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WW1 biplanes

what are they like to fly?

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dave cuming06/05/2008 13:29:00
5 forum posts

hi i have recently built a DB tripehound (fokker) lookalike? and as i have never flown a multi wing model before, was wondering if i need any tips or ideas in actually flying the thing!!! i normally fly limbo's, hype's, purple haze's electric etc but have heard some horror stories regarding biplanes and triplanes, any tips would be appreciated!!

regards

dave

Eric Bray06/05/2008 14:43:00
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Don't expect agility like a wot4! Most of the genuine ww1 and pre could barely stumble out of their own way! All the wings, struts, bracing wires, and the rest give them a glide angle like a brick when the engine quits. The sort-of-stand-way-off scale models are ok, but the nearer to true scale, the worse the flight performance.
David Ashby - Moderator06/05/2008 14:47:00
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The narrow track undercarriage means they can be a little tippy on that axis so just be ready to stop a wing from digging in during take off or landing.

The drag from the extra wing/wires etc. can be noticeable but nothing to worry about for the average flyer - fly and enjoy

Bob Cotsford06/05/2008 15:44:00
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if the motor dies, remember to keep the airspeed up or it will glide like a barrel of bricks (edit - sorry Eric, just saw your response!).  Don't even think about trying to stretch the glide.

Flanker .14/05/2008 08:31:00
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I have a Puppeter which is a nice compromise between scale and practicality. The main thing is to pratice flying slow with a bipe, it is easy to fly too fast if one is used to "sport" aircraft. With TWO wings and lots of drag the stalling speed can be very low, which makes landing easy, but I have seen many have trouble trying to land too fast due to not realising how slow they can go. Your rudder is your best mate on landing and take off to avoid catching a wing tip on the deck. Try to avoid cross wind action. WW1 bipes do and did not like cross winds. Mine has scale ish power so you may find that you need hight for aerobatics - use the energy of the model here. Roll rate can be slow too. Try first rolls climbing after a dive for speed, at good hight too!

Have fun, I do! F 

Simon Chaddock14/05/2008 17:56:00
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Do not be too dismissive of the performance of WW1 aircraft, full size or models.

Yes the drag tends to be high but the lower wing loading means plenty of lift. Their achilles heal was always engine reliability which should not be a problem for a model. For example the low engine speed and big efficient prop on the Fokker Triplane meant it could reach 20,000 ft on just 110hp, not many modern light aircraft can match that.

As Flanker says cross winds are a no no. WW1 airfields tended to be a just an area of grass with a wind sock in the middle, you ALWAYS took off and landed into the wind.

Some manoeuvres (loops and stall turns) a WW1 type biplane will do nicely, just don't expect it to knife edge between the pylons!

Flanker .14/05/2008 19:56:00
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Camel & Spit Check this link out it is very intersting vis avis ww1 stuff.

Eric Bray14/05/2008 20:44:00
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Nice vid, I hadn't seen it before. Interesting how the Camel is flying sideways rleative to the Spit! (And now you know why WW1 pilots didn't have constipation!)
Tim Mackey14/05/2008 22:52:00
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Yeh, nice vid
David Ashby - Moderator15/05/2008 07:59:00
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Very interesting and what about the total oil loss system too.....
Simon Chaddock15/05/2008 15:50:00
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A great video and it certainly shows what it was like handling a WW1 type on the ground. Notice how the Camel rocks as the mag is blipped - 160hp on and off - ouch! Or the "missed beat" firing using the "reduced power" mag settings. I bet the Camel pilot kept a wary eye on that huge Merlin prop not far from his left side!

The amazing thing about the monosoupape (single valve) configuration is that it worked as well as it did - a sort of 2 stroke crankcase induction system but in a 4 stroke cycle. A good description and diagram here.

http://www.enginehistory.org/Gnome%20Monosoupape.pdf

Flanker .15/05/2008 18:01:00
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Er Timbo me old china. Did you delete my last post ? Viz Biggles n Castor oil stains on Camel pilots  left shoulders ? If so can you tell me why, I was on thread and did not write anything rude.
Tim Mackey15/05/2008 19:56:00
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Nope...not me Flanker
richard cohen16/05/2008 22:17:00
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Dave,  I,ve just finished my  SE5a and was just as concerned about flight and ground handling as I have never flown a bipe or other slow ww1 aircraft but on a balmy evening this week it had its maiden flight  with our club chairman at the sticks (cheers to Eddie Barker from Swindon Model Aero Club) and with a few slight trim changes it was declared a peach to fly. I took it up again and with good rudder control on take off and turns( not a problem as i learnt to fly on taildraggers) it flew slow scale manouvers beautifully. Landing on the narrow wheel base does need care as Flanker previouly said, because it can tip easily ,but all in all I have to say there can be no finer flying than a 4 stroke powered WW1 fighter on a calm still evening when all the 2 strokes have landed and you have the field to yourself . You just need to imagine the flanders trenches and poppy fields and you go back 90 years !

Sorry, getting a bit too poetic there  !

rich

Eric Bray16/05/2008 22:20:00
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I don't think Flanders was too poetic - but I understand what you meant!
Tentpeg19/05/2008 21:40:00
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70 forum posts

I can recommend one book 'Winged Victory' by V.M.Yeates. He actually flew the machines, Sopwith Camels included and the book gives you a real insight as to what it was really like in the early days of combat flying.

Apparently the pilots from WW2 would pay up to one months' wages for a copy of this book as they found it so inspirational.

Regards,

Tentpeg. 

John Bunting19/05/2008 23:08:00
105 forum posts
Cecil Lewis, in his book "Saggitarius Rising", said that in his opinion the Sopwith Triplane was the most pleasant WW1 machine to fly, and that with suitable settings of the throttle and tailplane trim, it would go on looping indefinitely, hands off.
Tim Mackey19/05/2008 23:23:00
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20920 forum posts
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sounds like some of the modellers I know
Jack Bagley20/05/2008 13:27:00
54 forum posts

Once built and flew a Sopwith camel ( RCME) by Fritz Mier Paton in the seventies, it was a pleasure to fly on a Merco 61, and Kraft radio. Had it for about three years, then sold it on. Next was a Boddington Pup, again a good balanced flyer with an Enya 60, and Futaba radio. It finally gave up the ghost from being fuel soaked after almost continuous use over two years!

I love bipes, slow, draggy and just cool! Jack

John Bunting20/05/2008 19:07:00
105 forum posts
I still have an APS 1/8 scale Sopwith Pup, originally a free-flight design, which I built in 1968 and flew with single-channel radio, escapements, and a Mk 1 Frog 100 engine turning a home-made scale-size prop, !2 x 4, at about 4000 rpm., giving just enough thrust to fly. I am just putting in relatively new radio, servos, and an AXI motor.

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