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Saturday, April 4, 2015

60" Extra EXP__More Spoileron Testing

With all the Laser flying that has been going on, my new 60" EXP Extra has been sadly neglected. I put a few flights on her in the beginning to get her dialed in and make sure she was ready for the flying season, and then put her away to complete the Laser projects.
While I really loved flying the big Laser, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the Extra again. This time though, I added the 25% spoileron mix I have used on both sizes of Laser, and lately my 48" Yak. You can read more about the mix at Laser EXP__The Spoileron Files 
I put three solid flights on the Extra using the mix most of the time. I found the mix makes harrier more stable and just about totally kills off any possibility of wing rock. Certainly you can get anything to rock if you are sloppy enough, but with the mix you would almost had to do it on purpose. Since I am not an engineer I can only guess the spoilerons kill lift, and that keeps the wing more deeply stalled and less prone to start flying and setting up the back and forth rocking motion. Since the lift is being spoiled, you have to carry the nose a bit higher, and if you play around with it you can learn to drag the plane around on a ridiculously high angle. 
Because the lift is being spoiled, it is much easier to toss the plane around and have it slide through the air. You can see in alpha flight the Extra is rarely going in the same direction it is pointed, and that's on purpose. It is kind of like sliding a car around on a wet road for fun. You are sort of out of control, but you are still putting it exactly where you want it to go. Before the mix it was more difficult to do this with the Extra because it is light on it's wings and wants to fly, but when you kill the lift with the spoilerons, the plane becomes a bit more lively to throw in and out of alpha.
I would say that I never flew my older Extra with this kind of vigor, simply because this plane flies much better. Part of this is because I built this one and got it exactly the way I wanted it, and it flew better even before I started playing with the mix. The difference is that the mix opens a new dimension, a different way of getting more out of the plane. If you compare to my older extra videos, it is almost like they are different kinds of planes.
Surprisingly it did not take much effort to adapt to this new style. We have sort of been sliding the planes all along, but now it is much more visible and much more deliberate. You do have to be a little more careful when you rotate the plane super hard because now the spoilerons dump all the lift, and in maneuvers like parachutes and walls you have to be careful the plane doesn't fall out from under you. This aspect was potentially deadly when I was running a 50% mix because it would dump all the lift instantly and the plane would not even slow down! This is why I cut back to 25%, and like this it is much more manageable.... to the point I will fly almost and entire flight with the spoilerons on.
There are two things the mix does not do well. First, high speed precision seems to be better with the mix off. For this, it is easy enough to flip the switch and crank off a sequence, then flip back on when you drop back into alpha. The other area that suffers is inside snaps and tumbles. In a high speed snap the plane will sort of wallow, pitch up and half roll. As such, for inside snaps, spins and such, I will turn the mix off.
Still, this is a work in progress, with most of it being on the pilot. The plane flies differently and I will have to fly it differently to get the most out of it. It would be easier to just stick with what I know and try to expand on that, but the whole idea is to open up my entire game and the mix is helping that.
In general the mix seems to make the plane more lively in alpha flight. The addition of the extra "tossability" was an unexpected bonus that I have really been enjoying.

Mostly, though, I am simply delighted with this plane, mix or no mix. I started the day conventionally enough and put the mix in for the second flight. It was not until the third flight (in the video) that I left it on and started pushing the plane. Before that, I was still totally enamored with the new girl. I might be a little bit weird for Extras, but maybe that's because they are the best.

Right now I am between projects, but I am planning to build a new 48" Extra with Hitec HV servos and using the spoileron mix. as well as I know that 48" Extra, I think the mix will really allow me to do some bizarre things with that plane.

I also tried the same mix on my 48" Yak and that plane absolutely came alive. It became something totally different. Sadly we did not shoot any video because no one was expecting what we got, but it was truly insane,  balls-out and epic. I was able to hang the Yak on the edge for the whole flight with it wiggling and squirming all over and rarely going where it was pointed. My friends finally had to intervene and convince me to land because it was getting a bit too nuts.
It was pretty huge fun and we will get some video of that if I don't kill the plane first being so stupid with it!

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