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Caressa by Bryan Hebert of CK Aero

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Caressa by Bryan Hebert of CK Aero

Old 11-05-2017, 12:15 PM
  #26  
Jeff Worsham
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I’ve found even a 1/16” change in CG location affects my elevator trim which means checking CG often, especially when trimming, changing setups, or using different battery weights. At least until battery locations are settled. Over time, fuse opening flange may crack from having 11lbs concentrated on same point repeatedly. A little piece of 1/8” lite ply reinforcement prevents cracking.

Also, translating a mark onto flange indicating backside of wing tube is very helpful. A square resting against backside of tube, mark made on backside of blade and then translated forward by width of the blade gives you location of backside of tube. Having this on each side with 1/16” graduations makes for accurate and repeatable CG measurements using a dowel (marked with line) and a string level sitting on top of flange to indicate level. Result: reduced variability from flight to flight.
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:03 PM
  #27  
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Thanks for the compliment Gary.

I agree Jeff. Right now I making sure it is close. Bryan has agreed to do the maiden and I am sure he will re-measure everything when I get it to his field. Nothing like having the master designer checking your setup and doing the initial flight.

Here is a picture of the battery tray completely installed. It is removable, although it will take some work to get it out and back in again.

And last, but not least, here are the final weights:

Wings weighed up at 448 and 435 grams each. Some sticky weights were added to the lighter wing to make sure they both weighed the same for a total of 896 grams.
The fuselage, including the carbon fiber wing spar weighed in at 2689 grams. My heaviest battery packs weigh 1124 grams. Add them all up and - drum roll please - the final ready-to-fly weight is 4709 grams. Should this plane last the season, then I am going to the Nats next year for sure.

Sheldon
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:23 PM
  #28  
Jeff Worsham
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4709 is awesome for an all composite plane!
Old 11-05-2017, 03:11 PM
  #29  
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I know. I went back through everything to see if I left anything off or see if I had forgotten something. It looks like either the weights are correct or my scale is off. I really do not think it is the scale. When Bryan handed me the fuselage at the Cajun Nats, I almost threw it up in the air because I was expecting something much heavier when he put it in my hands. It is a really light build. Cannot wait to see it fly. I hope Bryan gets back to me soon so I can get the flight scheduled.

I want to thank Bryan Hebert for his design, Earl Haury, Mark Hunt, Don Ramsey, Jeff Worsham, and everybody else on the District 6 pattern circuit for their comments, suggestions, ideas, etc. All were received and filed leading to the purchase and setup of this airplane. Thank you all.

Sheldon
Old 11-12-2017, 09:05 AM
  #30  
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Weel, here we are at the flying field in Ramah, Louisiana, just west of Baton Rouge. Several of my Louisiana buddies were there to watch Bryan maiden this beautiful airplane. Before Bryan showed up we took several pictures. The other airplane is an 11 year old design by Bryan Hebert called a Shinden. I included it here because this plane is the basis of the Caressa design. The person holding the Shinden is Monte Richard, the NSRCA District 6 VP and long time flyer of the Shinden.

Bryan gave the Caressa a check out and decided it was OK to fly. I walked the plane out to the runway and Bryan had the transmitter waiting for me to arm the craft. When Bryan advanced the throttle the plane smoothly broke ground and climbed straight out. After a couple of passes Bryan gave it several clicks of down elevator and that was it. He flew several maneuvers including stall turns, loops, vertical down lines, and a little bit of knife edge. After the transmitter timer went off Bryan landed and requested several changes. First we moved the batteries forward about 1/4-inch forward, changed the expo on the controls to suit Bryan, increased rudder throw, increased the top end throttle curve. The primary change was Bryan realized the elevators were not totally synchronized even though I thought they were properly set.

Put in fresh batteries and off we were again. Bryan flew a bunch more maneuvers taking out the down trim he put in on the first flight. He showed me the vertical up line with hands off, vertical down line with hands off, which resulted in a very slight attitude change due to the incidence, and several other maneuvers. Unfortunately the chin cowl came off in flight during a turn at the far south end of the field. Bryan landed the plane OK while I kept an eye on the cowl. A search party went out, but the cowl could not be found. One of my friend said he had a cowl for the Shinden that was still in the box and Bryan said it would fit, but the paint scheme will be off. Mike Pascal said I could use the cowl until the replacement with the Caressa paint arrived. A look at the attachment point on the fuselage showed that the screw that holds the cowl onto the fuselage loosened and backed out. That will not happen again as I plan on using a locknut as well as the t-nut to keep the screw in place.

Anyway, all that is left is for me to readjust the expo settings and trim to suit my flying style. As soon as I get the cowl, I will update this flight report.

A presentation video will appear on Bryan's website: CK Aero in the near future.

Sheldon

PS. Sorry about the orientation of the pictures, but I cannot figure out how to rotate them here.
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:43 PM
  #31  
ben beyer
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Looking forward to the video!
Old 11-13-2017, 07:31 AM
  #32  
Jeff Worsham
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Bryan Hebert helping his customer (Sheldon in this case) setup a model. Great pic by Monte, but not uncommon at all.
(I hope RCU doesn't flip this pic upside down. I've been having trouble with that as well)
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:58 AM
  #33  
ben beyer
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How much did the Caressa increase in height over the Shinden and what is the overall height of the plane?

Asking because I am not able to do the trailer setup for hauling planes so they have to fit in the bed of my truck.
Old 11-20-2017, 01:13 PM
  #34  
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Ben, I will have to let Bryan answer those questions as I do not have any info on the Shinden at hand. I do know that it is taller due to the landing gear and the vertical fin is larger. Measured in a three point stance from the floor, the nose at the spinner is 17", the top of the canopy is 21", and the top of the fin is 18.5." I hope that gives you enough information to help.

Flight report part two: I have only five flights on the plane so far due to having only four flight packs at this time. However, it is really noticeable how this plane locks into a flight path unless you are like me and tend to input corrections that are not needed. If you point the plane and let go of the sticks it will keep flying until you do input some other commands. The vertical up lines are straight, vertical down lines tend to slightly pull out because of the incidence, but I am not going to mix them out, too minor of a correction. I had to reduce the aileron throw, because Bryan flys with the controls much more sensitive than I do. Consecutive rolls are smooth and require very little rudder input as long as the energy is up slightly beyond half throttle. Slow rolls are easy to control and you can get really slow with them. 5-seconds is easily achievable if the power setting is good. Stall turns are unreal and with enough rudder the plane will pivot very smoothly and there is no pendulum as long as you get off the rudder soon enough during the pivot. Inverted flight takes just a touch of down if the CG is set correctly. Snap rolls and spins are not in my sequence this year so I have not set-up to perform those maneuvers. Power is easy to control and I still have to tune the throttle curve as the plane tends to accelerate when I pull to vertical or 45-degree up lines and add full throttle. I may just learn to live with it and not add full throttle unless I need to for some reason.

Landings are generally my weak point. I have been flying two Episodes this last season and the planes tend to float and carry on past the selected touch down point. Other times the plane quits flying when you are not ready and I tend to bounce it pretty good. This plane is completely different and slows down almost immediately when you throttle back to idle which makes the touch down point much easier to predict. I find I am holding more power on final and gradually bleeding the throttle off as the plane nears the runway. Make no mistake about it though, this plane will fall out of the sky (straight ahead, no tip stall visible) if you let it, but responds more predictably when you add power if you are too high. Saved it several times today.I am still adjusting control throws, CG, expo, etc. and generally tend to do that all year depending on the conditions where I am flying. Flew in a rather brisk crosswind today, but rudder held the plane in the box with very little input. I am definitely going to be happy with this plane. I solicit any comments and suggestions that you all have to help improve my flying.

Sheldon

Last edited by Smooth Pilot; 11-20-2017 at 01:16 PM.
Old 11-21-2017, 12:23 PM
  #35  
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After another day of flying, I noticed two things. First, and really scary, was that two of the screws holding the motor to the firewall had vibrated loose and fallen into the cowl. I checked the other two and they were also loose. Fortunate that I found that before the motor came completely off and destroyed the nose of the aircraft. I took it home and replaced the existing screws with some that are slightly longer checking to make sure the ends of the crews did not contact the windings and using thread locker to prevent this happening again. I thought I had already used some thread locker, but I could not see any evidence. So be forewarned to double check the mounting arrangement.

Second, the canopy flange at the front was starting to separate as that is were the battery connection is made. A small piece of 1/8-inch lite ply was cut and glued to the flange with medium CA. I have attached a photo show the location and the clamps where the reinforcement was made.

Still making radio and trim adjustments and dialing the airplane in. It just keeps getting better and better the more I fly it.


Sheldon
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:34 AM
  #36  
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I have about 25 flights on the Caressa now and I am rapidly getting used to the softer sticks. The throttle curve has been set for some time now and the ESC was reprogrammed for 30% brake. All seems to work together well as I am no longer getting the knock when the motor comes off the brake. Maneuvers continue to smooth and the airplane will fly by itself as long as I am smooth on the sticks and remember to let go in straight and level flight. I am starting to feel like I have a chance to win a contest or two next season. Still having some trouble remembering the new sequence, especially when I change takeoff directions from south to north. Oh well.

Sheldon
Old 12-05-2017, 05:18 PM
  #37  
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Good luck next year, Sheldon!
Old 12-06-2017, 01:09 PM
  #38  
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Thanks Gary. See you next year.

Sheldon
Old 12-31-2017, 09:25 AM
  #39  
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Have not updated for awhile so here is the latest. Could not get a good level knife edge pass by adjusting the CG, so I gave up and did a little bit of rudder to elevator mix to cure that. It does not appear to affect the other flight parameters so I will stick with it as it is now. I finally had to replace the aileron/elevator springs with some that were a little stiffer as I could not get enough tension with the adjusters so all appears well now. I have a little over one hundred flights now and everything is settling in real well. Now if I could just get the sequence memorized....

Sheldon
Old 01-01-2018, 07:35 AM
  #40  
ben beyer
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Where did you get new springs?

Just curious as one of the screws on the adjusters for my DeJaVu is maxed out and I'm looking for a source for a longer screw.
Old 01-02-2018, 07:12 AM
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I am using an Airtronics SD-10G even though they have been discontinued. Sanwa supplied an extra set of stronger springs with the transmitter. Earl Haury told me that he makes his own springs when he has to get some more tension on his sticks. Sorry I cannot be of more help.

Sheldon
Old 01-02-2018, 10:07 AM
  #42  
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Radio South sells stiffer springs
Old 01-03-2018, 04:29 AM
  #43  
ben beyer
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Originally Posted by Smooth Pilot View Post
I am using an Airtronics SD-10G even though they have been discontinued. Sanwa supplied an extra set of stronger springs with the transmitter. Earl Haury told me that he makes his own springs when he has to get some more tension on his sticks. Sorry I cannot be of more help.

Sheldon
My apologies, I misread and thought you were talking about for the incidence adjusters.
Old 01-03-2018, 12:28 PM
  #44  
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No problem Ben. The Carresa did not need incidence adjusters as the factory setting was just right. good luck.

Sheldon
Old 01-24-2018, 08:51 AM
  #45  
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Just received my Caressa today. Surprised that there are no servo cut outs for elevator servos or control horn slots. Can you speak to elevator servo installation and pull-pull installation? Thanks.
Old 01-24-2018, 04:27 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by grotow View Post
Just received my Caressa today. Surprised that there are no servo cut outs for elevator servos or control horn slots. Can you speak to elevator servo installation and pull-pull installation? Thanks.
Sure, put your servo case on the wing or stabilizer in the proper position and scribe around it with a #11 blade. Get the servo out of the way and carefully cut into the composite with a very sharp (new) blade. Trim the edges as necessary so the servo drops in smoothly. Cut out a piece of 1/8-inch lite ply in the same manner leaving about a 1/4 to 3/16-inch flange on the ends and a 1/8-flange on the sides forming a servo tray. Put the servo tray inside the wing or stabilizer hole and hold in place while using some CA to glue it in so it doesn't move around when you put the servo in it. I normally use a 1/16-inch drill bit to drill through the servo mounting hole (by hand using a needle vise). after the first hole is drilled I install a servo screw and then move on the second hole on the opposite end of the servo, hand drill that, install screw and so on until all four screws are mounted. It helps to locate the servo if you have the push rod on the servo so you match the servo with the control horn on the surface of the aileron or elevator so every thing is aligned properly.

There are a couple of photos (message 19) on page 1 that can help with locations. Be advised that the factory may have missed the alignment between the servos and the control horn block slightly in the ailerons and you may have to cut a square in the ailerons and fill in the space with some hard balsa to get a good slot for the control horns.

When did you get the Caressa? I did not know that Bryan got a shipment in.

Sheldon

Last edited by Smooth Pilot; 01-24-2018 at 04:30 PM.
Old 01-24-2018, 04:33 PM
  #47  
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I do not do pull/pull. I installed my rudder servo in the aft end of the fuselage and used a pushrod for the rudder. Look at the photo in message 32 just below the stab you can see the rudder servo installation. The rudder does not have a hard point for the control horn in the location of installation. I had to cut a square and fill in with hard balsa before cutting the groove for the control horn.

Last edited by Smooth Pilot; 01-24-2018 at 04:42 PM. Reason: additional information
Old 01-24-2018, 04:49 PM
  #48  
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Quick update on some recent change to the controls on the Caressa. I increased the esc brake to 40% and slowed the channel speed on the throttle so that throttle up on coming off the brake is smoother and does not cause a "thud" noise as it advances. Minor control throw adjustments and some CG adjustments have been experimented with. I now feel real comfortable with the way the plane flies and performs. Now it is just practice and more practice to get ready for this season.

Sheldon
Old 01-25-2018, 02:20 PM
  #49  
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Received Caressa Wednesday.
Old 01-30-2018, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Smooth Pilot View Post
The battery tray has been placed in the plane with the batteries to set the CG. As you can see the CG balances at the rear of the wing tube. The tray has been appropriately marked and will be installed using a removable tray system. I purchased the removable tray kit from F3A Unlimited, but could only use part of it for the front mount. I had to get a little creative to complete the mount, but I figured out something. All control throws were set to Bryan's instructions with the exception of the snap roll recommendations. Snap rolls are not in my sequence at this time, so I did not bother setting them up. All that is left now is to program the ESC, adjust my throttle curve to keep from over-amping, and add some packing tape to the canopy to improve the air flow over the batteries. Final pictures will be forthcoming. I hope to get with Bryan this weekend or as soon as he is available to get the maiden flight and trim set up. Of course, that will result in a flight report.

Sheldon
Could you post a picture of the rear battery tray underside installation? Thanks

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