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Old Apr 15, 2012, 04:35 PM
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United States, FL, Sarasota
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Escapade Elevator Flutter

I recently was flying the escapade 40 at half throttle with my O.S. 55AX installed in it, AR500 receiver, Hitec HS-311 Standard servos for Rudder and Elevator and Futaba S3004 for Ailerons and Throttle. Anyways I was flying normally and was letting myself relax after doing high speed passes and rolls and loops on the same flight earlier. Suddenly I heard a fluttering sound and sure enough it was my plane. The elevator was fluttering very erratically and then I guess the whole elevator structure finally broke and all I could do was cut the engine and watch. Has anyone else had this problem with their Escapade? I hoping to call them tomorrow and get some more information and maybe some replacement parts. But everything on the plane is broken.. Fuselage is beyond repair, canopy is totaled, wing is broken in so many spots i don't want to fly with that wing, Elevator of course is broken. The only thing that survived was the landing gear and rudder. Wheel pants destroyed, prop broken and spinner with the aluminum back plate, bent. If anyone has ever fixed this or had this happen to them, please tell me
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Old Apr 15, 2012, 05:58 PM
Zor
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Ontario,Canada
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Rcflyyer1 and general readers,

Sorry to read about your loss.

Flutter is a bit like a flag beating in the wind.
The surface keeps going both ways at a rate depending on the mass of material involved. It is very destructive as can be read in Rcflyyer1 posting.

I is due to some slop (looseness) in the control system.
It can be at the control horns, at the servo arm, at the surface hinges. It can also be due to worn out gears in the servos or control linkages not sufficiently supported on their rway to the control surface. So called Z connections are famous for such loose connections.

Avoiding the looseness (slop) is part of the preflight check.

If flutter is lood enough to hear while in flight, the first instantaneous thing to do is reduce the power to idle or cut off an electric motor completely to reduce flying speed and hopefully stop the flutter. Land as soon as possible an do repair work to eleminate any slop.

Zor

P.S.: I have not had any flutter and it is not necessary to have had some to know the cause and what to do.
This is contrary to some fellows that like to claim that no experience means ignorance.
End
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Last edited by Zor; Apr 15, 2012 at 06:04 PM.
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Old Apr 15, 2012, 06:40 PM
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Thanks Zor! Your posting really helps me. The clevises that came with the plane were plastic and I will never use plastic on a glow model ever again. Hopefully Great Planes will help me out and address this in future kits.
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Old Apr 15, 2012, 09:00 PM
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I have seen, or heard flutter 3 times....One the elevator leading edge broke and the airplane returned ok...One was a U can Do it was a mass of airborn destrution with the wing fluttering down...and a dual aileron servo airplane with a stripped servo on one side...reduced power and made an emergency landing....You could have lost a servo or a pushrod came un done or a srvo horn could have broke....Good Luck
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Old Apr 15, 2012, 09:32 PM
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Danville, GA
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Also check your battery. I had a battery start to die in flight the other day which caused the servos to become erratic. I was low and close to the runway and by a miracle I plopped it down in the high weeds with just a little damage.

Installed a new 6v battery and a new rudder servo and she's back up flyin.
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Old Apr 15, 2012, 09:39 PM
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I have seen flutter on a number of occassions, and even had it happen to me a couple of times.
One fellow managed to cut throttle and land before the elevator came off on his plane. We found the control horn had come loose where he overtightened it and crushed the balsa wood base too much. A different guy had some hinges come loose and the elevator was coming out of the wing, he wasn't able to save the plane in that case. I saw aileron flutter and come off too. But the guy managed to save the plane with one aileron still working. In his case the hinges on the loose aileron had come loose. Now I had what they called a FUn Fly plane years ago. The control surfaces were designed for really slow flying, and if you went a bit too fast then all of the control surfaces would go crazy and flutter badly. I had another plane's rudder flutter and it broke off, but I could land the plane OK without the rudder though.
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Old Apr 15, 2012, 10:19 PM
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I've been flying my escapade with a TH46 and a 11x6 apc with all the factory supplied hardware and have no problems with flutter. Even coming out if a dive. I just lost a plane due to elevator flutter tho. I've had surfaces flutter from too much speed before but it's usually minor and still controllable to some degree and is remedied by reducing speed. In this case however it was very bad and unsavable. It turned out that my elevator servo had stripped the gear in flight. For your surface to flutter that bad you had to either have something come loose or strip a servo IMO.
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetmech05 View Post
I have seen, or heard flutter 3 times....One the elevator leading edge broke and the airplane returned ok...One was a U can Do it was a mass of airborn destrution with the wing fluttering down...and a dual aileron servo airplane with a stripped servo on one side...reduced power and made an emergency landing....You could have lost a servo or a pushrod came un done or a srvo horn could have broke....Good Luck
Yeah when I found the plane the elevator clevis broke and the rudder's was still on so I guess that caused the problem. I will promise myself to never use plastic clevises again. Thanks for your help.
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Do a search in the electric Escapade thread. This is a known problem. The elevator leading edge breaks at very high speed and after that all heck happens. I'm guessing you were going SUPER fast with OS 55AX.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamArcher View Post
Do a search in the electric Escapade thread. This is a known problem. The elevator leading edge breaks at very high speed and after that all heck happens. I'm guessing you were going SUPER fast with OS 55AX.
Oh yeah, the escapade was really fast. I was scared about over stressing the fragile air frame. The problem was the clevis came off the horn, flutter, than the elevator broke and folded. Do you know any good Escapade Flutter Forums?
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Old Apr 20, 2012, 01:28 PM
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The nylon horn or "plastic" horn broke? You stated plastic... are ARF's cheaping out that much now??
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Old Apr 21, 2012, 10:55 AM
Dang. It was the radio.
Joined Jun 2006
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The nylon horn was probably broken during the flutter event. I would suspect a combination of overs peeding and slop on the servo horn side of the linkage..
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Old Apr 21, 2012, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermalin View Post
The nylon horn or "plastic" horn broke? You stated plastic... are ARF's cheaping out that much now??
Oh yes. The arfs are still good, but some of the componets have to be replaced. The whole cause of the crash was the plastic clevis that was supplied with the kit. Even though the escapade is a very cheap arf, it should come with good componets as it's not a very big airplane. I'm gonna try ball links and if I can't find those, i'll just tie a string around the clevis real tight so it can't pop loose.
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Old Apr 21, 2012, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robotech View Post
The nylon horn was probably broken during the flutter event. I would suspect a combination of overs peeding and slop on the servo horn side of the linkage..
Yeah i was going a little too fast but I didn't think anything like this would happen. The flutter happened instantly and then I noticed I lost elevator directly afterwards. But the horn is still perfectly intact on the elevator and is pretty tight. I'm not sure if it was the horn or the clevis.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 08:59 PM
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United States, OH, Loveland
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Hey RC there is a tech note to fix this added after the kits were made

http://manuals.hobbico.com/gpm/gpma1200-tech.pdf

not sure if this was your issue or not
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