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Old 10-18-2012, 11:57 PM   #1
Old_tech
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Default Just can't get my head around plank controls

I have been flying heli for the better part of the year, and I have got the hang of it.
I have had a glider over 20 years ago, but never had it up in the air for any great length of time.
With fixed pitch and collective pitch heli's, I am fine.
When it comes to the plank, which is a pusher glider (2meter wing span), I just cannot get the hang of it.
Both times I have had it up in the air, it ended in tragedy.
Here is the video for the second one.
I forgot to raise the flaps after launch.
My brain froze, and I could not remember how to throttle up, and did not recognize that that is what I had to do a few times.
I guess sim time may provide me with a possible solution.
Any ideas guys???
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:26 AM   #2
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Post some pics of the glider please.

From the video I can go through a basic list of strange stuff ( I love and fly sailplanes)

You are over controlling ( are you balanced correctly?)
Poor glide path ( how heavy is that thing? camera suggests by you power inputs it is a pig)
Flaps??? On my glider the flaps are never used to launch ever! You should not need them for this at all. Flaps are deployed to have it land ( my will glide into the next county without them!) I also use flaps to park inside of a thermal.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:22 AM   #3
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The glider is a FPV Raptor with the 2 meter wing span.
You are right, I am over-controlling.
I fly mode 1.
My brain froze shortly after launch, and right thumb (throttle) failed to operate correctly, while right thumb (ailerons) worked reasonably well considering.
My understanding of flaps is to provide extra lift when forward velocity is low, and to make the stall speed slower. This was my reasoning to use flaps for launch.
With helicopters, increase in throttle (or pitch) will cause elevation increase, while an increase in throttle in a fixed wing will cause an increase in forward speed. I believe it is this subtle difference which I have not gained in my fixed wing flying YET.
FPV may provide some assistance for me, but then again, it may not.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:26 AM   #4
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You've got too much throw. Put some expo in and reduce the throw. Flying with flaps will only slow you down a bit so shouldn't be a problem but most people tuck them away for landing.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old_tech View Post
while an increase in throttle in a fixed wing will cause an increase in forward speed.
No it won't, it will cause an increase in climb rate at the same speed. Common misunderstanding this.

This is crucial to get your head round for powered fixed wing:

Get your plane flying straight and level. Let's say its doing 25 knots. Add some power, it will climb but still fly at 25 knots, reduce the power, it will descend at 25 knots.

So, when you are coming in to land for example, and you are a little high, you don't push the nose down but reduce the power a little. Same if you are a little low, you increase power.

Try it with the sim, you'll smooth out your flying.
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:04 AM   #6
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Thanks wocka_wocka, That makes sense.
I will take your suggestions on board, do some more sim time, add expo, and see how I go.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wocka_wocka View Post
No it won't, it will cause an increase in climb rate at the same speed. Common misunderstanding this.

This is crucial to get your head round for powered fixed wing:

Get your plane flying straight and level. Let's say its doing 25 knots. Add some power, it will climb but still fly at 25 knots, reduce the power, it will descend at 25 knots.

So, when you are coming in to land for example, and you are a little high, you don't push the nose down but reduce the power a little. Same if you are a little low, you increase power.

Try it with the sim, you'll smooth out your flying.
Exactly. Pitch (as in pitch of the airframe, not the blades) for airspeed, power for altitude. It's the same for helicopters.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:56 AM   #8
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Just to add that you still use the basic elevator control to get the plane in the correct attitude i.e. nose-up/nose-down.

The elevator trim in a powered fixed-wing needs quite a lot of authority, probably more so than the trim lever next to the joystick which is why I mix in one of the auxiliary proportional inputs to act as elevator trim as well. It is essentially a speed control! For any setting of the elevator trim, you fly at a fixed speed. Pull the nose up with the trim and the plane will slow. Find your comfortable landing speed with the trim while executing flat circuits, line up and drop the power to land. Should have no need to touch to elevator during landing at all, until the flare right at the end.

Last edited by wocka_wocka; 10-27-2012 at 02:55 AM..
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:30 AM   #9
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Well guys, the rebuild of the FPV Raptor is near completion, but in the meantime, and to reduce the repair bill, I purchased a Parkzone ultra micro BNF spitfire Mk IX.
The first flight ended in failure after about 10 seconds - snapped wing. Repaired with epoxy.
Took it out again this morning, and got a 60 second flight, and a 90 second flight out of it without any breakages.
I noticed after the flights, that I was not 'thinking' about what I had to do, and that I was also not using full excursions of the sticks.
All of your wise words have lead to a happy planker.
Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:43 AM   #10
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1 thing i heard was it sounded like your prop was hitting some thing every time you throttled up
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