Apr 01, 2003, 10:40 AM
How many times is too many to rebuild a plane?
I have this GP Cap 232 I've rebuilt at least 6 times, and now it's
almost ready to go again... Its history is a laundry list of lame
mishaps and episodes of pushing the envelope. Check this out:
1. From stock configuration with an ST .51- in flight failure of the
wing at dihedral braces during an attempted "blender" maneuver. Plane
spends five weeks lost in jungle at Whittier Narrows.
-made new wing with continuous spar caps and improved "straight back"
-also added thicker airfoiled tail group
-plane much more stable and no tendency to hunt in pitch
2. Seconds after I offer to let a friend fly it, and he declines with
comment that every time he flies someone's plane something weird
happens, the wing flies off- the "just long enough" nylon wing bolts had
been left finger tight.
-wing unharmed, tail group survives, new fuse with Saito .91
3. Unexplicable use of nylon landing gear bolts causes three rebuilds of
bottom of fuse amd wing. Finally, steel bolts used and problem
4. Rollout from inverted low pass ends up about 6 inches too low, and
wing and fuse repaired, scarf joints all around...
5. Last flight blues late in the day- engine quits in lomcevak about 20
feet up. Best I could do was get the wings level as it goes "splat"
downwind at Rabbit Dry lake. Fuse broken in about 8 places, landing
gear flattened out, but prop not broken. Wing has little damage.
- again a scarf joint extravaganza, a little carbon fiber,and we're
almost in the air again.
I should probably retire it since it's got patches on its patches, but
it's always easier to fix the thing than build a whole new one, and
you'd never know it by looking at it(monokote hides a lot of sins).
Amazingly, not one of those earlier scarf joints let go in the latest crash.
Anybody got any planes like this that they just couldn't let die?