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Old Jul 13, 2012, 11:17 AM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
3,093 Posts
I have been flying my Cumulus for two weeks now and think I finally have a pretty decent set up on it. However, this did not come easily and I will tell any potential buyers why.

The kit is very nice. No complaints there. But from the very beginning I noticed a problem with the boom. It flexes very badly, up/down or side to side. I did nothing unusual in my build and set it up pretty much as instructed. What I noticed was at the top of the launch when I tipped it over to fly level it became very pitch sensitive and would dip then lurch back up then pitch down horribly and so on until I finally got it flying smoothing. This same thing happened if I was flying moderately fast in cruise mode. The pitchyness made it almost unflyable. And the reason came down to one thing. The boom was way too soft. Each flex exaggerated the control surface movement and thus there was an incredible amount of over control. I ended up stiffening the boom and this took care of the problem. Now the plane flies quite well. But my issue with Reichard (the mfgr.) is how did you let this problem go by in your testing phases? How could you, in good conscience, put this plane on the market like this? To say I am disappointed is an understatement. Why in the world should I have to fix a serious problem like this when Reichard should have made the boom correctly right from the beginning. This is not a warp in the trailing edge or a wrinkle in the covering, this is a major design and manufacturing flaw that should have been fixed before the first kit was sent out.

So any of you out there considering this plane be sure you look into this issue before you plunk down your hard earned money.

I hope they fix this problem.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 12:33 PM
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Highfly!'s Avatar
United States, CA, Cameron Park
Joined May 2007
1,259 Posts
Thanks for your update. I have one still sitting in the box and was planning to get to it later this month. I am surprised with your experience as I have been reading bits and pieces about this plane both here and German reviews and none of the issues you had were mentioned.

How did you reinforce the boom and how much weight did it add? Also how well does it fly now that you feel that it is tuned to your liking?

Thanks,
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 12:43 PM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
3,093 Posts
The only issue I had was with the boom. I noticed it during the construction, right after putting on the elevator and rudder. A slight wagging of the boom will show you how bad things are at that point. But I thought, well, these guys must know what they are doing and went ahead and finished it. Everyone I fly with on a regular basis saw this before I ever flew it (2 LSF4 and 1 LSF 3 pilots) and thought it was very strange.

Of course, as you know, the boom is very very small (diameter) toward the rear, so getting inside to fix was not really practical, nor did I entertain the idea of shortening the boom (from the rear). I ended up with an ugly, but effective fix that only added about 7 grams to the rear (the exact amount of lead I had used before to get my cg). So the lead came off and I had to add 7 grams to the nose. It now flies well, will show lift and thermals. This is what I expected when I bought it and not that I would have to Mickey Mouse it to have it fly right. The boom needs to be much stiffer right out of the box. Period. Please let us know if you experience a similar problem. And good luck with your build.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 05:33 PM
Arjan
PH_AJH's Avatar
Deventer, the Netherlands
Joined Mar 2007
120 Posts
Not at all and I have flown mine a lot. In high winds, with high speeds, in competitions....never ever had any problem with the boom.
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Old Jul 13, 2012, 06:35 PM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
3,093 Posts
Perhaps they changed manufacturing techniques after you got yours.
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Old Jul 14, 2012, 01:48 AM
Arjan
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Deventer, the Netherlands
Joined Mar 2007
120 Posts
Is your plane the only one that has this problem? I can not find any other mention of it,
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Old Jul 14, 2012, 07:30 AM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
3,093 Posts
To begin with I don't think there are too many of them flying (in the U.S. anyway). Regardless, I doubt that mine is the only one with the problem. It's kind of interesting that no one from the company has seen fit to respond or any of their reps, unless you are one. When the JR 378 digital servos first came out I bought some. They buzzed like crazy. I mentioned this on RC groups and some of the sponsored pilots came on and said theirs did not, but that I could send them back and get others. After a dozen buzzing servos (and seeing them buzz in others planes - even to this day) I realized that JR would do nothing about their "servo of the future". LOL I don't buy them anymore and have since gone to Airtronics. To my knowledge JR has never even admitted that this is a problem. Regarding the Cumulus I can only say "Caveat Emptor" (buyer beware) until Reichard addresses this problem. :
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Old Jul 14, 2012, 09:04 AM
Gasbags & Gussets
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Riverside, Ca
Joined Feb 2009
1,193 Posts
What was done to address this ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaizon View Post
I ended up with an ugly, but effective fix that only added about 7 grams to the rear (the exact amount of lead I had used before to get my cg). So the lead came off and I had to add 7 grams to the nose. It now flies well.....
What did you do to fix it ?
If you knew this issue could come up again what would you do in hindsight (sending it back doesn't count )?

js
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Old Jul 14, 2012, 10:20 AM
Arjan
PH_AJH's Avatar
Deventer, the Netherlands
Joined Mar 2007
120 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaizon View Post
It's kind of interesting that no one from the company has seen fit to respond or any of their reps, unless you are one.
No, I'm not. I fly a Cumulus in competition - and there is a lot of them over here in Holland. It just strikes me that you are so wound up, shouting in big red letters.....
All I did was ask if you have come across others with the same problem, as I have not.

That's all I have to say really, I'm out of this thread.
Cheers
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Old Jul 14, 2012, 08:13 PM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
3,093 Posts
JS, I added a stiffener to the back of the fuse (a small carbon tube). This did the trick.

If the problem is not addressed by the manufacturer I would definitely NOT buy this plane again. In essence it is not flyable (comptetively) without fixing the boom, but it should never be sold unless the manufacturer fixes this problem.

PH, I was not "shouting". I made it big and red so my message could not be missed. Am I wound up? Well, I'm not happy. And hopefully I can help prevent some unsuspecting buyer from having the same experience. And when I get a good product (like an Xplorer) I let people know it is good. And the thought did occur to me that you may not even realize you have this problem.
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 01:41 AM
Registered User
San Bruno CA (near San Francisco)
Joined May 2007
192 Posts
I also felt that the boom was too soft and so I stiffened it with 4 lengths of carbon tow and CA (top, bottom, left and right) about 3/4 the length of the boom, starting at the tail. I was more worried about surviving a hard landing than in-flight problems. It sounds like the boom you received was unusually soft.

Did your kit include pushrods? Mine came from a batch that Espritmodel received which lacked pushrods. Also, one person reported getting a bad wing (wrong polyhedral). So I guess there is room for improvement in the quality control at Reichard. Still, the Cumulus flies great! It's a much better glider than I am a pilot.

Mitch
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Old Jul 17, 2012, 09:03 AM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
3,093 Posts
Mitch,

Mine did come with pushrods.

Yes, there are some quality control issues with Reichard's Cumulus. Missing pushrods is annoying. A soft boom is unacceptable. And still, Reichard has had no response to any of this. That is very telling.

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Old Jul 28, 2012, 08:48 PM
Registered User
San Bruno CA (near San Francisco)
Joined May 2007
192 Posts
Here are some good videos of the Cumulus 2.5e in flight. No sign of the boom flex being a problem here.

http://ysfc.weblogs.jp/sado_sfc/2012...s-f5j-25e.html

Mitch
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 05:07 PM
United States, CA, Orange County
Joined Feb 2003
240 Posts
Reichard Cumulus 2.5m ALES, F5J, LMR

For your information, the Cumulus is reviewed at the August issue of Model Aviation Magazine on pages 59, 60, 61 & 62,

Alberto
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 06:57 PM
WINS - Winch In Nose Sailplane
jaizon's Avatar
USA, NH
Joined Mar 2008
3,093 Posts
Non responsive to the problem.
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