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Panther Trainer Autogyro

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Panther Autogyro

Panther Autogyro

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Second Time Around

Second Time Around

Colin Budds rediscovers his love of autogyros

Richard Harris24/07/2011 20:10:13
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2116 forum posts
1965 photos
Well, she flies!
 
I tried a few hops to start with and added a touch of left roll trimt. Then it took to the air but it was ballooning up and hanging its tail so I decided to land and add some nose weight. This cured it and I had 6 flights in all, but the wind was really blustery especially below 20'.
A bit of right rudder trim also had to be applied especially at full chat, so I will add some more right thrust and go out again in more favourable conditions.
 
I will give you more details later, I had a problem towards the end and I am sure someone will be able to give me some advice. I just need to hook up the watt meter later on and see how things stand.
 
Here are a few photos, one with my camera girl Debs...she took all the photos and a video and always does a good job.
 
 
More later.
 
Rich
 
 




 
Tim Hooper24/07/2011 20:51:15
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2869 forum posts
2363 photos
Rich,
 
Congrats on a lovely model and a successful maiden flight! I think the orange and green scheme is really unusual, but very effective.
 
I don't pretend to understand all the geometry involved in this model, but it's great that you're making it all so accessible for the rest of us!
 
I don't know if you saw the pic of yourself and Debs I took at Walsall, so I'll post it here if that's OK.
 
tim
 

Richard Harris24/07/2011 22:06:56
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2116 forum posts
1965 photos
Thanks for the photos Tim I hope her clothes have been washed since Walsall!!
 
The flights went well, but on a couple of occasions towards the end of the flight the roll and pitch controls went sluggish. The last flight landed because of this, the model was very close to me when it was on the ground and I operated the control. The servos seemed slow and jittery? I carried the model back to the pits, re connected the Lipo and all was fine again.
 
I do not know to much about this electricity malarkey but could it be that the servos are loading up the BEC that much that this could happen? the stated rating of the in built in BEC on my ESC is 3 amps.
 
So when I got home I decided to top up my battery and take some readings on my watt meter.
 
I am swinging a 12 x 6 APC prop and at full chat with a freshly charged battery it is pulling 27 amps and 320 watts.
The standing current is 0.08 amps but when I waggle all 3 servos I can get a max of 1.7 amps but it does fluctuate.
If I stall the roll or pitch servo on their own I reach 1.3 amps (no motor running).
There is no way I could monitor the amps pulled in flight but I would guess it may be getting towards the 3 amps possibly.
So my question, what would happen if you are pulling more amps on the BEC side of the esc? and what would be the easiest solution to over come this? that's if it is that.
 
I hope I make sense?
 
 
Rich
 
Stephen Jones24/07/2011 22:52:18
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2783 forum posts
1604 photos
Hi Richard ,
 
Put a separate battery in just to power the radio gear , as you would if it was an ic model .
Remember to remove the positive wire from the esc though .
 
Richard Harris24/07/2011 23:47:01
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2116 forum posts
1965 photos
Thanks Stephen, I will give that a try as I could then removed the lead from the nose!
 
Here is a video of the second flight, it was a bit windy.
 
 
 
Rich
BILL PETTIT25/07/2011 02:44:56
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230 forum posts
75 photos
Rich : With my infinite knowledge in this electric Lipo battery management sluggishness means LAND!!! LAND NOW !!!! THAT'S FROM EXPERIENCE MIND YOU. The next stage is well not pretty. Anyway thats all I have on that subject, as far as the flight goes She looks dam nice in the air.
 
PS running the radio gear on a separate battery sounds like a good fix. and will help with the balance too.

Looking forward to more flight video Bill
Tim Hooper25/07/2011 07:35:35
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2869 forum posts
2363 photos
Rich,
 
As Stephen suggests, either install a separate rx battery OR fit a 5A UBEC to run the radio gear. I have several in use, and they've all been 100% reliable.
 
tim
David Ashby - Moderator25/07/2011 08:24:28
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10950 forum posts
1681 photos
614 articles
Excellent Rich'
 
Looks very fine, well done.
 
 
 
 
Richard Harris25/07/2011 10:02:48
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2116 forum posts
1965 photos
Cheers chaps
 
Will have a play later on and make the adjustments needed. The weather looks like it will be good for the next couple of days so I will see if I can get out and try again.
If the problem persists I will fit some TP servos that I have fitted in another model , though not the most accurate of servos they are very powerful and ideal for autogyros.
I have weighed the Panther this morning and it is around 3 3/4 lbs, I may just be asking a little too much from the Hitec 225's.
There was certainly plenty of lift being created from the blades, I am half thinking of knocking up another set just a tad shorter in length. This should make it a little faster and handle the wind a little better, but only after trying it in lighter winds.
 
Another photo.
 

Rich
BILL PETTIT25/07/2011 14:46:07
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230 forum posts
75 photos
Wow Debs: That's a great shot!! you have a keen eye, were you in another gyro right behind the Panther? Rich that baby looks FINE in the air SLEEK!
 
Regards Bill
Richard Harris25/07/2011 17:39:08
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2116 forum posts
1965 photos
Bill,
I will pass on the complement to her....unfortunately most of the photos were like the one below lol!
 

Rich
BILL PETTIT25/07/2011 19:54:10
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230 forum posts
75 photos
Well at least you're not burning up film just memory and can reuse that.FILM what was I thinking they stopped making that didn't they ,must have been a senior moment.And yes I used to have a Brownie Box with FILM.
 
Regards Bill
Richard Harris27/07/2011 23:42:50
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2116 forum posts
1965 photos
Chaps,
Thanks for the advice regarding the separate battery I tried it out yesterday but I still got the same sluggish feeling towards the end of the flight.
So it had to be the servos. These were replaced with Tower Pro MG 996's, these things are almost bullet proof and have a said torque of 11kg. They were a bit of a tight fit but I managed to squeeze them in
Tonight I took it out again to try and what a difference!! control was almost instant and it flew far better, those Hitec's must have been working their hearts out!
One little niggle was that in some instances I was having to correct a little with rudder, I am thinking that maybe I could do with a touch more vertical area. So I will add some finlets (or whatever they are called) to the underside of the tailplane and go try again.
It is getting very close now and was a joy to fly.
 
Just a short clip of one of the many flights
 
 
Rich
Richard Harris31/07/2011 19:29:44
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2116 forum posts
1965 photos
Not had much time of late to progress further but today I managed to make up a couple of under slung fins. I am hoping that this will stop the very slight yawing I am getting in some situations.
Going to try and get up the field last thing tonight after my lad has gone to bed. It is a little breezy but should be a good test for the 'add ons'.
 


Rich
Andy Nash31/07/2011 19:50:43
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128 forum posts
29 photos

Rich
 
Fantastic as ever.
 
I was thinking about you comment mate.
 
The tail problem was resolved on another model that had it's tail hanging
The stab was made into a lifting section, or was the LE raised to give a lift to the tail? Cant remember!
 
Not sure if this helps as yours is fixed.
Perhaps a little more down thrust to the engine will lift the tail!
 
She looks great, Debs that is! LOL. Also the Panther dosent look too bad!
 
Regards Andy
Tom Wright 231/07/2011 20:01:15
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3908 forum posts
297 photos
Excellent video Debs.... and the flying ........well it looked very much in control ,smooth and relaxed well done Rich.
Tom.
Richard Harris31/07/2011 22:01:10
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2116 forum posts
1965 photos
Andy,
Seems just a bit of lead in the nose first time out cured the nosing up issue, then I realised that it could well be the servo stalling. Having changed the servos to the head I was able to remove the nose weight and that is fine now.
The problem I had last time out was in some circumstances it was yawing slightly but not always in the same rotation.
This evening I went out again in quite a stiff breeze with extra tail fins added. This seems to have worked as I no longer need to add any rudder correction and it tracks as straight as a die.
 
I am really pleased with the results, it is very easy to fly, this was the main objective. Now the question is, do I let the old man loose on the sticks!
 
And the old question , what next?
 

Rich
kevin wild01/08/2011 15:49:28
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133 forum posts
94 photos
Hi
looks fantastic
 
how does flying an autogyro compare to fixed wing ? or is more helicopterish
 
looks great fun and I think I might have a go
 
Kev
Richard Harris01/08/2011 16:19:19
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2116 forum posts
1965 photos
Kev,
I do not fly helicopters and have no desire to. I have only ever flown fixed wing aircraft and when they are up in the air react very much like a fixed wing but they are a little different.
The hardest part without the shadow of a doubt is getting them off the ground, I had many bumps etc when first trying to get one into the air. Purely because I was in fixed wing mode and just powered off down the runway pulling back on the rotors.
The trick is to just let the autogyro sit there with the rotors tilted back so they start to spin, then move very slowly forwards and let them spin up to speed while slowly moving the tilt back into the neutral postion. Just keep crawling forawrds and you can hear the blades suddenly get up to lifting speed, then it is just a case of slowly applying throttle. An autogyro will take off on its own with no or very little elevator (rearward tilt)
Once in the air larger turns can be made using roll (aileron) making sure never to get past more than 45 degrees in a turn. A little rearward tilt is needed in the turns to stop the nose from dropping. Tighter turns are made using rudder but you have to apply a little opposite roll to keep it flat (just like a fixed wind)
Power is used to climb and rearward tilt is used to slow it down in the air as the rotor disk acts like a huge brake. A bit of power and rearward tilt and it will fly high alpha just playing the throttle.
Good things with these is that they are impossible to stall, if you get a dead stick they will just float down if kept up right.
If you can fly a low wing model then an autogyro will not be a problem once you have learnt how it behaves. If you can fly 3D then you will have some real fun.
 
 
Rich
Richard Harris02/08/2011 23:09:39
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2116 forum posts
1965 photos
Thought I would mention this but me and a few 'gyronuts' from around the UK get together every few months. This Sunday we will be having a bit of a get together and if anyone wants to come along you are more than welcome. Whether you have a model of just have an interest. It is just a relaxed thing and nothing serious.
 
We take it in turns to fly at each others fields, this Sunday it is in the Midlands about 10 mins or so from Greenacres.
 
More info HERE. If anyone flies mode 1 I would be more than happy to let you have a go with the Panther.
 
 
Rich

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