This week I took the Modular Test Platform (MTP) for it's maiden flight, I can't tell you how nervous I was to give it it's first throw, or how excited I was when I saw flying through the air! You all probably know what I mean.
I got 2 or 3 "OK" flights in (20-30 seconds) before it had gotten beaten up enough to not really fly anymore. With each crash though, I was expecting more damage, but those wooden dowels really add a lot of strength and rigidity, while the foam and hot glue give it some flexibility. Eventually, the motor section got so crushed that the motor was too unsecured to make additional flights.
The needed improvements are:
1.) Improve CG: at first it was tail heavy, causing the airplane to "high alpha" and not allow the wings to really generate lift. As I moved the battery toward the nose to shift the CG, things got better and better.
2.) Reduce control surfaces: even the smallest movement of my transmitter sticks would make the airplane almost lose control as it exerted a LOT of force. Either (or both!) the control surfaces need to be reduced in size or the throws need to be reduced.
3.) More power: the brushed motor, 10C NiMh x 7.2v battery, and 10 amp ESC set up has got to go. It was taken from a wild hawk, and while functional, the power system is heavy, weak, and inefficient. The new system will have a brushless motor, 20C 11.1v LiPo, and 30 amp ESC. I've already bench tested it and it has at least 5 - 6 times the thrust.
4.) Wing incidence: I also think adding a little angle on the wing will add natural stability and climb.
Next week I'll be making these and other improvements to the MTP. Anything I've missed?