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Old Jun 20, 2004, 12:02 PM
Registered User
Houston, TX, USA
Joined May 2004
21 Posts
Help!
e-starter - wing snapped in flight!

Hey all,

Well, I have been flying my e-starter successfully for the past two months.
Just went to lipo/brushless yesterday. Have 3s 1100 ma pack (which I really bought for my corsair) and a 2s 2100 ma pack for the e-starter (leasure flying).
And a eflite park 400 brushless motor.

Anyway, I flew the estarter on the 2s pack for about 40 minutes yesterday morning at half throtle most of the way, making about 4 individual flights. All went great.

This morning, I took it out again. I was at about 400 feet, half throttle, and dove a bit to do a loop (have done it on stock with 700 ma NiMH batteries about 2 dozen times before. Anyway, as soon as I got just a little bit of speed, the whole wing snapped off and my estarter became a brick. Broke the fuse, horizontal stabilizer, engine mount. The wing snapped right around the plastic which you attach the bolt to the fuselage (the plastic and associated foam were still attached to the fuse.

So, I have learned two things:
1. While I did do loops, inverted, etc. with the estarter, you need to be rather carefull and probably reenforce the wing right over the fuselage.
2. I really should get a new slope glider estarter, since I think it is more glue/ca/epoxy now than foam
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Old Jun 20, 2004, 12:19 PM
Repair Specialist
Ken-Ohki's Avatar
Someplace in Maine
Joined Jan 2004
978 Posts
Im wondering if you had your wing struts on or not.

I am not using mine, However yesterday I swear I saw the wing flexing way more then I felt comfortable with. I am concidering putting them back or using some other meathod to reinforce from folding.

Ken-Ohki

"I make things do what I want them to, The hell with what they are designed to do."
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Old Jun 20, 2004, 04:14 PM
Registered User
Houston, TX, USA
Joined May 2004
21 Posts
Ken-Ohki,

Yes, I did have the struts on.
Upon further analysis, I have determined that the following happened:
The small plastic coupling that joins the leading edge of the wing to the fuselage apparently became weak. On starting to pull up for the loop, I believe that this part failed, causing the pressure to pry the wing off from the leading edge.

I have a checklist of parts/joints I always double check prior to take-off.
I have now added this part to the list!

On another note, I just successfully maidened my GWS Corsair! Kinda takes the sting out of the broken e-starter. But it will see better days - it is glued back together and drying for the night.
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Old Jun 20, 2004, 04:22 PM
LAN
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Sweden, Östergötland, Valdemarsvik
Joined Oct 2003
457 Posts
Really sorry about your crash, I know how it feels, having totally crashed my E-Starter on three occasions already. Just a thought, if you would have used rubber bands instead of the screw to attach the wing, this would probably not have happened? I switched to rubber bands after my first crash, as I realised that the firm screw attachement caused damage to the fuselage when the wing hit the ground in a bad landing. If you are right in your assumption on what part that caused the crash, I would highly recommend all E-Starter pilots to switch to rubber bands (although I know it doesn't look so nice...)
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Old Jun 20, 2004, 07:01 PM
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Syracuse Hancock, New York, United States
Joined Mar 2004
639 Posts
sorry man same thing happened to me, just got done with building my replacement, a mountain models switchback sport! here is some pics
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Old Jun 20, 2004, 08:50 PM
Registered User
Houston, TX, USA
Joined May 2004
21 Posts
Thanks for the sympathy guys.
LAN, your right on this one. I just finished reenforcing the wing area above the fuselage and have put two wooden dowels (one leading edge, one trailing) through the fuselage for the rubber bands. I actually had to do the same thing to the bottom section of the fuselage for the battery bay (lost my battery one time doing a loop - darn thing shot right out of the compartment like a champane cork).
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Old Jun 20, 2004, 10:30 PM
Flyin' Ryan
USA, MO, Lee's Summit
Joined Sep 2001
980 Posts
I have flown my estarter pretty hard with Himaxx brushless and 8 cell nicds,and have never had a problem. I do not use the struts. I use the dowels and rubberbands. During constuction I used light fiberglass all around the cabin, just to make sure the dowels wouldn't rip out of the foam in sudden manuevers. This plane has held up very well with the hard flying I have been able to subject it to. I was flying inverted about 20' up, and looked away for a split second and it went in. The plane was fine, but I did manage to loosen the motor stick from the foam. Some epoxy, and it will be ready for flight.

I hope this helps, your plane will be in the air soon,
Ryan
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Old Jun 20, 2004, 11:20 PM
Ranfred Radius's Avatar
Central Point, OR.
Joined May 2002
2,922 Posts
That little black fitting on the L.E. of the center section IS prone to fatigue. Those of you who are flying without the struts(as I do) need to realize that this piece is basically the only thing that prevents us from shedding a wing in flight! In addition to using generous ammount of epoxy on and around this fitting, I also put a piece of packing tape over the top of the wing and down across the windshield as added protection against sudden "departure from controlled flight"!

Randy
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Old Jun 20, 2004, 11:34 PM
Nimble with Gimbals
San Diego, CA
Joined Apr 2003
2,365 Posts
Does anyone else find it ironic that the tail isn't snapped in that picture?
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Old Jun 21, 2004, 12:11 AM
Registered User
Nevada City, California, United States
Joined May 2004
448 Posts
must have reinforced it after a earlier crash, because anyone thats owned one knows the tail comes off like a lizard.
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Old Jun 21, 2004, 02:20 AM
LAN
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Sweden, Östergötland, Valdemarsvik
Joined Oct 2003
457 Posts
I also use rubber bands on the battery door, and also did my own door of some scrap balsa, as the standard door is just crap. It would actually be fun to build a new E-Starter, and do all the mods from start (the one I have looks really "ragged" after all repairs), but I maidened my new SmoothE yesterday and that will be my primary plane for a while now...
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Old Jun 21, 2004, 06:19 AM
Go FASST or go home...
Ben_E's Avatar
Bergen, Norway
Joined Nov 2002
3,130 Posts
I fly my E-starter without the struts, but my setup is 350...

Last week I had the chance to see how strong the wing actually is. Due to the fact that a car ran over my wing (don't even ask how it happened.... ) I had to replace it.

Since the strength of this wing has been an issue, I had mine reinforced with a carbon rod instead of the bamboo, and 2 lengths of wide packing tape on the underside of the wing. Then I tried to break the remains (3/4) of the destroied wing, and really had problems breaking it. It is very strong and the tape really ads a lot of strength. So the struts are still in my workshop - no need for them!!

My replacement wing is back on and I'm in the air again - far away from cars out of controle!!
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Old Jun 21, 2004, 10:39 AM
Neophyte hacker
portablevcb's Avatar
Albuquerque, NM USA
Joined Sep 2003
15,630 Posts
Wing broken? How many times? See pic Yes most of those were clean breaks

Sorry about your crash. I used rubber bands on mine after the second or thrid crash made the front mount point 'mushy'. I also lost the struts after the thrid crash. I did 'listen' to the plane after that to make sure I didn't fold it in loop or pullout.

Furnaceman has the right idea (and the direction I took). Build a Mountain Models kit. Put your motor in it and have a ball!

charlie
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