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Author Topic: Hand launching biplanes  (Read 619 times)
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stanm09c4
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« on: March 25, 2019, 10:49:51 PM »

Greetings all . . .

I am starting to re-trim my Vildebeest power scale biplane after some disappointing test flights last year where the set up was clearly wrong – excessive side and down thrust and probably too much washout. It is a 39” span model with 1cc diesel powering it. As one inexperienced with setting up and indeed flying scale biplanes, I am challenged with achieving smooth launches. Does anyone have tried and true approached to where and how to hold biplanes so that they don’t get tipped off course on launching? Your ideas please.

Stan
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charlieman
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2019, 09:49:24 PM »

Larger FF models, due to their often unwieldly configurations, fat fuselages etc. sometime require extra structure and/or consideration to the hand-launch dilemma. Usually it's because there are fewer places to handle them safely. Fernando Ramos the well known FF scale columnist  used to put special hand holding areas(sheeting) and even handholds within extra-wide fuselages, to help avoid any problems picking up the model and or launching same.
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LASTWOODSMAN
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2019, 11:27:04 PM »

     Hi Stan.   What have you got to hold on to on that 39" Vildebeast?  Do you have a pic of the fuselage?  I would definitely go with infill planking, so you can grip it.  I have only launched a 30" model - thumb tip on one side, the two middle finger tips on the other.  Where I grip, is where I infilled two  planks on each side of the fuse.  The fuse is small enough, I can just get my fingers around it without hardly touching the fuse, and I can feel it is balanced between these finger tips,  probably just immediately behind the CofG, so it is really a finger tip "dart" throw, but you should be able to "javelin spear" throw it, right directly down your arrow line.  Start the thrust slowly and with increasing acceleration, directly on course.  Of course, I am only speaking about rubber motors ...

Pics 1821 - 1826

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« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 11:45:53 PM by LASTWOODSMAN » Logged

OH, I HAVE SLIPPED THE SURLY BONDS OF EARTH ... UP, UP THE LONG DELIRIOUS BURNING BLUE ... SUNWARD I'VE CLIMBED AND JOINED THE TUMBLING MIRTH OF SUN-SPLIT CLOUDS ...
stanm09c4
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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2019, 11:34:18 PM »

Thanks for your reply. The problem with the Vildebeest is that the undercarriage is so widely spaced that you would need to be a jazz pianist used to reaching for 13ths to be able to hold it safely by the leg supports. The attached picture shows, as best I can whilst taking the picture with my other hand, how I hold the model as I launch it. I wondered whether anyone had any secrets about supporting the model on launching, when the model is held so far aft.
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LASTWOODSMAN
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2019, 11:49:49 PM »

Oh! -  it is a Bipe - well then, right behind the bottom wing, on the fuse, add infill planks there, is my best guess ...   Smiley
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OH, I HAVE SLIPPED THE SURLY BONDS OF EARTH ... UP, UP THE LONG DELIRIOUS BURNING BLUE ... SUNWARD I'VE CLIMBED AND JOINED THE TUMBLING MIRTH OF SUN-SPLIT CLOUDS ...
LASTWOODSMAN
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2019, 06:35:54 AM »

Hey Stan -  how about moving your hand off the plane and taking a pic then, so we can see what the fuse looks like where you are holding it.  Actually, if it is not too much trouble, a couple of pics at different angles would help us to see what is there in order to help you out.   Wink

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« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 06:51:10 AM by LASTWOODSMAN » Logged

OH, I HAVE SLIPPED THE SURLY BONDS OF EARTH ... UP, UP THE LONG DELIRIOUS BURNING BLUE ... SUNWARD I'VE CLIMBED AND JOINED THE TUMBLING MIRTH OF SUN-SPLIT CLOUDS ...
dputt7
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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2019, 07:39:29 AM »

   Stan, I had an Albatross J1 that was awkward to launch and found the best way was to walk forward until you could feel it had some lift that would support it and then gently give it a small push, a steadying hand on a wheel could be a help as well. The idea is not having to achieve flying speed from a standing start. I guess it comes down to what suits you, I've seen model launched from holding the wheels as well as from the very rear of the fuselage with success. A bit more power will help while you get the hang of it.
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ZK-AUD
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« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2019, 04:36:33 PM »

Yes now that I think about it  I launch my 44" Tiger Moth as Dave describes with one hand on the tail post and the other in the middle of the U/C.

The  description of Mr Ramos effectively building his large fuselaged subjects like a bowling ball (if I understood it correctly) was interesting.  Let's hope I can get a good ROG with the big Lysander!
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John Webster
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2019, 01:55:23 AM »

Where is your atlatl when you need it?
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A pilot starts out with a bag full of luck and an empty bag for experience. The object is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.
dputt7
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2019, 02:21:24 AM »

Atlatl, had to look that one up, seems it's a version of the Australian Aborigines Woomera. Woomera is also the name of a settlement aprox. 300 miles northwest of here that was established in the late'40's early 50's as a "rocket range", Saw a Avro Vulcan fly over our house after it had visited there when I was about 5, probably one of my earliest memories.
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billdennis747
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2019, 03:06:01 AM »

Yes now that I think about it  I launch my 44" Tiger Moth as Dave describes with one hand on the tail post and the other in the middle of the U/C.

Reminds me of how PE Norman launched:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In9wOfIrxQE&t=8s
...although I read he may have been holding the pendulum still so the 'throw' didn't give down elevator! I always find it difficult that way and risky. The models I build usually allow me to grab the UC alone.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uc07G95iKc

 If not (eg Avro 504k) it's behind the wing, and support the front. I find a run appropriate to flying speed very important, rather than stand still and hurl.
The worst was a FE8 pusher, but I never minced my fingers!
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stanm09c4
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2019, 05:26:50 PM »

Many thanks everyone for your suggestions. I guess practice makes perfect. I will report on what I find the best way, when I have done some more testing. Thanks Bill for the PE Norman video, most interesting as well as nostalgic!

Stan
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2019, 06:36:21 AM »


Reminds me of how PE Norman launched:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In9wOfIrxQE&t=8s


Fantastic footage!

Must get round to building that Golden Age Boeing F4B-4 some time...  Cheesy
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