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inspect your flying lines Empty inspect your flying lines

Post  Ken Cook Mon Nov 01, 2021 3:17 pm

Yesterday I went out to the field despite that it was windy and raining. Between rain showers I got in a few flights. I had hopes to fly my buddy's hollow log models I recently repaired. I brought out my C-47 Skytrain which uses two 80's Babe Bees which are dual ported cylinder engines. They both lit up immediately and my son took it up but the run was a little rich. We brought it back fueled it and dialed in a little more power. It was doing real well. Then the down line broke. It looped and almost came around before hitting the ground nose first. It really damaged it. I fly with .012" lines. I had them for a long time and I just mentioned SATURDAY that I should make up a new set because I was concerned about their age. I gave up on .008's, I break them all the time. Too much maneuvering and they fail at the plane end from constant flexing. I went to .012's and they've lasted a long long time until yesterday. I built that C-47 almost 40 yrs ago and I make it a point to at least fly once or twice a year. We won't be flying it anymore. However, I have something up my sleeve for a replacement. So to all that use steel lines, closely inspect them.
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Post  944_Jim Mon Nov 01, 2021 4:53 pm

Ouch, Ken. I know that hurt to watch. There is nothing left to fix?

Was this a profile fuselage/ribbed and sheeted wing, at about 36"? I have that plan, and wondered how it flew...on two lines.

Again, I know the pain. You have my sympathies.
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Post  Cribbs74 Mon Nov 01, 2021 5:00 pm

Bummer, but it happens, sometimes even if you are being diligent. Losing one makes room for another.

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Post  Yabby Mon Nov 01, 2021 7:27 pm

yeh, thats a nasty way to lose a model. DAMMIT!

I reckon even checking your lines sometimes may not pick up lines about to go, other than the obvious, but the ones on the way out from flexing etc. near the join or end of the wrap I would imagine are very hard to see at times and may sometimes fatigue from the inside out. I know titanium can crak from the inside out as I learnt that a very hard and expensive way.

On huge span bridges etc. The suspension ropes (cables) are tested electrically to try and determine if the cable has cracks or such in it. I doubt that would work with such super thin lines, maybe it would, dont know, never tried, you would need to know what the resistance values were when the lines were newly setup. Assuming they conduct.

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Post  Yabby Mon Nov 01, 2021 8:18 pm

Hey Ken, not trying to be annoying, but is it possible/worthwhile to cut a bit off of the lines at the plane end after a while and re-make the ends again, hopefully getting rid of the fatigued part? maybe you need your lines to be exact correct length for the type of flying you do. For me, just flying round and round and into the ground Lol. it wouldn't matter. I quite regularly peel old braid/spiderwire off of my fishing reels because its hard to tell when its getting worn. And losing a 30lb Snapper would really really [bleep] me off, if it was a line break caused by my bad maintenance!!! My bad fishing technique I can live with. Lol.

Its probably starting to sound like I have a maintenance....... obsession. Lol. I think it comes from my years of bike racing in an era where people regularly died competing on extremely difficult to ride, build, tune, and maintain GP bikes.

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Post  Ken Cook Tue Nov 02, 2021 4:12 am

The problem is the small diameter lines. I use crimp tubes , they should be wrapped and not crimped. Wrapping the ends provides a living joint so to speak as opposed to a hard end subjected to flexing. The small diameter however doesn't allow wrapping them to be a easy task. This requires some epoxy on the finish end of the wrap or shrink tube to retain the tail end of the wrap. This now makes a stress point on the cable and your back to the same issue as the crimp tube.
The real problem is my lack of inspecting them, I should be replacing them after 5 years.
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Post  getback Tue Nov 02, 2021 5:18 am

Sorry to hear about the mishap Ken , are these lines used on other planes or dedicated to the model pieces in hand ?
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Post  Yabby Tue Nov 02, 2021 4:18 pm

Wow!!! Five years out of a set of steel lines for someone who flies a lot!! Thats pretty excellent! I tried using .008 steel lines on my planes and I tried really honestly hard to look after them and be careful and after two trips to the field they were toast and I chucked a wobbly and threw them in the bin. Went to 10lb spectra/spiderwire (049 only) which I found easier for me to look after but I still muck them up. lol! I need to develop better field discipline as to where I walk etc. without thinking. Huh... Thumbs Up

I saw some spectra/spiderwire line in the shop the other day that is multicoloured fluro bands of red, blue, green, orange, yellow, which I might get as I hope I will be able to see it on the ground better. cheers

Maybe I will try .012 steel. I found with .008 steel I really couldnt make the ends off very well at all and it took huge time up and caused me massive frustration. Would .012 be ok for flying 049 on 42 foot with a TD? guess I should, buy, try and find out, Lol.

I remember the steel lines we used in the 70s. It was like fence wire cheers and we used to be able to solder it as it was actually solder coated. If it kinked badly we just cut it and resoldered it. That was when we all made our own fuel tanks out of tin plate from the hardware store and soldered them together in the shed. Aaahhh simple times. sunny group of us used to fly at the local sports oval/field, we were our own unofficial little club Thumbs Up And lines really used to get abused with hyperactive boys everywhere walking and riding bikes around and over lines Lol.

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Post  Ken Cook Tue Nov 02, 2021 4:47 pm

That's what I use is .012" steel for all of my Cox powered planes, as I mentioned the .008's are just too fragile. I have to many club members that still can't figure out that you can't walk in the pit area. We have one member that's just a total space cadet. One afternoon he pulled his car into the pit area and ran over all the lines.He couldn't understand why everyone was yelling at him. I prefer the Spectra lines but I do like my steel lines.
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Post  roddie Tue Nov 02, 2021 6:13 pm

Hey Ken, Sorry to read of the mishap.. and I feel bad for Shawn too. That must have sucked. Hope to see soon; what's up your sleeve.. as a replacement. Eyebrows
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Post  Ken Cook Tue Nov 02, 2021 7:03 pm

A-26 Invader
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Post  roddie Tue Nov 02, 2021 8:31 pm

Ken Cook wrote:        A-26 Invader

you're a Douglas man.. That's a sexy twin for sure!
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