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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

120 Size Zero Rises Again Like a Phoenix After a Devastating Crash

71" WS, 13.2 lbs, Enya 120

This decision proved to be a very big mistake. Just before the landing on the downwind leg something caused the big model to enter a nose down spin dive into the ground. 

The crash smasher all the plywood frames into many pieces leaving the fiberglass fuselage resembling a limp and gutted form. There were several buckles and creases and numerous cases where the gel-coat was cracked or missing. I was of a mind to scrap this war-bird, but one of my internet buddies urged me to repair to flying condition, arguing that the zero was one of his favorite flying models. After a reasonable cooling off period I had another look at the wreckage and began considering repair options. The wing was still in one piece and except for a 3/4 inch gap at the trailing edge where the center-line joint partially separated. Additionally there was some leading edge crushing at the fuselage intersection area. The trailing edge separation issue was dealt with when epoxy glue was squeezed into the crack and a cargo strap, hooked into the aileron cutouts was used to pull the wing halves together. A cuff of fiberglass at the center-line joint added another level of safety over the stock ARF condition. The leading edge crushing was fixed by filling the low areas with expanding foam, bringing the area back to profile by carving and sanding away the excess material. The areas were finished by over laying the surface with a single layer of epoxy filled fiberglass. Since the paint and surface finish was already in bad condition from hard use before the crash now after it was so bad that it was clear that the whole model would need to be refinished. With that decision we began the search for an alternative color scheme. The dark green color was always a problem with disability at low altitude when the model was back-grounded against the trees and other vegetation it was very hard to see. With that in mind we settled on a light grey Navy color scheme with as much bright trim as we could find.

  1.  Wing weight is 2.17 Kg.

The decision was made to experiment with using latex house paint to cover up the existing finish which had not been found to be hot glow fuel proof and was softened or missing in several areas that were exposed to engine exhaust.        

The grey color was achieved by mixing white with black, ever mindful of the fact that there would be no going back; very small amounts of black were added and tested until we were happy with the result.  
 The yellow and red trim was added by apply strips of Mono-Coat covering material to the fiberglass structure
During the repair process we took the time to examine the rudder linkage which is rather unconventional with several locations of backlash and questionable geometry. The axis of movement if the torque rod did not coincide exactly with the rudder's hinge line. The results were a rather vague and weak rudder incapable of reacting the aerodynamic forces upon it at large pilot inputs. 

At this point we concluded that the model was flown in the past effectively as a elevator and aileron system with little or no rudder influence; meaning that there was no chance of recovering from a spin if one were to happen.


To correct the weak rudder problem control horns and pull-pull cables were installed to connect the rudder to the rudder servo.

 First the torque rod was cut off with a dremel tool and removed then the fin was filled with expanding foam to anchor the new rudder hinges and stiffen the vertical fin
Right and left controls installed at the base of the rudder.
Pull-pull cables threaded through the fuselage connecting the rudder control horns to the rudder servo.
The cables are attached to inner Ny-Rod tubes at the forward ends, this is done to simplify the adjustment of length of the Pull-pull members. 

Dry weight of the repaired plane is 7.00 Kg or 15.43 pounds.
71"WS 15 lbs, Enya 120

We have a bad feeling that we may have just stumbled across the real cause of the mystery crash.  While setting up the controls we accidentally plugged the left hand wing servo into the receiver's aileron channel and the right one into the auxiliary channel and low and behold we had spoilerons instead of the flaperons that we were expecting. Could I have made the same mistake on the day of the crash?

This video clip demonstrates that when the aileron servo leads are switched and the right hand aileron servo lead is plugged into the auxiliary receiver port and the left one is plugged into the flap port you get very different  effects; spoilers instead of flaps and spoilers are something one doesn't want when setting up for a landing.

After working on this video I have a couple of more probable causes to add to the list:
Weather may have been a contribution factor as there were rail squalls in the area and the video shows her vanishing into a dark cloud at the moment of the tuck nose-down;
we may have sent her into the air with SPOIL-ERONS activated, we have learned that a simple mix-up with the servo wires causes this condition when employing the FLAP-ERONS configuration with the DX6 radio..

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Huge Lancaster Dambuster Bomber by Chris Malcomnson

Published on 6 Sep 2017 134 inch wing span, Lancaster Bomber. Each engine nacelle is fitted with its own radio receiver, battery, electronic speed controller and brush-less motor.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Joe Nall 2017

John flies his scratch built (fiberglass fus, foam wings) Macchi MC 205 Veltro at the Joe Nall Week 2017 Scale: 1/4.5 Wingspan 92" Weight: 27lbs Electric motor: RIMFIRE 65cc The Macchi MC-205 “Veltro” was the latest and best Italian fighter aircraft of WWII. it was based in Reggio-Emilia, Italy, 1944 of the 1st Fighter Group, 2nd Squadron of the ANR "Angry Wasps.”


Greg Wright flies his beautiful Thunderbolt at the Triple Tree Aerodrome - Joe Nall Week 2017 Model data: CARF P-47 Thunderbolt M / Scale: 1/4.5 Spw. / WS: 2.8m / 110" Gewicht / Weight: 24.9 kg / 55 Lbs Motor: Moki 250cc 5 cyl radial Propeller: 30" / 15 Solo-Prop hub and Solo prop wood blades Radio is a Spektrum DX-18 Servos are JR 8911 HV's

Marc Shepard flies his Corsair during the Joe Nall Week at the Triple Tree Aerodrome Model Data: MaƟstab / Scale: 1/4.5 Spw. / Wingspan: 2.8m / 110" Gewicht / Weight: 23.6 kg / 52lbs Motor: Moki 250 cc radial Propeller: Solo Prop 32" Music downloaded from the YouTube Audio Library https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/...

Reno Racer P-51 Mustang Stiletto The kit is produced by a man called Tom keating for the USRA Giant scale racing events. It was built by Peter Goldsmith and he won many races with it, powered by a DA170 cc engine running methanol fuel. Ali purchased the plane from Pete and wanted to convert it to Turbo Prop for fun. Ali always wanted a Turbo Prop plane that was fast. Pete made the conversion and fitted the all new Kingtech 100 Turbo prop. JC Super props in Brazil produced the special racing prop 26x24 !! The model is light, strong and very fast