TechOne Mini Popwings - SIlly name.  Serious Flying Wing Fun!

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E-Flite Opterra

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  • #21
    Have you flown the Opterra with the winglets removed? Would you fly it with out the winglets? I know they contribute a lot for its directional stability but I wondered if SAFE would keep it safe.

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    • #22
      I haven't flown the Opterra without the wingtips. I believe they contribute to adding some extra lift by disrupting the wingtip vortices (like on real planes). They also add a bit of yaw stability but the inner vertical fins take care of that on the most part. I've flown other wings without wingtips or vertical fins and they tend to "wallow" side to side during parts of the flights, depending on which way the wind is coming from. I think the Opterra would fly OK without them but it wouldn't float nearly as well or be able to fly quite as slowly. For aerial videography (or even FPV) or for soaring, this plane is best flying as slow as possible (for me anyway). If you want to be able to do more stunts, then maybe do without the tips.
      On this flying wing, SAFE contributes to stabilize and control roll and pitch. It would continue to do the same even without the wingtips. Whatever yaw control those wingtips may contribute, since SAFE on this plane doesn't really do much in terms of yaw correction, it shouldn't be any more unsafe without the tips.

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      • #23
        Just for kicks, I did a few passes today under different conditions to see what the Opterra does. The description in the video is as follows:
        View in FULL SCREEN.
        First pass after launch .... fly by, power off, stabilized mode.
        2nd pass ........... power off, launch mode.
        3rd pass ............ launch mode, motor at idle.
        4th pass ............ full spoilers activated, power off, launch mode.
        Landing ............. power off, full spoilers, launch mode.
        Description .................................................. ...
        Stabilized mode pass resulted in immediate loss of altitude when no other input made. This can be tuned out by manually adjusting the elevons to a more UP deflection.
        Launch mode pass resulted in a fairly stable altitude, "floaty" fly by.
        Idling prop resulted in marginal dip in altitude due to mild resistance from slow spinning prop.
        Spoilers made the biggest difference in lowering speed and increasing sink rate. Stick input of elevons to control descent can make for a very short landing. Otherwise, this plane can float for a long way just 2 feet off the ground.

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        • #24
          Yup wings love to float along in the ground effect. Heavily at 1/2 the wingspan in altitude

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          • #25
            I wonder how the Opterra would do with actual flaps? I put spoilers on my scratch build RF-4 gasser years ago, unfortunately I was using a 4 channel radio and they deployed only when the throttle and its trim were all the way back. Yeah, I didn't think that one through! You need power! Dropped like a graceful brick! Lucky I have pictures.

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            • #26
              I meant to include these pictures. 1982, the days of hair,

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              • #27
                Unlike a "conventional" airplane (with wing and tail surfaces), it is nearly impossible to have just "flaps" on a flying wing. The control surfaces on a flying wing act as both elevator and aileron (ie, elevons). If you deploy flaps, that's like DOWN elevator. If you deploy them as spoilers, that's like UP elevator. You "could" do small flaps on the inner part of the wing but you would need the outer elevons to be able to counter them with some UP elevator. On sailplanes, they call that "crow". In issence, this is like using "airbrakes". The opposite is "reflex" where the flaps go UP and both elevons go DOWN to counter.
                On a flying wing, spoilers or airbrakes need to be put mid-wing so as to not affect the pitch of the plane adversely. They are meant to both slow the wing down and to cause the wing to lose lift.

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