I finally got the engine tuned better (actually, I finally got to go flying and just reset the needles to the manual recommendation then tweaked from there). Most of the low end shake is gone, a little more tweaking and it’ll be smooth.
I got two great flights out of it last weekend. Each flight burned about 16-18 ounces of gas (33oz water bottle tank, landed half full) in about 8-10 minutes. I should’a put a timer on it to see how long my flights were, but they felt to be around the 10 minute mark.
It was great to be able to fly it without having to worry so much about the engine running (or should I say dying) for a full flight.
I took it out a couple weeks ago, started it and it was running really rough (way too rich on both high and low) and the shakes broke the aileron servo mount out of the left wing. I epoxied it back in, and put some epoxy on the right wing servo mount too, just a fillet, to help strengthen it up some more.
Anyway, back to the successful flights…
The power is excellent…take off, establish a good climb then firewall it and pull vertical and it climbs forever.
Rolls are axial and blazing fast (almost fun-fly profile fast) on high rates. I have to do some mixing for knife edge, as it pushes to the gear some, and rolls opposite the rudder input.
Inverted flight required just a touch of forward stick to stay level in straight flight. I don’t remember it seeking the ground to bad when I relaxed the stick.
I also need to remember to coordinate some rudder in on loops so it tracks through it. Maybe a few points of elevator>rudder mix to assist the tracking.
It does get “snappy” on high rate elevator when you haul back the stick, but that is expected to a point.
Landings are sweet, and it does like to float in ground effect. Once the engine breaks in more, and I can lower the idle more, it’ll be really sweet.
The only issues I’m having with it are the typical issues with a new engine, and that’s just tuning. The shakes have cracked my plug cap blisters on the cowl, and broke some of the vinyl strip that holds the canopy on (I should put some canopy glue on the canopy to hatch joint to stabilize the canopy). No other issues with the airframe.
This winter, I’m planning on modifying the wing to a four servo, four aileron set-up with the ailerons split at the half-way point. I want to try having the inboard aileron moving 80% of the outboard aileron, kind of like what Sean D. Tucker did with the Challenger. He has eight (8) ailerons on the Challenger, with the inboard aileron moving ~80% of the outboard and his roll rate actually increased.
Why do I want to do this?
- ‘Cause it’s kinda cool
- It relives some stresses to the aileron servos
- Interesting mixing opportunities are available (crow speed brakes is one, flaps is another)
- ‘Cause it’s kinda cool
Oh, I also changed all the flight surface servos to Power HD 9501MG’s and the airplane did feel a more locked in to my inputs.
Hopefully next time I get to take it out, Mike “PitViper51” will be available to get some in-flight photos and video.
‘Til next time…Fly fast, roll right and “GO INVERTED!”