Tuesday, July 13, 2010

And so it Flies

A complete success. The plane flew on it's own and spectacularly crashed on it's own.

First the good news, two successful autonomous "straight" flights (without plotted course):

First flight lasted about 5 seconds, before it got knocked from the path by wind and it had to be landed down manually.

Second flight lasted about 8 seconds, before it got knocked from the path again by wind. Only this time the plane managed to stabilize itself, causing it to loose altitude, managed again to correct itself and fly upwards, but the maneuver was too steep and the worn out airframe failed and crashed.

For some reason the GPS resolution was poor on the second flight.

Now the bad news, the crash destroyed the airframe and broke the demodulator board. No more flying until the plane is rebuild and electronics are replaced.

As for the crash, the "official report" is this:

The plane flew stable, maintaining heading and altitude until it got hit off the path by wind. Even with stabilization it veered right both times, probably on the account of a worn out, slower and imprecise servo (it has seen a lot of crashes). The second time it managed to stabilize itself which resulted in the nose of the plane pointing downwards and loosing altitude. When attempting to achieve neutral pitch from previous maneuver it turned upwards too sharply, resulting in increased stress on the airframe, which due to materials being worn out (again, it has seen a lot of crashes), the wings bent out of shape, pulling out the link between the servo ans one of the ailerons, causing it to destabilize and crash in a spiral.

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