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Old Mar 25, 2012, 03:41 PM
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Weekend flying, more damage taken

Last weekend I cracked Bixler's tail. So during week I glued the crack and applied hot water. There still remains some bend, but it's fairly minor I don't think it has any bearing on actual flight. Also, I glued 3 mm carbon rod into the groove in the bottom of the fuselage with epoxy resin. Never worked with epoxy before, but it seems to hold fine.

OK, repaired plane goes to the nearby slope on Saturday. There's quite fresh wind and I go on slope soaring for the next three hours. I mostly try to just soar, with only occasional bail-out with motor. I try to get the hang of slope soaring, I try quick turns along the slope edge (no, that doesn't seem to go very well with Bix, I don't seem to be able to do them fast enough and I lose lot of altitude, I try to do gentle circles (seems to limit altitude loss, but wind is often too turbulent and changable to do this well), I try to keep plane afloat at all cost, as if I don't have motor (which inevitably leads to crashes when I try to turns when too low or too late). At any rate it's fun and learning experience. I only use about 600 mAh of battery, I'd say about 80% of the flight time is completely unpowered. I probably could use little stronger wind with more intense lift. Bixler is no fast glider so you really cannot gain too much kinetic energy from the wind, which limits its slope abilities.


My girlfriend was kind enough to shoot some nice in-flight pictures. See more pictures in gallery.


When I was almost ready to pack, suddenly something whizzed above our heads. And behold! Someone is flying some kind of hotliner around us. We go uphill to find two guys flying a Ion 2 m hotliner. He says he's got 1 kW motor. No reason not to believe, it flies pretty sharp. I took some pictures of the plane.

Of course, when he's on the ground I want to show that I can fly too and throw my Bixler into the wind. After 10 seconds the plane cartwheels on the ground with broken wingtip and deformed front fuselage. How stupid can I get?


Doubly broken wing tip. Not much concern, two minute glue job.


This is more serious, the deformation is quite significant and the cockpit doesn't fit any more. I bathe the fuselage in boiling hot water and most of the deformation disappears, but the nose is still bit compressed, so the cabin still doesn't fit. But some cutting will resolve this problem and the plane looks almost like new.
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