Lonnie – FlightTest

Gents,

About a week ago I finished building a “Simple Scout”speed build kit from Flite Test. For those of you unfamiliar with this company, they have a website (flitetest.com) that is rich in videos showing RC planes they have designed that are made out of “Adams” water resistant foam board. The unfinished (that is unpainted) models tend to look like they were made from corrugated cardboard box material, but that isn’t even close to what the Adams product actually is. The kits are Laser cut, and go together rapidly using hot glue and packaging tape. The strength and durability is very good, but if you crash HARD you’re going to face more repair issues than you would with a molded EPP, EPS, Elapor or other type of factory “foamy”.

Anyway, for my Simple Scout, I used hardware recovered from previously crashed models, but installed a new “LEMON” (Admiral) 7ch “stability +” receiver. These receivers are capable of 3-axis stability correction (which Horizon calls AS3X, or Artificial Stabilization 3 Axis ), plus Self-leveling (which Horizon calls SAFE, standing for Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope). With the Lemon/Admiral product ($32), you can manually adjust the amount of stabilization “gain” for each separate axis using mechanical potentiometers on the receiver body. You can also adjust the “master gain” for all three channels at once if you have an 8-channel (or greater) transmitter. This makes tuning adjustment in flight simple and quick.

The challenge (for me, at least) was not only to get the Scout flying straight and level manually (i.e. trimming), but also to get the extra features working properly so that I could gain understanding on how this computerized stuff actually works. The link to my 4 minute video shows an early flight with the Scout where I was making minor trim adjustments and changing stick centering post-flight so that there was no radical changes in flight response as I switched back and forth through the 3 flight modes. By the time I was finished, everything was working as expected, except the model would climb somewhat whenever it was switched to auto-level mode, despite no other changes being made by me with the controls. I believe this relates to the process of faulty basic calibration of the auto-level function, which initially has to be done on the bench with the plane fixed in the same attitude you expect it to be in while flying “level”. The problem is in determining exactly what attitude the plane must be in, in order to actually fly level! (I haven’t completely figured that out yet for the Scout.)

The video is on YouTube at    https://youtu.be/NMjj_aAxnew

It’s in 2.7K resolution, which is as high as my hat-cam GoPro will record. Since the first flights were successful, I decided to add some decoration after the video was completed, and the “finished” product is as pictured in the attachment.

My “pilot” flies the plane better than I do!

Lonnie

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