Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Maddie J
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Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Post by Maddie J » February 14th, 2017, 7:19 am

Hello,

I'm in the 7th grade, & my partner Alyssa & I have been struggling for the past 6 weeks with homemade planes using Chuck Markos' plan at first and then building the Freedom flight kit. The first plane we built, flew the best & longest at 20 sec, but never circled or climbed. We messed with the wing incidence, warp in/warp out, etc. but too many crashes ended up breaking the leading edge wing post. Our next 3 planes with the same design never did any better than 32 seconds.

Now, we are trying very hard to get the kit plane from Freedom Flight to fly & followed the 30+ instructions. We've had a lot of breakage with the ribs attached to the carbon fiber & have had to glue them back together. The plane was stalling & not flying. We lowered the leading edge by 1mm & it now "flew" for 6 seconds while banking left. We had a lot of trouble with where to place the wings due to the CG being so far back.

Is there anyone willing to take a look at our measurements, weight, etc. & perhaps help guide us to get the plane to actually fly? We've put in a lot of time building 5 different planes, and none fly. No one at our school actually knows how to do it, and we have tried to follow instructions & guidance, but we are very frustrated. We have Regionals in less than 2 weeks, and right now, we have nothing working.

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Re: Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Post by Buckstops » February 14th, 2017, 8:20 am

I think that the Freedom Flight kit might be very difficult for novice builders and fliers, but Dave Ziegler is extremely knowledgeable and is a very nice guy so I would recommend emailing him directly with your questions. I have spoken with him in the past and he was very helpful. I have seen many FF planes at competitions some with flight over 2 minutes, and several with flights under 10 seconds. They are beautiful when built and trimmed correctly, but most of the successful students appeared to have experienced mentors coaching them. That being said, I have two 8th graders who have been building for 3 years so I purchased a kit. When I read through the instructions I decided that the time investment versus the likelihood of building a 2-3 minute plane could not be justified. We kept the kit and maybe the students might want to try to build it before States.
I attended the Chuck Markos session at a coaches clinic and built a plane that flew for 40 seconds in about an hour. My students (8 of them) took well over 2 hours to build 4 planes, but all of them flew over 30 seconds with some trimming. After about 3 hours of practice, the 8th graders flew about a minute in a gym with a 28 foot ceiling. Two things that might improve your times with the Markos plans: cover the surfaces with plastic (we use the plastic from grocery store produce bags) instead of tissue paper and don't obsess with making the covering too tight. The wings seem to warp much less than with tissue paper. Also, do you have turns left in your motor when your planes land? You might want to consider using a thinner rubber and/or increasing the pitch in your propeller (there are very easy plans for making a pitch gauge on line.)
One final recommendation: we also purchased kits from Laser-Cut-Planes that are even easier to build than than following the Markos plans. The parts are laser cut and fit very nicely, and after trimming and experimentation we consistently have times over 90 seconds. Don't give up, and Happy Landings..
Buckstops
"Don't practice until you get it right. Practice until you can't get it wrong."
"Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn"

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Re: Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Post by JasperKota » February 14th, 2017, 8:41 am

The Freedom Flight kit is rather complicated this year. I've had several breaks in the ribs myself and misunderstood instructions multiple times. How much are you winding? The plane will not climb if you're winding around 300 winds (20ish turns on a 15:1 winder). Dave's instructions recommends you put the rear post of the wing mount slightly in front of the middle of the laser cut motorstick (where you glued two pieces from the laser cut sheets together to make a motorstick) and have the CG about 1.1 inches in front of the rear wing post. Add some clay towards the front to make the CG more towards the front.

If in the end, if you still cannot get it to fly, and if you have time, I have seen recommendations for using the Vanguard P-18 kit, which is less complicated and takes a lot less time to make. It's only 15 dollars and can be bought here: http://www.lasercutplanes.com/index.php?p=1_2.

Posting the measurements of your plane and pictures would probably be helpful for others as well.
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Maddie J
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Re: Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Post by Maddie J » February 14th, 2017, 9:30 am

Thank you for the 2 quick replies! I will get our measurements, weights, along with pictures loaded tonight or tomorrow in order to get more detailed assistance. We'll relook at the CG on the FF & reread the instructions for the uptenth time & hope to understand it a little more with your comment. We will also try the clay. We are suppose to test again tomorrow after school. Thanks again!

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Re: Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Post by Maddie J » February 14th, 2017, 9:33 am

"I attended the Chuck Markos session at a coaches clinic and built a plane that flew for 40 seconds in about an hour. My students (8 of them) took well over 2 hours to build 4 planes, but all of them flew over 30 seconds with some trimming. After about 3 hours of practice, the 8th graders flew about a minute in a gym with a 28 foot ceiling. Two things that might improve your times with the Markos plans: cover the surfaces with plastic (we use the plastic from grocery store produce bags) instead of tissue paper and don't obsess with making the covering too tight. The wings seem to warp much less than with tissue paper. Also, do you have turns left in your motor when your planes land? You might want to consider using a thinner rubber and/or increasing the pitch in your propeller (there are very easy plans for making a pitch gauge on line.)"

Our Chuck Markos planes are using the grocery bag HDPE plastic. We have a lot of turns left in our motor when the plane lands or crashes--usually over 200 turns....we look into thinner rubber bands, and if no result, maybe work on the pitch propeller next!

We'll post pictures, measurements, etc. either tonight or tomorrow night after we have some testing on Wednesday after school. Thank you for replying!

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Re: Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Post by calgoddard » February 15th, 2017, 5:24 am

Take a video of a flight of your airplane.

Upload it to YouTube.

Post a link on this thread to the YouTube video.

It will be much easier to help you improve your flight times if we can observe the performance of your model in the air.

Kyle_Guo
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Re: Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Post by Kyle_Guo » February 15th, 2017, 4:00 pm

The freedom flight planes need to be built exactly to how it is said in the instruction packet. I learned the hard way. They are capable of 2 minute flights in a 25 feet tall gym. Are you winding enough?
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Maddie J
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Re: Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Post by Maddie J » February 15th, 2017, 7:49 pm

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-ep ... hsp5UgZbZ8

Here is a link to a picture of our freedom flight kit plane. I don't think the image link is working to download directly.

Maddie J
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Re: Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Post by Maddie J » February 15th, 2017, 7:58 pm

https://youtu.be/Ze-d_K-mgY8

Here is a link to the very short, yet typical flight we are having....

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Re: Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Post by smrt1337 » February 15th, 2017, 8:12 pm

Maddie J wrote:https://youtu.be/Ze-d_K-mgY8

Here is a link to the very short, yet typical flight we are having....
Before i go into anything, do you have a winder? How many winds was the flight you posted on YouTube?
Here's what I would do: Move the leading edge back up, (you have a negative angle of incidence right now I'm assuming) and to correct the stall, put modeling clay on the nose, until it is just past the point of stalling, but not. This will also move the cg forward. If this doesn't work, increase the rubber band width.
Also, read the stuff Mr. Zeigler wrote in the back of the instructions and this: https://www.soinc.org/sites/default/fil ... iad5.0.pdf
Last edited by smrt1337 on February 15th, 2017, 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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