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Please do a show experimenting with extremely short landing techniques for planes.

#1
I fly FPV in rural places where it's often very rocky, hilly, with trees or other obstacles everywhere. That means it's very hard to find a flat open place to land a plane, especially the somewhat larger ones (Skywalker, Mini Talon, etc).
Some ideas I have in descending order of expected viability are:

1. Mount a thin foam mattress on it's side with the top corners attached via rope to 2 tent poles, and just fly the plane into the foam. I think this is the most reliable idea. Alternatively, perhaps there are other soft and elastic nets that one can buy.

2. An arrestor system: Span an elastic cord between 2 pegs, about 1ft high, and drop a short line with a blunt 3 pronged hook from the plane.

3. Use an ESC with propellor reversal, enabled by a transmitter switch, to swoop in over/between obstacles and then stop rapidly in the small landing spot. It'll still require more space than idea 1 though, but it saves carrying a thin mattress around.

4. Use a small toy parachute with a servo release attached to the the bottom of the plane to achieve the same as in 3. This This may cause unexpected pitch ups or pitch downs though and it has a weight and drag penalty.
 
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#3
i fly around my yard and neighbors field, i have no runway at all i fly the ft mustang with landing gear that are like an edge 540, but landings usually are pretty short... the wheels touch and the plane uses its cowl like a brake :p... a tip for if your trying to slow down quickly is to use your rudder (assuming you have one) as a air brake, wiggle it side to side (kinda like a fish) that slows it down quite well
 

Tench745

Active member
#4
I mean, the real way to do it, the way an actual plane without flaps or spoilers bleeds off a bunch of speed is to go into a slip. You roll one way (left for example) and give enough opposite rudder to keep the plane from turning (right rudder in this case.) This puts the forward pull of the prop at an angle to the flight path, reducing the total thrust vector (Yes, vectors. They're very important in aviation.) and you're presenting more of the side-profile of the plane to the air causing a lot more drag and slowing the plane considerably. Typically you'd come in over whatever obstruction you have, slip to lose a bunch of altitude, then level out, arrest the descent, and touch down.
If you want to practice slips start high (the ambiguous 3 mistakes high), get the hang of coordinating the controls and recovering from the slip. Only after you're comfortable with the maneuver should you start trying it lower and lower until you're ready to try it on a landing run.
Note: To do a slip you will need to be flying a 4 channel plane. You need both rudder and ailerons to perform a slip.
 
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#7
I simply fly a plane that has enough power to take off in one foot, and can land with zero groundspeed in a light breeze. It is also possible to employ a single use landing strategy that involves pitching down at a 90º angle until plane-earth contact is achieved.
 

Tench745

Active member
#9
I simply fly a plane that has enough power to take off in one foot, and can land with zero groundspeed in a light breeze. It is also possible to employ a single use landing strategy that involves pitching down at a 90º angle until plane-earth contact is achieved.
Just did that today, but I added a sharp roll to inverted beforehand, you know, for show.:rolleyes:
 
#10
Remember, I'm talking about medium to large FPV planes, loaded with gear. Those aren't lightweight 3D planes.
Below are some old examples of how small and rough the best landing spots I use are (skip to the ends) and that was with a Tek Sumo that's tough and relatively small. Now imagine doing that with something that comes in faster and isn't as tough, e.g. a Mini Talon or Skywalker. That's why I'm considering using a thin camping/hiking mattress that I perform a controlled crash into each time.
 

Tench745

Active member
#13
Sorry turdsurfer, we were having a bit of fun, but not being very helpful. On a Mini Talon or Skywalker you could slip them in to bleed off altitude and speed. The Tek-sumo has no rudders, so you can't do that.
On watching your videos, I didn't think the site was that bad. I fly off the top of a hill here with my versa-wing regularly and put it down on the ridge-line almost every time.
So, of you don't mind I'm going to diagnose your landings based on what I saw. Please keep in mind, I am still learning, and I was not there to see what you saw, I can only guess by what I'm seeing.
In your first video on your landing pass the clouds are tracking from right to left. I surmise by this that the wind is coming from the right and therefore up the slope. So, you're trying to land your plane in the lifting air coming up that slope. This is called "ridge lift." People who fly gliders fly in ridge lift back and forth in this ridge lift, and by going along the top of the ridge they can stay in this lift longer. On your landing pass it looks like you're diving like crazy to get down because you're fighting this lift. So, you're diving which is making you go faster and faster right when you want to be slowing down to land.
I can't tell on the other videos if there's any wind or what direction it is. Make sure you're landing into the wind. Don't drive the plane at the ground to get it close and then cut power, that will just make you hit faster. I'm going to use the first video again as an example. If the wind is where I think it is I would actually land coming from the left side of the frame, pointed out over the hill. Get far enough inland past the hill so you're below the lifting air, throttle back with a little bit of nose-up attitude and let the plane sink slowly towards the ground. If you overshoot, go around again.
All your landing look like you dive at the ground and hit pretty hard. But again, that's only what it looks like. You were there and know what you were thinking/doing and I don't.
If you do decide to hang a camping pad or something, I recommend suspending it very loosely so it gives when you fly into it. The longer an impact takes, the less energy is imparted to your plane.
 
#15
The parachute sounds good. I imagine it would be simple to install.
Yes, a parachute idea is viable for use in open places where the ground isn't suitable to land on. But there's the limitation: open spaces. Where it touches down isn't very predictable.

@Tench745
No problem. Fun is important :) Thanks for the analysis. The wind was coming up the slope (therefore from the right). Landing against the wind is simply not possible in the first 2 locations, as it's down hill, over a fence onto a very narrow strip about 3m wide at most. In all 3 of those locations, it's very turbulent near the ground with a large wind gradient drop which is the reason for the wobbling and relatively hard landings.

@*
B.t.w. I've flown all kinds of planes and gliders, full scale and RC since a long time ago... so I should know about slipping, landing into the wind, etc. by now in case there's any doubt :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kc7jSJH_nQ
Slipping won't work well enough. You can lose height rapidly that way, but the plane will still be above stall speed (= too fast) when it straightens out. It's landing into a mattress or lilo that I haven't tried before.
 

Tench745

Active member
#18
B.t.w. I've flown all kinds of planes and gliders, full scale and RC since a long time ago... so I should know about slipping, landing into the wind, etc. by now in case there's any doubt :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kc7jSJH_nQ
Slipping won't work well enough. You can lose height rapidly that way, but the plane will still be above stall speed (= too fast) when it straightens out. It's landing into a mattress or lilo that I haven't tried before.
See, that's the cool thing about a forum, you never know what anyone's skill level is, so you can be surprised with things like that. :)