Nose wheel repair on the 182
I had the plane up earlier in the week, testing my then latest repair attempt to the nose landing gear. Familiar story, I got one flight before the the second flight ended with a collapsed nose wheel and prop strike on take off. So back to the drawing board.
I fly off sports fields and have found the clumps and bumps in grass causes the nose wheel mounting area to cop a hammering. Each mishap has led to more foam being removed, some reglued in place, but an increasing amount of deformity to the area. I needed to step up from previous attempts and make a decent mount and finally I've had success. I've made these "T" shaped ply stiffening mounts to extend up the firewall behind the motor and across the lower part of the firewall. They're epoxied together and epoxied and screwed to the firewall. The original front and rear mounting plates were reused along with longer dubro cap screws.
This would be my 5th repair attempt perhaps and early on I put aside the top shaft of the nose wheel and replaced it by experimenting with differing lengths of shaft formed from 4mm tent pegs. The metal is softer but still strong. For rough landings it's proven to be fine but for a crash it may bend. I thought perhaps that this stuff would provide some give in a crash situation which may save the firewall.
So to the test flights. Hmm, it worked. It was windy so I hand launched (with son at controls) then I took over for a landing. It nosed over a bit at the end but no damage whatsoever. A rolling take off and no damage after landing again. Awsome. I hand launched again for my son, he climbs, does a circuit then does a barrel roll and loop, a hard turn to come back and
the battery falls out. Of all the things to happen. The plane's left wing struck the ground first then it came down awkwardly on to the LG. This drop was from about 30ft I guess. Plane was intact, all LG intact. Wow. Only damage was LIPO was warped as it landed harder.
A new battery, ROG, about 5 mins in, the same thing happens
Battery falls out from higher this time, would guess 40", but the plane's in a dive, spiralling 180deg before hitting the ground nose first. The cowl and engine came free, windshield and both front windows popped out but best of all, the firewall was undamaged
The nose wheel's top shaft bent, easily replaced. In a wierd sense I was thrilled by the result of the crash.
What's more worrying is the cause. Not that I didn't secure the battery in properly the first time, but I managed to repeat the same mistake
I strapped them in as I've done before but oh man! I swear it will never happen again. I just look forward to the day I can return from the park with all batteries depleted and no repairs to be done. Almost there