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Flair Puppeteer Help Please

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Ashley Hunt20/09/2020 13:14:53
23 forum posts

I’ve recently finished building a Puppeteer ( lockdown project ) and a few weeks ago I decided it was time for the maiden flight. It was a total failure. Everything was perfect to the point of takeoff and then it immediately just went into a vertical climb, stalled and hit the ground on one wing tip. I had been strongly advised to balance the model nose heavy which I did but only a little nose heavy. Perhaps that was my mistake. Is there anyone out there who has a well behaved Puppeteer be prepared to check the position of their C of G and let me know. Having rebuilt it once I don’t want to have to do it again ! Any other suggestions would also be very welcome.


J D 820/09/2020 13:24:34
1620 forum posts
87 photos

Some extra info may be handy, Where is the CoG now ,what engine you have and how much down thrust?

David Davis20/09/2020 14:00:22
3851 forum posts
741 photos

A lot of people struggle with flying the Puppeteer with the CG in the position as indicated on the plan, including me. I believe the c/g is shown at 130mm from the upper wing leading edge. Try it at 110mm.

Jon - Laser Engines20/09/2020 14:42:58
5627 forum posts
271 photos

My dad taught me to fly on his pup and it should be a delight to fly. He did however tell me that he found the c/g was not right and ended up adding an extra pound of lead to the firewall. Having flown others balanced per the plans i have to say i agree with his added weight idea.

His model was build per plans with a 50 4 stroke fitted. I cant recall if he had any lead on it before he added more but i think he did finally end up with one whole pound on the front.

What power plant has your model got? in recent years everyone tries to shoehorn a 70 into these for some reason and its just too much. If overpowered the model will climb like crazy if you just slam it open.

Geoff S20/09/2020 14:49:59
3827 forum posts
49 photos

I have a Puppeteer but it hasn't seen the light of day for some years and it's currently buried deep in my 'hanger' (ie the roof space over my workshop. I don't recall having any problems with its flying right from the start and presumably I set CoG as per the drawing/instructions. In fact I found it quite docile and the only problem I had was a faullty receiver (my fault - I made that, too!)

Mine had an Irving Q40 and then an SC65 4 stroke.


Ashley Hunt20/09/2020 18:17:15
23 forum posts

Thanks for the replies.

Jon I’m afraid I’m one of those who has probably over engined the model. I’ve got a very old Laser .61 in the Puppeteer, in fact you helped me out back in May 2019 to get the engine running again after many years of storage.

I set the C of G as per the plan so perhaps it was a combination of not being nose heavy enough and over engined. Someone did video the 21 seconds of flight and it behaved perfectly until the point of lift off and then it immediately went into a vertical climb.

Jon - Laser Engines20/09/2020 18:26:38
5627 forum posts
271 photos

On paper a 61 is ok for the pup, but i fired up my laser 61 a few weeks back and was reminded that its a bit of an animal and gives some 70's a run for their money. Try something like a 14x5 prop to tame the beast a little.

On the bright side, the old 61 is a porker by modern standards so will help with the balance issue.

Also, how much elevator deflection do you have? i only ask as its actually very hard to stall a flair pup so perhaps lower rates will help

Ashley Hunt20/09/2020 19:27:29
23 forum posts

Jon, I followed the kit instructions and had 12mm elevator deflection. I was using a 12x6 prop so a 14x5 is probably a very good suggestion.

David, the plan gives the position of the C of G as 135mm behind the leading edge of the upper wing so I’ll try 110mm and see how much lead I have to use. It could be the pound that Jon mentioned earlier !

cymaz20/09/2020 20:15:31
9388 forum posts
1216 photos

I used a good deal of stick on lead weights. All around the inside of the cowl. Mine was tail heavy first flight.

i12fly20/09/2020 22:33:50
648 forum posts
22 photos

I had mine set as per plan position but it was balanced level, not pointing down. It was uncontrollable in this position but I managed to get it down luckily. I cannot understand why anyone would say balance it 'with it pointing down' -how much down....!!!?

I had an SC70 FS in mine (it was not overpowered because I used the throttle sensitively), but had to add 8oz of lead into the cowl for it to fly well. Cannot remember the CoG position but David Davis' suggestion sounds good.

Another Flair with stated CoG position issue was the Bristol Fighter, quite a few only flew once.

As they say, a nose heavy plane doesn't fly very well but a tail heavy plane flies once

jrman21/09/2020 12:01:21
423 forum posts
3 photos

Balance it with the tailplane level (viewed from the side).

David Davis21/09/2020 15:12:24
3851 forum posts
741 photos

I had a similar problem with the cg on a 1/6 scale Roy Scott BE2e. Different aircraft of course, two seater, 80" wingspan. The plan shows the cg on a line with the rear cabane strut. I flew it like that but had to play a tune on the sticks at the same time. **LINK**

The cognoscenti advised me to move the cg up to the middle of the front cockpit. I melted a lot of lead into a sardine tin. BE2e in flight 2nd august 2020.jpg I fitted that under the engine, it's easier to fly now but I've found out that with both the Puppeteer and the BE2, you have to fly them right down onto the ground when landing. They don't glide very well!

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