Maiden Report.....Not Quite
Well I finished buttoning up the F-5N after work this afternoon and went out to the field - it was gray out and slightly dark but almost no wind, which would have made for great maiden conditions.
AUW with 4S 35C 2200 mAh installed is 41 oz, 9 oz over the claimed stock weight (which seems light to me - not sure where I added 9 oz, I can only account for 2.5 oz before battery), cg is between 700 and 720mm, call it 710 with the gear retracted. Unless I find something nasty on first flight I will be flying with no ballast.
I put a battery through the PZ Extra to warm up, then put a 3S in the F-5N to get some taxi practice and verify the gear were in good shape while the 4S finished charging. It is a good thing I did. Made minor adjustment to the down and locked position, then taxied my little heart out. That is until the set screw on the shock strut let go and the left main gear wheel turned 90 to the direction of travel.
Some CA acting as Loctite and back on the gear again 5 minutes later, still with the 3S. Did a couple high speed taxi runs and a range check, then on the way back to the pit to change in the fresh 4S battery and fly the maiden and the left main collapses when I hit some very loose dirt. I walk out, and check the plane, minor scrapes no damage, except the plunger on the gear which had snapped.
So, GP .10 mains are going in tomorrow - I was willing to give the stock gear a shot and the right main has been solid as a rock, but the left has been requiring attention since day one. Lesson learned.
I have handled the GP .10 retracts before, they are way stronger than the stock mechanism and come with a loop on the strut - I will try and figure out how to re-use the shock struts if I can without too much work. I am regretting the decision to CA the gear mounts in place now though - will be a bit tough to get them out without some scars.
Even on the 3S I have to say that power and acceleration were scary impressive - I cannot wait to fly it now. Maiden as early as Wednesday weather permitting.
John, I know how ya feel. I have had my 70MM F86 for 2 months. I have ONE flight. Severely out of balance fan and motor (replaced with RC Lander motor and fan), leaking air lines (replaced with Robart lines) , leaking air valve (replaced with Robart valve) and those super soft strut wires on the landing gear. Just taxiing in front of my house bent all 3. I bought some 3mm hardened HPI shock shafts and made my own. Then the little screw that guides the suspension has so much play in it (causes toe out condition), I cant get it to taxi at take off speed without severely rocking side to side to the point where both wingtips are scraped up pretty bad. So I aborted last 2 take offs because of that. I finally put it up on the storage rack, and will work on it again once I am over my frustration.
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