it's certainly NOT a nose-heavy slug.

And I set the throws almost exactly where the manual suggested. And I'm VERY GLAD that I set the dual rates so low rates were a shade less than suggested. I fly it mostly on low rates. They won't snap it, but the roll rate is good and high, and the elevator is about right, and the rudder maybe needs a bit less still. And when I want to do any snaping, I can hit elevator and aileron high rates and get a nice quick snap. Hit the rudder high rate and get an even quicker (but somewhat messy) snap that I'm not good enough to control. But I'm getting there.
Old 01-03-2007, 11:14 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

The dual rate on the rudder is really a good deal. When it is slowing on landing and the tail starts down, I've found that I really better be in high rate for rudder. If the wheel pants hit any high grass, the low rate rudder won't stop the ground loop. Once it's speed is bled off, it doesn't matter what rate.

I think when it's attitude is on it's three wheels, the wing much screw up the air enough that the fin/rudder isn't producing enough yaw stability. And until the fin/rudder has enough clean air at enough speed, it still won't have enough yaw stability to counteract engine torque. And the rudder isn't working worth spit.

Most of my takeoffs are at about half throttle. But so far, every time it's rolled a secord or more with the tail up, she'll take any throttle advance like a sweetheart. I've yet to TRY to jam it full to see if the torque will roll/snap it into the runway, but who would? However, I don't try to ease it any more once it's off the ground. I think that when the wing is flying the fin/rudder is way into it's safe speed envelope.

BTW, wait till you try to knife edge the honey. Then you'll see just how powerful that rudder is. She really knows she's got a rudder. And rudder couples.

But nothing vicious.
Old 01-04-2007, 09:17 AM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon


[quote]ORIGINAL: darock


Most of my takeoffs are at about half throttle. But so far, every time it's rolled a secord or more with the tail up, she'll take any throttle advance like a sweetheart. I've yet to TRY to jam it full to see if the torque will roll/snap it into the runway, but who would? However, I don't try to ease it any more once it's off the ground. I think that when the wing is flying the fin/rudder is way into it's safe speed envelope.





This ought to be made a part of the kit Manual.
Old 01-04-2007, 08:16 PM
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ABELL
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

Thanks for all the information guys. Ben ought to be well informed on the take offs and landings.Darock, although Ben is pretty much a slam and pray flyer on the Tiger he is a level headed kid. I believe he can process this information and do well enough that I'll cover that Andy Jack.
Old 01-05-2007, 11:37 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

[sm=72_72.gif] Do I smell a maiden?
Old 01-06-2007, 08:16 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

It's been smelling like a maiden for a couple of days, but thanks to the storms in Lamar county it's proably going to be Monday since its suppose to rain Sunday. Had to work about 30 hrs. straight Thur. - Fri and sleep late Saturday so I'm running behind. Bad weather is not a very good time to be a " lineman for the county" as Glen Campbell used to put it[&o]
Old 01-06-2007, 08:20 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

You've definately chosen the best path to a successful maiden. Don't rush the build! Double check, or even triple check everything and make sure its all good. I know Ben will be very satisfied with this plane! Good Luck!
Old 01-06-2007, 09:44 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

I have the sister ship to this...the Seagull Decathlon. I chose an OS .46AX and it exhibits tons of power. The .55AX may be the perfect engine in the long run. Plane is fast and extremely maneuverable with this combination. As stated, it has very pronounced ground handling issues if you don't stay on top of them but then again, so does the real one if you let it. Plane knife edges like its going out of style and snaps really fast. Make sure it has flying speed before lift off or it will snap immediately - never yank it off before its ready to fly. Install the struts and listen to the incredible whistle they make with high speed passes. This is a fun airplane that teaches you alot along the way. Let us know and watch the immediate grin!
Old 01-09-2007, 08:42 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

Winds tomorrow suppose to 4-6 mph clear blue skies. Will post tomorrow nite how maiden went
Old 01-10-2007, 09:41 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

Well, we maidened the Decathlon today. Ground handling is surely a handful. After getting Mr. Chester to double check everything after Ben and I had trilpe checked evreything the time came when there was nothing left to do but put it in the air. Ben's first attempt was just a run down the runway to get the feel of it. It looked pretty squirelly. He run it back to the end of the runway and said here goes Dad! He eased the Good Gulf to it slowly and made a really good looking take off. It took a couple of clicks of right a and one click of up and he was flying. He made about a 5 minute flight then a couple of false approaches before setting it down. He done well on the landing also. We went over everything again before his second take off, which was not as good as the first. Best way I can describe it is the track a sidewinder rattlesnake leaves. He did get in the air ok. Inverted is good with very little elevator, knife edge is great with only about half the rudder. Hammerheads galore, Ben had a ball with this plane. He flew 4 tanks through it and brought it home the same way we left with it. The TT Pro .46 with a 11/6 APC prop pulled it just fine even though I had it tuned about 1000 rich of lean as it is a new engine. I believe after a few more tanks of fuel we can lean it and put a 11/7 on it and get even better performance. I think Ben is really going to like this plane...... kinda got me wanting one..... may call Tower after while and see if they got another
Old 01-10-2007, 10:34 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

Glad to hear the good results! Way to go! [sm=thumbup.gif]
Old 01-11-2007, 06:06 PM
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Default RE: phoenix decathlon

Thanks Mr. Jim All of you guys input helped make it a sucessful maiden !

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