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Re: Flight Times

Posted: April 26th, 2010, 4:53 am
by wlsguy
I wouldn't get too hung up on the 5:11 time.

The best fliers don't always make it to Nats because the team isn't as strong in other events.
(Ohio is sendinging its best 2 teams including last year's Nat Champs but they only placed 8th and 15th in WS)

It is also dependant upon the flying site. The 5:11 time was done in a very high site.
Your times will vary.

It would be interesting to compare times vs flying site.

For example:
our team flew 3:11 on a full motor in a 25' height (with a large torque backoff) and flew 1:50 on 1/2 motors in the same site.
At the Ohio State Competition they flew 3:31 in a 48' site but only reached 38~40'. This was enough for 1st place.

I'm sure they would love to fly in the Nat's site to see how they would do.

Re: Flight Times

Posted: April 26th, 2010, 5:53 am
by jcollier
Good post, wisguy. I also wanted to respond to the PA student who asked about what kind of place a certain time would get. The absolute most important thing in your mind should be "What do I need to do to get my plane to fly its best time?" If you can go out there, under pressure, and in flying conditions that are bound to be different than what you practiced with, and fly good competitive times, then you have every reason to be very proud. Let the chips fall where they may. Practice times tell you a certain amount of information, but you still have to be on your game on Friday. Otherwise, it is like Allen Iverson said "Are we talkin' about practice?" If you go out there and fly a great time, and someone beats you, then there is nothing you can do about that. You have no control over what some other team will be able to do. Just go there and do your best. :D

Re: Flight Times

Posted: April 26th, 2010, 11:25 am
by calgoddard
I watched the WS competition at the 2005 Nationals at the University of Illinois.

The flying site was the Armory, which had an impressive 98 foot ceiling. Use GOOGLE to find an image on line. I think this year's Nationals for WS will be in the same venue.

From what I observed, it was clear that few competitors had prepared to fly in such a high site. Many planes did not climb nearly as high as they should have. The ones that did often went dead stick at about 50 feet of altitude, headed straight for the wall, and went down fast.

You need to practice with partial motors. That means if your gym is 25 feet or less in height, make up a dummy motor stick that weighs 1.125 grams and make up a bunch of partial motors that weigh 0.375 grams.

See the article on the Nationals web site on flying with partial motors. I think it is still there.

Learn how to wind your 1/4 motor so your plane will climb near the 25 foot ceiling. Try to make sure that your plane doesn't run out of winds until it is near to the floor. Your torque meter wil not be used to tell you how many winds to back off, as you do in lower ceiling heights. All that torque will be needed to get altitude in the Amory. All the winds will be needed to prevent you from going dead stick too high. The torque meter will be used to tell you when your motor has been wound to near breaking point.

Be careful not to have motor stick bending issues with all that torque. Watch out for prop stalls, indicated by the plane hanging on its prop when first launched.

Experiment with trim and lower pitch props to get your plane up there. If you have time, experiment with a main wing having lower camber, e.g. 3% instead of 6%.

I am not sure how the bonus wing will play out this year. That's a big percentage bonus but a huge sacrifice in wing loading with such a small wing chord.

Our team had limited success with the State bonus and it was a lot of work. My gut instincts tell me the winner at Nationals in WS in 2010 will have a large chord wing, i.e. at least 13 cm.

Good Luck!

Re: Flight Times

Posted: April 27th, 2010, 4:47 am
by wlsguy
Good advice calgoddard.

I feel our team's success in Ohio was completely the result of spending 6 hours flying on 1/2 motors to prepare for the higher flying site.
The teams that will do well at Nats are those that are ready and can make full use of the 98' site.

I think that any team currently flyng 2:00 ~ 2:30 in a "normal" gym has a plane that is capable of winning. It will all depend on the preparation time and how they deal with the minor issues that occur the day of competition.

The key points (in my opinion)
1) have a plane that weighs 7.0 ~ 7.2g
2) have practiced with 1/4 motors so your place can reach the top in a normal gym
3) match the motor to the plane so it does not land with too many winds or come down "dead stick"
4) be able to fly the same time consistantly.
5) have a little luck the day of competition.

Re: Flight Times

Posted: April 27th, 2010, 6:27 am
by jcollier
Yes, and good luck to those who are going. Hope you enjoy the chance to fly at a place like that. :D

Re: Flight Times

Posted: April 30th, 2010, 7:20 pm
by jcollier
Congrats to eta150 who won the PA State Wright Stuff today with a flight of 3.07 Very nice plane, flow expertly! Very nice guy too. I wish you good luck at Nationals, as Bala Cynwyd also won the PA team title.

Behind the champ, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place teams were within about 1 sec. of each other, but not close enough to be a real threat to win.

Danielle S. on this forum was 3rd again, missing 2nd by .2 sec. I believe. (I was only timing the 8 min. flight period, not the actual flights.)

My son didn't realize a fluorescent light fixture was a no parking zone. When John Clapp expertly got the plane down (and it stopped flying), he only got it checked and remounted with another motor, and relaunched with about 15 sec. to spare. He finished just behind Danielle. It was more competitive and more fun to watch this year. Good job, teams. :D

Re: Flight Times

Posted: May 1st, 2010, 8:11 am
by DanielleS
Bala Cynwyd's plane was awesome, so tons of congratulations to them, they really didn't have any competition. The only people who could've put them for a spin was Strath Haven with the bonus wing. They were getting 3.10 total with the bonus included, but then their officials didn't go as well. But, congrats to everyone who had 2.33-2.34 range, because there certainly were quite a few of us :D

Re: Flight Times

Posted: May 1st, 2010, 8:32 am
by eta150
In order to climb fast enough to reach the ceiling at the armory, would it make sense to increase the wing's angle of attack? Or would the drag penalty outweigh the benefits of the climb?

Re: Flight Times

Posted: May 1st, 2010, 5:05 pm
by calgoddard
The angle of attack (incidence) of the main wing should be as high as possible without stalling, whether you fly in a low ceiling or a high ceiling flying site.

They way to optimize your plane for flying at the Armory (98 foot ceiling) is covered in one of my recent posts (above).

One cool aspect of the Armory that I recall is that it has a system of double doors which virtually eliminates the problem of drafts.

It's so big that in 2005 they also held Storm the Castle in the Armory, with no negative effect on the Wright Stuff competition.

Good luck. Wish I could be there to observe the Wright Stuff competition at Nationals this year.

Re: Flight Times

Posted: May 2nd, 2010, 4:07 pm
by illusionist
The weather at MI state competition was HORRIBLE. We practiced in a cool, dry gym, but the gym at the competition was very warm and humid (necessary to keep out drafts). Plus, it rained in the morning, and the whole day was very humid. Our 2min+ plane got 1:40... :shock: