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TF Contender maidened

Old 04-10-2005, 08:58 PM
  #1  
miamiflyer
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Default TF Contender maidened

YAY! 6 pounds 7 ounces,
after 4 months of slowly building my first kit lifted off the runway....and flew!
what a great feeling

It was barely visible because the chrome finish reflected the sky and blended
the plane in perfectly. even the safety yellow markings didn't show well when
the sun was behind a cloud. couldn't make out the attitude and lost it a couple
of times, decided to bring her in.
So it's going to get some new black and white posercote trims and the decals
and hopefully this will work out.

Control throw was set up as per manual and even on high rates it was hard to
get the plane to turn. veeery slow rolls and a surprise when deploying the flap.
nose up in the sky!


I would appreciate if other contender pilots would share their setup for
control throws on low and high rates (%) and expo that worked well for them.



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Old 04-10-2005, 09:28 PM
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campbec
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

Congratulations,

Nothing like the feeling of something you built yourself taking to the sky and returning unscathed.

I have mine set up by the instructions for throw and I don't use any expo. I did need to mix in 7% down elevator with flap to stop it balooning.

I hope your enjoyment of the Contender continues for many years. I always have difficulty with orientation against cloud. Your scheme looks great but I couldn't fly it!

Cheers,

Colin
Old 04-10-2005, 09:50 PM
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2slow2matter
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

I don't remember how I set up my throws, but if I did it like I usually do, I set them up as far as they would physically travel. Mine has a nice roll rate. I too set up some down elevator for flap deployment. Mine has just developed a peculiar problem--when I apply rudder, the nose drops like crazy. There is no mix in the radio, and the elevator does not move when the rudder does, it's the weirdest thing I've ever seen. I had a very experienced pilot look at it and he can't figure it out either. It's flown great for dozens of flights, but just started doing this. Sure makes it tough on landings--using rudder to stay the course, and having to fight the tendency to drop the nose. I guess I'll mix a little elevator in with my rudder to keep the nose up, if I can't figure out what the problem is!

What engine do you have on there? I have a saito 56 on mine, and it flies like a champ (but not unlimited vertical). Uses a lot of runway to get up, though! I went with the red and white scheme on the box, and it's easy to see!
Old 04-11-2005, 07:36 PM
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miamiflyer
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

Thanks Colin,
i found the throws per destructions quite conservative, probably for
safety. those skinny ailerons worried me already when i built them.[]

2slow, my rudder also creates some strange movements but i have to
check again next weekend 'cause i couldn't really see much of the plane.
the runway already shaved off some balsa of the rudder so it's
going to get skids. as well as on the wingtips. no it's not tailheavy.
i nosed it over twice cause i turned too early with some speed.
the wingtips hit the runway but not the 11/7 prop. good propsaver!
a little blip on the throttle and it was up on the wheels again.
strange!
that's a j'en 56 2stroke.

anyone else with some input for throws l/h rate?
Old 04-11-2005, 09:07 PM
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2slow2matter
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

I've got a couple of road-rashes on my wingtips as well. Those short stubby wings like to find the asphalt! They will get more than a little squirly if you bring it in too slow! This plane needs speed to fly. You have to fly it all the way into the runway. Fun plane to fly, though!
Old 04-12-2005, 01:45 PM
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened


ORIGINAL: 2slow2matter

<Snip>
They will get more than a little squirly if you bring it in too slow! This plane needs speed to fly. You have to fly it all the way into the runway. Fun plane to fly, though!

I've got to respectfully disagree BIG time. Mine flys like a profile, a floater. Probably the best sport/fun fly out there, IMO. It could use a tad bit more rudder area to knife edge but other than that it's an all around great ship.

Regards,
Bart
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Old 04-12-2005, 02:05 PM
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2slow2matter
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

Well the, let me state it a different way MINE has to come in rather fast, or it will get a big squirly. The other one that flies at a field where I frequent also comes in fairly fast. His doesn't have flaps, and therefore doesn't like to slow down. Mine has the flaps, so I can get it to slow down, but it will lose altitude quickly. I'd consider mine anything BUT a floater. It takes the better part of 75 or more feet to get safely into the air.
Old 04-12-2005, 05:18 PM
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DaveB
 
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

When I deploy the flaps and come in, it's like a bird landing on a branch. It slows to a crawl and sets down nicely. I do, however, have some down elevator programed into the the flaps.

DaveB
Old 04-13-2005, 07:23 PM
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miamiflyer
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

Dave,
how much down is your flap and ele?
also do you come in like this with engine idle or
lil' up?
Old 04-14-2005, 05:18 AM
  #10  
DaveB
 
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

Miamiflyer,

My flap travel is approximately 3/4". The elevator down isn't much, but I set it by setting manually with the trim tab when I first lowered the flap. Afterward, I programmed that amount into the elevator. Also, I didn't use the knob on my transmitter, but used the gear switch instead. The plus is it's easy to operate, but the minus is an "all or nothing" flap deployment.

Regarding speed, I come in with some power, maybe 1/4 up or so, until over the runway about 5 -6 feet high and then cut to idle.
The plane has a good sink rate and lands easily.

DaveB
Old 05-09-2005, 05:55 PM
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sledge_78
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

miami flyer,

I finished my contender several months ago and was pleasantly surprised it handled so well. I covered mine using the same paternas on the box but with a yellow fuselage and yellow wing tops. The alternate color was teal including the underside of the wing. I was determined to have an airplane I could see, and see which direction it was headed. I know the feeling how an airplane looks reat on the ground but in the air your guessing 50% of the time. Your photo's look great. I set mine control surface throws at the factory specified setting and found for my flying skill level they were too much for me. I ended up limiting them a bit. The airplane seems to perform quite well right from the start. I'm using an OS 50sx and it can really move. I end up flying at less than 1/2 throttle. Your right about the flap. First time we used it we did a loop. You need to hold some down elevator when yo deploy the flap. I like the airpalne and would recommend it to others. Rudder action is a bit strange, thats the only part that I could say was odd about the airplane.

What engine ae you using in yours? Are you sure you are in correct balance? In my situation I had to move the battery pack underneath the fuel tank to obtain proper balance.

Sledge_78
Old 05-09-2005, 08:52 PM
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miamiflyer
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

Bart, what size engine do you run in yours?

Sledge, i'm using a J'EN 56 from justengines. http://www.justengines.unseen.org/Jen_56.htm
(16.9 oz),Pulls it around nicely,
vertical is ok but not a rocket. fast enough for me until
i get bored probably. but all around a nice combo.
Moved the cg now 5/8 behind it's original loc and it's still a little nose heavy.
Pulls to the belly in knife edge and nose down inverted. i have the battery and
rec under the pilot, can't get any more aft cause there is the throttle servo.
1 1/4 flap with -21 % elevator.
one inch throw on ail, ele and rudder at high rates, low rates are 60%.
also mixed 25% up elevator to rudder, to hold knife edge better and actually use the rudder in
turns without falling out of the sky. usually fly high rates all the time except when landing.
i'm landing it allot since this is soo much fun. very predictable and stable even in crosswinds.

solved the visibility problem now by adding black & white trim and the decals. much better now.
last weekend a wing mounting block broke lose. caught it while i assembled, so no fly [&o]
used tristock all around and glued back with epoxy/ microballon mix. very strong now plus the
fuse sides don't bend in anymore.
i love the roll rate, keep it rolling and hold up/down ele to keep altitude and roll across the field.
again, rudder is useless here and gets me in trouble fast.
all around i like the plane[8D]









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Old 05-09-2005, 09:03 PM
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b.bixel
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened


ORIGINAL: miamiflyer

Bart, what size engine do you run in yours?
MDS .68 with 13 x 5 Zinger. Awesome acceleration and down line braking at idle with this combo.


Regards,
Bart
Old 05-10-2005, 04:31 AM
  #14  
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

Beautiful Plane you built. Brings back alot of great memories. I maidened my first contender back in '82. It was my transitoning aircraft from a high wing to a low. Then on to a Sig Kouger with a K&B .61- same engine In had in the Contender.

good job
Rob
Old 05-10-2005, 07:15 AM
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flmlm
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

miamiflyer,

Your contender looks much better with the addition of the trim. Sounds like your having a great time with it. I've got a contender kit myself that I plan on constructing in the very near future. Thanks for sharing the great pictures.

Regards

Mike
Old 05-15-2005, 09:28 PM
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miamiflyer
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

Thanks Rob,
I was looking at the K&B twister 61 today online. they have it on sale with a trade in for $79.99 plus shipping.
they say it puts out 1.8 hp @ 14.000 with a 11x7. it also weighs a little less than my J'EN.
my J'EN is supposed to turn the 11x7 at 13.000 but it's not. it likes the 11x6 but i'm not getting enough
vertical pull out of it. I'm already bored flying it like that.

I need more speed.

i built that plane strong using lots of aliphatic resin and reinforced here and there with tristock.
it came out a lil' heavy @ 6 pounds 7 oz, i think it can take a larger engine.
how was your plane performing with that engine?
is anybody else running a 61 twister and happy with it?

pat
Old 05-15-2005, 09:36 PM
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

I can't remeber the weight off hand exactly, but i want to say it was around 5.5 or 6 lbs.

The K&B flew it very well. I was flying it off a grass strip and had enough power to get airborn and to climb vertically.
Landing was a breeze on approaches and touch downs.

One thing I do remeber doing- I reinforeced the firewall with 1/4" triangular stock and epoxied it well. The K&B i had was heavy and pulled the plane. I wanted to make sure the wall was strong
Old 05-16-2005, 12:09 AM
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

That is a sharp lookin' aircraft! [sm=thumbup.gif]
Old 05-26-2005, 11:41 PM
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

Well I am posting this because I know my father is to modest to brag about his contender. He started on it last year and really has pushed hard the last couple of weeks to get it done. I think my Yak-3 build has inspired him to get it done.

He kit bashed it a little and I think it looks great. Way to go Dad. I can't wait to see her maiden this weekend. We are going out on Memorial day. My Yak-3 is going up for the second time and hopefully its first landing (LOL!). I bet the Contender will be a little more tame on landing then my warbird.

Here are his pictures!
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Old 05-27-2005, 08:23 PM
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened



I bashed mine a bit, too. That rudder just looked too small (even though I'm not a 3-D flyer). I matched the rudder profile to the elevators and ended up adding about 40% more surface area. The canopy is tinted dark with Rit and I painted the cockpit black (my pilot is a finger-puppet of Sheri Lewis' Lambchop). She has an OS-70 II in the nose and it's a good all-around sport plane. I also made the lower cowl scoop semi-functional with a 1/4"x 1" air intake for added cooling and as a drain for any fuel/oil reside in the engine compartment.

I have triple rates, with thehigh throws from the instructions in the middle (plus 1/4" extra rudder) and I never seem to need the high rates (or the low ones, either). I have about 1/8" down elevator on the apron flap mix. I have a bit of exponential on the high and middle rates to lower response near centered. I'm a pretty sedate flyer, and in fact I have a bit of differential in the ailerons to give almost an axial roll.

Mine is yellow fuselage with orange under the wing and yellow w/black tips on the top (plus the Air Force stars & bars on the top) . I tinted the canopy dark. The rudder I striped orange and black. Everything dark is on the top except the tires. I can well imagine that silver being quite hard to pick out attitude. Looks sharp, though.

[Say, how do you load an image so it has to be clicked for the fullsize. Mine are huge!]
Old 06-03-2005, 11:54 AM
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Default RE: TF Contender maidened

Marc,

Your dads Contender looks great. I really like the engine mounted inverted. I continue to weigh the good with the bad on doing this modification. I'm just a little gun shy about mounting the engine inverted. However the Contender with the inverted engine just looks so much cleaner IMO. Well no rush on my part, my Contender build won't start for awhile yet. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Charlie P.

Your vertical tail surface modification looks much better than the origional design. Good luck and give us a flight report when possible.

Regards

Mike

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