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Posted by Imageek2 | Jun 10, 2015 @ 01:57 AM | 1,593 Views
The Xplorer 3.8 was my next ship after the Stork. I purchased it used but in very nice condition. It took me a long time to dial it in, probably because when I started flying it I had a total of about two months flying experience. It was very much a learning on the job situation. I entered my first competition with the Xplorer. When I was signing up they asked me what class I was flying in and I said "Sportsman". "What are you flying?" "An Xplorer." "Some Sportsman!"

Just when I finally had it flying the way I wanted I tried launching myself on the winch for the first time. I was totally unprepared. The winch yanked the plane from my hand and sent it crashing down field. I didn't get to see it because the tail knocked my hat over my eyes, so I was at least spared witnessing the carnage firsthand. Two destroyed wingtips and a broken fuse and my Xplorer 3.8 was no more .

I didn't take a picture of the wreckage at the field, now I document those moments for posterity. But here is a photo of the damage.

It was then that I decided not to buy any more planes in really nice condition. It is hard to see a nice plane damaged. It is even harder when the guy who took such good care of it before you sees it!
Posted by Imageek2 | Mar 18, 2015 @ 08:54 PM | 2,151 Views
I thought it might be fun to document the ships I have had, if only for posterity. This was my first molded ship, a Stork 2 Pro.

When I joined the Inland Soaring Society in Riverside CA I had a Calypso, my first plane. Upon meeting me and hearing I had an electric glider, Ed Stewart said to me "We'll get you up on the winch!". I thought to myself "That is not going to happen in a million years".

A month or so later when I arrived at the field Ed ran up to my car, and asked me if I had any money. As I was pulling out my wallet to loan him a twenty he told me they had been holding the Stork for me. One of the members had passed away and they were trying to get his planes to good homes. It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.

The next week when the Stork was launched up the winch for the first time I was hooked immediately. I suddenly understood why people still used what I thought before was an old, outdated method of launching a sailplane. Why use a winch when you can put a motor in the nose. Seemed silly.

But it wasn't silly, it was a rush and a half. The feeling of flinging a plane into the air like a rocket with no safety net to keep you there but your own skill and the rising air can't be easily explained to those who haven't done it. Then, once you come down, to have to land it in one piece with no go rounds. Wow.

I had the Stork for a few months. I decided I wanted to get into the competition aspect of the sport, and the Stork was pretty heavy. But she was a great learning airplane.
Posted by Imageek2 | Feb 25, 2015 @ 04:05 PM | 3,021 Views
I have what I believe is a definitive answer to what happened to my Xplorer.

I had originally believed it was the stab pin that didn't get inserted correctly into the bellcrank. That was until the next weekend when I nearly lost my Supra in the exact same way!

I fly with the FrSky Taranis. The Taranis is a very powerful radio which allows very complex mixing and conditions. For the longest time I had my reflex and camber on separate switches. The reflex switch also was my zoom switch on launch. In order to get more control of reflex/camber I moved those functions to a single slider. Worked fine and gave me proportional control of my reflex/camber, but I realized I still needed my zoom on a switch. I created a new flight mode - Zoom, and left it on the previous reflex switch. worked fine, or so I thought.

Before launch I flip two switches, Launch and Zoom. Launch overrides Zoom. At the top of launch I flip off the Launch switch. I am then in Zoom to go into the bucket and climb out. At the top of the zoom I flip off the Zoom switch and I am in cruise mode.

On my ill fated Xplorer flight I flipped off the Launch switch and had no elevator control. I was so stunned I just kept pulling back on the right stick as the plane went straight down. As my flying mates were consoling me several relayed stories of how when they lost an elevator they managed to save the plane by deploying flaps to get it down.

Fast forward to the next weekend. I launch my Supra, dive down...Continue Reading
Posted by Imageek2 | Feb 13, 2015 @ 06:26 PM | 3,347 Views
Rest In Pieces

Best guess was that I was distracted and didn't get the stab pin through the bellcrank. Dove into the bucket and went to pull up and it went straight into a large tree at terminal velocity. Made a very large ka-boom!

Thanks to John Dora for the help in getting it down from the tree piece by piece. Also to the homeowner who's tree it was for the use of their ladder.
Posted by Imageek2 | Feb 13, 2015 @ 06:17 PM | 2,917 Views
Photo of Supra Pro repair. Took some doing figuring out how to wrap the carbon including coming up with a template for the carbon. Looks and feels strong.

Thanks to Ed Stewart for the help!
Posted by Imageek2 | Feb 10, 2015 @ 03:05 PM | 2,683 Views
Photo of Supra Pro crack.