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first and last flight of the phoenix

Old 05-15-2015, 02:48 AM
  #1  
Wrongway-Feldman
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Default first and last flight of the phoenix

The phoenix 2000 is gone.
Took her up today after the sun came out this afternoon after six days of cool overcast weather.
Had a terrific 30 minutes in the air on the first battery of the day and decided my shoulder and neck had had enough.
i had been flying her well up wind and turned her easily to start bringing her home when her wings folded at about 300 feet.
It's such a helpless feeling watching her come down from such a height.
Unfortunately she pyloned in to a pond. Nothing left to recover.
It's somewhere in the mud at the bottom.
I don't mind crashing. Doesn't even bother me anymore, but normally i can salvage the electronics. This was a complete loss of everything.
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:24 AM
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Fishbonez
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Ouch I feel you pain. I enjoyed my phoenix for a short while but in the end it became a hassle almost every time I took her to the field. I was kind of glad it took the big dive
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:24 AM
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Bummer. I've had a flyaway, which has similar results, but I'm not sure which is worse.
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Old 05-15-2015, 05:40 AM
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Sorry to hear that. I have heard of a couple doing that. (not the pond bit) and I wonder why. I did loops and rolls with mine nearly every time I flew it and had no problems. Shame you can't recover it to find out why.
I got tired of hooking up everything at the field too and that is why I made a polyhedral wing for mine. It is rubber banded on. Flies every bit as well as the original wing. No flaps, No ailerons, no brakes, just fun.
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Old 05-15-2015, 10:56 AM
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Dang, what a loss. Hate to read this!
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:14 PM
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I had a Sopwith Swallow .... how many are now running for the Google to see what that looked like !! ? ...... she went into Portsmouth Harbour in UK ...

A yachtie brought her ashore for me - but being Seawater - all electronics were shot ... only salvageable was the model - which I sold onto another guy ... and the engine ... OS 40FSR.

Nigel
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:08 PM
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The phoenix has one serious design flaw.
It's how the wings are joined. Each wing half has a little piece of light ply in the end. The wings are then joined by screwing on a second pieces on top of these to join the wing halves. The screws supplied are inadequate for the job.
I expected problems and reinforced the join but based on where I saw the wings fold it was not enough.
This would be a much better plane if it utilized a carbon rod that extended half the length of each wing half to join the two together.
Now to shop for a replacement.
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
I had a Sopwith Swallow .... how many are now running for the Google to see what that looked like !! ? ...... she went into Portsmouth Harbour in UK ...

A yachtie brought her ashore for me - but being Seawater - all electronics were shot ... only salvageable was the model - which I sold onto another guy ... and the engine ... OS 40FSR.

Nigel
I expected to see some debris floating on the water.
It's a shallow pond that is newly formed due to heavy rains over the last couple of years. I at least thought I would see the tail sticking up out of the water.
But from the height it came from it must have torpedoed itself in to the muck on the bottom.
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:23 PM
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solentlife
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Can't you put on the boots and wade out to it ?

With another person in attendance of course just in case !!

Nigel
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Old 05-15-2015, 09:34 PM
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Update.
I found the plane. Turns out i was looking in the wrong pond.
It's actually in a pond 100 meters further away.
It's right in the center of the pond with just the tsil feathers showing.
After I call the neighbour to see if it's ok to traverse the field, planting season is in full swing, I'll try a lasso and try to pull it out.
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Old 05-15-2015, 10:22 PM
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Cool glad you found it. The fuselage was the best part of the plane and I will be surprised if it is not in great shape
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:18 PM
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First attempt unsuccessful.
If there is a dead center of that pond/bog that plane is now the marker for it.
Pond is roughly 250 feet across.
Couldn't even make it to the waters edge and was already up to my knees in the mud.
Time for plan B. Fishing pole.
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Old 05-16-2015, 01:05 AM
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I hate it when a plane bites it, but that is part of our hobby.

I planted a old Nitro pattern plane in a pond about 3' deep. The Supertigre motor was stuck int the mud, but because I had a large spinner on it, no water or mud went down the intake. Rinsed the electronics off, let them dry for a week in the house and everything worked.

The fuselage clear back to the elevator was just chips about 1" square. The tail group was just floating, also the foam core wing. The impact dent in the wing took about 5 years to fully relax, I could replace the shredded balsa skin now. I'm guessing the final speed might have been 150 mph, it was full throttle all the way down.

My battery pack had somehow unplugged itself. Now I tie the connectors together in planes that I can leave the nimh flight battery in place.

When you can get to your plane, clean the electronics withe distilled water, and let them dry for at least a week in a warm house. Hopefully more will survive than you might expect.

One of my gliders snapped a wing at about 600' because I pulled out too hard. My ALES controller had just shut the motor off at 200 meters, I screwed up and got the thing into a vertical dive. At least it landed on our field.
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Old 05-16-2015, 01:48 AM
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Wrongway-Feldman
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I kind of wish it was a fly away situation. Out of sight out of mind.
If i can't retrieve this thing I'll have to see the tail sticking up out of the pond forever. Taunting me everytime I step outside.
Now I know where it is I can see it from the living room window. Very cruel.
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Old 05-16-2015, 02:48 AM
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Were me I'd find something that floats and go for it. However, in my neck of the swampy woods we have to be on the lookout for water moccasins AKA Cottonmouth snakes - they are aggressive and can mess up your health record for sure.
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Old 05-16-2015, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Wrongway-Feldman View Post
I kind of wish it was a fly away situation. Out of sight out of mind.
If i can't retrieve this thing I'll have to see the tail sticking up out of the pond forever. Taunting me everytime I step outside.
Now I know where it is I can see it from the living room window. Very cruel.
Bummer, sorry to hear about your plane going in, Try This, Tie a tennis ball and some big treble hooks on a fishing pole line, and cast out to the plane, the treble hooks should bite into the plane so you can get it out of the pond, large treble hooks are also used to catch Gators in ponds, so be careful you dont hook into a gator trying to get your plane Back Take care, Chellie
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Old 05-16-2015, 02:51 AM
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I'm so glad I'm in Saskatchewan where i don't have to worry about that.
The worst around here are the mosquitoes. Big enough to cary away small children this time of year.
I've mistakenly thought one was the plane i was flying and was wondering why it didn't respond to control inputs.
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Old 05-16-2015, 02:53 AM
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If you get your plane back, brace the wing with some 10mm Square Carbon Fiber tube so it will withstand 10Gs of force. thats the way I build my planes


10mm Square Carbon Fiber for wing brace, this wing will never fold, always modify your wings to make them stronger, Most MFG dont brace the wings enough.

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Old 05-22-2015, 05:26 PM
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I've ordered a replacement for the phoenix 2000.
I think I've said this before but this time I mean it.
I will no longer buy airplanes from hobbyking. Between the quality issues and outrageous shipping costs they are no longer appealing.
My new go to dealer is motionrc.
I ordered the rochobby vtail glider. Shipping via ups was only $26. With the new ups flat rate brokerage fee of $15 it was still cheaper than the usps option and it will arrive much faster.
To put that into perspective. The walrus glider from hobbyking costs $79 but the only shipping option is fedex at another $70 plus brokerage fees of close to $30.
I'm paying more overal but it's really only a $30 premium for a much much better product.
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Old 05-23-2015, 05:40 AM
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I believe the wing spar system is plenty strong enough. It would take something pretty extraordinary to break it under normal circumstances.
It almost sounds like the ply plate is what you were relying on. The main spar does the work. I have done many aerobatics with mine over the past year.
Hope you have more success with your new one.

A couple of days ago I maidened my neighbours Phoenix. It was quite windy but it handled it easily. My neighbour has not flown before so I am teaching him.
Anyway, we had some successful flights and he is over the moon.
I had done a few little mods to it like adding a hinge to the bottom of the rudder etc.
First gentle glide with flaps about 30% saw it soar 1/2 way across a lucern paddock. My mate watched in awe.
He has the bug now. Funny to watch it bite someone.......
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Old 05-23-2015, 06:29 AM
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You can get 330 yard spools of fishing line. Rig some type of grapple device to a float and walk to the other side of the pond. Pull that sucker around until it grabs. If nothing else, you can at least get the tail to stop mocking you.
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Old 05-23-2015, 04:21 PM
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Wrongway-Feldman
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Panther, I think you've hit on something with the spar. I can't for the life of me remember installing the carbon rod to join the wings. I've checked the work bench and the box and no spar. How could I miss something as simple as that?

BirdDog, great idea. I have some heavy landscaping twine that will do the trick. Although in this case I'll have to weight the center as floating won't be an issue. There is no open water in this pond. It's all reeds. May give it a try today if I can get some free time. It's planting season after all.
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:16 AM
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The main spar is about 10 or 12 mm diameter and 450 mm long and slides into the square alloy tubing in the wing.

How could you miss something like the spar ??? Easily done. Especially if it was never there in the first place.

I remember one day I was reassembling my T-28 Trojan after repairs and when I finished I thought the wings seemed to flex more than they should. Then I realized I had left the spar on my bench.
The T-28 (Dynam) is a pig to dis-assemble and re-assemble.

Mate, take your camera with you and document the recovery for us...
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:19 AM
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Wrongway-Feldman
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I don't even remember the square alloy tube in the wing. Bet I sent it up without the spar. That would sure explain the wings folding up like that.
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:27 AM
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Those ply plates are really just to hold the wing halves together but they do take some torsional strain.
I checked mine one day and found that the factory does not glue them in real well as one of mine was loose.
I removed them both carefully and hot glued them in place. Much stiffer.
The glue the factory uses appears to be a weak contact glue and there is very little of it.
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