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The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

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The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  Kim on Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:51 am

The wind has been a near-constant companion here on the hill for the past few weeks, with only a few breaks that let me get some flying done.  Even slope soaring is out now that my favorite levee is sporting a brand-new NO TRESPASSING sign (yeah, Allen---the one we used so much back in the day), so I'm on the lookout for a replacement stretch that's accessible and aligned with our typical North/South breezes.

So when the winds backed down and smoothed out a bit yesterday evening, I figured that it was time to test the 3 Meter B.O.T.'s repaired wing.  Had a beautiful sunset in progress, with everything working, and the old Cox Sportsman .15 giving it's all.

By the time it's film canister fuel tank was empty, I had some good altitude to play with and got the old bird trimmed up.  Got some leisurely cruising done before heading out over the north pasture, and turning inbound...where the mis-judgement began.  

In spite of my mental note to allow for the breeze still coming across the hill, I turned to final too late to make my yard and the old sailplane once again smacked the fence at the edge of the pasture.  The really insulting part was that I thought it was clear of the fence, and hauled in some elevator to flair it.  Starting to think I'm really slipping with my flying skills.

The impact wasn't hard, with fence 'catching' the plane head-on, but when the B.O.T. settled back on it's tail, the whole aft fuselage folded right behind it's wing.  I had to hoof it down there quickly to shoo away my landlords cattle that were highly interested in this new diversion!

The old bird looked pretty pitiful with it's tail twisted back over it's wing.  I carefully reached over the electric cow wire, and took it by it's rudder, picking it up like grabbing a shot goose by it's neck.

Despite the hovering depression following me and my busted plane back to the shop, it turns out that maybe this was a good thing.  I knew the area right behind the wing had been stressed from a few thousand landings and clunks since I got the plane (I think) back in 2003.  Chips of paint had broken off right past the wings bolts over the years, but I'd figured it was from the fiberglass flexing.  Guess it was a lot more than flexed, as there was a clean straight break almost all the way around the fuse!

So, the GOOD is that it didn't give up in-flight, saving me my radio gear and maybe the total loss of everything (I've flown around some fairly swampy areas). And MORE good is that, knowing the B.O.T.'s wing had repair on top of repair, last November I'd bought another one for hi-starting.  This method of launching a sailplane is for healthy wings only, and I'd been patching the old one along for a long time.  

The irony in all this is that the patched wing came though just fine, so it's gonna pack the engine pod on future flights, while the new wing is gonna do the pure sailplane hi-start stuff.  Probably also head down to Painton for some serious pattern work/practice !!!

Thus concludes 'Kim's Novel of the Week'!

































Last edited by Kim on Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:59 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  rsv1cox on Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:26 am

Well, that is absolutely horrid Kim, but forgive me a chuckle or two as I slowly absorbed each successive photograph knowing from the title that this wasn't going to end well. Kim's "tree" in the background and the cows added to my graveyard humor.

But all's well that ends well and I'm sure you will make lemonade out of the experience. If your in the area you can still do the maiden on my Corsair. Smile
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Re: The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  Kim on Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:51 am

Yep...if a guy can't have a laugh at himself, this hobby won't do anything but torture him!  On the lemonade side, if I got this kind of mileage out of all my planes, the shop would be a bunch more crowded that it already is!  This is one high mileage dog...and it looked it!

Since the new one is identical, most of the fitting and stuff should transfer directly, and I've already used a couple tips learned from the first B.O.T. (such as adding an extra hinge below the rudder's control horn to spread out the twisting input from it's pushrod), that should 'pre-solve' some issues I discovered as it aged.
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Re: The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  andrew on Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:59 am

Well, that sucks!   Sad  

Given the nearly straight and vertical fracture line, it certainly looks like long running stress fracturing in the glass, either at a layup overlay or along a former.  I think you're right in that the tail feathers may well have departed at some future date while doing a do-dah at altitude leaving you with a lawn dart.

The weather on this side of the river also has been windy and wet with the spring storms having more ferocity than in the previous several years.  Our field has been too wet to mow, too wet to roll (we're apparently located in the middle of Mole Central) and too wet to fly.  Temps are nice, but the ground is like a sponge.

Whoever heard of a No Trespassing sign on a levee???  Levee walking is a tradition -- besides, anything below the high water mark belongs to the Corps of Engineers and cannot be blocked from the public.  That's my story, anyway.
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Re: The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  Kim on Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:18 pm

andrew wrote:Well, that sucks!   Sad  

Given the nearly straight and vertical fracture line, it certainly looks like long running stress fracturing in the glass, either at a layup overlay or along a former.  I think you're right in that the tail feathers may well have departed at some future date while doing a do-dah at altitude leaving you with a lawn dart.

The weather on this side of the river also has been windy and wet with the spring storms having more ferocity than in the previous several years.  Our field has been too wet to mow, too wet to roll (we're apparently located in the middle of Mole Central) and too wet to fly.  Temps are nice, but the ground is like a sponge.

Whoever heard of a No Trespassing sign on a levee???  Levee walking is a tradition -- besides, anything below the high water mark belongs to the Corps of Engineers and cannot be blocked from the public.  That's my story, anyway.


Yeah...I HAVE to be a bit thankful that it gave up, and left me some surviving gear in the wreckage. I'm also engaged in 'Mole Wars', and probably will be through the rest of the warm season. Gonna swing by Buchiets and get some more mole bombs...look like big firecrackers you light and stick in a run fuse-first...that smoke them with some kind of toxic gas. The things actually worked last year, so a few more bucks invested....

Don't know for sure, but figure the four-wheeler crowd has helped evict me from my beloved levees. Many of them have little or no regard for the property of others, and my own landlord has had some pastures and even planted fields torn up by the idiots. Anyway, I don't feel like dealing with the local officials, trying to explain what makes an engineless plane fly and why a grown man would care, so I'll just keep my eyes open for a workable slope.

Also, meant to say earlier that it is good to have you back and active here...seemed like you were gone for bit. Hope everything is great and that maybe we can pull a McDonalds run again before too long!

Later Dude !
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Re: The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  KariFS on Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:52 pm

That'll buff right out lol!

Sorry to see the old Bird break it's back... But I am glad you see the positive side of this mishap. You're absolutely right, the damage to the plane and possibly to other things would have been much worse, had it snapped in a high altitude, especially with the engine running Damn!

Are you going to fix this fuselage or just write it off?

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Re: The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  fredvon4 on Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:06 pm

Kim, my gut shuddered seeing the FG carnage and knowing the PITA that is to fix

But I have to note... years ago I developed a weird attitude... even for a model I have extreme hours of work on... when I dork it--- I still giggle a bit (or a LOT depending on how dumb my control was)

Some of my more fun times at the VFW after a flying session was recounting THE spectacular crash....grin

On days where I just fly event free, and take home every plane in tact, I am personally jazzed....BUT driving home with a "Bag-O-Balsa" does cause a slight grin....knowing I get to triage, learn, and most likely get to play with a new toy soon

Then again, I do not have any one unique or very very special to me model ...right now

At this stage of learning and experimenting and taking risks... some of my more expensive specialty engines are ONLY flown in perfect conditions and I am NOT aggressive with them....so far the Nelson N36c, Silver Foxx 35 and Silver Foxx 40 each come home with just a few minuets more run time and NO DIRT!

Randy Smith later, this year is hooking me up with a High Zoot 52 and SV 11....

Gotta fly more and get my game skills honed...cuz if I figure 9 that combo I will be very sad
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Re: The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  Kim on Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:52 pm

KariFS wrote:That'll buff right out lol!

Sorry to see the old Bird break it's back... But I am glad you see the positive side of this mishap. You're absolutely right, the damage to the plane and possibly to other things would have been much worse, had it snapped in a high altitude, especially with the engine running Damn!

Are you going to fix this fuselage or just write it off?


Thanks Kari,

Planning to strip it down and give it a 'Viking Funeral' out back in the burn barrel. I've not worked with fiberglass much, and figure if I DID fix it, it'd probably break again just past the repair. Heading out to the shop here in a minute to pull the goods out of it's poor carcass, as I'd like to get the new one going soon.

Another of the mods I made was installing a 90 degree bellcrank and pushrod in place of the mini servo the instructions say to glue in place back in the tail, below the elevator. My bellcrank has worked perfectly through a lot of punishment, so I'm staying with it.

All told, I'm pretty satisfied that I got my money's worth out of it and can only hope the new one hangs in there as well!


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Re: The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  Kim on Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:16 pm

fredvon4 wrote:

Gotta fly more and get my game skills honed...cuz if I figure 9 that combo I will be very sad

Yeah, same here!  I've got to get more stick and handle time, either at the wide open 'Painton Aerodrome' or the Breezy Hill Field.  There's a pretty good spread of sizes and glide ratios across the stuff I fly, and I'm afraid the old 'Glide Angle Computer' in my brain is slowing down.

And yes, I've had several good laughs (albeit a bit painful) at some of my less-than-desirable 'arrivals'!
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Re: The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  roddie on Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:53 pm

"drove my Chevy to the levee when the levee was dry"... I assume you were referring to Allen B.? I think of him often.. and didn't even know the man. His work with the kids (Patton St. Pirates) was hugely inspirational to me.

14 years of; dare I say.. regular-service is pretty darn good for a model airplane. You '"flew the snot out of that BOT".. Laughing

All kidding aside.. seeing that the new one will be strictly a "soaring-machine".. I got to thinking.. Rolling Eyes what if.. you scaled-down the design to 30% size.. and built a 1m B.O.T.??? For times that you don't feel like setting-up the high-start.. For a compact soaring-cruiser that's real easy to transport.. powered by; a Tee Dee .010/.020, Pee Wee .020.. or any of the lower-power .049 engines that you may have.. that are languishing in a drawer/box.. yearning for a flight? I'll bet such a model would carry at least one key-chain cam aloft just fine.. maybe even two!

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Re: The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  Kim on Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:31 pm

roddie wrote:"drove my Chevy to the levee when the levee was dry"... I assume you were referring to Allen B.? I think of him often.. and didn't even know the man. His work with the kids (Patton St. Pirates) was hugely inspirational to me.

14 years of; dare I say.. regular-service is pretty darn good for a model airplane. You '"flew the snot out of that BOT".. Laughing


Hey Roddie,
Never got the dry levee deal with Don McLean, but still liked the song!

I do think of my friend Allen Brickhaus and his Pirates pretty often (usually when I'm running out the lines on a control liner), but the Allen I was calling out is Allen Burnham...a member on here and I can't remember his forum tag to save my life...think it's 'Arrow' or something. He checks in once in a while here and on Facebook...I may retitle the thread to catch his attention!

Back around 2000, there were three of us that regularly wind-burned ourselves on my recently outlawed levee. Allen had a Gentle Lady and a couple others, including a scratch-built delta foamie he designed. Our other glider pilot, Paul (haven't talked to him in long time), had a wide range of sailplanes from light-load types to some pretty sophisticated composite sailplanes. We had a lot of fun, even if I always went home with my face and eye-lids toasted. The B.O.T. I'm flying in the video is same ole 2 Meter dog that's still flying today...on it's third radio and assorted reworks:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkKiFC-3wS0

I've got plans tucked away somewhere for another Dave Thornburg design called 'Sun Bird' that would be close to the size you described.
The new 3 Meter fuse will get to use the old wing and power pod, but it's wing will not be modded to take power. I've got a new hi-start for it, and am looking forward to getting video of some of that action!
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Re: The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  Cribbs74 on Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:57 pm

Hey Kim; the skills are fine, accidents happen. Glad it's fixable.

Now, where do you find those mole bombs? I need me some, hope they work on Gophers too!
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Re: The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  Kim on Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:21 pm

Cribbs74 wrote:Hey Kim; the skills are fine, accidents happen. Glad it's fixable.

Now, where do you find those mole bombs? I need me some, hope they work on Gophers too!

I got them at a local farm/implement store here called Buchiets. Got 5 for a few bucks...they're about the size of a cigar and must have some toxic crap inside, because they disappeared here for a pretty good while.
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Re: The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  Marleysky on Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:56 pm

Kim, Sorry to hear the BOT bit the dust, pooped in the pasture?  It's  great you have a replacement almost ready to go.  You mentioned the paint chips flecking off behind the wing saddle.  With my ever sharp CSI (crash scene investigation) we can see the crack across the fuselage in your first three photo's.

Flying on the levee looks like it could be never ending fun. It might be worth a phone call or visit to the owner, and explain your previous use of the area, and that you have no intentions of tearing up the place like the four wheelers have. It's only trespassing if you don't ask for permission. Wink
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Re: The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  Kim on Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:37 am

Marleysky wrote:Kim, Sorry to hear the BOT bit the dust, pooped in the pasture?  It's  great you have a replacement almost ready to go.  You mentioned the paint chips flecking off behind the wing saddle.  With my ever sharp CSI (crash scene investigation) we can see the crack across the fuselage in your first three photo's.

Flying on the levee looks like it could be never ending fun. It might be worth a phone call or visit to the owner, and explain your previous use of the area, and that you have no intentions of tearing up the place like the four wheelers have. It's only trespassing if you don't ask for permission. Wink

Thanks Marleysky!

I kept thinking the cracks and chips were from the fiberglass flexing and just breaking the paint loose (don't guess I have much of a chance at a career in aviation stress analysis).  At one point, I DID do a redneck version of stressing the airframe by trying to twist or bend it, and it seemed pretty strong.  Guess it got dropped on it's butt one too many times!

I may try you suggestion and check the no trespassing sign for s phone number.  There's also what appears to be a private shooting range running along the base of the levee, so I'm gonna watch for guys to be out there on the weekends.  We've got our own bunch of shooters in our little gun club, so maybe one of them might be connected  with that group.

There's a levee over in Illinois that actually has a public road going along it's top, but is a single lane, with no place to park.  Still snooping around though...


Last edited by Kim on Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  pkrankow on Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:58 am

Just get a 1m DLG. I think a 1m is too small for lofting camera gear and an engine.

https://hobbyking.com/en_us/hobbykingtm-1-0m-mini-dlg-v2-composite-1000mm-arf.html

I picked up one of these last year, haven't set it up yet, but it is rather nicely made. I have set up one of these, but the weather went goofy before I could really give it a workout.
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/hobbykingtm-mini-dlg-pro-w-ailerons-balsa-blue-white-990mm-pnf.html

However the tape hinge peeled over the winter, which is a 5 handed job to redo without disconnecting everything. The weather is still not suitable around here for this though.

I also have plans from Outerzone for a full house BOT wing and a short kit from Ebay.

Phil

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Re: The Good...The REALLY Bad...but All will be Good again...

Post  Kim on Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:29 am

I've logged a lot of time with hand-launched gliders over the years, but suddenly find myself without a flyable plane. I DO have a Zagi hand launch kit in it's box that I ought to assemble. These are about 30% Epp foam (leading edge) and almost indestructible.



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