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Messages - Deerslayer

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646
 Brian Fisher is a KRCM Member and Instructor. (He's actually a pretty good Pilot, too, but please don't let him know that I said that...)

 He has a Blog which you really should check out. I put the link under this section because of his write-up and pictures from the 2011 FDFF (it's down a little ways from the top of the blog.)

 There is a lot more to it than that. For those of you contemplating building a Turnbuckle, or anything else for that matter, he has some tips. As well, he has very thorough documentation of various projects he has undertaken.

 It is well worth bookmarking his blog, as you just never know what he and Fang (his canine companion and Guardian of the Fleet) may come up with.

 So, without further ado, here is the place:

http://bfishersc.wordpress.com/


647
 This machine deserves an album of its own! The owner and his sons came all the way from the Cambridge area to show us his magnificant creation.

648
Again, no particular criteria for selection, but here are a few more:

649
 On behalf of Dave, here are some more great shots!

 Of the 234 photos that Dave gave me, I have chosen a few - just too much work to select the "best", so I picked some that seem to represent the "people" aspect of the day. I will see about creating a ZIP file of the total collection to post here, as there are a number which, I am sure, will be of interest to people. Be patient!

Note:
 As with all pictures posted in a Forum such as this, the files have been compressed.  For example, Dave's camera is, as I recall a 12 Megapixal one, resulting in files averaging around, say, 5 to 7 Megabytes. That 5 Mp picture gets converted (compressed) to, say, 300 Kilobytes (1/10th or less of the original file size). So, you see things like rough edges on straight lines, etc.
 If you see a picture which you really like, you can contact the person who posted it and arrange to get the original, uncompressed version.

650
KRCM Flight Training Course & Training Nights / Training Nights
« on: July 06, 2011, 02:19:39 PM »
 Training is NOT restricted to only 1 night per week. Wednesday evenings - during the summer - have been designated as Training Nights (more about this later), but there are many other opportunities for a Student to arrange for instruction.

 Sunday morning is a popular time, as several of our Instructors try to be out at the field early, anticipating the arrival of Students.

 At other times, our Students are able to take advantage of our very active Instructor corps, as one or more of them will show up on good flying days. Then, there is the possibility of specifically arranging to meet an Instructor at a mutually agreed upon time for a training session.


 Training Night  is really  "Club Night", i.e., a focal point whereby Club Members of all levels of experience can come out with the expectation that there will be something to learn, to get assistance, to provide help to others and to just enjoy our Club, its facilities and its resources.

On these evenings, which take place each Wednesday from early May until into September, the emphasis is on training. However, anyone can fly, with the training activities having priority. It's a great time to get some help in sorting out the bugs of a new aircraft, and getting lots (too much, even?) free advice.

Often, one can learn a lot by simply observing others flying, talking to more experienced flyers, and asking questions. This is an opportunity not to be missed.

We always need KRCM Members who already have their Wings to come out and help the newer folks.

Remember - the weather is always fine on Training Nights at our field! Come on out.

651
I like the links you show, with the slide-in locking tabs.

I have used the Sullivan links, with their little locking tabs, for many years. I still use the lock nuts, primarily to stop potential vibration from degrading the threaded surfaces. Paranoia runs deep, however, I have in the past seen other links slip due to worn threads on the pushrod or (non-Sullivan) link.

The other feature of the Sullivan link is that the threaded section is locked together, not simply rolled and left to gradually enlarge in use.

The old technique of sliding a piece of fuel tubing over the link to secure it is, in my opinion, poor - unless you periodically inspect all such locations. The links tend to cut the tubing over time and there goes your "security".

Note: there are some folks who fly these days who may not understand what I mean by the term "fuel tubing". This is something that any "slimer driver" can explain to you  ;D

As for the connectors at the servo end: The ones I buy always come with 2 locking devices - a nylon one and a spring steel one. The latter is easily removable, and reusable, while the steel one is more permanent. I have never had a nylon one come loose. I have a whole raft of the steel ones left over from my projects.

652
General Discussion / Maynard Hill
« on: June 23, 2011, 08:18:50 PM »
Some may remember the Trans-Atlantic flight - an amazing accomplishment:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/technology-obituaries/8573491/Maynard-Hill.html

653
Ken Park (former KRCM Member, organizer of the yearly SMALL Event for this region, significant Contributor to Model Airplane News and all-around good guy) says:

 "Please share this link with your club and US buddy's
PS I now have a Model Airplane New magazine website BLOG feature of my Own! so the World can see anything I post - Volksplane got my first post - Editor wants it also for last closing page in next issue to boot!"

Here is the link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kennethpark/sets/72157626879935095/



Keep, them coming, folks!


P.S. To get to Ken's Blog from our FDFF Event, here is the short path:

http://www.modelairplanenews.com/featured-blogs/ken-park/


654
Paper towels and Windex? What - you think that all of us slimer drivers bother to clean up after ourselves? The left-over goo on the airplane gives it character, and makes it fly better next time. Besides, why polish it up, when that MAY have been its last successfully completed flight anyway?

Youse e-dudes done got it all wrong! You and your prissy-lookin' flying machines. Really!

Of course, Flypaper's FUFO's  (Foamy Unidentified Flying Objects) usually don't fit that description, what with all the lumps of hot melt holding the important bit in formation.

Remember, tomorrow is a small field clean-up effort in the morning, followed by FREE burgers and hot dogs, and unlimited flying! Come on out, join the party.

655
 Sometimes, we can pass along to others something that we learned the hard way. Other times, we can refresh our own memories and avoid those nasty deja vu situations and (what my little granddaughter calls) booboo's that may result!

 Here is one:

 For most of my modelling career, I have used screw-lock pushrod connectors, such as seen here at    http://www.greatplanes.com/accys/gpmq3710.html

 I haven't used my expensive Z-bend tool in decades, as I do not like the enlarging of servo arm holes that results from z-bend pushrods. Plus, I like the ease of adjustment that these screw-lock connectors provide when I am setting up and trimming a model. In some situations, such as throttle control, I use them at both ends.

 I never had a bad experience with using these connectors on many sizes of aircraft. BUT, I recently sustained a minor crash due to ignoring my own advice! 

BUT - There is a basic FLAW all with of the ones I have used - from a couple different suppliers. For whatever reason, the screws do not protrude far enough to properly clamp the pushrod, or flexible cable. Sometimes, it seems that the threads tapped into the connector do not go deep enough, but generally the screws themselves are just too short. Thus, you can think that you have tightened your pushrod or cable, but it isn't really so. Hence my abbreviated test flight of a new design. (Minor booboo resulted, all fixed up and rarin' to to go again.)

My heartfelt advice is that these are excellent connectors in principle, and in practice, provided that you pitch the supplied screws into the nearest trash bin. Replace them with 4-40 (I think that is pretty standard for them) Allen set screws, cap screws, etc., and TEST that the screw will go well past where you may reasonably need them to go in order to securely clamp the rod in place. If the screw doesn't seem to go far enough, run a flat-end tap in, or even make a cleaning screw (take a screw and dremel a cut across the end to provide a bit of a cutting surface).

The other part of the job is to prepare the pushrod or flexible cable surface.

For a pushrod, roughen up an inch or so - wherever you think that the connector may end up being located. It is guaranteed that, provided you use a long enough screw and tighten it reasonably, nothing will slip. Another thing I have learned is to not be afraid to use the plastic retainer washers that secure the connector to the servo arm or control horn. Make sure it "clicks" into place and that you can see the connector end protruding from the washer. I have never had an issue with these. I never seem to use the metal ones, although they are supposedly better - I just never saw a need to.

For a flexible cable, it can be useful but not entirely necessary to try to apply some solder to the area which may be clamped in the connector, prior to installing - try to wipe the solder into the wires. I have found that to be difficult, as you need to get the cable properly fluxed, etc. I often use these cables for throttles, sometimes using the solder technique to stiffen a region of cable for possible bending into a specific shape to clear the engine.

Weedeater (nylon monofilament) line makes an excellent throttle cable in many cases, just in case you have no flex cable on hand. Just make sure you pick a good size and run it through a support tube (an old ny-rod or some 1/8 plastic tubing should work, unless you like "exciting" excursions in speed at unexpected times.

656
Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Re: Painting Props
« on: April 27, 2011, 04:36:39 PM »
 Not only can you paint a prop, but there can be a good reason to do so. Here comes some "Do as I say, not as I do":

 Painting, say, 1/2" or so of the prop ends with Yellow or some other highly contrasting color, makes the thing very visible when running. Dip the thing into some thinned paint.

 I have a couple props painted in this way. I keep meaning to do more of them, but never seem to get around to it.

 Not a bad reminder, especially if you are fooling around adjusting an engine, that there is something just waiting out there to take a nip or perhaps a good slice of meat! Many of us have suffered nasty cuts from props, some of which may well have been prevented if the things were a bit more noticeable. Especially if the prop is in a somewhat unusual position, such as the pylon on a seaplane, compared to one's usual aircraft.

 Just sayin ...

657
Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Radio Tricks - Old School
« on: April 27, 2011, 12:35:06 PM »
 Prior to our modern radios, a modeller sometimes had to resort to basic mechanics in order to achieve something that we now take for granted - Elevons, Flaperons, Spoilerons, and Ruddervators, whereby you mix two basic control surfaces, or just plain old differential movement on the ailerons to take care of a nasty Adverse Yaw situation. Sliding one servo via a second servo accomplished the former mixing, while simple geometry considerations between the servo arms and their corresponding control surface horns took care of the latter.

 I resorted to my own "trickery" when I built my Senior Telemaster. I had decided to have both Flaps and Ailerons. Why? Because I wanted to play around with stuff!

 I had read a lot of nonsense (on the Internet, as usual, where else?) about how you needed a football field to land this plane, how it can't handle high winds ... you know, the wisdom handed down from the many self-proclaimed experts. I did not believe a word of it. Just looking at the aircraft, let alone having read something about its original design purpose (transporting spools of leader line across valleys in Europe to eventually pull electrical cable!), convinced me that this thing should perform quite well. And it does - at least mine does.

 I rarely employ dihedral in an aircraft. My Tele has none. I have Ailerons and Flaps, essentially full span, split into about 30% Flap and the remainder as Aileron.

 Now, this is where my trickery takes place. But, first, here is some background:

The radio I originally used limited me as to what I could program and to how many channels. As well, I had alrady decided how I would make the Flap/Aileron system work. In many high performance full-scale sailplanes,  the Pilot can throw a lever which mechanically couples the Flap section to the Ailerons when desired. This is done typically for thermalling, where the Flaps will then follow the Aileron movement in some proportion downward to improve the total Lift produced. Upward movement of both surfaces alters the airfoil's characteristics to improve its high speed performance, for better times between thermals, long final glides, etc. On such aircraft, the Pilot may uncouple this to enable normal use of the Flaps during landing. Note: on most airfoils, deploying Flaps MAY increase Lift for, say, the first 10 or so degrees of, but larger deployments tend to offer little or no further Lift increase (and may even reduce Lift) while greatly increasing Drag. Watch a high performance sailplane land and you may notice the rather tiny Flaps that are sticking down at 90 degree angles - killing a lot of Lift and greatly increasing Drag, this is the sole means of drastically dropping the L/D to enable the aircraft to actually land.

 Finally, here is my approach:

 I use 4 servos in my Tele's wings. In each wing, the Aileron and Flap servos as Y-connected, to move as one. Then,
my Tx is programmed for Flaperons, along with some Differential (Up Aileron has more movement than Down Aileron, pretty standard stuff, to reduce Adverse Yaw). I also use lots of Exponential (perhaps 30 to 40%), which is another key point in creating this whole system. That's it for the electronic part.

 Now, for some "Old School" mechanical work. Normally, we try to have our servo arm and our control horn geometry such that they are at right angles to the line of actuation, or at least to have a parallelogram control configuration. That way, any degree of servo movement will achieve the same degree of control movement.

 Now, for my system, I want the Flap to have significantly more Downward movement than the Aileron with which it is paired. So, I set the servo arm such that it will provide this mechanical differential. A bit hard to describe without a picture, but with my servo on the bottom of the wing, the servo arm will be set so that at the neutral position the arm will be 30 to 45 degrees rearward of its usual location. Thus, as the servo moves the arm back, i.e., pushing the Flap section upward, it provides much less control movement than when it pulls the control rod forward and thereby pulls the Flap down. At the neutral point, the Aileron and Flap are lined up.

 As I cannot select Flaps independently, the Flap/Aileron system is always engaged. The banks and rolls are amazing, for such a large aircraft. Everything is working together. There is not much Adverse Yaw, and the electronically programmed Differential takes care of that. Even though the outboard wing's  Flap down movement is quite significant, the Flap's moment arm is much less than that of the Aileron. To steepen the landing approach, the major Flap down angle compared to that of its companion Aileron is pretty interesting to observe. This thing will land on a postage stamp!

The last portion of my system is the switch-selectable enabling of Elevator to Flap coupling. With this selected, as I usually leave it, an Up Elevator movement causes some proportional Aileron Down and, of course, even more Flap Down. Take-offs have minimal ground roll (a nice big engine helps a bit here, of course). Landings are, as I previously stated, duck soup.

 The Tele sits on the ground, ready to jump into the air if the wind picks up or a gust hits. So, at shut-down, I usually push full Elevator Down, causing the Flaps and Ailerons to move up to their respective full travels - plane pointed into the wind, of course.. This really sticks the aircraft to the ground. A fairly severe gust would just try to pick the tail up and even more firmly push the wing down.

I offer this as something for others to think about. If you see my Tele at the field any time, come on over. I will show you what this is all about and I will probably let you fly the thing! I had a number of young visitors try it at the IMAA Meet last year, and they had a great intro to R/C. How many better offers are you going to get than that today?

658
Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Radio Tricks - Flaperons
« on: April 24, 2011, 07:46:21 AM »
 When we combine actions of Flaps and Ailerons into the same control surfaces, we call the result Flaperons. This usually assumes that the flap part of the system goes down. We could also refer to this arrangement as Spoilerons, assuming that the primary reason to mix functions is to move the control surfaces up. Let's just call this stuff Flaperons, for simplicity.

 These days, most builders will (I think, should) use a servo for each Aileron. Apart from a form of redundancy, should one servo seize (I had this happen once, I saved the plane because the remaining Aileron still allowed reasonable control to perform a food landing), you can then play around with Flaperon/Spoileron settings.

 Even if you never thought of going beyond the straightforward Aileron control, you may wish to do some experimenting. If you are trying to shorten take-off distance, or to do more precise and probably shorter/slower landings, then try coupling your Flaperons to something else. Usually, this will be to Elevator, but there is also a good argument for coupling to Throttle under certain circumstances. Either, or both, coupling should be switch selectable.

 I like to use the Flap Trim switch on my DX7 radio to engage Elevator to Flaperon coupling. On my Futaba UAFS Tx's, I used a P.Mix switch. Today, there are switches galore on most radios, so choose whatever you find comfortable. I have a piece of fuel tubing pushed onto my switch so that I can locate it instinctively, without even glancing down.

 This write-up is NOT a detailed how-to for a DX7, etc,; rather, it is more to describe the end results.

 When the Flap Trim switch is activated, the Flaperons will move Down as the Elevator moves up. After some experimenting, this usually ends up with about 30 to 40% of total throw on the Flaperons for 100% Elevator movement.

 The effect of engaging this coupling for take-off is that upon pulling back on the Elevator stick, the Flaperons start descending, thus producing a higher angle of attack on the wing and greatly increasing Lift. A very short take-off and steep climb result. On a well-powered sport plane, you can slam the Throttle, and yank the thing off the ground in 5 feet or less!

 In flight, you can either deselect the Elevator to Flaperon coupling, or leave it on. Leaving it on will result in very tight loops, and probably some other changes in overall flight characteristics. Try Stalls, Spins and Snaps with and without the coupling selected.

 Prior to landing, I usually have the Elevator to Flaperon coupling engaged, unless there is a very strong wind. Now, I should mention that I also set things up such that pushing the Elevator stick forward raises the Flaperons proportionately. That may be thought of as having Spoilerons. Spoilers on Sailplanes or jet aircraft are designed to spoil Lift and possibly create Drag to overall lower the L/D and allow the aircraft to better control its glide path and final flare/touchdown. Having this function at the trailing edge of the wing is not all that effective - real Spoilers have to be hinged near the high point of a wing to truly be effective. But, I find that it does help steepen the glide a little bit.

 With this arrangement, you can pretty much point the aircraft at your intended landing spot, diving as steeply as you care/dare. As you approach the flare point, easing back on the Elevator takes out any Up Flaperon (Spoileron effect) that you may have had, and starts to lower the Flaperons as you continue to feed in Up Elevator. It's sort of like having a third arm in the cockpit!

 The last feature, optional, is to do some coupling of Throttle to Flaperons. Some transmitters have a selection for Throttle coupling to something else. I use a second switch which, when engaged, brings the Flaperons Up (perhaps 60% of total travel) at Idle. As I advance the Throttle, the Flaperons are back to Neutral when the Throttle is barely off Idle. Why do this? Well, if you think that the Spoileron effect works on your particular aircraft, then you can engage this coupling, as well as your Elevator to Flaperon coupling, during landing sequence. This may result in an even steeper descant as you chop the Throttle. Yet, feeding a bit of Throttle immediately prior to flaring, along with your Elevator movement, gives you back the full Flaperon effect. And, should you decide to abort the landing, you don't have to give any thought to flipping switches to take out an undesired secondary movement of the Flaperons.

 Another use for this Throttle to Flaperons coupling has to do with parking the aircraft. My Senior Telemaster, for example, sits on the ground just waiting for a nice little gust to come along and lift it. So, before I shut down, I have the Throttle to Flaperon coupling engaged and the Throttle at "0", plus full Down Elevator. Thus, the Flaperons are sticking way up and prevent a gust from lifting the plane.


 Why not think about this for your own aircraft? If you would like to give it a try, ask one of us who already has messed around with control coupling, perhaps you will even score a flight on one of our aircraft! Or, we can set your up and give it a go. This hobby is about experimenting, so just do it!
 

659
 This is the method I used to solve a nasty problem with launching my Bat flying wing. This could be applicable to some other situation where one has run out of hands and fingers, I suppose, or perhaps it can stimulate you to think about other cool stuff you can do with your radio. I hope.


Problem:

This aircraft is hand launched, very pitch-sensitive and accelerates rapidly. So, I hold the plane with one hand and the Tx with the other. Now, which controls are essential at "0" time, and how do we get both hands onto the controls within a second or so of release, meanwhile having the little beast track away reasonably steadily in a climb, and not creating pilot induced oscillations (PIO's) in that immediate transition?

Solution:

 I hold the Tx in my right hand, the aircraft in the left. I used to do the opposite, in order to control the throttle, then let go of the plane and make a grab for the right stick as the launch occurred But I invariably introduced PIO's - sometimes very scary, low to the ground.

 I use the Flap Mix switch on my DX7 to add in a miniscule amount of Elevator Up when selected in one of its 3 positions. I happen to have a little piece of fuel tubing on this switch to provide an unambiguous feel, so that I can select it instinctively. (I use it on other aircraft, for somewhat different reasons, so I consider it to be my "favorite" switch to keep track of.)

 This particular aircraft is very pitch and roll sensitive, so I already have significant Exponential programmed into the Elevons. Now, with my Flap Switch set to my "take-off mode", about 5% Elevon Up is added to Throttle. In other words, as the Throttle advances, the Elevons rise. At full Throttle, this amounts to perhaps 1/16" - not very much, hardly noticeable to a casual observer, yet this is just enough to allow a shallow climb to occur immediately upon release .

 So, at launch time, I hold the plane level in my left hand, Tx in the right, and push the throttle full forward  with my chin. Then I simply let go of the plane. It accelerates, and starts climbing. Meanwhile, I move my left hand down to the Tx, smoothly. Now, I can either bump my Flap Mix Switch out of my Launch position, preparing to deal with a slight but immediate down pitch change, OR, I throttle back a bit (remember, I use a lot of Expo on the Elevons, so it is really the last part of the Throttle movement that creates the significant pitch-up trim) and then switch out of my Launch position. Total time from Launch until all controls are manned and the aircraft is stable is perhaps 2 to 3 seconds! Even if I am slow, the Bat will probably be OK for quite some time and distance before I have to complete my transition.

 This little technique transformed my Bat launches from nail-biters into very routine and casual events.

 I will bet that someone out there can use the same idea to improve the take-off of their own aircraft in some way.

 If anyone wants to try this, catch me at the field and we can mess around with your system.


660
Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Radio Tricks
« on: April 23, 2011, 08:47:44 AM »
 Well, perhaps there are no magic tricks per se, but there are a lot of things that can be done with our modern, programmable radios. Looking around our field, I notice the preponderance of Spektrum and other programmable Tx's in the hands of our pilots. Yet, I also notice where some folks still seem to "fight" their aircraft, e.g., trying to shorten their landing and take-off space requirements. This is one example of a possibly unnecessary problem that may have a simple solution.

 Since the early days of programmable function radios that you get an Owner's Manual that explains, in varying degrees of clarity, how to do some of the programming and coupling of various functions. What is missing most of this information is the "Why" and then the "How" to implement specific techniques.

 The intent of this topic is to bring forth some of the little "tricks" or techniques that various pilots use.

 If anyone wants practical help in this area, there are many experienced pilots in our Club who would be happy to assist. Keep in mind, as with the skinning of cats, there is more than one way so do some of this! Take a moment to ask folks what they may have done to improve the handling and/or performance of their aircraft - you may find something that you can apply, or you may get a better understanding of what kinds of things are possible with your particular radio system.

 So, let's see where this ends up ...

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