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Slow fly Depron Delta tractor or pusher?

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Chris Walby17/07/2017 07:51:12
315 forum posts
38 photos

Hi, the web seems to be full of old and sometimes contradictory guidance!

Looking to build a slow fly Depron delta about 40 inch so no speed records, but slow stable platform.

Thinking of using 3S800 lipo, motor 1200KV 85W max

So for slow flying (not ultra slow!) is it better to have a tractor and push some wash over the control surfaces or pusher?

Sort of need to nail this before progressing, so advice welcomed.

+ going to try profile HS522, unless there is a better recommendation?

Tony Bennett17/07/2017 08:55:58
4779 forum posts
117 photos

tractor prop would work better in my opinion.

Tony B

Engine Doctor17/07/2017 10:21:21
1844 forum posts
4 photos

Plus one for tractor prop. It give better air flow over control surfaces.

ron evans17/07/2017 10:26:00
312 forum posts
21 photos

A clubmate and I have the same foam delta. Mine is a tractor, his a pusher.

The tractor is much quieter in flight, but does suffer from a quite severe torque/propwash reaction if the throttle is opened suddenly at very low speeds, the pusher does not react this way.They both have a central fin.

I would still prefer the tractor, and safer to hand launch too


Chris Walby17/07/2017 11:50:52
315 forum posts
38 photos

Thanks guys, based on flight characteristics, launching, noise and I need to get the weight up the front I'll go with a tractor prop and get on with drawing things up

Last call for any pro pushers out there?

Old Geezer17/07/2017 19:25:04
463 forum posts

If you're going for a Pusher you need more kV and a nice small prop - opening the taps abruptly with a big prop can produce a serious torque roll and with barely any breeze over your elevons to help you counteract this - you can be in trouble. (Inverted at negative altitude.) Further, to keep things reasonably quiet try to keep the clearance between the prop and the T/E as great as possible.

McG 696917/07/2017 19:41:09
1767 forum posts
758 photos

Hi Chris,

I'm a total 'apprentice' as I only have one plan build Hybrid - Depron, liteply & composites - Ballerina 'under my belt'. So, you've been 'warned'.

My first reaction was "why is this guy building a delta if he wants to fly slow"? Deltas are 'speedy' flying machines and are the same for landing, even at 'high alpha'.

From full size experience, tractors have a superior 'efficiency'. Period. The comments above tends to share the idea of the same 'fact'.

But for slow flying you don't need the max efficiency, are you? And pushers can have some nice advantages in relation to stability and ease of control.

Yes, they are obviously more 'noisy' as with the rotating impact to the flying surfaces nearby.

Now not that sure if a tractor gives a better control over the surfaces. It just depends were your prop is situated. Meaning by that, it is evidently so if your prop is situated behind all surfaces but not if it is situated in front of them. And a mid-motor/prop is really easy to build with a delta wing. Even adding a 'bow tie' type opening for the prop allowing a lot less noise from the screw.

The other advantage of a mid motor/prop is the enclosure around it guarantying safety for launch as well as prop protection for landing.

By the way, your "need for weight at the front" becomes a lot less important with a mid motor and Lipos are a nice remedy for that. wink

If you really want to fly a 'delta' at a slow pace, why shouldn't you consider a 'very low' wing loading? And why not? > a delta biplane could deliver that... this is one of my next projects anyhow > a mid engined delta bipe, central Lipo and an Mobius or Redcam up front. As slow as possible, I hope.

Sorry for the long post. angel



Simon Chaddock17/07/2017 20:27:06
5031 forum posts
2637 photos

It depends on the configuration but there can be CofG advantages in a pusher configuration.

A long nose on a delta puts the motor along way ahead of the CofG so the battery has to be moved aft to compensate with resulting long wires.

Slow flying is all about wing loading and a delta is easy to make structurally strong so it is possible to build it much lighter for a given area than a conventional wing.

Just out of interest if a pusher is inefficient how come the Cessna Skymaster has a better (slightly) single engine climb rate on it rear pusher than its front tractor?

It all depends on the layout. wink 2

Edited By Simon Chaddock on 17/07/2017 20:27:32

Dave Bran17/07/2017 20:39:14
1840 forum posts
5 photos

Re: Deltas are 'speedy' flying machines and are the same for landing, even at 'high alpha'.

No No No No No No Noooooooooooo disgust

ron evans17/07/2017 21:26:20
312 forum posts
21 photos

On my foam delta with the motor up front and three servos at the back, the battery sits on the CofG.

Different size packs can be used without having to move them about, and the model starts and stops pitching easier with the heaviest lump on the CofG.

It is a "speedy" model, but if I get it right will also land at zero speed.


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