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Old 03-13-2018, 07:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
Lotus 7
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Posts: 640

Join Date: Apr 2017
Default My 230 finally hit the dirt!!!

Well after 12 months of regular use, 400-500 flights, my 230 finally took its first dirt nap We had some lovely weather in the UK last week and I had multiple flights over three days. On the third day I was flying confidently and even had a fair old crowd behind me at one point.

So later on I was on my fourth pack, coming out of a loop I hit positive collective a little early and went in hard Even though i was over grass I was still expecting major damage and lots of it but the 230 impressed. There wasn't a single mark on the canopy which shocked me. Infact the only visible damage was the usual front frame split above the skids and a stripped main gear.

I am going to replace the main and feathering shaft also while I have the head off. It gives me a chance to do some maintenance, give the thrust bearings some fresh grease. I also noticed the dampers have become very squishy, so they are getting replaced also. The frame has been repaired which I will discuss at the end.

As far as the crash is concerned it was 100% my fault, a combination of dumb thumb and dumb decision. The dumb decision being that I was half way through one maneuver and changed my mind half way through to do something else. Usually when I fly I plan what Im going to do, I decide on a move or set of moves and stick to them, this method has served me very well. On this occasion I was half way though a vertical 8 and then decided to switch to a basic loop but I didn't have the same height I would usually have coming out of a loop at speed, add in the early collective transition and there's you're basic recipe for a crash

The frame repair is basically epoxy but with a couple additional elements. So if you take a look at the pics you will see a white stringy affair within the epoxy, this is a combination of dental floss and CA. If you can see the four dots in the side shots, these are metal pins, two either side of the frame break.

So initially I just super glued the broken frame piece back on, this was purely to hold it in place while I set about the repair proper. Then I took a safety pin and cut four small lengths, these are the pins. Holding a pin with needle nose pliers I applied heat till glowing red, then insert into the frame, hold in position and as it cools the frame will grip the pin. I put two pins either side of the break. Then I took a length of dental floss and bound it around the break using the frame and pins as anchor points. Then apply some thin CA to the floss. Dental floss and CA sets hard like a cast, it is surprisingly strong and sets fast. This is the first layer of strength but it also adds extra structure for the epoxy to bind to. Then just add the epoxy.

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