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3 Channel Question

JasonK

Well-known member
#1
I have my trainer setup in 3 Channel mode, for turning do I use only rudder or do I use a combination of rudder and elevator? And do I keep it applied through the whole turn or do let off in the middle of the turn?

Also, how much 'delay' is there normally from inputs to plane reaction, I am wondering if I am over controlling by moving the stick until I see a reaction, as outside of minor corrections, I tend to get some fairly sharp reactions.

If I missed some documentation/video on this, please point me in the correct direction. I am still trying to get were I can fly an oval/rectangle and not just be doing the 'keep it in the air and not crashing for as log as possible' that my first few flights have been.

I do think I found the correct CG (or at least close to it), my plan is now finally flying almost level with no stick inputs (and it also glides well on a hand toss with the motor off and neutral inputs), had to move the battery way farther back then expected.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#2
What are your rates set up like? If your control surfaces are moving a lot they can actually be less effective.
Set up low and high rates on a switch and give yourself a bit of expo as well, that will all help.
You usually need to apply some elevator after the rudder as the nose will drop into the turn, how much depends on how fast you are going and how big the wing is. Over compensating is more common than under.
 

JasonK

Well-known member
#3
I have high and low rates setup, both set to deflect matching the high/low on the gauge that is in the plans. Expo is set to 30% on both channels. I have only flown with the radio set to low rates.
I am using the plans for the Tiny Trainer with the 3 channel/trainer wing.

I am sure it doesn't help, but wind speeds often hover around 10mph here, with rare cases (usually at sunrise/set) with it getting under 5mph.
 

Merv

Well-known member
#4
, for turning do I use only rudder or do I use a combination of rudder and elevator?
Yes, when a plane turns, it will lose a bit of lift. You will need a bit of up elevator to maintain altitude.

And do I keep it applied through the whole turn or do let off in the middle of the turn?
You will need to relax the rudder. It will take more throw to start the turn than to hold the turn.

how much 'delay' is there normally from inputs to plane reaction, I am wondering if I am over controlling by moving the stick until I see a reaction, as outside of minor corrections, I tend to get some fairly sharp reactions.
The reaction time depends on air speed. If you fly fast it will happen quicker than if you fly slowly.
I am still trying to get were I can fly an oval/rectangle
Ovals are good, a figure 8 is better. The plane will handle differently turning right than left, you need to learn both. The figure 8 gives a straight and level section between each turn. Straight & level is another important skill.
I do think I found the correct CG (or at least close to it), my plan is now finally flying almost level with no stick inputs (and it also glides well on a hand toss with the motor off and neutral inputs), had to move the battery way farther back then expected.
CG has more to do how stable the plane flights, not the climb or decent. If the plane is climbing or descending, adjust the elevator trim, not the CG.
 
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JasonK

Well-known member
#5
Ovals are good, a figure 8 is better. The plane will handle differently turning right than left, you need to learn both. The figure 8 gives a straight and leave section between each turn. Straight & level is another important skill.
good point, thanks.

CG has more to do how stable the plane flights, not the climb or decent. If the plane is climbing or descending, adjust the elevator trim, not the CG.
Good to know, the GC is were the plans say it should be, I just ended up with the battery way farther back then I expected.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#6
Flying in wind is actually better. The 3ch set up is superb for “hovering” into the wind, climb high on your crosswind leg then turn into the wind and cut the motor, try to hold altitude with just wind speed and the elevator. I flew my TT in the wind so much the sport wing has almost folded in half the wrong direction!
As above circuits and fig 8’s are great practice.
 

JasonK

Well-known member
#7
got out tonight, and the flags were almost limp, managed 5 minutes of flight time (per my transmitter which only 'clocks' when the throttle is active) over 5ish flights, no crashes, however a few... 'going to land before I lose control' moments. Got a few nice left and right turns. Found that flying toward myself is a touch harder to deal with the flying away from myself.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#8
You should avoid flying towards yourself if possible. For circuits you want to be on the “runway” of final, with the wind blowing from the side, so when you turn from base to final you are looking side on at the plane as it flies into the wind. That way it’s never dead on flying toward you.
For fig 8’s you want to stand with the wind behind you and at the centre of the 8, then you are only head on for a split second.
5 mins is a good flight time, my TT has been doing that it’s whole career.
 

speedbirdted

Well-known member
#9
I have my trainer setup in 3 Channel mode, for turning do I use only rudder or do I use a combination of rudder and elevator? And do I keep it applied through the whole turn or do let off in the middle of the turn?
A word on this - you always want to turn with the mentality that you have the radius of your turn already pre-determined and you want to stay as close to that predetermined radius as possible, which means basically holding a constant rudder input through the entire turn. This gives you the ability to concentrate wholly on adjusting the elevator input to maintain a constant altitude during a turn. When you move to a plane with ailerons, the only time you will ever use them during a turn is to apply the initial bank angle and to scrub off said bank angle when you want to fly straight again. Now, with a 3 channel plane, you can use more rudder to set the bank angle at the beginning of the turn then back off of it to whatever radius turn you need and end the turn by inputting rudder in the opposite direction, or just input that rudder amount to start with and end the turn by neutralizing the rudder - the turn will be wider than you want it and start much more gradually but it will be far less jerky.

It's all about minimizing pilot workload. When you see guys who can turn very smoothly without losing or gaining any altitude whatsoever it's not because they're just really good at controlling all the airplane's functions at once - it's because they're really good at controlling the airplane in a way that leaves them with as little work to do as possible.
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#11
In a true coordinated turn with ailerons you should input rudder first then ailerons then elevator backing off the rudder once ailerons are established, then you may need opposite rudder to keep the plane level in the turn not nosing down and loosing altitude...
 

Merv

Well-known member
#12
When the plane is flying towards yourself, to level the plane. There is only one rule, prop the low wing up. In other words, move the stick towards the low wing.
 

JasonK

Well-known member
#14
Well got out again to day, ran through 2 batteries (ish, I am using the 5 minute timer on my TX to pick when to switch out, not when the ESC disables the motor, I need to find my meter to see how much battery is left at 5 minutes to see if I should up the time). got one flight over 2 minutes, possibly close to 3 and it only ended because I landed. Had a few "crashes" that were more a case of got to close to the ground in a turn and one of the wing tips brushed the grass making a recovery not very viable, so i just cut the engine and it stopped fairly smoothly.

Had a some wind, did some figure 8s (or something close to it) and also did some glides into the wind - climb up then cut engine, turn into the wind and glide until close to the ground and climb back out.

It has started to click... other then the left or right stick in some orientations.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#15
5 minutes is fine, you want about 3.6v per cell minimum on the end of the timer, that leaves an emergency bit before the cut out. Remember the last bit of the pack is where the voltage sags quickest.
You want to be at least 60 ft up when practicing, that gives you room to correct. Height is your friend, use it.
 

JasonK

Well-known member
#16
I agree with the height thing and have started flying higher - at least to an extent, the problem is there is a point were I loose almost all frame of reference to my plane. Any suggestions on how to keep frame of reference to the plane once your looking up enough that you can't really see anything but the plane?