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Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

Old 04-04-2004, 04:58 PM
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1Way
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Default Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

I’m considering building my very first aircraft, which seems somewhat daunting, but I do enjoy design (I have 2 good CAD programs, but currently have TurboCAD installed) and I need some time on the RC flight sim (RealFlight G2) that I just purchased to get acquainted with RC flying, so I have some time to build in the mean time.

Looking for...
I’d like something that is electric powered (brushless/LiPo) and somewhat large (park flyer) or that is fairly stable and capable of handling light wind pretty well. Something stable and slow moving for a beginner to handle. I’d “like” to have the option to operate a 4th channel for full house controls if feasible.

Coroplast verses EPP foam
My first thoughts is to build a foam plane, but I’d like to hear how these foam planes tend to handle in flight and design/size per weight, and also about the ruggedness as compared to coroplast construction. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions.
Old 04-04-2004, 07:07 PM
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greenboot
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

1Way, the small foamines I've seen are above the trainer stage. Mostly because they are not very stable and have very quick maneuvering capability. That makes them fun, but more difficult. In general a large foamy would need to be completely redesigned with more structure. The foam just isn't very structural.

Coroplast is more durable and easier to build into a larger plane. Have you seen any of the SPAD designs. You might start there.

Tom
Old 04-04-2004, 08:07 PM
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1Way
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

Greenboot – Thanks. Maybe they make slow flight or thick profile wings too. Coroplast is MORE durable that EPP? That’s a new one on me. When it comes to durability, I’ve been reading that EPP is the closest thing to being indestructible and is easy to repair. I will look more into coroplast right away.
Old 04-04-2004, 09:27 PM
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greenboot
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

I didn't mean to say EPP isn't durable. You are right, it is indistructible! Making a larger plane is out of EPP or any foam is difficult. That's where coroplast is better.

I would also recommend using 4 channels right from the start. I just don't see any reason not to have ailerons. That practice goes back to the days when radios were expensive.

Tom
Old 04-10-2004, 08:15 AM
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1Way
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

greenboot - Do they train by just focusing on the three main channels, or do the use mixing to help with the 4th until your ready for 4 channel control? I hope your not pulling my leg, but I’m green enough not to know, so please explain.

You know what they say...
I hear more flyers (especially the more experienced ones) say to just get a 3 channel rudder elevator plane and learn that one first before moving up to a 4 channel plane. Which might involve learning a new controller configuration when you are ready for using 4 channels. But some say they learned mostly on their own, and some say that flying a 4 channel plan is not that hard to do with just ailerons and elevator (and occasional speed adjustment).

Things have been changing
I think that prior to recent years and technology advances; you pretty much had to go glow and train with a trainer and buddy box, which may be a more restrictive, less convenient, and perhaps a more costly endeavor (in people’s time if not money also, club dues, trainer fees). There simply were fewer reasonable options to learn how to fly. But it seems to me that “PC sims” and “lighter, more efficient electric planes” have positively altered the way people become initiated into RC flying, even making it possible to train yourself. I really enjoy flying my new RealFlight G2 simulator with a nice (supplied) 2 stick RC radio controller.

The latest technological advance
I think that EPP foam is the latest way of the future for RC aircraft construction. This technology may not replace balsa and other such traditional construction traditions, but it will certainly open up a whole new learning experience for the beginner. Bend not break is a great idea. Apparently, these planes are so rugged, that unless you “crash exceptionally hard” or unfortunately “hit it just right”, it seems like it is very difficult to seriously damage a properly built EPP plane, they are just that light and rugged.

The search continues
I will not give up my search for the elusive EPP trainer (w/4channel, modest aerobatic capabilities, and larger size for better in some wind). Please let me know if you come across anything like that! I’ll say this much, I am determined to find or else build such a plane, hopefully sometime this summer season, and I will post the results at RC Universe and RC Groups.
Old 04-11-2004, 10:05 PM
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greenboot
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

1Way,
Nearly every person I've helped get started used a 4 channel plane. We start out using just the right stick (ailerons and elevator) for the first flight. Gradually, they learn to also use the throttle, then finally the rudder. If you are using a simulater, you'll have no trouble at all.

Personally, I find the glow powered balsa trainers very satisfying; but the foam stuff is so cheap, you can't go wrong with it either.

Tom,
PS: There is no kidding in any of my advise.
Old 04-12-2004, 01:55 AM
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1Way
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

Greenboot - Great, much appreciated! You really can get helpful assistence if you just stick with it. This is a great forum.
Old 04-14-2004, 07:29 PM
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Jeff Thompson
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

Large foamies are hard to do? I guess you haven't heard of Dave's Aircraft Works 3-meter all EPP sailplane!

I've flown and owned Coroplast AND EPP planes, and they're both great. If I was going to go electric, I'd use EPP. Nitro I'd go Coroplast. BTW, I also own a Highlander two meter all EPP sailplane. That's 78 inches.

The structure needed in an EPP plane isn't that hard to make; it's usually just some carbon rod or tube spar(s). The fuselage doesn't normally need any more reinforcement than to be covered with Ultracote.

Let your dreams be the limit!

Jeff
ORIGINAL: greenboot

I didn't mean to say EPP isn't durable. You are right, it is indistructible! Making a larger plane is out of EPP or any foam is difficult. That's where coroplast is better.

I would also recommend using 4 channels right from the start. I just don't see any reason not to have ailerons. That practice goes back to the days when radios were expensive.

Tom
Old 04-14-2004, 08:46 PM
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Jeff Thompson
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

I'd like to address the heart of the first message in this thread; 1Way said he'd like to design and build a Parkflyer.

Personally, for that size, weight and speed airplane I'd go with EPP. It is telling that there are a number of EPP parkflyer ARFs made today, but no Coroplast parkflyer ARFs that I know of. Go to Hobby Lobby's web site if you'd like to see what I'm talking about. Also note the HUGE variety of EPP slope planes from under 20 inches in span to 4 meters that are out there. Many EPP slopers would also make great park flyers simply by adding the electronics. (I have an EPP A-10 Warthog from Dezzanet that would make a great parkflyer and a great trainer, either ducted fan or propeller powered.) I suppose you could make an electric park flyer with 2mm coroplast, and for some designs, like a pizza box plane, it might even be preferable, but it comes at a weight penalty, and you can't shape it the way you can EPP. Combining the two would be another way to go--2mm Coroplast wings with an EPP fuselage. That way you could have a quick-building wing with a more plastic (verb) and shape-able fuselage. I'll say one thing for Coroplast, you can make wings very quickly, and without a hot wire foam cutter. See www.spadtothebone.com for everything Coroplast.

As for EPP's durability, a few weeks ago I took my 30-some inch Weasel Pro flying wing to the slope. It's really meant for winds from 8 to 20 mph, the wind was 22 gusting to 42. I didn't bring any ballast with me, so I just threw it off the cliff anyway. On one throw I forgot to flip the power switch 'on' on the Weasel, and was surprised when it went forward a few feet, was tossed about 100 feet above me, and landed on the edge of a second-story porch of a house fully a half block away. I HEARD the impact, and when I retrieved it the only damage was a chunk of foam 1/2" deep and 3/8" wide cut out of the leading edge. The 2mm coroplast tail fin suffered no damage, though it wasn't the point of impact.
Old 04-14-2004, 09:30 PM
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Jeff Thompson
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

Re: Three channels or four?

Don't be intimidated by four channels, especially if you're going with an indestructible plane. With small planes, you don't normally have to bother with the rudder anyway unless you are making it with steerable landing gear, which you're only going to use on takeoff to track straight into the wind, and after landing, when you want to steer it back to you. In flight you don't have to touch it at all at the training stage, and you can just use your right thumb to control the direction of your plane. The ailerons bank it, the elevator controls its pitch, and when you combine the two you make the plane turn by banking it and pulling up on the elevator slightly to tighten the turn by decreasing its radius. After you progress to the point where you want to start doing aerobatics and precision flight you can start moving your left thumb from side to side too. The other nice thing about building a four-channel plane is that it can be your first AND second plane that way. In fact, I'd make a semi-symmetrical wing for it instead of a flat-bottom wing for just that reason.

Very few planes you might fly in the future will only use rudder/elevator--low-end gliders or old gasbag gliders, for example. It is actually less difficult to fly four-channel planes than three, and there's another reason too. You said you wanted to make a park flyer that would be able to fly in a moderate wind. Rudder/elevator ships use polyhedral (wings curve up) so that they will bank when you use the rudder, and are more self-righting in calm winds. However, when you are in moderate winds and up, a polyhedral wing catches a crosswind and can make flying even more difficult. The same goes for heavy dihedral, though that isn't quite as bad. A friend of mine spent $200 on a SoarStar foam park flyer which has extremely high polyhedral, and could barely control it in winds over five mph. As he banked the plane left or right, it would invariably tip stall and snap-roll. He considered it money wasted after gluing his Styrofoam plane together a dozen times or so, and as you can imagine, flying it wasn't as much fun as it could have been, either.

Here's a few links you might want to check out:

http://www.tekoa.com (The Center Of Design - foam shaping tools and design information)

http://www.spadtothebone.com (The home page of everything Coroplast)

http://www.davesaircraftworks.com (EPP planes from ELECTRIC AEROBATS to slopers to three meter thermal sailplanes)

http://www.canterburysailplanes.co.nz (EPP ELECTRIC PARK FLYERS, slope soarers)

http://rc-sailplanes.dezzanet.com.au/ (Home of my EPP A-10 sloper which can be modified into a great electric trainer)

http://www.hobby-lobby.com/ (In the Park Flyer category, see the Cobra, Split 280 and in the beginner's section, see the Pigi 3D. All are moulded EPP electrics.)



Good luck! All of us can benefit from one more RC plane designer!

Jeff
Old 04-16-2004, 08:00 AM
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1Way
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

Jeff – Wow, considering all your points, excellent and encouraging! Of special interest were your comments about the dihedral and polyhedral wings, very insightful and helpful. Your input is MUCH appreciated. Please be sure to check out my link to the little 4x4 EPP plane at the bottom of this post for an interesting crash surviving add on!

As to Dave’s sight, I found it before in my researching, and I like Dave’s site, but because most people tell me to stay clear from anything but a high wing with dihedral, I assume that his planes are too advanced and/or fast flying for me. I really like the looks and size of the war birds, but they are low wingers and are likely too speedy for what I am looking for in a first plane.

I somewhat knew about EPP sailplanes with large wingspans, but I am not as much interested in that kind of flight as I am more sporty aerobatics. I think it would be wild if my first plane would be
  • Bend not break crash thriving stuff
  • modestly aerobatic and 4 channel so that I could end up learning basic aerobatics
  • and perhaps with a brushless/LiPo upgrade, I could even practice hovering
In some circles, I’d be branded a lunatic for even considering such things. But the dream lingers. The Pigi from Hobby Lobby is a 3D trainer, and that intrigues me, but I would prefer a longer more standard wing to chord ratio, but with full length ailerons to help with hover roll control (from prop thrust only).

Modifying for slower flight
I was wondering about modifying something like the Eagle (a nice looking form and size) into being a slower flyer, like by adding a wing wrap of lightweight material around say 3/4 of the wing in terms of length and airfoil too, in order to produce more drag that a thicker slower moving wingfoil tends to produce, the few I’ve mentioned that idea to did not like it or just said it would not work.

The A-10 sounds interesting, as a cross between a glider and a sport plane. But I’d like a wing that is something a bit less mid body like many sailplanes usually are. But who knows, I might like that, except I wonder how well that would do for modest aerobatics and especially hovering, probably not so well.

I may well end up building my own plane, but I would rather buy one and just modify it to suit my needs, that way all the hardware installation stuff is pre-engineered.

I also like the following profile plane, but it’s a blue fanfold type, but is really economical.
[link=http://www.troybuiltmodels.com/FoamPlanes.html]CLICK HERE for a Troybuilt
profile aerobatic FF trainer.
[/link]

So, in a perfect world, I’d have a plane that looks great like Cobra or Dave’s warbirds, but is forgiving in it’s flight performance and slow speeds like the Pigi and Troybuilt Extra 260 3D.

Oh ya, I forgot to mention another great innovation for creating a crash thriving plane.
[link=http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2064023#post2064023]CLICK HERE to see a post linked to a great video
and a great close up picture (on the next post) of a
prop/engine AND landing gear shock absorption bumper system ALL IN ONE!
[/link]
In the video, the guy spins his plane around way too fast in a tight circle while on the ground and the plane does NOT tip over. And then takes off and lands in the greatest of ease in a narrow alleyway and skids around to retrieve the plane. It’s a smallish but most excellent 4x4 foam aerobat! Seems a bit small for my tastes, I’d like something over 3’ wingspan.

I know I can’t have it all perfectly the way I want it, but it is great fun trying to get there. Thanks much for the feedback and great links. So what do you think of that little 4x4 plane? Pretty jazzed up I think.
Old 04-16-2004, 08:54 AM
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RickAvery
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

1Way,
Been reading the discussions above and though your 1st post says you want to design your own plane, what you seem to describe sounds like the sky scooter. It;'s an EPP plane, park flier size with a 400 motor. I learned to fly mine completly from square 1. Crashed the heck out of it many times, was able to perform repairs with epoxy/hot glue and it still flies. It's a 3 channel plane with ailerons, elevator & ESC. It will do rolls. loops and I've had some short inverted moments. It flies at what I would call a moderate speed, at least for a begineer like myself, a little intimidating at first, and glides great. For a relitivly small $$ out lay, (hobby people has them on sale for $148.00). You could learn the basics and then do some of the mods. that some guys are performing on thier scooters, (turning the wing into a flat bottom airfoil, up grading the motor/battery, adding a rudder, maybe something you think of ect.) gain a bunch of experience/ideas, then embark on designing your own plane. and while your building your own design, you have something fun to fly. good luck!!
Ric
Old 04-17-2004, 10:53 PM
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1Way
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

Thanks, it does look "close", but I wonder about the foam construction. I think it said that it was some other type of foam, not EPP. Do you knw how flexible this plane is? I guess the new plane has 4 channel (?) but the first one did not.
Old 04-20-2004, 06:27 PM
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1Way
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

Ric - Do you knw how flexible this plane is? I like EPP the best for crash survivability, from what I’ve heard and seen, nothing can beat it.
Old 04-21-2004, 08:55 AM
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

1Way,
I always understood that it was made of EPP foam. This is from reading about the scooter in different places trying to get info. on the plane. I can't say that I know for sure the differences in the types of foam used for planes. So if it is not, then I'll learn something new. It looks like the white foam that protects electronics ie. VCRs, DVD players ect. although, it doesn't seem to be as brittle. It will break upon a hard impact. I broke my first scooters fuselage several times. Usually from a hard impact at an angle full throttle into the ground. It would tear one side apart and the other side would still be attached with the nose pointing one way at about a 45 deg. angle. One particurly hard crash tore the nose completely off just behind the motor. (it was 25' away from the plane wires and all, prop broken and the shaft bent), and the plane was in two pieces with the wing broke in two. It all went back together with hot melt glue. I still fly the old beater plane, but have built up a new one which flies much better. Started increasing the throws on the ailerons and elevator. Rolls are much quicker but as would be expected, control is more sensitive. Haven't crashed either in several months now. Just got a new ball bearing gear box and an APC 9X6 prop. Supposed to increase performance. It's been a great learning tool and I haven't found the limits yet. Oh yea, did I mention that I'm having a blast!!!
Rick
Old 04-30-2004, 04:53 AM
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1Way
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

Rick Avery – Thanks for the input. You said
I broke my first scooters fuselage several times. Usually from a hard impact at an angle full throttle into the ground. It would tear one side apart and the other side would still be attached with the nose pointing one way at about a 45 deg. angle. One particurly hard crash tore the nose completely off just behind the motor. (it was 25' away from the plane wires and all, prop broken and the shaft bent), and the plane was in two pieces with the wing broke in two. It all went back together with hot melt glue.
That is amazing, a plane that was literally broke up, yet after some care and hot glue, it was air worthy again. You just don’t hear a story like that with any lesser built models!
Old 04-30-2004, 12:48 PM
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

1Way,

if you want a beginner plane and do not insist on designing and building it yourself, I would recommend to get a MPX Easy Star. It is not too small, durable and it's nearly impossible to ruin the prop + motor. I own one, and even it is not my first plane, it is big fun!

When you have learned to fly with it, you can go on with changing motor + prop (i.e. a long-can 400 and a 6x3 prop instead of the stock setup) or build in a small camera for aerial photography or build in ailerons and so on.

Last weekend I flew in gusty winds and whacked my EZ* into a tree, about 10 or 12 meters high. No chance to get it by climbing the tree. After 1/2 an hour of throwing pieces of wood on it (without hitting it most times) me and me friend managed to get it falling down from the tree.
Damage: A few bits in the trailing edge of one wing and the elevator, repaired with CA in 5 minutes. My friend cartwheeled it several times on landing without any damage...

Last but not least: The EZ* can soar fine without any motor power (and it will fly steady and secure even you leave it alone for a while).
In good conditions I can fly it for 20+ minutes, just running the motor for climbing a bit if necessary. Not too bad for a cheap KAN 1050 battery pack, eh?
The EZ* ist my "always and everywhere" plane now.

Edit: BTW: I Intended to build an EZ* copy made of Depron/bluecore and make CAD plans for it, but the EZ* is dirt cheap and made of "Elapor" which is kinda EPP, so i canceled this project and bought one for a bit more than 55 Euro. Less planning, more flying!

Regards, Holger
Old 04-30-2004, 12:52 PM
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Default RE: Seeking novice/trainer wing+tail design suggestions-Newby

ORIGINAL: Jeff Thompson

http://rc-sailplanes.dezzanet.com.au/ (Home of my EPP A-10 sloper which can be modified into a great electric trainer)
Jeff,

the link is not working for me. Is the page down or is the problem on my side?

Regards, Holger

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