Trouble flying dragonfly

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ThisIsNot
ThisIsNot's picture
Trouble flying dragonfly

OK, I received my Dragonfly yesterday and have messed around with it.  I fully charged the battery first, then try to make it fly.  The unit fell gracefully instead but I just thought that the battery would need to be charged and drained a couple of times.  So now I am on my 6th full charge and my unit is still not flying.  I even took it outdoors where there wasn't any wind, rain, or snow.  Still, my unit will get up and flying for about 1 minute then it will fall to the ground.

I have left my controls on beginner as I found that the expert controls turn the Dragonfly too quickly.  Anyone else have this problem?  I am going to try a couple more times.  After that, I may end up returning it.

SLCMike
SLCMike's picture

When you say "fall to the ground" do you mean the wings stop beating and it literally falls to the ground? Or do you mean you find it challenging to keep the Dragonfly airborne for any length of time? I just got my Dragonfly today and have 15 minutes of flight time on it. I haven't been able to fly it in a space much bigger than 15' x 15' (which I believe is realistically as small a space as an RC amateur could hope to fly it in) but don't find it too difficult to keep it airborne so long as the walls don't interfere! I've even managed to fly it back to me and catch it a few times. I have noticed that if you don't launch it level from your hand, it is much more likely to end up in a stall -- and ultimately into the ground. Also, when turning, even in beginner mode, small adjustments seem to work much, much better than large sudden ones. I'm impressed by the durability of the Dragonfly so far. As you'd expect, the learning curve has forced my bug into walls and the tile floor on multiple occassions. No breaks or tears as yet. I am looking forward to flying it somewhere more open. Flying circles gets a bit old!

Shane
Shane's picture

How did you launch it?

From what it sounds like, your unit is having a hard time staying airborn shortly after it is launched.

Are you launching it the way that the instructions suggest is the best way to launch? Or are you literally throwing it up a bit more than level? Or are you even letting it take flight from the ground?

Let us know.

Shane

ThisIsNot
ThisIsNot's picture

When I say fall to the ground, I mean that I can sometimes get it to launch and it will perform a subtle turn then take a nose dive. Other times, I can't even get it to launch.

I am launching it by hand. I am holding the Dragonfly level and simply letting go after the wings have hit full speed. The Dragonfly will go up as if I have thrown it, then it will take a nose dive.

I think it just has to do with the indoor settings of my house. For some reason, the pressure in my house has always been negative. We can't even use the fireplace because the house will suck the smoke in.

The weather calmed down yesterday just enough for my friend and I to go fly them outside. Needless to say, that was a lot better. I was able to keep my Dragonfly airborne for the entire time. I guess all the constant turning to avoid walls doesn't really help. I am a little dissapointed that I can't get it up and flying in the living room (which is about 25X20) but I guess that is the way it goes. I did get it up and flying and I made it do three laps around the ceiling. Then it did a nose dive from a 20ft altitude.

Still, this thing is pretty durable and I am happy with it so far. I just wanted to know if my unit could fly and it flies outside so that is good enough for me. Our living room is kinda cramped so it is a lot harder to fly anything in there (I have a small electric RC helicopter that can fly and hover in there but I am always hitting something).

Edit:

OK, I finally put the ribbon on my unit.  This makes things much, much better.  I can now kinda fly my Dragonfly indoors but now it is nose diving because I am hitting objects.  I also took my Dragonfly to the park and I was able to get it to fly about 50-60 ft in the air.  The wind wasn't bad but there was a slight breeze which really messed with my unit.  Still, I have now fully flown my unit so I think it works.

If anyone else is having flying problems, I suggest putting the "training" ribbon on it as it makes flight a lot smoother and makes the Dragonfly easier to turn. 

DragonFly-NY
DragonFly-NY's picture

   ThisIsNot: when I read your last post I knew right away why your DF was nose-diving - you said you let the wings flap at full speed when you let it go.  Well, I found out the hard way that you have to flap them at only half speed in order for it to get airborne; at full speed it'll nose dive every time.   

   I just got mine the other day and I'm having a different problem - I can get it airborne, but EVERY time I turn, it loses a little altitude, until it eventually hits the ground in less than a minute every time.  The sharper I turn, the more altitude I lose.  I took off the ribbon to see if it was maybe weighing it down, but it wasn't that either.

   Maybe I'm making turns that are too sharp?  Or, maybe I'm just not coordinating my turns with the wing speed correctly?  I'm trying to fly it inside my small condo, and the ceilings are only like 8 ft high - even though my living room is around the recommended size (mine is 18 ft x 15 ft), I find it VERY difficult to keep it airborne while turning and staying away from the walls at the same time. 

   I'd appreciate any help on this... thanks!

  
 

ThisIsNot
ThisIsNot's picture

Well, I used to have that problem but not anymore.  I put the tail ribbon on it and my dragonfly is a whole lot easier to fly indoors and outdoors.  Turning with the dragonfly must be subtle.  I switched mine over to expert mode but, when I want to turn, it takes just a flick of the turning joystiq.

I think the outdoor flying experience is much better than indoors.  My livingroom is about 20'X30' and it my dragonfly constantly runs into the walls.  There have been times when I had it airborn for 3-4 minutes indoors but that was about it.  Next time I go to the park, I will make a video and post it on YouTube as I have been able to get it airborn and keep it up there for 10-20 minutes at a time.  One time, my dragonfly took a huge nose dive (about 50') and I wondered what happened.  It turned out that I had it airborn for the entire 20 minute life of the battery and just forgot.

So they can fly, I just think they need more space than listed in the instruction manual (unless you are a pro at turning these things).

milw
milw's picture

I agree- outdoor is much better. My 5 yr old is flying it better than I can outside! I have the ribbon on and in expert mode, and it generally is climbing in a gentle turn to maybe 20-30' altitude.

This is a lot of fun! and quite hardy- unlike some other similarly priced RC electric planes, that always seem to self destruct at the first impact!

El_Taco
El_Taco's picture

Hello
I tried using mine indoors and outdoors but my dragonfly keeps going down after 10seconds and it iswell turns right all the time, I switched the wings side but not yet with the new replacement ones and it didn't change anything.

RobosapienRevolution
RobosapienRevolution's picture

Hi, Aw man hearing all this makes me want to get one, but sadly it isn't in Canada yet!

All the best, RR

milw
milw's picture

RobosapienRevolution said: Hi, Aw man hearing all this makes me want to get one, but sadly it isn't in Canada yet! All the best, RR

 

 

WowWee online store doesn't ship to Canada? I noticed their price is a lot better than Radio Shack too- enough so to cover the shipping cost to Canada... I wonder, are the Canadian RF regulations the same as US or close enough for the US units to be legal?

I think the shipping cost would only be maybe $10-15 US depending on the carrier. My company does a lot of DHL and FedEx shipments, some to Canada so we're all set up. You can email me if you want to talk about it!!

cheers- Scott 

RobosapienRevolution
RobosapienRevolution's picture

I wish it did ship to canada..

RobosapienRevolution
RobosapienRevolution's picture

milw said:     WowWee online store doesn't ship to Canada? I noticed their price is a lot better than Radio Shack too- enough so to cover the shipping cost to Canada... I wonder, are the Canadian RF regulations the same as US or close enough for the US units to be legal? I think the shipping cost would only be maybe $10-15 US depending on the carrier. My company does a lot of DHL and FedEx shipments, some to Canada so we're all set up. You can email me if you want to talk about it!! cheers- Scott 

Hey, What do you really mean by that...  I went on a website:   http://www.rac.ca/regulatory/rfe.htm    and it said that Canadian regulations are similar but they are not necessarily exactly the same. You can see yourself..

El_Taco
El_Taco's picture

Rawww starting being fed up of seeing my dragonfly fall all the time after a 10sec flight(and i'm still happy if it stays 10sec), really don't know what to do I tried everything.
All diferent types of throwings and it still continues boucing up and DOWNNN and smashes on the ground (I tried medium speed, full speed and even no speed at all (haha)) at the launch.
Anyone has an idea??

milw
milw's picture

um, is it the blue one? I'd strongly advise checking this thread and trying the tail mod, then use Expert mode and no tail ribbon. Also, a drop of light oil at the wing 'shoulder' joints- in case the mechanism is tight. Can you see if the white bars that go down into the body (at the front of the wings, attaching to the motor drive inside) are hitting the foam body?

good luck!

-Scott 

RobosapienRevolution
RobosapienRevolution's picture

Hey Scott, I know your an expert on dragonflies.. Do you know what is the difference between these? 

 

FlyTech™ Dragonfly (27Mhz) ( blue )    

 and the

FlyTech™ Dragonfly (49Mhz) ( green)

milw
milw's picture

We have two blue ones and a green one, and the green is consistently the better flyer- longer flying time and better climbing ability (compared side by side with brand new batteries and full charge).

I think it is due to the electrical requirements of the blue LEDs vs the greens- that is why I put red ones (the lowest voltage required for them) into my hacked dragonfly. but I haven't yet tried a direct side by side with my red-eyed (originally blue) with  the other blue, with all other variables identical. so no real answer for now :(

-scott 

RobosapienRevolution
RobosapienRevolution's picture

Then i guess im getting the green one!             ( Edit ) - That makes me pretty sad because i like the blue body better that the green ( i have no idea why.. )

El_Taco
El_Taco's picture

So yes it's a blue one, and it think that the left white bar blocks a litle when the wings are fully deploied.
Or else I don't realy want to modifie the structure of the dragonfly and if I must I will be a litle dispointed on the quality of it.
Speacking about quality the antena is very bad the pieces get of way to easily.
And if you want my dragonfly gleids more than it flies. some time it dosn't "bounce" but it anyway goes down and when I turn it loses a lot of hight.

milw
milw's picture

Turning is harder- it easily loses altitude, and it is easy to get into a spin and crash. The dragonfly is definitely a challenge to fly. But with our tail add-ons, the flight speed is so slow that we can easily keep it level and looping around in our living room that is only 12' wide and filled with lamps and tv antenna, at least for a couple of minutes. Outside, we're either running into trees or getting blown out of radio range.

But perhaps you should take yours back to the store and try to exchange? Let us know how it works out! (and welcome to the community, by the way!)

cheers- Scott 

 

El_Taco
El_Taco's picture
milw
milw's picture

Keep it half speed- the launch is a gentle toss up and forward, with the tail parallel to the ground (nose up some 20 degrees?) You can also try cutting a .8 cm x 20 cm strip of paper, fold it into about a square and tape it onto the nose. The problem most of us see is that (especially under full power)- the nose will rise until it stalls- and then it drops out of the air, sometimes nose first. The goal is to put a bit more weight on the nose to keep it from rising; keep throttle about half speed; and add some tail area to stabilize pitch and roll.

I only push it to full power when making a sharp turn, otherwise nearly always 1/3rd to 1/2 power.

 

El_Taco
El_Taco's picture

Ok I will already try out the paper trick, or else for a more estetetic weight, is it posible to make out like a necklace around the neck of the dragonfly?? putting some wait on it?? maybe take a photo once I try it out.

Update : The paper trick works well, gona try it in the garden tomorrow.
               Thank you and once you tried out the red led, tell us what conclusion you have about i, I'm interested in the results.

dsetzer
dsetzer's picture

For the tail/strip of paper mod - on rcgroups.com, in the Ornithopters forum - there is a template that you can download to make the tail mod.

 -Doug / www.mydragonfly.info

dsetzer
dsetzer's picture

Just to let you know - they are available in Canada from Toys R' Us - www.toysrus.ca.  I've got a fairly comprehensive world-wide list of where you can buy the DragonFly at www.mydragonfly.info/buy.aspx

RobosapienRevolution
RobosapienRevolution's picture

 Yea..  Now  they are but before they were not. Anyways, have fun flying!

Zamfir
Zamfir's picture

The center of gravity of these makes a large difference.  The nose seems too light and creates diving.  The paper trick works.  To keep the mod as light as possible the weight needs to be as far forward as possible.  I used a metal thumbtack right on the nose. it weighs 0.5 grams.  When these are made the slightest change shifts the CG.  Experiment with different weights for your individal bug and flying style.  I am going to try the tail mod.

demisemiquaver
demisemiquaver's picture

Note that running a lipo battery down too far will damage it and after 6 charges your batteries are on the downside anyway.