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Old 04-21-2012, 06:35 PM   #1
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im almost ready to give up!!!!!! put lots of money into my plane & cant get #*#*@# thing off the gound. its an electric out of the box bnf stinson, im using a spektrum dx5e transmiter. i also have the computer simulator (do great flying there, take off, flying, not so good on landing but getting better) heres my problem, every time i try to take off it cartwheels & well you know what happens, something breaks. what am i doing wrong, thinking maybe giving it full power off the start might be wrong, should i just use enough to to get it moving or what, any help would be appecetated
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:41 PM   #2
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Re: help


Being a taildragger you want to have some up elevator when you start so that the tail doesn't come up to quickly. As the plane accelerates you can slowly ease off on the elevator. I would also apply the throttle slowly rather than all at once.

I expect that others will also have suggestions.

Good luck.
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:23 PM   #3
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Re: help

If your wingtip hits the ground first on takeoff, check to make sure your ailerons are not reversed..

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Last edited by chuebner; 04-21-2012 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:31 PM   #4
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Re: help

A majority of my planes, including the larger scale are taildraggers and they take a bit of finesse in ground handling and launch. Part of the problem is the main gear is ahead of the CofG and therefore will try to force the plane to ground loop or in the worse case swap ends.

You are correct in that you do not want to honk full throttle right off the bat. You want a bit of up elevator just at the start to keep the tailwheel on the ground for directional control ONLY until enough speed is gained for the rudder to become effective. Once that is achieved neutralize the elevator, (or even a touch of down to lift the tail) The purpose is to keep a flat or slightly nose up attitude until the wing reaches flying speed. You will need to keep active on the elevator and rudder with fine inputs to keep the plane on the correct level and accelerating for takeoff in the direction you want. During this evolution you will slowly advance the throttle. If done correctly the plane should fly itself off.

If you go full throttle too soon the prop torque will try and turn the plane to the left and if you hold up elevator too long, forcing the tail to stay grounded the attitude of the wing means it will likely lift off before you reach minimum control speed. At that stage any aileron input will likely cause a wing to stall and the plane to snap over, usually with no altitude or control to recover. Under any conditions where the plane is nose high and slow you want to avoid aileron input and only use the rudder for directional control.

The other aggravating factor in ground handling is incorrect wheel toe in. You want a slight amount as that helps prevent the tendency to wander as soon as the tail is off the ground.

As I stated, the first thing you need to work on is directional control with the rudder input. This is both with the tail on the ground and with the mains still planted and the tail up.

This takes practice to master and eventually becomes second nature. I believe this is also the reason most trainer planes have a more conventional gear and nosewheel.

Also, don't forget the smaller and lighter planes mean things will happen rather quickly, so before even getting airborne a good practice is to work on ground handling repeatedly, going as far as raising the tail and accelerating, but stopping the process before takeoff. This practice will help in landing as well since the exact reverse is true when decelerating after touchdown.
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
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Re: help

Join the Brant Flyers, and get some instruction from qualified instrutors. If you need more information about the club, PM me and I will provide the contact name there.

With a tail dragger, ease the throttle open slowly adding a slight amount of right rudder to compensate for the 'P' factor and torque. As the speed increases, ease off the rudder and very slightly pull some up elevator, just a tad will do it, and the aircraft should come off the ground once flying speed is achieved. Ground looping is the result of too much power applied at once, with no compensating rudder, assuming the wheels are aligned and have a slight amount of toe-in.
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:22 PM   #6
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Re: help

In addition to the comments above:

What are you taking off from? Is it a bumpy grass runway or a smooth asphalt parking lot?

Are the landing gear rolling without issues?
Current models: Hobbico Nexstar Electric, Parkzone Spitfire Mk IX , several micros/small helis. Nothing nitro/gas.
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:30 PM   #7
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Re: help

Grass could be too long and check to see if your wheels are free wheeling without any binding anywhere.

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Old 04-21-2012, 08:57 PM   #8
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Re: help

Originally Posted by chuck View Post
thinking maybe giving it full power off the start might be wrong
This ^^^^

When you apply full throttle, the torque from the engine has the opposite effect on the airplane. The propellor is turned clockwise (viewed from behind), the airplane is torqued counterclockwise...or left wing down. It's the same reason why helicopters have a tail prop - to counteract this effect.

Before the airplane is moving quickly, there is no airflow over the wings to stablize it. If you get off the ground too soon, you will always flop over to the left and likely cartwheel.

Apply to throttle slowly, get the plane moving, increase gradually to a takeoff speed, then lift off gently. You will notice that all propellor rc airplanes naturally bank left after takeoff. Some right aileron and rudder will help counteract the torque effect.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:43 PM   #9
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Re: help

from personal experience with this plane, read ALL of the above - great advice. The Stinson is so light, the transition from ground to air has all possible perils. My worst enemy, generating the noted cartwheel, was a cross-wind take off. Watch your wind carefully on this one.
knit one, pearl one, drop one ... shyte
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:06 PM   #10
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Re: help

Great advice from everyone... Another suggestion is with respect to the wheels themselves... If you are taking off from grass, it is possible that the existing wheels won't roll through the grass. I think that plane has wheel pants, but if possible, 86 the pants and install larger wheels, like 3" diameter. I had to do that on my Corsair. If this isn't possible, can you cut the grass shorter?
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