Tips for Warbird Success (flying) - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:04 PM   #1
cf100
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Tips for Warbird Success (flying)


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Tips for Warbird Success (flying)............. share yours!

I'm a average builder and flyer so when I got into warbirds in the late early 80's, - detail scale was the way to go, I spent more time fixing my warbirds that flying - slowly I changed from complex and usually heavy, to simpler warbirds in my fleet plus the introduction of the Byron and Top Flite arfs helped a lot of us! Now every weekend is a WARBIRD SCRAMBLE.

I want fellow warbirder's to have success, nothing hurts like a crash especially on the maiden flight.

A few things I have learned from others over the years are:

* Get the balance right - some warbirds like Spitfires need a lot nose weight to balance correctly, my YA Spitfire took 2.75#, John Pirozek's Vallencourt Typhoon took over 6 pounds of lead.
Don't we just hate adding lead when the model is already starting to get over weight. DO IT and get the balance right, a first flight on a tail heavy warbird will usually re-kit itself.

* Dual RX batteries - most rc crashes are pilot error, second I would bet are from rx batteries failures, plus dual batteries offers some piece of mind, good info at http://www.hangtimes.com/rcbattery_faq.html

* Hot engines conk out, dead stick time - feeling that need to completely cowl in that scale Merlin if you think you engine is over heating, open some cooling holes, no one notices or knows about the cooling hole on my P-51A when flying - they'll be focused on that worm burner pass eh!

* Fudge the undercarriage location (landing gear) - numerous web posts on how to rake a warbird undercarriage forward to improve ground handling - who notices.

Carry on!

ps: I'm still and average builder and pilot - some days things work out well!
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Last edited by cf100; 02-08-2014 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:47 PM   #2
mwavesdave
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Re: Tips for Warbird Success (flying)

One tip I'd add, if you're going to fly a warbird, then fly it like a warbird! They're not pattern ships, not 3D. Nothing looks more professional than a long slow take off, without a vertical climb out. Same thing with landings, I constantly see pilots cranking a tight turn right after landing, rather than a nice smooth rollout. Watch some you tube footage of real warbirds in action, and work on emulating how they were flown.
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:45 AM   #3
cf100
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Re: Tips for Warbird Success (flying)

* Wheeled landings on those big warbirds, after tip stalling my first 1/5 P-51 when trying to get to a 3 point landing and ripping out one lg on another instance of getting to a three point, I saw what the the big boys were doing at Oshkosh - 95% wheel landings, so wheel landings are just easier for me. This video is a lot like our grass fields around here, watch the landing at the 4 minute mark.


cheers!
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:49 AM   #4
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Re: Tips for Warbird Success (flying)

My tips;

Learn how to use the rudder. This applies to take offs and landings. Torque has a great effect when starting your take off roll. advance the throttle slowly to minimise torque effects.

On most taildraggers you will have to hold up to prevent nose over when it starts to roll. But be prepared to get the elevator level after the plane starts rolling. It is not pretty and very dangerous to have a heavy warbird leap off the ground without proper air speed.

When landing I find it best to fly it down to the ground. Almost like I was going to do a touch and go. The standard approach where you throttle back and let the plane settle into a glide angle is not good for warbirds. This type of approach will produce a shallow low speed approach with the tail hanging down. A stall waiting to happen. It is better to set a low throttle setting (the amount varies by plane type and setup) and aim the plane to a fixed point at the beginning of the runway. When the plane is close to the ground begin to flair with the elevator and chop power just before the wheels touch the ground.

Finally to re-emphasize an earlier point, Do not fly the plane tail heavy.
Tail heavy planes almost always crash, they are almost always uncontrollable.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:47 PM   #5
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Re: Tips for Warbird Success (flying)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calum View Post
My tips;

Learn how to use the rudder. This applies to take offs and landings. Torque has a great effect when starting your take off roll. advance the throttle slowly to minimise torque effects.

On most taildraggers you will have to hold up to prevent nose over when it starts to roll. But be prepared to get the elevator level after the plane starts rolling. It is not pretty and very dangerous to have a heavy warbird leap off the ground without proper air speed.

When landing I find it best to fly it down to the ground. Almost like I was going to do a touch and go. The standard approach where you throttle back and let the plane settle into a glide angle is not good for warbirds. This type of approach will produce a shallow low speed approach with the tail hanging down. A stall waiting to happen. It is better to set a low throttle setting (the amount varies by plane type and setup) and aim the plane to a fixed point at the beginning of the runway. When the plane is close to the ground begin to flair with the elevator and chop power just before the wheels touch the ground.

Finally to re-emphasize an earlier point, Do not fly the plane tail heavy.
Tail heavy planes almost always crash, they are almost always uncontrollable.
What he said!
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:44 PM   #6
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Re: Tips for Warbird Success (flying)

First of all, I agree with basically everything said above. My experience with warbirds is limited to a 1/4 scale BUSA Fokker Triplane and a 1/5th scale Top Flight P-47. I flew the tripe for 4 years before selling it and I'm still flying the P-47. I experimented with trying to 3 point the triplane until I realized that flying it to the ground (ie. wheel it in) was the most consistent way of getting it on the ground. Keep some power on all the way through the flair. Just as the main gear makes contact I neutralize the elevator (this keeps the tail in the air and the wheels on the ground! LOL) and focus on the rudder until it came to a complete stop!

I fly and land the P-47 the same way. This is my plane. 3W 80cc for power.
http://youtu.be/m32FhI-gdm8

Check out this video especially the ending when you get to watch seven full scale Fokker triplanes 'wheel it in'! http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotat...&v=o4lDB7lXFOg
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:49 AM   #7
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Re: Tips for Warbird Success (flying)

great tips from a great warbird pilot....the 6:00am snarl of his Mustangs and Spitfires are the best sound first thing in the AM out at the Gimli field!

working on my TF P51 now Kenny....any idea where I could get a Malcolm hood for the Mustang III version, or am I gonna have to build one ??

Bill
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:56 AM   #8
cf100
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Re: Tips for Warbird Success (flying)

Hi Bill, a few years ago a guy on RCU was doing a Malcom hood P-51 B or C, I asked him to make me a canopy, he did not reply and does not seem to be active on the web, so I think you will have to probably make your own Malcom hood using a Spitfire canopy for starters.

I have the Top Flite P-51 1/5 kit plan sheet for the B fuselage if you need that.
cheers - kk
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:31 PM   #9
Terry Olds
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Re: Tips for Warbird Success (flying)

One other tip when flying war birds with weight behind them, is when flying into a turn with a sharp bank keep your speed up until you pull out of bank because if you lose to much air speed and lift your plane will snap over and go into a spiral dive, unless you have enough height you will not pull out of it. This actually happened to me when flying in Canadian nationals in scale expert years back. Luck was with me I actually pulled it out and manage to come in second in scale expert.
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:38 AM   #10
splitzed
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Re: Tips for Warbird Success (flying)

It's also helpful to have a friend close by to remind you about your airspeed attitude ect...
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