Glassed GWS Spit vs. Power Line - RC Groups
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May 17, 2004, 02:31 AM
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Glassed GWS Spit vs. Power Line

I glassed a GWS Spitfire and GWS 109 at the end of January. (First time glassing a plane)

Thread Here:

Razor2500 D-geared w/ Tanic 2200 3S and 9x9 APC

Yesterday I had what I would call my first significant accident with the Spitfire. Up until now it has proven exceptionally resiliant to hangar rash, handling damage and wear and tear from belly landing.

I was flying for my in-laws. I flew right into a power line at at high speed (45'ish MPH) catching the line right at the wingroot near the fuselage. (I was banked) The line was approximately 35 feet off the ground.

What a spectacular crash! The fuselage instantly seperated on impact right at the front of the cockpit. The Razor and Tanic pack remained in the nose and flew approximately 40 yards past the power line. The remainder of the fuselage landed about 10 feet past the powerline. The wing actually landed about 15 feet behind the point of impact. The speed control seperated and landed in a nearby ditch. The JR610 receiver also seperated from the plane and I was never able to find it in the grass.

The fiberglass cloth did it's job minimizing the damage. The plane was readily repairable and was ready to fly again with only about 15 minutes of work (mostly waiting for epoxy to dry). All discernable damage was done by the impact with the powerline and not from the parts falling to the ground afterwards. The fuselage break was clean and glued right back together.

Here are some pix:

Fuselage split at impact w/ wire

Impact point at root of wing

Impact point at root of wing and damage to plastic "chin" cover of the spit and exposed balancing clay.

The repaired plane

The actual damage was pretty minimal considering the speed at which the plane hit the wire. The fiberglass did it's job on the wing preventing it from breaking. It did not prevent the foam from crushing under the impact. You can see the wrinkled fiberglass cloth in the first picture.
Last edited by Fiasco; May 17, 2004 at 03:07 AM.
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May 17, 2004, 03:08 AM
GRAVITY... Just Say NO!
ArcherAce's Avatar
fix those pics! I gotta see this!
May 17, 2004, 03:13 AM
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Fiasco's Avatar
P.S. The black streaking on the radiator scoops on the bottom of the wing is because I sometimes belly land on asphalt.
May 17, 2004, 03:22 AM
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Looking at those pictures it's hard to believe that the impact was as violent as it was. The fiberglass really did the job protecting the plane.
May 17, 2004, 10:32 AM
Callsign: CornDog
HawkLover's Avatar
It's hard to beleive that plane broke into 3 pieces, fell from about 35 feet AFTER hitting a power line at ~45MPH and still looks as good as it does!! Gotta love what glassing does for you plain!

I had an incident yesterday with my glassed TM400 where the motor didn't turn on after a long glide and flew into a chain link fence. It only fell about 3 feet, but it fell tail first. The rudder ripped out cleanly at the hinges, the mounting plate area of the wing broke cleanly off, and there is a slight crack in the fuse. I had to search high and low on the wing before I finally discovered the impact marks!!! I'm so glad I glassed the plane!
May 17, 2004, 11:24 AM
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was that epoxy resin you used for fiberglassing or was it WPU?
May 17, 2004, 02:10 PM
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Water Based Polycrylic
May 17, 2004, 05:11 PM
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Turbo442's Avatar
Originally Posted by Fiasco
P.S. The black streaking on the radiator scoops on the bottom of the wing is because I sometimes belly land on asphalt.
Thanks for clearing that up! You know you are looking at a seroius overhaul when you have that much oil leaking out of your radiators! Then I came to my sences and realized you were running a EPS 300 gearbox and probably didnt even have the radiators installed...