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Flying Wing vs Traditional vs Canard - Articles explaining the trade-offs/benifits/etc.

JasonK

Well-known member
#1
I suspect this is out there, but I am having trouble finding it. Is there any good articles discussing the relative benefits/trade offs/etc. between the different wing configurations?

For Context -> I have been flying my Tiny Trainer for a while and getting comfortable with it. Looking to pick out what I want my next plane to be and got some FPV gear (wish I hadn't let my Ham radio license lapse, will be taking the next available test in the area) and want to put it in something here eventually.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#2
Why don't you just build planes that hit each one and do the research you seek with each. There is no rule that says your next plane is your last plane. I think it would be a fun summer project to do three planes with the different characteristics, try them out, see what works best or find a combo that hits the best of all worlds. I would take my time, record findings, make video. I would even build other planes in between just for fun.

As for the FPV gear, any of the planes FT offers will be able to carry FPV, depending on the size and weight of the gear you are using, and the placement of the gear on the plane. Lots of people like to use wings to carry FPV, there are FT vids of Josh putting FPV on warbirds and I know they put cams on the Viggin.
Wings like the Mini Arrow and the Goblin would be a couple good ones to try, they are quick machine if you aren't careful. Since you have the experience with the tiny Trainer you could put the gear on there to try it out, or build the Simple Scout, use it there as well. The Vector is a prop and slot jet that has canards that would be an awesome FPV platform and has a wide flight envelope, easy to balance and fly.

Just my 2 cents though (y)
 

Aireal Anarchist

Well-known member
#3
I have fpv gear in wings and more traditional designs both , I like a foam board wing to test gear they are cheap way to learn your equipment and FAST to build, I use a versawing to test my fpv and long range gear and flight controllers before it gets installed in larger and more expensive models
here is an FPV new equipment test video during lockdown from a versa wing to help your decision

 

KSP_CPA

Well-known member
#4
I agree with the distinguished Mr. BATTLEAXE on the choice of wings, either the Mini Arrow or Goblin would be a great choice for testing of the flying wing concept (I lean toward the Arrow personally). As for the advantages/disadvantages of the flying wing/traditional, my second FT design that actually flew after the TT was the Arrow and it was a very different flying experience from the TT. Traditional planes I have include the TT, Mustang, and Sea Duck while the wings are the Arrow and Goblin. My personal take on the differences/trade-offs are:

Traditional Advantages:

Easier low and slow flight; easier take offs (especially with gear/water takeoffs); better glide characteristics, larger interior areas, can accommodate more sophisticated setups (flaperons, flaps, etc.)
Traditional Disadvantages:
More complicated build plans, more susceptible to damage (wing crumples, etc.), lower overall top speed

Flying wing advantages:
easier high and fast flight, more maneuverable (generally), simpler design (less servos, less foam board, etc)
Flying wing disadvantages:
Launching sucks, no (or limited) yaw control, no self-leveling of the banking since most designs have little or no dihedral, sensitive to COG changes

I am sure other, more distinguished builders/fliers have more to add (or dispute) on my take. I'd pick a great traditional plane design and a great wing design and put the same setup on both and then let us know your list.
 

Aireal Anarchist

Well-known member
#5
I dont find that launching sucks...anymore...
I hand chuck wings like any other hand launcher...."watch the video above", I do launch wings different than most, I mix a little up elevator to my wings using a VR rotary switch on the radio, I turn on my launch mode, toss it & the wings climb out and I turn off the launch mode

use the VRA or VRB switch as the master in the mix and channel 2 (elevator) as the the slave..... I mix a versa wing -35 percent on the positive mix, neg mix 0, offset 0.... FYI this you can do on the flysky FS-i6.

I program a mix to a toggle switch on other brand radios out of preference, on the taranis I also program in voice alerts that the switch is in "Launch mode" to remind me to turn it off

use the rotary dial Potentiometer on your radio to dial in whatever amount of up elevator that particular model needs... to climb out immediately ....
I hot snot a triangular double layer of foam board to the underside of the wing as a hand launch that puts my hand below the prop and it also works as a nose gear when landing so you land on it and the winglets

you can also program in aileron differential on transmitters that are capable for some yaw control on wings

and if your wings are setup correct "they dont fly too fast" if you dont want them to, you can turn the motor off and actually slope soar them, hunt down thermals, or hover into the wind
 
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Merv

Well-known member
#6
From a design point of view, the traditional airplane is most stable. While in the air, any plane will rotate around the CG. With a traditional airframe, the tail is well behind the CG, proving a lot of leverage.

The claim to fame for the canard, it’s hard if not impossible to stall. The idea is the canard will stall before the main wing, allowing the nose to fall, thus preventing a stall in the main wing. The disadvantage, it has a lot of fuselage in front of the CG, this will need to be offset by a larger rudder.

A flying wing is very efficient, my Versa will glide forever. The elevator & vertical stabilizer are very close to the CG, they need to be larger to compensate for the lack of leverage. Wings are very sensitive to CG, when you get it dialed in, they are a lot of fun and easy to fly.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#8
you can also program in aileron differential on transmitters that are capable for some yaw control on wings
You can mechanical differential drag for yaw control or program into the radio some differential.


Flying wing advantages:
easier high and fast flight, more maneuverable (generally), simpler design (less servos, less foam board, etc)
Another advantage to the flying wing is the under stall speed control you have too. To glide in and land at full back zero throttle is so easy and soft
 

Monte.C

Well-known member
#9
I dont find that launching sucks...anymore...
I hand chuck wings like any other hand launcher...."watch the video above", I do launch wings different than most, I mix a little up elevator to my wings using a VR rotary switch on the radio,

use the VRA or VRB switch as the master in the mix and channel 2 (elevator) as the the slave..... I mix a versa wing -35 percent on the positive mix, neg mix 0, offset 0.... FYI this you can do on the flysky FS-i6.

I program a mix to a toggle switch on other brand radios out of preference, on the taranis I also program in voice alerts that the switch is in "Launch mode" to remind me to turn it off

use the rotary dial Potentiometer on your radio to dial in whatever amount of up elevator that particular model needs... to climb out immediately ....
I hot snot a triangular double layer of foam board to the underside of the wing as a hand launch that puts my hand below the prop and it also works as a nose gear when landing so you land on it and the winglets

you can also program in aileron differential on transmitters that are capable for some yaw control on wings
Hehe. "Hot snot". Chuckle.
 

KSP_CPA

Well-known member
#10
I dont find that launching sucks...anymore...
I hand chuck wings like any other hand launcher...."watch the video above", I do launch wings different than most, I mix a little up elevator to my wings using a VR rotary switch on the radio,

use the VRA or VRB switch as the master in the mix and channel 2 (elevator) as the the slave..... I mix a versa wing -35 percent on the positive mix, neg mix 0, offset 0.... FYI this you can do on the flysky FS-i6.

I program a mix to a toggle switch on other brand radios out of preference, on the taranis I also program in voice alerts that the switch is in "Launch mode" to remind me to turn it off

use the rotary dial Potentiometer on your radio to dial in whatever amount of up elevator that particular model needs... to climb out immediately ....
I hot snot a triangular double layer of foam board to the underside of the wing as a hand launch that puts my hand below the prop and it also works as a nose gear when landing so you land on it and the winglets

you can also program in aileron differential on transmitters that are capable for some yaw control on wings
I'm over here playing checkers with my launches and this guy is playing Quantum Chess! Honestly never thought of a "launch mode" switch setup, I have a Spektrum Dx6 so I am sure I can dial in a few "launch mode" toggle switches. I had a tough learning expierence with wing launches so I am nervous still every time I go to chuck an Arrow.

Great information!!
 

JasonK

Well-known member
#11
Thanks all.

FT Goblin -> I wish there was a mini-goblin, I don't have the electronics to run something that big and until the FAA remote ID stuff gets worked out, I don't want to put out a bunch of $ on stuff that wouldn't work good for a sub-250g machine (right now the heaviest thing I have is something like 260-265g - one of my Tiny Trainers...)

I built a FT Long Easy, however that thing was squirly (haven't manage to make a full circuit with it yet) and had some sort of thrust line issues (thrust => flight up even with full down elevator), which I have sitting on my shelf with servos in it, but no motor/etc/etc. Haven't decided if I am going to rip it apart or try fix it so I can fly it again.

I have cut out a Dart, but I only have 1 H Power pack and have plans for that, so I am not sure if I was going to actually build that out or not.

Why don't you just build planes that hit each one and do the research you seek with each.
I am 30ish minutes from the nearest place I can test fly anything and 60 minutes from the nearest AMA airfield, so testing things have a bit of time commitment beyond just building them. If I had all the time in the world/could fly in my yard, I would probably just build 'one of everything' and see how it all worked out.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#12
Thanks all.

FT Goblin -> I wish there was a mini-goblin, I don't have the electronics to run something that big and until the FAA remote ID stuff gets worked out, I don't want to put out a bunch of $ on stuff that wouldn't work good for a sub-250g machine (right now the heaviest thing I have is something like 260-265g - one of my Tiny Trainers...)

I built a FT Long Easy, however that thing was squirly (haven't manage to make a full circuit with it yet) and had some sort of thrust line issues (thrust => flight up even with full down elevator), which I have sitting on my shelf with servos in it, but no motor/etc/etc. Haven't decided if I am going to rip it apart or try fix it so I can fly it again.

I have cut out a Dart, but I only have 1 H Power pack and have plans for that, so I am not sure if I was going to actually build that out or not.


I am 30ish minutes from the nearest place I can test fly anything and 60 minutes from the nearest AMA airfield, so testing things have a bit of time commitment beyond just building them. If I had all the time in the world/could fly in my yard, I would probably just build 'one of everything' and see how it all worked out.
Oh ok. Myself i have access to flying just steps out my door so i kinda take it for granted
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#16
Remember when building any wing keep as much weight in front of or as close as you can to the CG. Most I build I will cut out more to move the motor farther into the wing to help with CG.