LightSpeed I repair - RC Groups
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Nov 09, 2012, 11:41 PM
Rick Roberts
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Build Log

LightSpeed I repair

Hi all.

I picked up a used LightSpeed version I a little over a month ago as my first DLG. I got in enough flights to get hooked before nosing it in pretty hard late one evening and I'm in the process of repairing the damage. It's a learning experience to be sure! Some of the repairs are going well and some not so well, and some I haven't started yet. I wanted to start this thread to get help from the more experienced and to offer discussion for other beginners (like myself) who may want to get into this aspect of RC flying.

I'll post some images of the damage and report on the repairs I've made so far.

I want to acknowledge in advance Aradhana (RC Builders) who has given me a few hours of detailed instruction over the phone after viewing images of the damage, and to Kenny Sharp who loaned me a box of material (kevlar, carbon, fumed silica) to help with the repairs.

I hope this can be a learning experience for others too.

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Nov 10, 2012, 12:16 AM
Rick Roberts
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Rudder and Elevator

The rudder and elevator suffered only slight delamination, but I also fixed a worn alignment hole on the elevator.

In the image, I'm bending the elevator slightly to show the delimitation. The repair was pretty easy. I used West 105 laminating epoxy with 206 hardener and completely soaked the area, then wiped off all excess before applying weight for 17hrs while the epoxy cured. Aradhana gave me detailed instructions for making this kind of repair which after you've done it once seems obvious and intuitive, but I would have never figured this out by myself. In his words:

"I lay the wing on a table, one side at a time, with the side not being bonded hanging out into the air. I use waxed .014 electrical mylar or thin floppy cutting board as a flat, conformable surface. That goes over the repair. On top of that goes a small sandbag (zip lock bags, taped closed work fine) or a shot bag (steel or lead shot, tiny pellets). This spreads out the weight and helps prevent dents. On top of that goes 3-5lbs of weight per square inch of weighted area. Lifting weights, steel bars, jugs of water, what have you.

You wet out the area in laminating epoxy, and then you gently wipe off the excess, all that you get without pressing hard. Don't dent the foam. Then assemble "the sandwich" on top of the repair area."

The elevator attaches to the fuselage with one mounting screw. The second hole in the elevator is for the alignment pin and it became worn and enlarged such that the elevator wiggled slightly. I filled both holes with epoxy and will re-drill them when I'm finished with the repair

For the rudder, the repair was done at the same time and in the same manner as the elevator described above.

LESSON: I completely soaked the hinge side of the elevator and rudder with epoxy, and wiped off all excess epoxy before applying weight and allowing to cure. This worked really well to fix the delamination (I was amazed at how nicely this worked!) but the hinge line also got soaked and when it dried the hinge was stiff. This happened on the aileron too. I tried scraping, filing and sanding along the hinge line to loosen it up, but it's still stiff.

On the second aileron I want to try something different. I will cut a narrow (1/8") piece of blue masking tape and tape the hinge line before applying the epoxy. I'll let you know how that works later...
Nov 10, 2012, 01:43 AM
Jens Hoffmann
jensdk's Avatar
New repairthread ???
Sorry, about the landings.
I'm sure if you look over this forum, you'll find help in all your issues. use the search button and read. It might not be for the specific area of the plane but, planes are almost build the same way, so no big issue. Things have been discussed for more than 5 years now, so not any great news actually.
Nov 10, 2012, 09:37 AM
Rick Roberts
fwroberts's Avatar
Hi Jens. Yes, I've found lots of information on this forum about repairs, and have received help from a local pilot and from the manufacturer of this glider. I first flew a DLG only a month ago, so this is all new to me, but starting with a foam core wing makes the repairs easier.

Nov 10, 2012, 09:59 AM
Rick Roberts
fwroberts's Avatar

Nose damage

I probably should have started with these images. This is what the nose looked like after impact at about a 45 degree angle with a paved roadway.

The nose cone dents were easily fixed by dipping into boiling water then working from the inside with a chop stick to push all the dents out. Now it's smooth, just a little dirty.

The pod itself also cracked a little. I'll work from the inside to epoxy in a patch of .75 oz glass cloth.
Nov 10, 2012, 05:16 PM
turn, turn, turn.
Looking good Rick, keep up the good work.
Nov 10, 2012, 09:45 PM
Rick Roberts
fwroberts's Avatar
Thanks for the encouragement Kenny.

Taping the aileron hinge last night before repairing the second half of the wing worked! No epoxy got onto the hinge line and this morning when I removed the weights the hinge was free and clear. I wish I would have done that on the first half of the wing. The thin blue line in the image is the blue painters tape I put along the hinge line.

This afternoon I started the repair on the rear pylon, the pod and the nose cone.

I mixed a small amount of the fumed silica into the epoxy and worked it into the bottom pylon hole in the fuselage and fixed the wing in place to maintain the alignment while the epoxy is curing. Tomorrow I'll take the wing off and work on the top pylon hole and use the unicarbon to repair the top of the fuselage.

For the pod I used a small piece of carbon for the inside of the pod, and a small piece of .75 oz glass cloth on the outside of the nose cone.

If I don't go flying tomorrow (which is doubtful) I could finish, but it will probably be next week before the repairs are done.

Nov 15, 2012, 09:28 PM
Rick Roberts
fwroberts's Avatar

Repair finished

I finished the repairs and am including a few more images. The delamination at the wing root was repaired by squirting some epoxy under the skin with a syringe and 18G needle. The hole you see in the foam is where the RDS control rod exits the wing to move the aileron. I had to be careful not to get epoxy near this control rod or else it would mean a much bigger repair and replacement of the RDS system. I was worried a bit working so close with epoxy when I saw the wet area spreading towards the RDS, but I got lucky and didn't freeze up the control rod.

While repairing the first wing I went overboard with epoxy and smeared it all over the entire lower wing surface, including the aileron hinge. After the epoxy cured the hinge was pretty stiff. I tried to loosen it up, and ended up tearing a bit of the hinge but nothing I can't live with. Lesson learned. On the second wing I taped the hinge line first and it worked smoothly.

Finally, I reassembled the glider, attached the battery and tested all the servos. All surfaces are moving smoothly and the glider is whole again!

One small problem though. Before the repair it took only 2 grams in the nose to balance the glider. After the repair it takes 10 grams in the nose to balance. The lesson here is to use minimal epoxy on the tail section to keep the weight down.

But even with the added weight, it seems to fly great and I'm happy to be flying again.

I bought this glider used so I could learn to fly and repair before stepping up to a new glider...and to see if I even liked flying DLGs. So far it's been an amazing experience, and as it turns out I love flying DLGs!

Hope to meet some of you next Spring at some of the ESL events.

Nov 16, 2012, 12:55 PM
Sure it'll work
Flyextreme's Avatar
Nice plane stand. Looks just like a tree

Nov 16, 2012, 03:52 PM
Chuck 'Em and Chase 'Em
Fly2High's Avatar
You'ld better stop putting it in a tree, it might like to perch there more often!!
Nov 16, 2012, 07:36 PM
turn, turn, turn.
Nice job Rick, can't wait to see it fly again.
Nov 17, 2012, 08:56 AM
Rick Roberts
fwroberts's Avatar
The tree...just trying to train the glider what NOT to do. I place it in the tree, stand back and shout NO, NO, NO!

Very effective. ;-)

Kenny - I'll be flying today then I'm off to Arizona until next Saturday. On Monday I'm meeting John (who sold me this LightSpeed I) for a morning of desert flying. I'll just be observing (can't bring the DLG with me - but should be fun.

Nov 18, 2012, 09:00 AM
Father of Fr3aK, DLG Pilot
tom43004's Avatar
The glider knows how to avoid trees. It's the pilot you have to look out for. Gliders are very obedient and will do exactly what you tell them to do, even if it risks their existence.

Good work on the repairs. ASK makes some nice repairable stuff.
Nov 18, 2012, 10:41 AM
Afflicted with DDD
Soarhead00's Avatar
Originally Posted by fwroberts
The tree...just trying to train the glider what NOT to do. I place it in the tree, stand back and shout NO, NO, NO!.......
LMAO! I'm going to have to try that

Nov 25, 2012, 09:04 PM
Rick Roberts
fwroberts's Avatar
Good work on the repairs. ASK makes some nice repairable stuff.
Thanks Tom, and yes the LightSpeed I that I have is very repairable.

It was a perfect "first" DLG for me to learn with.


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