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Monday, March 12, 2012

Willow F3F maiden

Last week and this week-end, I flew the willow at my local slope in light wind condition. With 2.480g flying weight and a CG at 103, I found the plane to be good, just needed few down trim, so maybe the idal CG is at 102mm

What surprised me is that the Willow feels light at the stick. The agility on the roll axis is really great, it's grippy and precise. I followed the recommended settings for the snap flaps and elevator, and it appeared a good setting to start with. In turns, the Willow keep energy well, at the condition you don't pull too much the elevator stick. It should be good for EM turn style, as I feel could feel its potential on my "flat" slope which is not appropriated for EM.

I also has the chance of thermal while trying my new altimeter probe on my JR Propo XG8. Thermal position of the flaps+ailerons give more lift without bad behaviour. The plane clearly slows down its cruise speed. Circling is no brain, and I could gain a good 215m of altitude which is surprisingly low  compared to what I was guessing. The conclusion is that we often overestimate the altitude we fly at.

I also went to the dark side of the slope to evaluate the speed and the stiffness. The Willow accelerates well but shows its limit, especially the rear boom with no carbon reinforcement that starts to twist at high speed.

Brakes works well during approach and landing, nothing special to mention.

Overall, a good first feeling with the plane. The Willow F3F is nice to fly, light at the stick, agile, with good F3F capabilities. I need now to fly it on a cliff or sharp edge with good condition to see how it behaves.

I filmed some video sequences I now need to edit. Should be ready in few hours.

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