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Apr 21, 2015, 11:28 AM
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Listening to the voices in your head.


Yup, one of those nagging little voices tried to tell me something important and I ignored it.

This past Sunday, I had the Thunder Tiger Bearcat with me along with some other models.

I never really trusted the bizarre factory aileron hinges which consisted of decidedly unsticky clear tape across the tops of the wing and ailerons.

Meh. Should be fine. Checked the controls, lined up for takeoff, gave it the gas...

WHAM.

It came around hard left and crashed into the flight line. Upon removal of the tape, it was barely sticky enough to lift the paint and yes, those horrible quality factory strips were all that were serving as hinges. The motor mount broke, the cowl was crushed, the propeller broken, there were surprisingly few and clean breaks in the fuselage with no crushing and the right horizontal stab was snapped off.

A quick assessment of the damage showed me that it was repairable, so out came the epoxy, CA and paint and an old metal pushrod cut into reinforcement spars when I got home. I was even able to pop the cowl back in place and tape it from inside. I'll replace it soon if Pegasus Hobbies has it in stock. For now, it's doable.

I picked up some E-flite park flyer CA hinges yesterday and I properly hinged the ailerons this morning. I also found that the thin plastic plates atop the ailerons which were supposed to hold the torque rods in place were held down by little more than some weird, brittle glue.

The Testors Insignia Blue Model Master acrylic paint I used is at least a close match to the factory finish, if slightly darker. The prop should arrive at the hobby shop later today. In the meantime, the end result is nicely repaired, cosmetically acceptable and perhaps most importantly, the ailerons are properly hinged with the torque rod plates epoxied in place.

If I'd listened to that nagging voice telling me to re-hinge the ailerons, I would have saved myself from a lot of work.

Now all that's left is to fly it. Properly.
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Apr 21, 2015, 04:28 PM
Waste Nothing
RickC_RCAV8R's Avatar
That is a dismaying observation that you make . I have learned that the first thing I do upon unpacking a NEW ARF , PNF etc. is to sit down and start doing the 'beef up mods' and rehinging as necessary . The time taken here saves a ton of grief at the field by premature failures of otherwise shoddy workmanship . I feel for Ya Bro' . The voices usually don't lie ! RickC
Apr 21, 2015, 05:26 PM
Pronoun trouble...
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Originally Posted by RickC_RCAV8R
That is a dismaying observation that you make . I have learned that the first thing I do upon unpacking a NEW ARF , PNF etc. is to sit down and start doing the 'beef up mods' and rehinging as necessary . The time taken here saves a ton of grief at the field by premature failures of otherwise shoddy workmanship . I feel for Ya Bro' . The voices usually don't lie ! RickC
Oh, and that voice was right! You're right as well.

I may have been laboring under the misconception that there was still some foam holding the ailerons in place. Nope. The tape and the torque rods were all that were holding them in place. The scary part is, I had a couple of successful flights with the thing in the condition it was in, that is, once I upgraded the power system. It was just one of those things to which I turned a blind eye. Lesson learned!

I blogged about that plane soon after I got it and frankly, it should never have been released to the public as it was. If anything more happens to this poor little plane, I might pony up the forty bucks or so for a receiver-ready replacement.

It will, of course, undergo a full makeover before I even plug in a battery.


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