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First flight

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First flight

Old 01-03-2006, 02:37 PM
  #1  
kzimmerman
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Default First flight

Hey yall, Got a flight on my rascal 40 this weekend. The breeze was fairly low, so I taxied out, into the wind, and let her go. She got up on the step fairly quickly, and made a 90 degree turn to the left, a 180 back to the right, then another 90 to the left. All that happened in about 5', then she went on straight ahead and lifted off very gracefully. I think I need to add a water rudder, on the back of the plane, to take care of this zigging and zagging. I flew for about fifteen minutes, then I lost the engine, and brought her in dead stick for a beautifull landing. This was my first flight in about five years, so I was a little nervous, and I was shaking a little when I was done, so I thought I would quit while I was ahead, and called it a day. I can't wait to get back out there though, flying off water was sooo cool!
Old 01-03-2006, 03:02 PM
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jrf
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Default RE: First flight

A water rudder will definately not solve that problem. Water rudders are for taxiing only. They should not be in the water when the plane is on the step. Water rudders that are in the water when on the step usually cause the problem you described.

If you are using Gee Bee floats, that is your problem. If not, it sounds like you have too much positive incidence in the wing. Make the top of the floats parallel to the bottom of the wing (That will give you about 1 1/2 degrees of positive incidence and that's plenty.)

Jim
Old 01-03-2006, 03:17 PM
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Newc
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Default RE: First flight

OK, now you're hooked! It's possible that the nerves were the cause of the gyrations before takeoff, and that you gave it too much throttle too quickly, it started to torque on you and you over corrected. A plane that's not on wheels or doesn't have a water rudder can do that as there's not much frictional contact with the surface (water) as there is when on wheels and ground. This could be much better the next flight without any mods to the plane. I have Ernst water rudders on my floats, and they are good, but as was mentioned, water rudders are out of the water when the plane is on step.

As to the nervousness, I have found that I'm always more nervous when flying off water than when off the ground - especially as the season starts.

Good luck.
Old 01-03-2006, 04:08 PM
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JAkridge
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Default RE: First flight

Kzimm...., I have to agree with the guys here too. I have found myself doing 2 major things wrong on nervous takeoffs from water. (1). Hammering the throttle and trying to "YANK" the plane out to soon, causing it to get squirlly before coming off then it wants to tip stall. (2). Holding the plane "DOWN" on the water at above takeoff speed by pour elevator movement. (as in) holding down elev.. Just a tad of down has caused me to push the plane onto the front of the floats, causing it to "again" get squirlly before I applied the rite amount of "UP" elevator.
Now I could be all wet here but I have had more trouble with your kind of takeoff trouble with pour elevator "Input" then I ever have with not having a water rudder. As long as the plane is setup rite in the areas needed to fly from water, then a nice long straight takeoff can be had without a water rudder.

I just tell myself... power up smooth - slow inputs to the rudder - let it run up on to the step - easy back pressure on the elevator. Then smile

Good Luck, I bet you'll be just fine.
Old 01-04-2006, 09:41 AM
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kzimmerman
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Default RE: First flight

I am not using geebee floats, I built them myself according to the article that is on the web from Cunningham on R/C. I do have some positive incidence built in in reference to the top of the floats, so I'll take that out and try again. If the water rudder won't help with this, then I won't add one, as the plane seemed to taxi fine without one. The nerves might have been from the squirelly first flight, but it was also my first flight in a long time, and I never got that good at flying, as I always got pulled away from the hobby when I got my wings. This time, however, my life isn't so caotic, out of college, not moving so much, so I should be able to stay with it. Anyway, I'll keep yall posted how the next flight goes after I remove the float incidence.
thanks for your help!
Old 01-04-2006, 03:32 PM
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Newc
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Default RE: First flight

I am not sure that wing/float incidence is really an issue. If you followed Cunningham's instructions, he says to have some positive incidence, and I have found that 1 1/2 to 2 degrees works fine. I suggest that you do put a water rudder on, if even only for the taxiing in case you need to turn and there's a breeze that, without the water rudder, will make the plane weathervane. Also, the water rudder can be very effective until you get the plane on the step.

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