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Maiden(ish) Flight...need some help

#1
My son (eleven years old) and I have gotten into the hobby since "Santa" brought him a Simple Cub kit for Christmas. We built it and have been attempting to fly over the last 8 weeks. Yesterday was the most success we've had - he had it up for 30-45 seconds on at least three occasions, but it's not smooth. Not that I expect him to be, as neither one of us has ever flown, but I think I need some help in maximizing our success to keep his continued interest.

On two of the flights the Cub was turning left hand loops in a counter clockwise direction, about 200' feet in diameter. I was watching the plane, not his fingers on the controller, and thought he was doing it on purpose. I told him to try a right turn into a clockwise loop, but it kind of all fell apart there. He said the plane was just flying the loops by itself and when he tried to turn right, it went for a little then crashed.

From the videos and research, I'm guessing it needs to be trimmed, but I don't understand how I would go about that if we're only getting 45 second flight times...

Can anyone point me in a direction for a video/instructions, specifically using the Spektrum DXe that was included in our kit?

Here's the video:
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#2
So there's a few things I think I see might be going on here that can help. :)

1) Was this built as a 3 channel or a 4 channel airplane? A 3 channel has elevator, rudder, and motor; 4 channel has elevator, ailerons, rudder, and motor. If it's configured as 4 channel and the elevator and ailerons are on the same stick, it's highly possible he's pulling back when he turns left, using ailerons, and just doesn't realize it - it would also account for why it was nosing down a bit when making right hand turns. I'm guilty of doing the same thing, even after flying for 3 years, hence why I recognize the potential for it. :)

2) Trimming the plane would definitely help. What you need to do is get it flying straight, take your hands off the sticks, and see what it does. If it roll to the right, push the aileron trim to the left to even it out. If it rolls to the left, bump the trim to the right. If it yaws to the left or right, bump the rudder trim switch on the left stick.

3) Do you have any expo or travel programmed in to the radio? It might be really touchy; putting in more expo might help smooth it out a bit for him so that it takes a little more movement on the sticks before the control surfaces react. If not, start with 30% expo in the Dxe programming and up it a bit until it feels smooth. Keep in mind, this can make it feel mushy and non-responsive when it's flying slower, and too low an expo percentage can make it feel twitchy and over-responsive at speed. This is why many people set up a high/low rate for flying.

Josh & Josh did a pretty good video that shows how they went through the trim process, and it'd probably help here:


Hope this info helps!
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#3
My son (eleven years old) and I have gotten into the hobby since "Santa" brought him a Simple Cub kit for Christmas. We built it and have been attempting to fly over the last 8 weeks. Yesterday was the most success we've had - he had it up for 30-45 seconds on at least three occasions, but it's not smooth. Not that I expect him to be, as neither one of us has ever flown, but I think I need some help in maximizing our success to keep his continued interest.

On two of the flights the Cub was turning left hand loops in a counter clockwise direction, about 200' feet in diameter. I was watching the plane, not his fingers on the controller, and thought he was doing it on purpose. I told him to try a right turn into a clockwise loop, but it kind of all fell apart there. He said the plane was just flying the loops by itself and when he tried to turn right, it went for a little then crashed.

From the videos and research, I'm guessing it needs to be trimmed, but I don't understand how I would go about that if we're only getting 45 second flight times...

Can anyone point me in a direction for a video/instructions, specifically using the Spektrum DXe that was included in our kit?

Here's the video:
Welcome to the forums. It's good to hear you are getting some quality family time in. The video posted by @sprzout will be very helpful. Good luck
 

FDS

Well-known member
#4
You can do basic trimming on the bench, look at all the control surfaces and see wether the wing is twisted at all, take it off and put it on a flat surface, one side at a time as theres some dihedral. Also put the dihedral gauges back under the wing and sit it on the flat to make sure the dihedral is the same both sides. It’s easy to warp wings as you make them, my mini guinea was really hard to trim because I warped the wing!
Check the rudder as well, plus look at the controls to make sure they are moving freely and not binding up.
To set dual rates on the DXE you need an app and phone, since it has no screen. I am not a fan of it as a starter radio, the lack of screen and inability to simply change things on the fly is a big downside. I bought an Orange TX6i DSMX transmitter instead, that has a screen and was super easy to set up.
Use the deflection gauge to set up the dual rates and use a spare channel with a switch to put it on an easy to reach switch, so you can get it whilst flying.
As noted above expo can help, but I would think about flying higher then trimming the channels in this order, Elevator, Aileron, Rudder. Get as high as you can, even if it’s orbiting like before, don’t worry about anything except staying up there and do each control surface until it’s flying level and straight.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#5
My son (eleven years old) and I have gotten into the hobby since "Santa" brought him a Simple Cub kit for Christmas. We built it and have been attempting to fly over the last 8 weeks. Yesterday was the most success we've had - he had it up for 30-45 seconds on at least three occasions, but it's not smooth. Not that I expect him to be, as neither one of us has ever flown, but I think I need some help in maximizing our success to keep his continued interest.

On two of the flights the Cub was turning left hand loops in a counter clockwise direction, about 200' feet in diameter. I was watching the plane, not his fingers on the controller, and thought he was doing it on purpose. I told him to try a right turn into a clockwise loop, but it kind of all fell apart there. He said the plane was just flying the loops by itself and when he tried to turn right, it went for a little then crashed.

From the videos and research, I'm guessing it needs to be trimmed, but I don't understand how I would go about that if we're only getting 45 second flight times...

Can anyone point me in a direction for a video/instructions, specifically using the Spektrum DXe that was included in our kit?

Here's the video:
The DXe can use either the phone app or there is an app you can use on a laptop or desktop. The desktop app i hear is easier to use and has more options
 
#6
Thanks for all the responses. I will utilize all the info tonight in a shake down of the plane on the bench. One other thing that he mentioned was that when he turned right the plane seemed to climb. What would I check for that?
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#7
Thanks for all the responses. I will utilize all the info tonight in a shake down of the plane on the bench. One other thing that he mentioned was that when he turned right the plane seemed to climb. What would I check for that?
There are many aspects that could cause that from default mixing on the transmitter to a tendency for one to pull back on the elevator while trying to turn.

If you have a flying club near you it would be a good idea to get someone there to give the plane a once over and even fly it to trim it out. That way you will get first hand knowledge of what the possibilities are and advice to fix it. Just by watching the video you posted it looks like you might just have trim issues.