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Home FPV/UAV flight tips, how to and guidelines Flight strategy into heavy wind.

Flight strategy into heavy wind.
Thursday, 30 October 2014 19:35

Wind is essential for every flight models, without wind you don't get lift. I repeat "NO WIND NO LIFT"..thats basic and common sense. The more heavier the wind gushes the better...heavier gusts even better!  If any R/C modeler pilot complained about strong wind then they are definitely inexperienced of handling it. Yes by common sense try to avoid wind from hurricane or typhoon.  Any experience R/C pilot regardless of what wind condition including turbulence, micro burst, heavy wind shear or cross wind he or she should able to take img strategy wind1off, fly and landing perfectly at will any time any where provided they fly against the wind to get max lifting capability.  Wind is a fail safe for any flight, it keeps the any winged plane floating and gives you time to correct any flight error before you decided to touch down.  That's why many R/c pilot  modeler have hard time to land because the wind tends to keep the plane rise and float when trying to land on all wheels.

Think of these real scenario:

  1. Every R/C modeler like to fly fast, some flew so fast they hit  from stock speed 83km/h to 250km/h on speed radar gun detector.  You can be sure that the speed of the wind gush passes under the wing are definitely same as the speed registered on speed radar gun detector.  Those multiplex funjet, parkflyer funfighter, DLG slope soaring planes, fast EDF jets and DIY pusher props models all can goes extremely fast thanks to max thrust from exploding gusts of wind under behind the propellers and around the wings.  If there are no gushes of wind under the wing do you think all plane models will able to float and fly fast? Nope.
  2. You've been to beach before right?  Did you ever watch people fly kites?  What do you need to keep the kite flying and afloat in the air? Yes you need wind.  What happens when there's a huge wind?  Yes it flew higher, stronger tug on the control strings...you can see the kite flyer got excited and extended the string to let the kite fly further more. Its hard to crash because you got some wind under the kite belly.  Some even have hard time landing their kite because it stubbornly wants to stay float longer.  If you got a steady huge amount of wind you can tie the kite strings on a beach chair, rocks or logs and watch the kite floats the whole day...until the wind runs out of gust. What happen when you don't have wind? Can you fly a kite?  Yes you can......just run as fast as you can while tugging the kite behind you until you generate your own gusts of wind.....but it's be tiring and tedious task.  What you're doing running around the field with kite behind you is similar mechanism to a plane models where the 'running' propellers kept propelling until it generate enough gust of wind to create airflow into the wing to obtain lift to tug the whole airframe along.

Got the logic?  You can't be  a flying modeler if you can't understand how to manipulate to power of the wind.  When mother nature give you huge thundering wind just go and fly...you can hover all day long with crappy performance battery. Don't complaint unless you are have a crappy flying skills.

Before we proceed let do some reading here:
Read all about the wind:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tailwind


Wind and flying models (winged) fact & logic.
If you think all those propellers do most of the work to keep the plane flying the you're wrong. You need to know mother nature plays some roles too and its about time to harness their advantages for efficient flying.  Below is a diagram of "Windy Flight Strategy".


img ttrlfpv wind1

  • Any wind of any gust strength (any wind speed) goes in straight line no matter what. Straight line wind give you a stable flight, easy to take off, less effort on the throttle. You can roll, bank, yaw, turn or do anything much easily/smoothly regardless how strong the wind are as long the path of the wind from the main sources are not interrupted by trees, mountains, building or any object along its path.  Fact:  You can fly your plane models at the beach above the sea more "easily" (clean airflow) then flying in open field in the middle of the urban full of building or forest full of swaying trees (disturbed/wavy airflow).
  • Its easy to take-off against (opposite/head-on) the wind, you'll get a shorter take off distance, less throttle power needed to takeoff and less effort to fight roll or baking problem.  Good for solving "Torque Roll" problem such as TRACTOR driven scale warbirds models.
  • Take off follow the tail wind will be 90% major disaster unless your throttle speed exceed the tail wind airspeed under the wing.  You need longer take-off distance, longer time, huge takeoff power and your roll, yaw, banking, flight controls will be thrown off guard chaotic by the tail wind.
  • The bigger the surface area of your wings, canards and elevator surface the higher chance you get extra natural lift from mother nature with moderate wind without excessive throttle power.  That's why you don't find people building skinny kite.
  • img strategy wind2The smaller the surface area of your wings, canards and elevator surface the lower chance you get extra natural lift from mother nature, so you need to throttle more to get additional lift. But the advantages is you'll get some agility slicing around the wind much easily because there's not enough wing surface to be influence by the wind.
  • Science of wings:  For a wings to take off (float) it must have higher amount of airflow (heavy gust of wind) below the wing then upper wing.  That's why the shape of the wings from side cut-out view shows straight flat surface under the wings while the upper wing surface are curved slightly more bulge at the front leading edge like a tear drop to slow down the upper air flow and bleed at the end. So if you're making your own wings make sure the lower wing surface are straight flat while the above surface are curved from the front leading edge and relax down to the back end.  Believe it or not the propellers blade also shaped in a same manner to get extra lift to in horizontal way for planes and vertical way for helicopter or multi-rotors...propellers are indeed small moving wings.
  • Every landing is hard because the wind try to keep you stay afloat.........sounds familiar?  Mother nature give you some helping hand.
  • To avoid rough winds (disturbed/wavy wind) climb higher altitude until you exceed the height of highest object of your nearby local flying venue eg: building, mountain, hills or tower.
  • If the speed of the wind around you is equal to your model plane's cruise speed or close exceed 20~25% of your default stall speed you plane model will definitely able float/hover stationary without needing any throttle regardless what type of flying models you're in.  (slope soaring technique).  If wind speed is excessive  your plane can hover in "reverse/backward manner". Try that at the beach, trust me its fun.
  • Without enough airspeed to get the air flow around the wings on the ground before take off any big heavy propeller driven plane will be "toque twisted" roll/bank towards the direction of the propellers spin torque and crash straight away because there no wind pressure to hold the wings in position.  Similar fashion like a helicopter flying without tail rotor.  That's why all scale plane took off slowly to build more air speed before take off in scaled manner.
  • To climb at desired altitude you don't have to do abrupt vertical  thrust on your throttle. Keep it at relax cruise speed at your plane will slowly climb by itself which is true for plane with larger wing surfaces.  You'll conserve more energy than full throttle at the same altitude and horizontal destination.
  • You get more altitude climb performance with mother nature help when flying against the wind with low throttle (but slow forward flight) and return home faster less power needed when you fly along with the tail wind (fast forward/return flight).
Last Updated on Saturday, 22 November 2014 05:54
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