woensdag 2 mei 2012

Lesson learned, secure lipo

Just lost a lipo in flight. Lucky me this happened on my wing so it just came down very smooth with no damage at all to the foam. The only damage reported is a lost lipo and one of the esc wires being cut.

I was afraid that I lost more since I saw white pieces flying around on the moment I lost control. Since I don't have any foam damage I'm thinking this could be the lipo pack going through the propeller, being cut in pieces so that what  I saw were in fact the separate cells lit up by the sun. The more I think of this theory the more I believe it. After all these pieces came down faster than the wing itself so they must have been heavier. 

I wasn't able to find any of them so I can't say for sure. New battery is on the way. I'll look into a better securing system. I had it squeezed into the foam slot only. Should have at least added some velcro. 

dinsdag 1 mei 2012

My tips for beginner RC pilots

Now that I'm able to keep my planes up I look back at how I started flying and I have the following tips:

Start with a cheap foam scratch build

This way you don't have to worry too much if you break something and you can easily fix it. I personally preferred my Blu Baby (check rcgroups.com) above the Multiplex Easy Star.

3 channel first, more channels later

Don't try an aileron plane from the beginning. It will only make things harder to grasp. A good starter plane has only the tail (elevator & rudder) and gas to control. Also a high wing trainer with dihedral is preferred. Keep these nice looking warbirds for later.

A good second plane would be a wing. Simply because of it's great flight characteristics, both slow and speedy. Only third plane should be some scale or more advantage airframe.

Throttle management for altitude

One of the first big lessons for me was that I wasn't supposed to use the elevator for altitude control. Instead I had to try and keep the plane as level as possible with the elevator and only use throttle management to control altitude.

If you give more power your plane is flying faster so more wind is going over the wings creating more lift. Hence altitude increases.

Elevator however only changes the attitude of your plane. How much it's pointing up or down. For low speed you might want to have it a bit more up.

Fly into the wind, air speed != ground speed

Also a great lesson here. It's not how fast you move relative to the ground that is important for the lift and altitude of your plane. Imagine a windy day. If you fly into the wind the wind is causing more airflow over the wing thus more lift on the same ground speed without wind.

This is a big advantage since you can fly a lot slower now with that same airplane. In fact the day I grasped the complete concept of the throttle for altitude was on a very windy day. I would advice people to begin on a somewhat windy day. Not a stormy day, you'll have to know how much wind your plane can handle. it should still be able to fly forward.

Practice slow flight

Once you can keep your plane up it's time to think about landing. For this you need to know the slow flight characteristics of your airplane. Practice on high altitude so you have time to recover.

Decathlon equipped with frsky telemetry

You've probably seen the Graupner Bellanca before. It turns out the be a great testbed for my frsky telemetry projects. Here is how I have the GPS, VARIO and RPM sensor up on the front together with the frsky sensor hub on the dashboard.