Mar 29, 2009

Rough Landings

The other day I was flying my Easy Glider, and I experienced a "rough landing" on a gravel road that runs through a farmers field. I was cutting across the road, attempting to land in the field, but I ran out of sky, and found myself landing directly on gravel with foam airplane. Amazingly, the foam was fine, but my right aileron servo arm touched a rock, which caused it to strip a gear.

This is the the part of model airplane flying that some people love! I don't love it, I deal with it. I spent a good 6 hours between Friday and Saturday fixing the problem. First I had to remove the servo from the wing pocket by gingerly cutting the glue from the foam. Next I took the servo apart, and replaced the stripped gears with some extra gears I had lying around. Hooking everything back up, I noticed that the servos were not centering correctly. The only way to fix that is to take the servo apart again. Every thing looked fine, so I went online and read about servo problems. Amazingly, I found a forum that was more than helpful. It looked like the gunk I'd put between the gears may have gotten into the servo pot? Taking the servo pot apart, I cleaned it with alcohol on a cotton swab, and reassembled everything. Now the servo was centering correctly, so I put it back into the airplane. However, now I can't seem to get my control throws correct, even though I have the mechanical linkage exactly the same as my left aileron. Maybe its the servo? I get a new servo and hook it up and place it in the wing, and I still have the same problem. Maybe its a setting in my computer radio? I spent 45 minutes looking through the radios instruction manual, everything there is fine. Finally, I give up and place the fixed old servo back in the plane and glue it in place. To make up for the 3mm of control throw that I can't get through the mechanical linkage, I resort to setting 120% end point adjustments in my computer radio.

Maybe I'm just to particular... Anyhow, the airplanes as good as new, and I've ordered wing tip skids, and aileron control rod fairings to protect the long servo arms, lest we have another mishap. The lesson to be had here, is that this hobby has its more frustrating moments, just like everything else in life.

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