Fly­ing with flaps

Model Airplane News - - PILOT REPORT -

Fly­ing with flaps feels dif­fer­ent in flight no mat­ter which type you have: plain, split, slot­ted, or Fowler. When en­gaged, flaps ef­fec­tively change the cam­ber of a wing. This, in turn, will in­crease lift and in­crease drag, and leads to lower stall and land­ing speeds. All good, right? Well, some­times that ex­tra lift may in­clude a pitch change as an un­ex­pected ride-along, and com­pen­sa­tion may be needed. Don’t ex­per­i­ment with your new beauty on its test flight. After the proper flight trim­ming is done and with a fresh flight pack, take the plane back up. Way up. Once you’re “two mis­takes” high, lower the flaps and ob­serve the air­craft. If a pitch change oc­curs—and they do—the pilot may have to re­spond quickly with some el­e­va­tor in­put. Do what is nec­es­sary to main­tain pos­i­tive con­trol, and re­mem­ber that you can al­ways raise the flaps and re­sume fly­ing as usual. When ready, land the air­plane. Note the amount of el­e­va­tor you added in flight. You can cre­ate a flap-to-el­e­va­tor mix in your ra­dio, which will add in a spec­i­fied amount of el­e­va­tor in­put for you when flaps are de­ployed. Find­ing the sweet spot takes a few flights, so be pa­tient and ad­just it to your lik­ing. Of course, if you are a Spek­trum trans­mit­ter user, you could al­ways down­load the Car­bon-Z Cessna 150 file to your SD card and up­load it into your ra­dio to elim­i­nate any of the guess­work.

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