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The hobby newbie

mayan

Well-known member
#1
Hey all,

My name is Mayan, 32 years old but excited like a little kid. Why you ask? Cause I am a hobby newbie, that got hooked on the hobby while looking for something to help me bond with my 5 year old son. Today we took the entire family to fly for the first our first RC plane (FT Simple Cub 4 channel).

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It all started out with balsa wood gliders and a lot of them, that we built, broke and lost. Small ones, big ones but they all had one problem you couldn’t control them. You either threw or catapulted them and depending on the throw and wind conditions it would either crash immediately or glide through the air like a bird for a few seconds.

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Gotten hooked I wanted more, more fun, more of something to do with my son. So I started looking around for RC plane models that I could build out of balsa wood. I found a few models that looked simple but after taking a second look they didn’t look so simple after all. Considering I have no knowledge, experience or someone to guide me threw the process. I was determined and kept looking, and that’s when I came across Flite Test and your amazing work. I found the Simple Cub build video and was determined to build that model as a first time RC plane to fly. I build the plane three times from scratch until I decided I was ready to add the electronics and try flying it with the family.

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As said before today is the day. Will we fly or will we fall? One way or the other am sure we’ll have fun. So we packed our small car with every plane that we ever built (paper planes, balsa wood planes and the Simple Cubs, and went to fly in the only place I thought could fit, all the while we were on the way to visit my Gramps.

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Even got my wife to give it a go

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Let me sum up the day. I’ll start off by saying that I personally had a lot of fun and hope that the family did too. To answer the question that still remains did we succeed to fly RC well I’ll let you find out by yourself.


I am not quite sure what went wrong and why I couldn’t get it to leave the ground. Although I am betting on one of two options or both:
  1. It didn’t have enough elevation
  2. It didn’t have enough motor power since I used a EMax BL2215 motor instead of a EMax GT2215 motor.
One way or the other after endless tries that all seemed to have failed I ended smashing the power pack up to a point that it can’t be used any more. Even the field hacks didn’t help any more.

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We called it day and went to eat dinner at Gramp’s and now 8 hours later we are on the way home some awake and some sleeping.

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Planning to give it another go two weeks from now so mean time any suggestions as to why we couldn’t get it off the ground would be very well appreciated. Till next time.

Mayan a Hobby Newbie.
 

kdobson83

Well-known member
#2
Suggestions? I need to know what your using. Battery size, mah, cell count? Prop size?

The videos looks like when you tried to take off the wheels were bound up not letting it roll correctly. When you hand launched, it looked like you didn't have enough throttle. Next time, have your wife throw it while you have both hands on the sticks. Give it about 75% throttle.

That motor on a 3 cell battery with a 9x4.7 prop pushes over 1000grams of thrust. Should be way more than enough.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#3
I agree that the motor should be able to provide enough power to give quite a spirited flying experience. I would check that the ESC, (motor controller), has been calibrated in your application to give maximum power from your motor.

As a first RC model aircraft the FT Simple Cub is OK but I am of the opinion that the FT Mini Tiny Trainer would have been a little better as there are a few GOTCHAs when building the Simple Cub.

Yes the wheels MUST be free or even slightly too free to stop it swerving as you increase the throttle. If you have too much thrust then an increase in right and down thrust angles is IMHO a requirement.

The Centre of gravity is good for general flying but never allow it to be tail heavy or it will be exceedingly difficult for a beginner to handle especially at low speeds.

Finally all of the versions scratch built locally have required a fair bit of ground speed to fly if built in standard form. We normally increase the wing incidence by packing up the wing leading edge by 1/16" or more. This not only calms down the take off but allows for a lot slower cruise and landing.

Prior to actually attempting a take off I would suggest that you remove the wing and attempt to taxi and do high speed ground runs to get used to keeping the plane pointed in the direction of take off. When this is achieved then fit the wing and practice the same trying to keep the initial flights to straight line hops to allow you to get the "Feel" of the controls. Then repeat the procedure increasing the time in the air until you will suddenly be flying.

Remember just as on a real or full sized plane treat the controls gently. Also the throttle has a range of control it is not a switch!

Have fun!
 

mayan

Well-known member
#4
Suggestions? I need to know what your using. Battery size, mah, cell count? Prop size?
As for what I used I attached pictures of the parts. Exepect for the battery which I didn’t have but it what a 3 cell 1000mah 11.1v LiPo.
 

Attachments

mayan

Well-known member
#5
I agree that the motor should be able to provide enough power to give quite a spirited flying experience. I would check that the ESC, (motor controller), has been calibrated in your application to give maximum power from your motor.

As a first RC model aircraft the FT Simple Cub is OK but I am of the opinion that the FT Mini Tiny Trainer would have been a little better as there are a few GOTCHAs when building the Simple Cub.

Yes the wheels MUST be free or even slightly too free to stop it swerving as you increase the throttle. If you have too much thrust then an increase in right and down thrust angles is IMHO a requirement.

The Centre of gravity is good for general flying but never allow it to be tail heavy or it will be exceedingly difficult for a beginner to handle especially at low speeds.

Finally all of the versions scratch built locally have required a fair bit of ground speed to fly if built in standard form. We normally increase the wing incidence by packing up the wing leading edge by 1/16" or more. This not only calms down the take off but allows for a lot slower cruise and landing.

Prior to actually attempting a take off I would suggest that you remove the wing and attempt to taxi and do high speed ground runs to get used to keeping the plane pointed in the direction of take off. When this is achieved then fit the wing and practice the same trying to keep the initial flights to straight line hops to allow you to get the "Feel" of the controls. Then repeat the procedure increasing the time in the air until you will suddenly be flying.

Remember just as on a real or full sized plane treat the controls gently. Also the throttle has a range of control it is not a switch!

Have fun!
Wow thanks for the detailed reply I have some questions related to your answer but I am at the pool at the moment so I’ll ask them later when I get home. Had to say thanks as for now because I was shocked by the detailed reply. Read it twice to grasp :)
 

mayan

Well-known member
#6
Got home and have the kids playing quietly so can have a better read and some time to ask questions, and i do apologize if a have a lot.

I would check that the ESC, (motor controller), has been calibrated in your application to give maximum power from your motor.
What do you mean by this?

As a first RC model aircraft the FT Simple Cub is OK but I am of the opinion that the FT Mini Tiny Trainer would have been a little better as there are a few GOTCHAs when building the Simple Cub.
Taking this comment to mind, I went out to find more details about the FT Mini Tiny Trainer. I've a great video that Josh Bixler did about it flying outdoor RC and indoor/outdoor as a glider. Which for one could be a great way to get my son to fuss less about not being able to touch the transmitter, considering that I myself didn't know how to fly neither the less teach him. What setup would you start with when building considering I saw that it has a lot of options? Can I use the B Power Pack with it?

Yes the wheels MUST be free or even slightly too free to stop it swerving as you increase the throttle.
I agree that I might have had a problem with the wheels too, which is why at some point I tried to hand launched it at the very end.

If you have too much thrust then an increase in right and down thrust angles is IMHO a requirement.
What do you mean by this?

Finally all of the versions scratch built locally have required a fair bit of ground speed to fly if built in standard form.
I must find different locations to try flying the next time, the thought was to be somewhere close to home so i can go back fix up quickly and get back to the field. When I was trying at the basket ball field what I tried to achieve was to straight line hoops, which didn't succeed.

We normally increase the wing incidence by packing up the wing leading edge by 1/16" or more. This not only calms down the take off but allows for a lot slower cruise and landing.
What do you mean by this?

Prior to actually attempting a take off I would suggest that you remove the wing and attempt to taxi and do high speed ground runs to get used to keeping the plane pointed in the direction of take off. When this is achieved then fit the wing and practice the same trying to keep the initial flights to straight line hops to allow you to get the "Feel" of the controls. Then repeat the procedure increasing the time in the air until you will suddenly be flying.
Could this be achieved with the FT Mini Tiny Trainer model, considering I didn't see any wheels setup in the model video Josh Bixler did.

Remember just as on a real or full sized plane treat the controls gently. Also the throttle has a range of control it is not a switch!
I'll have to get used to switching it off when crashing. Any suggestions about that?

I promise :)
 
Last edited:

kdobson83

Well-known member
#7
Ok, he means you have to set the throttle end points with your ESC. Turn on your remote. Push throttle all the way up. Plug in battery on plane (prop off), it'll give some wierd beeps. When it's done beeping, slide throttle to the bottom. It will beep again, then do the normal esc boot up beeping, and Bam, it's calibrated. Your basically letting your ESC k ow where your throttle stick end points are. That way you have full range on your throttle. If you don't do this, it's possible you only had 50% throttle or what ever it was calibrated at.

And If I did the Tiny trainer again, I'd use the a-pack. It's a 1806 2200kv motor. I'd use a 6x3 prop or a 5x4x3 on a 3s 500-800mah battery. For your sun I'd do a 3 channel design first. Let him get used to flying and then build the 4 channel wing. Now, you could go with a bigger motor but the a-pack has plenty of power for that smaller airframe. Keep it light. I'd skip landing gear too, at least in the beginning.
 

mayan

Well-known member
#8
Wow kdobson83 thanks for the quick reply and explaination about the motor calibration this and the wheels problem could have well been the reason why I could get it to leave the ground. Is there a way not to have enough elevation? Say like the elevator doesn’t go up enough? Regarding the b-pack on the tiny trainer I ask cause that could save me having to buy new electronics. Basically would love to know if I could use the current electronics on the tiny trainer, and if so would I have to build it differently? Would defentaly have to work on getting the CG right so not to be to nose heavy.

Thanks in advance.
 

Chuppster

Well-known member
#9
Wow kdobson83 thanks for the quick reply and explaination about the motor calibration this and the wheels problem could have well been the reason why I could get it to leave the ground. Is there a way not to have enough elevation? Say like the elevator doesn’t go up enough? Regarding the b-pack on the tiny trainer I ask cause that could save me having to buy new electronics. Basically would love to know if I could use the current electronics on the tiny trainer, and if so would I have to build it differently? Would defentaly have to work on getting the CG right so not to be to nose heavy.

Thanks in advance.
I think you could get away with using a b-pack on the TT, but it'll just be a little heavier than it could. A smaller prop may actually help because a 10x3.8 may cause the TT to be really "torquey" and want to roll hard every time you adjust the throttle. An 8x6 or 8x4 should give you the power to fly the TT and have less chance of being too powerful for a trainer.

As for the 3-channel, I really like flying with ailerons, so I don't recommend using a 3-channel setup. If you want more control over your roll axis I would recommend a 4-channel, but it's completely up to you!
 

mayan

Well-known member
#10
Thanks Chuppster for the answer. I think I am going to build the tiny trainer and step it up slowly. Maybe take it up as a 2 channel glider first. In terms of flying space the park could do just fine here. This would probably also allow me and my son to learn elevator and rudder controll together.
 

Chuppster

Well-known member
#11
Thanks Chuppster for the answer. I think I am going to build the tiny trainer and step it up slowly. Maybe take it up as a 2 channel glider first. In terms of flying space the park could do just fine here. This would probably also allow me and my son to learn elevator and rudder controll together.
That should be fun!
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#12
Got home and have the kids playing quietly so can have a better read and some time to ask questions, and i do apologize if a have a lot.


What do you mean by this?


Taking this comment to mind, I went out to find more details about the FT Mini Tiny Trainer. I've a great video that Josh Bixler did about it flying outdoor RC and indoor/outdoor as a glider. Which for one could be a great way to get my son to fuss less about not being able to touch the transmitter, considering that I myself didn't know how to fly neither the less teach him. What setup would you start with when building considering I saw that it has a lot of options? Can I use the B Power Pack with it?


I agree that I might have had a problem with the wheels too, which is why at some point I tried to hand launched it at the very end.


What do you mean by this?


I must find different locations to try flying the next time, the thought was to be somewhere close to home so i can go back fix up quickly and get back to the field. When I was trying at the basket ball field what I tried to achieve was to straight line hoops, which didn't succeed.


What do you mean by this?


Could this be achieved with the FT Mini Tiny Trainer model, considering I didn't see any wheels setup in the model video Josh Bixler did.


I'll have to get used to switching it off when crashing. Any suggestions about that?


I promise :)
Sorry for my lack of, or tardy, response but I live half a world away in AUS.

I will not repeat the answers of the others as they are quite experienced as well.

The motor thrust angle I referred to is because the thrust from the propeller is actually a spiral of high speed air that circles around the fuselage. This spiraling airflow can and does have the ability to push on one side of the fuselage and rudder which can cause the plane to want to turn, especially when the planes airspeed is low, (take off). By giving the motor an angle to the direction of flight offsets the spiral of air and reduces its impact on the planes turning.

The down thrust does a similar thing for the elevator but also as the wing generates lift from the airflow as well pointing the motor slightly downwards can reduce the extra lift generated by the propeller airflow over the wing and tail.

The wing incidence is the angle of the wing to the airflow in flight. For high speed aircraft the incident angles for the wing and the tail are the same, BUT, slower aircraft do tend to have the wing set to have a slight upwards angle in relation to the direction of the airflow. As a wing needs an incidence angle to fly and to increase the incidence angle is to increase its lift, (up to around 15 degrees where it can start to be too draggy or even stall and loose all lift), the putting a small amount of packing under the wing LE where it sits on the fuselage increases its lift at normal flying speeds and actually decreases its take off speed.

The reference to the throttle not being a switch is to remind you that just as in a motor vehicle the throttle has a wide range of settings and on take off a gradual increase in throttle whilst you make sure to steer the plane in the direction required is best until the plane throttle is at maximum. When the plane speed is adequate, (quite high), then attempt take off.

As for your questions in relation to a landing gear for the TT, Thousands of TT users have and do fit their own landing gear. There is no set design though I have seen wire, Aluminium, and even wooden landing gear setups. Just use your imagination!

If you are doing all of this on your own I recommend that you investigate the EXPO settings of your transmitter and set them to be around 30%. Be careful though as some radios require positive Expo and others require negative Expo to get the desired effect.

Have fun!
 
#13
Someone here correct me if I'm wrong, but the push rods coming off your servos look very off to me. I imagine you would get very little throw at the other end of the rods in the position they are in. Also, in your video showing the rudder/elevator moving, it looked like there was very little "up" movement on your elevator.
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Anyway, I hope that help some and good luck in your future attempts!
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#14
Crow 929 is right on you have your pushrods not installed all the way, by the pick it looks like you did not continue thru the control horn all the way when using that type of bend. Hard to explain but the flat part sitting above the servo is the part that should be thru the control rod horn. The way they are installed now you have no movement of your control surfaces.
 

kdobson83

Well-known member
#15
Someone here correct me if I'm wrong, but the push rods coming off your servos look very off to me. I imagine you would get very little throw at the other end of the rods in the position they are in. Also, in your video showing the rudder/elevator moving, it looked like there was very little "up" movement on your elevator.
View attachment 112367

Anyway, I hope that help some and good luck in your future attempts!
Good catch. Yeah, it looks like with the placement of the control rods on those servo arms you would have little to no movement at all. Those rods need to be moved way out. Here's a sample picture of what my wife's FT Flyers servos look like. If for some reason they are too far out you can always lower your rates in your transmitter.

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With the battery in and controls neutral, move the elevator stick down. Measure the movement of the up elevator. Should be 1/2"-3/4". If you scratch built it, the plans should have a throw Gage on em. Print/cut that out with some scrap foam and use that to set your movements. Like said previously, about 25-30% expo helps a lot. Watch your remote tho, Flysky wants negative expo while spektrum is positive.
 

JimCR120

Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
#16
Mayan, you are in very good care here with these experienced hobby flyers. I merely wanted to welcome you to the forum and thank you for sharing the photos of your lovely family. By the way, where in the world are you flying? Also, we have another member in the forum who does very well tweaking his balsa planes to make them fly very nicely, if you're also interested in maintaining that part of the hobby.
—Jim
 

mayan

Well-known member
#17
Wow thank you every body for the inputs I have learned a lot from them. Hai-Lee thanks a million for the such detailed replies they do take me a few readings to grasp. Crow929 your absolutely right about the push rods I did fix that before I went trying to line hoop the FT SCub. I did take Hai-Lee initial advice and got started on scratch building the FT TT. After reading all your inputs I think that starting off with a 2 channel glider, would be the best for both me and my son. Would help us both get a hang of the very basics, especially if I am able to get my wife to chug the plane; so I can try work with my son on the transmitter.

I would be more than happy to keep sharing the process just not sure if this is the place for it or is there a different thread for building process sharing?

JimCR120 to answer your question we live in Israel, and was trying to fly next to my Gramp's house next to Jerusalem. Well the gliders are amazing if you have nice wide open areas and the means to make get them very high up, so they can maybe catch terminals. I watched this video last night which left me amazed and thinking...

One way or another I am always happy to meet more people to get and give advice too, and generally share experiences with.

-Mayan
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#18
We invite you to continue your posts and for those that build their own planes there is the "Mad Scratch Builders" thread.

Your experiences both good and bad may help someone else who is facing similar problems or issues.
The TT can not only be flown as the 2 channel glider but with the powered nose it can become a powered glider for extended flights where thermals and elevated launch areas are not available.

There are other planes you can look to build in the future including large motor gliders both from TT and from forum contributors. The forum posted designs may take some serious searching but there are designs that are truly worth the effort.

As for the assistance supplied that is why the forum exists. We do try to keep it informative, helpful and friendly. It is just what we do!

Finally, welcome to the world of RC flight, the world of scratch building in foamboard, and to the FliteTest forum.

Have fun!
 

Chuppster

Well-known member
#20
If for some reason they are too far out you can always lower your rates in your transmitter.
Keep in mind, the further out you put the control linkages on the servo arm the harder the servo has to work. Lowering your rates in the transmitter doesn't help this. I usually like to pick the hole closest to the servo that gives me the throws I need so that the servo can maximize its torque/speed.