Folded wings on my LiteStik for the 4th time, buried it in the ground! - RC Groups
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Jun 16, 2001, 04:04 PM
Triad of Fun
WilliamSettle's Avatar

Folded wings on my LiteStik for the 4th time, buried it in the ground!

I'm on my 2nd LiteStik and in the past month or two, I've managed to fold the wings up in flight by breaking the wood dowels at the fuselage. The first LiteStik was literally killed from this little accident from about 250' up and broke to many things to fix. Even knocked the ball bearings out of the races. My it RIP.

My all up weight is 7.4oz as of yesterday and was 8.5 oz. before that. I know it was my 8 cell 720's that were doing it before but after lightening it last night, as well as using lighter batteries, it as much more agile and aerobatic. I know it's not a sport plane but it should still do the occasional loop without folding up.

The wings just flex too much when there is a little wind and being somewhat new to the hobby, I'm probably over-correcting too much but I need to stiffen the wings a bit to make it a little more resilient to my learning habits.

I'm hoping you guys can help me with the best solution for this.

I've considered the following:
- Replace wood dowels with longer carbon fiber dowels to make the wing more rigid
- Run tape along the leading and trailing edge to make them more rigid but I doubt it will help much
- mount a guy post and rig lines top and bottom to support the wing but I foresee battery mounting problems here

I have been to and like some of the ideas and have searched through the posts here but there are so many options I just can't decide.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I know I can just get a bigger and heaver plane but the LiteStik is just too much fun in the field next door and so convenient.

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Jun 16, 2001, 04:48 PM
Senior Moments...I forgot
JohnC's Avatar
I was thinking about making a kingpost type of arrangement. To get around the battery problem I am thinking of making a a frame (light) and thread top and bottom to the wings. Just tape the threads onto the wing tips and a simple hook or loop arrangemnt to the a frame. I am thinking running the threads to the wings at the forward edge and the trailing edge. It doesn't have to be tight but just help the wing flexing.
Jun 16, 2001, 05:02 PM
Registered User

Get some carbon fiber rods and run them all the way out to the wingtips. Since doing this to mine I haven't folded any since, even with an 8 cell AAA pack. You might also want to think about getting a DuskStik from Doug Binder. The kit is great and it flies much better than the stock LiteStik. I'll have some pictures up on my site soon.


You should use fishing line, preferably 4 or 8 pound SpyderWire, not thread. The thread will strech and weaken over time and will snap when you put too much stress on it. It's best to use two pieces on top and 2 on bottom that meet in the middle so you can still take the wings off. I made little hooks about 1/4 inch long out of paper clip wire to connect the two pieces together. It worked great.

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Jun 16, 2001, 05:06 PM
Registered User
I've got one of these (unmodified as yet) but the guy I got it from has put carbon rods on his, although I imagine that this would make the plastic supports the weak link. I thought of making the wing one-piece, with a bit more dihedral, and adding some balsa saddles to fit the wing in the conventional way with rubber bands.

If you're going aerobatic, it might be worth reducing the wing area by chopping a few inches off each, which might reduce the root loading enough to cure the problem...
Jun 16, 2001, 05:44 PM
Registered User
Hi William, Lots of good suggestions here. For what it is worth, I sanded the root of my LiteStik wings after gluing the bamboo rods(they are flush with the root) and used aluminum tubes to join the two wings. I used Elmer's Pro-Bond as glue. I rubberband my wing on.

If you have not tried the 7-cell 280 or 300 NiMH packs such as available from Radical RC, I highly recommend it. They are lighter.
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Jun 16, 2001, 06:24 PM
Triad of Fun
WilliamSettle's Avatar
John, I may have to go to a "kingpost" arrangement but are you talking about guying the top as well as the bottom?

Brad, I've got enough carbon rod to run to the wingtips of the leading edge with just enough left over to replace the trailing edge dowels plus a little extra for each one, maybe an 1" or more.

Do you think that just having the extra carbon in the front will be sufficient or do you think I need to run it the full length of the front and back?

alterego, making the plastic the weak link is not a real problem. I figure that when it goes, it will just be another thing I'll have to rework and beef up. Do you see much flexing in your wing with the carbon rods? and did he just replace the wood dowels with the same length of carbon of did he make them longer?

kasra, are you the same karsa on the Piccolo forum? If so, cool!

Sorry but I'm confused as to what the root is of the wing. I'm assuming it's the inner most part but not sure. I don't suppose I could persuade you to send me a picture of your mod, could I? Sometimes I just don't see it.

As far as batteries are concerned, I did order a 220mAH NiMH 7 cell pack yesterday so I'll see how that goes. I also changed from my 104g, 8-cell 720mAH pack to a 2-cell Li-Ion 1200mAH pack that weighs about 79g. It was amazing how 25g less makes it so much more agile. I also switched from a 10x4.7 prop to a 9x6 APC prop and the combination of the diet and prop made it much more fun. I still coaxed 16 minutes of flying time at full throttle which is outstanding. I'll try a 2 or 3 cell Tadiran pack that I bought for the Piccolo (that never paned out) which will make it even lighter.

Thanks guys.

Anyone else have a suggestion?
Jun 16, 2001, 06:45 PM
Registered User
I fly my LiteStik at the beach a lot, and because the wind is never under 5 mph, I have replaced my motor with a speed 300 (using 7 cell 220 NiMh - short 5 minute flights). The extra weight and high winds would bend my wings into a "U" shape, and I had to do something fast or loose them. A quick fix was adding "strapping tape" to the leading edge. I couldn't believe how rigid it made the wings. Now I don't think twice about doing dives or loops.
Jun 16, 2001, 07:08 PM
Mountain Models Wannabe
CoClimber's Avatar
I want to thank Brad for mentioning the DuskStik. The DuskStik came about because I didn't like the LiteStik and wanted to use the GWS motor in a better airframe. One of the tests I've done to the DuskStik was to go into a full power sustained vertical dive then snap out quickly to try to break the wings. The first wing broke. The wings in the kit are reinforced with carbon fiber tape and I made other modifications to make the wings even stronger.

If you have any questions about the DuskStik, please email me at

Jun 16, 2001, 08:47 PM
Senior Moments...I forgot
JohnC's Avatar
Yes I intend to use guy rigging top and bottom to the four corners and yes I will use very fine monfilment fishing line. I had the experience of thread strecthing. I will go to the hobby shop for small dowels for the a frame. As a aside I use 270 8 cell NIMH and very very happy with the results. I also use the 4.7X10 orange prop. Easy repeated rogs and long flights.
Jun 16, 2001, 09:02 PM
Triad of Fun
WilliamSettle's Avatar
Wadington, I'll bet the S300 really peps up the Stik's performance. I doubt if hovering is a problem. Thanks for the tape tip.

Doug, that's a sweet little machine. Maybe someday but I want to give the LiteStik a go for a while. I can tell that once my flying skills improve, I'm going to want a better flyer.

John, thanks for clarifying it for me. I figured that's what you were going to do and was thinking the same thing with mine.
Jun 17, 2001, 02:30 AM
Registered User
Hi William, Yes, I still fly the Piccolo. I use the Tadiran's too. Why didn't they work for you? I have two LiteStiks. Both have full fuselages made of balsa. By sanding the root, I meant to give it the dihedral angle so when you glue them together, there is no gap. The aluminum tubes which are bent in the proper dihedral angle support the bamboo spars. My second LiteStik has a flat wing with full span ailerons. It has a V-tail with two GWS motors ganged up on one gear box as Beachflyer mentioned here a while ago. I will try to get some pictures. The best battery by far in my opinion are the 7 or 8-cell 280 or 300 NiMH packs.

I was out at the park this morning flying the LiteStik by it's shadow. The sun was pretty high up and I was catching the shadow of the LiteStik once in a while. I got this idea to just watch the shadow and steer it around without looking at the plane. I was listening to the motor at the same time to note if the plane was diving or climbing. Pretty crazy...
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Jun 17, 2001, 02:37 AM
Registered User
Mikey_Flies's Avatar
During one of my first flights I broke the plastic mount for the wings. The dowels have held up pretty good :/ I still need to get a stronger fix for the wing mounts. Kasra, do you have hooks on the fuse for the rubber bands? This seems like a good solution for me (Fixing the wings together and rubber banding them on that is)
Jun 17, 2001, 09:34 AM
Registered User
Try the new micro-lite its flies better and takes more abuse than the litestick. me and my buddies have a bunch at our club and they fly great.
Jun 17, 2001, 10:39 AM
Triad of Fun
WilliamSettle's Avatar
kasra, the I bought the Tadirans at the same time as the Piccolo last year and when I compared their specs to the actual current draw of the Piccolo, I realized they were not a good match. I just put them on the shelf until I had a lower current model to use them with. I think the LiteStik will be a good fit.

Thanks for clarifying how you joined the wings. I see it now.

I haven't flown my Piccolo much since I bought my ECO8. However, I just put an Astro 010 in it last night and am anxious to try it out. I still have some litening to do but it looks like it's going to be a whole new bird.
Jun 17, 2001, 02:41 PM
Registered User
William, I checked the hover current with AF 010 on the Piccolo at ~2A with full throttle at 3.5A. From what I remember, Tadirans can handle up to 2A so I have been flying with them. You have to be careful using them on the LiteStik as you can run them down too far. You might want to look into Pixie 7P ESCs. They are adjustable for a high cutoff.

Mikey, Both of my LiteStiks have full fuselages. The first one looks like the Micro Lite that Jerri mentioned. If you want to retain the one piece wing on the stock LiteStik with rubber bands, I can think of the following. Build the wing in one piece. Put stub pieces of Bamboo in the original plastic dihedral brace/support bracket. A piece of balsa between the front and rear brackets will help support the wing also.
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