Best Practices – Torque

For all of my years of flying, I’ve been pretty much a “by guess and by golly” or “TLAR” (That Looks About Right) flyer.  I never put much scientific practice into my flying.  I am pretty analytic, so I understand that it “could” help; maybe I’ve just been lazy.

Well, friendly competition never hurt anyone.  I’ve come to realize that if I want to keep winning – or not give wins away – I better start applying some of the basic principles of rubber flying:  I am going to apply Don DeLoach’s Tail Volume – CG formulae; I may start building more conventional aircraft (like my Chambermaid), I am going to venture into events that I never flew (such as Dime Scale), and I am going to start measuring torque while winding.

I was at an informal indoor event a month ago and was struggling a little to get good performance out of my NoCal HiMax and my flying buddy (and competitor!) Winn Moore asked “to what torque are you winding?”  My reply: “I dunno – never used a torque meter.”  He said “use my Wilder Winder with Torque Meter and tell me where you are.”  I did and gave him a number and he said for that motor cross section I could go at least 60% higher in torque.  I was shocked.  I tried it and got GREAT results.  I was sold. (Speaking of “sold”, I had been back bidder on ebay for the very winder that Winn let me use!)

I did a ton of online research and built some spreadsheets and I now own 3 Torque meters that I have built and I am working on a fourth.  Here are two of them.  The one attached to my winder should be good for all of my Indoor/NoCal/Phantom Flash motors.  Full scale deflection to left or right (counter rotating twins?) should be 1 inch-ounch.  The larger also fits on the Wilder and should be good for all of my peanuts and smaller ships with full deflection of 2 inch-ounces.  And I build a long, detached one for big stuff up to 12 inch-ounces.

two homemade torque meters for my Wilder Winder

two homemade torque meters for my Wilder Winder


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