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  1. #1

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    Plane caught on fire...What to do???

    Well my maiden flight of my GWS Tiger Moth went very well, Hand launched and just needed a little down trim. I did a few laps around the yard just to get a feel of how it flies. I brought it in for a fair landing and changed batteries. I loved the way it flew with the gear drive and couldn't wait to get it up in the air again. The next flight didn't go so well. The wind had picked up and caught a wing so I leveled it out to bring it in. When it touched down the prop caught the grass and it started to howl. I cut the throttle as fast as I could but it started smoking. I ran over to it as fast as I could and picked it up and took it to the deck. Then it burst into flames and I was able to blow out the fire but it did quite a bit of damage to the fuselage. I took it apart and the ESC is smoked but the motor still runs. I'm not sure if the receiver is ok or not. I priced out new fuse sides and decide to just buy another slope kit and go from there. I'm not sure if I'm going to try to salvage the fuse some how or just strip it and start over.
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  2. #2
    flyinwalenda's Avatar
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    RE: Plane caught on fire...What to do???

    What brand of esc and how many amps was it? A prop strike shouldn't short an esc unless it was a really cheap brand and/or under amped.
    If the hole is the only damage you can glue some popsicle sticks or carbon fiber inside across the hole to reinforce the fuse and cut a piece of foam to glue in the hole, add some light weight spackle, sand and paint.
    Brian Ray

  3. #3
    scale only 4 me's Avatar
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    RE: Plane caught on fire...What to do???

    yeap it's fixable, you'd be amazed how well some fresh foam, gorrila glue and sandpaper fix that mess.

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

  4. #4
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    RE: Plane caught on fire...What to do???

    Make sure the prop is not too large for the motor.

  5. #5

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    RE: Plane caught on fire...What to do???



     I want to thank you all for the response to my post. I'm new here and happy for your input.  The ESC  was an older model of the GWS 400 . I was running the geared D drive 400 motor that cane with the kit running a 10.4  SF prop. I took a good look at the fuse and it's pretty bad, Most of the battery tray is gone and the bottom melted up to the leading edge of the bottom wing. There's not much left to support the landing gear. I've got a slope kit that I'm going to rebuild it with and another on order. I want to build one with a gear drive and the other I'm going to go brushless. I figure by the time I rebuild the burnt fuse it will add so much weight that it will fly like a stuffed pig. I'm just going to strip it out and start over, all I lost besides the fuse was the esc and maybe the 12 dollar rx I had in it. I still have the wings and tail to use as spare parts if needed. This was my first GWS build and I learned a lot about building these Mind Bending kits.I'm not sure I want to stick with the GWS gear drive on this one or maybe look into a brushless gear drive?





    Thanks again, Scotty   


  6. #6
    scale only 4 me's Avatar
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    RE: Plane caught on fire...What to do???

    Yeah,
    I learned fast to go brushless,, I bought a gws zero and it was gutless with that motor/gear set up.
    plenty of bargin esc/motor combos out ther for small planes,,

    Good luck and welcome to the Forums
    You're so smart,, you figured out how to read this!! Or maybe ya just got lucky??

  7. #7
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    RE: Plane caught on fire...What to do???

    Still, what caused the fire? Are you using a lipo? Do you have a watt meter? I't is almost a must have tool if your going to fly electrics for any amount of time. It's so easy to fry an esc over propping a motor, but a short prop stall should not have caused a fire unless you were using too much battery for the esc.
    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Looking for a new club? check us out. tcws.org

  8. #8

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    RE: Plane caught on fire...What to do???


    ORIGINAL: raptureboy

    Still, what caused the fire? Are you using a lipo? Do you have a watt meter?* I't is almost a must have tool if your going to fly electrics for any amount of time. It's so easy to fry an esc over propping a motor, but a short prop stall should not have caused a fire unless you were using too much battery for the esc.
    The cheap GWS esc burnt up and started the fire. I've only run one brushed motor other than this one and that was in my Easystar. I test ran the motor and esc prior to installation with the prop and battery I was using and they barely got warm. I have a watt meter on a UPS truck headed my way so I will check out the next setup with that. I stripped out that plane and am starting on the slope version that I had hiding from the wife in my closet.I have a 400 slow fly brushless motor I'm thinking about using but I was also looking at a Himax brushless gear drive that would give me more options. I ordered another slope kit as I want one to be a real slow flyer and the other will be more of a sport plane. ( 4 ailerons ,4 servos etc. ) After building the first kit the next one will be a breeze to put together as I now know how to set everything up the way I want it, Thanks for the reply, ScottyP.S. Thanks Scale only for me 4 the welcome!

  9. #9
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    RE: Plane caught on fire...What to do???


    ORIGINAL: flyinwalenda

    A prop strike shouldn't short an esc unless it was a really cheap brand and/or under amped.
    It sounds like more than a prop strike, rather a full "stall" of the prop while it was at higher throttle.

    Something preventing the motor from moving will pull far more current through the ESC than what even an over amp'd ESC may be rated for.

    There is an art . . . to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

  10. #10

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    RE: Plane caught on fire...What to do???


    ORIGINAL: opjose


    ORIGINAL: flyinwalenda

    A prop strike shouldn't short an esc unless it was a really cheap brand and/or under amped.
    It sounds like more than a prop strike, rather a full "stall" of the prop while it was at higher throttle.

    Something preventing the motor from moving will pull far more current through the ESC than what even an over amp'd ESC may be rated for.

    Indeed, What's done is done and I will write the whole plane build and the firry demise of it as a learning experience. I've started on the Slope kit that I have and made good progress today. I still have not decided on a motor for this one but I will figure it out by the time I need to install one.Thanks for the reply, Scotty

  11. #11

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    RE: Plane caught on fire...What to do???

    i'm making good progress on the rebuild. The fuse is together and painted and the wings and tail are almost ready. I ordered a Himax Geared 2025-4266 motor and that should be here tomorrow.

  12. #12

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    RE: Plane caught on fire...What to do???


  13. #13

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    RE: Plane caught on fire...What to do???


  14. #14

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    RE: Plane caught on fire...What to do???

    My Tiger Moth needs just a few minor adjustments and it's ready to fly. I'm running a Himax 2505-4266, 6 to 1 gearing with an APC 11x7 SF prop through a Castle Thunderbird 18 amp esc. On the wattmeter at Wot it was pulling just a hair over 19 amps with 163 watts. I'll just back down my throttle travel and I should be good to go. I'm not sure when I will be able to maiden it as it is snowing out at the moment
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  15. #15
    flyinwalenda's Avatar
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    RE: Plane caught on fire...What to do???

    I don't think you need an 11" prop. You should be able to drop down to a 10" and that will lower the amperage and wattage a bit . That plane will still fly fine around 100-110 watts per pound and you won't be pushing and overloading the ESC. I assume it weighs around 20 some ounces?
    Brian Ray

  16. #16

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    RE: Plane caught on fire...What to do???


    ORIGINAL: flyinwalenda

    I don't think you need an 11" prop. You should be able to drop down to a 10" and that will lower the amperage and wattage a bit . That plane will still fly fine around 100-110 watts per pound and you won't be pushing and overloading the ESC. I assume it weighs around 20 some ounces?
    Thanks for the info Brian, I have some 10" props on order and will more than likely use one of those on it's maiden flight. I took one of the 11" props and cut it down about an inch and after getting it balanced it was pulling about 15 amps at about 130 watts. The plane with the battery weighs 21.5 ounces so I think your right about the watts. After I get used to flying it I will play with different gearing and props to suit my kind of flying. I might put floats on this one and that was my reasoning for trying the 11" props. I hope the weather breaks soon so I can do some flying!Thanks again, Scotty

  17. #17

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    RE: Plane caught on fire...What to do???

    Well I finally got to give my Tiger Moth it's maiden flight. I've got permission to use a private airport nearby and headed over there this morning. I did all the preflight checks, set it on the runway facing the wind and throttled it up. It tracked strait as an arrow and lifted off in about 15 feet. Once I got it up I was nervous as hell and just did a few circles around the field and started to trim it out. It needed a bit of right trim on the rudder and a bit of down elevator and I was soon flying hands off strait and level. It might be a tad tail heavy as it would climb at quite a bit as I gave it more throttle. I had no problems taking off and landing on the short grass and touch and goes were a lot of fun. I love the way it flies. I ran two batteries through it and the wind started to pick up so I thought I would head home and fly my Mudbugs in the back yard. So far a great day of flying and it's not over yet.

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    Buy a fire extinguisher or go gas


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