StarLite's first flight!

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After a few days of miserable weather (snow in MAY?!?!) it cleared up tonight, temperature rose to 10C and the winds calmed down. So, out came the StarLite for her first flight.

How'd it go? Not bad. The control rods needed to be modified to a) not strike the servos and more importantly, b) not come unhooked.

ControlRods.jpgOne flight almost ended in disaster when the elevator become disconnected!

One more change I made was to increase the control authority - this is done by selecting which hole on the server and on the tab attached to the control surface to insert the control rod.
By putting the rod into the hole furthest from the pivot on the servo and closest to the pivot point on the control surface you maximize how far the control surface will move. This makes the plane much more sensitive, however, with a good transmitter, this sensitivity can be dampened through dual rates and exponential rate curves.

The little 9g brushless from hobby city with a gws5030 prop really pulls that plane around. I was worried that being 20% over the recommended flying weight would be a problem. But that was back when electric planes flew on NiMh batteries. Now with a 2 cell 360mAh LiPo and a 2290Kv motor, it almost has no choice but to fly!

In the end I flew it just over 3 times. The first couple times it became airborne was on my front street. It needs a lot more room then the Citabria did. Those flights lasted a few seconds until I panicked and put it down on the other side of the street. Heading to a nearby school yard was a much smarter decision. The first real flight there was going quite nice until I lost the elevator. It came down rather hard it seemed on the nose, but suffered no damage!

I took it home to correct the control rod problem and was back on the field in less then an hour. However, in that hour the winds had picked up. It was a very wild flight that ended with a throttle off glide in for a hard cross wind landing that broke the left landing strut. That is currently being repaired. Here's to hoping the winds will be calm tomorrow!

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