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Aerobird - Need advice on repairs

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Old 04-16-2003, 08:14 PM
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aeajr
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Default Aerobird - Need advice on repairs

I fly a HobbyZone Aerobird.

Yesterday a sudden gust from the rear flipped the tail up, at 15 feet, sending it into a high speed lawn dart dive into the ground. The pusher motor displaced into the body pulling the motor mount with it and distorting the body somewhat. It pulled the screws through, and popped off the prop. Here are some photos.

http://www.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=...21b33bad5a05ac

If you have any experience in repairing these type of planes I would appreciate some tips:

Types of glues to use on the polyethylene body
Ways to reinforce the motor area
Tips on reshaping the distorted area

Any other tips

I could buy a new fuselage for $49, but I want to try an fix this one first if I can, for the challenge, if nothing else.

If you have repaired a Firebird XL, Fighterbird, e-gull, T-Hawk or similar plane, you may have some good advice. I would love to hear it. [[img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/img]]
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Old 04-28-2003, 05:13 PM
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Default Aerobird - Need advice on repairs

Hey, didnt you already make a post right Here[img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif[/img]
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Old 04-28-2003, 09:15 PM
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Default Aerobird - Need advice on repairs

[img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif[/img] Again???????????????????????????????
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Old 05-26-2003, 05:30 AM
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Default Aerobird - Need advice on repairs

After some experimentation and excellent advice from many, I reparied the damage done
by the forward shifted motor. Here is what I did.

1) After removing all the guts, I let the plane sit over night. Some of the
original shape in the motor area returned. However it was clearly not going
to provide good support to the motor without some help.

2) using a hairdryer, I heated and did a little more shaping, by pushing from
the inside with a wood dowel, but not much was
needed.

3) After experimentation, I found that most glues won't stick to polyethylene,
the fuselage material. The ones that do, let go, due to the flex of the
fuselage, the bond would
not hold well enough to be useful. I needed a better repair.

4 ) Several people who had had this same problem had put various types of
plates behind the motor inside the body. Then I recalled seeing someone drill
holes from the sides, right behind the motor and put a tie wrap there. This
holds the body tight to the motor AND blocks it from shifting backward. That
is what I did. The holes are 1/2" apart centered on the motor. I used an 8"
tie-wrap/zip tie, but a 7" or a pair of 4" wraps would probably be fine and a
little less bulky.

Here are pictures of the damage and the repair.

Photos of Aerobird and repair


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

The plane flys very well now. I took one more hard nose in when a repaired
wing
failed, but there was no damage or movement in the motor area.

Recommendation to all Firebird, Firebird XL, Fighterbird and Aerobird flyers
and those with similar fuselage planes:

I love the Aerobird and think the whole "bird" series is fine. However making
this one modification to the motor support makes the plane almost
indestructable. Without it, a hard nose
hit, which would shatter most models, could knock the motor out of alignment,
or it could break free, like mine. I would recommend this modification be
done on ALL new "birds" BEFORE the motor mount is challenged and repairs
have to be done. If the motor shifts far enough, it will hit the control
board and wipe out all of the electronics.

You can do the drilling and insertion of the tie wrap without having to take
the guts out of the plane. Just be careful to limit how far the drill bit
goes inside the plane. There is enough room to do this, just be careful.

When you put the tie wrap in, it may have to slip under the noise suppression
components that are soldered between the motor terminals. You can see them in
the photo. A 7" tie wrap, or a pair of 4" tie wraps is not as wide as the 8"
wrap I used, so it will fit
more easily with less displacement of the components however I am confident
that it will be strong enough to get the job done.

To avoid the electronics on the motor, you could shift the holes about 1/4
inch away from this part of the motor so you don't have to go below the
components. Either way, just take your time and don't over tighten the tie
wrap. Leave a little slack as the body flexes on a crash and the tie-wrap
might pull through the body if it is pulled very tight. Don't distort the
body of the plane when you install it..

I hope you find this post and the photos useful. Thanks to everyone for their
advice and tips.

Don't wait, do this mod now on your Firebird, XL, Fighterbird or your
Aerobird, before you need it!
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