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Old Dec 20, 2002, 10:15 PM
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Megatron's Avatar
Joined Sep 2002
116 Posts
My Spectra -R.I.P.

It was a perfect day: calm day...blue sky...thermals everywhere.
Then at about 800-1000ft altitude, the LEFT WING of my (brushless-powered) RTF Spectra DISINTEGRATED while executing a turn. Remember when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded with bits of pieces falling to Earth? -well that's what my left wing looked like -I kid you not!

While the remains of the left wing were falling like snowflakes, the plane itself went down like a missile and buried itself in the ground. It took me and two other guys to dig it out with whatever tools we had. Save for the motor, controller and battery everything else is totaled. She was only 4 months old .

Great Planes RTF Spectra 2-meter electric sailplane
Jeti 30/3, Graupner 13 x 7
Sanyo 7 x 2400

Rest in peace
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Old Dec 21, 2002, 12:48 AM
Tragic case
davidleitch's Avatar
Sydney Australia
Joined Feb 2002
5,864 Posts
Speaking from experience of many crashes three thoughts are:

1 You have done well if the motor and radio still work
2 At least it wasn't a flying error

and

3 So what's the replacement going to be
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Old Dec 21, 2002, 12:02 PM
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Syracuce NY
Joined Apr 2002
97 Posts
I watched a member of our club with the exact same setup, pull up sharply from a dive, and the wings folded, lots of little pieces raining down. I put my Spectra into a tree, (toast) that was my fault, not the planes. A friend suggested building a kit, and beefing up the spars, and joiners. It does fly nice.
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Old Dec 21, 2002, 05:41 PM
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Joined Nov 2002
29 Posts
Megatron's Spectra disintigration.

Megatron,

Give us a few more details...was it under power at the time, executing hi-G manouver?? I'll be flying my new Spectra soon and want to get an idea of it's peformance limits...without having to dig.

Rod B.
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Old Dec 21, 2002, 11:35 PM
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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Joined Nov 2000
6,251 Posts
Megatron
Sorry to hear of your loss. I know well the feeling. I sent two Spectra's to the big field in the sky. Both were kit built. The first was a stupid mistake (aren't they all). Tried to fly with a collapsed antenna. Second was radio failure.

One problem we will always face is not knowing what is under the covering of an ARF. Are the glue joints solid? Are the spars made from solid material? The only way to find out is to strip the covering which sort of defeats the purpose of getting an ARF.
Building is getting more and more difficult as the few kits that did exist are being discontinued by their makers. I'm refering to sailplanes in this case.

Seems the only solution is to buy themore expensive glass and foam planes where there appears to be a biy better quality control.
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Old Dec 22, 2002, 03:33 PM
Registered User
Waiuku New Zealand
Joined Dec 2001
32 Posts
Hi,

Sailplane Kitsets?????

These guys only make kits of several older designs, all good ones I believe..

http://www.skybench.com/

Check out this web site, it looks like good stuff....

The prices should be good in the USA (Florida company I recall) but the exchange rate made it too much here in New Zealand. Our dollar is appreciating against the USD so later some time.....

Laurie
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Old Dec 23, 2002, 04:48 AM
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Megatron's Avatar
Joined Sep 2002
116 Posts
Re: Megatron's Spectra disintigration.

Quote:
Originally posted by Rod B.
Megatron,

Give us a few more details...was it under power at the time, executing hi-G manouver?? I'll be flying my new Spectra soon and want to get an idea of it's peformance limits...without having to dig.

Rod B.
Rod,

My Spectra was NOT under power at the time. It was at a great altitude riding a good thermal and I wanted to lose some height. So I started making steep turns...I think what happened was that it built up great speed doing so and in the end became a high-g turn even though it wasn't (apparent) to me from such a height. The manual recommends adding elevator input when you turn to lose altitude-I may have neglected to do that so it gained too much speed as it spiraled down. I may have also inadvertantly added elevator input when it was already going too fast.

As long as you don't forget that it's a balsa RC plane (and not an F16), you'll do just fine. It's a great beginner plane, stable and predictable as long as you don't stall it. It thermals very well. At the time of my Spectra's demise, it had been in the air for 40 minutes or so on a single battery charge.

I'm actually considering getting another Spectra since I know it pretty well and I'm reluctant to experiment with expensive (but nice) European models and having to learn all over again.


Megatron
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Old Dec 23, 2002, 01:56 PM
ORGAN MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE
rloose's Avatar
Organ, New Mexico
Joined Sep 2002
1,231 Posts
Hybrid Spectra/Generic Sailplane

Hi Megatron-

Here's something that might interest you. After many crashes, my Spectra fuse was mass of epoxy and tape, then a radio failure of the AM receiver that came with the RTF version was the final straw. I also had a Dymond Flipper with a shredded wing from landing in a mesquite patch (who says you can't teach yourself to fly!!). I shaved back the top of the ABS Flipper fuse and installed the Spectra wing. I balanced it at about 30% of the root chord. I had a Graupner geared S480 (3.45:1) with a 10X8 CAM prop installed. WOW!! It flies better than the original config.

Albert from our local Rio Grande Hobbies GAVE me an Aspire wing. This was a dynamite combo with the Flipper fuse also, with a bit lighter wing loading than the Spectra. Next, I tried an 86 inch Dymond Apex wing on the Flipper fuse, and it flew better than it did on the heavier factory Apex fuse. Don't ask what happened to the original Apex fuse!

I also had folded the wings on my Odyssey and completely lunched the fuse on a Wattage Thermalaire. I'm now flying the thermalaire wing on the Odyssey ABS fuse. Power is from a Wattage Cobalt 'Super 400' with a MPJet 3.33:1 gearbox and an 11x8 CAM prop. Not quite as zippy as the Flipper setup, but again better than the original Thermalaire package. I call this mess my 'Generic Sailplane'. The ABS fuselage is nice because a little heat from a heat gun will take out all but the most severe of nose wrinkles.

Now that I've gotten to be a little better pilot, I repaired the Flipper wing and with the geared 480 it is a blast to fly....sort of a 'warm liner'. I guess the moral of the story is to keep the good parts from your wrecked planes.

Rich Loose
Organ, New Mexico
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Old Dec 24, 2002, 06:50 PM
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Joined Nov 2002
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Megatron...

Since I overlooked this the first time, I'm sorry for the loss of your plane, it sounds like you were having a good time with it.

I guess with all that battery weight in these planes, any kind of speed could be a tricky thing to handle without overstressing the wings. After reading your reply, I went back to the bench and added a lot of beefing up to the fuse. Though not your problem, I figure it can't hurt.

I wonder if a spin down is survivable with this plane? Any Spectra owners out there doing that? What would be the safest quick altitude loss method? And how many rubber bands are you guys using?

Regarding kits, I sure hope they don't disappear completely, as I really enjoy building. This Spectra was a quick re-introduction to electric assist, but I'm already itching to start on the 100" kit I ordered.

Regards,
Rod B.
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Old Dec 24, 2002, 06:55 PM
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Joined Nov 2002
29 Posts
Megatron...

Since I overlooked this the first time, I'm sorry for the loss of your plane, it sounds like you were having a good time with it.

I guess with all that battery weight in these planes, any kind of speed could be a tricky thing to handle without overstressing the wings. After reading your reply, I went back to the bench and added a lot of beefing up to the fuse. Though not your problem, I figure it can't hurt.

I wonder if a spin down is survivable with this plane? Any Spectra owners out there doing that? What would be the safest quick altitude loss method? And how many rubber bands are you guys using?

Regarding kits, I sure hope they don't disappear completely, as I really enjoy building. This Spectra was a quick re-introduction to electric assist, but I'm already itching to start on the 100" kit I ordered.

Regards,
Rod B.
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