Finwing penguin takeoff issues


i find it tough enough to take off my finwing penguin. Its balanced and i takeoff in manual. usually i'm on my own and if there is someone to help then they have 0 experience.

I dont really want to use the auto take off feature.

What i currently do is - Aim into wind. Manual mode - trim elevator up 100% and give it 50% throttle. then i grab the controller and try to add elevator and 100% throttle. 30% of the time this works. The rest it dives into the ground and eventually does damage of some sort.

Could i just use stabilize mode or alt hold mode under the same conditions - would this make the APM keep the plane level after throwing or are there any other tip that can get my takeoff skills to 100% success.

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  • I changed the shims on my motor mount to reduce the nose down thrust at full throttle on mine because I had the same difficulties you're describing.  At full throttle the plane wanted to drive the nose down into the ground on hand launch before the wings could generate enough lift to counter it.  Also, I programmed into my Taranis radio a "launch" switch that sets some up elevator and announces itself every 5 seconds so I know it's active.  When I turn it off after launch I have it set to move the elevator back to neutral over a time of 3 seconds so I don't get a rapid change in pitch.  Lastly I launch in auto, fbwa or stabilize and has worked extremely well.

  • 300km

    I use FBWA too it's great.

    I have a flaps switch in my DX8 radio that you can adjust to add some (about 30%) up elevator (I don't have flaps so I just adjust the elevator part). You can use in-radio-mixing to use any switch for the same effect. (It's probably cleaner than using trim as you're doing, but that would work fine too.)

    • So switch into FBWA,
    • hit the up elevator switch
    • full throttle and throw

    You don't need to be quick to get your hands back on the controller as FBWA does a very good job of keeping wings level and maintaining the climb.

    I've used that approach on FPV Raptor, Bormatec Maja, Cyclops EPO and Go Discover.

    The big advantage is that it's just three steps, no mission planner programming needed. 

    • hi moglos!


      i bought pixhawk and now i am hesitating how can i set the FBWA mode to my plane.

      would you advise me the method or procedure for me?




  • I have a penguin too loader with fpv stuff and 10 000 ma lipo. I throw it with my right hand without running. Rc is in my left hand. Motor is at 90pct, everything else is untouched.Stay in manual mode until this works 100 pct  of the time. Perfect trimming when flying, then do not touch it anymore.

    Where is the CG of the plane ? Should be about 22 percent of the chord of the wing, very much ahead of  most planes.

    Only when you are fine then think about using the apm. But make sure that the elevator works the correct way when you move the plane with your hand as it may be moving  the wrong way.

  • Moderator

    We always use auto takeoff although not specifically with the Finwing but with the Super Skysurfer. It's reliable and foolproof if done correctly. In 500+ day and night launches we've had a failure rate of about 0.012%. We've set it up so that as soon as Auto mode is enabled via a switch on the Tx the motor starts straight away which is confirmation to launch. A takeoff mission item is first in the mission plan with pitch set to ~12° and altitude 70m (As described here:

    A bungee or catapult helps a lot if your plane is heavy or you're not so comfortable with throwing. Important thing with either method is to throw the plane level at the horizon, do NOT throw up or nose high, the autopilot will sort out the pitch angle and climb when it's ready.

  • I would think of a bungee launcher or a catapult for maximizing your take-off success rate.

  • Developer

    I'd recommend using the auto take off feature - it works great.  Any reason you don't want to use it?

    Thanks, Grant.

  • I take off and land in FBWA mode all the time. The autopilot does a much better job than me when it comes to reaction times.
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