Thread: Rave Blue Plaid Sq. News
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Old Oct 07, 2011, 09:08 PM
Don Stackhouse is offline
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United States, OH, Bradford
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Wayne, that sounds like an experience I had with the first prototype of the electric Chrysalis 2-meter.

I'd been trying to prove a point that dynamic stability was at least, if not more, important than static stability. I'd mounted the 7S RC2000 Nicad motor battery deliberately too far aft, so that the C/G was about 3/8" behind the aft limit, making the plane's static pitch stability slightly divergent. I got it about 50 ft. in the air, trimmed it out, then handed the transmitter to a first-time beginner. With nothing more than verbal coaching from me, she did fine for quite a while (maybe ten minutes or so), just motoring up and down the field on part throttle. Then, out over the cornfield beyond the end of the runway, she got her rights and lefts mixed up and turned the wrong way. The turn took the plane out of sight behind a tree, and she was no longer able to correct for the instability. The plane dove into the fully-grown 8-10 ft. tall corn.

Corn is about like a forest of broadswords made from coarse sandpaper. About half a dozen of us tried looking for it, got carved up pretty badly, gave up that night. I came back the next day with long pants, some arm-length fingerless "gloves" I made from some long cotton socks, a ski mask and my cowboy hat (this was in August, with the usual high heat and higher humidity), and started walking (more like wrestling through) the rows.

A week and a half, and three severe thunderstorms later, I finally found it.

I'm sure you've heard how crashing in water is worse than crashing on concrete. Well, corn is more similar to water in that regard. The wing was pretty much confetti everywhere outboard of about 6" of the fuselage, and the fuselage wasn't much better. The motor, a Goldberg "Turbo 550" (Speed 600 can motor) would still turn, but with some squeaking. Miraculously the battery and radio equipment were still usable (nicads don't mind being deep-discharged). OTOH, some of the balsa was starting to mold.

The only thing that was still truly airworthy was an experimental piece I'd installed a while before - a rudder hinge (this was the conventional-tailed version) made from Blenderm, just to see if that tape was adequate for something as big as a 2-meter. The Blenderm hinge was as good as the day I'd put it on.
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