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Looking to get in the air

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Old 06-19-2005, 11:14 PM
  #1  
sambo13
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Default Looking to get in the air

Hi all,

About 2 years ago, I was given by a friend an old style Avistar (red and white mono), with an O.S. .40FP and an old Futaba system. The engine and radio were junk (replaced the engine with a .46LA and the radio with a Futaba 4YF, then a Hitec Eclipse), but the airframe seemed fairly solid. Aside from a few small holes in the the wing, which I patched with stick-on Ultrakote, the airplane seemed to be in relatively good shape. However, a more through inspection revealed a couple of glaring problems. The tail end of the fuse (about 2 inches in front of the vertical stab) has a crack in the wood about 3 inches long, allowing the tail to twist and bend quite a bit, and I'm fairly sure it wouldn't hold up in flight. A bit of the wood in the tail was fuel soaked (for several years, apparently). The leading edge of the right-corner of the horizontal stab fell completely off due to this. Even without these problems, I'm hesitant to put a new engine and radio system into an older plane that sat in someone else's attic for at least 5 years, and my findings only magnify these fears. So basically, my question is this: Should I attempt to repair this plane and fly it, or put the radio gear and engine into a new airframe?

Also - Which type of epoxy is best used for constructing planes, and where is it readily availible? (i.e. can I use the kind they sell at Wal-Mart)

Thanks,
-Sam
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Old 06-19-2005, 11:23 PM
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Pilot Chad
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

If you weren't planning on getting an instructor, I HIGHLY suggest you do.

Also, I think this will work for that plane, Probably not match, but will work for you. It is the Tail set.
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXRP26&P=ML

For this hobby we mostly used Epoxy from a hobby shop. Go to your local hobby shop to find it.

Here is the site to AMA,
A must have insurance fi you want to fly.

Also to find a club near you go here
http://www.modelaircraft.org/ClubSearch.aspx?s=true

This is the site to the AMA
www.modelaircraft.org
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Old 06-19-2005, 11:38 PM
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sambo13
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

Thanks Chad,

I've got an instructor lined out, and have flown his trainer a few times. I've actually had AMA for almost a year (I've been trying to start flying for a good while now, but living on the coast means that days with little wind are few and far between until about mid July).
-Sam
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Old 06-20-2005, 01:26 AM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

howdy from a little ways up the coast lol.

for the crack, i think i would just put a backing piece epoxied to the back. im not shure if you couldnt make a joint and stick on a new piece of leading edge there, but ill leave that to the guys who have fixed that issue before.

check you hinges very well. i had the elevator pull out and destroy my airframe(i got mine about the same way you got yours....) just a few days ago
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Old 06-20-2005, 05:22 AM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

I'm sure it can probably be salvaged, if there is no more problems than what you mentioned in your posting, however, no matter what you do, you may wish to have an 'expert' look it over and give you a better assesment of what you can do to make this fly. After all the information is together, take a long hard look and make a decision if buying a new kit for say $100.00 is a better way to go at this considering all the work that may be necessary to put this plane back in flying condition.

At least with a new model, you would be starting from the starting gate rather than 3/4 of the way around the track.. You already have the meat of the model, new LA engine and a new radio, why not just go one step further and pick up a good trainer kit, or arf, and go for it. Even the Tower 40, for the money, is a good flying ARF which is easy to put together and flys just fine.

Go to http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXCAS2&P=ML the price on that ARF only $69.99. Very reasonable and, as I said, a good flyer. I had one and learned basics on it.

Good luck no matter what approach you take.

DS.
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Old 06-20-2005, 05:17 PM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

I'll second Dick's suggestion to go with a new airframe, and was going to suggest the Tower Trainer as an option. It's not the best trainer out there, but it will certainly do the job, and the price is right.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
Dennis-
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Old 06-21-2005, 05:36 PM
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sambo13
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

Thanks guys...I've been looking at getting the Tower Trainer or another Avistar. Is it worth the $30 difference to get the Avistar, or should I go with the Tower plane?
-Sam
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Old 06-21-2005, 05:49 PM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

Haven't flown the avistar, but they are more aerobatic.. I would spend 30 extra bucks on it..
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Old 06-21-2005, 05:54 PM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

Hey, WHile a new start is great I find it alot of fun to reapair older or crashed stuff.. Plus that $100 or so could go towards a second plane... Pick up some Thin, Thick, and Medium CA fromyour LHS along with 5 Minute Epoxy... Repairing the tail shouldnt be all that hard.. Look at the other side of the stab and at the pieces needed to build it.. Then purchase the balsa fro your LHS and build away.. SHouldn't take more than an hour or two.. As for the crack in the fuse can you get a picture? If its a hairline type crack you might just put some thick or medium CA in there with a popsicle stick on the underside.. Where is the fuel soaking? Thats what Has me worried. Can you getsome more detailed picts?
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Old 06-21-2005, 06:07 PM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

Sam: You are missing some real good advice!!!! You have a hobby shop in Rockport ( Ben"s ) and if Jim is still helping Ben he will probably be able to help you. Also the guy (????) that has the flying field down behind the Gator Bar(?) would probably also help you. If all else fails there is a club that is just South of you on 35, there is also a neat group of folks over in Ingelside. Take advantage of what you have there, it's real information, working here is like trying to get information from a mail order outfit in comparison.. I don't mean to take away from the info. we give out here but the real thing, hands on is worth a fortune and you will probably meet some neat people. Also all you have to do is get up a little earlier and you will avoid the wind most days. Needless to say I have spent some time in your area and probably will again in the near future. ENJOY !!!!!! RED

Guys -- in NO way am I knocking the info. we give to the new folks here, it's just that I get upset when there is so much they can do in their own areas if They know or will....
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Old 06-21-2005, 06:15 PM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

sambo13,
As an instructor I have flown both planes. Save the extra $30 and get the Tower Trainer. I actually learned on this, and still have it after 9 years. I still fly it all the time. It will do just about any maneuver you want to do with, but just a little slower. It's a total blast doing stall turns with a trainer. Go with the Tower bird.

Hope this helps

Ken
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Old 06-21-2005, 07:58 PM
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sambo13
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

Red - Actually, I live about half a mile from Ben/Jim's, and I fly an electric Super Decathlon (all I've got that's flyable) at the field by the Gator Bar. Jim said he thought it could be fixed with a bit of work, but I thought I'd ask for opinions from a larger group of people.

Ice_man - The fuel soaked wood seems to be only in the right side of horizonal stab, part of which broke off at the glue joint. The crack isn't as bad as I thought, it runs about half an inch from the opening for the control rod. I enclosed a couple more pics that show it in more detail.
-Sam
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Old 06-21-2005, 08:59 PM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

The crack can easily be Ca'd back together... THe tail... At least that corner needs to be rebuilt... Just build it like the other side..
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Old 06-22-2005, 08:28 AM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

My thoughts, you mentioned windy conditions for learning to fly in. That being the case, I would go for the Avistar. It has a Semi-symmetrical airfoil which handles the wind a lot better and its a solid design so can tolerate bumpy landings. It also makes a great 2nd type plane because it can do aerobatics as well. [8D]
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Old 06-23-2005, 11:28 PM
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sambo13
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

Well...thought I'd give an update. I decided to try to rebuild the tail section. When I did this, I discovered another crack in the wood. This one ran about 2 inches long on the right glue joint of the vertical stab. So, I set to removing the tail feathers. This went well...tail feathers came off....but not before breaking in several places and taking a good chunk of the right rear of the fuse along with it[:@]. So, uhh...what now?
Thanks,
-Sam
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Old 06-24-2005, 12:11 AM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

Arf? I would go ahead and get an ARF... Maybe a Stick even. They are fun planes and can land slower than a trainer..
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Old 06-24-2005, 05:27 AM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

Chad,
Just because you bought a Stik doesn't mean it's the solution for everybody.

Sam,
Actually, the damage you have there isn't really bad at all. Hopefully you saved all of pieces of the fuselage. You can use epoxy or thick CA to reglue those pieces back to the fuselage. Once they are back in place you can epoxy some popsicle sticks inside the fuselage over the joints to strengthen them up. For the horizontal stabilizer you can reglue the big parts together with thick CA, then use balsa to rebuild the part that was missing. You should be able to glue the pieces of the vertical stabilizer back together with thick CA too. Then use 30 minute epoxy to glue the tail feathers back to the fuselage. It may not come out looking perfect, but you can definately get his plane back in the air. Just take a deep breath and relax, you can get this back together.

Hope this helps.

Ken
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Old 06-24-2005, 03:42 PM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

^^ RcKen has it nailed... Just ask for any more help...

BTW I don't know if you've mentioned the front of the plane hows it look?
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Old 06-24-2005, 04:54 PM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

Ken,
Just because you have experience doesn't make you have the right to treat me like i am stupid. I was simply reccomending a plane that i like and is tame enough for a trainer...
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Old 06-24-2005, 05:29 PM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

Sam --- When you are done with the repairs BE SURE you check the CG, this kind of repair usually adds some weight to the tail. ENJOY !!!!! RED
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Old 06-24-2005, 10:32 PM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

Chad,
I never said that you were "stupid", I'm really sorry that you read that into what I typed. I was just commenting that there are a lot more choices of planes out there than just you stik. I think that it's great you have so much fun with it, that's what this hobby is all about -- having fun. I think it's great you're so excited about your plane, but there's no reason to get upset if somebody else has other suggestions. I can't remember his name, but a wise person once said that you can't get upset at somebody just because they don't take your advice.

I really am sorry if that's what you thought I was saying, because I definitely didn't intend that. Please accept my humble apology if have upset you.

Ken
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Old 06-24-2005, 11:33 PM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

I am probably gonna get on moderated status for this, but oh well.

Ken, you acted like my advice was completely wrong.

Instead you could have said,
Chad in my opinion.

Not,
Chad just because you like a stick doesn't mean everyone does...






*Communication Breakdown*(Great Led zeepelin song if i do say so myself.)
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Old 06-27-2005, 09:16 PM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

Well...I took the plane up the road to Ben's, and Jim gave it a pretty through looking-over, and discovered that the nose is heavily fuel soaked as well. He also said that rebuilding the tail would add a considerable amount of weight to the tail, and make the plane more difficult to fly than it should be. So, I decided to start fresh and bought an Alpha ARF. So far, the assembly seems to be pretty straight-forward, but I have a few questions. When joining the wing, making sure to add in the 5 inches of dihedral, what can I use to support the wing, since it will not sit level due to the aileron rod? Also, the wheels do not rotate freely on the axles. How can this be fixed?
Thanks,
-Sam
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Old 06-27-2005, 09:43 PM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

Well Sambo I guess thats better... ANyways do you have any detailed pics of what your asking?
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Old 06-27-2005, 10:02 PM
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Default RE: Looking to get in the air

You know i find that most of the people in the fourms have differnt thoughts about the planes thay fly one likes this plane and one likes that plane. And it never seems to be the same. i just dont pay any att to what the other guy thinks about what i fly. I have a avastar and i have a biger trainer and a stick plane a big war bird and some low wing planes and thay all fly good to me. some fly better that others but i have to fly the plane to fine out if i like it are not. I have sold planes before becouse i did not like the plane after one are two flights on them so let's keep down the fuss about what plane is better then the next thay are all good planes in the hands of a guy that likes it. We need to try and help people the best we can if this guy see we are fussing about something he ask he mite not come back to the fourms anymore and mite stop flying and i dont like to see this but i see it all the time on all the fourms i go to. so Pilot Chad i am sure your Stick plane flys great and RCKen you can mod me out of the fourms later. I am just trying to make you guys see what you are doing to a newbe by fussing about the next plane he should have. sambo13 i think you have a good plane with the avastar it is very repairable and will fly good after you get it back togather. if you wont to by a new plane ask around the flying club and see what the others there like are what all the new guys are flying. I have even let some of the new guys fly some of my trainer planes before on a buddy box to see if thay liked it before thay spent the money on it. Now if i get the boot for this i am sorry as i can be but i like to see guys geting along and helping all thay can.
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