What the Heck Wednesday - 3D Printed Airliner Loss of Control

This week on What the Heck Wednesday we have a video showing a pretty cool project. It's a 3D printed airliner that's over 2M long and has a wingspan of 1.6M.

Splash

When Batteries Fail

This week on What the Heck Wednesday we have a video showing a pretty cool project. It's a 3D printed airliner that's over 2M long and has a wingspan of 1.6M. It took 220 hours of print time for the parts and it weighs almost 7.5lbs. Power comes from two electirc 70mm EDF units and it sounds great and looks like it flys pretty good too. That is until tragedy strikes. The pilot loses connection with the plane and can only watch as it glides in uncontrolled for a nasty sounding crash with mother earth. It could have been a lot worse, but what happened? Upon inspection, the pilot see that the battery has failed causing the loss of control. It's a sad ending to the project, but perhaps he can rebuild.

A lot of our planes have a single point of failure like this. If the one and only battery fails, the plane is done for. Do you have any redundancy built in to your models? What about a 2nd battery for just the servos and receiver? What steps are easy and feasible to prevent such a crash as this? Let me know your thoughts in this thread.

If you have a video of a weird or entertaining crash and would like to be featured on What the Heck Wednesday, please send me a PM with your submission.

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Oct 27, 2021, 10:15 AM
MK
MK
Registered User
Great model! Ashamed it crashed. Since it's 3D printed, hopefully he'll try again.

"It's part of the hobby." Great attitude!
Oct 27, 2021, 10:29 AM
Registered User

very cool project


Breaks my heart to see the result of all that work. I've been there, know what it feels like.
Oct 27, 2021, 01:35 PM
Registered User
What a shame.. but it certainly held up far better than I'd ever have expected, he definitely made a really good job on constructing the airframe.
Oct 27, 2021, 01:55 PM
Registered User
Can I FIX this 3D Printed Airliner after BIG CRASH (13 min 30 sec)
Oct 27, 2021, 04:05 PM
Registered User
The importance of having separate batteries for receiver and Motors
Oct 27, 2021, 04:54 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by camilodo
The importance of having separate batteries for receiver and Motors

Yep... or at very least doing an amp draw test and ensuring the Lipo can actually handle the discharge rate of these EDF's?

Edit- Actually, if you look at the parts list for this aircraft on YT a separate Spektrum LiFe receiver battery is listed, which makes it even stranger.
Oct 27, 2021, 05:42 PM
Paper Plane Scratch Builder
Lufo's Avatar
OK ... well, he is blaming the battery but I noticed he lost connection the same time the music stopped playing.
Oct 27, 2021, 09:51 PM
"Aircraftus Fragmentum"
kydawg1's Avatar
Buried escs in the wing overheated and shut down.... Bec along with it... No more power to Rx equals free flight model.

Awesome design and build...sux seeing her go in.
Oct 27, 2021, 09:55 PM
Pro Hoarder
turbonut's Avatar
Nope ...He shows in the second vid where his wires melted being too small for the amp draw
Latest blog entry: In flight
Oct 27, 2021, 09:56 PM
aka: A.Roger Wilfong
gnofliwr's Avatar
Cool project.

I think the assessment of the battery failing was wrong. If the battery had "melted" it would have taken out a big chunk of the fuselage. In removing it from the plane, the Velcro still had a firm grip and attachment to both the battery and the fuselage. Furthermore, the damage to the battery looked more like superficial, external charging to the outer layers of shrink wrap and the label.

The ESC that he pulled out looked like it had melted and let the magic smoke out. It appeared to have been mounted to the right fuselage side. It probably melted itself loose when it failed and then landed on top of the battery, causing the external burn marks.

I had a similar thing happen with a Cheap Thrills when the Astro 020 threw a magnet. The ESC was just a charred circuit board and the front end of the battery was charred just like in the video. Fortunately, the BEC in the Astro's attached ESC had been acting flakey, so I was running a separated BEC when it happened. That kept the radio running so I could land it safely, trailing the magic smoke from the ESC.

The cause of the failure could have been a similar failure in one of the motors. A siezed motor looks like a dead short to the ESC. Or the melted wire that came out with the ESC could have been over loaded, melted and shorted. In either case, it doesn't take long for the FETs to burn up under that condition.

It could also be due to a lack of cooling air coming throught the fuselage.

- Roger
Last edited by gnofliwr; Oct 27, 2021 at 10:02 PM.
Oct 27, 2021, 11:35 PM
rrg
rrg
Registered User
rrg's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lufo
OK ... well, he is blaming the battery but I noticed he lost connection the same time the music stopped playing.
???
Oct 28, 2021, 12:46 AM
If it flies, I can crash it.
rocketsled666's Avatar
Quote:
I think the assessment of the battery failing was wrong.
I agree. The wiring harness he pulled out was melted. If the battery had failed, the wiring harness would have been fine. The failure occurred downstream of the battery. The damage to the battery might have been the ESC or it could have been because the pack was shorted when the wiring harness melted due to some other cause (like a motor. Or simply being overloaded, although his wiring looked adequate to me).

I had the ESC fail in my Horizon Carbon-Z Cub, for no apparent reason, doing a pre-flight run-up. And it failed as a dead-short. Luckily it was still on the bench. When I pulled the pack out to disconnect it from the ESC, the pigtail leads pulled right out of the ESC and solder melted through the foam to form a pool on the bench below the airplane. So the wires going in to the ESC, and the ESC itself, got hot enough to melt solder. I got it disconnected before the battery was seriously harmed. But the ESC and the wires from the battery to the ESC were fried and looked a lot like what he pulled out of his wreck in the video.
Oct 28, 2021, 03:31 AM
"Aircraftus Fragmentum"
kydawg1's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by turbonut
Nope ...He shows in the second vid where his wires melted being too small for the amp draw
Aha... cooked.
Oct 28, 2021, 05:15 AM
Paper Plane Scratch Builder
Lufo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrg
???
it was a tongue in cheek "observation".... Folks are getting too serious here.

You see, in movies, like Jaws, when you heard the "shark music" you knew someone was about to get bit. When the music ended you knew the shark was through. Sort of like with this plane...music all fine and dandy but as soon as it ended, the connection was lost. He never should have quit playing the music.
Last edited by Lufo; Oct 28, 2021 at 04:28 PM.


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