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SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

Old 06-29-2003, 02:31 AM
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Crash Master
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

I am curious what skill level is adequate to handle this new SPA3D design?

I tried my hand at the HOR with a GP42 on it and had a hell of a time controlling. More experienced pilots seem to have a blast with it, but it was a fight for me - even low, slow and high AOA.

Can I expect the same thing from the SPA3D or is it a little easier on an so-so pilot? I am not interested in something that I am going to pull my hair out over.

Thanks,
Old 06-29-2003, 03:09 AM
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rsieminski
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

DPS!
Old 06-29-2003, 04:02 AM
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Tom Nied
 
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

Excellent question Crash. I'm presently building one, the build so far is going well. But I also would like to hear from some of the SPA3D fliers out there describe what it is like to fly. Just a straightforward description would be helpful.
I'm ready for some excitment.
Old 06-29-2003, 04:14 AM
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OzMo
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

watch your aileron neutral setting!! parallel to the fuse or slightly above that line. mine flies diferent than my conventional planes but if i can fly one anyone who has flown a trainer for a while and progressed to low wing or faster planes should have no trouble.
my first few flights were nerve racking BUT now that i have had it up a few time i really enjoy it. they not meant to be trainer like!!
Old 06-29-2003, 02:26 PM
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stdun
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

Compared to "regular " planes they are a handful to fly but they survive crashes so good it's a great way to learn 3D. Plus if you don't like it you're only out $10 in parts. I've been flying 2 years and have no problems with it.
Old 06-29-2003, 03:11 PM
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Tom Nied
 
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

What kind of things do you have to look out for? Slow flight tip stalls? Anything nasty unpredictable? What general rules for the first flight are recommended? Keep the speed up, don't over control and such? Thanks for the thoughts. Is high alpha during slow flight the norm? Just trying to get an idea of what to expect.

Crash, they might be a handful, but sure sounds like exciting flying.
Old 06-29-2003, 07:10 PM
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pinball-RCU
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

Plus if you don't like it you're only out $10 in parts.
If this is the reason you decide to go with a plane that is more than you can handle, PLEASE be very safety conscious. Spads are cheap, people aren't. (And neither are engines and receivers.)
Old 06-29-2003, 08:21 PM
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stdun
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

The things to watch out for (from what I understand) is high speeds. The plane is designed for stunt flying mostly. I haven't tried much high speed stuff but am cautious about it. Also I've had mine just fall out of the sky when fooling around with low and slow stuff. For the first flight just keep the rates down, sky clear and bystanders warned. But I do highly recommend this plane.
Old 06-29-2003, 09:20 PM
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JCaste
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

hey better try a different plane... I flew my modified QHOR today and found out it had a $%*@ warped half of the wing, no idea why.
It had to be trimmed and was very hard to fly, so I endeed using my QHOR as a rc car.. . And it does pretty good!
Old 06-29-2003, 10:11 PM
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Flypaper 2
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

First on I built had a bad warp too, went in like a lawn dart after fighting it for a few minutes. Built a new wing for it. Flies like a charm on a 25FX now. If your new at it, cut the throws down by half and cruise around at half throttle till you get a handle on it, then let'er rip and have fun.
Old 06-30-2003, 01:14 AM
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Captain351
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

I have had to start removing my Spads from my vehicle every day after flying because the sun heating up the inside was causing my planes to warp badly. They also were requiring lots of re-trimming every day to fly strait. Now I just put them in the truck before I leave for the field and am having fewer problems.
Old 06-30-2003, 04:13 AM
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Tom Nied
 
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

This is great. I love the chatter and the free flow of thoughts. All safety concerns are taken well. I practice safety all the time. Any of you who have flown a SPA3D, let me and Crash know what it is like to fly it. I'm getting close, I'm at the servo installation phase, its looking good. I got to admit, Tatoo did a wonderful job designing this and explaining how to build one. Anyone who has experience with a SPA3D feel free to let us know how it flies, as well as what to expect. Any suggestions or cautions are well taken.

I'm hoping Crash is monitoring this, and is thinking about pushing his flying skills one more step. This plane sounds exciting. I can't wait to get out to the field when no one is around and making a go of it. So much fun with plastic and aluminum chanel.

I'm ready to "rock and roll"

Good flying. Tom
Old 06-30-2003, 06:41 AM
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JCaste
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Default How the SPA3D flies....

Ok, I've never flown the SPA3d myself, but I've flown a modified QHOR with nearly flat wing with a 36" wingspan and a 40fx in front of it with its 1.36 bhp, using a 11x3 APC that puts it vertical a 1/3 throttle.
Sorry for all those that may be offended, but this planes are one of the most inefficient designs: they have the worst type of wing, excessive drag, poor glide ratio, etc. However, they're great for doing 3D, which is what we want.
While your engine is running, they fly great. I like them to have such a bad glide performance because you can land like an autogiro: when you want to descend, you reduce to idle, pull elevator and half a meter before you accelerate and flare. If you lose your engine while flying, you would better put it nose down to make it go fast and flare the last moment. The thing to remember is, make sure your engine won't quit by putting your plane nose up in the ground, and accelerating violentlly and shaking it. This is the most violent situation the engine is going to have, so if it keeps running just go and fly.
They fly great, but they're very touchy, very nervous. Using exponential should help. A good paint job is reccomendable, because depending on the coro color they will fade quickly.
Make all control surfaces like 4", and make them move 35-45 in each direction, as much as you can. With this dimensions, my QHOR does hammerheads at half throttle, but like a car on a curve! However, roll rate is dangerously slow. When you move the 4" ailerons, that big surface is pushed back by the relative wind and is twisted (I haven't had any other problems with wing twisting while in flight), so put some carbon rods the 2-3 flutes before the hinge.
Also make the PVC piece that goes on the bottom of the stab a bit bigger so that the wire of the tail wheel goes through it. This will save your coro hinge and let you do crazy things even in the ground :devious:!
Don't use the aluminium landing gear, it wears quickly and the screws get lose. Use instead 4mm piano wire to make a way oversized, and fix it on the engine mount (mine is made out of 10mm plywood). Why? well, IMHO the standard gear is not suitable for a novice 3D flier like me. It soon warped, so I made the other one and it really made a change! It absorbs shocks better, lasts forever and saves many, many props!
This plane is also very maneuverable with a minimum air flow from the engine. I've tried 10x6 and work fine, but there's nothing like the 11x3. Its like having your engine on the first gear, moves the plane like mad effortlessly.
To sum up, I find the QHOR a very nice plane. It is a bad glider (which I find a nice feature, provided your engine runs without stopping), but is a nice flyer overall and tends to stabilize by itself somewhat. Depending on your CG configuration and engine, it will go more or less nose high during flight (but I think it's better to make it fly straight), and harriers and hovers are easy to make. The big control surfaces really help when doing crazy maneuvers, as well as a powerful and reliable engine ( a .40 fx is quite enough). I hadn't had so much fun in a lot of time. Wow, the best 20 spent ever!
Old 07-01-2003, 03:21 AM
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Tom Nied
 
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

wow, thats just awesome. "inefficient design, nervous, very touchy", now this should get my attention and keep me awake while flying.

With a new airplane I usually like to take it easy at first and kind of get the feeling for the plane in the beginning. So sounds like, keep the speed up, don't turn super fast, don't let it get away from me, test it out at altitude to see how she reacts, and try not to land dead stick. OK, I think I got it.

Great info, thanks JCaste

Good flying, Tom
Old 07-01-2003, 12:03 PM
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SPADFORME
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

Here is my experience with the qhor series. I first built the pqhor with the old style J wing. I had a little warp in the wing and it was a big problem. But the biggest problem was throttle managment. These things will not fly fast. The first pqhor had a 25 fp on it. I took off and kept it at full throttle, which was the wrong thing to do. It looked like I couldn't make up my mind weather to crash or fly it. It was all over the place and was on the virge of crashing at any minute, exstremely unstable. I only flew it once. Next I rebuilt it with Tattoo's new wing style, and put a 46 fx on it. I had one of our experienced 3d pilots fly it first and WOW, IT WAS AMAZING. It did everything everyone talked about. I have all the throws set to barn door and all are 4". I then got on the sticks and actually hovered and harriered it for about 5 minutes. And then it happened a gust of wind and an out of control spad. It ended up going strait into the asphault parking lot. I now know what I did wrong. With these planes, unlike regular planes, you cut the throttle to get out of a bad situation. I did the reverse, I gave it full power and only made things worse. The 3d pilot that was spotting for me kept screaming cut the power, cut the power, but I was trying so hard to keep it in the air and not hit anything that I didn't understand what he was saying until it was to late. If you will cut the power to idle when you get in a bind, the spa3d will stop, and I mean stop doing what ever it is doing and just sit there. This is the best advice that I can lend to someone flying one of these for the first time. Don't expect the spa3d to fly like a conventional plane. I was trying to fly it like my stick. Big mistake, on a conventional plane like a stick you use power to get you out of trouble, on the spa3d you cut the power to get you out of a bind, if you keep this in mind you will save yourself a lot of hair. By the way I am a beginner. I have been flying a big stick 40 and a low wing spad for about 4 months, and am flying without expo. The crash report on the spa3d that went strait into the asphault at almost full throttle- stripped the 2 screws that hold the motor mount to the channel and a stripped throttle servo. A total of about 3 minutes to fix, lets see you put a balsa plane into the asphault and see how long it takes to fix it.

I am now building a spa3d for our best 3d pilot. after flying mine he had to have one.

I hope this will help with the answer to the original question. These spa3d's are very quick to get out of shape and are very very very responsive to control input so don't band the sticks and cut the trottle to get out of a bad situation. And they don't like fast.
Old 07-01-2003, 01:46 PM
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Tattoo
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

My experience with higher speed flight and the the QHOR's and Spa3d has been quite favorable, but I will say that here is quite possibly the best case for how critical aileron neutral position is. On my PQHOR, the first flight was a roller coaster, because although I had set the aileron neutral parallel to the fuselage, at the fuselage, they were drooped slighty towards the tips. This slight amout of added lift caused it to balloon at higher speeds which caused me to push down...and the faster I went the worse it got and I''ll be darned if it didn't look like I had had a 5th of whiskey on the way to the field...I began raising the ailerons a clevis turn at a time, and within 3 flights it was flying on rails and I could go full throttle at will just like a sport plane. My Spa3d I got right on the money, and it flies full throttle fine...but...and the reason I wrote about it in the instructions...USE Caution! Spadforme is totally correct, these planes are for 3D type stunts, and putting a .47 on something like this is for plenty of power for pulling out of hovers, bursts for waterfalls, and feeding power into flat spins etc. The power is not for setting speed records and pylon racing because the large control surfaces will flex, the music wire will flex, the tail will flex, and we've even SEEN the leading edge flex at higher speeds. Yes I can fly my Spa3d at full throttle straight and level, but no, it's not for high speed high G maneuvers, and I'm not willing to try and find out if it can do these things. That's what the DPS and SpadStick type of sport planes are for. The Spa3d and QHOR's are for a differnent level of fun and completely different style of flying altoghether! The best way I could describehow they fly would be: Have you ever seen a large piece of cardboard blowing in the wind high in the sky, tumbling end for end? Now imagine turning it into plastic, slapping a tail on it for stability, an engine for power, and then having the ability to stop it dead in it's tracks in the air. From there you can continue the tumble if you want, positive or negitive G. You can flat spin it as if someone threw it like a frizbee, you can pancake it in a turn so sharp, your going in a different direction with no turning radius, you can set up a high angle of attack and surf on the wind indefinately, and if you throttle back in this attitude, it will settle to the ground in a no speed landing. Sure you can tone down the throws and fly around conventionaly...but then you woudn't have all the "conventional" sport flyers picking their eyeballs off the ground
Old 07-01-2003, 09:15 PM
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

I am following this thread Tom with interest and it all sounds great. What I am hearing is that this could well be the PERFECT low and slow flyer that I have been looking for to play with in my front yard (a couple of acres).

I have built mine as per Tattoo's specs and was going to put my old reliable Mag 40XL on it with an 11x4 APC. I have several GMS 47's, but none of them are broke in enough to be reliable enough.

I did try a QHOR with a 32" span with a GP42 swinging an 11x4. It was okay, but for some reason the GP42 kept throwing the dang muffler off ever couple of flights. I'm going to order a replacement muffler and more props.

What interested me about the SPA3D were the claims that it was more stable than the QHOR or PQHOR. Not having developed the instinctive reactions to control input yet, a more stable plane will allow my feeble brain some time to react - I hope

Mine is all painted and just needs to be put together and it will be ready to try. I'm hoping by the weekend (limited time due to nursing my wife back from surgery) and then get it out to the field in the next week or so.

I appreacite all the input and I'm hoping that this SPA3D will allow me to fly in the front yard.

Thanks guys,
Old 07-02-2003, 04:39 AM
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OzMo
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

update ozark mo ozark mountain barnstormers building night tonight 12 pqhors started should be handed over to members next week. THE SKYS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!!
Old 07-02-2003, 03:02 PM
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

I built the SPA3D, and I can tell you it flys GREAT...BUT!!

Set your airlon and elevator expo to -60 & -40 (futaba), those big control surfaces can get you going in a hurry.

Yes, I would say take off under good power, get some alt, throttle back, then trim it out. With a .40 - .46 and a 11 x4 to 11 x 7,8 it will climb out pretty strait up (if you want), I needed to "push" it from vertical on the first flight so be ready.

You fly these with the throttle as much as the controls, and yes cutting back on throtle will get you out of some trouble, but a good prop, engine combo and FULL power can save you too.

Take your time, and remember lots of EXPO. Best thing is...don't worry about crashing.

It flys best at half throttle and under...full power only when needed.
Old 07-02-2003, 06:54 PM
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rlt55
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Default I'm not so sure.

Originally posted by Crash Master

What interested me about the SPA3D were the claims that it was more stable than the QHOR or PQHOR. Not having developed the instinctive reactions to control input yet, a more stable plane will allow my feeble brain some time to react - I hope
I'm a newbie pilot and fly a SPA3D (Profile not installed) and QHOR, and I'm not so sure the SPA3D would be better for your needs.
Maybe it's just me, but the QHOR seems to be extra stable. It will fly hands-off for miles
For low and slow, the QHOR is more relaxing to fly (for me).
The smaller control surfaces and Expo keep things from getting too wild. Just keep the speed down and it's super easy to fly in a very small area.
I learned on my first flights to keep the control movements very-very small until you get used to the way these planes react.

A club member watched me fly both planes and told me he was going to build a QHOR. Said the SPA3D was too "hot" for him.
I'm betting he will end up like me, flying both!
Cheers,
Old 07-03-2003, 03:17 AM
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Tom Nied
 
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

Flew mine today. Quirkiest damn plane I ever flew. Even with exponential. I don't even think you can call it flying, just sort of point in maybe the correct direction. First flight with two takeoffs and two landings you'd think I was a drunken soldier flying. Second ended in a total loss of control and into the high grass, thank goodness. So damn quirky I'm going to have to give it some study. Mild feelings of success. oh boy. Tom
Old 07-03-2003, 10:01 AM
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rlt55
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

On my 1st flight with the QHOR, I wanted to land the whole time.
I wanted to turn down the throws. But, I never did and after a few flights, I was loving it!
Old 07-03-2003, 10:32 AM
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JCaste
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Default First QHOR experience...

The first time I flew a QHOR, I felt more or less like you. After braking two props while taking off and immediately trying to hover with no d**m experience (yes, it was a really stupid thing), with the motormount about to come lose, and the landing gear bent awfully (unable to withstand any hard landing), I still was encouraged to fly my QHOR.
So I fixed things as good as I could, and took off. I did no hovers, but I just kept flying nose high all the time, doing all kinds of crazy things, and making the QHOR fly 2m high in front of me. Then, I did a very stupid thing (turning my head to hear someone? pushing back the stick? I still don't know) and I just could see my loved QHOR buried in the ground.
Ok, another one is built and improved, but I don't know how the wing is twisted! You can bet this made me shout words that would make a pirate fell ashamed. Of course, flying it was very tiring, and more with wind, so I just played with it on the ground , which does pretty well.
Next weekend, its going to be mounted a straight wing and its going to fly like a Hell On Rails again !

I've to admit I've never used exponential, but do you think its really good o use them? Don't you lose sensitivity? By the time you try a QHOR, you must be able to move the sticks as much or as few as you want to, isn't it?
Anyway Tom, remember a few things that helped me:
-Make your QHOR easy to see and to recognize where it points, and paint it so brightly it even makes light.
-If you have troubles, reduce power aobve ide and it will stabilize, showing its position.
-Reinforme somehow the ailerons hinge area. This is imperative.
-Full throttle, only in very few cases: verticals and low altitude emergencies.
-Make sure your engine runs consistently.
-Now that you've personally "tasted" its "quirkiness" , its time to try again and remember, use power on take off, then use the minimum power to keep it flying straight and get used to the way it behaves. Don't try to do any 3D yet. Be able to fly it in circles and 8s, and practice normal landings and advanced landings (flaring before touching the ground). This sounds very stupid and probably is, but will help you know your plane. After you master this, try loops, rolls (do this high, they turn too slow) and other basic maneuvers, and one or two flights later, you can have your wild ride, provided you have enough altitude.
These are a few tricks that worked for me. I' by no means an expert flyer, and I'm a 3D newbie, but IMHO I think they can help newcomers.
Good luck! Hope to hear from your "wild rides" soon!

Juan C. G.
Old 07-03-2003, 11:12 AM
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

The reason for expo instead of low rates, is so you will still have full throw when needed, and it will calm it down around center stick to help with the light inputs needed there.

The ailon neutral MUST be parallel the fus channel or even up a tad, lower will cause wierd flight affects, (and possably uncontrolable).

Get the plane off the throttle and level ASAP, it flies great.

Also, a larger enough prop to push a lot of air across the wings helps too, .46 = 11 x 4, 5.
Old 07-03-2003, 08:48 PM
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Default SPA3D vs. Beginner ???'s

Well, there are a few things right off the bat that I think I did wrong.

First, I didn't dress up the top of the surfaces like I wanted to thinking if it doesn't fly, why spend the time and effort doing that. I wanted to dress up the top of my totally yellow coroplast SPA3D with some bold fluorescent stripes and a checkerboard stripe, also put the name on as well as my AMA #. When its out quite away, its hard to discern orientation. So thats not good.

Second, the only prop I had for my TT Pro 46 was the 10-6 I used to breakin the motor. I know, I know, I should be using something like a 12-3.75 or 11-4. But it's all I had and I thought I would do some very easy test flights around the field, nothing fancy.

Third on the ground, the engine seemed to run just fine, nice high speed and dependable idle. Sounds OK right? But when I was up all three times, the motor was doing this almost quit thing randomly while I was flying. That's why I landed on the first flight to check things, it seemed fine so I took off and the erratic behavior started again. Puzzling because I know I have a free swinging clunk and it's a new motor. The resulting crash on the third attempt pulled the main wing attachment bolt head (near the CG) through the 3/4 by 3/4 pvc strengthening pad, and the corro split 6" on either side right in front of the rear wing mounting pad. Then I knew it was time to head back to the hangar, with the wing wobbling on the fuse.

Another puzzling thing to me is how well I landed it the first two times, this is my first taildragger, and once level and approaching the field, I set it down like a pro. Weird.

Up at altitude, it seemed to have a mind of its own. I found myself correcting it all the time and trying to just fly it from that spot. Just didn't feel like I had control of it, and I'm surprised my fellow fliers didn't run for cover, but luckily I kept it away.

I am having doubts about the exponential. Too little travel near neutral and then all of a sudden full travel could be biting me. Ailerons were set right parallel to the bottom of the "U" channel fuselage. Wonder if having them up just a bit would help?

So I have a number of things to correct. I say "quirky" because at times I was controlling it and at other times I had no control.

Puzzled. Tom

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