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  1. #26

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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    The brace is aluminum, so epoxy would not have worked, and the wing is so tight that the only way to see the internal structure is to remove the covering AND the balsa sheeting. If I had done that, the wing would not have come off as I would have glued plywood on the outside of each spar and secured the box.  Coulda SHoulda Woulda, if if if.  

    In any case, there is enough still together to make another plane once I get the kit from SIG. The plans will help reconstruct the fuse, and I can make the wings work correctly as they came in the ARF, but be structurally sound. 

    If I do get another ARF, I will be researching and finding out its lifespan before I plop money on it. 
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  2. #27

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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    So much for cheap ARFS. Brings a tear to your eye, don't it. Now you can see where scratch building and kits, if you can find what you want, are the way to go.

  3. #28

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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    I to am not arfing any more. Had a wing snap in half doing a large roll. I mostly build (thanks BalsaUSA) but have bought a few arfs because of time, my arfin is over when the ones I have are gone!

  4. #29

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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    Seeing that I got no reply from the company after I voiced a potential structural failure, not that I expected one, I will tell you about it.

    " Brand New " AEROWORKS Extra 300 running a DLE-20. Very " first flight " and it crashes nose first into the runway, just after takeoff. Cause you ask ? How about horizontal and vertical stabs coming off. Mind you, they came off attached together and neither showed any kind of damage. After careful examination I found a totally weak tail section with hardly any evidence of glue, except for the epoxy that was used by myself to glue the horizontal stab in place. I would also state that I feel the part of the fuselage that is under the horizontal stab too weak to support it.

    I sent an email to Aeroworks advising them of the mishap and stating that they may have a structural problem with this model. I asked for nothing in return ! Heard nothing back from Aeroworks, not even a were sorry for your mishap.

    Lets keep in mind that I am 69 years old and have building model airplanes since the age of eight. Did a tour in the USAF as a maintenance technician and retired as an Airline Transport Pilot. With having stated my experience and knowledge, I do think that I know a structural failure when I see one. Only sorry that the structural failure happened to my model ........


  5. #30

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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    I do have an Eflite T-34 that was an electric model, and it has hit the ground very hard on landings, and not once have I had to do repairs other then patch the belly where the nose wheel struck and smooshed the wood.  I had a bad landing where a looped it and busted the wing a little, but all that broke was the tab that goes into the fuse to attach the wing.  Now if the 4* was built that rugged it would be a great plane.  I think a lot has to do with the type of plane too. A trainer would have to be built to take the punishment of hard landings.

     I bought the 4* because it was big enough for the DLE20 and it was there at a decent price.  It was also June and into flying season and wanted a plane to fly.   Now that flying season is about over, its time to build. I have one on the bench, and one in the box. soon 2 in the box.
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  6. #31

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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    Okay, I'm going to play the devil's advocate. Here goes: Maybe wood ARF's are occassionally built weak, but if you get the latest selection of FOAMY ARF's, you won't have that problem. What do you all thnk? Those foamies are machine made, no room for human error.
    Content, but not Complacent.

  7. #32
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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    NWFWI


  8. #33
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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    ARFs are definitely part of the RC PASSTIME...... but it's pretty lame to consider whipping out your credit card so that you will have something to fly the day after tomorrow a "hobby"....
    WHO GUNNA FEED MAW KEEEIDS..???

  9. #34

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    RE: No more ARF's for me


    ORIGINAL: noveldoc

    Okay, thanks for the warning. Sorry to hear of your bad fortune.

    Here's what I did to my ARF Telemaster.

    Fuselage: I taped a cheap epoxy brush to a length of coat hanger wire. I mixed up a batch of thinned slow epoxy, 1 part each of A, B and rubbing alcohol. I then peered into the tail and painted each area where a former met a side.When I got out of the tail, the painting of formers was, of course, easier. Then I put some full strength epoxy to reinforce the firewall and LG area. I went over the stab and tail joint dripping some thin CA into the crack.

    For the wings, I got some diabetic syringes from my used box. I poked in a tiny hole at each joint of main spar and rib and put in about .10 cc thin epoxy. When I went over with a medium hot iron, most of the holes disappeared.

    Just not sure how well it was glued before because I discovered some glops of hot glue gun stuff inside the fuselage. But an hour of so of my time and a little bit of weight has increased my confidence a lot. I have found some thick clear tape to join the wing halves for strength and I will use the spars.

    So hopefully it will fly without shucking off a piece.

    Note, also my last ARF.

    Tom

    Since you mentioned the Telemaste. Mine was purchased as soon as they got out. It is the red 70" electric Telemaster. I flew the model for a couple of years, and one day when I taxi back, the firewall came out (got loose) (motor, prop, and all) and the prop did cut the wing's leading edge in one spot.

    Well, the problem was, as you can imagine, the glue they had used. Re-glued all in place (epoxi), and since it must have hundred of flights. It is patched up because the monocote is starting to fly away:-) Will get a re-cover job this winter.

    The 1/4 scale RV from Great planes and the 1/5 scale Hawk (also GP) are great kits. Still going strong.

    I think one of the problems we have in this country is generalization. We have a problem with one item and then, "all arf's are bad". Which is a clueless statement. Just ask the acrobatic types (you know 1/4, 1/3, and bigger Extra, Edge, etc. pilots.)

    Good luck with the kit-built version. I am also building something too, all the time, for the last almost 40 years:-) In this time, as you can imagine, I saw a lot of catastrophic in-air failures. And all of them were kit built models:-) Are all the kit-bilt models crap? No, just a percentage of them...


    Gerry


  10. #35

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    RE: No more ARF's for me


    ORIGINAL: combatpigg

    ARFs are definitely part of the RC PASSTIME...... but it's pretty lame to consider whipping out your credit card so that you will have something to fly the day after tomorrow a ''hobby''....

    My other hobby is photography. I just purchased a new lens not long ago. Should I have built the lens myself? I think, maybe not.

    Gerry

  11. #36
    scale only 4 me's Avatar
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    RE: No more ARF's for me


    ORIGINAL: combatpigg

    ARFs are definitely part of the RC PASSTIME...... but it's pretty lame to consider whipping out your credit card so that you will have something to fly the day after tomorrow a ''hobby''....
    Come on, Same Stale beeting a dead horse argument, ask me that's lame. What you think the hobby is or should be doesn't make it so for everyone.

    You're so smart,, you figured out how to read this!! Or maybe ya just got lucky??

  12. #37

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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    gjhinshaw,
    Thanks for your statement. We all want the companies in our hobby to succeed. Besides, anybody who makes a Hellcat has my full support. Any chance of making a 30 cc Hellcat someday?
    Content, but not Complacent.

  13. #38

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    RE: No more ARF's for me


    ORIGINAL: GerKonig


    ORIGINAL: combatpigg

    ARFs are definitely part of the RC PASSTIME...... but it's pretty lame to consider whipping out your credit card so that you will have something to fly the day after tomorrow a ''hobby''....

    My other hobby is photography. I just purchased a new lens not long ago. Should I have built the lens myself? I think, maybe not.

    Gerry

    Perhaps.

    However, if a few of those lens elements came unglued, I'd bet you'd be howling Big Time.

    Had a H9 1/3 CAP 232. House of cards - many areas with no glue. Very fragile. FG cowl with no resin in the cloth. Didn't last ver long as a result. That plane cost over a thousand bucks.

    Remember, engineering a design for ARF production is much different than setting it up for kit production which is again different than making it for your cut and build production. Anywone who doesn't think that cost figures into this is fooling himself.

    Every extra piece adds to your cost. It takes more time to fabricate, more material to make, more time top install, more glue for assembly - when you do bother to use any that is - more weight to add to shipping costs and so on. It can even have an impact on packagin design.

    How do I know? Interesting that you should ask. I've been there from initial design to prototype prodcution to testing to adusting to actual laser cutting production to packaging design to shipping to you name it - the entire process from start to finish. On one project, we got everything into production and then the sizes for postage rates changed. That blew our shipping costs out of the water. So we had to go back to design and figure out how to rearrange everything on the balsa sheets for laser cutting without using any more materials while getting to a lower package size and still maintain all proper grain orientation in the parts. Major pain. Major expense.

    If we could have used fewer parts, that would have helped. However, we were already at an absolute minimum.

    The more you can leave out, the better all around it is for faster production and higher profits.

  14. #39

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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    you must have got a friday built arf, normally sigs are excellent quality and I've owned over four 4 star 120s and all have been great to fly, two of them were with dle 20s...you must have got a bad build and that comes with everything you buy. But by building your own from a kit, you can control everything and blame yourself when it fails lol

  15. #40

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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    Sig said it was probably a Monday build!   In any case, SIG took care of me.  In fact, to my surprise it is on the truck for delivery, TODAY!  It shipped last night.    Like you said, if it fails in flight, and I built it, my bad.   When I wrecked my Kadet on a landing when the wind caught the wing and flipped it because I came in too slow, my bad.  When a wing comes off 200' in the air because of lack of glue on a plane I didn't build, well, not my bad, and that irked me.   I lost trust in these that someone else built.  I do have an extra 52 four stroke laying around, and I just might grab a 4*40 arf, but I will strip the covering off and make damned sure everything that should be glued has glue.  


    BTW how many rolls of covering does it take to cover a 120? 
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  16. #41

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    RE: No more ARF's for me


    ORIGINAL: do335a


    ORIGINAL: GerKonig


    ORIGINAL: combatpigg

    ARFs are definitely part of the RC PASSTIME...... but it's pretty lame to consider whipping out your credit card so that you will have something to fly the day after tomorrow a ''hobby''....

    My other hobby is photography. I just purchased a new lens not long ago. Should I have built the lens myself? I think, maybe not.

    Gerry

    Perhaps.

    However, if a few of those lens elements came unglued, I'd bet you'd be howling Big Time.

    Had a H9 1/3 CAP 232. House of cards - many areas with no glue. Very fragile. FG cowl with no resin in the cloth. Didn't last ver long as a result. That plane cost over a thousand bucks.

    Remember, engineering a design for ARF production is much different than setting it up for kit production which is again different than making it for your cut and build production. Anywone who doesn't think that cost figures into this is fooling himself.

    Every extra piece adds to your cost. It takes more time to fabricate, more material to make, more time top install, more glue for assembly - when you do bother to use any that is - more weight to add to shipping costs and so on. It can even have an impact on packagin design.

    How do I know? Interesting that you should ask. I've been there from initial design to prototype prodcution to testing to adusting to actual laser cutting production to packaging design to shipping to you name it - the entire process from start to finish. On one project, we got everything into production and then the sizes for postage rates changed. That blew our shipping costs out of the water. So we had to go back to design and figure out how to rearrange everything on the balsa sheets for laser cutting without using any more materials while getting to a lower package size and still maintain all proper grain orientation in the parts. Major pain. Major expense.

    If we could have used fewer parts, that would have helped. However, we were already at an absolute minimum.

    The more you can leave out, the better all around it is for faster production and higher profits.
    In a prior life, I worked as cost accountant of a glass manufacturing company. We manufactures tempered and laminated glass and insulated window panes. The cutting of the glass for each day was optimized by the computer. In other words, it worked for like one hour to do what you mentioned: Get the best yield of each piece of glass (balsa in your case). I love balsa cut kits, but my favorite kit provider uses die cutting (Balsa Usa):-)

    Gerry





  17. #42

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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    Well boys, who's been watching the "progression" of technology in RC? Glow is being replaced by gas and surely electric appears to be a strong contender for the future. ARF's are here to stay...just lookat the kit's available vs. ARF's. Foam is nearly everywhere.

    So, like it or not the hobby is changing. Some are having trouble getting used to the idea. That will only buy those a case of ulcers. Because how many give a big flying **** what they "think."

  18. #43

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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    You guys might want to understand that these planes are assembled on jigs and yeah they are glued with hot melt glue so they are stacked into a large and i mean a very large mircowave oven, yeah a microwave oven this is what kicks off the hotmelt glue is the microwaves so the lack of glue is because of someone is not shown that there is suppose to be glue there so definately Kudos to Sig for standing up to their product and taking care of you.
    I had a simular experience with GP and my Venus 40, the wing joiner looked a little on the sub par but i followed the directions when it said to "paint the joiner and the pocket with epoxy", well one day i was flying all kinds of wiffer deals and boom the wing folded in half and destroyed the plane and the engine and few radio components. I only had the plane a few months so i was still within my warranty so i sent in complaint on the plane well they wanted me to send them the plane and i said i have to "dismantel the plane some more" and the rep said "Yeah I know" so i did, I dismanteled the plane some more to fit it in its original box and sent it in, the verdict from them was that i did not use enough epoxy on the wing joiner. Well I protested and explained to them taking quotes from the assembly book showing that i did what the book said and stated that they have a horrible method of wing joiner. What is suppose to happen is that you mix up a huge quantity of epoxy and pour it in one joiner pocket and when runs out you put in the other pocket and then join wings together so the pocket and joiner is swimming in epoxy and not a reasonable tight fit like i thought it should have. So in the end GP sent me another plane and told me to "use plenty of epoxy to join the wings".
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  19. #44
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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    ORIGINAL: sl5406
    .....Are there ARF flyers who are satisfied with the sturdyness, longevity, and confidence in the ARF products they buy? It would be interesting to see how many flyers are content with their purchase, quality of airframe, and flight performance of ARFs. Perhaps it is just a few importers who sell inferior ARFs.
    I've built a lot of balsa/ply ARF's, (pick a vendor, I've likely built one of their planes), and if there's one thing I've learned, is that sturdiness, longevity and confidence are directly proprtional to the amount of time and work needed to get it flight ready. Simpler ones I might have done in an evening if the product is well built. (i.e. a 3DH 47" Extra), with larger ones it can take me as long as 3-4 months, depending on how many things have to be fixed or brought up to my standard of assembly. Deal is, some ARF's may look super cool, but once you have it on the bench and see the internals, may not be as 'cool' as you thought, or as easy to get-together as would have liked. In my experience close to 80% of the one's I've assembled needed a bit of reworking in one area or another. And some planes are just plain crap, and no amount of working will get them to assemble or fly worth a dang.

    Foam can be fun. Easy to work with, easy to repair, just need to make sure that glues and paints will properly mate with the type of foam thats being used.

    And neither is a high price necessarily an indicator of quality! Pretty much all ARF vendors cut a corner or two somewhere. The glue and covering may be great, but the includes are a load of crap. To the discerning ARF assembler, its rare to find a plane where cost = expected quality and everything is exactly like it should be. Lots of good ARF's out there, no particular vendor has a corner on the market of 'the best'.. Sometimes a good vendor gets a few lemons out the door, and some sell nothing but. Have also seen more than my share of planes that looked like crap and flew like crap because the owner tossed in some gear, shook and up, and called it ready. Especially with 1/4 scale and up, if it was assembled in an evening, it'll typically look like it was assembled in an evening. Mismatched gear, old gear, wrong gear, poor layout, modifications that compromise design, holes through firewall or such that look like they were hacked out with a small chainsaw, so much CA on an area thats its crusted white, on and on. Some assemblers are their own worst enemy. To end.. just about any ARF thats well assembled, properly stored and taken care of, should give at least a couple hundred flights before you need to 'annual' it and give a look over the joints and so forth to make sure all is staying solid.

    I'm also a new builder, and while I'll still dabble in an ARF or two.. I see building as my primary means of adding to the hanger.
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  20. #45
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    RE: No more ARF's for me



    NWFWI



  21. #46
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    RE: No more ARF's for me


    ORIGINAL: gjhinshaw

    YES, That will be coming out late next year.
    I too, have seen the build from computer to the finished product. It is a cool thing to watch!
    I was able to walk around and say , More Glue Here! or anything else. When a factory works for you, you can get a lot of changes done.
    I will be going back to China soon and check on things. You have to do this or they will start changing it without telling you!!
    Here are some pictures.

    Very cool.. would love to tour a factory, see how they manage 10's or more of builds at same time... likely learn a few things.
    Radical Departure..
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  22. #47

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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    It's too bad you have to go to China to have things made these days.  There was a time that things like this could be made right here in America.  It just costs too much now.
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  23. #48
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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    ORIGINAL: combatpigg

    ARFs are definitely part of the RC PASSTIME...... but it's pretty lame to consider whipping out your credit card so that you will have something to fly the day after tomorrow a ''hobby''....
    I think you're forgetting that just learning and then being able to consistently fly well is a huge chunk of this hobby. Full scale pilots buy RTF full scale planes...is that lame?
    When you stare into the abyss, sometimes the abyss stares right back into you.

  24. #49

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    RE: No more ARF's for me

    My only beef about ARF/RTF is that it has hit the kit market in such a way that kit manufacturers stopped making a lot of the kits, and some have totally disappeared.   Being able to slap the wings on, the tail, and pop the gear into it is one thing if you have a need to get flying quickly, but when it comes time when there are fewer flying days and more building days, it is nice to be able to work on a stick build instead. 

    I still have an extra .52 4 stroke that needs a plane, but have not found one that I like.  I did see a SIG Citabria, and may consider getting one of those for the OS, or Magnum, depends on if I want the OS on my Kadet,  I had wrecked the Kadet 2 weeks ago, and rebuilt it, but couldn't find a replacement motor mount for the OS, but my Magnum which was on my other plane has the same mount and actually fit perfect on the Kadet, so I have it on there now. A few flights will tell me if it will work. 

    What I found out about the Magnum, they start soo easy!  A back flip and its running. My OS, I need a starter on it to get it running, first run or last run of the day, it will not start by hand. It runs great though. 
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  25. #50
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    RE: No more ARF's for me



    NWFWI




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