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Looking for Advice

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Old 12-12-2012, 12:59 PM
  #1
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Default Looking for Advice

I had a dead-stick with my Focus Sport on Monday, did not manage to clear the fence at the end of the field. The gear caught the top wire and snapped the fuselage in three main pieces the nose, the gear and all else. Wings and tail were not damaged. Having never repaired such a disaster, I'm looking for advice from the experts. Fuselage sides are a very thin ply, top and bottom even thinner with foam to help support and reduce vibration. Some photos of the wreckage are below. I know the next steps are to disassemble and clean up the parts, but how do I get it back in flying shape and not lose the excellent flying characteristics?

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Old 12-13-2012, 09:15 AM
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Default RE: Looking for Advice

I doubt that you will ever get that fuselage repaired and straight enough to fly the same as it did before the crash. Just save what hardware you can the get a new fuselage.

Frank
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:28 AM
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Default RE: Looking for Advice

Unfortunately, it is an older plane and a new fuselage is not available so I do need to fix it. It does not seem as bad as some of the photos I've seen on this forum.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:55 AM
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Default RE: Looking for Advice

The beauty of it is, you cobble that thing back together and see if you can get it to fly, you'd be surprised, of course you have fly it in private.
I say get you some 5 min epoxie in the tubes, smear it on and assemble your 3 main sections to make it one piece again, then patch in scab in the missing sections, do whatever splinting to keep it rigid enough to get into the air, 2" scotch packing tape does wonders in the field, it's all good fun, as long as nobody gets hurt.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:46 PM
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Default RE: Looking for Advice

I've fixed worse
First thing I'd do is to take take off the landing gear, motor mount, Then break off all the loose splinters, they just get in the way, I'd get all that foam off too. Then dry fit fit the pieces back together holding them with tape just to see "If" it will go back together.

If so, Jig it up with clamps and bracing so everything is straight, if everything looks good start wicking thin CA in, then medium. Once it seams strong enough to hold itself together, start backing the joints with splices or glass cloth/epoxy etc..

The Firewall to Fuse side is the only issue I see, I'd use 30 minute epoxy there, that gives you time to jig it up straight with plenty of glue area.

Once you have the basic frame back together you can add and shape the foam, sheeting, etc. Sure it will be a few ounces heavier, but that shouldn't be a big deal for that type of plane

Good luck
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:01 PM
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Default RE: Looking for Advice

Thanks, Scale. That's more like the advice I was looking for! I thought of using Titebond to glue the fuse sides (since I see now they are laminated) but I think it would be too thick and would get in the way of the jigging. I like your idea better. Since the fuse bottom has already been hacked up to repair the gear mount, I think I will just replace the entire missing section with a balsa/glass sandwich made up over a sacrificial foam form.

And the best thing to hear was "I've fixed worse."
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:25 PM
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Default RE: Looking for Advice

"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology."
I think once you get started you can get it back together and as straight as it's going to get. It will be a bit heavier though.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:58 PM
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Default RE: Looking for Advice

Easy repair! The fuse is a box. Measure the parts as if they were intact. Use them as patterns. In first photo cut just behind that former that has switch in front. Reuse that former. Cut some balsa to form the front of fuse. Butt joint new fuse sides to old. Fiberglass the joints. Duplicate the former and insert where others broken. etc.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:09 PM
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Default RE: Looking for Advice

Yeah make sure the parts are cleaned up enough to FIT back together nicely, then start gluing it step by step ..checking alignment as you go.. You just might amaze the guys at the field
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:05 AM
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Default RE: Looking for Advice

You may be able to get foam of the needed thickness at the grocery store in the meat department...I save my meat trays for such a purpose. Just a thought.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:47 AM
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Default RE: Looking for Advice

The plane in my avatar WAS a H9 CAP. I built a whole new fuse after deciding the old one was to badly damaged. It didn't take that long. I did save the canopy, turtle deck behind the canopy, cowling, rudder and elevators.

Rebuild thread here http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_10804273/tm.htm

Ken
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:01 AM
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Thanks, guys. Some good tips and much-needed encouragement. I'll start on it after Christmas as I'm finishing up a workbench that will be needed for the task.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:37 PM
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Default RE: Looking for Advice

Rc, now look you've gone and inspired me to another project!
This wreck is missing a big section of the fuse, She'll have to get a prosthetic I guess.
I can't wait to try doing it in the snow,, the weather's been real weird and unseasonal here in the NE.
The ski plane been wrecked three times at least, learned on her back in the 80's, sure are alot of crutches and scabs in her, used to be a nose gear, front of the fuse changed shape and the wing tips too, oh yea freehand build up on that rudder too.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:59 AM
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Hmm. Looks like quite a challenge. [X(] Good luck.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:23 AM
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Default RE: Looking for Advice

Yea, I would have trashed that one....looks bad
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:54 PM
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Default RE: Looking for Advice

Well the nice thing about the rough looking ones is it dosent hurt so much when you scuff them...I love all my planes warts and all....
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:57 AM
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Well, I had the best of intentions to write a rebuild report! Flew the repaired plane today! The original owner repainted it after the repairs and it looks better than when I got it! Had to move the battery from over the gear to the rear of the canopy to balance. The CG is pretty close as it took two clicks of up; inverted flight takes light down pressure on the elevator, just like before. Still need to go through the trimming procedure but I was too shaky today!

Basically I followed the advice to carefully fit the pieces together, then use CA to hold it all together. I used a straightedge on either side, and the undamaged canopy to keep it all straight. Flight characteristics say I was successful. I replaced the front part of the belly with balsa with thin fiberglass veil over top. Used the veil on the forward fuselage sides as well. Plenty of microballoons and epoxy to make it look good. No idea how much weight I added since I don't know the original weight.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:26 PM
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Congratulations...I bet you love it even more than you did before
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:33 PM
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Congrats!
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:51 PM
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Well, the experience has certainly made me want to get building some of the kits I've collected over the years. They can't be as bad as trying to piece together the jigsaw puzzle I just completed. And yes, it's good to disprove some of my flying buddies who said it couldn't be done.
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