24 March, 2006

Beautiful, yet not very robust.

Well, some depressing news today. The Tern suffered a tremendous accident. I put it on the standard up start for a few launches. It handled like a dream, and had unbelievable response to both pitch and yaw. More importantly, it could convert altitude into speed and keep that speed up for high speed glides. I could do 4 to 5 laps around the field with no problems with just 100 foot of launch. All at 25+ mph of course.

Well, like the idiot that I am, I got myself in trouble. I steepened a turn too close to the ground (I still can't figure out why), and got nailed with a big tip stall. That swept outboard wing loses all its lift at once, and I had no altitude to recover (plenty of speed though).

The resulting impact sheared the wing bolts off, buckled the D tube in three places, and just about shattered every piece in the forward fuse. The wing, interestingly enough, showed little adverse affect, but will require quite a bit of monocoting work to restore properly.

I am going to finish a few more projects first and then built a new fuse for the Tern Mk 2. At least it flew better than I hoped it would.

At least all I lost was time, monocote and balsa.

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