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Old Oct 10, 2011, 01:28 PM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
United States, MI, Fenton
Joined Jan 2000
8,605 Posts
Since most pilots are fairly competent you've basically described the willingness to put a plane at risk. Some will do anything to win and some are more conservative. I can guarantee you that if I'm flying a high dollar plane I'll be more cautious than if I'm flying a more rugged one. Bagged planes are cheaper and more rugged. That translates into a plane I'm more willing to take risks with.

So, who is more likely to win, the guy with the higher performing plane that is a little more conservative or the guy with the more rugged plane that is more willing to take risks? Probably the guy that is well enough off not to care... just like in about every other form of competition known to man. The rest of us have to decide which kind of pilot we are.
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 01:59 PM
Father of Fr3aK, DLG Pilot
tom43004's Avatar
USA, OH, Worthington
Joined May 2002
6,733 Posts
Hey guys. I can comment briefly on this... I do add a bit more structure in the LE than most, but only a bit. I put an additive in the LE material that makes it more resistant to fracturing, which helps to spread out the impact forces when they unfortunately happen. I've twice midaired my moldies now, once on a glass wing at the Bruce which involved only a bit of CA for a pretty good knock. The wing Sam flew was treed in a large pine tree before he flew it. The tree was about 80 meters downwind and it hit so hard you could easily hear it from the flying field. It had fairly substantial cosmetic damage to the LE of both wings. Honestly I was amazed it wasn't totalled. I injected CA inside the wing to shore up the inner skin and rohacell and flew it all day Sunday without issue. Even though I had a spare wing there, I wanted to see how this would hold up with a field repair. I'll make a more proper repair in the next few days.

As far as the tips are concerned... thin tips are going to improve performance in almost every aspect of flight. They can be made solid, but they don't ever feel like a thick (bagged) tip. More doubling in the tip doesn't help what you're feeling there, which is softness in bending. All thin airplanes have this to a certain extent. I have never failed a tip in any of my wings, probably because I externally patch when I put the blade in. I feel it's necessary so I add it. Many do not and pull their thin tips off. It's really dealers choice... if you throw hard, reinforce the tip a bit. If not, don't.

On that note...

My airplane is hollow molded. You can argue the merits of solid core all day long but at the end of the day it nearly doubles my cost of producing a wing. There are a couple of solid core molded options on the market if you're convinced that it's the way to go. Even with a CNC available, the repairability difference just doesn't justify the additional cost for production to me. Most people who argue that solid core is easier to repair haven't repaired many hollow molded wings. I am generalizing here. I know some of you have repaired moldies and don't like it. Personally I'd rather repair hollow stuff. You can use many of the same methods and end up with similar results.

As for the weekend, I had two Fr3aK Zones at the Wilson contest. My primary had me in second place through round four. Since I'd flown head up against Oleg two of those rounds I was feeling pretty much invinceable at the transmitter. Soon though, some reality set in. In AULD, I out floated a few others to put myself in a good position after the first throw, losing only to GMo and only by a couple of seconds. I treed my primary model high in a downwind pine tree on the second when the wind violently shifted, obviously garnering a zero for that flight. I grabbed the glass disser backup for the last throw and had a mediocre flight for a 600ish round. That hurt quite a bit. In the next round after that (last flight five min max IIRC) I blew up the boom on my backup on an adrenaline infused relight with the primary still hanging in the tree. This was the last of the light layup fuses I was flying from a while back and it had been repaired a couple of times after midairs at Chicago and the Bruce. It let go about 3" aft of the TE and fractured laterally. With a pull / spring, the geometry of the break caused a pull to down elevator and the airframe hit hard about 30 feet in front of me, basically totalling the fuse. Gerald loaned my his Taboo to at least post a score and we recovered my primary from the tree after the contest. I made quick field repairs to the primary and flew it all day Sunday. The glass wing survived the impact without notable damage.

The airplane was passed around to half a dozen people at the contest, and the consensus was that the CG was a bit aft, so we moved it forward more to around 74-75mm. After that it was much more reliable in signalling and if anything it needed a bit of ballast. There was a variety of air conditions at this contest, and this airplane at it's empty weight excelled at launching and working lift from super light to strong. In one poker round I called 1:30, 2:00, and went all in on the last 6:15 and easily made it. Several others called big in that round but couldn't hang with me in the gentle lift during the middle third of the window.

I'm really pleased with how this is coming along, and I'm starting to get some of these in other people's hands to get their good and bad feelings about the airframe. I'm back in the shop to get another batch of fuselages cooked up since USPS seems to be at war with me lately.
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 02:00 PM
G_T
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Joined Apr 2009
5,769 Posts
Launching puts the plane at risk. It is a matter of degree of course.

If one is in conditions such as what occurred numerous times during the Wilson contest, being downwind puts the plane at risk. You either go where the lift is, or you don't! Pilot's choice, of course. There were many land outs, by everyone. Speaking for myself, I'm going downwind - or wherever the lift is (or at least attempting to ).

Of course, hanging out over the field does tend to increase the risk of getting SAM'd!

Most contests do not present the conditions like what was present at Wilson this year. Sometimes you had to take the gamble or be doomed. Even if you took the gamble, you may still be doomed. Sometimes a two minute flight was a very good flight.

Gerald

PS - Tom can tell you I range tested his Fr3aK one round! I took it a bit farther away than prudent before starting back. You know, one of those things where you get decently high on a long flight, go farther downwind and keep climbing, so I left it in float heading downwind, up all the way. When I started to lose sight of the wing... I'm not sure Tom thought he'd get his plane back!
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 03:35 PM
But I am learning
I_Can't_Fly's Avatar
USA, MD, Cumberland
Joined Apr 2008
1,047 Posts
I got some stick time on the plane Friday. However it was the light layup and I was unable to launch it (Tom wanted to make sure he had a plane left for the contest). I didn't get enough time to learn the radio, but it did fly like what I expected. It was a cleaner version of the bagged V2 I have flown all season. It penetrated fine. It covered ground better. I don't recall any lift to be signaled, but it was late Friday, and before Tom moved the CG. I will have to wait until I get my own to give a better write up.

Brian P.

PS the craftsmanship is top notch!!
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 03:48 PM
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United States, NC, Raleigh
Joined Sep 2010
764 Posts
Jim showed me the wing he was taking home...WOW, ditto what Brian said!

That's craftsmanship... I started to drool on it, Jim quickly put it back in the bags...

Eric
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 04:02 PM
G_T
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Joined Apr 2009
5,769 Posts
As probably most US DLG pilots know I am not a fan of rudderless. However Tom's plane behaved rather well for not having a rudder. I didn't feel much need for one during thermal turns for instance, and landing approaches were fine. I would still rather have had a rudder, but this is the first plane I've had my hands on that didn't have a rudder that I felt somewhat ok with.

Gerald
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 04:23 PM
But I am learning
I_Can't_Fly's Avatar
USA, MD, Cumberland
Joined Apr 2008
1,047 Posts
So much for #2 being anonymous

Brian P.
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 05:28 PM
Aurora Builder
United States, MD, Lusby
Joined Nov 2003
3,453 Posts
Haha, that's why I didn't bother hiding myself from the list, I knew we'd all end up sharing build pictures at some point (well, some of us anyway).

Eric, you can drool over mine when it gets here.
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 08:57 PM
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United States, NC, Raleigh
Joined Sep 2010
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Can I lick it too?... it looked sweet.
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 11:03 PM
Jim C
ShadowFalken's Avatar
Joined Sep 2009
1,473 Posts
I did not specify anonymity, it just happened! I am very eager to get this wing flying. I am sad to be in Illinois while my wing waits for my return.

Tom, thank you again! I was watching your plane all weekend and it read like an open book for me. I cannot wait to get on the sticks of my own.
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Old Oct 11, 2011, 08:00 AM
Aurora Builder
United States, MD, Lusby
Joined Nov 2003
3,453 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom43004 View Post
Hey guys. I can comment briefly on this... I do add a bit more structure in the LE than most, but only a bit. I put an additive in the LE material that makes it more resistant to fracturing, which helps to spread out the impact forces when they unfortunately happen. I've twice midaired my moldies now, once on a glass wing at the Bruce which involved only a bit of CA for a pretty good knock. The wing Sam flew was treed in a large pine tree before he flew it. The tree was about 80 meters downwind and it hit so hard you could easily hear it from the flying field. It had fairly substantial cosmetic damage to the LE of both wings. Honestly I was amazed it wasn't totalled. I injected CA inside the wing to shore up the inner skin and rohacell and flew it all day Sunday without issue. Even though I had a spare wing there, I wanted to see how this would hold up with a field repair. I'll make a more proper repair in the next few days.

As far as the tips are concerned... thin tips are going to improve performance in almost every aspect of flight. They can be made solid, but they don't ever feel like a thick (bagged) tip. More doubling in the tip doesn't help what you're feeling there, which is softness in bending. All thin airplanes have this to a certain extent. I have never failed a tip in any of my wings, probably because I externally patch when I put the blade in. I feel it's necessary so I add it. Many do not and pull their thin tips off. It's really dealers choice... if you throw hard, reinforce the tip a bit. If not, don't.

On that note...

My airplane is hollow molded. You can argue the merits of solid core all day long but at the end of the day it nearly doubles my cost of producing a wing. There are a couple of solid core molded options on the market if you're convinced that it's the way to go. Even with a CNC available, the repairability difference just doesn't justify the additional cost for production to me. Most people who argue that solid core is easier to repair haven't repaired many hollow molded wings. I am generalizing here. I know some of you have repaired moldies and don't like it. Personally I'd rather repair hollow stuff. You can use many of the same methods and end up with similar results.

As for the weekend, I had two Fr3aK Zones at the Wilson contest. My primary had me in second place through round four. Since I'd flown head up against Oleg two of those rounds I was feeling pretty much invinceable at the transmitter. Soon though, some reality set in. In AULD, I out floated a few others to put myself in a good position after the first throw, losing only to GMo and only by a couple of seconds. I treed my primary model high in a downwind pine tree on the second when the wind violently shifted, obviously garnering a zero for that flight. I grabbed the glass disser backup for the last throw and had a mediocre flight for a 600ish round. That hurt quite a bit. In the next round after that (last flight five min max IIRC) I blew up the boom on my backup on an adrenaline infused relight with the primary still hanging in the tree. This was the last of the light layup fuses I was flying from a while back and it had been repaired a couple of times after midairs at Chicago and the Bruce. It let go about 3" aft of the TE and fractured laterally. With a pull / spring, the geometry of the break caused a pull to down elevator and the airframe hit hard about 30 feet in front of me, basically totalling the fuse. Gerald loaned my his Taboo to at least post a score and we recovered my primary from the tree after the contest. I made quick field repairs to the primary and flew it all day Sunday. The glass wing survived the impact without notable damage.

The airplane was passed around to half a dozen people at the contest, and the consensus was that the CG was a bit aft, so we moved it forward more to around 74-75mm. After that it was much more reliable in signalling and if anything it needed a bit of ballast. There was a variety of air conditions at this contest, and this airplane at it's empty weight excelled at launching and working lift from super light to strong. In one poker round I called 1:30, 2:00, and went all in on the last 6:15 and easily made it. Several others called big in that round but couldn't hang with me in the gentle lift during the middle third of the window.

I'm really pleased with how this is coming along, and I'm starting to get some of these in other people's hands to get their good and bad feelings about the airframe. I'm back in the shop to get another batch of fuselages cooked up since USPS seems to be at war with me lately.
Given the amount of abuse your plane withstood at the contest, I'm comfortable with the hollow molded construction method! Milling a core would be a lot of extra time, money and effort for not much gain.
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Old Oct 11, 2011, 09:05 AM
Father of Fr3aK, DLG Pilot
tom43004's Avatar
USA, OH, Worthington
Joined May 2002
6,733 Posts
Sam, thank you. I actually explored doing this last year and spent about a week on the tooling to try to do it. You have to mill a vacuum hold down for the wing blanks (one per side) plus a vacuum hold down for the square blanks. It really takes alot of time to make that core. I'm not sure how much time the Swedes have in theirs, but my machine time was about 2 hours... or about a 30-40% increase.

I took a 24 hour break from building after the Wilson contest, and tonight I make my return to the shop... to make disser cloth and cut parts for three wings that I want to produce by November 1.

For a few of you who have asked about shipping these internationally, please be patient. I will be getting set up with packaging and shipping in a couple of weeks and I should be able to much better estimate shipping costs and times then.
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Old Oct 11, 2011, 11:09 AM
Just fly it!
wyowindworks's Avatar
Cody, WY
Joined Nov 2007
6,915 Posts
Tom, those wings are looking absolutely awesome. Very nice work!
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 02:30 PM
Father of Fr3aK, DLG Pilot
tom43004's Avatar
USA, OH, Worthington
Joined May 2002
6,733 Posts
Thanks Adam.

List updated today... I'll post some pictures of the updated (stronger) fuselage layup this weekend.

#1 - Garth K - WI - September 2011 (Delivered)
#2 - Anonymous - MD - Wing Only October 2011 (Delivered)
#3 - Anonymous - IL -October 2011 (Completed, ship date 10/17)
#4 - Matt N - CA - November 2011 (In progress)
#5 - Matthew W - OH - November 2011
#6 - Gary G - AZ - November 2011
#7 - Lex M - CA - December 2011
#8 - Anonymous - IL - December 2011
#9 - Rick W - MI - December 2011
#10 - Ben R - IL - Wing Only January 2012
#11 - Ben R - IL - Wing Only January 2012
#12 - Brian P - WV - Wing Only January 2012
#13- Anonymous - CA - Wing Only January 2011
#14 - Sam C - MD - February 2012
#15 - Sam C - MD - February 2012
#16 - James A - UT - February 2012
#17 - Chris C - MI - March 2012
#18 - Dave J - CO - March 2012
#19 - Russ M - NC - March 2012
#20 - Hayatarosan - JPN - 3 airframes - April 2012
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 05:30 PM
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Storm51's Avatar
Joined Jun 2009
874 Posts
Tom,

I see in the Blue skies thread you are heading to our part of the country for a contest. I have been following this thread for quite a while and it will be good to see one up close. The MObros say they look nice. Safe travels. i'll introduce myself when you get here.

Norm Carlson
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