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Author Topic: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly  (Read 47302 times)

Offline Dennis Moritz

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #50 on: August 27, 2013, 10:55:55 PM »
RC does all that you describe Kim. At a more sophisticated level. So what. If I wanted to fly RC, I would fly RC. Keep going in this direction of development and the lines attached to the bird will be without a purpose. Might as well hang them on your neck and turn around and around in a circle. Control Line, Free Fight, building with balsa and tissue and dope doesn't capture the imagination of many young people. Most of us can't work on our cars anymore either. At least not the modern one. Unless we understand the electronics. People don't build anything much these days, work with their hands. Eras pass. In the fifties when I was coming up CL was happening all over the place. Even in NYC. No one coaxed me into the hobby. No one handed it to me. I was drawn to it. In fact, I never met an adult who flew control line until I was an adult myself. Most of us, I bet, were like that. I plan to go on building and flying traditional control line airplanes until my aching back and stiffening arthritic fingers make it impossible. I will continue to compete at my own sorry level of skill because it's fun. Killing off the essence of Control Line flying is no way to save it.

Yeah. Far as I'm concerned Paul Walker did cross a line. The velocity whatever electronic on board computer should not be allowed in competition stunt.

Offline Keith Renecle

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #51 on: August 28, 2013, 12:02:59 AM »
Here's my 10 cents worth. First up I think that I would particularly like to say a big thank you to Kim for posting all the details of this most interesting and innovative project. Kim and Pat have really put a lot of work into this, so thanks very much for sharing! I have to admit freely that I personally believe that C/L should only use direct mechanical connections to the control surfaces, and I was one of those that pushed for this on the FAI committee. Having said that, I still think that it is a marvellous project that was not just something on a note pad or drawing board, but was tested on the real thing by Kim and Pat. As to any serious advantage over the mechanical stuff, I would say that without feedback to the pilot, it could have a disadvantage. Precise maneuvers require the pilot to feel what the control surfaces are doing, and although this is technically possible, it sure isn't easy.

On the Dennis Moritz statement of Paul Walker crossing the line by using Igor's accelerometer system, it sure sounds like Paul had some HUGE advantage? Look at the top 5 Nats scores. Paul beat Doug by 1 point, and that was put down to the 1 extra point from the finish of the Predator. Igor's system basically tries to replicate the 2/4 break engine system, and does a very good job of it. As Igor pointed out, having such good performance in a quiet power system saves flying fields, especially in Europe. The real advantage is that the e-power systems are more reliable/predictable in changing weather conditions, but as far as functionality goes, the 2/4 break engine system is also a feedback system, especially with a tuned pipe setup. Where's this unfair advantage whereby Paul crossed the line??

As Derek correctly pointed out in a similar debate, the top stunt guys really know and understand their engines well, so they are not really at any disadvantage against a system like Igor's. The real advantage to C/L stunt for the masses of us that are not at "guru" level, is that we can buy a good flying stunt power package a lot easier a lot easier now that we can plug & play and it will work as well as the engines that previously only the guru's could get to work.

Keith R
Keith R

Offline Derek Barry

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #52 on: August 28, 2013, 05:00:57 AM »
Here's my 10 cents worth. First up I think that I would particularly like to say a big thank you to Kim for posting all the details of this most interesting and innovative project. Kim and Pat have really put a lot of work into this, so thanks very much for sharing! I have to admit freely that I personally believe that C/L should only use direct mechanical connections to the control surfaces, and I was one of those that pushed for this on the FAI committee. Having said that, I still think that it is a marvellous project that was not just something on a note pad or drawing board, but was tested on the real thing by Kim and Pat. As to any serious advantage over the mechanical stuff, I would say that without feedback to the pilot, it could have a disadvantage. Precise maneuvers require the pilot to feel what the control surfaces are doing, and although this is technically possible, it sure isn't easy.

On the Dennis Moritz statement of Paul Walker crossing the line by using Igor's accelerometer system, it sure sounds like Paul had some HUGE advantage? Look at the top 5 Nats scores. Paul beat Doug by 1 point, and that was put down to the 1 extra point from the finish of the Predator. Igor's system basically tries to replicate the 2/4 break engine system, and does a very good job of it. As Igor pointed out, having such good performance in a quiet power system saves flying fields, especially in Europe. The real advantage is that the e-power systems are more reliable/predictable in changing weather conditions, but as far as functionality goes, the 2/4 break engine system is also a feedback system, especially with a tuned pipe setup. Where's this unfair advantage whereby Paul crossed the line??

As Derek correctly pointed out in a similar debate, the top stunt guys really know and understand their engines well, so they are not really at any disadvantage against a system like Igor's. The real advantage to C/L stunt for the masses of us that are not at "guru" level, is that we can buy a good flying stunt power package a lot easier a lot easier now that we can plug & play and it will work as well as the engines that previously only the guru's could get to work.

Keith R

I agree with you Keith, 100%

Derek

Offline Dennis Moritz

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #53 on: August 28, 2013, 06:36:53 AM »
I think mechanical adjustments, pipe length, head gaskets, venturi size, prop, fuel and so on, all of those many factors, plus all of the manifold trim adjustments to the airplane itself, are one kind of skill set. Moving to electronic tuning is qualitatively different. It opens the door to the creation of more sophisticated on board controls of the model. I think it accurate to describe these controllers as programmable computers. We are seeing this approach in its infancy. It already is very effective. Looks to me like it will take over and dominate the competition as it develops further. Why couldn't later iterations of this smooth out flight paths, as someone pointed out, allow models to fly at 5', exactly, make a circle a circle, a square an accurate square. Compensate in many ways for poor wiggles of the handle, changing orientations towards a breeze and so on. If this is the case, an excellent pattern flight will be more and more a function of the programmer and the sophistication of the on board electronics, and less and less a function of pilot skill in piloting.  

On board computers on full sized aircraft make it possible for inherently non-aerodynamic shapes to fly. I have flown $30 dollar RC helicopters that have all kinds of stability control, allow me to hover and so forth. Fun. For a little while. But this is different from flying control line.

Kim is an enthusiast, a hobbyist. All to the good. He is committed to widening interest in our hobby. Also to the good. It sounds to me like his heart is in the right place. Paul Walker is totally committed to the Control Line Stunt Hobby. A great competitor over many many years. One who obviously can compete on the highest level without the benefit of on board electronic (computer) enhancements.  But I think his current approach is antithetical to the spirit of this hobby. My apologies to Kim, Paul, and everyone else. My bluntness is honest. I have spent time thinking about these issues. Ever since the first posts describing these controllers happened. More than a year ago I believe. Come to think of it, Howard Rush described these controllers to me at the 2012 NATS. It raised red flags then.

Offline Derek Barry

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #54 on: August 28, 2013, 07:34:22 AM »
I think mechanical adjustments, pipe length, head gaskets, venturi size, prop, fuel and so on, all of those many factors, plus all of the manifold trim adjustments to the airplane itself, are one kind of skill set. Moving to electronic tuning is qualitatively different. It opens the door to the creation of more sophisticated on board controls of the model. I think it accurate to describe these controllers as programmable computers. We are seeing this approach in its infancy. It already is very effective. Looks to me like it will take over and dominate the competition as it develops further. Why couldn't later iterations of this smooth out flight paths, as someone pointed out, allow models to fly at 5', exactly, make a circle a circle, a square an accurate square. Compensate in many ways for poor wiggles of the handle, changing orientations towards a breeze and so on. If this is the case, an excellent pattern flight will be more and more a function of the programmer and the sophistication of the on board electronics, and less and less a function of pilot skill in piloting.  

On board computers on full sized aircraft make it possible for inherently non-aerodynamic shapes to fly. I have flown $30 dollar RC helicopters that have all kinds of stability control, allow me to hover and so forth. Fun. For a little while. But this is different from flying control line.

Kim is an enthusiast, a hobbyist. All to the good. He is committed to widening interest in our hobby. Also to the good. It sounds to me like his heart is in the right place. Paul Walker is totally committed to the Control Line Stunt Hobby. A great competitor over many many years. One who obviously can compete on the highest level without the benefit of on board electronic (computer) enhancements.  But I think his current approach is antithetical to the spirit of this hobby. My apologies to Kim, Paul, and everyone else. My bluntness is honest. I have spent time thinking about these issues. Ever since the first posts describing these controllers happened. More than a year ago I believe. Come to think of it, Howard Rush described these controllers to me at the 2012 NATS. It raised red flags then.

Those are some very good points Dennis. When I got to the Nats and talked to Paul for the first time he was explaining to me some of the problems he faced getting the "Igor" system to work properly for him. It sounded way more complicated than my stock PA65 setup. Now, once he had it right it seemed to work really well for him, obviously... I can see your point that it may give a person who is not great at running an IC motor a leg up but I didn't feel that his setup, even as sophisticated and it was, had any advantage over my and Doug's PA setups. Essentially he made his electric run like my IC which seems kinda asinine but hey, whatever floats your boat. You are very correct about the stuff that is available right now at any local hobby shop. The stability control systems could be used, if for nothing else, to have in flight trim adjustments. Making it very easy to have a plane that never rolls, yaws, or does anything "funny". Basically taking any plane and making it stay in perfect trim at all times no matter what the weather is like. This is a real advantage that should be nipped in the bud right now.  Like you said, the onboard computers can make the most non-aerodynamic planes fly very well. Yes it is cool but it is against the "idea" of control line stunt for competition.  Now as for having fun and trying new things, I applaud Kim for his invention. I am sure that it is interesting to fly, hell maybe they can even come up with a new event for that system. Call it Hybrid stunt...

Derek

Offline RC Storick

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #55 on: August 28, 2013, 03:26:26 PM »
In 1969 Any Granitilli put a turbine car driven by Parnelli Jones into the Indy race he was 2 laps ahead of everyone until a 4 dollar bearing let loose.The next year Joe Lenard drove a turbine wedge car with not as much success because they put a size limit on the intake. They do it in stock car racing, drag racing and unlimited hydro. The word Unlimited with restrictions is a contradiction. If Kim wants to invest his time and money into this system I see no reason to stop him. Some are missing the fact that there will be no feed back to the handle.

In my opinion more complicated is not always better but what do I know?
AMA 12366

Offline Gus Urtubey

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #56 on: September 17, 2013, 08:53:29 PM »
I am so proud of Pat and Kim for doing this real advance in flight controls. The fact of being able to adjust the flight controls to get a perfect trim even for different weather conditions it is absolutely fantastic. Even if we can do some adjustment with the conventional system, I always felt that you are kind of stuck with your settings.

I can see this is the way it is going to go in the near future, it will be like going from IC to electric power trains.

Keep up the good work guys !!!!!


Offline Dennis Toth

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #57 on: September 27, 2013, 09:17:59 AM »
Dennis,
I think there is one thing you are missing in your prediction of Robo-Stunt. The rules require control input from the control lines. How the control surfaces are moved can be by any means but the input is from the control lines. Having any type of automatic trimming or movement input of the control surface by anything other than it being directed from the control wires is not allowed.

What Paul and Igor have done with the motor control is to simulate what is already been used for over 50 years. It doesn't give any big advantage over other setups that are working correctly. It still comes down to the person twisting the handle. Paul could be given a Ringmaster with a Fox35 and after about a week would likely be able to beat 90% of the fliers in this event.

Look at some of the contest results, Dan Banjok (sp?) has beaten lots of top east coast fliers with a Fox 35 (even himself, scored better in classic with the Galloping Comedian then he did in expert with the big full blown ship).

I think there has been lots of technology that has come and gone in this event and we survived it all.

Best,           DennisT

Offline CircuitFlyer

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #58 on: September 27, 2013, 08:44:20 PM »
Kim,

Congratulations on you team trial results!!  http://www.balsabeavers.com/events/2013/2013_09_15_fall_stunt/2013_09_15_fall_stunt_report.pdf 

Are you going to give us a sneek peak at what you have in mind for Poland next Summer?  Or, is it top secret for now?

Paul
Paul Emmerson
Spinning electrons in circles in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Low Cost DIY Control Line Timer - www.circuitflyer.com

Offline phil c

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #59 on: March 24, 2014, 06:35:27 PM »
The AMA rules are pretty clear- Control Line General para.2-  A Control Line model is flown by one or more line(s)......attached to the model in manner providing aerodynamic control of the model's elevation through manipulation of the control surfaces during flight.

That doesn't seem to allow much wiggle room since the lines muct "provide aerodynamic control".  If the controls are actually powered by servos the lines do not "provide aerodynamic control", the servos do.

The F2B rules ABR 4c 1.3.2 state: 
a) Control Line Circular Flight is flight during which all control is accomplished via physical connection to the pilot through one or more inextensible wires or cables directly connected to the model aircraft.  The control wires or cables must be attached to a hand held device(control handle).  Automatic flight path control and/or automatic maneuvering are not permitted.

b) powertrain control may be accomplished by the pilot via the control wires or cables or by an onboard, self-contained, automatic process.

Whoever interpreted "all control is accomplished via physical connection to the pilot through one or more inextensible wires or cables directly connected to the model aircraft" to mean that control by electronics and servos is a "physical connection" must have had an excellent lawyer.  One ordinarily wouldn't interpret "physical" to mean electronic connection or electric connection.  A switch with metal contacts turning on a light could be interpreted as physical operation, but using an electronic sensor powering a servo is not a physical connection.  The physical connection is between the servo and the control surfaces.  Any electric servo that we would use runs without a physical connection between the electrical paths in the motor and the physical part that turns.  The motor rotor is coupled magnetically, without physically touching.  But then, I'm not a lawyer.

This is not to belittle the electrical engineering involved in designing and building the system.  It is quite an achievement.
phil Cartier

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #60 on: March 24, 2014, 08:50:59 PM »
The AMA rules are pretty clear- Control Line General para.2-  A Control Line model is flown by one or more line(s)......attached to the model in manner providing aerodynamic control of the model's elevation through manipulation of the control surfaces during flight.

That doesn't seem to allow much wiggle room since the lines muct "provide aerodynamic control".  If the controls are actually powered by servos the lines do not "provide aerodynamic control", the servos do.

I read that same thing, only I interpret "provide aerodynamic control" as providing the command signal, which can then be directly coupled to the elevator, or not.

The F2B rules ABR 4c 1.3.2 state: 
a) Control Line Circular Flight is flight during which all control is accomplished via physical connection to the pilot through one or more inextensible wires or cables directly connected to the model aircraft.  The control wires or cables must be attached to a hand held device(control handle).  Automatic flight path control and/or automatic maneuvering are not permitted.

b) powertrain control may be accomplished by the pilot via the control wires or cables or by an onboard, self-contained, automatic process.

Whoever interpreted "all control is accomplished via physical connection to the pilot through one or more inextensible wires or cables directly connected to the model aircraft" to mean that control by electronics and servos is a "physical connection" must have had an excellent lawyer.  One ordinarily wouldn't interpret "physical" to mean electronic connection or electric connection.  A switch with metal contacts turning on a light could be interpreted as physical operation, but using an electronic sensor powering a servo is not a physical connection.  The physical connection is between the servo and the control surfaces.  Any electric servo that we would use runs without a physical connection between the electrical paths in the motor and the physical part that turns.  The motor rotor is coupled magnetically, without physically touching.  But then, I'm not a lawyer.

This is not to belittle the electrical engineering involved in designing and building the system.  It is quite an achievement.

Are you saying that the bellcrank is not part of the aircraft?  The rule you quote does not say anything about there being a physical connection inside the aircraft, just that the wires must extend from the pilot to the aircraft.

I don't think this is "excellent lawyering" at all -- I think that the FAI rules pretty clearly allow what Kim is doing, or at least they pretty clearly don't rule them out in any way shape or form.
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Offline Mike Anderson

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #61 on: March 25, 2014, 11:54:08 AM »
The AMA rules are pretty clear- Control Line General para.2-  A Control Line model is flown by one or more line(s)......attached to the model in manner providing aerodynamic control of the model's elevation through manipulation of the control surfaces during flight.

That doesn't seem to allow much wiggle room since the lines muct "provide aerodynamic control".  If the controls are actually powered by servos the lines do not "provide aerodynamic control", the servos do.


Actually, paragraph two reads:

2. General. A Control Line model is flown on one or more' steel or GSUMP, commonly referred to as Spectra or Dyneema, lines' steel wire line(s) or metal line(s) of equivalent strength, attached to the model in a manner providing aerodynamic control of the modelís elevation through manipulation of the control surfaces during flight. Movement of control surfaces, and any other of the modelís operational features, may be accomplished by mechanical means, by electrical impulses transmitted through the line(s), or by any other control system that does not interfere with the control of any other model or present a safety.

 ... or at least it does in the 2013/2014 rulebook.

This would seem to permit control of the elevator by servo's, either controlled by pulses down the lines or by manipulation of a bellcrank that has no mechanical connection to the elevator.

Mike@   AMA 10086
Central Iowa

Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #62 on: May 17, 2014, 11:49:44 PM »
Actually, paragraph two reads:

2. General. A Control Line model is flown on one or more' steel or GSUMP, commonly referred to as Spectra or Dyneema, lines' steel wire line(s) or metal line(s) of equivalent strength, attached to the model in a manner providing aerodynamic control of the modelís elevation through manipulation of the control surfaces during flight. Movement of control surfaces, and any other of the modelís operational features, may be accomplished by mechanical means, by electrical impulses transmitted through the line(s), or by any other control system that does not interfere with the control of any other model or present a safety.

 ... or at least it does in the 2013/2014 rulebook.

This would seem to permit control of the elevator by servo's, either controlled by pulses down the lines or by manipulation of a bellcrank that has no mechanical connection to the elevator.

   I think that this is correct, there is nothing preventing fly-by-wire in the current or proposed rules. I think we hashed this out over on SSW when Kim first showed it to be practical, and nothing has changed about it, rule-wise, since then.

    I was a bit surprised that there wasn't such a proposal this time but Howard was trying to build his airplane.

    Brett

Offline Steve Fitton

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #63 on: May 21, 2014, 06:09:01 AM »
   I think that this is correct, there is nothing preventing fly-by-wire in the current or proposed rules. I think we hashed this out over on SSW when Kim first showed it to be practical, and nothing has changed about it, rule-wise, since then.

    I was a bit surprised that there wasn't such a proposal this time but Howard was trying to build his airplane.

    Brett

There is no way to define fly by wire control systems succinctly enough for a rule change proposal, don't think that people have not thought of it.  Anti fly by wire proposals make the BOM proposal seem childishly simple in comparison.
Steve

Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #64 on: May 22, 2014, 12:12:46 AM »
There is no way to define fly by wire control systems succinctly enough for a rule change proposal, don't think that people have not thought of it.  Anti fly by wire proposals make the BOM proposal seem childishly simple in comparison.

   2.5 All connections between the lines and the aerodynamic control surfaces shall be completely mechanical.

   Seems simple enough to me, if that's what we want.

    Brett


Offline Steve Fitton

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #65 on: May 22, 2014, 07:06:36 AM »
  2.5 All connections between the lines and the aerodynamic control surfaces shall be completely mechanical.

   Seems simple enough to me, if that's what we want.

    Brett



Give Wescott five minutes with that....   n~
Steve

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #66 on: May 22, 2014, 10:15:36 AM »
Give Wescott five minutes with that....   n~

Hey!

Actually, I think it would be hard to argue against the meaning of that.  If you were worried that someone might argue that electrons flowing through wires are "just mechanical" (No, I won't) then you could probably come up with some verbiage -- but the better thing to do, IMHO, would be to use the rule as Brett wrote it, then change it the next cycle if some smart-ass finds a loophole.
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Offline Steve Fitton

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #67 on: May 22, 2014, 12:42:46 PM »
Maybe it should go in the CLPA section instead of General?

I still there is a big issue somewhere in the notion of a proposal, something that stopped cold previous efforts with some people I know.  I will ask them and see if they remember the issue.
Steve

Offline Sean McEntee

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #68 on: May 23, 2014, 05:29:51 PM »
My concern is the aforementioned, always possible  event of system failure. Anything with moving pieces can break, and this type of system failing would lead to putting Issac Newton in the pilot seat for a few seconds at most.

Have you considered adding a small pushrod going out to at least the elevator?  Doesn't have to be as beefy as a conventional pushrod system--just enough to keep control in the event of system failure.  

#safety

   A pushrod would also eliminate allot of this discussion. You would still have mechanical control of the surfaces, and the servos would simply be aiding the deflection of the surfaces--maybe to reduce load (not that there is allot anyway). Just an idea.

Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #69 on: May 29, 2014, 12:34:39 AM »
My concern is the aforementioned, always possible  event of system failure. Anything with moving pieces can break, and this type of system failing would lead to putting Issac Newton in the pilot seat for a few seconds at most.

Have you considered adding a small pushrod going out to at least the elevator?  Doesn't have to be as beefy as a conventional pushrod system--just enough to keep control in the event of system failure.  

#safety

   A pushrod would also eliminate allot of this discussion. You would still have mechanical control of the surfaces, and the servos would simply be aiding the deflection of the surfaces--maybe to reduce load (not that there is allot anyway). Just an idea.

       Sure, but the underlying issue (how to make sure there is nothing like an autopilot or "corner programmer") is not solved.

     We are already, and almost always have been, single-string when it comes to redundancy. Purely mechanical systems fail pretty frequently, although it got a lot better after we starting using ball links instead of soldered washers. This doesn't seem any worse in that regard.

    I don't think this is a safety issue in the normal sense. Safety of the airplane, maybe, but not safety in the sense that it raises the risk to people outside the circle. We accept RC, that's also non-redundant for most of the parts, and there's absolutely nothing aside from luck that keeps them from crashing into crowds.

    Brett

Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #70 on: May 29, 2014, 12:45:07 AM »
Maybe it should go in the CLPA section instead of General?

I still there is a big issue somewhere in the notion of a proposal, something that stopped cold previous efforts with some people I know.  I will ask them and see if they remember the issue.

   I think I and several others suggested this for FAI in the mid-late 90's, but it either never made it, or it was put in and then taken out later. Who can tell with FAI?  Somewhat later it was a proposal for AMA but it didn't get past the screening vote, as I recall. I think Tom Dixon wrote it, and it was probably dumped after wails of anguish about ZTron and the vast, diabolical, and of course mythical conspiracy to "Get Windy" from Windy's acolytes. No one cared about fly-by-wire at the time but I think they care now. The whole thing used to be documented on SSW but I think that is one of the missing threads.

  I would note that I am not planning on actually submitting such a proposal, merely showing that you could very easily write something that would eliminate fly-by-wire systems if you were so inclined. I actually don't think fly-by-wire *should* be banned, it's everything else you could do with it that needs to be dealt with. Unfortunately, no one has come up with a way to allow simple fly-by-wire while assuring that autopilots ARE banned.

     Brett


p.s. Try here, one of the few threads I have actually started myself:

http://www.clstunt.com/htdocs/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=103&topic_id=54944&mesg_id=54944

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Fly-by-wire bell crank assembly
« Reply #71 on: May 29, 2014, 09:20:26 AM »
Unfortunately, no one has come up with a way to allow simple fly-by-wire while assuring that autopilots ARE banned.

It's as easy and as difficult as making the builder of the model rule verifiable: just ask the pilot.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.


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