Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Maddie J
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Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Postby Maddie J » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:19 pm

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

Postby Buckstops » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:20 pm

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

Postby JasperKota » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:41 pm

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

Postby Maddie J » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:30 pm

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

Postby Maddie J » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:33 pm

"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

Postby calgoddard » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:24 pm

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.

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Re: Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Postby Kyle_Guo » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:00 am

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

Postby Maddie J » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:49 am

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.

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Re: Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Postby Maddie J » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:58 am

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

Postby smrt1337 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:12 am

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/files/uploaded_files/ScienceOlympiad5.0.pdf
Last edited by smrt1337 on Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Maddie J » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:14 am

LE post was 8.5 cm from the tip of the motor stick, TE was 19.7 cm
Height of wing post LE: 6.0 cm TE 5.8 cm (length to insert and top of CF measured)
31 cm between LE of Wing to LE of Stablizer
Motor stick 16 inches
39 cm from prop to back hook
41 cm Prop to tail boom insert, 19 cm total tail boom
60 cm total length prop to end of tail boom
Weight 6.3 grams without motor, clay was added to top of motor stick left side to get 7.5 grams

Rubber 17 inches .65" rubber from kit

Winds: 20 of 15:1 to start, increased to 50 of 15.1, but no change in time, height, etc. No flights over 10 seconds so many turns left!

Plane just doesn't fly: glides to a halt.

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Re: Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Postby Maddie J » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:19 am

I don't think we can change our prop...it's glued in & as best we could via the instructions. WE are beginners, that's for sure! We've been doing tests on homemade Chuck Markos plane design before trying to work on this very hard, complicated kit. We've had many breakages on all the parts, & we've tried follow the instructions as best as possible, but it's confusing. :evil:

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Re: Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Postby smrt1337 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:28 am

Maddie J wrote:I don't think we can change our prop...it's glued in & as best we could via the instructions. WE are beginners, that's for sure! We've been doing tests on homemade Chuck Markos plane design before trying to work on this very hard, complicated kit. We've had many breakages on all the parts, & we've tried follow the instructions as best as possible, but it's confusing. :evil:

When the plane was stalling did it climb at all?

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Re: Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Postby hogger » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:08 am

The plane is gliding well, it is not stalling at all. Here are a few things I would do.
- Make sure the balance point (center of gravity) is about 3/8 of an inch inside the wing leading edge. Do this with rubber motor attached. Reread the instruction on how to do this if you are not sure.
- More importantly the wing angle of incidence should be raised. This is the angle of the plane that forms the wing relative to the plane of the stabilizer. You can increase it by raising the leading edge wing posts or lowering trailing edge wing posts. This should be quite easy with the sliding tubes design of this kit. Also the stabilizer angle can be changed with shim. Keep raising the angle until you get a good lift. When you do it too much, the plane will start exhibiting stalling flight. This is when it climbs for a little bit and then followed by a dive. When this happens, you need to reduce the angle of incidence.
- Lastly, as previous posts suggest, you need to wind a lot more. It looks like in the video that there is a lot more winding you can do to get more power and potentially more lift. Winding technique is one of the key to do well in this competition. You should be able to do a bit more than 50 winds of 15:1.

The plane is turning to the left correctly so there is nothing wrong there. Hopefully those 3 things above will get you going in the right direction. Good luck.

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Re: Freedom Flight Kit plane won't fly

Postby jander14indoor » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:01 pm

The turn looked right, no stalling in that short flight. That airplane is capable of MUCH longer flights, easily reaching the ceiling. It might need a few trim tweaks, but it is capable.
Assuming you are at minimum weight, you just don't have enough power. Even if you aren't at minimum weight, you need even MORE power.
How do yo get that, you need to wind HARDER. A 0.065 motor that length should have well north of 1250 turns, probably well north of 1500. You may need a thicker motor too, but you'll still need to wind it HARD.
Now, you may find trim issues as you wind harder, so you might want to go in steps. But I'd start with a big first step. 50% more turns, even 100%. You haven't begun to stress that motor yet.

Once it starts climbing with more power you'll probably find some trim issues, but right now you need to focus on winding harder.

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