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Can I slightly modify the FT Tiny Trainer?

#1
Hi all,

I created a new thread to ask these questions because I didn't find anything applicable through searching the forum so please share links to the appropriate threads if anybody knows of one. My first question is does anybody think I could modify the trainer wing (with up turned winglets) to have ailerons? The reason that I'm wondering this is during my first training lesson, we used a trainer with ailerons and didn't use the rudder at all and it worked out great so I'm just wondering if the same could be done with this kit. The kit does come with the additional sport wing which does have ailerons, but the trainer wing design provides some additional stability, I'm just not sure if adding ailerons to it will mess up the flight characteristics too much.

I'm also wondering if it is possible to add front landing gear to this kit so I don't have to worry about damaging something when belly landing, but I realize that adding these parts will add some weight and drag to the front of the plane and move the center of gravity forward and down.

Has anybody tried these modifications?
Any engineer types care to weigh in on this?

Thank you.
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding face plant!
Mentor
#2
Don't add landing gear to the TT. Been there, done that... The TT is best light. Hand launch it and belly land it. It's simpler and flies better this way. You can... but it makes the TT harder to take off and land not simpler to take off and land.

The "up turned winglets" are a technique called dihedral or polyhedral. It gives the plane more stability. The plane fights to stay upright by fighting roll which is good when you are learning.

Ailerons make roll. This is why the sport wing has no dihedral. :)

Can you add ailerons to a wing with dihedral, yes but the dihedral will fight the roll.

I suggest that at the point when you are ready to fly with ailerons, it's time to fly the sport wing go 4 channel and don't look back. :D
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding face plant!
Mentor
#6
The sport wing does have dihedral. He adds dihedral at 59 minutes into the build video. It is not much though.
You know...good point. Looking at my sport wing now, there is a bit. Bet I can make it even sportier by taking out that bit of dihedral...
 

Gazoo

Well-known member
#7
It should roll better without it. More "bank and yank" as they say.

Keep in mind Steve that if you have ailerons on a wing, when they are deflected and produce lift on one side, that will cause adverse yaw. Meaning...you will need to get on the rudder to get the turn going. If you have polyhedral (like the trainer wing) in the wing and ailerons, the two will fight each other a bit. You may not get those nice coordinated turns like you want.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#8
When I built my first TT I flew it using the polyhedral wing and did reasonably well so I fitted the aileron wing but was not sure about the ailerons Vs my lack of ability so I did not cut out the ailerons and flew it as just a dihedral wing using rudder and elevator.

It flew so well that after a few flights I decided to fit the ailerons, (I could always leave them alone and fly with rudder if I started to get confused). It flew beyond my expectations and with the TT as a start I have moved on to where I am teaching, designing, building, selling, and even test flying model aircraft of any type in my local area.

As for the query in relation to flying without rudder YEAH we all fly and most hardly use rudder at all unless trying to get that perfect maneuver. If you are really determined then it does fly quite well with the rudder either locked or even not cut out.

If you are modifying the wing by fitting winglets or similar just try to ensure that they are as identical as is possible and located at the same point in the same manner on each wing.

Landing gear!

I have flown without, with a trailer dragger setup and with a steerable nose wheel setup and all fly quite well though if your TT has a small motor or running a 2S battery The added drag will really effect the top speed and its ability to maneuver, (due to lower speeds).

Currently I am in the middle of testing a Tailless version of the TT and it does use a "Homebuilt" version of a steerable powerpod for the TT along with a fuselage mounted set of main wheels, (held in place with fibre tape of course).

If you are interested in trying the steerable powerpod just search for steerable in the forums and if you cannot find it let me know and I will go through my history and find out where the post was made.

As for the performance, the steering is adequate for take offs, (remember my tailless has no steering apart from the nose wheel and wing mounted elevons), and on landings the TT flares nicely, the mainwheels touch down and then the nose wheel settles and the plane steers of the ground quite well. Sadly I have not yet managed to taxi the plane from the runway properly as I am doing a flight testing program and often land with minimal or no battery power remaining to operate the motor.

Just what works for me!

Have fun!
 
#9
Personally i have flown both wings and both fly like trainers , both have a great glide and gentle flight..I would just go with the sport wing you wont notice much difference between the 2 after a couple flights on it...As for landing on the belly add some clear heavy duty packing tape to the bottom and it will protect the belly and greatly strengthen it..Packing tape more then triples the strength of the foam, i had a servo come loose on my spear and it nosed in from over 100' and where i covered the nose in tape it only slightly crushed it in..I used a heat gun and reshaped it and had it flying again in less then half hour..There is still lots of wrinkles in it but flies fine..
 
#10
Thank you all very much for your advise and personal accounts! This is all extremely valuable information to me as a beginner.

The power pack A is finally back in stock and I have one ordered (Tuesday, July 18 2017) and will start construction on my TT this weekend. I plan to build both wings and will take both with me when I go to the field for the maiden flight. Not only to try both of them, but in case I crash land and manage to obliterate one, I'll still have another. I'll probably also order a second TT speed build kit in a week or so and partially assemble all of the pieces and leave them as spare parts.

As for adding ailerons to the polyhedral wing, it sounds like that probably won't be very effective so I won't be doing that. I'm still intrigued by the thought of adding front gears to the plane even though it will slow it down some. I'm brand new to flying so I'm not trying to haul ass yet, but I agree that I should get an idea of how the plane is going to behave build as intended by it's designer before I make any modifications to it. With that, I will leave the design as is for now.

As for adding packing tape for reinforcement: Speaking with some members of my local club, some of which have built all or almost all of the FlliteTest planes currently available, it seems like one of the most recommended means of coloring these planes is to use colored packing tape and I'm told that it doesn't add enough weight to make any noticeable difference to flight characteristics. So, with that, I sent out shopping around the internet for a selection of good quality colored packing tape. I found some on Amazon for fairly low prices, but they all seemed to have a lot of the same negative reviews. Well, if this is something others have ran into I think I should mention that a company called ULINE has a fair selection of colored packing tapes at around 3 - 4 dollars for a 2" x 55' roll. So I ordered a roll of red and a roll of yellow which arrived on my front porch just 24 hours later. I peeled off a four inch strip of each and put them on a cardboard box overlapping by about an inch. I wanted to make sure the pigment of these tapes was sufficient to cover the brown color of the waterproof foam-board which both did fantastically well. The yellow doesn't cover over the red very well but that's to be expected. This is very good quality tape and it's what I will be using to colorize my TT. Pictures when it's all done.

I should also mention that one of the guys in our club covered a plane with colored duck tape and he says it flies fine even though duck tape is considerably heavier than packing tape. I have not yet seen this plane so I can't say anything about it's lift to weight ratio or the power of the motor it uses. I'm assuming he's probably running about the biggest motor he can on that one.

The only things I have left to collect in order to fly are the transmitter and receiver, and membership to my local club. Spektrum transmitters have been recommended to me across the board, from club members and from FliteTest staff, so I'll be looking around for a DX6i even though it's been discontinued. The primary reason I'm after this specific transmitter is for the wired buddy box capability. I'm told nobody in the club has a radio that supports wireless buddy box.

Thanks again all for your great advice!
 
#11
Hi all,

I just wanted to update with my progress as a pilot in case anybody is interested. Taking the advice I got here into consideration, I opted to not modify my trainer in any way, other than wrapping the front nose section of the fuselage in red packing tape to reinforce it. Obviously after about 100 feet away, color does absolutely nothing for visibility so I'm not too worried about making it pretty. I've stopped crashing and am now quite comfortable flying my TT. Last weekend I was doing loops and corkscrews and flying pretty close to the ground at times and didn't have any accidents. I also got the opportunity to fly my Apprentice which I'll be removing the SAFE receiver from this coming weekend. It's really sluggish in turns and I didn't like that I was having to push the sticks all the way over to only turn a little bit, especially after flying the Tiny Trainer like I'd stolen it and had no problems. This coming weekend I'll be taking out the TT with the sport wing installed and the Apprentice with a "Normal" receiver in it.

I've got a Mini Ultra Stick all ready to fly, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to fly it yet. I'm also hoping to have my FT Sparrow all assembled and ready to fly by this weekend.

Thanks everybody for your advice and helping this beginner get going. I'm officially addicted to flying now.