Thread: Build Log Wicked powered SR-71
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Old Jun 26, 2012, 06:43 PM
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Maple Valley, WA
Joined Apr 2006
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Whenever I get a new SR-71 airframe and I put it all together and it's ready to fly, I stare at it for a few minutes. It's a little ritual I do. It's like somewhere, deep inside, I know that she won't remain in that pristine, unbroken condition for long.

#8, like all the ones before, took her final flight today.

I couldn't even get 3 whole stinkin' flights out of her.

I went to the school for sortie #3. I cut out an extra hole to the center and aft of the two main holes I cut out for launch. This allowed for a more confident grip. I was going to fly with my new Turnigy 4S 3300...Substantially lighter than my Nanotech 4000. I had to put the battery as far forward as she would go to meet the CG. Winds were variable, nothing too drastic.

I gripped her good, jammed the throttle to full and gave her a good toss. She left my hands and moved straight ahead on rails. Didn't drop an inch. By far, it was the best hand launch I've ever had with her. Sweet! Then suddenly as I am giving her elevator to gain altitude, I hear more of those sounds like you could hear in the maiden video...This time they were rapid and smoke came out of the exhaust port and she torque-rolled straight into the ground. I was helpless to do anything but watch the inevitable.

The front half was destroyed with the back half almost untouched. Which is the crucial section any ways. Still, the port engine inlet was crumpled and the inlet spike was crushed. I plugged the battery in and tried throttling up to see what was going on. In the aft motor immediately started smoking with that electrical smell. Time to unplug.

I performed the all-too-familiar autopsy when I got home. Removing all of her guts and inspecting each for obvious damage, shorts or other. The only thing of note is that while you could still spin the motors and fans freely without rubbing against the fan shroud, you could plainly see that tell-tale marks of the fan where it had been rubbing around the housing. Clearly out of balance.

Since I have no idea what is wrong, Don, I may ask if you would allow me to send the electronics back to you. I would need someone who knows what they are doing take a look and see if it's repairable or the electronics are bad.

What a shame. Just when I seemed to have solved the weight issue, had a fantastic hand toss, a catastrophic unstart.

#9 and feelin' fine?
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