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DLG flying skills


tomc
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So, I have a Mini Dart DLG, and I have no problems launching it and generally flying it (only one big crash so far), but I can only get it back to me to catch maybe 1 try in 20. The field I fly in is very short grass and hard as concrete in the summer, so my plane is getting a bit battered.  Any tips from anyone as to how to learn to consistently fly it back so I can catch it? The guys on youtube seem to manage it every time.  

Any advice?

Thanks

 

Tom

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Can you be a bit more specific about the problem?  What tends to happen?  Maybe make a video.

Maintaining a bit of extra speed makes a model easier to fly accurately on the approach...

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Plan the landing approach as you would with any model.

Ensure your landing into wind

Bring model towards you.  Keep wings level.

Alter flight speed using flaps.

 

Are you landing short or overunning? 

Providing you have correct flap travel then dlg is very easy to decelerate.

If you trying to catch in strong breeze then much harder and more likely to result in dropped/fumbled catch.

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I agree with MikeF that some more explanation would be useful to understand what kind of problem you're having.

As cirrusRC says, flaps are key to an easy catch as they allow you to bleed energy off very easily.

Once you're lined up into wind, if you ensure that you have a little excess energy then modulating the flaps (you do have them controlled by the throttle stick don't you?) as you come towards you means that you can manage the speed/descent rate(/energy) to the point that as the plane reaches you it can be almost hovering.

You'll need quite a lot of flap travel (>45 deg down) and programming a consistent elevator compensation when you bring in the flaps too to avoid ballooning too much and ideally allow the flap stick to act like a throttle.

If the question is more about getting back from down wind then its again about energy management. There will always be a point where you're too far away and/or low to make it back but changing trim, CoG, weight and flap settings can all be done to improve performance in that flight mode. That's where your "speed" mode should help and in enough wind, some ballast. But also the experience of knowing what that limit is and not letting the model get outside of it!

 

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Hi

So the model never ends up where I plan for it to be.... Either too high, or landing too early, or having to put in an extra turn before I run out of space (my field is quite small and surrounded by trees). To be fair I struggle to get it to within 20 m of where I am repeatably, its probably not the catching bit, but managing to put the plane where I need it to be .

I had to replace the tail boom after a big crash, and the model is now approx 20g heavier than the recommended flying weight,, the only replacement boom I could find was heavier (and stronger) , so it is a bit faster than it was, although not sure that is the issue.

Flaps are on the throttle stick, I think I tend to apply them too late.

Maybe I just need more practise. Do most people progress from easier models to fly to DLG, is starting with a DLG a bit ambitious?

Are the 1.5m DLG's generally slower flying than my 1.0m one?

 

Thanks

tom

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If you are learning to fly RC on your own in a small turbulent field surrounded by trees, I think you're doing pretty well!    A DLG is not giving you much air time per flight to just fly around and get used to flying accurately.  Generally, the smaller models fly more slowly but will have a shorter duration.  You might want to get yourself a Radian type model to get longer flights and give yourself more time to get a proper feel of flying a nice landing pattern.

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Sounds like your field is not ideal and does not make accurate flying of a DLG easy.  I agree with MikeF ^.    Practice will definitely help.  How long have to been flying?  And did you learn on the Mini Dart?    Generally people learn on something else, DLG is not the easiest thing to learn on due to the short flight times you are likely to get and high chance of damage.  

Bigger DLG's tend to be easier to fly than smaller ones.  They will handle turbulence better and will generally be more stable.  But may not be suitable for your field if it is small.  Ideally you want to hook up with other experienced DLG flyers and fly with them.   That will help a lot.  Tricky at the moment though.  

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11 minutes ago, tomc said:

Maybe I just need more practise. Do most people progress from easier models to fly to DLG, is starting with a DLG a bit ambitious?

I would say yes, not too many people have a DLG as their first model. A small, bouncy, foam model with an electric motor gives you much more time in the air to perfect your control inputs and is much more forgiving when the inevitable impact occurs.

1 minute ago, mikef said:

If you are learning to fly RC on your own in a small turbulent field surrounded by trees, I think you're doing pretty well!

Agreed!

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Thanks All

I brought the model of a guy at work who had given up with it, have been playing with it around 6 weeks, maybe 2/3 times a week, wind allowing.  A bigger field with some long grass is probably what I need to find.

 

thanks

 

tom

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thechalster

You are coding well

 

i have been flying for only 38 years and still struggle to even land in the same field sometimes 😀

keep on practice it sound like you have the right attitude to make it happen but it will take time.

with a glider you can always lose height easily if your air brakes are effective but is difficult to gain height so always start your final approach  higher than minimum glide angle

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SilentPilot

I do that in full size gliders, I don't like cramped circuits but I think if they get any bigger the duty instructor might give me a tap on the wrist!

I like a really long final so I can get everything lined up and judged properly without being rushed. 

With models I guess I do the same. A long high final approach gives you chance to feel the air and set up the flare or catch in good time :)

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StraightEdge

Unlike the previous contributors I have nothing like the same range and depth of flying experience, but here are a few things you might consider:

  1.  As mentioned, a bigger or different flying field with fewer obstructions (i.e. turbulence generators!).
  2.  A simpler model, e.g. an Elf 1m which is just rudder and elevator but superbly responsive - which will enable you to concentrate more on basic flying, positioning, planning and energy-retention.
  3.   Practice on a good soaring simulator, preferably on your computer than on your phone - e.g. Picasim

Also, what are your control-surface travels and expo like - are they as per instructions?  If too much travel or especially too little expo (too sensitive to stick movements around the centre), then you're going to struggle with over-controlling to the detriment of the other things you need to think about.... like where the model is in relation to you, to the wind and to the ground.

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StraightEdge

Aha! That's going to be a huge culprit!

Don't know what the instructions suggest re expo, but an absolute min of 15% is your starting point for all three controls.

I've done all my flying to date (power, slope and thermal) on this figure, but am now increasing it to 20/25% for power, 30% plus for some slope and thermal. Rudder might not need more than the basic 15%.

I'd be interested to hear what the more experienced hands think would be best for you.

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SilentPilot

Expo is 100% personal choice!

I went through a phase of using quite large amounts. While that might be perfect to smooth out fast flight with hardly any stick movement it can lead to trouble when you actually use fairly large stick movements. If you're not careful it can go from very little control surface movement to full with quite small end inputs. That's s lot of wasted resolution. Much like the old bang bang units! 

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SilentPilot

The ideal way, though quite a chore to setup properly, is to tie rates and expo to flight modes and build these flight modes to suit different flying speeds.

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StraightEdge

I had that on my old TX and it became a headache trying to remember what array of settings I had (or had changed) for each mode.

So for the time being everything (except elevator trims) is common across all flight modes - all tuning and common trimming is done in speed mode (datum) on the basis that its the fastest and therefore the most sensitive.  Once that's all comfortable and second nature, then that's the time to tweak rates and expo in other modes.

Speaking as a less than experienced flier that is!

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So, have just had 40 mins in the field (conveniently backs onto my garden), zero wind, dead calm. I altered the expo on elevators, rudder and ailerons to 30%, and then 50%.

Maybe a little better, but the biggest problem I think is the elevator and pitch stability. If I trim it to fly level and slow (or what I think is slow, and seems to be the kind of speed others fly at, watching youtube), then it is really prone to stalling, as soon as the speed drops a tiny amount, it is yo yo ing up and down as I try and overcome the stalls . A couple of clicks down trim, literally only 2, and it then isn't so prone to stalling, but it flys really fast, and constantly loosing height, to the point where I might get 2-3 turns in from a 15-20 m  high launch before the ground is arriving fast. Is it normal for it to be so sensitive to just a couple of clicks? If so I don't have much scope for optimising it.  This is all in speed mode. In camber or thermal mode, it slows down, but is still super stally . The C of G is at 55mm from the leading edge, recommended from the build instructions is 50-60, am wondering if some nose weight would help?

I don't really have issues with the rudder or ailerons, it is super responsive to those, but I am not constantly over correcting and feel in contol, but with pitch it seems to be a really fine line between it flying right on the verge of stalling, vs being a bit of a bullet. Other (youtube) seem to hang in the air much more and not be constantly fighting against stalls

Any thoughts? And thanks for all the advice everyone.

Tom

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SilentPilot

I'd certainly try some nose weight. Why not? Nothing to lose, unlike going tail heavy, that can be disastrous!

With the CG back (as a DLG really should be) the elevator can be very sensitive. Reduced throws help :)

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pete beadle

Hi tomc

I don't want to seem harsh or even G*d forbid, a bit rude, but I can't help  wondering if you are trying a bit too hard?

It seems to me that your expectations of a perfectly trimmed 'plane and perfectly trimmed and balanced flight when you've had so little time actually flying it, is commendable but not really a reasonable expectation, just yet

When I started out in competitions I was helped by several long-time competition flyers who explained how they thought I should be flying my first competition 'plane but, as I expected, often had different ideas as to what was "perfectly trimmed" or, what was absolutely essential to learn soon.

I was the one hoping to get it all sorted out and right, quickly, but they often said things like "Don't worry, we don't expect you to get it right straight away"  or "I've been doing this for over 20 years and I'm still learning"

Can I commend to you the famous phrase "Practice makes perfect" and concentrate on getting better with little steps rather than big ones

Here's hoping you can accept this advice in the manner it is intended - to help and not to expect too much too son, OK?

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

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