Thread Tools
This thread is privately moderated by PittSpecial, who may elect to delete unwanted replies.
Jun 21, 2011, 02:10 AM
Right Rudder
PittSpecial's Avatar
Thread OP

Repairing MidWest Citabria a Glow-To-Electric Success Story

Hello good people!

Okay, I can not believe it has been since October 3rd, 2009 that I have not touched nor flown this wonderful Citabria lady! Time passes and you walk pass the model and I always say that I would get to her etc..etc.. and you know how Life gets in the way of our passion and joy.

Here is why she has been grounded.

You will see two pictures that David Hart (dwhart24) took on that wonderful morning at East Orlando RC Association (EORCA) back in October 3rd, 2009. I had no idea that smooth hard surface would make this large and docile Citabria into a wild horse on take-off and I mistakenly horsed her up before it's time and over corrected (more like I did not adjust expo) on those dang control and typical tip stall and BOOM!

Some closeup shots of what happened.

Here is my Midwest Cibrabria on the Runway at EORCA!

The Dreaded Tip Stall!

Okay, on June 17th and wee early morning hours of June 18th, 2011, I finally dedicated a few hours to this large Citabria and made a damage assessment review.

Looking back on that morning of October 3rd, 2009, I concluded that the Tail Wheel that came with this model (The previous owner and builder did not provide a large enough tail wheel size) and of course I take full responsibility over not having enough expo on controls. This tiny tail wheel more like for 25 size glow application did well on grass field but, not on smooth pavement as the tail boom weight deformed the tiny wheel into something like a skid and very little control was as a result.

Also, I am amazed how strong this model was built and the little damage it sustained considering the hard landing. Of course I was quick on the controls to allow for wing level landing and the wooden propeller took most of the hit and the upper FUSE (wing saddle formers) took most of the impact.

A few pictures!

I was amazed how well the Receiver Battery Pack (Sanyo 5-Cell, 2500mAH, Ni-MH) took a slow charge back up to full charge after almost 2 years!

Similarly, the on-board 3850mAH Li-POLY packs!

Every opportunity that I had when I visited the hobby store, I gathered a few parts that would be required as I always performed a mental note to myself over what items would be needed.

Picture showing new Tail Wheel assembly, Fiberglass cloth for Cowling Repairs and other supplies and parts:

Of course, I already had the glue for the job!

A few pictures showing the repairs.....

I was fortunate that no Motor damage nor firewall resulted!

Additional Pictures showing the tail wheel comparison and assembly of new tail wheel that would provide adequate control for this size and weight category of model.

Removing the small tail wheel assembly!

New Tail Wheel Assembly Installed!

More pics!

Rear deck plywood panel that sits at the top rear of FUSE area and behind Pilot figure:

Upper FUSE former structure being repaired.....

Well, I do not perform covering repairs everyday so, here is the best that I could! I think that I should have removed a little more of the existing covering in order to avoid those wrinkles on top but, I just did not feel comfortable in removing too much and wanted a strong top gathered by the Covering instead of looks.

Flight Summary:

I carefully checked and re-checked all systems before placing this large model on the field. I did pretty good considering I came during a FUN FLY / SWAP Meet with all kinds of people around and Bar-B-Q going and people coming up to me asking lots of questions.

I made sure that I started the motor on the ground by holding the horizontal stabilizer with my feet (just like the glow guys! ) and had a good run up of the power system without any issues.

Taxied the model in mid field and called my intention of taking off to those there at the pilots station (by this time I was the only one there!) and she felt rather heavy / under powered but, no enough to abort. I feel the Li-POLYs need to be refreshed or have them cycled a few more times.

Once in the air she was my good old Citabria with excellent flying characteristics and was able to command her to perform all kinds of flight moves including rolls, hammer heads, loops, inverted flight, etc...etc...

A few pictures Post Flight of my Citabria!

Here is a Wide Angle Pics showing the end of Fun Fly / Swap meet at my RC Club (Moon Port Modelers Club).

Transport Van!

Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Jun 21, 2011, 09:06 AM
Fly "" BIG ""
frankle951's Avatar
Super nice repair, people are starting to repair then replace model, Im starting to see less model in are crash can at my home air field !!!!!!
Jun 21, 2011, 05:28 PM
Right Rudder
PittSpecial's Avatar
Thread OP
Originally Posted by frankle951
Super nice repair, people are starting to repair then replace model, Im starting to see less model in are crash can at my home air field !!!!!!
Thank you!

I took me long enough to repair this wonder RC Scale Model!

I am glad this blog encourages more people to repair Balsa / Light Plywood models instead of throwing them away.

Glad you enjoyed my posts.

Aug 16, 2011, 09:44 AM
Right Rudder
PittSpecial's Avatar
Thread OP


Hi Guys!

The model exhibited a less than stellar Take-Off routine and found myself at Full Throttle. This meant that the Poly-Quest 3700mAH cells are tired and decided to purchase new cells and got two packs from Hobby-City and selected the Turnigy 5.0 AMP-HOUR, 25C discharge, Li-POLYs.

I have not had an opportunity to carve out any wood from the former right past the Firewall (or in other words, the first former as this is where the battery packs are located on my model).

Anyhow, I have performed a weigh-in session for both packs. The new Turnigy 5.0 AMP-HOUR and the old Polyquest 3700mAH cells.

My main goals is to try and develop a battery tray that is easy to slide out the new larger Turnigy 5.0 AMP-HOUR Li-POLYs so, I can charge em out of the model.

We shall see....

Quick Reply
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion MidWest Citabria going Electric! guapoman2000 Glow to Electric Conversions 878 Jul 04, 2016 06:21 PM
Build Log Bobcat-30 4ch trainer Rebuild and Glow-Electric Conversion project ulogix The Builders Workshop 11 Apr 12, 2011 07:20 AM
Discussion Midwest Citabria electric captinnitro Giant Electric Planes 19 Mar 22, 2007 12:21 PM