Graupner Bellanca super decathlon third flight

Well the weather has been very bad here lately. I found a spot when the rain was soft enough to get the plane through to test the updates I made to the Super Decathlon. Remember how the maiden and second flight wasn’t that much of a success…

Okay this is what I modified to (hopefully) fix these issues:
  • trimmed the excess pushrod on the ailerons. Now they can move freely
  • fixed landing gear (it was getting loose, added some PU glue to secure the screws in the wood)
  • checked throws to limit to whats advised in the manual (expo still 50%, end points for tail were around 65%! ailerons now around 75%)
  • replaced the 40A esc with a 30A esc with proper BEC providing 3A (
  • replaced the jittering servo
  • no more flaperons!
This time I took a picture. Remember to always make a picture before the maiden! I didn’t. This is still no good picture, only smartphone style for now. I didn’t apply any decals indeed. I don’t think you can really spot the damaged wingtip on these pictures. It will be fixed some other time.

Again I struggled to keep it tracking straight on take off. And after 2 cut off landings dirt was all over the wheels making next attempts even worse. Without thinking I went full throttle and got up just in time. Except for my trouble on the road takeoff was nice and smooth. The struggle is much more caused by my replacement wheels and my skills than it has anything to do with this plane. The tailwheel is steerable.

I got it up very quickly thinking back of how I smashed that wingtip on a low altitude tip stall. Once up high I started testing the stall characteristics. Strange enough, when flying level, cutting off power it goes down very predictable and smooth. Must have been related to the throws that were too much also.

Trimmed the ailerons out. I had to adjust them quite a bit but that must be related to my tail section being not straight :s. Still need to redo that part of the build. Did some turns and noticed how the power was very scale like. I really needed more power, mostly for aerobatics (if I ever get to that) and especially to get or stay out of trouble.

Then landing. I was getting low, way to low and in the wrong direction. I tried to make a turn at low speed and low altitude to get it lined up… Don’t do that, it will stall :). At least I knew this time why it stalled. Looked pretty similar to the previous stalls though.

For next flight I will replace the wheels with even larger ones and go from 2 to 3 cell lipo. The extra power is very welcome and I noticed the CG could be a bit more forward, that a heavier battery can do for me. 

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