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FT Flyer Maiden

#1
After building my FT Flyer (my first build), I checked the CG & found it is about 1/2 inch behind the CG marker. This is with the battery all the way forward. Tried to fly anyway which turned out to be a big mistake. The 10 sec the plane was in the air, it was very unstable. It was darting very hard in which ever direction I moved the sticks & soon crashed. Is having the CG right on that critical?? I plan to move my ESC & receiver forward to get the CG where suggested but was just a little curious about how critical this CG position is, within some reason. Thanks for any info or suggestions.
Ron
 
#2
What size battery are you using?
CG should be such that you are level at the CG marks or a little heavy on the front. Tail heavy is bad.
Also check your throws to be sure they do not go too far. I believe it's suggested 19 degrees of travel.
Set your differential if you have it. About 20-30% is good.

I use a Turnigy 1300mah 3S battery. It actually sits just behind the landing gear for good CG. It flies quite well. I've even taught other people how to fly on buddy cable with this plane.

Good luck!
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#3
Proper CG placement is very important for any plane, as you have found out. Planes will always have a point where they balance. The trick is, if this point is not close enough to the center of lift, the plane becomes un-flyable. If it is balanced where the CG is behind the center of lift (tail heavy) It will be, at best, very pitchy and worst case, simply un-flyable due to instability. A commonly heard axiom is "a nose heavy plane flies badly, a tail heavy plane flies... once!"

A glide test is always a good idea before a maiden to ensure that the CG is in a flyable location and also helps with rough tuning of CG before getting airborne and past a point of no return.
 
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#4
Thanks guys for your comments: icrash, I am using an 800 mah battery which is a little bigger than the battery suggested. That is why I was a little curious why my plane was tail heavy when I placed the ESC & receiver where recommended? I will make sure the CG is where recommended before flying again!!!!

Xuzme720, thanks for the info and glad to know that I lived up to your axiom as I will need to replace the power pod before I fly again. Ha.. Will do a search on this forum for glide test to see see how to do and what happens if my plane is tail or nose heavy. Really appreciate your help!!!
Thanks guys,
Ron
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#5
Thanks guys for your comments: icrash, I am using an 800 mah battery which is a little bigger than the battery suggested. That is why I was a little curious why my plane was tail heavy when I placed the ESC & receiver where recommended? I will make sure the CG is where recommended before flying again!!!!

Xuzme720, thanks for the info and glad to know that I lived up to your axiom as I will need to replace the power pod before I fly again. Ha.. Will do a search on this forum for glide test to see see how to do and what happens if my plane is tail or nose heavy. Really appreciate your help!!!
Thanks guys,
Ron
I fly mine with a 1300mAh 3S and have plenty of adjustment with it. I took the CG marks and stuck 2 short pieces of skewer there to give me pegs to place on my fingers to make adjusting balance easier, since I I plan on using mine to teach the grand-kids to fly.

I can't take credit for that axiom as it's been around for a long time but it is very true!
Glide testing is easy. Turn on your transmitter and plug in the battery on the plane just like you are going flying. Find a nice open area, ideally with some taller, soft grass to land in, so any trouble will be cushioned and not break the plane. With the transmitter in one hand, give the plane a good toss. Make sure to toss it at flying speed, which for some planes means a really hard chuck! Throw the plane at the horizon and leave the motor off, only control with elevator if necessary. A nose up then stall will indicate a tail heavy plane, where a dive towards the ground means it's nose heavy. It might take a few tosses, but with adjustments to the battery location to get the CG right, and a little trimming, you should get a nice flat glide to the ground with no inputs at all.
Once you get the nice flat glide, you should find the plane very docile in the air and should need very little control inputs to fly. Basically just corrections and turns.
Hope this helps!
 
#6
XUZME720: Thanks very much for the glide test information, is a big help to this noob. I have always wanted to fly RC planes but never had time or money. Now that I am retired I thought why not now?? I have flown the Hobbyzone Super Cub quite a bit. Also attached a buddy box so my grandson can fly it. To my pleasure he loves it. Life is good..������. Thanks again.
Ron
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#7
The FT Flyer is actually a good plane to teach on as well since it will self correct to fly level once you teach the kids to lay off the sticks. One big issue with new pilots is over-correcting/overflying the plane or holding the sticks at full deflection for way too long. So far that has been the main issue with the girls on the simulator so far. Once they get out of that habit, I'll take them out on a good day and toss the Flyer up for them. I'll probably throw a 2S on it to make sure it's not so fast at first. Looking forward to that day!
 
#8
Papo, I think it's great you are teaching the kids too.

As for battery placement, I built my power pod with the intention of using it in several different air frames. I have a strip of Velcro going from the front all the way to the back. This way no matter what plane I put my power pod into I can easily set CG where it needs to be.

I fly w/ 1300mah too. at about 30-40% throttle am getting about 12m flights.

Also, after a bad crash and repair, I took out a lot of the dihedral. It still has some, but just a little bit. This actually helped the plane fly better without "dutch rolling". This isn't needed, but something to think about at a later time when you get used to flying it.

One thing I would recommend is to hot glue BBQ skewers to the entire length of your leading edge. It greatly helps keep the wing rigid, especially if a gust of wind hits it or you have a hard landing. In a strong wind the wings can fold up, so be careful about the winds you fly in. One other thing I did was put a BBQ skewer across the top side to stop the wings from folding up in case it did get hit by a gust of wind.

Good luck!
 
#9
When I maidened my Flyer I didn't have any travel/throw adjustments and it was super touchy. Once I dialed them back it made a world of difference. I have been flying a 500mAh 3 cell but just recently got some 1000mAh 3 cells and they fly just as well even though they are twice the weight.

In my last flight it was fairly windy but at times I was able to glide with no throttle and a bit of back pressure on the elevator.
 

rcspaceflight

creator of virtual planes
#10
I also had the throws on my FT Flyer too high. Generally I like higher throws but it's bad with a three channel because it's harder to correct an over turn. I think Josh Bixler said in a more recent video that he puts the control linkage on the top hole of the control horn (with the FT ones) and into the second hole from the center of the control arm. I did the top hole of the FT control horn and the third from the center of the control arm. Just to clarify, by "center of control arm" I mean the screw that holds it in place. You can give it more throw on the elevator, but not the rudder. It does bad things when you have too much rudder.
 
#11
Too much throw anywhere is not a good idea. start with minimal throw on your maiden and add for range on the throws if you wnat or need more response. I balance mine at the front corners of the wing and make surethe plane hangs between absolute level and with the nose hanging about an inch low for faster flight. My son flys with a 500mah at 0 balance for more docile flights and I use an 800mah with it an inch nose heavy for more performance. Ours is built with alerons instead of rudder.