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Pietenpol won't go straight or move on grass...

#1
Hi all, I have a Peitenpol and I know it flies well as an older member of the club has thrown it all over the skies for me, but...
I can't get it to taxi at all. On pavement it just turns left, despite having right thrust built in and on grass it just tips up.

Any suggestions?
Also, where do Pietenpol owners put their Rxs.? Mines in the rear cockpit, but it makes it very difficult to put the servo plugs in.

Cheers,
Mr.Tin
 

FDS

Well-known member
#2
The undercarriage on minis is really only useable on totally flat ground. Throw launch it or add a steerable tail wheel, there’s a few how to’s on here.
Many people take it off altogether. You can add much bigger foam wheels like a bush plane but even then only a bowling green smooth bit of grass will let you land, the plane is just too light.
You want the RX well away from the battery, ESC and motor, where it is is good, you won’t need to plug and unplug the servos. Use extension wires if the leads are too short. Better radio reception is more important than occasional servo plug hassle.
 
#3
Damn, that's what I thought! I must admit when the excellent club flyer flew it he couldn't get it roll on grass, despite a greaser of a landing and it bent the wires back and buckled the fairings. What about a couple of skids for a landing from a hand launch and do away with the u/c?

I hadn't thought of extension wires. Is it OK to leave the bind wire in as that's also a pain to keep fitting and taking out again. I don't have a computer Tx, so have to rebind for each aircraft. I'm new to all this modern R/C gear.

Martin
 

basslord1124

Well-known member
#4
Yeah you need some super flat areas (concrete) to do take-offs and landings with the minis. I think most just prefer to hand launch if they don't have any suitable ground.

I normally try and make the receiver a permanent resident in my planes to save the hassle from servo connects and disconnects. Use servo extensions as FDS said or get creative and make an easier way to do your receiver/servo maintenance (ex: a removable hatch)
 

FDS

Well-known member
#5
You can make a belly skid plate out of old milk carton plastic, there’s a post on here about it somewhere.
I fly on rough ish grass, I just try to land slow and accept that it will pitch onto the nose most likely. Flair more so the tail just touches before the main wheels or use long grass like a cushion if you keep the wheels on.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#6
Damn, that's what I thought! I must admit when the excellent club flyer flew it he couldn't get it roll on grass, despite a greaser of a landing and it bent the wires back and buckled the fairings. What about a couple of skids for a landing from a hand launch and do away with the u/c?

I hadn't thought of extension wires. Is it OK to leave the bind wire in as that's also a pain to keep fitting and taking out again. I don't have a computer Tx, so have to rebind for each aircraft. I'm new to all this modern R/C gear.

Martin
Bind plugs will work via extension leads just as well as servos! I would not recommend leaving the bind plug permanently fitted!

Have fun!
 
#7
Thanks gents. Looks like I'll be sending off for some servo extension wires.
I have some Tig welding aluminium welding rods to use as skids for landing. No weight in them, but quite strong.
Trouble is, won't a Pietenpol with no wheels look a bit odd?

Martin
 

FDS

Well-known member
#8
The skids will catch worse than wheels if they are on legs.
You can leave the wheels on the Piet, just don’t expect it to land gracefully on average grass, use “arrestor grass” or land slower and expect a bump on regular grass. My SE5 always lands on its nose once the gear touches. I haven’t broken a single prop on landing, gear is a bit bashed but hasn’t been pulled off.
The big thin wheels like on the SE5/DR1 might be worth a go, they are pretty cheap too. Looking odd is usually better than looking broken. Belly landing is still the best way on rougher fields.
 
#9
Yes, I've been watching some videos of Pietenpols landing and they all tip over. Looks like I'll have to just hand launch and then tip over. I don't think even bigger wheels will stop it tipping up on attempted take-off. Smooth surfaces are not available. Pity more clubs don't have the roll out stuff we see on Flite Test videos sometimes, or just sheets of board laid next to each other, for those that can't handle grass.
Servo extension wires ordered.

Cheers,
Martin
 

FDS

Well-known member
#10
You can use weed matting or any woven polypropylene “landscape mat” to make a temporary runway if you want to try smooth landings. Peg it down with tent pegs. Tarp might work too, but a bit heavier is better.
I always throw launch my planes, even bigger ones, it’s much easier.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#11
Yes, I've been watching some videos of Pietenpols landing and they all tip over. Looks like I'll have to just hand launch and then tip over. I don't think even bigger wheels will stop it tipping up on attempted take-off. Smooth surfaces are not available. Pity more clubs don't have the roll out stuff we see on Flite Test videos sometimes, or just sheets of board laid next to each other, for those that can't handle grass.
Servo extension wires ordered.

Cheers,
Martin
Grass and soft ground can be merciless on a light aircraft!
I am reminded of a trick that the WWI pilots used to do with their Sopwith Camels when landing. Thye had rather large and heavy wheels that took a bit of energy to spin up. A straight landing could be extremely rough and even cause a nose over for the inexperienced.

Well the pilots started to "Bounce" the aircraft either on the hangar roof or on the ground at full cruising speed before even attempting to cut the throttle and bring the plane in for landing. By getting the wheels spinning faster than landing speed the following touchdown was real smooth and the wheels did not tend to dig or sink into the soft ground.

For your model you could try greasing the landing to maintain control until the wheels are spinning and then reduce the throttle and settle the plane to the ground, (all under control), I land almost 100% on grass and it is not always nicely mowed and nose overs are rare!

Just what works for me!

Have fun!
 
#12
That's down to the club, FDS.
I would need someone else to hand launch. Couldn't do it myself and grab the sticks, I'm not that experienced yet! I'm sure I could do a take off if we had a smooth surface, but that ain't gonna happen.

Martin
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#13
That's down to the club, FDS.
I would need someone else to hand launch. Couldn't do it myself and grab the sticks, I'm not that experienced yet! I'm sure I could do a take off if we had a smooth surface, but that ain't gonna happen.

Martin
I use a bungy for launching rather than hand launching as I do a lot of maidens and I like to have my hands on the sticks during the launch!

Just what works for me!

Have fun!
 
#14
Hai-Lee,
I'm sure that's born of experience, but since I have only once landed an RC plane many years ago, a much bigger and heavier tricycle u/c model, I don't think there's any chance of the FT Pietenpol being landed like that. It's purely a question of weight or lack of it and perhaps the position of the wheels. Maybe a bit further forward, but that'll affect C of G quite a bit, which currently I have nicely sorted. There's nowhere aft that the battery can go to redress moving wheels forward.

Martin
 
#15
I've seen bungee frames on videos, but I would never get all that in my car and I don't think the club would like me cluttering up the patch with clobber. They tend to like it completely clear. Since we are not allowed to fly alone there, there would always be somebody who could hand launch for me. I was just trying on a wonderfully calm evening to get some takeoff run-ups right at home, but then discovered the light weight of the Pietenpol was against it.

Martin
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#16
I've seen bungee frames on videos, but I would never get all that in my car and I don't think the club would like me cluttering up the patch with clobber. They tend to like it completely clear. Since we are not allowed to fly alone there, there would always be somebody who could hand launch for me. I was just trying on a wonderfully calm evening to get some takeoff run-ups right at home, but then discovered the light weight of the Pietenpol was against it.

Martin
You do not need a ramp! I often use a bungee and do launches directly off of the grass!

Here is what I use. https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/the-best-20-i-invested.53587/

Have fun!
 

FDS

Well-known member
#17
Practice launching with your throttle hand holding the plane, one hand on the elevator/Aileron stick. I set the throttle with my mouth! It’s not hard, just feels weird to begin with.
I had nobody to help me so had to do that.
The minis are light enough that we can fly them wherever in the UK at present, so I don’t need to be part of a club.
If I throw it badly then I don’t have an excuse for crashing...
 
#18
I've no idea what weight the Pietenpol is, but above 250 grams I would think. I do have a playing field I can use and have the owner's permission.
But that bungee system sounds excellent. I only need to get the 'plane airborne and then power can take over. I do like the sound of that, especially as I might have a jet Provost in the future. I am a big fan of British jets from the cold War period, because they were beautiful and never actually flew in anger.
Does the bungee have to be that big considering the readiness of the Piet. to get airborne?

Martin
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#19
Another thing that can help with "ground loops" - that out of control spinning when trying to taxi - is to have both wheels connected with a "live axle" - where the wheels are locked / glued onto the axle that spins freely where it goes through the landing gear. This way you don't end up with one wheel spinning more easily and encouraging the looping behavior. That doesn't solve all the grass and gear problems by a long shot, but it can help!
 
#20
Ah, now that makes sense to someone with a vague engineering background. I'll try that, rocky, thanks. Just briefly been up the club and nobody seems to dislike the bungee idea, so I think that might be the answer to take offs, but it would still be good to practice on a paved surface.
Martin