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Author Topic: Went flying.  (Read 199831 times)
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hermit
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« on: May 04, 2008, 06:27:43 PM »

Life around the Hermitage has been pretty quiet lately with no building or flying to speak of, but today seemed pretty nice, calm with only slight breezes every so often, and sun mixed with overcast. So energy was summoned, models put in a box and off I went. Now a couple of weeks back our local RC club had a mall show and after going down to say hello and brouse some of their stuff it was suggested that I bring down some of my FF stuff and so I did. The guys there were pretty impressed which came as quite a surprise (inflated the ego out of all proportion!) and told me of a site inside the city where they play with park flyers and such and asked to see some of mine fly some day, so today was the day. The box of models included my old worn out Wildcat, the Hip Pocket Rocket, the peanut Tiger Moth, and the Fairchild 71.

The Fairchild really hasn't flown yet since I was waiting for "best conditions" before I risked it, and even though the grass wasn't really very tall, or soft, thought what the heck and decided to start with it. This new site is a pretty good size with a hill right in the middle of it and that was one factor used in this determination as I figured a downhill launch might be a bit safer. Throughout the day I found this was a pretty good idea even if it did mean walking back up hill quite often. But that wasn't the lonely trip that my flight retrievals have been up to now since one of the club members showed up and we had some pretty nice discussions while watching, winding, and chasing. Seems a number of members would like to try smaller electrics, but none of them know anything about building these little guys, hence the interest. This was the first time, ever, that anyone remotely connected to flying model airplanes has seen my models go, so I'm still a little dazed by the reaction, and from an RC'er to boot! Anyway back to the Fairchild, it flies, not quite as nicely as the old FC-2W but pretty well all the same and I managed a few pics.
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hermit
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2008, 06:33:43 PM »

The day continued, sure was nice to have someone to share with and he was describing the wind tendencies of the field while we watched the Rocket perform. It seemed to like the field as well and once I got the adjustments just right was circling merrily, a few times putting a scare into me when it didn't look like it was going to come down. Time to buy a watch. These pics should give all you spies out there a better idea of the beast and pretty soon I'll put up some close up shots. For now, I like these, definitely in her element!
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hermit
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2008, 06:38:49 PM »

Next up was the peanut Moth. Amazing little plane that just won't die. Not so great in the scale speed area however at it zips around like there's no tomorrow, and that's with a single loop of 1/8. Pretty strange for me, usually my peanuts need a little boost, but not this one.
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hermit
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2008, 06:46:03 PM »

One last pic, the Wildcat on it's final flight. When I first flew this plane it performed without a fault, but after a few mishaps and my inability to get it fixed right the flight performance has deteriorated to this final not so good landing. It's had a short but very important life, as it was the first WWII fighter that I ever got to fly at all, so has a place of honor in my memory, but it's time for a fitting funeral. Too many crooked and skewed pieces to get right.

So it was a very good day, new field, good conversation, some new possibilities, and a relatively intact Fairchild.

Doug
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Dan G.
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2008, 06:48:28 PM »

Way-ta-go-hermit.

How fortunate to have that audience ... and that you were in position to impress them.

Those are pretty shapely outlines on your Rocket.

Dan G.
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hermit
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2008, 06:54:14 PM »

Thanks Dan, sexy little devil, ain't it! Couple of flights today were over 2 minutes as a guess. It really is a beautiful sight to see something cruise around so well, so high, and for so long, even if it was mixed in with panic!

Doug
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BillB
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2008, 07:15:06 PM »

Hey Doug,
Now you know. Two of you gets you three times the fun!
Impressive pics too, I especially liked the final one of the Fairchild.

Bill.
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hermit
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2008, 07:21:30 PM »

Thanks Bill, it was alot of fun. I like the last one too if for no other reason than it CAME BACK! The camera was on maximum zoom, the plane was heading into the breeze and flying nice and slow up high, and my trigger finger is getting quicker.
Doug
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2008, 07:48:08 PM »

Hey Doug,

Great story and great photos. I'm with Bill on that last shot of the Fairchild - it shows the detail so well. The Rocket is still cloaked in mystery with the high altitude "spy" shots you tease us with (grin). We look forward to the full disclosure on that bird. Also a dramatic shot of the Wildcat- I'm sorry to see a CU squadron mate going down...  good stuff all.

Doug B
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2008, 08:21:48 PM »

Doug
I love seeing your planes in the sky , they look like thier big namesakes in the air!! Thank you for the pictures guy!! I'm glad we both got to do some flying today!
George
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Don McLellan
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2008, 01:38:14 AM »

Hi Doug,

Great shots of your airplanes in flight. When did you build the Fairchild (or did I miss something again)?
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hermit
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2008, 08:47:22 AM »

Hi Don; I guess it was just before I started on HP, done for a high wing cabin cookup on John's FFCU group. I'll post a couple of pics when it was coming off the board. Love those early Fairchilds!

Doug
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2008, 01:55:59 PM »

Hey Doug,

Good Pix of the Fairchild in the prior post. That radial motor build-up is superb. In the last shot, I'm looking past the Fairchild, and I see the Jenny, a Tiger Moth and what I believe may be the new, Uber secret "Rocket" on the left of the picture. The suspense continues to build... (grin)

Doug B
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hermit
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2008, 02:18:19 PM »

Thanks Doug, but no that's not the "Mystery Ship" to borrow a phrase. It's a tow line glider I built many moons ago but have never gotten to fly. Kinda hard to launch a tow line ship when you're by yourself never mind not knowing how. This new flying site may have some extra opportunities though, nice big hill, run down the hill with the glider starting on the grass, trip, fall, find glasses, find plane! Sounds like it might be worth a try huh! I'll try to dig up an old pic.

Doug
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albackstrom
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2008, 03:40:30 PM »

That's a nice looking semiscale glider Doug. Is it Al Cleave's Wolf? Hope it flies well for you, I have never been able to tow a model glider by hand.
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hermit
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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2008, 05:10:58 PM »

Hi Al; It is a Wolf, but bad me, it's been too long ago since I built it to remember if the plan was his or not, and there is no name on the plan. I believe it came from Model Builder if that helps at all.

Doug
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exupery
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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2008, 07:50:15 PM »

Great pictures, Doug. Particularly the Fairchild. Know what you mean about trying to fly a towline glider by yourself. I have had one stashed away for years (RC job). Keep waiting for the right time, place, and someone with an interest to give me a hand. It's amazing to see the little Moth peanut fly so well.
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hermit
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« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2008, 10:20:32 PM »

Thanks Ed. With the size of this hill at the new flying site I may actually have a mini slope soaring site, and hey, it's only a couple of thousand miles, come on up and bring the glider. Heehee

Doug
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Dan G.
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« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2008, 11:58:22 PM »

That's no semi-scale glider -- looks like a scale job, with that airfoil. It would be a bugger to tow, too.

All you guys who are having so much difficulties with towing, should try larger ships -- there's no replacement for wing area. I cannot over-exaggerate the difference in ease between towing small and large towliners. It is such a mistake to start with a small plane. I can self-launch an A-2 just by paying out the line while running, as you would with a kite, whereas I can hardly keep an A-1 on the line with a launcher and all ... no kidding. It is the wing area that's making the difference. (I haven't read Applehoney's treatise on towing, so I do hope I'm not contradicting him in some way)

Hey Hermit ... nice Fairchild, lot's of detail around the nose. Looks really good and obviously flies. Pray tell -- where's that engine from?

Dan G.
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hermit
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« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2008, 12:25:56 AM »

Dan;
Yup, it's a bugger to tow, tried a couple of times on my own but ran out of breath and glue. This new flying site is rekindling interest though, so I shall try again. Even one flight would be nice to see.

The fairchild engine was done from scratch with some hardwood dowel, balsa discs and sticks, and the pushrod tubes are aluminum. Wasn't too concerned about weight since the first one needed some ballast up there anyway, and a Fairchild 71 wouldn't be a Fairchild 71 without that big honkin motor out front.

Doug
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Dan G.
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« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2008, 01:50:14 AM »

Wow ... that's dedication to scale and it looks really good.

Something that's really important with towing ... is the location of the towhook. In its proper place, the plane should, upon initial towing, quickly assume a vertical position, offering the greatest towing resistance, the tightest towline, and the slowest towing speed. If the hook is too far rearward, the plane will resist really hard, no matter what you do, until it arcs into the ground hard ... as a kite would with its bridal attachment point too far back. With the hook too far forward -- and it need only be a half-inch too far forward -- and the plane will never go vertical, never offer towing resistance, and you'll never run fast enough to keep it on the line. The successful hook position will not vary by more than, say, an eighth or a quarter of an inch either way, and these measurements are for a large plane like an A-2. It's a challenge to find that position (likely around ten or fifteen degrees ahead of the cg at the wing) but there is no hope until it is found.

That scale glider ... I'd look to slope-soaring with that one, or possibly high-start. The elastic would supply the necessary line tension -- it may not have to be all that high a tension or that fast a speed, but it would have to be constant.

Dan G.
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exupery
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« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2008, 09:03:35 AM »

DanG: What do you consider a large sailplane? Mine is a Sig Hi Riser and as I recall, has a 78 inch wingspan. The only flight I ever had with it was launching it from about a 20 foot rise in our local park. It responded beautifully to the transmitter and I turned it for a landing before getting into the trees.

Note from Ratz
A new topic regarding launching RC Sailplanes using a Hi-Start has been added here:

http://www.hippocketaeronautics.com/hpa_forum/index.php?topic=440.msg2909#msg2909
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albackstrom
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« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2008, 09:33:08 AM »

Dan when you build a model of an AC that has no dihedral and add what looks like about 10 degrees of dihedral it looks semiscale to me. I am not a real purist on such matters but it does depend on how far our of scale it gets.
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« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2008, 01:40:24 PM »

Quote
there's no replacement for wing area. I cannot over-exaggerate the difference in ease between towing small and large towliners.

Agree 100% The bigger the better; the old 9-10' lightweights were a delight to tow but, as with all towline gliders. the relation of the hook to CG is important. Adjustable hooks always recommended!
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Dan G.
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« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2008, 12:00:57 AM »

Hi exupery ... my only meaningful experience has been with A-1s and A-2s. All my remarks are really extrapolations from those experiences. However, the huge difference in towing performance that I consistently experienced were enough to solidify my convictions.

Your ship sounds A-2 sized, if that the mean chord is at least six inches. If it doesn't weigh any more than, say, sixteen ounces or 450 grams, then try some tows. In the event that your tow-hook is too far back and the plane is in a death dive, try to dump it -- throw the winch at it if you must -- because anything is better than towing it into the ground. If the hook is too far forward, the plane will never rise -- frustrating but safe. Better safe than sorry.

Until you know what your plane feels like on the line, run on safe ground so that you can look at the plane while running, and be prepared to do vigorous changes in speed and even direction. Once you know that your plane tows consistently and you know what it feels like, you can then concentrate more on your surroundings, thermal hunting, plane placement, slow release or bunt, etc..

If you are not too quick on your feet, a stretchy line will help keep the plane on line but will only permit slow releases. Agile flyers would prefer non-stretch lines which provide a more sensitive feel and permit bunting (high speed launch) but require quick response to varying wind speeds to avoid the plane's dropping off the line or folding a wing in a gust.


Yah ... applehoney, my favourite hooks used to come from F.A.I. Supply but they don't make them anymore -- they were infinitely adjustable (sliding on a rail with a grub screw), and it's not been easy finding or creating a satisfactory substitute.

Dan G.

Dan G.
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