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Top Flite Mini Contender Defect

Old 07-24-2016, 12:55 AM
  #1  
Tepid Pilot
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Default Top Flite Mini Contender Defect

I maidened my Mini Contender the other day, bounced the first landing near the runway edge. Not feeling familiar enough to power up and go around while dodging signs and posts at the edge of my soccer field parking lot runway, I landed in the grass without enough airspeed for a decent flair. Pictures show the result.

A lot of damage for a "normal" rough landing, IMO. The nose gear is barely bent! It appears as though there was absolutely no glue on the motor box tabs and I can't tell if that thin wood piece is supposed to be firewall plywood laminate or what it is. I'm surprised the motor box didn't just come off when I ran the motor up. Other than that the airplane is as pristine as it was before I flew it.

The good news is I easily repaired the busted part(s) and have flown the airplane several times. I like the way it flies. I don't like that my sample was defective.

I am an experienced modeler. Been building, flying and, yes, crashing balsa wood airplanes since the mid fifties, but the planes I build myself don't break so easy.

TP
Attached Images
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Firewall 1.jpg (502.3 KB, 448 views)
File Type: jpg
Firewall 2.jpg (487.5 KB, 400 views)
File Type: jpg
Nosegear.jpg (388.4 KB, 383 views)
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:10 AM
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fhhuber
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Shortage of glue is pretty common in ARF models by all makers.

I always go over the planes and check that the joints are properly glued. If they are not, I work some yellow carpenter's glue or epoxy into the joints.
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:50 PM
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Bald Paul
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"but the planes I build myself don't break so easy."

<----- Hence my avatar
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Old 07-24-2016, 10:47 PM
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hayofstacks
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I really liked mine. Had it sitting on a table while flying with others, was doing some last minute stuff before a range check and someone accidently caught my throttle on the transmitter with their jacket. It took off a crossed the table and fell face down on the nose and busted off the whole firewall. I decided it also should have had more glue, but wasn't surprised at the damage.

It flew a lot like my mini ultra stick, rudder was pretty useless and couldn't knife edge at all. It did fly nice, and floated really well considering how heavy it was. I like low wing trike gear a ton.
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Old 07-25-2016, 12:00 AM
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Hey Hayofstacks - Sorry about your bird. Were you able to repair it? I've re-done a few busted off firewalls, but it took much more violent arrivals to do the damage than the gentle one that broke off the motor box on my little Contender.

As to knife edge, I'm still getting the feel of the airplane but early attempts indicate it's doable and not too difficult.

TP
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:43 AM
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hayofstacks
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With 450 watts and full rudder deflection, mine still dropped in altitude regardless of what I did. I tried everything from a 10x5 to a 10x10.

It was a very fun plane and just bounced down flat after gliding 2" off the pavement on landing. It flew much like my mini ultra stick though.

I moved just after I broke off the firewall, and I have the plane but can't find the motor/firewall. I also need a new cowling. One day I'll dust it off. High speed touch and goes were my favorite thing to do with it. I probably only had 5 good flights on the plane when it broke. I intentionally set it up nose heavy with a heavy 2200 3 cell and was gonna work my way to more tail heavy as i got used to it.
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