Freewing T-45 Goshawk 90mm EDF Jet PNP

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AS3X and SAFE mode setup Confusion

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  • AS3X and SAFE mode setup Confusion

    The eflite Commander is a good flying aircraft.
    But the “setup” routine has some confusing information.
    1. During some setup steps it tells you do this step with the plane sitting on its gear and soon after refers to having the plane “level” to perform the step. So which is it..?
    2. During the initial trimming flight it states to trim for level flight, then go hands free for 3 seconds, etc. It is not specific if the trimming should be done in SAFE mode or AS3X mode.
    3. Should the model always be sitting on its gear when Rx is being powered on and/or is it ok to power up with the sitting level in a typical stand.
    I assume it is critical to do these attitude steps correctly as the Rx is probably initializing pitch circuits in the Rx during power up.
    Comments welcomed . . .

  • #2
    1. The plane should be level, so in the case of the Commander, lift the tail up and support it while it's initializing. The part about the gear is likely a throw over from their manuals for planes with retracts or they don't want you to do it upside down as some of their planes need the battery put in from the bottom. They're too cheap to re-write the manual for a specific plane so they take a generic manual and change only the really important bits.
    2. Trim in AS3X mode. SAFE applies a limiter and this may cause the RX some confusion. However, trimming is usually done when you're trying to fly the plane near level, so it's not near the limits of bank and pitch. It's probably not an issue but keep it simple (ie, AS3X mode).
    3. I try to have the plane level when the battery is plugged in and give it enough time to finish the start up before dropping it back onto it's tail.

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    • #3
      XVIPER... Thanks for clearing the fuzziness in the setup.
      I have been using your suggestions all along. Besides the confusion, I have a slight flight problem. With the Commander flying on rails, when switched to SAFE mode it has a very slight pitch down attitude. I have to hold just a hair of pitch up. If not it would eventually fly into the ground. I have not worked out why this is.

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      • #4
        I was beginning to assume the slight pitch down in SAFE was do to me initializing the model in a “level” attitude instead of the tail down position. And, maybe the Rx gyros programming was expecting tail down.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Skywagon View Post
          XVIPER... Thanks for clearing the fuzziness in the setup.
          I have been using your suggestions all along. Besides the confusion, I have a slight flight problem. With the Commander flying on rails, when switched to SAFE mode it has a very slight pitch down attitude. I have to hold just a hair of pitch up. If not it would eventually fly into the ground. I have not worked out why this is.
          The cause of this may be one of a couple of things. I've not seen this on any of my SAFE planes but I have seen it on other gyro equipped models. These types of gyro/flight controlled planes can be easily confused if a lot of trim is dialed in. If this is your case, then I would suggest you try to take out all of the trim by manually adjusting the control rods for those affected control surfaces. IE. Start a new flight with all TX trims neutralized, then power it up. Go for a flight and in AS3X mode, do whatever trim you need to get the plane flying straight and level. Once you land, before depowering the plane, keeping it in AS3X mode, take a picture with your phone of each control surface (plane propped level). Now, remove all trim from the TX. Manually adjust all rods so that each surface looks exactly like the picture you took. Do all of this with the plane energized. This should put the control surfaces more or less in the straight and level flight positions and any further trim should be very minor (2 to 3 clicks) and the RX should have no problems handling this.
          The second thing may have to do with the way the RX is mounted. It may not be perfectly level when the plane is flying level. No matter as this is not too hard to fix. Also, you may not have it as level as you think it is when you initialize it. Again, no matter. Like the first scenario, should be an easy fix. You say that the plane takes a bit of a nose dive when you throw it into SAFE. This may be caused by the plane being too nose down when it's initialized, making it think that's the true "level". Next time you initialize it, prop the plane's tail so it's a bit more nose UP. This "should" teach it a new "level".
          As a final note, I try not to fly in SAFE mode for long periods of time. I treat SAFE mode as a kind of recovery mode like when I get into trouble OR, I use SAFE mode on final approach to landing to help tame my "dumb thumbs". Landings can sometimes be a little "hurky jerky" (plane darting all over the place) and SAFE or low rates can smooth it out.

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          • #6
            XVIPER....
            Thanks.....great list of suggestions and details to try to get this sorted out.
            I will go thru your list during a review and flight time and reply soon.
            Thanks...
            PS: SAFE mode has saved me a “re-kitted” aircraft twice when I accidentally got sun blinded....

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            • #7
              When flying my commander in safe mode its level and good, as soon as I switch safe off it flies straight up with out touching anything, do I need a new Rx
              ​​​​​

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Balsac1977 View Post
                When flying my commander in safe mode its level and good, as soon as I switch safe off it flies straight up with out touching anything, do I need a new Rx
                ​​​​​
                The whole purpose of SAFE mode is to keep the plane level when you take your hands off the sticks. If it goes straight up (or anywhere else - down, left, right), that likely means that your plane was not trimmed properly. In your case, your elevator was set up with too much UP elevator when you put the plane together. If it goes straight up, then try to give it as much trim as it needs in AS3X mode (ie, NOT SAFE). Take it off SAFE, and try to keep it level with DOWN elevator. Can you do it? Is there enough stick travel to achieve level flight? If so, try to use the trim tab (down trim). AS3X requires that you take your hands off the sticks for 3 seconds after you trim it. This will take multiple trial and error to accomplish. You might need the help of another person to work the trim tab. If there is not enough trim to make it fly level, you will have to land it (use SAFE if you have to). Get it back to the table, do not power it off, take if off SAFE and see what the elevator looks like (take a picture if needed). Remove all the trim you put in (put it back to neutral) and manually adjust the pushrod to mimic what the picture looked like. If you used up ALL the trim and still not fly level, then manually adjust the rod a bit further. You may need to repeat this another flight or two to make it right. Going from SAFE to just AS3X should result in very little to no change in flight. You may need to do same for the ailerons if it has a tendency to roll when you take it off SAFE. Maybe even the same for rudder.
                PS. You should read the manual.

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