Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Electric Flight 05/2012

This month, we will cover the vertical S, which combines a half-inside loop with a half-outside loop to perform an S-shaped figure. This maneuver is one of many that are also performed by full-scale aircraft, and it is used to climb or descend at a consistent speed.

In the aerobatic world, a perfectly set-up aircraft helps the pilot focus on one thing: executing the maneuver. Once the airplane is well trimmed and performs to the liking of the pilot, concentration can be given to flying different aerobatic figures rather than the inputs needed to correct for any undesired tendencies of the airplane.

If you have been reading my columns over the years, you know that I use what are commonly referred to as flight modes. This means that I use one transmitter switch to control my aileron, rudder and elevator rates. For a maneuver like this one, I use only my low rate setting. On a typical 50-inch-span electric aerobat, I have about 12 degrees of elevator, 30 degrees of rudder and 15 degrees of aileron deflection on this rate. If I were to use linear exponential, the airplane would be rather sensitive. To soften the feel of the control stick around neutral, I recommend that you use exponential. You should start with about 20 percent on all surfaces and increase or decrease the amount to your liking for the low rate settings.