Help! First build Maiden > brown out? > repair questions

Gr8folded

Member
Newbie here to building powered planes.

Well my first build and my maiden went perfectly until the very end.

I wasn't sure where the center of gravity was as the build sheet said 2.75 inches, but the video showed the first fold on the top of the wing, which is just under 2 inches. I settled in between.

At 3/4 throttle the plane pretty much left my hand with minimal effort on an underhand toss. Virtually no trim need and it flew extremely well. Super rewarding.

That said, I was hoping the community could help me with a few questions as my maiden flight ended with what I can only call a brown out and a lawn jart landing.

Here's my main question:

1) Can this plane be repaired to fly well again?
Aside from the nose of the plane and the power pod, the rest of the plane was shockingly undamaged, despite a 30 to 40 foot nose dive into the ground. Would hate to throw away 3/4 of a new shape plane, but maybe rebuilding from the ground up may take the same amount of time and yield a plane that flies better.


2) What happened to my motor wires (see picture)?
It seems like the three wires coming out from the motor somehow got curly Q'd from their original state. The motor worked just fine testing it after the crash, but I'm wondering if those wires heated up too much after the crash to not be reliable in the future? As I said, I check the motor a handful of times after the crash, and it seemed to still be balanced and working fine.

3) What happened?

I was using everything provided in the power pack C radial kit. Brand new 2200 mAh 3s battery. FT servos, FT 40a esc and 10 x 4.5 prop. New Lemon 6 channel rx (pictured). I range checked before flying as well.

At the very end of my flight (5 or 6 minutes in) my plane would not pull up from a steep dive, despite providing elevator inputs. It appears that the ailerons would not work either. The plane lawn jarted into the ground.

It appears that I suffered a brown out.

1) Did I fly too long and drain the battery? Was probably 5-6 minutes in by my guesstimate. However, having spent most of my time in the past flying slope soarers, I'm used to getting 30 minute to one hour flights if the wind cooperates on 1000 mAh NIMH battery. So I could have been way off in my time estimate. Next time I'll set a timer.

2) Was I too aggressive on the throttle? I had the throttle roughly at 50% to 100% for most of the flight. Maybe at 75% on average. Did I drain the battery or heat it up too much and cause a brown out?

3) Was this caused by my two antenna not oriented correctly? The diversity antennas on the receiverwere not able to be oriented at 90° due to it being placed in the narrow channel of the power pod.

Getting back into the hobby after 6+ years off, I have to say the build process, the finished product, and the maiden flight (up until the signal loss) were thoroughly enjoyable. Before I took a break, I mainly flew slope soarers and an occasional BnF powered plane, so I am looking to build more and have a simple stick and Bushwacker waiting to be built.

I know this is part of the process, but considering how smoothly the build went, how smoothly the maiden went, only to lose connection... Dang!

Thanks for any input!
 

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RossFPV

Well-known member
Newbie here to building powered planes.

Well my first build and my maiden went perfectly until the very end.

I wasn't sure where the center of gravity was as the build sheet said 2.75 inches, but the video showed the first fold on the top of the wing, which is just under 2 inches. I settled in between.

At 3/4 throttle the plane pretty much left my hand with minimal effort on an underhand toss. Virtually no trim need and it flew extremely well. Super rewarding.

That said, I was hoping the community could help me with a few questions as my maiden flight ended with what I can only call a brown out and a lawn jart landing.

Here's my main question:

1) Can this plane be repaired to fly well again?
Aside from the nose of the plane and the power pod, the rest of the plane was shockingly undamaged, despite a 30 to 40 foot nose dive into the ground. Would hate to throw away 3/4 of a new shape plane, but maybe rebuilding from the ground up may take the same amount of time and yield a plane that flies better.


2) What happened to my motor wires (see picture)?
It seems like the three wires coming out from the motor somehow got curly Q'd from their original state. The motor worked just fine testing it after the crash, but I'm wondering if those wires heated up too much after the crash to not be reliable in the future? As I said, I check the motor a handful of times after the crash, and it seemed to still be balanced and working fine.

3) What happened?

I was using everything provided in the power pack C radial kit. Brand new 2200 mAh 3s battery. FT servos, FT 40a esc and 10 x 4.5 prop. New Lemon 6 channel rx (pictured). I range checked before flying as well.

At the very end of my flight (5 or 6 minutes in) my plane would not pull up from a steep dive, despite providing elevator inputs. It appears that the ailerons would not work either. The plane lawn jarted into the ground.

It appears that I suffered a brown out.

1) Did I fly too long and drain the battery? Was probably 5-6 minutes in by my guesstimate. However, having spent most of my time in the past flying slope soarers, I'm used to getting 30 minute to one hour flights if the wind cooperates on 1000 mAh NIMH battery. So I could have been way off in my time estimate. Next time I'll set a timer.

2) Was I too aggressive on the throttle? I had the throttle roughly at 50% to 100% for most of the flight. Maybe at 75% on average. Did I drain the battery or heat it up too much and cause a brown out?

3) Was this caused by my two antenna not oriented correctly? The diversity antennas on the receiverwere not able to be oriented at 90° due to it being placed in the narrow channel of the power pod.

Getting back into the hobby after 6+ years off, I have to say the build process, the finished product, and the maiden flight (up until the signal loss) were thoroughly enjoyable. Before I took a break, I mainly flew slope soarers and an occasional BnF powered plane, so I am looking to build more and have a simple stick and Bushwacker waiting to be built.

I know this is part of the process, but considering how smoothly the build went, how smoothly the maiden went, only to lose connection... Dang!

Thanks for any input!
what radio/receiver did you have? also the motor wires are fine, mine are the same on my power pack f and c and i have no issues.
 

RossFPV

Well-known member
based on the pictures you will definitely need a new powerpod but for the rest of the plane you can try bending the foam back straight, it looks mostly cosmetic. once its straight you can glue a popsicle stick on the bent parts to make it stronger than before.
 

Tench745

Master member
Newbie here to building powered planes.

Well my first build and my maiden went perfectly until the very end.

I wasn't sure where the center of gravity was as the build sheet said 2.75 inches, but the video showed the first fold on the top of the wing, which is just under 2 inches. I settled in between.

At 3/4 throttle the plane pretty much left my hand with minimal effort on an underhand toss. Virtually no trim need and it flew extremely well. Super rewarding.

That said, I was hoping the community could help me with a few questions as my maiden flight ended with what I can only call a brown out and a lawn jart landing.

Here's my main question:

1) Can this plane be repaired to fly well again?
Aside from the nose of the plane and the power pod, the rest of the plane was shockingly undamaged, despite a 30 to 40 foot nose dive into the ground. Would hate to throw away 3/4 of a new shape plane, but maybe rebuilding from the ground up may take the same amount of time and yield a plane that flies better.


2) What happened to my motor wires (see picture)?
It seems like the three wires coming out from the motor somehow got curly Q'd from their original state. The motor worked just fine testing it after the crash, but I'm wondering if those wires heated up too much after the crash to not be reliable in the future? As I said, I check the motor a handful of times after the crash, and it seemed to still be balanced and working fine.

3) What happened?

I was using everything provided in the power pack C radial kit. Brand new 2200 mAh 3s battery. FT servos, FT 40a esc and 10 x 4.5 prop. New Lemon 6 channel rx (pictured). I range checked before flying as well.

At the very end of my flight (5 or 6 minutes in) my plane would not pull up from a steep dive, despite providing elevator inputs. It appears that the ailerons would not work either. The plane lawn jarted into the ground.

It appears that I suffered a brown out.

1) Did I fly too long and drain the battery? Was probably 5-6 minutes in by my guesstimate. However, having spent most of my time in the past flying slope soarers, I'm used to getting 30 minute to one hour flights if the wind cooperates on 1000 mAh NIMH battery. So I could have been way off in my time estimate. Next time I'll set a timer.

2) Was I too aggressive on the throttle? I had the throttle roughly at 50% to 100% for most of the flight. Maybe at 75% on average. Did I drain the battery or heat it up too much and cause a brown out?

3) Was this caused by my two antenna not oriented correctly? The diversity antennas on the receiverwere not able to be oriented at 90° due to it being placed in the narrow channel of the power pod.

Getting back into the hobby after 6+ years off, I have to say the build process, the finished product, and the maiden flight (up until the signal loss) were thoroughly enjoyable. Before I took a break, I mainly flew slope soarers and an occasional BnF powered plane, so I am looking to build more and have a simple stick and Bushwacker waiting to be built.

I know this is part of the process, but considering how smoothly the build went, how smoothly the maiden went, only to lose connection... Dang!

Thanks for any input!
One of the great things about foam is that you can often just replace the bad stuff. I've sliced the nose off crunched planes before, built a new one, and glued it onto what's left. The attachment of the new nose is only as strong as the glue, but that's usually strong enough.

Your motor wires are fine, they just got accordioned when the nose crumpled. Often times they'll get crunched up like that when people cram all the electronics into a small fuselage; it'll work fine.

Without seeing it happen, it's hard to say exactly what happened. If your motor was still running, chances are greater that it was not a loss of signal. When you lose signal the RX should go into failsafe. If failsafe is set up correctly it will center all the servos and kill the motor.

I would take the plane out and do a range test to see if anything obvious shows up.
I, personally, have not had a loss of signal from badly positioned diversity antennas but if there's enough signal noise at your field, or the antenna polarities lined up just right, it's possible.

I haven't done the math, but offhand 5-6 minutes seems like a reasonable time for that motor/prop/battery combo. Others who know the FT packs better will likely chime in here.

What preceded the dive and loss of control? Could it have been a stall? Were you just going fast enough that the servos weren't strong enough to move the surfaces? Do the pushrods flex enough that you couldn't pull out? Perhaps something unplugged in a high G maneuver?
 

Gr8folded

Member
based on the pictures you will definitely need a new powerpod but for the rest of the plane you can try bending the foam back straight, it looks mostly cosmetic. once its straight you can glue a popsicle stick on the bent parts to make it stronger than before.
Thanks for the reply! I was using a Spektrum DX6i and a Lemon LM00034z 6 channel RX

https://lemon-rx.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=88&product_id=258

Range check was good and I did a fair amount of research and saw overwhelmingly good reviews for this receiver.
I'm wondering if I taxed the ESC and battery too much and didn't bring it down soon enough before the battery dipped below the minimum voltage.

In terms of repairing, I thought your advice would work however, the top of the power pod mount is completely destroyed back to the first power pod slots. Rebuilding that achieve the same thrust angle seems like it will be a tall task. Slicing off the first 6 to 8 inches of the fuse back to the start of the slots for the power pod and rebuilding that whole section, including the turtle deck, seems daunting as well. The wings are in mint condition and I'm wondering if I could salvage those and just rebuild the fuse and tail.

Then, again, there may be a fix that I'm unaware of.
 

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Gr8folded

Member
One of the great things about foam is that you can often just replace the bad stuff. I've sliced the nose off crunched planes before, built a new one, and glued it onto what's left. The attachment of the new nose is only as strong as the glue, but that's usually strong enough.

Your motor wires are fine, they just got accordioned when the nose crumpled. Often times they'll get crunched up like that when people cram all the electronics into a small fuselage; it'll work fine.

Without seeing it happen, it's hard to say exactly what happened. If your motor was still running, chances are greater that it was not a loss of signal. When you lose signal the RX should go into failsafe. If failsafe is set up correctly it will center all the servos and kill the motor.

I would take the plane out and do a range test to see if anything obvious shows up.
I, personally, have not had a loss of signal from badly positioned diversity antennas but if there's enough signal noise at your field, or the antenna polarities lined up just right, it's possible.

I haven't done the math, but offhand 5-6 minutes seems like a reasonable time for that motor/prop/battery combo. Others who know the FT packs better will likely chime in here.

What preceded the dive and loss of control? Could it have been a stall? Were you just going fast enough that the servos weren't strong enough to move the surfaces? Do the pushrods flex enough that you couldn't pull out? Perhaps something unplugged in a high G maneuver?

Thanks for the insight. Will look into all of those possibilities. Hopefully I can manage to attach a new 8" of nose and internal structure to make the new power pod mounting area flush with the remaining old portion. Wondering if my thrust angle will we screwed up.

I had done a range check prior to launching, and everything looked good. I was on the downward portion of a loop when everything stopped working -elevator, ailerons, etc. This was after many other loops, yank and bank, and highish G maneuvers. I assume that the entire electronic package that was put together by FT had been thought out for this size plane. 9g servos, etc.

Up until the crash, for nearly 6 minutes the plane showed extremely nimble response to control inputs in many high speed maneuvers. All the server seem to be working once I reached my plan to assess the damage.

Never had an issue like this before. Wondering if the lemon receiver wasn't worth saving the extra dollars over the Spektrum. Then again, it worked flawlessly for 6 mins and the receiver has gotten excellent reviews on various RC retail sites.

Definitely a head scratcher.

Thanks again!
 

joelspangler

Active member
You asked if you flew too long and drained the battery too far. We'd need to know what voltage the battery was when done. Did you happen to check it? If you don't already have a battery checker, I'd suggest the AOKODA 150w model - it shows you the total voltage, and the voltage of each cell. Added benefit it also has a bank of 3 halogen bulbs that you can quickly discharge a battery to storage charge after your flight. It's one of my very most used items and well worth the $15-25 you should be able to find them for. I often also plug in a LIPO alarm while flying - they'll start beeping when you go below a certain voltage. I'd recommend setting it to 3.6 or even 3.8 volts if you want to be safe. You should be able to find the LIPO alarms for $5 each or less.
 

The Fopster

Master member
Sounds very like low battery to me. Check the voltage and you can either confirm or eliminate it from your crash investigation!
 

quorneng

Master member
Don't worry about the Lemon receiver. I only use them including the stabilised variety.
I would be suspicious of it being from a low battery voltage as the ESC should cut power to the motor first which ensures the BEC has more than sufficient to continue for some time.
About the only thing is try to ensure the diversity aerials are ideally at 90 degrees to each other. Can be quite difficult to achieve in a small fuselage.
 

Tench745

Master member
Thanks for the insight. Will look into all of those possibilities. Hopefully I can manage to attach a new 8" of nose and internal structure to make the new power pod mounting area flush with the remaining old portion. Wondering if my thrust angle will we screwed up.

I had done a range check prior to launching, and everything looked good. I was on the downward portion of a loop when everything stopped working -elevator, ailerons, etc. This was after many other loops, yank and bank, and highish G maneuvers. I assume that the entire electronic package that was put together by FT had been thought out for this size plane. 9g servos, etc.

Up until the crash, for nearly 6 minutes the plane showed extremely nimble response to control inputs in many high speed maneuvers. All the server seem to be working once I reached my plan to assess the damage.

Never had an issue like this before. Wondering if the lemon receiver wasn't worth saving the extra dollars over the Spektrum. Then again, it worked flawlessly for 6 mins and the receiver has gotten excellent reviews on various RC retail sites.

Definitely a head scratcher.

Thanks again!
A head-scratcher indeed. I've never used a Lemon Rx, so I can't speak to their reliability. I know a lot of people who use them love then, but others say don't waste your money.

The fact that everything worked after the crash makes me think it wasn't a battery disconnecting, and the previous good behavior in loops also point to the servos and pushrods being strong enough.

So I'm with you that it was either a loss of signal or possibly just a high-speed stall.
I don't think it was a low battery either. Confirming the battery voltage on landing would help answer that unknown.
 

Bricks

Master member
When you do your bind procedure make sure you are at least 10 feet away from the receiver, the way I do it is put my body between the receiver and transmitter. If bound to close you can get a false or double bind from the reflection from objects close to the receiver, the receiver will work in all aspects but it is not a good solid bind.

I have at least 40 lemon 6 channel light receivers and the only time I have had an issue is when one of the antennas have broken off, even then if proximity flying still works.
 

Gr8folded

Member
When you do your bind procedure make sure you are at least 10 feet away from the receiver, the way I do it is put my body between the receiver and transmitter. If bound to close you can get a false or double bind from the reflection from objects close to the receiver, the receiver will work in all aspects but it is not a good solid bind.

I have at least 40 lemon 6 channel light receivers and the only time I have had an issue is when one of the antennas have broken off, even then if proximity flying still works.
Thanks Bricks. Good to hear on the receivers as I thought I had made a mistake on purchasing a handful of them.

Binding to close could have been it as I was ~4' away when I binded at home dialing in everything. Had read to do that, but forgot. I will check my voltages from now on.

On the upside I get some accelerated repair practice here. Plan to cut the entire nose off clean about a half inch in front of the leading edge as that's where the damage stops. I'll rebuild that portion from DTFB and the plans.

Anyone use toothpicks (and glue) inserted into both edges of the foamboard to join and reinforce joints? Or not worth it and just glue and tape?

Thanks again
 

Shurik-1960

Well-known member

I love foam for quick repairs: cut off, glued a new part, glued and the model is not broken!!This is a P - 51 with a span of 2.2 meters, which lost a piece of the fuselage to the wing...
 

Gr8folded

Member
Repair is finished and I moved the receiver to the flat deck of the fuselage top underneath the canopy through the turtle deck. This allowed me to get a 90° angle on the antennas and avoid the mass of wires in the power pod.
index.php
 

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