GWS Formosa Maiden Flight
Today was the maiden flight of my new GWS Formosa, which I have now dubbed “The Rocket.” This plane flies fast and rolls fast. It rolls faster than the frame rate of my camera, so you can barely tell when it’s rolling. I would estimate it can do about 3-4 rolls per second. My first flight was a crash because I attempted a loop right out of the gate, and lost control. Oops. Second flight was beautiful, with a picture perfect landing. The third flight I played with some inverted flight, and I lost my orientation. I was about two mistakes high, but I lost orientation twice, and crashed hard. My packing tape held up great! The fuselage is cracked in 4 places around the battery box, but it’s still in one piece. With some epoxy and a bit of plywood reinforcement, it’ll be back in the air in no time.
Here’s a quick video of my third flight. You can see some rapid rolls and inverted flight. About 5 seconds after the video stopped rolling, I ate the dirt. Enjoy:
Had a feeling that was going to be one major speed demon after you installed all that electric update gear from the original SC. In the video… I kept losing it in the cloud banks so I hope, when you’re actually standing there… you have a much better visual track on it. White on white is a bear to keep up with anyway.
Now with some of the “new” scraped off of it… and our beloved epoxy incorporated… it should fly even better. Who ever heard of flying a “foamie” without the epoxy crack filler somewhere on the bird…?? I believe that’s a law written in stone somewhere. After you get this Formosa even more dialed-in… you might as well go to jet engines. After seeing this video… you will have the training for it. Just remember… FFA rules say you have to keep them under 224 MPH for models.
BTW… my KMP Taylorcraft is no longer a virgin. It went airborne over the weekend and flew like a top (IMHO)… or at least like a J-3 Cub. That 69″ red/white/blue wing looked mighty nice up there… just had to fight that new Evolution .46 engine for awhile. It was really tight and still needs about 4 or 5 more tanks run through it to loosen up a little more. It came in dead-stick the first flight… and did it very well. So that tells me I have the CG absolutely correct for a change. Of course… I had an “old timer” take it up for the shake out trial. He dialed-in the trims and then did some mixing on the alerons/rudder to really smooth out the bank turns. I really appreciated his help… but got the feeling he was mostly just wanting to play with the Spektrum DX7. It’s the first one at that field… and curiosity had them all looking it over. Still got the Falcon 56 sitting in the wings… Spektrum ready and just waiting for, at least, another day of less than 25 – 30 MPH winds around here. 3 1/2 months of over 25/30 MPH winds starts to wear you down. And my SC is starting to get “attitude” since I’ve been giving all my attention to the fuel crowd. But every time I head to a local park (on the two days of calm wind around here)… the soccer, freesbie and baseball groups have it covered over with small little bodies. And the RC field I’ve been going to… doesn’t seem over excited about electric foamies being flown there…???
Keep those Formosa videos coming… maybe I can figure out how to slow the video down. :) RocketMan.
I definitely need to do something to keep the plane high contrast against the clouds. I am tempted to spray paint the underside of the wing bright orange so I can keep track of it. Indeed, my final crash was caused by me losing my orientation, twice in a row. :)
As fast as it is… you definately need some BIG color difference between the bottom and top. Especially on those pretty white cloud days. I might even suggest making the Vert. stab. some 3rd color that really stands out so you know instantly which side is UP when zooming by. I don’t know about you… but to automatically give it down elevator (when it blows by you inverted) is not my first knee-jerk reaction. I know it logically… but I have to spend that 1 – 2 sec. gap telling my right thumb do it. Kinda’ like explaining it to a two-year old. As you well know… that 1 – 2 sec gap can take forever.
Update on my question to you about the “flaperon” and throttle mystery. After going back through the DX7 manual for the umpteenth time… finally got it figured out. The DX7 has something called the “Land” mode. Basically if you want flap action… you have to tie it into the throttle. Or at least tell it at what percentage (of throttle) you want the flaps to “kick in” when landing. Or “kick out” when taking off. I had it set at “0”… which means that one tick of advance throttle (+1) told it to “kick out”… you were past your throttle setting for taking off. And to make it even more interesting… I needed to set the flaps at 3 different settings. Norm (0 flaps), Mid (30 degree flap) Down (75 degree flap). AND tell it what percentage of throttle to “kick out”… say 75%… and anything under that… the flaps activate again. This all depending on what position the triple throw toggle on the very top left side of Tx. was set to: Norm, Mid or Down. Cheeessshhh…!!!
Remember when it was just up, down… left, right…???
Hope the Formosa repairs are going well… video of it screaming through the skies of Provo is anticipated. Think Jet.
Glad you figured out the flaperons! That DX7 must be one complicated beast to program. The DX6 flaps switch only has two positions, up or down. I often wished it had three positions so I could engage spoilerons, neutral, or flaps. That would have been great!
The repairs are coming along. I really did a number to the fuselage, but the packing tape saved me. It was all in one piece when I got it home. I took off the tape, and it was in 4 pieces. :)
I apparently lost a servo extension cable, so that’ll set me back a few bucks. I need to pick up a couple more props too. Also, the under part of the wing crumpled a bit on one side, so it sits somewhat crooked. That’s unfortunate, but I think I might be able to trim it out. The alternative is buying a new wing — but that means a couple more hours of foam cutting.
Whatever the case, I’m gonna lay off the “hot dog” maneuvers for a while and just focus on controlled flight. :)