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Old 11-02-2011, 03:09 PM   #1
CNY_Dave
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Default Repair advice

Hobbico flightstar 40, build thread here:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1481669



Lost orientation in the sun... considering the speed it went in at I'm surprised it's even salvageable.
Amazing how quick it got where I wasn't expecting, would love to know how the heck it got pointed at the ground.

Will post pics soon hopefully, but here's the scoop-

Punched out the firewall, one piece. Must have been that AL plate I put behind it that kept it together.

One cheek next to the motor broke off, right at the firewall. Might just get rid of the cheeks, does not seem as though they do anything except pretty things up a bit.

Motor shaft looks bent, maybe just the stub that sticks out, motor may be toast, may need a shaft (motor is still made, but that end of the shaft is no longer extended from the motor, so I may have to place the motor mount forwards).

Maybe 5mm rod is available with C-clip grooves already cut?

Hardest repair (for me) is the wing broke, broke somewhat diagonally near the center, I can see the center-spar box and the center rib, only the aileron linkage is holding it on.

I am thinking I strip the covering where damaged, what broke gets epoxied back together, strengthen with a thin basswood sheet or maybe fiberglass and epoxy?

I need to do this on the cheap, with as little effort as possible, given the planes construction and the way some of the joints came apart I have no problem if it looks a bit like frankenplane.


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Old 11-02-2011, 05:19 PM   #2
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Photos of the damage will help with advice on repairs. Get us some good shots of the damage areas and no doubt we can sort it out for ya!

When I die, I want to go like my Grandfather did, in his sleep...... Not screaming like the passengers in his plane.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:23 AM   #3
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Show us the damage and we can offer some advice.

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Old 11-04-2011, 02:40 PM   #4
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Oh, crap, that's right.

I uploaded them here:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1532614

I think the repair will require ply on top and below, but that's certainly not horrible.

I've never bent ply- do you steam it first? Or should I use thin balsa?

The ply will have to span the dihedral-wing center.


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Old 11-04-2011, 07:05 PM   #5
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Dave that looks like balsa sheeting, not ply.

Just run some hot water over your new stuff, the balsa will soak it right up and become more pliable so it will bend as you need it.

When I die, I want to go like my Grandfather did, in his sleep...... Not screaming like the passengers in his plane.
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:22 PM   #6
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Yes, now that I have it stripped a bit, the only ply is over the aileron rods.

I'm thinking I can use fairly wide pieces where I cross the valley/peak of the center-join (dihedral), and narrower pieces as required as I go over the places where the wing curves.

Not quite sure how to splice the spars where they are going to be hidden as soon as I join the halves- I guess glue the bridge piece in on one side, let dry, then apply glue where it will meet the other side of the spar, and assemble, and hope it's making good contact.

Holding both pieces together (after actually finagling them back together, there's a lot of juggling involved) with the proper dihedral will be fun.

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Old 11-13-2011, 01:45 AM   #7
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Have gotten 2 strips of ply glued to the bottom of the wing.

I may have goofed badly- garage is about 50F, just saw the epoxy says 'must be cured at 70F'.

This time of year my house isn't even 70...
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Old 11-13-2011, 03:08 AM   #8
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Don't feel bad Dave, It was in the 50's today in Florida this morning.

Like you I was out in the shop glassing a bird. I ended up digging out an old barn heater I have to warm up the place enough to get the stuff to dry.

When I die, I want to go like my Grandfather did, in his sleep...... Not screaming like the passengers in his plane.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:15 AM   #9
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Wing repair complete except for covering and gluing an endcap back on, and oh yeah, remount the servo.

It passed the same proof test as before- support the ends, 15lbs steel weight placed in the center.

Fuse is repaired, as is the elevator, motor and electronics in place, gear is partway on.

After I get the gear on it'll be time for static tests.

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Old 11-29-2011, 02:17 PM   #10
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SUCCESSFUL RE-MAIDEN!!!

Was a 'little' windy (only momentary hover capability), so it is hard to tell what change there is in the stall speed from the extra weight, but it flew just fine.

Conditions were poor in that it was a dingy grey sky, sometimes determining orientation took a bit of effort.

I did not fully strip the wings, only where it needed repair, the bottoms have a little clear packing tape where I had to strip past the ply, and the ply is all bare. I have some monocoat, but wanted to make sure it flew before adding more effort into it.


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Old 11-29-2011, 05:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CNY_Dave View Post
Lost orientation in the sun... considering the speed it went in at I'm surprised it's even salvageable.
For the newbies out there, don't EVER fly anywhere near the sun! If you glance at the sun for even a split second before your eyes blink, your vision will be lousy or non-existant for 5 or 10 seconds afterwards. You won't be able to see your model at all until your eyes recover. And that's time for a model to crash.

Old trick from the sailplane days was if you're having a bad flight and are going to fly through the sun, block the sun with your transmitter.

Don't know if that would save a fast high powered model or not, so just keep away from that bright object in the sky.

(LOL, guess you could just close one eye for a few seconds!)

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Old 11-29-2011, 05:23 PM   #12
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Yeah, I won't be doing that again. It's tough to avoid as that spot is really my only morning way-to-work option, and avoiding the sun cuts out a huge chunk of airspace.

I crossed several times, and even the time I lost it the sun was fairly far out of line, and I was blocking the sun with one hand (advantage of a TX tray).

That last time a blocking cloud moved a bit, or the mountain finally got out of the way, the area of no visibility got much bigger,and I think the wind gusts changed its orientation just a tiny bit during that 1/2 to 1 second when I couldn't see it.

It's like anything else with flying- for something bad to happen, it's almost always the result of multiple things happening, so something seemingly low-risk can turn high-risk when the variables tweak just a bit.

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