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New here: My first flight ever with a FT Flyer, or: How to throw a plane in a puddle

Dave_NL

Junior Member
#1
Hi All,

After finding this site a couple of weeks ago I've watched the majority of the episodes, and I loved the swappable series. I've already build a Flyer, a Delta (hasn't flown yet) and a Cruiser is on it's way. I received my first big batch of electronics from HobbyKing yesterday and today I did my "Maiden flight" with the Flyer. Being stubborn as I am my first assumption was: A, it's tail heavy, let's try it anyways. I used all recommended electronics and it wouldn't get off the ground with the wheels. So I tossed it and it went for a couple of seconds, but stalled while climbing and crashing into the ground. A couple of minutes and repairs later I tried again, but solving the tail heavy-ness by adding a camera to the front. This gave a good balance on the CG points (all my electronics are already in the topmost part, but it isn't enough) but it made the plane a bit too heavy (without the camera it already was 460gram, with it 560). I just tossed it and well, it ended in the puddle right in front of me :rolleyes:

Check out my video, and tell me all the things I didn't do right ;)


My cheapo camera kinda died and all the other electronics were wet (they are still working though, after some cleaning :)). But here's my issue: How do I get it to fly like it should? I had to add 100g to the top to get the CG right, but thats too heavy, there are no really heavy things on my tail. All suggestions are welcome. Please note that this is my first RC plane ever, I did however had some simulator hours before this crash/miniflight.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#2
To me it seems a little underpowered and a little tailheavy. Both can be solved by using a 3S battery instead of a 2S. That will also keep you from having to add any extra dead weight to the plane to get it to balance.
That should just about solve your problem. At least as far as the plane goes, but you'll get better the more time you can get in the air!
 

Dave_NL

Junior Member
#3
Thanks for your reply; Unfortunately I already use a 3S 500mAh battery on the plane, balance charged it before using :( I've build it according to the plans and added tape to the wings, I think it's just too heavy (I use 5mm/0.2inch foamboard, no Dollar Trees here). Hope my Delta/Cruiser work out better. Any suggestions for a more powerful motor for the swappables?
 
#4
Hi Dave, Being a newbee myself and never having flown a FT flyer I don't feel I can help you, but wanted to let you know I feel your pain, and thank you for posting your "fail" makes the rest of us feel better! Welcome to the forums! I'm sure you will get it fiqured out and become a great pilot! I look forward to watching your upcomming sucesses!

The one thing I've learned is to get the CG right, a little nose heavy is better than tail haevy, with the wings without airfoil you may need to get it even better?
 
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rcspaceflight

creator of virtual planes
#5
Dollar Tree foam board is 5mm thick, but adding tape can make the plane heavier. I recently made a FT Flyer that I covered in duct tape, the airframe is probably twice as heavy, if not more, because of that. I haven't flown it yet, but I have a really good motor on it. I don't know what motor you used, but I think the recommended motor can barely power the FT Flyer when it's built light.

I like to over power my planes because you can always use less throttle, but you can't magically add power to a weak motor. Plus it's nice to be able to power through a dive/stall and pull up to save the plane.

The 3S 500mah battery is rather light. You can handle using a bigger, heavier battery if you have a bigger motor. It's better to use more battery for more nose weight, not adding something useless.

I use a Hobby King brand 1300KV motor that is a pretty good work horse. I also have a Turnigy 1100KV motor that I thought would be good and it's pretty useless, at least compared to the Hobby King one. The motor I like to use can handle a 9x5 prop with a 3cell battery without a problem. Which is more than enough power for anything I have ever flown.

I think this is the motor I use (I didn't log in to double check) : http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__17587__HobbyKing_2824_Brushless_Outrunner_1300KV.html

I also want to note that I use Master Airscrew propellers. They HAVE to be balanced, but they don't flex under high speed or from a heavy plane. They also survive crashes better. However, they HAVE to have a prop adapter. You can't use a prop saver. And you're a lot more likely to damage your motor if you don't have a prop adapter. I say all of this because that motor with a 3cell battery might be too much for a cheap slow fly prop. Slow fly props tend to flex and vibrate which is just wasted energy and wears out the motor faster.
 

rcspaceflight

creator of virtual planes
#6
I see the motor I recommended is out of stock and is only available from the Global Warehouse. I think the Hobby King Donkey is similar and is also supposed to be a great work horse motor.

If you go with Master Airscrew Props, get the "electric only" version. And you'll have to get a prop adapter and make sure it is a collet one. The ones with the little set screw don't last very long because the set screw strips the aluminum and makes it unusable. At least I have two unusable prop adapters because the set screw stripped out.

I know it's controversial for a beginner to not use a prop saver. But I think in the case of using a work horse motor like that one, it's better to use stronger props. I know some people won't agree with the advice I'm giving you, but it's what I use. Just stay away from the concrete. Nose diving into that will likely bend the motor shaft.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#7
Thanks for your reply; Unfortunately I already use a 3S 500mAh battery on the plane, balance charged it before using :( I've build it according to the plans and added tape to the wings, I think it's just too heavy (I use 5mm/0.2inch foamboard, no Dollar Trees here). Hope my Delta/Cruiser work out better. Any suggestions for a more powerful motor for the swappables?
Sorry, it looked like a 2S battery in the video. Do you have any other batteries besides the 500? I use a 1300mAh in mine, also 3S and it gives me good range for balance, as I can place the battery further back and still have the plane balance where it should.
As far as motors, I use a lot of different flavors of the Turnigy D28xx series. One of my favorites currently on my Bloody Wonder is a 2826/10 1400kv spinning a 9x4.7 APC prop. Setup like that it's a lot of fun(fast) and will launch vertically!
My Flyer currently has an eMax 2822 I got a while back from headsup hobbies. I think it's the 1300Kv, and I'm using an 8x4 prop to keep the amp draw within the specs for the motor.
 

Dave_NL

Junior Member
#8
Thanks for all the replies, it helps, a lot :)

I figured it must have been the tape, I'll have to settle with a bigger motor then and use the 2 1300kv 24 grams I have now in the Delta, just finished that one and it balances just fine on the CG and the power the motor gives me seems to be enough for this one (its lighter, 340 gram all-in). What about this one:

http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor..._Brushless_Outrunner_700kv_EU_warehouse_.html

It's available in the EU warehouse, my 18amp SC seems to ben enough for this motor and it handles 900+ grams, more then enough and I can power it with a 2200mAh 25C I've already got, nice weight for balance and a nice long time to fly I guess? :) That engine with a 10x4.7 prop, does that sound like a useful combination? If it doesn't work out I'll be able to use it on a tricopter I'd like to build later on I guess.

The only batteries I have laying around are 2x 2200mah 25C, 2x 500mah 20C and a 1500mah Life 1C for my sender.

Thanks again, I'll record my next try :) (propably with the delta, or this one with a bigger engine)

I don't really want to go all that fast since I need to learn how to fly and to do that I'd like to keep it within a limit range, fast will come, but later on :)
 
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xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#9
Thanks for all the replies, it helps, a lot :)

I figured it must have been the tape, I'll have to settle with a bigger motor then and use the 2 1300kv 24 grams I have now in the Delta, just finished that one and it balances just fine on the CG and the power the motor gives me seems to be enough for this one (its lighter, 340 gram all-in). What about this one:

http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor..._Brushless_Outrunner_700kv_EU_warehouse_.html

It's available in the EU warehouse, my 18amp SC seems to ben enough for this motor and it handles 900+ grams, more then enough and I can power it with a 2200mAh 25C I've already got, nice weight for balance and a nice long time to fly I guess? :) That engine with a 10x4.7 prop, does that sound like a useful combination? If it doesn't work out I'll be able to use it on a tricopter I'd like to build later on I guess.

The only batteries I have laying around are 2x 2200mah 25C, 2x 500mah 20C and a 1500mah Life 1C for my sender.

Thanks again, I'll record my next try :) (propably with the delta, or this one with a bigger engine)

I don't really want to go all that fast since I need to learn how to fly and to do that I'd like to keep it within a limit range, fast will come, but later on :)
A larger motor will help also to get your balance where it should be. I would also think about getting some 1300 batteries, for longer flight times and options for balancing. They are pretty cheap and can really give you a nice middle ground between your 2200's and 500's. It's not strictly necessary, but just a suggestion. I'm really good at spending other peoples money!

Also, even if you have more power available, you do not have to use it all. Most of my flights are at partial throttle because I am usually overpowered to some degree. It makes launching and climbing out of trouble much easier. Just be aware of any torque roll, and be ready to compensate. Each plane is different and most of mine show almost no torque roll tendencies.
 
#10
OMG...I think this is the funniest video I've watched on FT. Excellent production and Yakety Sax was perfect. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful!

I think it hit close to home because what you filmed was almost my exact experience as well, only I was flying a Nutjob. My solution after watching it scoot around the ground for a while was "Let's just throw it," as well and with the same results. Bravo! I can't wait to see the videos you've got coming in the future.
 
#11
My first thought was that your elevator throw was too much. I haven't flown this yet but maybe try some lesser throws. Do they recommend any expo on this?