Thursday, April 26, 2012

Trojan T28 Crash Damage Assessment

That's a lot of pieces!
Time to assess the damages to my Airfield Trojan T28 after my recent crash.  First, I have a bag of parts and damaged fuselage and wings.  Starting with the bag, I have a propeller that is now in about 10 pieces (the hub shattered), two elevators (the foam hinges completely failed), rudder (the pin hinge pulled straight out), front landing gear doors (rear hinge pins sheered off), cowling pieces, and left landing gear cover.

These are easily repaired
Now to review the wings and fuselage.  The wings look really good, but closer inspection show that the aileron foam hinges are half torn and will need to be repaired.  The fuselage shows a lot of damage.  I'll start from the rear.  Well we already know about the tail surfaces, so I wont review these, but hears a picture.

The crack can just be seen here
running down the middle
Side buckling provides a hint of
more damage
Just past the cockpit and under the wing mounts, the fuselage is cracked all the way across, but only about half an inch deep.  Moving forward the battery almost completely blew out the foam blocks (sorry no picture).

Underneath, the leading edge of the front landing gear housing is buckled and pushed back some and the nose wheel flops, up and down, lose.

Front landing gear just flops around
The impact caused both doors to break loose sheering off the rear hinge pins and breaking both horns attached to the middle of each door sections.

The propeller hub, while scratched,
was undamaged
The cracks can really be seen here
The cowling had the air scoop section broken off and was cracked along the air scoop recess and around the motor shaft opening.  Also, all three cowling mounts were ripped loose and the foam around them torn.

The crack is worse
than it appears

This was the most damaged mount

Finally, several clevises have had their pins broken, but all control horns, push rods, and servos are in tact.

Oh, almost forgot, the cockpit canape has been cracked in the front, but the pilot did not come loose and there appears to be not other damage here.

You can see from the scuff in the prop hub that this thing hit pretty hard, but surprisingly enough, the motor and shaft sustained no damage and so far seems perfectly fine!

Now comes the repair process and that will be the subject for my next post.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Please feel free to post comments, good or bad, and be sure to come back and check for future posts.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Airfield T28 Trojan Maiden Flight

I have this beautiful new new Airfield T28 Trojan and I finally have a chance for it's maiden flight!

I feel that I should note here, before I go on, that I have discovered that the Airfield name is actually a re-brand by Nitro Planes of FMS products.  Not that that's a bad thing, just that FMS T28 enthusiasts are included too!

Its Easter weekend and I will be visiting my folks near that cool park and the weather is expected to be great for flying.

Look at all those wires
We start packing for our trip and I realize that this plane is huge and would not fit in the trunk of my car (Mazda 3).  It wouldn't be so bad, but this plane is not made to be taken apart like most planes.  There are four screws that bolt the wings on from underneath.  This isn't so bad except that there are a million wires that come from the wings into the fuselage!  OK, OK, there are 5 sets of wires from one wing and 6 from the other (landing gear door, landing gear, flaps, ailerons, and wing lights) and not a million.  These are routed through small openings that make dis-assembly/assembly difficult and something to be avoided at all costs!  OK, I'm being dramatic again, but this is not trivial.  As it would happen, I did end up unbolting the wings, separating them, and disconnecting all of the connections for the servos and lights to get this big plane to fit.

Wow, this really made me think that I need to take transportation into account with planes in the future, and explains why serious RC pilots have trailers.

Once we arrived (we were early for once) I unloaded the plane into my Dad's workshop and started assembly.  Of course this was not until after we greeted them, brought in our dinner contribution, gifts for recent birthdays, and visited a little.  I'm not that crazy focused on RC planes.  Now I only had to wait for the meal to be over and for all of the other guests to leave!  I have to say that I did not really want that meal to be over because my Mom made this lamb that was to die for (hm... not sure that was worded appropriately).  Any way, it was really good.

Hooking up the battery
Snapping on the cockpit
Testing the throttle
Finally everyone is gone and I still have 45 minutes before we also need to leave.  Off to the park.  We arrive at the park.  I have to thank my daughter who rode in the back seat with the airplane tail in her face (I also have to thank her for being my photographer).  There is about a 5mph breeze, but this shouldn't be an issue.  We get the plane out and I get it setup.  Wow, it sure looks good sitting out there on the dirt runway!  I tested all of the control surfaces, I tested the motor, and then I taxied the big Trojan T28 out and around the runway.  I let her sit there for a bit off to my left facing into the breeze, giving me time to collect my courage.

Ready for take off
Leaping into the sky
I gave her full throttle and hoped to keep her straight.  Half way down I could see her wanting to take flight.  I gave her a little elevator and she shot straight up into the air.  Wow, beautiful!  I struggled to level her out and bring her around as the controls are a lot touchier that I'm used to.  Watch out, this thing can really snap around!  I eased up on the throttle and  pulled in the landing gear as I made a big loop around the airfield in front of me.  I'm just now thinking that I should start working with the trim.  I go for another loop but this time decide to try turning away from myself as I'm coming across the back field.  At this point she is downwind and about 100 yards off to my right at about a 45 degrees.

It hit about 10ft back
Dad and I assessing the damage
This is where things go terribly wrong as suddenly I feel that I have no control!  I had given more power, but she is not going any faster!  I gave her up elevator, and she is not climbing!  I gave her left and right aileron and she is not banking!  The next thing I know is that my beautiful $280 Trojan T28 is headed straight for the ground!  At the last moment she started to respond the my elevator command and pulled up just enough to avoid drilling in!  Pieces flew just before that terrible WHUMP sound reached us.  Nothing left to do but start that dreaded walk over to see what was left.

Still assessing the damage
Point of impact
Small pieces everywhere but the fuselage was intact!  So, this was bad, but not as bad as I anticipated.  We collected all the parts putting them in a bag.  Took the wing apart again and loaded it up, in the trunk this time.  No need for careful placement and handling.

Next post I hope to feel well enough to review the extent of the damages and reconstruction.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Please feel free to post comments, good or bad, and be sure to come back and check for future posts.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

So not enough candles.
So, it's my birthday (well a few days ago) and it was a big one, and my wife, the understanding and sweet wife she is, said that I should order the RC airplane I've been wanting for some time!  Now I've been pining for one of these since I first saw one over a year ago.  The plane I saw was a T28 Trojan (Parkzone).  I just loved the look and size of that plane.  And now, my wife was telling me to go buy one! Woo whoo!

On Sunday, I started reviewing all of my options for a T28.  First off I have to say that I was not interested in the small versions (800mm).  I wanted a big one!  After reviewing the Durafly (1100mm and retracts), Parkzone (1120mm), Dynam (1270mm and retracts), and Airfield (1400mm and retracts) models, I chose the big one, the Airfield, from Nitro planes.  Now it was by far the most expensive (about $280 including shipping), but aside from being the biggest, it had the coolest features.  These include lights, sequenced landing gear and doors, flaps, cowl flaps, and a 2.4GHz 6 channel transmitter!

Now I'm really excitted!

Was hoping there would be a big
picture of it on the box.  Oh well.
On Monday, I signed up for an account and ordered my birthday present.  By the end of the day, my order was processed and ready for shipping.  By Wednesday, it was on my doorstep!  Granted it only had to go from LA to Sacramento (both in California), but still, I only selected the base UPS ground shipping.

With the top off
All of the big parts laid out
Nice battery even if the charge cable
is a little short.
Now I did order the RTF version (mostly because they were back ordered on the ARF), but it is anything but RTF.  After about 2 hours I had it together with the glue drying (rudder and elevator need to be glued together) and all of the servo connection hooked up.  I guess the RTF part is that I had everything to fly, including the battery and radio.  I only needed to assemble it and charge the battery.  This thing is a monster!
The beast, all put together.

Now I'm all ready to fly and waiting for good weather.

Soon I'll have an update on how it flies and hopefully not one on how it crashes.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Please feel free to post comments, good or bad, and be sure to come back and check for future posts.