|This page will describe my installation of the new FMA FS8 Copilot/Receiver combination in my Graupner Terry|
|My first impression when I got the FS8 in my hands is that it was bigger than I expected, but then I made two observations. First, the unit I was looking at was BOTH a failsafe-capable, dual conversion 8 channel receiver AND a CoPilot control module, all in a package smaller than a standard size receiver. The picture at right shows my installation. The receiver sits where my old one did, and the programming and calibration module was mounted just aft of the wing. The wing-leveling sensor is mounded just in front of the tail. Click the picture for a larger view|
|Here you can see the installation as it looks "ready to fly". Right now the programming and calibration module just sits on top of the fuse, but at some point I'll bury it so only the buttons and led are showing. The wing leveling sensor will stay where it is, since it helps to alleviate the notorious nose-heaviness of the Terry.|
|The whole setup, ready to fly. The installation is pretty unobtrusive and shouldn't affect my flying on those occasions when I want to forgo any stabilization.|
As of this writing I've flown the setup once, and I am very pleased with the result. I own the original copilot also, and the results I got from this unit were consistent with my expectations, with the following notable (and pleasing) differences:
First, there are no switches to set the orientation of the sensor and set the direction of the control throws. The copilot "learns" which servos to move to correct pitch and roll by watching how you move the sticks when simulating a pitch down and a right roll. You don't have to be careful about plugging your elevator and aileron (or rudder) servo into the correct jacks on the copilot because there are no jacks, just 1-8 channel outputs on the receiver/copilot unit.
Second, the unit now offers separate throw adjustment pots for pitch and roll so that you can tune the sensitivity of the two axis separately... this is something I struggled with on my old unit; when I turned up the sensitivity to get the aggressive pitch response that I wanted, I ended up introducing strong oscillations in the roll. But when I damped the sensitivity, the plane didn't hold altitude as aggressively as I wanted in a turn. The new unit takes care of that very nicely!