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Current 2m pattern planes are really ugly

Old 06-29-2020, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie
Keep in mind that any aircraft design is a conglomerate of theory and compromises. We go with what works well in theory and if the airplane flies well we attribute that to a successful theory. The fuselage needs enough side area to perform knife edge well. My theory is that if you need to fly the fuselage more then 5 degrees positive AOA then you start getting non linear control cross coupling. This means that with rudder you also get roll and pitch. Reducing the rudder amount you need to fly knife edge loops keeps that couple to a minimum. With older designs you would need a ton of rudder throw. The problem with that is even with TX mixing you will never quite match your mix to the couple unless you have a TX with multi point mixing. This is why you see taller and taller fuselages. It's also why you see some monoplane designs with the small wings behind the canopy.

The position of the upper wing on my design was pretty well thought out. There are structural and aerodynamic reasons behind it. Traditional Cabane struts would have added complexity and a reduction in strength. The wings depend on one another to stay intact. The more important reason is the separation between the two. Farther apart would increase lift efficiency due to the lower wing getting less downwash from the top wing however having the drag of the top wing farther above the thrust line creates a whole new set of issues. Trim change with speed change in both horizontal and knife edge flight being the bigger of the bunch. So the upper wing gets what we call " shoulder mounted ". The canopy position is fairly important too. You want to have side area balanced fore and aft of the CG. This helps keep the airplane from weathervaneing too much in a cross wind. A well proportioned airplane just requires you bank the wings slightly into the crosswind to hold a line.

As of now the fuselage on my design is fiberglass/balsa sandwich composite. The wings and stabs are traditional balsa sheeted foam. I am toying with the idea of full composite.
But it is really Ugly Shawn



Scott
Old 06-29-2020, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie
...
The canopy position is fairly important too. You want to have side area balanced fore and aft of the CG. This helps keep the airplane from weathervaneing too much in a cross wind. A well proportioned airplane just requires you bank the wings slightly into the crosswind to hold a line.
...
Is there some reason why a canopy position like yours wouldn't work well on a monoplane?

It isn't symmetrical, of course, which might have aerodynamic issues. But it looks right to me. Also, I recall discussions on model and full size aerobatics, where it was pointed out that straight parallel lines make it easier to see and judge a flight.
Old 07-31-2020, 08:30 AM
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As this thread is about the current F3A pattern planes being ugly... I personally would like to point out few things regarding today's F3A pattern design.. all of sudden we see swept back design wings, planes using T canalizer on top of the fuselages... and most of them think swept back wings are now better... and current designs have a very thin wing tip just because someone came up with this design.... some pattern planes look so similar to each other.. looks like they are copied designs.... copied from some other professional F3A pilot plane design strange isn't it... without even doing any research people blindly copy designs and on the field almost many of the planes on the field look like brothers and sisters... my question is why cannot these designers design their own original pattern plane..
Old 07-31-2020, 11:53 AM
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Remember that 99.99% of the population are just followers. Leaves very few really innovative thinkers. Having recently flown a new "2m" design, I found it too twitchy for my taste. My Brushfire is a much more stable platform capable of performing all maneuvers. By next year I will be ready for competition again.
Old 07-31-2020, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by highfly3D
As this thread is about the current F3A pattern planes being ugly... I personally would like to point out few things regarding today's F3A pattern design.. all of sudden we see swept back design wings, planes using T canalizer on top of the fuselages... and most of them think swept back wings are now better... and current designs have a very thin wing tip just because someone came up with this design.... some pattern planes look so similar to each other.. looks like they are copied designs.... copied from some other professional F3A pilot plane design strange isn't it... without even doing any research people blindly copy designs and on the field almost many of the planes on the field look like brothers and sisters... my question is why cannot these designers design their own original pattern plane..

I beg to differ, IMO pattern airplanes of the '70s and '80s looked much more similar then modern designs did. Classic example would be Hanno's Curare. Over here in the US there was all the sudden the Tipare, Hippo Tippo, Tipare 800 and a Dave Brown design that evolved from the airplanes mentioned, Can't recall the name off the top of my head. I have no issues with guys not liking the new designs but let's be honest in the information that we put out shall we?
Old 07-31-2020, 03:39 PM
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Highfly3d: yup, CPLR wins with a T-can and they appear on airplanes faster than dandelions in my lawn :-0
CPLR wins with radically swept wings and... well, you know the rest.
The pattern market is VERY small (globally, not the just in the USA); so sellers want to provide designs that they feel will sell. The Japanese designers tend to make continued improvements to their existing designs which have evolved over several to many years. Even they are jumping on the swept horizontal surface bandwagon.
There are a few innovators who have been willing to follow their own design philosophy; Alex Voicu produced the Vortex design which has now been kitted in the USA, for example.
Anybody can try their hand at designing their own model, but the effort would still be substantial as the weight limit poses significant restrictions as does the current F3A schedules. Of course designing your own ship for the lower classes would be potentially easier as schedules are much less 'knife edge' intensive. I'll add that there also the expense to be considered as a 2 meter design will require a lot of balsa (or producing a plug and a light weight fuselage) and contest balsa is pretty pricey. Mostly, I think guys are quite happy to spend the extra money to get an ARF and avoid the effort involved in building.

CXXXV:
I always loved the Brushfire (and still have a kit). The big 'goal' in current pattern flying is constant speed and that seems to have been translated to mean slow speed; so full throttle is mostly only used in vertical flight (and even then only if needed). The plus side of slow flight is that you have more time to fly through the maneuver which is especially beneficial to current pattern pilots as it seems the majority are well over age 50. Personally, I still fly glow and 2-strokes to boot. I fly slower than the old 'Brushfire' days, but faster then what is considered acceptable in current thinking (until it gets windy). Back to the point; to fly slowly with control authority, more throw is needed which leads to the twitchy feel when flown at greater speed. Just my opinion, since I have not flown the model you flew. What do you plan to compete with next year?
PS - your electric Brushfire looks great! Back in the 'good old days' pilots would have been thrilled to fly an 8 pound Brushfire.

Last edited by flywilly; 07-31-2020 at 03:46 PM.
Old 07-31-2020, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by CXXXV
Remember that 99.99% of the population are just followers. Leaves very few really innovative thinkers. Having recently flown a new "2m" design, I found it too twitchy for my taste. My Brushfire is a much more stable platform capable of performing all maneuvers. By next year I will be ready for competition again.
I agree with you...
Old 08-01-2020, 06:31 AM
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Keep in mind that " Twitchy" is typically a setup issue not a design issue. While I would never discourage anyone from coming out to a contest with an old school airplane, your Brushfire will do very well in the lower classes but will fall short in the upper classes. The airplane just wasn't designed to do knife edge flight or snap rolls. Nothing wrong with the airplane, the game has changed. The new designs while not very attractive to some have evolved due to those changes. I certainly agree that it's difficult to appreciate them until you have flown one correctly setup. I have let a few non pattern pilots fly my Divergent. They were all impressed at how easy it is to fly. I had them do elevator only loops, aileron only rolls to demonstrate how well it held a line during the maneuver.
Old 08-01-2020, 12:04 PM
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flywilly Thanks for the comments. All my Brushfires back in the day never weighed more than 8 lbs. We would really rag on our pattern buddies if they showed up with anything weighing more than 8 lbs. I did manage to build one to 7.5 lbs what is what some what delicate. With todays building techniques and materials I am surprised that planes are weighing in a 10 lbs.

My biggest issue now is the cost of these airplanes. I have not been able to find any kits like before. Fuse and cores. Paying $3000 for an ARF just makes me shudder (and that's just the plane). If anyone knows of kits like these I would love to know. All I can find are ARF's.

I will try my luck in Sportsman next year as I progress back in.

Last edited by CXXXV; 08-01-2020 at 12:12 PM.
Old 08-01-2020, 01:54 PM
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In the seventies there was a car called the AMC Pacer. This was the gawd awful ugliest car made at that time. My high school girlfriend had one and though it was cute. I kept my mouth shut.

Just sayin'
Old 08-02-2020, 03:26 PM
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First, I want to mention that Speedracerntrixie blazed his own trail and designed the Divergent which he has made available as a kit ( there is a detailed thread in the electric pattern forum). I can attest to the quality of his work as I have purchased a cowl produced from his mold for the Reed Falcon biplane, and a partially completed (framed up fuselage) Miss Norway which is immaculate.

Current Pattern Kits: for CXXXV
Speedracerntrixie: Divergent
Insight RC: Pentathalon Evo and the new Revo
Eureka Aircraft Company: Lightning
RCAIIR: Vortex, Black Magic VF3, Addiction ([email protected])
Flight Hobby (available through RC-Japan): Neo Stage; Neo Stage bipe
Naruke Hobby: Advantage; Advantage bipe
Wingcraft Inagaki; Excalibur II; Interceptor
Nishioka Hobby: Value
RC-Composit; Contrast, Europa Pro
Aviaform: Radiance
Every kit listed was designed for e-power except the Black Magic and the Addiction (about 12-13 years old), but could be converted. Naruke offers his kits in either GP or EP configurations. The list is 'off the top' of my aging head; so apologies to any I may have forgotten. Price ranges from about $225 for the Lightning (basic kit, no sheet wood) to about $1700 for the Vortex complete kit (available as both a basic kit and complete with all wood included). Shipping is extra (about $100 for the Japanese kits).
Sorry I didn't include links, but my internet is only mediocre (on the good days - I have to use satellite internet) and slowwww.
Hope this helps.
-Will
Old 08-02-2020, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dreadnaut
In the seventies there was a car called the AMC Pacer. This was the gawd awful ugliest car made at that time. My high school girlfriend had one and though it was cute. I kept my mouth shut.

Just sayin'
Old 08-03-2020, 12:57 PM
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Thanks for list.


Old 08-03-2020, 05:58 PM
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Morris Hobby sells all the current Japanese kits:
https://www.translatetheweb.com/?fro...e.jp%2f46.html
Old 08-12-2020, 06:13 AM
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So why do current planes not use retracts?
Old 08-12-2020, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by CXXXV
So why do current planes not use retracts?
Because there is no competitive advantage to be gained by having retracts.
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Old 08-12-2020, 06:49 AM
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They are a PITA!!
Seriously, the gear leg length needed for e-power planes would be very long; so to reduce gear flexing you would have to use at least 3/16" wire which gets heavy, plus the servo , linkages, etc. Back in the '90s, an Australian pattern flier named Peter Goldsmith (now living in the US) did some wind tunnel testing and discovered that fixed gear (streamlined & with wheel pants) had significantly less aerodynamic drag than retracted retracts. The only way retracts provide an aerodynamic advantage is if there are door covers for the retract wells that are air tight. Fixed gear has much less maintenance, too.
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Old 08-12-2020, 03:59 PM
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Bryan Hebert has a biplane called " Alferma " that has retracts. Of course having them in the bottom wing is what makes it possible. A current design monoplane with retracts just wouldn't work.

I'm quite sure that to most guys the current crop of pattern airplanes look very similar. When you start throwing in the different construction materials used, different airfoils, power sources and even how they need to be set up you actually end up with airplanes that are quite unique.

I place my own Divergent in the " Stand Alone " category. My design is the only bipe that uses a two peice upper wing. The reason for this is a more rigid fuselage. Most bipes have a hatch that runs from the nose to the trailing edge of the upper wing. That creates flexibility and requires a heavier layup to get the strength back. As of right now the Divergent has the potential to be the lightest bipe on the market. My current model RTF is 4500 grams. That is with a motor and ESC that are considered on the heavy side and a full paint job as compared to a painted fuselage/film covered wings and stabs. If somone wanted to go all out a 4300 gram ( 9.5 lb ) airplane is possible. There is a bit of uniqueness going on with the wing airfoils as well that I will keep as proprietary for now but is used to help with constant speed during maneuvers and makes for a very locked in feel.

I hope that will dispel the cookie cutter, all the designers are playing follow the leader comments. As for the actual shape that some feel is " ugly ", I can't change what people see. The airplane was built to compete in the current format of AMA pattern in the advanced and masters classes. To be competitive you need the right tool for the job. That is why all forms of auto racing have budgets for R&D, you're not going to show up at Daytona with a 1980 era NASCAR and lead the pack.


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Old 08-12-2020, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by flywilly
... Back in the '90s, an Australian pattern flier named Peter Goldsmith (now living in the US) did some wind tunnel testing and discovered that fixed gear (streamlined & with wheel pants) had significantly less aerodynamic drag than retracted retracts. The only way retracts provide an aerodynamic advantage is if there are door covers for the retract wells that are air tight. ....
Besides, drag reduction is not a design goal. Just look at current pattern planes. You want it light enough to fly slowly, powerful enough to continue at the same speed going up, and draggy enough to keep it slow coming down.
Old 08-13-2020, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by perttime
Besides, drag reduction is not a design goal. Just look at current pattern planes. You want it light enough to fly slowly, powerful enough to continue at the same speed going up, and draggy enough to keep it slow coming down.
The drag is placed in areas to be more of an asset for straight line tracking , it does contribute to downline breaking but we typically rely on prop size and ESC breaking more.
Old 09-21-2020, 11:04 AM
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I need 4 more posts so that I can attach photos. So, I'm just weighing in here that I think the new designs are fantastic!
Old 09-21-2020, 11:12 AM
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Recently purchased a 62" Acuity. Flies very well indeed.
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:55 AM
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Hi CXX,

I really couldn't agree with you more. The Guppy pattern airplanes are so ugly that I don't want one in my house, no matter what. I never want to own one of those.

I realized this year that I am more interested in "classic pattern airplanes" and flying them, than I am flying in pattern contests, if it takes a Guppy-style airplane to be competitive.
Old 09-29-2020, 12:05 PM
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Good news is that they don't all look like pregnant guppies. For example: Acuity, Vanquish, Divergence....The real big difference between then and now are the tall fuselage sides for knife edge. Also, they are mostly very well built ARF's.
Old 09-29-2020, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by misterv47
Hi CXX,

I really couldn't agree with you more. The Guppy pattern airplanes are so ugly that I don't want one in my house, no matter what. I never want to own one of those.

I realized this year that I am more interested in "classic pattern airplanes" and flying them, than I am flying in pattern contests, if it takes a Guppy-style airplane to be competitive.

OK, I will bite...
Define Ugly.
Define Attractive..

I give Shawn grief over his Divergent design and call it ugly, but I do it mostly because he is my friend and I can. Besides, he pretty much gives all the grief right back to me. The truth is that Shawn and his wife were spending some vacation time at my lake house and we discussed design and molding of the plane at length. I will admit that modern pattern planes look unique, but so do all other aircraft. They look like they do so they can perform the job required of them.

I will now speak of more decades in general avaition (full scale) than I care to admit. Find an attractive plane............
The high wing Cessna and Cub style planes are pretty ugly.
The low wing 4 and 6 seat singles are no more attractive.
Twins, airliners, transport planes, modern fighters.........
The list goes on, but I really don't see beauty in any of them.

Models, I will never be without at least 1 Stik in my hanger. Is there an uglier plane??
What about 424 / 426 pylon racers?? Pretty ugly there.
Compared to those, modern pattern planes are downright beautiful, but I LOVE flying my stiks......

Just one guys opinion.

Scott

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