Right, in Part 1, I'll try and cover the basic performance setups – I use this as a bible for setting up my planes and I've not had a problem with it.
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Engine Up/Down Thrust Check
Engine Side thrust check
Centre of gravity Checking
A model should have none too little trim on any surfaces, unless you build warps in to wings – then you could have trouble getting the plane set up correctly.
For starters, set the plane up to recommended settings.
Although the manufacturers instructions tell you practically everything these days, the advice can occasionally be incorrect. The makers often try to build planes with a plug'n'play mentality, however, the drawback is that if you use different electronics or engines to what they suggest then this can cause issues. That’s why performing the checks I've outlined below can turn a plane from an okay'ish flying machine to a performance flying machine.
THE UP/DOWN THRUST CHECK
The is a fun one to check, its gives you the excuse to blip the throttle from full to idle and annoy people with the rasp of that thing that spins on the front.
Come across the strip and simple blip the power from full (for about 2 seconds) and then at idle for about 2 seconds… If the plane at full power climbs from horizontal position, then you have up thrust build in, to correct this simply put penny washers at the top of your engine mount. If the plane dives at full power, then you have down thrust built in, to correct, put washers at the bottom of the motor mount. When you have got this set up correctly, the plane should maintain a horizontal line cross the field no matter if the engine is at full chat or at slow Speed.
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SIDE THRUST CHECKArticle continues below…
Come across the field and pull up vertically (as if you are going in to a stall turn). DO NOT ADD RUDDER TRIM TO CORRECT THE DIRECTION OF THE PLANE – this is a common mistake some pilots make. By doing this you make more work for yourself in cross winds as you have to combat the wind and add more rudder than you should.
If the plane rolls out of the vertical to the left – you need more right thrust. If the plane rolls out of the vertical to the right you need less right thrust.
THE CENTRE OF GRAVITY CHECK
Get your plane airborne, come across the strip inverted at full chat and pull up 45-degrees. If the plane continues at 45-degrees or starts to pull from 45 to say 55, then you are slightly tail heavy. If the plane pulls out of the 45 degrees fast, then you are nose heavy. The plane should do a nice steady arc across the sky, when you have achieved this, you are spot on.
So far so good. In Part 2, I'll go through what it takes to get more from your biplane, radio mixes (yes some may frown upon it, but the full size do it with, so why cant we?) and aileron differential.