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Tuff Flight's 4D

Old 10-20-2004, 07:45 PM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

The motor mounts are installed using two 1/4 x 20 Nylon bolts. These are secured with a large washer and a nut. The wire landing gear is trapped between the motor plate and the large washer.

BTW, all the parts you see on mine in these pictures other than the covering, the motor and the radio gear is what comes in the deluxe kit.
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Old 10-20-2004, 07:48 PM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

As usual, mounting the motor to the plane is saved for last so you can set the CG. I've chosen a OS46FX with a Tower Muffler to power mine.

The kit also comes with some press on decals to simulate a canopy.

The deluxe kit comes with 2 MasterAirscrew 11x4 props. These are not my personal favorites because I like the APC 11.5x4 prop with the motor muffler combination. But, the good people at Tufflight are actually looking out for us. I have switched to the MasterAirscrew 11x4 prop for this airplane because of the rate I am going through props!
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Old 10-20-2004, 07:55 PM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

One problem I had, was I made a mistake when I installed the control horn on the vertical stabalizer. I thought this would not be a problem, but I was wrong. This mistake weakened the coroplast so much in this area that the vertical stabalizer fluttered constantly. To fix this problem, all I did was take some of the left over wooden sticks, and slide them down into the flutes to reinforce the area where the control horn needed to go.
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Old 10-20-2004, 08:19 PM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

It's now time to fly this airplane and see if it truly lives up to it's name.



You need to know a couple of things to fly the 4D successfully.

1. Take off is at 1/2 throttle. You don't need or want any more power at takeoff. If you try to takeoff at full throttle, the horizontal stabalizer is likely to flutter.

2. You don't need up elevator to taxi or to start your take off run. Even on grass, I've taxied the 4D around with no problems keeping my hands off the elevator stick.

3. You need to be aware of your speed. If you fly too fast, the horizontal stabalizer will flutter. The 4D is ment to fly slowly. This is the way it was designed to fly.

4. The ailerons need just a slight bit of "up" to allow the 4D to perform some manuvers better.



I've mentioned several times that the horizontal stabalizer will flutter under certain conditions and I want to be sure I clarify what I mean. The 4D is a 3D "trainer". It is for people who want to learn to fly 3D. The plane is not designed to be flown fast. No 3D plane is and most will also flutter if flown too fast. Unlike a lot of other 3D aircraft if they develope flutter, the 4D can be simply picked back up, restarted and flown immediately. Where as the stick built 3D airplane will need some time in the shop for repair.

This does not mean that you can't ever hit full throttle with the 4D. If you need to "escape" from a hover, then by all means firewall that throttle. Once you get out of trouble, throttle back, bring the plane back around, and try the manuver again. Also, if you want to practice those flat-spins and other "high" manuvers, point the nose of the 4D up, hit full throttle, and get up there to practice.

This issue can be totally fixed, by changing the flexable control rods to a stiffer control rod system. But when you do this the 4D will lose some of it's durability and the servos will be at risk for stripped gears.

I chose to keep the stock system and learn to "fly around it". Once I got use to the speed range the 4D likes to fly at, I've had no problems with any flutter.



The 4D is tough. It is the toughest airplane I have ever had. It truely lives up to it's durability rating.

Here is some "Personal" testimony:

1. I took a radio hit at a recent flyin and my 4D immediately snapped into the asphalt runway. If this had been a stick built plane, there would have been little pieces of balsa everywhere. The only damage my 4D sustained was two broken nylon bolts. two broken wooden sticks, and one stripped servo on the throttle. This is why I suggest you use a metal gear servo on the throttle.

2. At the same flyin, I was hovering at a very safe height, and I got caught in some sink from a thermal passing through. The 4D started dropping straight down. I hit full throttle and all it did was slow the drop some. The 4D landed right on it's vertical stabalizer. There was no damage sustained from this.

3. I have on many occasions thumped, bumped, smashed, oopsed, dumb-thumbed, and just plain crashed, and have had nothing more that a broken prop. I have even cartwheeled my 4D down the runway trying to do a high-alpha knife edge as close to the ground as possible. As a matter of fact, I have gone through 9 props in total as of today.

4. The total bill for all of the damage my 4D has "endured" so far:
9 props
2 nylon bolts
6 wooden sticks
1 stripped throttle servo (if I had used a metal gear servo to begin with I wouldn't have had that)




The 4D is very capable of performing 3D manuvers. I've done flat-spins, blenders, hovering, snaps, knife-edge spins, high-alph knife-edge flight, and harriers. I've seen a rolling circle done with a 4D.

The beauty (and the fun) of the 4D is that you will push yourself to do the manuvers closer to the ground than before. I love to hover mine right above the runway and do a little "tailtapping". The first knife-edge spin I did with it, I got so engrossed at how cool the manuver looked that I did get it pulled out in time. I went over, picked up the plane, restarted it, and did another knife-edge spin.

The 4D in intended to be a durable 3D trainer that can teach you how to fly 3D and take the punishment learning to fly 3D can generate. The airplane succeds at this in all respects. I'm having a blast flying mine!
Old 10-20-2004, 09:19 PM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Grat job Latch! Thanks for the build/review. I guess I'll have to hide another plane from my wife now....

Thanks!
Old 10-21-2004, 07:53 AM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

latch,
great information. How much time would you say it took you to build this?
Old 10-21-2004, 08:32 AM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Thanks for the compliments.


If I didn't have anything else on my building board, it would probably have taken only about a week of workshop time in the evenings and maybe a Satruday to get the 4D airborne. It was a really fast build.
Old 10-21-2004, 09:56 AM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Latch,
How smelly were the glues that you used? Did you have to have windows open while building. Did the smells linger?

After all of your "crashes" have you had to reinstall or repair any part of the fuselage/tail or control surfaces? I see from #2 this is probably not an issue!!!!

Do you think Jeff's idea (balanced control surfaced with fishing weights) for controlling flutter is worth the extra weight and effort?? See picture: ..........this is all great information...Thanx
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Old 10-21-2004, 10:40 AM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

ORIGINAL: GarySS

Latch,
How smelly were the glues that you used? Did you have to have windows open while building. Did the smells linger?

After all of your "crashes" have you had to reinstall or repair any part of the fuselage/tail or control surfaces? I see from #2 this is probably not an issue!!!!

Do you think Jeff's idea (balanced control surfaced with fishing weights) for controlling flutter is worth the extra weight and effort?? See picture: ..........this is all great information...Thanx

Gary,

On glue smell.......
ProBond to me has what I call a light odor when applied, but it didn't appear too noticable as it set up.

3M77 has to be applied outside because it's in a spray can. Yes, it has an odor, but to me it's in the same class as ProBond.

GOOP does have an odor that some people might find heavy.

It's always a good idea to open a window, or get some fresh air in the room when building anyway. Even with just CA and epoxy.



As far as the tail surfaces coming off in "crashes".......
I have never had the vertical stabalizer come off.

I have had the horizontal stabalizers "twist" on the pivot shaft. But, this only occured when I was trying to takeoff at full throttle. I was incorrectly pulling full up elevator during the takeoff run and the horizontal stabalizers where striking dandelions (our field hadn't been mowed in awhile). This would inevitable kick one out of alignment.

I did two things to fix this.
1. I learned the right way to take the plane off. 1/2 throttle max and with no up elevator.

2. I cut a small hole in each horizontal stabalizer at the area where the tip of the CF pivot rod is inside the horizontal stabalizer. I then added a couple of drops of thick CA. I did this for the top and the bottom of each horizontal stabalizer. This is visible in the picture I took of the trimmed sections of the horizontal stabalizers (Check out post #48). The area where I did this is the different color of yellow (I covered the areas with some stick down covering).

The counter weights may work great. I've not tried them. I would try to fly the plane without them first. Do the horizontal stabalizer modification which will allow the contorl rod to be kept straight. Keep the plane in the speed range it was designed for. I fly mine around at 1/2 throttle or less. I honestly have had no problems with flutter once I learned the speed range the plane needs to fly at.
Old 10-21-2004, 10:56 AM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Hi Gary,

Regarding the mass balances for the elevators, once the plane is already built, Jeff's balances are a good way to eliminate flutter at high speeds. The trade off is an obvious slight weight increase, and tendency for the rods to get bent during crashes and transportation.

If I knew I was NOT going to fly all that much 3D (low and close) I would re-position the pivot point during initial construction to be more forward on the control surface (less flutes in front of the axle). This gives less mechanical advantage for the servo, BUT more stability of the surface to feather in the breeze and NOT flutter. Doing this is the best way to keep it simple. The trade off here is the servos work harder, reactions get slower (ie, hover corrections take more time, waterfalls get bigger, Knife edges blow back more), for the same power servo. I forgot who showed me this, but it was one of our customers who came up the the new pivot location. It's not difficult to try for yourself if you have some more corplast and a couple spare control horns you can switch between them with minimal push rod length adjustment. (only a few flutes make a difference in moving the pivot point)

It depends on how you want to fly. All designs are trade offs. We thought guys would be most into learing 3D close low and crazy. If you want instant and quick reactions, generous counterbalances are called for in this case. That combined with a somewhat flexible control system, which forgives impact and doesn't strip servo gears means there WILL be more tendency to flutter --that limits your top speed. Since flutter isn't a big deal with this plane (you're not going to break it if it happens-- at worst an elevator/horiz stab comes apart, you crash, and go put the tail back on) we figured it would be best to go for high performance reactions for cheap servos, and limit the high speed envelope.

Chime in here Latch if you'd like to comment, by all means.

Joe
Old 10-21-2004, 11:01 AM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Looks like you beat me to it!
Old 10-21-2004, 02:16 PM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Hi Joe and Latch, Thanks for the detailed responses to my questions. I'm not trying to second guess anybody with the counter weights, just maybe enhance an already wonderful design if possible. I will run a Saito .82 with the MAS 13x5 prop with the engine's top end limited to say 9,500 to prevent over-reving. On paper that equates to about 45 miles per hour on the level........would I encounter flutter at that speed? It's no big deal, I already practice good throttle management on my other planes. Thanks GarySS
Old 10-21-2004, 02:45 PM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Gary, I'm no motor expert and I don't know much about 4 cycles.

I'm running an OS46FX with an 11x4 Master Airscrew prop. I also have a Tower Muffler and I am using 15% fuel.

If the plane is travelling in level flight, I will start to get flutter at about 3/4 throttle. I make it a practice to keep the plane to 1/2 throttle or less for level flight.

I've had no problems with flutter going straight up at full throttle!
Old 10-21-2004, 07:19 PM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Gary,

You might want to check out the MAS Scimitar 13x6. That .82 of yours can certainly handle a bigger prop. Most guys I know use a 14x4 or 13x6 on a .72 four stroke.
Old 10-23-2004, 03:44 PM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Hello! Have you tried the counterbalance wheights on your 4d? Yes they stand up to all my foolish gyrations very well...... Jeff
Old 10-23-2004, 04:21 PM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Hey guys...... about flutter on the 4d. I have been flying mine for about 8 months now. When I started flying it off of skis on snow I had flutter on the third flight. The plane really was not going that fast and the tail went nuts! The tails on these things are pretty floppy almost no matter what you do when you build them. It is a very flexible airplane but a very fun one! I love flying mine. But for me the flutter HAD TO GO! I did not want to risk stripping a servo gear and having the plane hit something or someone at the field. I have a pattern plane with pretty soft and flexible wood for the strip ailerons (it is an ARF) that fluttered on me. I put counterbalances on the bottom in the middle of the span of the aileron and no more flutter at any speed! The same with the 4D. NO more flutter at ANY SPEED. Why fly a plane and worry about it going crazy on you? The counterbalances in the picture take about 20 minutes to install. Now I still do not fly at full throttle in level flight for extended periods, BUT I do not limit my flying of this plane any more than I do any other plane I fly. I zip around chasing my friends with no worry at all though. I have not had any flutter or signs of flutter since putting the counterbalances on. My tail surfaces, after beating on this thing for all season, are pretty floppy. It flies just fine. Why limit your plane and always worry about flutter than making a simple change and fly it with no worries? I have built my own full-size aircraft, a Van's Aircraft RV-4, and we are very picky about balanced surfaces. The elevators and ailerons Must be balanced to be able to eliminate any chance of flutter. We even have to take into account the weight of the paint on the surface and balance that out! There is one other neat thing about the balance wheights......... out at the field people will ask you, what the heck are those things, antenaes? Radar? They didnt think my ugly plane (in their minds) could get any uglier! Then along came the weights! Try them, it makes a great plane much safer and a lot more enjoyable!....... Jeff
Old 10-23-2004, 08:48 PM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Hi Wind Junkie,
Yeah, that Saito.82 should be able to take up to a 13x7 or 13x8 prop which is what I bot for it if I mount it in my Venus pattern ship. Master Airscrew just hasn't responded to the market for 3D props very well so I hopefully will use the 13x5 for its "toughness" on the 4D. I will need to limit it the throttle throw so I don't over rev it. I am thinking the 13x6 simitar is too fast? for the 4D's flutter issue?


Hey Jeff, Thanks for the input on your flying fishing equipment! Have you had to repair it much on your 4D? OT what engine do you have in your RV4 and what is its cruise speed? Thanks
Old 10-23-2004, 10:32 PM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Jeff,

Yes, the counterbalances worked well. I just removed them because my plane was tricked out to the most rearward CG I could stand (before the added tailweight), and was too lazy to add weight to the nose or make another set of mounts (mine are too short now to move the engine forward). So for me, they didn't make sense given I never really had a big flutter problem to begin with, although I did redo the tail from the original version (same as yours) to the new scale profile and slightly enlarged tail surfaces.

Would you mind if I put your recommendation on our web site? They are a great quick fix for guys who do experience flutter and look to be the easiest way to combat it. Send us a pic of your whole plane if you would.

Gary,

The 13x6 acts just like a 14x4 does speed wise for the 3D realm. You won't notice the speed difference, just how the pull out and pitch/yaw authority. The scimitar is also very durable, like other MA props.
Old 10-24-2004, 08:23 AM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Hello! Sure, you can use the photo on your site. I really like the airplane. The counterbalances just made it a lot more enjoyable with no worries. Take care.............. Jeff
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Old 10-24-2004, 11:44 AM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Thanks Jeff. I put your method in our FAQ and testimonails page.

Hey, looks like Rocky the flying squirrel wants a ride!
Old 10-24-2004, 10:16 PM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Thanks for the tip on the counter balances.

That 4D has been put through it's paces. Just look at the "wrinkles". Nothing a little heat from the iron won't cure.



BTW: If that's Rocky, where's Bullwinkle???
Old 11-12-2004, 06:37 PM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Hello! Yes I have had to repair my 4D one time when I got all crossed up hovering in the wind and dumb thumbed it into the ground right on the nose. The two nylon bolts broke and the motor and the mount stayed stuck in the soft turf while the rest continued on for a few feet. I did connect the throttle just like in the plans with the fuel tubing as the connector. It worked like a charm! Two bolts and I was back in business. I have a Thunder Tiger 46 pro on mine and it does great with it. I use a spoileron mix on it to get it to decend nice and flat all the way to a landing. It is very cool to see a plane come down verticle flat as a pancake! About 8 feet from the ground just add a bit of throttle to cushion the landing a bit. The wings do'nt rock much at all doing this. Just put the spoileron mix on a switch that you can turn on and off easy. This plane is a lot of fun. It is a bit beat up, but it has only hit the ground once. Get the plane in a hover fairly high and just put the sticks in the top inside or outside corners and just watch what it does! Try it with and without spoilerons. This plane can take a lot of abuse. Its great! ............... Jeff
Old 12-29-2004, 08:16 PM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Anyone using a Saito .72? If so, where did you place the battery?

Jerry
Old 12-29-2004, 11:23 PM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Jerry,

If you're doing the scale profile, put the battery in the front. The weight of the added corplast in the tail is more important to offset than the engine size.
Old 12-30-2004, 11:11 AM
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Default RE: Tuff Flight's 4D

Thanks, that is where it shall go!

Jerry

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