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Aerobird challenges


Old 05-12-2005, 11:13 PM
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Default Aerobird challenges

I finally found out what was truly causing my Aerobird challenger to "get out of hand" during flights. To my dismay there was a slight bend in the v-tail, and packing tape is not strong enough to fix it. I think the bend was caused by an ill-fitting v-tail retainer (big space between mating surfaces). Now I have to wait for a no wind condition to check out my fix (replace the tail and replace the tail retainer, that silly plastic "v"shaped thingy the screws go through). Too bad my ground pounder was stolen from my car 2 nights ago, or I would get my RC fix that way. Wish me luck and I hope I don't make too big of a smoking hole on the first day out.
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Old 05-17-2005, 07:44 AM
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Default RE: Aerobird challenges

There is a space between the surfaces. It is made to be adjustable by the two screws. they are not supposed to be screwed all the way down. You just snug them and can tighten one or the other to adjust incase the plane tends to nose up or down.
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Old 05-26-2005, 03:38 PM
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Default RE: Aerobird challenges


Repairing a CREASED wing with packing tape alone doesn't really work very
well. It works better on the tail because it encounters different forces, but
what I am about to explain works MUCH better on both the wing and tail and is
easy to do. It should also apply to the Xtreme, and all the Firebirds.

A creased taped wing might fly, but at the first real stress, its gonna fold
and you are going to crash. Tape alone has no body or stiffness of its own to
resist a fold since the wing's internal foam is compressed. Net Net, there is
nothing to resist the next fold. You need to stiffen and support the wing.

Here are things I have used for wings and the V tail with pretty good results.

Take a hobby knife or razor blade and open the vinyl covering at the crease or
stressed area

Get the wing set in the proper position, even bend it slightly the other way
to open up the gap.

Fill the folded area with Elmer's white glue or titebond yellow glue. I have
not tried Gorilla Glue, but that might work well. The white and yellow glue
will seep into the foam and bond with it and stiffen it.

Let it partially dry, at least 90 minutes, then fill it again. The first coat
will soak in. The second coat will fill the gap. Let it dry
at least 24 hours, then check it. If it is fully dried, apply a little clear
packing tape to help it resist pulling open.

Another approach I used for large folds, especially center folds is to bond a
thin but somewhat stiff strip piece of wood, like 1/32 ply, to the top of the
wing. You can use some contact cement or double sided carpet tape works well.
Then take a piece about 1-2 inches wide inch wide and at least 2 inch to
either side of the crack should work well. It is stiff enough to resist the
next fold, but will still flex with the wing. Then cover it with clear
packing tape stretched so that it forms a smooth finish with no sharp edges so
the air can flow nicely over the wing. You might not notice it at all. If
the repair is well out toward the edge of the wing, you may need to do the
same on the other side just to keep it balanced.

I have never had one of these fold. The bird can handle the weight of a light
piece of plastic or wood.

Embedded supports

If you want to get more aggressive, you can cut the covering on a new wing or
a damaged wing, remove or compress some foam and embed the plywood or a dowel
support piece into the wing and glue it into the foam with Elmer's white glue
or Titebond yellow glue. The wing does have to flex a bit. Then tape over
the top to cover it. I have not used this approach but I may try it if I
badly bend a wing.

While Epoxy is strong, it doesn't move with the foam the way Elmer's or
Titebond do so I have seen a tendency for epoxy to pull away from the foam
which weakens the area.

If you look at the Firebird XL wing, or the Aerobird Xtreme, they have a
support rod embedded into it when you buy it. Other similar planes, like the
T-hawk, have these supports in their wings when they are new. If you do this,
I suggest doing this so that is spans the body of the plane as many folds
happen where the rubber bands attach. Too often you make a hard off angle
landing on one side of the wing but see no damage to the wing. You think you
have a clean wing, but in fact the foam inside has been weakened. You fly and
the wing folds and you say "what happened?" What happened is 5 hard landings
ago you stressed this spot, compressed the foam enough to weaken it and boom
you have a fold.

Give it a try. The key message here is don't depend on tape to keep the
crease from folding again. Tape is good for closing up damage on the front or
rear edges of the wing and for reinforcement of a new wing by the prop area,
but it can't keep a creased wing from folding up again.
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Old 06-03-2005, 11:55 AM
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Default RE: Aerobird challenges

A similar fix is to take the cheap metal clothes hangers that come with dry cleaning and a nice pair of snippers, and cut them to exactly the same length. Get out a rules and mark your midpoint on your wing and then cross them over each other across the midpoint. I made an X shape in a diagnoal with 9 or 10 inch piences for more rigidity and I taped them down to the top of the wing.

I had crashed mine originally when I started getting confident, went for my umpteenth loop and decided I would go high and come out fast to try a roll on the completed end of teh loop. Needless to say I climbed to about 200 feet and punched the throttle to 100% with the nose pointed at the ground, held it for a few seconds till she was cooking at the ground and gave it full up....made it 40% of the way thru the loop when the wing folded straight up the centerline and let me tell you...not much survived.

I took the same wing taht folded, and added the above fix, and pushed the motor back into the mount better, added a new tail, and trimmed it out, and it flew great. Decided I would see if my fix would hold up to the same manuver as the initial crash. The plane completed the loop just fine but the roll was not as successful

Anyways short story long....Use metal clothes hangers and tape em down, in an X for wing rigidity, it works well.

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