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Built and Promptly Crashed my first plane, Mini Arrow

AltxF4

Junior Member
#1
Hi All!

I am a total Noob to RC flying bits, but after watching much on the FT channel I finally built my first ever RC plane. I Built a Mini Arrow scratch build per the tiled plans using the FPV nose.
Build consisted of:
- Emax MT2204 2300kV motor
- Emax 12A ESC SimonK
- Gemfan 5030 prop
- Turnigy Nano-Tech 850mAh 3s 25-40C
- TurnPro SG90 9g servos
- Lemon RX DSM2 6ch receiver
- Spektrum DX6i transmitter

I also had a small board camera in the nose that I left in when I tried flying LOS, so I had more nose weight as it took it to get my slight nose heavy bias (1.75" forward of firewall).

I had a hard time launching it, and the one time I did get it in the air it was twitchy. Trying to get it turned back it would snap roll and nose dive into the ground.

I don't know where I went wrong as I have 0 experience to go off of, and I have no local friends in the hobby.

Here are the settings I had on my Tx:

D/R & Expo
Aile 30% +12%
Elev 30% + 12%
Rudd 30% + 12%

Travel Adj
Thro 100% Aile 125% Elev 125% Rudd 125%

Mix1
Aile Aile Active
Rate L +125% R +125%
sw on Trim Active

Mix2
Elev Elev Active
Rate D +125% U +125%
sw on trim active

Wingtail Mix
Elevon

Before I build another, I would like some feedback on what I may have done wrong in my setup...or is this just chalked up to being a noob and trying to fly a wing before anything else.



crashed_arrow_sm.jpg

Mods: If I posted this in the wrong area, please move
 

localfiend

I like 3D printers...
Mentor
#2
Before I build another, I would like some feedback on what I may have done wrong in my setup...or is this just chalked up to being a noob and trying to fly a wing before anything else.
I would't bother trying to hard to figure out what went wrong. Too many variables for a noobie and a really fast flying wing. I suppose you could have had your controls reversed, but even if everything was built and set up perfectly, I think the result would have probably been the same. ;) No offense. Give just about any brand new flyer control of a flying wing, and the air time will be counted in seconds.

The Arrow is a really, really bad first RC plane. It's control setup is complicated, it's really fast, really maneuverable, and as such, requires fast reflexes that you only get through practice.

My advice would be to take out all your electronics and build a Tiny Trainer with the simple trainer wing. It will still be a bit of a rocket ship with your motor, but if you are easy on the throttle it will still fly slow. The trainer is a lot of fun to fly, and will help you build the skills needed to fly a race wing.

Once you're flying around well with the trainer wing, build the sport wing with ailerons. Then when you have the hang of that you can try building another Arrow.

Leave the FPV gear completely off the plane until you get the hang of things. No sense in breaking stuff that's not being used yet.
 

Foam Addict

Squirrel member
#3
Your set up looks fine, but your control rates are WAY too high for a beginner. I would set the mix rates to 100%, the Travel adjustment to 100% and dual rates to 30% low and 50% high with 30% expo to start with. Also, make sure your control surfaces are moving the correct way.

Back stick, both move up. Forward stick, both move down.

Left stick, left up right down. Right stick, right up left down.

I hope this helps, I would really recommend the tiny trainer to start out with, but many people (myself included) learned on wings, so it is possible. The launch comes with time, the discus throw takes some practice.

Good luck, and I hope that you can get in the air!
 
#4
Do yourself a favor and build another plane and come back to the arrow later. It is a fun plane to fly, but it is no beginner plane. The tiny trainer is a good option, as you can reuse all of your electronics. It is easy to build and very easy to fly. Go for the 3channel version first, as you have never flown a plane before. If you get the hang of it, build the sport wing.

Regarding your settings: Im pretty sure that your have quite less expo on your servos for this plane, especially as beginner. For mine I got 30% expo on elevator, 60% on aileron and 30% gauge on both of them, and it still got crazy roll rates.
 

AltxF4

Junior Member
#6
Thanks guys!

Yeah, I have pretty much already decided to go with the tiny trainer since I can re-use my electronics. I knew there were others that learned on wings, so I thought I would give it a shot.... I really like flying wings. I will probably try to get back to the arrow pretty quick with some lower rates...I think I set them that high trying to get the throw to match the throw gauge.

This arrow was an experiment any ways....I learned I really need to work on my bevel cuts among other things when building.

Good thing is I am only out $2 in foam, and a little bit of pride!
 
#7
Hello fellow newbie. I have been flying planes for about 4 months (only flew quads before) and started out exactly how you did. I built the arrow for my first plane with the F pack and had the same success. My Plane was split just like your pic and i was kinda bummed but as LocalFiend said try the tiny trainer. It is an amazing plane that i still have on my wall. i would suggest just doing the alieron wing and learn how to keep it level, turn around and the overall feel of flying. Then once you got that down try the arrow again OR the Vector is awesome.
 
#8
I did pretty much the same thing. I built a profile F22 with elevons, so it was the same as flying a wing. By the time I realized that my control surfaces were backwards for roll control, my plane was already destroyed. I kept fixing the foam until it was more tape than foam and too heavy to fly....never had it airborne for more than 10 seconds at a time. Second plane was a 3 channel that was built with a box fuselage and armin wing. It was too heavy for my motor/prop combo and didn't fly until I hacked a bunch of foam off of it. Only lasted a few days because it was a 3 channel without dihedral. Took until my 3rd plane, this time a one-sheet wing with a kfm airfoil, before I could fly an entire battery through it without smashing it into the ground. I flew that plane until it got wrecked in the rain -- was having so much fun that I flew it until it was too wet to stay together.

TL/DR: stick with it, you'll end up loving it.
 
#10
Another thing to try with the Arrow when you revisit it, start by just giving it a good hard toss with the motor off. It will glide pretty well so that will give you a chance to feel what the controls are doing with the plane.
 
#11
I'd be willing to bet its tail heavy, that's usually what causes a crash on a maiden in my experience. I remove the paper, and use a 1350 mah 3s shoved all the way forward with an a2208 motor and it balances out, so since you have a smaller battery and about the same weight motor its probably tail heavy with the paper (lighter plane means less weight in back). Its true flying wings are fast and easy to get in trouble with, but a big advantage is you aren't driving your power system into the ground every crash, which you will crash with any plane, not fun to keep replacing props and shafts and motors. Also make sure your push rods are on the innermost hole on the servo, and check for any slop in your elevens, if they have a lot of play than it can be pretty hard to control. The arrow is my favorite plane and if set up perfectly is actually not to hard to control, but it is finicky, and not very forgiving to design changes or mistakes when building. It needs perfect balance, same airfoil on both wings, no control slop, no creases in the wingtips, plenty of nose weight and good coordination.

Have you tried a high wing plane like the ones mentioned by the other people yet?
 

Bricks

Active member
#12
On your nest wing build be sure to add reflex to the aileron's the Versa takes at least a 1/4 inch up or it will nose in and crash when hand launching.
 

AltxF4

Junior Member
#13
On your nest wing build be sure to add reflex to the aileron's the Versa takes at least a 1/4 inch up or it will nose in and crash when hand launching.
Is reflex the deflection added when servos are neutral by control rod adjustment?


I have my Tiny Trainer built but have not had time to fly it. Once I can get this one in the air, I will start working on another arrow. I have plenty of spare parts except a motor, So I can get another arrow together quick.

I have also completed a quad recently, and have been able to play with it in the front yard....man these little things need more space than it initially seems. I am going to change my screen name to Crash- Fatal Error
 

Bricks

Active member
#14
Yes reflex is added after servo centering at least that is the way I do it this way it keeps my servo throws the same. I lay my wings on a flat surface and find a 1/4 inch piece of what ever and put it under the trailing edge of the elevon and adjust linkage stopper.
 

AltxF4

Junior Member
#15
Yes reflex is added after servo centering at least that is the way I do it this way it keeps my servo throws the same. I lay my wings on a flat surface and find a 1/4 inch piece of what ever and put it under the trailing edge of the elevon and adjust linkage stopper.
okay, I did add some reflex then per the build video with the template in the plans...looks to be about 1/4".

Looking back at it I think Siezed is right, I think I was a bit tail heavy. I just found my balancing method is not very accurate.
 
#16
The Arrow is a really, really bad first RC plane. It's control setup is complicated, it's really fast, really maneuverable, and as such, requires fast reflexes that you only get through practice.
ruh roh, the mini arrow is gonna be my first AIRPLANE, but not my first RC flying object thingymabob. Ive had numerous toy grade quads and just sold my ZMR250 CF race quad with 1806 motors and little bee 20A escs. i could fly the heck out of it LOS but just started FPV flying and suck at FPV lol. How do you think i would handle the arrow? and also i have just a basic Fly Sky i6 TX, is it capable of all this expo settings and rates? i dont have a clue about that stuff, i had managed to set up the 3 pos. switch for the flight modes and changed the yaw rate speed and thats it. is there a "how to" or some reading anyone knows of that teaches how to set rates and expo and all that jazz?
 
#17
ruh roh, the mini arrow is gonna be my first AIRPLANE, but not my first RC flying object thingymabob. Ive had numerous toy grade quads and just sold my ZMR250 CF race quad with 1806 motors and little bee 20A escs. i could fly the heck out of it LOS but just started FPV flying and suck at FPV lol. How do you think i would handle the arrow? and also i have just a basic Fly Sky i6 TX, is it capable of all this expo settings and rates? i dont have a clue about that stuff, i had managed to set up the 3 pos. switch for the flight modes and changed the yaw rate speed and thats it. is there a "how to" or some reading anyone knows of that teaches how to set rates and expo and all that jazz?
Try a sim, my favorite is RC desk pilot because theres a post somewhere with a lot of the Ft models, including the Ft versa. I started with helis too, it helps a lot because youre used to orientation and the basic coordination, so yea youre at an advantage over someone who has never flown RC. Youre gonna crash a lot, but that's pretty much true of whatever you fly first, its just safer with a high wing plane, not gonna rocket it into something or someone. If you guys like the flying wing style, try the ft22 raptor, that's way more forgiving and will give you a nice platform to learn elevens and bank and yank.
 
#18
I started flying a quad at Christmas. Tried the storch first,failed miserably (though mostly due to technical issues I was too noob to be able to identify). Moved to a versa which suffered from said technical issues at first but after I figured that out was fine. Do admit of you're not familiar with orientation and such then I could see the arrow being a bad decision. Trainer with the glider wing is the perfect, well, trainer! Going to try and trick my daughter into flying that. We'll see how that goes.
 

AltxF4

Junior Member
#19
Boy am I a glutton for punishment! I thought since I have been playing flight sims for years I could just start off with the sport wing on the tiny trainer....well I had it in the air for a lot longer than I had the arrow up. Lucky nothing but a prop is broken...well maybe my ego too. Trying to maintain orientation along with controls that are a lot different than a HOTAS setup for flight sims is just to much right now. So time to tape up cut and glue a trainer wing!
 

slyke

Junior Member
#20
The trainer wing and a prop saver will keep you in the game. I taught myself to fly so I must also be a glutton for punishment.

I learned to fly on a UMX cub and a Radian but I have also built up two FT trainers:

3-channel
Trainer wing with rudder, elevator, throttle.
480 mAh 2S battery with a slow fly prop attached with a prop saver and blue Theraband
This is a great slow flyer

4-channel
Sport wing with ailerons and more travel on the elevator and rudder.
480 mAh 3S battery with a 6x4 prop adds some speed.
Great plane to learn coordinated turns, loops, rolls and inverted flight.

The simulator training will payoff once you get past the first few flights. Right now its like trying to take the skills you learned in Mario Cart for driving a car.
-Stephen