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!!!!!!!!!HEY ED PLEASE READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Old 12-30-2006, 08:33 PM
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Hi im new to the rcu boards and to electric flight. I have a hobbyzone challenger that I took out for its maiden today. With 7mph winds out today. Well long story short I had one short flight where I landed it far away from me but I really wanted to try again. I'm pretty stubborn.

So I once again launched the plane and off it went well the wind must have picked up. Also someone came up to me and started asking about the plain. So i was having trouble maintaining concentration and before I knew it the plane was far down wind from me. It past the end of the park and over a bunch of condos well I cut the engine and hoped for the best.

I ran after the plane but I couldint find it anywhere. I was crushed. I gave up went home. Then decided to go back out and look for it. Well i must have walked around for 2 or 3 hours but I finally found it on top of some ones trash. Well the wing was snapped but I was just happy to have it back.

I haven't tested it yet but I noticed there is a bit of a bend on the small back wing. The bend is only on the top but I have read that you have a solution for this and that you would post it. Please do. I enjoy reading your advice and upon reading your praise for the challenger I decided to buy one for myself to train on. Thanks
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Old 01-02-2007, 06:42 PM
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Default RE: !!!!!!!!!HEY ED PLEASE READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know anything about your particular airplane, so I hope others can give you some advice about repairing it.

Now for some general advice: If you are a beginning pilot, do not let your stubbornness cause you to fly when there is any wind! When you are learning to fly, you need near-calm conditions. Even 5 mph is too much wind for most beginner planes and beginner pilots. Later on, when you gain some experience, you may be able to handle some wind, if your plane is up to it.

When I was teaching myself to fly (not that long ago), I quickly learned that ANY wind is too much wind.

Good luck -- and don't get discouraged!

- Jeff
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:12 AM
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Thank you Jeff. I went out again today the wind was at 7 km/h or about 4 mp/h. Well all I can say is that it was alot better this time around. This would be my 3rd flight. I was able to run until a dead battery pack. I find that my landings were harsh. But for the flying portion I actually felt like I had control of the plane. It made for a fantastic time. I was even able to pull off 3 loops.

P.S For anyone wondering I just used a bit of super glue to fill in the dent/compression but unless its foam safe I dont recommend using super glue on your foam models as it will just eat up the foam. I didint need to worry as my plane's foam is covered with something im not sure what it is. That and it had a sticker on it.
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:25 AM
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Wow! Congratulations on your successful flight! That's a fine achievement. Sounds like the wind was light enough this time and you had good control.

Super Glue is better known in the modeling world as CA, short for cyanoacrylate.

Regular CA -- including Super Glue and Crazy Glue -- will indeed dissolve most foams. Foam-safe or odorless CA is available and is safe for most foams. It never hurts to test on a small area first.

- Jeff
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:59 AM
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Thank you I read super glue is known as CA so i went out and bought some and tried that on one of my models well I found out the hard way about FOAM SAFE.
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Old 01-06-2007, 12:05 AM
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By Ed Anderson
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Repairing a low cost foam wing, typical of the HobbyZone and similar planes
is not hard. However trying it fix a creased or folded 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, Sky Fly, the Firebirds, and all similar planes that use
a foam core wing.

A creased taped wing might fly, but at the first real stress, its going to
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,
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

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.

Basic repair

Fill the folded area with Elmer's white glue or titebond yellow glue. The
white and yellow glues will seep into the foam and bond with it and stiffen

It is best if you let it dry overnight, but give it at least 3 hours to seep
into the foam. Now, fill it again. The second coat will fill the gap. Let
it dry 24 hours then check it. If it is fully dried, apply a little clear
packing tape to help it resist pulling open.

Stronger repair approaches

If your repair is in the center area of the wing, say within 6 inches of
where the rubber bands cross, or if you tend to fly hard, do lots of loops,
fly in wind and the like, then you probably want to take this next step.

For a wing, I add thin but somewhat stiff strip of 1/32 ply, to the top of
the wing to bridge and support the area. Typically this is 8-16 inches
long and 1/2-1 inch wide. Regardless of where the repair is, you always
center this wood strip on the wing so that the wing is balanced and the
impact on the air foil is uniform. This will resist flexing in both
directions but is not so stiff that it encourages the wing to fold at the
end of the ply. Also 1/32 ply is light and flexible so it will shape to the
curve of the wing so as to minimize the extra drag the repair will cause.
To get it to more closely align with the wing I use thin double sided carpet
tape on the strip. Try to get the ply in complete contact with the wing.
It is stiff enough to resist the next fold, but will still flex with the
wing. When it is set, cover it with clear packing tape. Don't tuck it in
tight around the ply, stretch it out so that it forms a smooth air flow

Another method to support a deep fold or a break is to slit the vinyl along
the length of the wing and embed a spar, a piece of wood or wood dowel, that
will act as a support. If you look at the T-Hawk, or the Aerobird Xtreme,
you will see an embedded dowel that provides some stiffness to the wing.
Again, glue this in using the procedure above, then close the gap with
packing tape.

If you are fixing a tail, use the same process, but use 1/64 ply or a
thinner towel to keep it light. Be sure to do the left and right the same
to keep the tail balanced. Now 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. The repair does effect the shape of the wing so it
does impact how the plane flies, but not enough to matter if you fly under
power most of the time. If you like to glide and thermal, I find these
wings are not as good as a new wing but they are very useable.

When repairing the tail, any added weight on the tail will make the plane
tail heavy. If you are flying with the 6 cell battery and tend to leave the
landing gear off, this could tend to make the plane a bit "twitchy" or
sensitive. Some people like this because it becomes very responsive.
However if you like your plane stable, you might have to add a dime to the
battery area to rebalance it. Fly it and see what you need.

I have never had one of these fold.

While Epoxy is strong, it doesn't move with the foam the way Elmer's or
Titebond will. I have seen a tendency for epoxy to pull away from the foam
as the wing flexes. However give it a try and let us know your experience.

Reinforcing new wings

If you look at the T-Hawk or the Aerobird Xtreme, they have a support rod
embedded into it when you buy it. This gives you a stiffer wing which will
resist bending under pressure of aerobatics. You can follow the procedure
outlined above for repairs, but you can do this when you get he wing new.

This is a Recommended wing reinforcement posted by mdp17681 for the Sky
Fly. Might work well on the aerobird too.

Don't Depend on Tape

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
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 01-06-2007, 12:07 AM
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Default RE: !!!!!!!!!HEY ED PLEASE READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This motor mount modification on the Aerobird and Aerobird Challenger is
probably the single most valuable addition you can make to your plane. I
originally posted this on the internet in April 2003 and hundreds, of people
have made the change and praised its effectiveness.

Here are pictures of the damage I sustained from a hard nose in crash as
as the repair. This plane would not have flown properly with the motor like

Here is a thread about the original repair:

You drill holes from the sides, right in front of the motor and put a nylon
tie wrap through that sits just in contact with the motor. If you hard hit
the nose, this helps support the motor and prevents it from moving. The
are 1/2" apart, centered on the motor. I used an 8" nylon tie-wrap/zip tie,
but a 7" would probably be fine and a little less bulky.

I also include some shots of the motor and control board out of the plane,
just for reference. Remember that this is an original Aerobird so the
Challenger's board looks a little different but you remove the guts the same
way. The motor reinforcement works perfectly on the Challenger.

When you put the tie wrap in, you have to slip it under the noise
components that are soldered between the motor terminals. They are the
disks in one of the photos. I used a small screwdriver to just lift them
gently from the motor slightly so the tie would fit against the motor.

Just take your time and don't over tighten the tie wrap. Leave a little
as the body needs to flex on a crash and the tie-wrap will pull through the
body if it is pulled tight.

The photos show a yellow tie wrap, but that was just for pictures. I cut
out and replaced it with an orange one that looks much better on the plane.

I love the Aerobird. A few months ago I upgraded to the Challenger which is
now one of my favoriate planes. The original Aerobird is still with me, now
dedicated to night flying.

Between the two I have over 350 flights. I power fly the Challenger, I
thermal soar it and have added slope soaring to the things I do with this
versitle plane.

It is very good in the wind as well. I have flown the plane in a measured
mph wind, allowed it to get 150 feet down wind from me, cut the motor and
glided it back to me and landed it at my feet. It was fun to watch the
of some pilots with large gas planes when I did that.

The Aerobird Challenger is the plane I typically use to train new pilots.
is rugged and easy to fly. Parts are cheap and very available. There are
probably 8 or 10 that fly at our club field.

I now have 18 planes that range from a 30 inch parkflyer and a 33" wing
discus launched glider to a 3.4 M (12 foot) wing span scale sailplane.
However, the Challenger lives in the car and is always ready for some fun,
matter what kind of flying I want to do.

Don't wait, do this mod on your Aerobird. Do it now, before you need it!
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Old 01-06-2007, 12:10 AM
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This was written for new pilots flying Aerobirds or similar planes. However
I believe it contains good ideas for all power pilots and so I offer it
here. I invite the experience pilots and instructors to comment, to add your
advice for the benefit of our new pilots.

Gliding is fun and there is a proper way to crash. :-)


I encourage new pilots to go high when they are learning. Flying close to the
ground is asking for trouble. If something goes wrong, you have no time to
react. Airplanes belong in the sky! We want to be working high enough that
you can make 3 mistakes and still have enough room to recover. For this
class of plane, let's call that 100+ feet high.

Flying under 50 feet should be reserved for experienced pilots and those who
are landing.


One of the first things I teach new Aerobird pilots, and pilots of most other
parkflyers, is to pull back on the throttle to 3/4 once they have reached a
comfortable altitude, say 100 feet+. In NY, that would be about double the
height of a tree. After that first 100 feet, I have them climb more slowly
and circle the field. This gives them lots of stick time at an easier to
manage speed. This requires less space so you can fly on a smaller field in

When we are at a comfortable height, maybe 200-300 feet, I have them pull
back to 1/2 throttle and cruise at that speed as they gain time on the

A properly trimmed Aerobird should fly beautifully at 1/2 throttle. An
Aerobird 900 mah battery should go 12-15 minutes at 1/2 throttle. And,
because the plane is flying slower, it lives nicely in a smaller space.
There is no need to fly at full speed.

I typically have them land around 8-9 minutes to be sure they have PLENTY of
reserve power. During the early flights, I land the plane.

Flying at slower speeds, you have time to think, to fly around, get used to
the plane. Full power is great for loops and tricks, but for just cruising,
1/2 is great. New pilots should spend a lot of time just launching, cruising
and landing. Save the tricks for later.


When I am teaching landing, we make the approach at 1/3 to 1/4 throttle.
This gives the pilot plenty of speed and control but does not have the plane
screaming in. At the end of a battery, at 1/4 throttle, the plane will lose
altitude very gently and in a controlled fashion so you have lots of time to
line up for a landing.

The plane is moving slowly, so you have time to react. Line up into the
wind and just guide it in. If you are flying over grass, you might be better off
taking the landing gear off and belly landing the plane. If you position
right you can cut the motor 10 feet off the ground and the plane will just
glide to a slide so easily it hardly makes a sound. Come in straight into
wind and just keep the wings level. Worst case you land a little short of
your target. You can always apply 1/4 throttle to help you make any final
distance, but cut the motor as soon as you can.

Personally I always land with the motor off. I just glide in. Normally I
turn the motor off 200 feet in the air, circle the field as I lose altitude, then
line up for landing and glide it all the way in.

Landing like this, if you crash, normally there will be no damage.

Be aware that the response will be slow with the motor off. This is true
with all planes. Since there is less air flow over the control surfaces, they
respond more slowly. This is not a design flaw, just the nature of how
planes fly. The rudder on a boat would have the same response change at slow

If you are gliding in and need a little faster response, just give it a
short shot of throttle to
push the tail around, then turn it off again. 1/4 is plenty for this. If you
are uncomfortable gliding, then just set the throttle at 1/4 as you set up
for landing and cut it completely just before you land.

When you can launch, climb, cruise, descend and land reliably 20 times in a
row with good results, then you can start to think about tricks like loops,
tail stalls and the like.

Learn to Glide

The Aerobird glides very well. So do many other parkflyers.

Make a practice of getting the plane up high and turning the motor off.
Become comfortable flying it this way, as a glider. Why? If you ever lose
the motor because your battery was not as fully charged as you thought, or
due to a motor problem, you will already be well practiced in how to fly it
without the motor. I probably spend 20-40% of my Aerobird flights gliding.
really enjoy it.

You may find that you enjoy this silent flight mode. You may wish to
soar the plane. Pick up a thermal and you can have flights as long as an
hour, with the motor off. It takes very little to power the servos and
receiver compared to the motor. Even if you have run the battery down half
way, you can probably glide safely for 30 minutes on the remaining capacity.

Try this for fun. You can spend a minute climbing at full power to height,
say 200-400 feet, then you glide, looking for thermals. If you catch one
go up, without aid of the motor. You are thermal soaring. ( Don't let it
too high ) If you don't catch anything, when you get down to tree height,
hit the power and climb again. You are flying like an e-glider.

At the very least, if you lean to glide the plane, going dead stick because
the motor cut out will not become a panic situation but a familiar
I have put the Aerobird up in 15 mph winds, flown down wind 50 yards (
beginners don't try this ) and flown back, with no motor to land the plane at
my feet. You will be amazed at what the plane can do when you stop relying
on the motor.


Yes, I teach them how to crash .... properly. If you are going to crash,
turn the motor off BEFORE you hit. This will reduce the damage to the plane
dramatically and will usually prevent the prop from cutting through a
wing that has been reinforced with strapping tape. Try to bring the nose
up and the wings level if you can, but power off is the most important item.

Loose orientation? Let the plane fly itself

If you have lost orientation and the plane is at an odd angle, that is to say
that you are not sure left from right and up from down, CUT THE THROTTLE and
let the stick go. Most of the time, if the plane has enough altitude,
(remember altitude is your friend) the Aerobird will level itself. Then you
can apply power and go on flying. If you crash, at least the motor was off.

It amazes me how often I see pilots fly their planes, full power, right into
the ground. If you were driving a car and thought you might hit something,
you would at least take your foot off the gas and probably hit the brake.

Turning the motor off is the same thing. Helps a lot!


Altitude is your friend!

Speed is your enemy!

Lean to glide

Lean how to crash properly

Let the plane fly itself.

Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy!

Here are some other tips you might find helpful: Six Keys to Success
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