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        Careful! Wanna See What Happens if you burst a LiPo in a RPG ?

#1 BigTradioman Apr 25, 2012 06:18 PM

Wanna See What Happens if you burst a LiPo in a RPG ?
4 Attachment(s)
Just had a hairy moment with a LiPo. I was just getting an RPG ready to balance the c of g and hang angle and slotted the LiPo in and it burst into flames. Just got it out of the workshop before it caught anything else on fire. Jesus it was close. The thing is I had just taken this battery off charge and I have no idea why it went up. It may have been damaged previously, it may have been punctured by something inside the airframe. Good job I was in the workshop with it. I have a few minor burns on my hands and singed hair as I carried outdoors. I filled the body up with water and it still gassed and smoked. I never never new LiPo's went up like that if they got punctured! It was like a firework going off, clouds of gassy smoke and then roaring flame. Phew what a lucky break! I bought a proper extinguisher today and had a good cleanup of rubbish in the shop as well. BIG WAKE UP CALL!!!
P.S. I now know what happened: I punctured the LiPo on a nose leg screw that was sticking into the battery bay by about 3 mm.

#2 M. Smith Apr 25, 2012 06:56 PM


WOW! Sorry about the mishap. Unfortunate but valuable lesson. Thanks for sharing so we can be smarter about battery bays and shop safety!


#3 jodini Apr 25, 2012 10:34 PM

YIKES! I had a battery blew up on me last month and yep....it looked just like your last picture! Nasty little buggers!

The RPG looks repairable though!


#4 Gyrocopter Apr 26, 2012 07:48 AM

Wow that looked close, not the new one was it, Oh heck it was.

I think we all need to think carefully how we treat our Lipos, I know I do.

Thanks for posting


#5 SafeLandings Apr 26, 2012 08:12 AM

Crumbs Tim! you were lucky, as long as you didn't get hurt that is the main thing.

We take these Lipos too much for granted sometimes, takes stories like this to make us stop and think.

I remember about 3-4 years ago there was a gyronut on here (forensic flier from the States I think?). He lost his garage and all his models due to a fire from charging a Lipo.

Scary stuff:eek:



#6 Dutchman3 Apr 26, 2012 09:41 AM

Look on the bright side, just think about all the money you will not have to spend on smoke oil.

#7 BigTradioman Apr 26, 2012 11:05 AM

Made me have a SERIOUS clear up in the workshop. I found all sorts of crap lurking about under benches such as 4 gallons of Methanol, 1 gallon of oil, 500 mills of Nitro-methane (used to mix my own but havent flown glow for years), thinners, half empty paint tins, odd bits of white foam, swept up piles of sawdust and shavings. What's more I have a rubber floor covering on the floor, if that had caught from the molten drips I I could have lost the house as well. Any one know what the best extinguisher is for a LiPo fire? I had a look around locally but all the extinguishers I found said "not to be used on metal or chemical fires" . Not much good for a LiPo then! Any not to be put off, I have cut out all the bunt wood and tissue, fitted new wood and re-covered and doped it. I will re wire the servos and test tonight but I think I will chuck the receiver. I did contemplate just leaving it as a charred burn out "Rat Gyro" with a smoke generator , would have looked a bit different on the flight line.
Hornby Mallard DCC sound smoke & lights (3 min 3 sec)

#8 jodini Apr 26, 2012 12:44 PM

Did you build that train!?!?!? That's a serious work of art!

#9 BigTradioman Apr 26, 2012 01:11 PM

No I didn't build it. Its just a demo unit for selling the smoker. And today I ordered a 6kg Dry Powder Extinguisher and a fireblanket for the workshop.

This weeks "Must Have" for me.

#10 jodini Apr 26, 2012 01:41 PM

I have an extinguisher right by my work bench!

#11 BigTradioman Apr 27, 2012 11:05 AM

Just been sent these links by a clubmate



Pretty scary reading

#12 britinoz Apr 28, 2012 01:28 AM

You gentlemen should understand that lipos are not the only batteries that can explode or burn. About 20 years ago I left a nicad pack on charge and forgot all about it until the fire brigade arrived at my house.It completely burnt down my workshop with all models etc. fortunately all was insured and a good insurance paid out fully within 30 days...............

#13 Gyrocopter May 17, 2012 12:33 PM

Hi Tim,

Hows it going with the RPG, have you been able to finish it?


#14 BigTradioman May 18, 2012 10:29 AM

Slec rpg
Hi Chas, well I finished it, eventually, following the fire. Probably the worst finish on any model I have ever built but it nearly didn't survive at all! I took it for a quick hop about 3 weeks ago (seems longer due to extreme work issues) when there was a gap in the weather systems. It was one of those "short" hops that you experienced gyro pilots talk about. You know, the ones that turn into a circuit! Well in this case it was half a circuit with a downwind dump. It came off really quick and was very very twitchy. It feels much more responsive and lighter, I used my original blades as I know they worked OK. I found that I had used a dodgy bit of wood for the fin and it snapped in half on landing. It had a real soft section half way through. Anyway no biggy, just grafted a new one into the slot. I wonder if I could do away with the "winglets" on the tailplane as they are always getting snapped off. Any ideas? Andy has suggested longer and wider blades as I am having problems getting the head up to speed so take offs are a not stable (that was his idea). I might try that as I quite like building blades

Unfortunately I have been too busy to do any building or flying so it is all on a back burner just now. I aim to get at least this one finished for Winterton, but who knows if I will get there. Another of the heavy RPG's has been built and flown by the chap who came to Streatly to see you maiden mine. I did offer to help him with the limited knowledge I have gained but he decided to go it alone but with Aerobalsa blades. As far as I can make out his did exactly the same as my first one. It is under repair.

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