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Aug 12, 2020, 11:44 PM
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Catastrophic Structural Failure Horizon Conscendo Evolution


Well this is new on me. I lost my brand new Conscendo Evolution on maiden tonight. All was going well from about the first 2 minutes. I knew I had a winner and it was flying so gracefully I was pleased. I did a power off pass so I could hear that sweet wooshing sound and when I powered back on and pulled up and band there was a sudden loud "crack!" and the next thing I saw was my battery, prop, spinner, esc, and cowl separating from the plane. The plane spiraled gently down and actually suffered no further damage from the fall. So far the "guts" that separated are lost in a field of tall weeds. I spent 2+ hours looking for them but to no avail. The strange thing is that the battery bay forward snapped off relatively cleanly. I was flying a 4s 1800ma pack which is smaller than the max they recommend (4s 2200) so weight wasn't an issue. The plane wasn't mishandled and had not impacted anything at all before the maiden. Also I was nowhere near stressing the plane to its capabilities (at least compared to the promotion video) as I was just feeling it out at relatively slow and gentle flight. I'm disheartened that a horizon plane ($$$) basically imploded like that. 200 bucks down the drain with none of the satisfaction of even really getting to know it. I'll attach some pics of the break point. It looks like structural weakness to me. I think they didn't reinforce the material below the battery bay. Has this happened to anyone else? I've opened a claim with horizon so we'll see if their service is as good as their reputation. The challenge I see is that there is no way for me to substantiate what happened. I can;t prove that I didn't crash it into anything. At any rate check out the pics and let me know what you guys think. Thanks.
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Aug 13, 2020, 03:15 AM
!!!SkySlayer!!!
G.wayne's Avatar
Did you lose the front end of the plane that snapped off? Are the guts in it still? If you can find it or have it and it only has the seam damage and no evidence of being rammed into something, i dont see how they could dispute it.

Good luck

Ps. There are some design decisions from eflite that i question, like why isnt there a support where it snapped off, for how much we pay for these planes they can afford to put in a $1 piece of tube or stick, something. Also like some fuse and tails on their planes, all they would need to do to make it much stronger and ridge is a couple of 12 , 18 inch wood, carbon fiber strips, tubes anything heck just laminating it could have prevented the issue at hand.
Last edited by G.wayne; Aug 13, 2020 at 03:25 AM.
Aug 13, 2020, 05:31 AM
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weak structure


Look at the small surface area of the foam fuselage where the break occurred. No wonder it snapped off.
Aug 13, 2020, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockwoods
Look at the small surface area of the foam fuselage where the break occurred. No wonder it snapped off.
That is a feature that Parkzone built into many of their earlier planes and was likely the only weak spot in their planes. Horizon migrated that tradition onto many of their other products. No amount of complaints from the user base ever persuaded Parkzone, Eflite or Horizon to add stiffeners to nose or nose to wing area. Adding small fiberglass rod to those areas is always a mod I do on their planes.
Aug 13, 2020, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by G.wayne
Did you lose the front end of the plane that snapped off? Are the guts in it still? If you can find it or have it and it only has the seam damage and no evidence of being rammed into something, i dont see how they could dispute it.

Good luck

Ps. There are some design decisions from eflite that i question, like why isnt there a support where it snapped off, for how much we pay for these planes they can afford to put in a $1 piece of tube or stick, something. Also like some fuse and tails on their planes, all they would need to do to make it much stronger and ridge is a couple of 12 , 18 inch wood, carbon fiber strips, tubes anything heck just laminating it could have prevented the issue at hand.
As I had mentioned I had searched for 2 hours and never found the front end or the guts. I'll go back out and look today. Unfortunately many of the weeds are 5 ft tall.
Aug 13, 2020, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockwoods
Look at the small surface area of the foam fuselage where the break occurred. No wonder it snapped off.
I know. And I wasn't even doing anything to push the plane hard.
Aug 13, 2020, 06:51 AM
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It could be a production error. The previous version was only built for a 3S 1300 mAh battery. Maybe the material is really not strong enough to hold a 4S 1800 mAh lipo. Sometimes the lipo moves around a bit, if it was not completely tightened.
Aug 13, 2020, 06:53 AM
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Do you have access to a metal detector or perhaps a quad copter with a camera?
Aug 13, 2020, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by roids
Do you have access to a metal detector or perhaps a quad copter with a camera?
Unfortunately I don't. I'll just have to get out there again and look the hard way.
Aug 13, 2020, 08:31 AM
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Try a weed wacker. Cut a path about 18 inches above the ground. Make sweeping arches to clear an area.
Aug 13, 2020, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by roids
Try a weed wacker. Cut a path about 18 inches above the ground. Make sweeping arches to clear an area.
lol, I don't think you quite understand what I mean by weeds. Its a thicket, its dense like jungle and much of it is almost as tall as I am. And its an entire field (5 acres) of which I'm not sure where it fell. A weed wacker couldn't penetrate and I doubt a bush hog could either (of course that defeats the purpose especialy once I hit that lipo. Unfortunately this is the neighbors field and I hate going down in it. Check out the pics (sorry for the greasy shirt its a work shirt)
Aug 13, 2020, 09:21 AM
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Yeah, you gonna need a flame thrower for that SAR job.
Aug 13, 2020, 09:22 AM
That thing almost hit me
Tahoed's Avatar
That's a "No find'em Zone" unless you get really lucky, which is too bad because I think you probably had a blade or yoke failure that caused enough imbalance to tear off the front of the fuse like that.
Last edited by Tahoed; Aug 13, 2020 at 09:28 AM.
Aug 13, 2020, 09:43 AM
I'd rather be Flying
davecee's Avatar
Quote:
when I powered back on and pulled up and band there was a sudden loud "crack!"
Now, I don't know how you fly so what I'm saying may not apply.
Throttling up (and braking) a folding prop are the times of most stress on the prop.
Slamming the throttle open or shut (with hard brake set) just isn't good for them. Some manufacturers of folders even mention this in their literature.
I feel that your folder may have thrown a blade, causing a massive imbalance and the subsequent vibration tore the nose off at the weakest point.
What I do to minimize such stress is to set up my throttle electronically to only move at a certain maximum speed. No matter how fast I push the stick the throttle only ramps up as fast as I've set it.
eg, on my Fox 3 meter motor glider (spektrum DX8 G2) I go to "servo set" up and I select "speed". I then set the positive and negative values to 1.4 second. so even if I instaneously open or close my throttpe. The signal to the ESC takes 1.4 seconds to go from one extreme to the other. Off to full throttle takes 1.4 seconds, full throttle to off takes 1.4 seconds.
Some ESCs have a "soft start" setting as well as a "soft brake" setting that essentially does the same. That's especially good to have if your throttle is set up on a switch like some people prefer.
If you can't set up your raido or ESC you can practice slowly throttling up and down. That's what I did for years.
Last edited by davecee; Aug 13, 2020 at 10:04 AM.
Aug 13, 2020, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tahoed
That's a "No find'em Zone" unless you get really lucky, which is too bad because I think you probably had a blade or yoke failure that caused enough imbalance to tear off the front of the fuse like that.
I'd just like to recover the parts for use on a future build. Not to mention provide more photos to Horizon and hope someone takes mercy on me (doubt it). The other fun thing about the field is its absolute full of chiggers and those tiny little burrs (see pic) that stick to your clothes. Bu t I'm going out again today to try to get lucky.


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