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How Important Is a Rudder?

#1
So I'm finishing up my build of a flying pig, and after much thought on what sort of wing I'm going to use, I've decided on using the wing off of a Bushwacker. I think it's going to provide a fair amount of lift for it, and the pig isn't going to be doing high level aerobatics or anything, it's just going to be built for a joke.

My thoughts, though, are whether to build in a rudder or not. I can still do that, and have it come out the back of the pig (it would be a rudder shape, and I'd just paint a corkscrew tail on it so that it looked like a pig's tail), but the more I think about it, the more I'm debating if I really need it. The wing is going to be set up as elevons, since I don't have a rear elevator, and because of that I'm really debating on how crucial the rudder would actually be...

What do you folks think? Is it absolutely necessary, or should I just say, "To heck with it" and see if she flies or crashes? I'm reasonably confident in my flight capabilities to control it, but any input one way or the other would be great. :)

(And yes, I'll post pics of the build and the wing, as well as the maiden - I guarantee people will want to see a pig flying)
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#2
Flying wings work just fine with no or minimal vertical stabilizers and no rudder - so it's absolutely possible to do without it!

I'd say give it a go and see how it performs :)
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#3
In the air, it depends on the bird, and what you want to do with her. Many will ease around a turn in an apparent coordinated fashion with just bank and yank - nose heavy enough and you can just lean the bank and the elevator trim will do the rest. Some need a good bit of rudder to pull the tail around the turn.

3D and aerobatics are another creature, and need all the control they can get to cleanly perform the maneuvers . . . but general sport flying, not so much.

That being said . . . near the ground, you might start to miss the rudder more, if you're not ignoring it too much. Handling on takeoff and landing when the wings need to stay level depends strongly on rudder. If you want your landing to track down the runway in a cross-wind landing, or not your plane to go squirrely in a cross-wind takeoff, or fine tune the glide path when flaperons are full down, that left thumb should be on top of things ;)
 
#5
Cross winds? Really?

I mean, what's the worst that could happen? :p

View attachment 105600
At my field, our cross winds are almost always from the southwest, and would blow the plane out into "The Jungle", about 100 ft north of the runway.

The only worry I'd have is if it started blowing from the southeast; that could take it over the 15 freeway, which is about 250 ft to the west/northwest of where our pilot box is, but even then, I could probably down the thing in a crash if I had to, before it got to that point...

I'm thinking more and more that I'm not going to worry about the rudder...It's either gonna fly or it's not, and like I said, it's more of a weird flying fun joke, just so that I can buy a new plane.

My wife said I could have another plane when pigs fly - I said, "Challenge accepted!"
 
#8
There is an old saying "You aint going to hover without a rudder".
boom! :applause:

a rudder (unless flying 3 channel) isn't that needed in most airplanes. people just yank and bank them.

however, if you have to taxi or have long take offs a rudder is absolute, can't live without it. i would encourage any new pilot to use the rudder as much as possible to learn. try and do your turns rudder only? rudder coming back at you? all very important skills.

or, just build elevons! hehehehe!

laters,

me ;)
 
#9
I am a big fan of rudder. My storch has amazing rudder authority. The only dislike i have with my tubby cubby is the lack of rudder authority. But you can probably fly anything without a rudder...it just wont fly as well or smooth.
 
#10
boom! :applause:

a rudder (unless flying 3 channel) isn't that needed in most airplanes. people just yank and bank them.

however, if you have to taxi or have long take offs a rudder is absolute, can't live without it. i would encourage any new pilot to use the rudder as much as possible to learn. try and do your turns rudder only? rudder coming back at you? all very important skills.

or, just build elevons! hehehehe!

laters,

me ;)
Oh, I know ALL about using both sticks to make turns from flying quads - essentially, you CANNOT make a left or right turn without using both sticks. :) I'm just debating on whether I really need to build in a rudder or if I should just go the elevon route on this flying pig build...And I'm thinking it'll end up being elevons on a Bushwacker style wing. If it bites the dust when I try to land it, as long as the electronics are good and the motor's unscathed, I'm figuring I'll be good. :)