View Full Version : No Rudder Linkage! Warp Control!

08-06-2006, 08:38 AM
There's lots of different kinds of preflights. The Big Idea is to DO ONE!

New plane, a Speed400 4.5 ft power glider, the Ascent. Maiden flight.

I was so impressed with my hardware free control ends that were bent wire kept thru the control horn by a short bit of plastic wire insulation tubing CA'd in place. Too bad I had yanked on it to test it and it failed- and I forgot to FIX IT - or even replace it thru the horn!

Into the air with a burst of power and its 50 feet up and I have no directional control and I realize I'm in trouble with a cold shock. No response to rudder! Helm doesn't answer! It's leaving the area. Now what!

As it went further downwind I noticed it had a wing warp induced turn to one side. I tried a variation on an old Chinese Fighting Kite trick!

Every time it would turn to face me, I gave it down elevator which sped it up and reduced the turn. When it began to turn too far away, I would pop some up elevator and let it come around again, then do another run for home with the stick half buried.

After 4 or 5 of these I had it just upwind of my field and low so I let it wind up in a tight turn which I continued right to the ground, mushing it in, still in a turn, catching a tip and sliding along the grass nice and soft!

I ended up safetying the linkage with a bit of tape and some positive wire pressure and throwing it back in the air for Brilliant Maiden Flight Part II !

I went on to fly that glider for years, getting a huge amount of airtime with it til I lost it straight overhead OOS, soaring with a bunch of buzzards! If it had to go- it couldn't have picked a better way!

My preflights are a bit more rigorous these days- I LOOK!

Think twice. Crash Once!