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Aerobird Swift Repair

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Old 02-28-2007, 09:23 PM
  #1  
Alpharaptor
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Default Aerobird Swift Repair

My HobbyZone Eurobird Swift had undergone a series of crashes and soon the weak plastic "piller" holding the wings in place gave in and broke. This of course made the wings very unstable, to be honest, Hobbyzone could have done a better job at the designing the connection between the fuselage and the wings. (Or I just gotta stop crashing!) But anyway, I think I have constructed a darn good fix for the problem. It'll cost hardly anything and no glue required!! I've yet to test fly it with the fix, but im confident it'll fly like the crashes never happened. So anyway, here's what I did:

The damage:


Grab a crayon and a piece of white paper and simply make a rubbing of where the wing attaches to the fuselage as shown.


Now draw on the inside of the rubbing about 1/8" in, it doesn't have to be perfect, but try to be as accurate as possible, it'll make your life easier down the road. Now cut out the smaller drawing, this you will use as a template.


Now what you will need is a 1/16" (1.5mm) piece of birch plywood. I found the stuff at my local Hobbyzone. Now use you template and trace it onto the plywood:


Now this is the somewhat tricky part, but just work slowly and you'll be fine. Cut the tracing out with scissors (The plywood is thin enough to do this) but no need to be to accurate, that’ll be the next step. Now what you want to do is trim it so it fits in the fuselage. Be careful not to trim to much off, you want it to fit nice and snug NOT LOOSELY. Trim, check fit, trim some more check fit. When you are satisfied with the fit, make two marks with a marker above and below the old hole. Take a look at the photo below to see what I mean. Using the marks as a guide drill a small hole in the plywood.

Use the plastic rod which holds the wings in place and place it over the hole you made. So one of the ends is covering the whole. Use the outside of it as a stencil to draw a basic box shape around the hole in the plywood. Take note of the position of the original hole on the body and try to make yours as accurate as possible. Use a dremel to cut out the box. You may also want to use a razer to cut out the corners in order to make them less curved. The rod may not fit through if the corners are in the way, and you don't want the rod to fit loosely. When your getting close, like before, check to see if the rod fits through the hole, trim a bit more, and check again. It probably sounds more complicated than it actually is. In the end you should end up with something that looks like this:



Now that you have made one, you can use it as a stencil to make another for the opposite side.

Ok, take one of your wings and unscrew two of the screws closest to the end, and press into the foam. (See image below to see what im talking about)


You did this so you can rerout the wire out of the wing like so:


What you need to do now is cut a hole on the side of the fusolodge (be careful not to damage anything on the inside) and rerout the plugs, do this on both sides of course, take a look:


I rerouted the wires so I didn't have to cut another hole in the plywood, doing so would have greatly compromised its strength.

Your pretty much done now, the plywood is there only to keep the rod from twisting and moving back and forth (Not in and out) so no glue is needed. So assemble and get flying! (Hopefully)

The advantage of using no glue is that in the case that one of your plywood mods breaks, you can simply slip in a replacement at the field and be flying again in minutes. So make some extras! Don’t worry, after the first one, making more is a snap! Please be aware however that because this setup is more rugged and less flexible, in a crash the force of the impact is going to be transferred else ware, possibly causing something else to break.

I hope some other new flyers out there find this helpful, this mod may also be usable on other Hobbyzone airplanes which suffer from the same problem.

Have a nice day!
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Old 03-04-2007, 04:53 AM
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Default RE: Aerobird Swift Repair

Nice mod dude. Thanks for the good pix. #it# happens, the ability to work around is the greatest asset. Good luck!
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Old 03-16-2007, 02:03 PM
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Default RE: Aerobird Swift Repair

I'm a newly retired 62 year-old newbie who has recently purchased a Swift as my 1st plane with my solo maiden launch date set for 04.02.07. My goal is to log in the fewest crashes per flights as possible which to some would probably be BORING.

I have diligently read and reread three of the Swift threads, this being the latest. I would like to offer the following observation. I really believe that having digested all of the mishap discussion that I have as good a chance as any one to NOT have a damaging crash my first time out. Just because the Swift offers aerobatic challenge is no reason for me to take any unnecessary risk for quite some time. However, my gut feeling is that many of you take unnecessary risk which could very well be part of the excitement of flying a Swift. In other words if you never tested the limits of the craft as well as your own skills you wouldn't have as much to talk about if you never lost control and crashed.

One reason so many are experiencing major crashes with Swift could be they don't really digest the instruction manual as well as too much adrenaline in testing the limits of the plane as well as their own skill level. I really believe Ed could have avoided his inverted crash, but wonder if it wasn't part overexcitement as well as testing the planes structural integrity. I was amazed at the flying skill of a young salesmen hotdogging in his hobby store on a helicopter simulator program. I told him he was wasting his time in a hobby store when he could be applying his helicopter flying skill in Afganistan [8D].
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:46 AM
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Default RE: Aerobird Swift Repair


ORIGINAL: Swift427

I'm a newly retired 62 year-old newbie who has recently purchased a Swift as my 1st plane with my solo maiden launch date set for 04.02.07. My goal is to log in the fewest crashes per flights as possible which to some would probably be BORING.

I have diligently read and reread three of the Swift threads, this being the latest. I would like to offer the following observation. I really believe that having digested all of the mishap discussion that I have as good a chance as any one to NOT have a damaging crash my first time out. Just because the Swift offers aerobatic challenge is no reason for me to take any unnecessary risk for quite some time. However, my gut feeling is that many of you take unnecessary risk which could very well be part of the excitement of flying a Swift. In other words if you never tested the limits of the craft as well as your own skills you wouldn't have as much to talk about if you never lost control and crashed.

One reason so many are experiencing major crashes with Swift could be they don't really digest the instruction manual as well as too much adrenaline in testing the limits of the plane as well as their own skill level. I really believe Ed could have avoided his inverted crash, but wonder if it wasn't part overexcitement as well as testing the planes structural integrity. I was amazed at the flying skill of a young salesmen hotdogging in his hobby store on a helicopter simulator program. I told him he was wasting his time in a hobby store when he could be applying his helicopter flying skill in Afganistan [8D].

I don't know that I'd want to jinx myself by making such a bold statement before even flying my new plane, but I really do wish you the best of luck in your maiden flight. Let us know how it goes.

I have to chime in and say, I have bent my Swift up pretty good in my first few flight attempts, and eventually got it flying pretty well. I definitely was not taking any unnecessary risk. I don't believe that there is much in the instruction manual that will guarantee you success. There is a lot of good info in these threads, though.

Best of luck, and please let us know how it goes. Even if it goes badly, keep in mind, replacement wings are only $20. (Ask me how I know)
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:05 AM
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Default RE: Aerobird Swift Repair

If this is a first plane, and there is not significant sim time, I predict that the plane will crash the first time he heads it back at himself and must QUICKLY and without thinking reverse his control input. No slight on anybody, but mere fact, based on reading about a hundred newbie postings, and recalling my own sim experience as well as that with my first plane.

PS: My second aircraft is a Stryker B model. On my first flight, it was my sim time that kept me in the air. HOWEVER, even a sim doesn't cover setup issues, like tweaking the control arms and optimizing location on the aileron horns.
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:51 PM
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Default RE: Aerobird Swift Repair

Ok a little update, so far the mod seems to work like a charm. Now that the wings are level and true, it flies beautifully, like it did before its first crash. Fortunately, I haven't crashed the Swift since I installed the mod, so I don't know how it'll handle crashes as of yet. I'll give you all an update when I eventually crash! lol...But so far I am very pleased with the performance of the plane.
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Old 03-29-2007, 02:49 PM
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Default RE: Aerobird Swift Repair

"There is a lot of good info in these threads, though." -- Couldn't agree more! Ed's suggestions here and at rcg are very helpful.

"I predict that the plane will crash the first time he heads it back at himself and must QUICKLY and without thinking reverse his control input." -- I wasn't born last night. It's not like my first RTF or ARTF is a Stryker. What I like about the Challenger and Swift is the wings gliding ability for the challenge of staying up as long as possible by riding thermals this summer. The maiden flight plan is to follow the basic hand launch climbing gradually to at least 100' then turn around and glide back with minimum or no throttle--see how close I can land it to my feet. If my first launch is successful the total flight time may only last a couple minutes. I will consider it a major accomplishment. I don't plan on doing anything fancy or pushing my luck the first time up.

My gut feeling is that most are so anxious to fly their first plane they hardly take time to read the instruction manual and learn as much as they can about flying before their first maiden flight.

Will let you know next week if my first attempt was a smash.
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Old 04-03-2007, 03:17 PM
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Default RE: Aerobird Swift Repair

Wind 10 to 15
Hand launched into the wind
Seemed too easy as it climbed and circled left and right and left
Brought it back toward me for a soft belly landing and a successful maiden flight
But I was having too much fun to land after just a few minutes on fresh battery
Made mistake of not bringing it back in front of me before continuing with circling
Seemed like no time before it was just a speck in the sky with winds 10 to 15
Could barely see it flying left to right above treeline of a dense woody area
Took me 45 minutes to find as it had glided with the winds before hitting tree top
Fortunately it made it through the dense canopy and landed on the ground
Luckily no damage, should've attached combat module for easy sound location
A good learning experience of what not to do--even with 600'x600' open area
Mistake was not flying in these winds, but letting the plane get too far behind me
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Old 04-03-2007, 05:44 PM
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Now for the NOT SO GOOD news.

The next three hand launches lasted 5 seconds resulting in immediate smashes
I adjusted the V-elevator slightly upward for more lift for the next attempt
Was good to finally be airborne again so nothing ventured, nothing gained--
Decided to try my luck at the airelon stick with my first banking turn--YES!
Tried again, but lost control resulting in a punishing head-on nose dive

After only a few minutes my brand new Swift427 had experienced the same exact damage as shown in Alpharaptor's first photo at the beginning of this thread. Not only was there now one very lengthy rectangular opening in the fuselage, but one of the white wing wires had been torn loose from its servo connector. The wing spar opening and wire connector opening should have been farther apart leaving at least a 1/2" pillar between them. And there should be some extra reinforcing thickness on the inside so that the newly created rectangular opening doesn't become too exaggerated.

It's a given that the square wing spar opening on every Swift is soon going to want to become a rectanglar opening. If it didn't the wings would have to absorb most of the impact damage. I'm going to fabricate a structural piece with about a 1:2 rectangular opening so the wing spar and fuselage can still absorb some of the impact as the wing(s) separate from the fuselage during a crash. This structural reinforcement should be adhered(screwed/cemented) to the inner side so each wing still has full insert depth into its fuselage socket.
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:34 AM
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Default RE: Aerobird Swift Repair

I just want to thank Alpharaptor for coming up with the plywood insert idea. I did this yesterday, and it works great. I had previously tried repairing the little vertical wing spar support, first with CA and then with epoxy, and it just breaks again. I had a few nose down landings yesterday, and the plywood repair works like a charm. I think the plywood actually protects the shape of the wing root during these crashes. It also makes assembly much easier, when you don't have to worry about stuffing the servo wires in behind the wings as you slide them together.

One thing that did seem a little overly complicated to me, was Alpharaptor's method of transferring the shape to the plywood. I simply stood the wing on end on the plywood and traced around it. The final shaping is done by sanding, so the accuracy doesn't need to be 100%.

Thanks again. My Swift is flying better than ever.
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:27 AM
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Default RE: Aerobird Swift Repair

Has anyone tried to stiffen the wings on the Swift using carbon tubes yet? This is my 2nd Swift (1st was destroyed in a horrific full throttle lawn dart incident)and I'm wanting to make it as bullet proof as possible. A detailed description of the procedures would be appreciated.
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Old 09-22-2007, 09:45 PM
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Default RE: Aerobird Swift Repair

I couldn't see the pictures of your Aerobird Swift. (My Firewall) Could you please e-mail them to me? skippiemac@yahoo.com Thanks!!!!!
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