Monday, January 26, 2009

An advanced beginners plane

I have been browsing the web and I have seen some interesting things about placing gyro's onto RC planes. Now gyro's have traditionally been for helicopters. They are generically unstable so need them to keep things just a bit more organised. Which is a bit weird because heli's generally use them just to keep the tail locked into position and the articles I have been looking at have all been relating to putting them on all surfaces of the plane. So basically anywhere from 1 - 3 gyro's.

Why is this important. Well I have also been watching people learn to fly. Landing things in trees crashing models that they should not perhaps be flying in the first place.

Then the question comes in why are they buying these planes.

1) I think most people don't like the look of trainers. Lets be honest here Piper Cub's are not the reason that people get drawn to RC flying. F16's and high performance jets draw most of the younger generation. Mid generation it is the WW2 combat planes.

2) Once you have mastered the Piper well what do you do with it. A few loops. modify it for Ailerons. Crash it for fun.

This lead me to think if we can get a mildly acrobatic plane. Lower the control surface movements so that it is manageable and then put in an autopilot so that when all things go wrong and they get disorientated they can let go of the controls and it just levels off and flies straight.

So linked to a buddy box with a more skilled pilot at the helm if all things go wrong he can just remove student access let it level out and then bring it up to a safe hight etc.

The other advantage of a gyro is landings it should make things easier in gusty winds to let the student land. Essentially all they have to do is aim it in and bring the throttle down and it should glide in. Should a gust get it gyro will just adjust and plane will land safely.

I feel this will stop many new comers to the hobby becoming frustrated and buying a kit plane taking it up and 5 min later crying and saying that is the end of it.

Obviously once they get used to the orientation you can start turning off the gyros one by one.

I see some major benefits of this method.

1) Can go up with a more decent plane.
2) Don't have to wait for a perfectly calm day. Bit of gusts will not affect the model too much.
3) Will give the instructor a bit more help in recovering some dangerous situations in which students leave the models sometimes. ;-)

To prove this I have a Formosa which I am putting together and I am seriously thinking of putting 2 gyros into it. One for elevator and one for the ailerons.

Once it is built I will allow new comers to the hobby to try it out. With me on the master remote obviously. So keep an eye on the progress here.

If you want to be a test crash flier let me know. You never know when you might get a chance to learn to fly this new trainer.

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