Roland test flights and questionable future….

Well, ok, it’s not quite this bad……..yet. But the Roland CII-a  has been quite a handfull lately in my attempts to get her flight worthy.

Initially she simply would not ROG, (Rise off Ground) and in the taxi she was planted firmly on terra firma and would nose over easily……all classic hallmarks of a nose heavy plane. When forced to lift off with use of excessive elevator she would snap immediately, often damaging herself. One issue with small planes like this is a little tweaking goes a looooong way, so you have to be very minimalistic.

So in that light, we moved the battery pack from just forward the fuel tank to the observers seat, well aft of the CG. Also, we did balance tests because this didn’t seem like enough weight redistibution to make a big enough change, and added some weight to the tail on the horizontal stabilizer as well.

As I said before….small increments….and these were rather large in hindsight. The results? Well, she lifted off much more readily, but after gaining altitude to about two or three feet, she would remain nose high, and bank left or right and stall in. No control inputs could counteract this and if you were quick enough to counter control one bank, she’d just as easily snap the other way and slam to ground.

Diagnosis: You have overcorrected and gone from obviously nose heavy to obviously tail heavy.

So currently: We have removed the weight from the tail, and are making repairs to the damaged elements in order to give her another try with the new balance scheme. The wing attachments at the fuselage are where most of the damage has occured, so those are being repaired/upgraded. This is one of those planes that is a “combat veteran” before she’s even been really airborne. It’s irritating to see such abuse to such a nice airframe before it’s even seen the sky, but this happens once in a while. The more infrequently the better though!

So as it stands I will post results once the repairs are finsished and she has been tested again. Let’s hope I get her dialed in before she re-kits herself.

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