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Old Jul 03, 2012, 12:18 PM
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motor12's Avatar
United States, TX, Austin
Joined Jan 2010
468 Posts
how do you protect the wings leading edge

On a sailplane that is constructed of balsa and covered with ultracote how or what do you use to protect the leading edge of the wing when landing in a grass field. I am now flying a RP and sometimes when landing i get bits of grass stuck in the foam wing.I would think if this were to happen to a ultracote wing it would a big problem. Thanks
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Old Jul 03, 2012, 02:57 PM
Andy W's Avatar
Marietta, GA
Joined Jun 1999
43,312 Posts
It's generally not a problem.

Anything you put on there is going to mess up the airfoil..
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Old Jul 03, 2012, 03:18 PM
AMA7224 LSF1832
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United States, DE, Millsboro
Joined Sep 2008
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Thousands of such landings on grass with little to no effect on leading edge. It's pretty much a no worries senario. Lamp posts,no parking signs, automobiles, trees,mailboxes,guy wires,buildings,idlely unaware standingby pilots and other aircraft do have an varying negative effect.
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Old Jul 03, 2012, 08:48 PM
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timography's Avatar
Australia, WA, Perth
Joined Feb 2012
365 Posts
agree with leadchucker on this one. you would have to be landing your RP (Radian Pro??) v.e.r.y. hard into grass for anything to start sticking into your wing LE. I have a Radian and 2x Radian Pro's and i've never had any problem with LE's getting damaged. If it continues to be a problem, perhaps you should be seeking somewhere different to fly that has a more suitable landing area (read: soft green grass - not a wheat field lol)
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Old Jul 03, 2012, 09:56 PM
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ozmo01's Avatar
USA, MO, Ozark
Joined Nov 2006
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LE Protection

The dry grass, weeds, stubble and brush are a bit harsh on LEs but usually grass slides off of the slick covered wings (monokote etc). Foam may tend to be cut a bit by sharp dry grasses. The Paul Naton soup up for Radians calls for taping the LE with THIN packing type tape ( thin cheap light stuff NOT Duck tape type ). This approach would help I think. Anything more would be dead weight and a PITA.
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Old Jul 05, 2012, 04:14 PM
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Hand catch.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 02:31 AM
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Kilsyth, Victoria, Australia
Joined Oct 2003
1,999 Posts
If it is a real concern to you an extra layer of film over the leading edge will help. I've flown both on soft grass and stubble without real problem but one or even two layers of film are unlikely to change the characteristics of the airfoil.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 12:20 PM
Suspended Account
Joined Feb 2007
9,742 Posts
Just my 2 cents

If you cover the wings with woven fabric and have threads lengthwise along the leading edge there is little chance that those threads will break under tension.

Fabric having tyically 80 threads per inch will have many threads along the curve of the leading edge.

Just find how much tension you need to break a single thread of 40 gauge.

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