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  1. #51

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Posts
    102

    Module-Air Maiden

    Quote Originally Posted by DamoRC View Post
    What great flying machines. It's been a real treat to see these fly in person. Will we see the module air up this weekend?

    DamoRC
    The Module-Air might make a maiden flight early Saturday morning. I am not advertising since these sorts of things often result in uninteresting failures.

  2. #52

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Posts
    102

    The Module-Air has flown

    The Module-Air has flown.



    The flight was about 6 minutes and all batteries still had about 63% capacity left on landing. It was not easy to fly but I am working on modifications to improve that. The wind was under 5 MPH but there were some thermals coming through. All control systems worked as expected including the "backwards" ailerons. The flight characteristics are such that it is all about the rudder, which is actually differential throttle. It banks into turns naturally due to the differential airspeed. Ailerons and roll autolevel are used to try to keep it from banking too much. At the slow speeds that it flies it can turn fairly sharply without a lot of bank, but at some point the inside wing is flying too slow and begins to stall. The solution is more power and airspeed.

    The rate of climb was quite good, much better that the B-17, which used the same motors and propellers. This makes sense when you understand the reduction in induced drag is in proportion to wing span squared. The parasite drag is high, but that goes up (or down) with the square of airspeed, and since it flies quite slowly, it is not that bad. It turns out that a flat plate airfoil with a square leading edge is not a bad fit for this application.

    Pitch trim and pitch stability were good, or at least a non-issue with pitch autolevel applied. The main issue at this point is yaw stability, it has none. It will happily fly through the air at a 45 degree angle, however at some extreme angle it won't be happy any more. One simple solution to this problem will be the addition of streamers, not to make it more festive, but to make it easier for the pilot to recognize when it is flying sideways and correct. Left to its own devices it would probably correct itself eventually, but when maneuvering it is easy to get it out of sorts in yaw. This is why a capable pilot is currently needed.
    Last edited by Ran D. St. Clair; 07-15-2017 at 01:39 AM.

  3. #53

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Posts
    102
    The Module-Air has flown a 2nd time, this time in near no wind conditions. Between the better weather and the modifications I made, it is now easy to fly, at least up to the point where the batteries start to die. We were having a bit too much fun and after about 16 minutes the left side motors were down to about 6% battery capacity and it developed a definite desire to turn left. Never the less, we got it down safely. High quality video including air to air video should be available in a few days.

    Wind limits aside, this is now a very viable "Flite Fest" project. I will publish the build instructions in due time.

    Last edited by Ran D. St. Clair; 07-17-2017 at 02:48 PM.

  4. #54

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Posts
    102

    Module-Air Ground Camera View

    With real time commentary from your truly.


  5. #55

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Posts
    102

    Module-Air Build Instructions

    Detailed build instructions for the Module-Air are available here:

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/b5z524y7l...shZV2Lv_a?dl=0

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