Finwing penguin Maiden Flight - Help Needed

Hi All,

After many hours setting up my finwing penguin i had it read to go for the maiden flight.Below are the first attempts by a friend of mine - A very experienced pilot.

What is wrong with this? The plane is using manual mode - it should be working fine. CG is per manufacturer spec. I have an APM 2.6, gopro and 5000mah battery on-board + immersionrc Video transmitter.



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  • If it makes you feel better I spent tons of time building my penguin and took it out for the maiden last weekend. This was only my second fixed wing and the first of any real size. Maiden lasted about 10 seconds and the plane is in about 15 pieces :(. Be happy you have a good friend to help!
    • Dan were you on your own or any experienced RC person with you ?

    • On my own ... not doing that again! I need something in between the little guy I started with and the Penguin to learn on... in addition to some help!

    • You need one hour to master the penguin, but that is with an experienced user on your side who will fly your plane first and make sure everything is fine than it will be a bruise.

      Now go for a second hand bixler or a new arf bixler.

      It is an excellent little plane, it costs peanuts, and you will always be able to resell it.

      Once you master the bixler. the penguin is the same exact plane, just bigger, but same flying behaviour..

    • I was thinking of picking up an eflite apprentice, making use of the SAFE feature and learning that way. Any thoughts?


  • LOL, your friend is a good friend, very patient and lots of good will !

    There is no need for running to throw the penguin, my 13 years old boy stands still while throwing it with one hand while the other hand is on the remote control for pitch and roll, and that is with the small engine version.

    Something is striking; If engine was going full speed with prop in the right direction then it should try to escape forward and down from the hand of the person holding it. It does not look like it does that so indeed propulsion is bad.

    1- indeed, search for the letters sculpted on the prop, and put it toward the nose of the plane. Then your experimented friend will tell you the correct sense of rotation for the engine.

    2- To me the engine is not going fast enough, the noise is very low instead of screaming. Recalibrate the esc (mind the prop cutting your fingers !) ?

    3- My GC is at 8.1 while manual says 8.5

    4- My prop is an APC 9x6 two blades. The 3 blades prop sold with the plane was ditched.

    5- Have you tried to fly it before putting the APM on it ? If not, then you should and only put the APM when everything is fine.

    6- Take the expensive Go Pro and video transmitter out of the plane, replace weight with dummy weight. Fly, crash, fly, then only when you stop crashing, add the go pro, then fly, then add the video transmitter.

  • Probably a prop problem, like the other guys said, it is backwards or maybe the wrong pitch/size. It also looked a tad tail heavy to me.  

  • Hi. I am 100 % sure your prop is reversed. Change its direction and see the difference. Make sure the numbers on the prop are facing towards the nose of the plane. And you also need to swap couple of motor wires to reverse the rotation.

    Well this is not the forum for this kind of problems. There is nothing wrong with your APM.

    • what direction should the motor be running ?

    • Doesn't matter. First Change the direction of the prop. Power it up give some throttle. If its pushing backwards then swap any of two wires of your motor going to your ESC. If it is pushing forward then no need to change the motor wires. Just Fly :)

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