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Aero/Fighter-Bird Wing balancing after repair

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Old 12-07-2003, 02:56 PM
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ron_sb
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Default Aero/Fighter-Bird Wing balancing after repair

I wanted to write down a little guide for new pilots flying the Aerobird series
of planes. Since a lot of *Bird flyers will be newbie flyers (like me, so any hints provided
are to be taken with caution ) they might appreciate what I've learned.

After buying my very first RC plane, the Aerobird Challenger I was pleasantly surprised
by its ease of handling. On my first flight I had no damage to speak of! Yet on my second
flight there was more wind (6-7MPH). While doing some turns my bird banked steeply and
headed for Terra firma. My instincts told me to pull back and add power. Ouch! was that
ever wrong. The bird hit the ground full speed and throttle open. Needles to say the
propeller had taken a huge chunk out of the wing on both sides. ( I've since found that
throttling down and pulling back every so gently usually takes the bird right
out of it's earth bound trajectory, and if it hits the prop won't damage the wing.)

My first repair attempts where pretty sad. Since I had no tools nor glue in the
house, I used what I could find. In my case that was duct tape and plastic yogurt
cups (soft plastic). This fixed the gaping holes. On my next flight it became
apparent that the balance was way off.

At first I blamed it on not putting the wing on correctly so after many tries
to get the wing on correctly I decided that this was not the problem. I then looked
at the repairs.

The repairs turned out to be too less then optimal, the cup's curvature was not
equal to the wings curvature making it stand up from the wing. So I went out and
bought some styrene. I removed the yogurt cup plastic. Cut the styrene to the
approximate size of the gape in the wing and taped it on. This looked a lot
better although the holes are nicely visible [8D] (adds a cool look to the
bird while flying !Hey is your wing damaged?!!!)

I was still having lots of trouble with the balance in flight, so I started
to make marks on the wing based on geometric center. Fly again, still no dice.
Then I though of the weight of my repairs again. Turns out the right side was
slightly more heavy then the left. So I balanced the wing on a thin long object
and applied some tape to weigh the opposite side down. This took 2 tries to get
right. Now I had the wing balanced and the center exactly marked on the wing.

The flight this morning in very light winds was beautiful,
the bird flies straight and level at 50% power! What a joy, it only needs small
corrections for the wind.

Needless to say I'm a happy flier. Note from what I've read here don't try acrobatics
with a damaged wing, it could well fold and transform the bird into a brick.

Happy flying,

Ron

Note as you can see in the attached image the center of the protection strip isn't actually
the center of the wing, so make sure your measure the center wing-tip to wing-tip.
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Old 12-12-2003, 06:10 AM
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Default RE: Aero/Fighter-Bird Wing balancing after repair

Please take no offence by this, but I thought the cuts in my Aerobirds wing was bad! Oooooh that's nast!
For my bigger one i found as many pieces of the chopped up foam that I could, and taped it over with packaging tape. I have a tiny one on the other side which I just taped straight over. I've never had any balance probs, except once, which was a total mistery. My theory was that the body was bulged out from a couple of nose firsts so that battery could wabble around. I clamped the body and it seems to be fine, so watch out for that one.
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Old 12-12-2003, 10:49 PM
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Default RE: Aero/Fighter-Bird Wing balancing after repair

No offence taken ;-)

Yeah they are nasty holes, that was my second flight or so, I learned this happens when you don't turn off the engine fast enough.

The balance thing might only have been wing alignment problems. Since the plastic protector sheet wasn't
centered correctly my wing placement was off too, until I actually measured it.

Anyway, this wing is only used for practice runs, no acrobatics with this one. I use an undamaged wing for that.
Call this the trainer wing ;-) I haven't crashed anymore after the first 5 flights, I now land the aerobird pretty much
at my feet without too much trouble. What a great hobby, I'm actually thinking about moving up to the Slow Stick!
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Old 12-13-2003, 12:35 AM
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Default RE: Aero/Fighter-Bird Wing balancing after repair

If you want to keep your Aerobird in an undamaged state, you'd better replace that wing as soon as possible. Evenb if you are flying gently, one good gust of wind could break that wing.

Matt
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Old 12-13-2003, 04:52 PM
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Default RE: Aero/Fighter-Bird Wing balancing after repair

Hmm, probably a good idea ;-) The wing has been promoted [&:] to wall decoration

- Ron
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