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FT 22 v.2: Frustrating first flight(s) HELP!

#1
Greetings,

I had a frustrating evening with my new FT 22. It was a clear day, very light, steady winds. The FT22 was built using the quick build kit as a template. I used the 'small' Hex 24gr. motor and 9 gram servos with a Turnigy 9X radio and Turnigy 3-channel receiver and a Rhino 610 3-cell. Everything was set according to the build instructions on the build video and I used duel & expo.

With the aircraft at slightly nose heavy, the first couple of flights were barely in control; it was extremely pitchy and wanted to nose up and stall, resulting in a dented nose. I moved the admittedly small battery further forward, which improved the flights a little, but not much. Finally, with it stuffed all the way forward, practically, into the by-then-well-dented-nose, it STILL was nose-up prone. Turning into the wind it would pitch up, even with the battery WELL forward of the suggested locations. Pulling the throttle back was a huge mistake as, instead of gliding, it would stall and spin, especially heading into the wind. (Setting up for an attempted landing I reduced throttle and it immediately stalled and spun onto the school portable roof, and I had to go home and get an 18-foot composite audio boom to get it off!).

This isn't my first plane; I have owned and flown a Slow Stick and a small heli. I'm a pretty good builder and built airliners for 15-years, so I follow instructions precisely. I just don't know what is happening here. The airplane certainly should have been more stable in the pitch axis.

The 3-channel receiver is quite a bit smaller and lighter than an 8-channel, but that and the relatively small battery couldn't have made that much of a difference, could it?

Help!

Thanks,

Curtis
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#2
Where was the CG located when you started, and where was it balancing when you had the battery all the way forward? The recommended CG is right at the break of where the wing hits the intake, actually a little in front of the motor. This is much further forward than I expected it to be...
I'm assuming since you have flown a stick before you are familiar with finding and adjusting CG. The only thing I can think of if it's NOT the CG is maybe it's a bit underpowered. I've had elevon planes that tend to wallow until you get some speed on them but usually it's a too far rear cg that causes that.
 
#3
The CG was right at the recommended place with slight nose down. And you're right, it did seem to handle better when it had some speed to it.

After reviewing the video Josh does point out that he uses an 800mAh and suggests that on windier days you might go as high as a 1000mAh. I bought the 610mAh because it was the closest to the recommended 500mah on the build list.

I am starting to suspect that the plane was just too light for even the very light conditions. The next larger batt I have is 2100mAh, so that would probably NOT be a good idea.

I was hoping I was away from the Dawn Patrol/no-wind flights after the Stick... I do have the 2215 brushless from the Slow Stick but it swings a 10X6 prop and I have no clue what 8" prop/pitch combo would be appropriate to upgrade the FT22.

Thanks for the response,

Curtis
 
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#4
It sounds like you are an experienced pilot and I am still learning but I have flow the ft22 until I stuffed it in to a tree(lost orientation) I flew mine with a 1500 3s and a 2200 3s but I was running a 2826 1450kv motor with an 8x6 prop. I set my cg right at the front of the wing where it meets the intake and added just a few degrees of up elevator and it was fantastic, mine did want to drop the nose esp. on turns and I really had to dial back the D/R Expo Mine was tame at 50/35 low rate and too much at 75/20 that when I crashed it and I might add in 5 to 8 mph wind it got pushed around a lot, esp. in the turns. That's my experience with it. I do like it and will build another one really soon!
 

Foam Addict

Squirrel member
#5
I think your throws are to high for one, and I also think you need more prop pitch to fly well. Granted, all of my F-22s had High KV screamers in them, but they still slowed down to a reasonable pace when I needed them to. Try reducing your throws, and try maybe a 7x6 or 8x6 prop instead of an 8x4 or 9x4. It might help a lot.
 

rcspaceflight

creator of virtual planes
#6
If I remember correctly, Bixler recommended setting the control surfaces to force the plane to pitch up a bit. He never gave a specific amount, but maybe you added too much? Personally I find it easier to have to constantly fly with a little bit of "back pressure", or up elevator, while flying than to try to set the plane to fly perfectly hands off. I just generally like the plane to fly level hands off, not with the correct alpha.

If that's the problem, it's as simple as tweaking the elevator trim to level out the control surfaces.

Or that's not your problem at all. It sounds nose heavy, and yet it sounds like it isn't.

It could be that your plane is too light.
 
#7
Thanks, guys, for all the positive, helpful replies. I very much appreciate it!

I think you've all made some good points. The 'small engine' option was probably not the best choice for general flying in light winds. Plus, mine was lighter than even the shown examples, and with that, plus the light breeze I had today, the wing loading was just too light for the conditions.

Just for reference, I did have a little 'up' reflex, though as close to the example on the video as possible. Plus, I did have dual rate and some expo in, though I am thinking I might have had too much expo in and that might have led to over controlling.

And, too, I think you're right in that this design needs some speed to remain stable. It was the combination of slowing down/turning/wind that caused so many issues. Unfortunately, my fields are somewhat limited to park flyer conditions - track & football fields, baseball fields, etc., at local schools, so speeding up means getting really good on the sticks or finding a bigger place to fly!

My FT-22 is a Pug-nosed-22 now ;) but it is a tough build and the wing, running gear and flight controls are all in good shape, so I will wait for a no-wind day and see how it behaves then. Then I will build another and look into upgrading the power system. Although I have to admit I would be guessing at motor/prop combos (they don't lay out the props for the upgrade motors in the gear list) and also I'm not quite ready for a pylon racer, either ;)

Thanks, again, for your kind replies.

Curtis
 
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Bolvon72

Senior Member
Mentor
#8
My FT-22 is a Pug-nosed-22 now ;) but it is a tough build and the wing, running gear and flight controls are all in good shape, so I will wait for a no-wind day and see how it behaves then. Then I will build another and look into upgrading the power system. Although I have to admit I would be guessing at motor/prop combos (they don't lay out the props for the upgrade motors in the gear list) and also I'm not quite ready for a pylon racer, either ;)

Thanks, again, for your kind replies.

Curtis
Curtis, if the nose has the most damage, it isn't hard to cut it away and throw on a new one, I have a couple of times as I inevitably try and skim the ground (This plane looks so cool nap of the earth) and nose in often enough for a restore. I just cut out my 5th complete rebuild to put together in the morning, these are so easy to build, crashing is just a great laughing matter.

As for a motor upgrade and worrying about props. The Suppo 2208 is very comfortable with an 8x4.7, and anywhere between 8x6 to 9x6 for the Beef as listed. I don't use the lazertoys beef but with the lower kv it needs to swing slightly more prop. A great and inexpensive trade off for the Suppo is the Turnigy 2822/14 1450kv, half the price and runs very comparable. Those two are what I use on my non-zoom FT22s.

Best of luck on your next go round.
 
#9
Thanks, Bolvon!

I agree, I really like the plane: the looks, ease of build & toughness. I figure I'll repair the 'Pug,' get to know it's handling (definitely different than a Stick) and then build an upgrade.

What amps ESC do you use on the Suppo with an 8X6? (Stupid Question Alert: Is that still a "slowfly" prop or is that getting into sport type/'thin electric' props?).

Thanks again,

Curtis
 
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Bolvon72

Senior Member
Mentor
#10
No problem, I use an 18amp esc with that Suppo, I know some run an 8x6 on it with 3s, but my watt meter and hot fingers tell me it's a no go, I never prop over 8x4.7 with it and really just use an 8x4 slowfly for normal days and a GWS "direct drive" type of the same size to gain on the stiffness when I plan on fighting the wind.

I do think your main issue was it being too underpowered on a windy day with that blue wonder, I personally don't like that motor one bit on anything bigger than a Nutball/Flyer. A little more oomph and I think you'll be fine. I think I'll turn my 24g into a portable fan for the summer, :rolleyes:.
 
#11
Curtis, I am confused by your comment about expo. I know expo varies by Tx mfgr but the principal remains the same. As you increase expo, you decrease the sensitivity of the controls. Unless I am all wet, and that is entirely possible, increasing your expo should decrease your over control problem. What kind of Tx are you using and is it positive or negative expo? To everyone, if I am wrong on this, please jump in. My Futaba 9C uses negative expo but my turnigy 9X uses positive. As for your motor, definitely too small. I use a 1650 with 1300MAH 3S and turn a 9x6 prop. I tried a 8x6 and it wouldn't fly. My problem is the launch. I was severely chewed up by a Zagi years ago and am gun shy of hand launched pushers.

Ted
 
#12
Senator, thanks for the reply. I've been wondering about my dual/expo rates, as well...

I have a 9X. The Elev D/R was set at 70, and the EXP at 100. Ailerons were set at 80 D/R and 100 EXP.

Keeping in mind this is my second plane after a GWS Slow Stick, I think my issues were a combination of different things: Really light wing loading, underpowered (for the conditions), low aspect ratio wing and close coupled control surfaces - all quite a bit different from the 'Stick. So, when the breeze started manhandling the plane I expected some small movements of the stick to take are of it, as they would have with the stick, but (and this is my first flying after a long winter, so I am rusty) when they didn't I would tend to panic and go into the greater throw range of the stick and those big paddles on the back would kick in with the predictable results ;)

Other than the 24G blue wonder, I have a 2215/15 900kV motor from the 'Stick. I wonder if there is any advantage to using that on the FT22? It normally swings a 10" 4.7 SF, though.

Sorry about your prop hit : ( I hope it wasn't serious. I like my fingers so I was really nervous about the launch, as well. I must have watched 10 videos on hand-launching wings and I found the thumb-under, reverse discus throw to actually work a lot better than I had thought it would.

What would you recommend for the DR/EXP settings?

Thanks, again!

Curtis
 
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Foam Addict

Squirrel member
#13
Ah, I'd recommend lowering that to 30% expo and trying again. I don't know how you even have control with Expo that high!
Your DR looks fine.

Honestly, I also just tried the Blue wonder and 8x4 and was not impressed.
 
#16
I want to thank everyone for your kind responses. I've been an aviation/aerospace geek all my life; I know a lot about how aircraft are built, a fair amount of aerodynamics, more history than anyone who doesn't work in a museum should know, but very little about hands-on RC flying. I appreciate all of your input!

C
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#18
The best thing to do for your expo, is to test it on the ground. Set it at 25% and see what that does. Don't fly it, just look at it. watch how the surfaces react when you move the sticks. Then do the same at 50%, then 75%, and see which way the expo effect gets more pronounced. By doing this on the ground, you can be sure you have the correct adjustment in rather than guess.
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#19
The best thing to do for your expo, is to test it on the ground. Set it at 25% and see what that does. Don't fly it, just look at it. watch how the surfaces react when you move the sticks. Then do the same at 50%, then 75%, and see which way the expo effect gets more pronounced. By doing this on the ground, you can be sure you have the correct adjustment in rather than guess.
I highly recommend this... I would also add that if you're like me and can't see subtle changes, attach a long straw to the control surface (or anything long) and stand a ruler next to the end of it, and measure the changes...