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Problem flying a Nutball...A noob question

#1
To start with the only flying experience I have is with a Hobbyzone Duet and lets face it that thing basically flies itself. I wanted something a bit more challenging to learn before FF2014 so I built a Nutball. I am using a lazer toys Old speedster/old fogey kit (which is are planes I am longing to fly one day) with a DX4e transmitter. I am trying to taxi the nutball get it a couple feet off the ground and set it back down like in the beginner series videos. Whats happens is it will go up, hover in a straight up and down orientation, and flip over on its back (if i am lucky and nose first if I am not lucky.) I have tried trimming it different way to limited success. I have also adjusted the push rods but again with limited success. I have better launch if I hand launch it but it will inevitably hover (is that what they refer to as high alpha?) then nose dive. If anyone can straighten me out it would be great.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#2
I think your issue might be the center of gravity. adjust the battery forward some to make the plane balance a little more forward. How much? That's the tricky part...try to move it about a 1/2 inch or so at a time and then test again. when it gets to a point where it doesn't immediately nose up and starts to behave like a real plane, you are getting close and should make smaller steps.
Keep in mind the Nutball naturally flies a bit nose up but shouldn't be straight up or flipping over on it's back...
 

pgerts

Old age member
Mentor
#3
A nutball - dont look lika a plane! - dont fly like a plane?
Try the old Fogey you have and get the CG where it should be. It will fly just as well as the Duet if you do not get to crazy with the rudder throws.
 
#4
@xuzme720 Yea I had thought about that too but it had balanced perfectly on the cg marks with the battery all the way up front on the power pod. Do you think i should start taping pennies onto the front of the plane to give it a little nose weight then?

@pgerts Yea old fogey might be next. I built the old speedster originally and after i got it two mistakes high I found I couldnt control it properly (my guess is a build error on my end). It ended up in a couple of pieces after a cartwheel into the ground. After that i wanted something that i could rebuild in about an hour if I had a horrendous crash and the nutball seemed the way to go.
 

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#5
I still haven't flown a nutball satisfactorily. It's the easiest to build, but not the easiest to fly. I had much better luck flying the FT Flyer. Still easy to build, and takes the same time motor as the nutball.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#6
@xuzme720 Yea I had thought about that too but it had balanced perfectly on the cg marks with the battery all the way up front on the power pod. Do you think i should start taping pennies onto the front of the plane to give it a little nose weight then?

@pgerts Yea old fogey might be next. I built the old speedster originally and after i got it two mistakes high I found I couldnt control it properly (my guess is a build error on my end). It ended up in a couple of pieces after a cartwheel into the ground. After that i wanted something that i could rebuild in about an hour if I had a horrendous crash and the nutball seemed the way to go.
It might not hurt to give it a try. Or like Roy suggested, a Flyer is pretty easy to fly(easier than the nutball even) and can take a beating. Build it, crash it, repair it, repeat... It works really well for that.

If you stay with the nutball for now, make sure your control surfaces are set to the recommended throws or deflection. I know it's tempting to make them have more throw, but when you are just learning, more is not better and can actually hurt you since it becomes too twitchy and on the nutball, too much rudder can cause a dutch roll almost before you know it's happening...
 

stay-fun

Helicopter addict
#7
Sounds like you have a tendency to keep your elevator stick towards you... aren't you able to push the stick forward (aka down elevator - nose down)? If you do that and your nutball still wants to put the nose up, there's something seriously wrong.

Keep about half throttle to keep air going over your control surfaces, to keep them effective.
 
#8
Several videos on the site show people struggling to fly the beginner builds (Nutball, Fogey). I really struggled with flying the Old Fogey, out of the 3 I built only one flew well. It wasn't until I decided that i was going to build the Experimental Airlines Nube Tube that I had any sustainable success with flying. The Nube Tube was much faster than the Fogey, but I found its predictable flight characteristics negated the speed and it was a great trainer for me. I have since started flying the Duster with no problems.

Maybe you'd skip some frustration moving onto something with a real airfoil now, I know I did.
 
#9
Sweet thanks everyone for the answers. I guess I will try building an FT flyer and i will look into the nube tube. AS for changing throws i have no idea if that is possible on my DX4e or how i would go about doing it (it didnt come with a manual).
 

ofiesens2

Professional noob
#13
From what you described in the first post, it kind of sounds like you are entering a stall, and either the wind may flip it over or the nose weight of the plane will take it into a nose dive. Are you holding full up elevator before and while this happens?