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Jul 26, 2019, 11:50 AM
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R/C Diary Pt. 44, Wanderer 99 Wing Repair!

We’ve had a slow start to our outdoor flying season here in Southern Ontario! I finally managed to get out to our new sod farm field located south of Hamilton, Ontario. I was really enjoying the feeling of being outside in a large open field with my Wanderer 99. This bird goes up like its on rails and is very responsive for such an old design and having only two channels!

The problem I was having is getting the darn thing to land….the combination of long wingspan and thick chord makes for a lot of ground effect as it gets within a few feet of the ground.

I started way down wind to bring it in for the landing approach. It just kept on coming and flew right past me heading for the pit area! Oh Oh! Not good! The only vertical item on the field was the copper piped wind indicator pole and of course my lovely Wanderer headed straight for it! “Murphy” was laughing his butt off! It still had enough forward momentum when it came in contact with the pole to take out a section of the leading edge and some stringers. Arrrgh! That was frustrating! I quickly put a couple of strips of clear tape on the wing to form a makeshift leading edge.

I took the Wanderer back out and made two more launches with the hastily repaired wing. To my amazement, it flew quite well as if it hadn’t been damaged! This is one tough bird!

Back home, I took the broken wing to my shop and stripped off the covering around the damaged section. Then I started cutting back the broken pieces and squaring them off.

I made up some stringer sections using my balsa stripper & found some leading edge that wasn’t quite large enough, so I had to rig up some backing sections to fill in the gap.

Now the problem was the covering. This is an old model, the orange wing covering had faded somewhat over time, so I knew I couldn’t match it. I didn’t want to have to strip both wings to come up with a new colour. So I found some white Monocote and cut out a patch to fit the opening.

I thought had a pretty smooth surface until I began shrinking the white patch. Then every little imperfection became apparent! Okay, so not my best effort! My thinking was let’s just get this thing repaired, covered and back in the air while the weather is favourable. In the off season, at some point I may actually strip off all the old covering on both wings and replace some new material.

I am not the most experienced at building and repairing so I was pleased with this effort. It made me feel more confident that I can repair anything that may come my way.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog! If you have any thoughts or comments please feel free to fire away! Constructive input is always appreciated!

Best regards,

Lyle Jeakins
Hamilton, Ontario
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Aug 06, 2019, 08:41 PM
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As a follow up, I got to take the Wanderer up last Saturday at our club's Fun Fly and straight away, I found some lovely thermals! I think because it flies slower, you tend to stay in the thermals. It has become my favourite line launch sailplane in my fleet of planes. I just have to practice my landing more....


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