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Old Oct 09, 2011, 10:00 PM
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Monterey10's Avatar
USA, CA, Watsonville
Joined Oct 2010
65 Posts
Help!
Tricycle landing gear Q

I scrounged up a used Alpha 450. On my 4th landing, the plywood block that holds the rear tricycle landing gear fell out. (on a fairly smooth landing I might say) Looking at it, it appears that there was just a tiny amount of CA (?) holding the balsa block into the airframe. Because of this, there was no damage to the block or airframe.

I am inclined to use epoxy on the block back to attach it to the air frame. This would give it more strength. Is this the correct idea, or, shall I use a minimal amount of CA, to allow the landing gear to break away again ?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 05:12 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
South Wales U.K.
Joined Mar 2003
13,045 Posts
Personally I would glue it back in with some additional support, glued to the fuz sides to spread the load.

Just looked at the review of that model to get some idea of what it looks like - E-flite Alpha 450 Sport ARF Review - it looks a little tight in there, but if you can get some hard 1/4" square balsa, (or hard wood, even doweling), say about 3" long either side it should help, even epoxy and some bandage strips just to spread the load.

Then land as light as a feather drifting down on a summer evening light breeze, not like a hill-billy throwing his boot at a rat cross the kitchen floor.

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Old Oct 10, 2011, 05:49 AM
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I would use Epoxy.
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 08:42 AM
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Monterey10's Avatar
USA, CA, Watsonville
Joined Oct 2010
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Plastic screws

If I epoxy the wood block into the fuse tight, should I replace the two metal screws the hold the tricycle gear, with plastic ones?. I think they're 4 mm hex screws. Plastic might give way before the wood block tears out of the fuse.

The plane floats in for landings very nicely. So, the plane needs to be protected from the guy behind the stick.
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 09:03 AM
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rcav8r2's Avatar
United States, PA, Beaver
Joined Sep 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monterey10 View Post
If I epoxy the wood block into the fuse tight, should I replace the two metal screws the hold the tricycle gear, with plastic ones?. I think they're 4 mm hex screws. Plastic might give way before the wood block tears out of the fuse.
.
Yes. I've been doing this for YEARS. Haven't needed it too often, but it sure was nice to just remove the broken off bolt, and re-attach as opposed to gluing a fuselage back together.... Somethings gotta give. Might as well be a cheap easy to replace nylon bolt.

If the bolt breaks flush with the fuse, heat the tip of a cheap screw driver with a micro torch it jam it into the broken off nylon bolt while still hot. The broken off bolt will then back out very easy. A Bic lighter will do if you don't have one of those micro touches handy, but it may require a few tries to get the screw driver to get enough bite to back out the bolt.
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Old Oct 11, 2011, 12:14 AM
It must have a machinegun
Scaledown's Avatar
Perth, Western Australia
Joined Sep 2004
1,271 Posts
Nylon bolts are stronger than you think. I've crashed planes and the only thing not busted in the wreckage was the nylon wing bolt!

Ideally the landing gear legs should be flexible enough to absorb a fair bit of shock without needing to knock off. Any arrival that lands on the main gear is not a real bad arrival. Its the nose first or wingtip first crashes that do the most damage and the landing gear attachment won't matter.
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Old Oct 11, 2011, 01:54 AM
KE your cub.
Curare's Avatar
in the gutter, again....
Joined Jun 2005
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I've done that on my 2M cap 10, and 4 screws hold each leg on ( they're wing mounted legs) and the aircraft weighs 6kg. I only bust the bolts if I I try and land 5 feet up.

I'd say 2x M4 nylon bolts would be plenty strong enough. Use some epoxy for the mount, and land a little softer next time!
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