• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Help with FT Nutball flying. I'm a newbie.

antiquark

Junior Member
#1
Firstly, I'm in Australia, and we don't have access to Dollar Tree foam. The foam I used I think is around 50% heavier.

After building, my CG was too far back by about 1", so I added a strip of brass to the front, and now it's about perfect. It does mean my plane is around 354 grams (without the prop, so add a few grams to that). Is that heavy?

It feels like it has plenty of power to fly, although I don't think I can fly it straight up. (I.e. <1 power to weight)

I've tried to fly it 3 times.

1) First was without the CG fix. It flipped around out of control and crashed. Badly.
2) CG fixed. Windy, but I flew it anyway. It flipped around out of control and crashed. Badly.
3) Good CG, no wind. It flipped around out of control. And Crashed. Yes, badly.

Nothing expensive has broken, but I'm getting pretty frustrated.

It barely feels like I have any control on it. I suspect I may be extreme overcorrecting, using fullthrow on the sticks, causing it to misbehave. Does that sound plausible?

I don't have landing gear on it, I think if I take off from wheels (as opposed to handlaunch) it might be slightly easier. I think I'll try that next.

The motor is a Turnigy 300, 3S battery, 8x4.5 prop.

I have Sim experience, but I don't think that has helped me much. Also, my Sim experience I've been doing 3 channel (bank and yank) as opposed to elevator/rudder like the Nutball.

Any tips?
 

CrashRecovery

I'm a care bear...Really?
Mentor
#2
Check the angle on the motor. It almost seems like your motor is pointed up. Second I'd make sure you're nose heavy. That will help
 

Aust67

Junior Member
#3
Well first of all a 3s battery might be a bit too much for a nutball.(that may be why it so heavy but you may be able to get it to work) I'd go with a 2s. A few tips for the plane is to make sure all control surfaces are functioning the right way and that they are nice and level in neutral position. Some good free sims that you might want to try out are below.
1. PicaSim(mainly for gliders but a good training sim): http://www.rowlhouse.co.uk/PicaSim/download.html
2. RC Desk Pilot(highly recommend for a beginner + easy to set up): http://rcdeskpilot.com/download
3. MultiFlight/MultiPlex(a bit more advanced but is great after you learn the basics): http://www.multiplex-rc.de/en/service/downloads/software.html
 
#6
I have built 3 Nutballs and 1 Snowball. They are great airplanes. It is very easy to set one up with too much control. Go with extra small amounts at first and tripple check that they are operating in the correct direction. Yes, taking off of the ground might make it a little easier but only if you build a really straight and stable gear. It really should fly easy enough that you should be able to hand launch it.

I did have one develop a warp in the wing. It was hard to detect but I finally noticed it. If your wing is warped it wont fly no matter what. You will have to cut a new one.

Here is a little video of mine, that you might find interesting. http://youtu.be/nNFj5kSLNQg

Good luck!
Mike
 
#7
Here is a little video of mine, that you might find interesting. http://youtu.be/nNFj5kSLNQg
I think the link is dead...:confused:

Antiqurk- Sounds like it might be tail heavy. Also, even though it has a "rudder" you can still set up the channels with the rudder is controlled the "aileron stick"--- Bank AND Yank!
I broke a ton of props before I finally got the hang of it...
Good luck!
 
Last edited:
#8
My first nut ball didn't fly well. As soon as I hand launched it would hard bank left. It was vey difficult to fly. Turns out I did a poor job on the wing. The two sides were not even at the bend. I end up scrapping it. I had already been flying an FT flyer and it flew well so I stuck with it. I also built a delta wing shortly after the nut ball. When I first started with these I had a tendency to fly full throttle. Mine would fly with about 50% throttle and about 75% to hand launch. Full throttle made them difficult to fly. I also programmed in 30% rates for rudder and elevator to start with. Eventually I upped the rates to 70 then 100. As the other post said, I programmed the rudder on the aileron side. That way I could concentrate on controlling with only one side of the transmitter. I probably crashed the flyer 20 times before I started to get the hang of it. If you get frustrated with the nut ball, I recommend you try the FT flyer. All of your electronics will work.
 
#9
I also had more success with the "Snowball" conversion... Fewer broken props....
I'm not sure if your motor is powerful enough, but we had (have) a blast with the "FT Bloody Wonder"... I understand that the "heavy foam" is not a problem with that build and it flys more like an "airplane" (defiantly bank and yank).
 
#10
Thanks for your advice.

I will.
1) Use less throttle. Maybe 75% for takeoff.
2) Program controller to 30%-50% rates on rudder and aileron.
3) Configure so rudder is on the aileron stick, as that's what I've been doing in sim (I'm Mode 1)
4) I've moved the CG forward a little more. it's just ahead of the 25% mark now. I think it was a little behind that point before.

Will report back in a couple of days with my results.
 
#11
Made a snoball at NIFF last month. The maiden was exciting. I was knife edge half the time.
When I got it down in one piece I added downthrust. I also took all the left thrust out. I put the control movements way down and added 30% expo to them.

The rest of the flights were quite enjoyable. I'm no noob though no 3D expert. I'm an average sport pilot with a bunch of experience. Nutballs are easy builds, easy to get wrong too and if not set up gentle WAY to much for a new pilot. There was a time over on SPADworld where I cussed Dave McDonald and that stinking PBF (Pizza Box Flyer). "I found the perfect plane to train on" they'd say. "There's nothing to building it and it flys so slow it hovers!" Never giving credit to the fact the Dave is one of those guys who could fly a board if you put power and servos on it because that's what a PBF is. PBF's and snoballs, pretty much the same thing. NOT trainer material but at least with the snoball it can be.

lighter is better, try a 2 cell pack same capacity. Hopefully you have too much nose weight, tell us where it balances. turn your controls way down. The snoball if set up correctly is an inherently stable design. We over control it to make it do goofy things. If you put minimal controls on it will fly pretty smoothly. Try 10 to 15 degrees max deflection on things and see if it will fly. If it won't fly at a slightly nose up attitude at 10 mph, you're nose heavy or just plane heavy.
 
Last edited:
#12
Success!

I made the changes:
Rudder and elevator rates to %50.
Moved CG forward.
Rudder on aileron stick.

I tried a couple of takeoffs at %50 throttle, but wasn't enough. I tried more, but I think I ended up taking off at 100% which was 'enough', but probably way too much.

A few attempts looked good, but I didn't react quickly enough getting back to the controls after handlaunching. So I got my son (9 years old) to do the launch while I had the controller. I also trimmed in some up elevator.

These went better - a couple of almosts, and then a success!

There was way too much wind. I shouldn't have flown today, but I'm impatient. I also had it on 100% throttle the whole time, I think, so the flight was exciting to say the least. I expected a docile flight, but it was amusingly quick. I'm chuckling about it now. It was.. quick.

I don't have a 2S battery, and even if I did I'd need more weight as I have the battery mounted way up front to move the CG forward. I may program the controller to limit the throttle. Maybe with a switch or something. I haven't fully decided yet.

I'm hooked now, in case you were wondering. So much fun.
 
#13
I've had a few more flights, each more successful than the last.

My last couple of flights were basically without incident. Hand launch (myself, no helpers), stay in the air until the battery is done.

My problem was two fold:
1) Too much throw on the control surfaces. Even at 50% there is more than plenty, including doing loops.
2) CG too far back. I'm now about a 2cm forward of the recommended CG, and it flies nicely. It feels to me like the CG on the plan could be more forward, but whatever.

However, my first few crashes were spectacular, and my build wasn't perfect, so the plane has now died. I cut it up tonight, (saving components of course), and will print out a new plan tonight. Probably the FT Flyer.

Thanks for your help.
 
#15
Sim Experience

Well first of all a 3s battery might be a bit too much for a nutball.(that may be why it so heavy but you may be able to get it to work) I'd go with a 2s. A few tips for the plane is to make sure all control surfaces are functioning the right way and that they are nice and level in neutral position. Some good free sims that you might want to try out are below.
1. PicaSim(mainly for gliders but a good training sim): http://www.rowlhouse.co.uk/PicaSim/download.html
2. RC Desk Pilot(highly recommend for a beginner + easy to set up): http://rcdeskpilot.com/download
3. MultiFlight/MultiPlex(a bit more advanced but is great after you learn the basics): http://www.multiplex-rc.de/en/service/downloads/software.html
Great to know that there are FREE flight simulators out there to practice some flight moves without crashing my own builds.
 

430xc

Junior Member
#16
I am also a newbie to RC flying. My first model was an FT Flyer, which experienced many crashes. At first, I wanted to try flying alone, to avoid the embarrassment of silly crashes in front of other people. But I found some guys that have helped me sort out problems and give me encouragement. So my suggestion is that you might want to look for one or more experienced RC flyers that will guide you in your growth. The RC flying community is generally a really good group of people and very helpful to newbies.
 

twelti

Junior Member
#17
Success on second try

First try: Standard Flightest recommended construction and recommended throws, motor/prop size etc., CG at recommended (marked) location. Launched from cement, full throttle, went up fine to around 12 feet, then straight down to cement! Fixed moderate damage, went to forums to see what others have done (should have done that first).

Second try: Reduced rates to 80% and 20% expo. Added around 3 degrees right and down thrust angle on motor mount using washers. Hand launched at ~30% throttle. After that, a beautiful and stable flight, did exactly I asked it to. I'm using too small of a battery (350 mah 3s), so only got a couple of minutes. I could have easily kept it up all day though. The lower throttle and reduced rates really helps.