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Trees


oipigface
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I sometimes wonder if I am especially unlucky, especially careless or especially incompetent. I suppose it is possible that, rather than any of these, other people have the same sort of accident rate as I do, and keep quiet about it.

This morning I took my new Blaster out for its 3rd outing. Lovely sunny day with the wind 4-5 m/s square on to the NE ramparts of Pilsdon Pen. I've flown here many times, and the NE slope isn't particularly good, but it is fine for days like today, when thermals are few and far between. The lift is reliable from the slope, although very bumpy close in, and if the lift fails at all (which it didn't today) the top of the hill, where its iron-age inhabitants used to live, is nice and flat with short grass.

First flight was about 15 minutes. I landed because it was past lunch time and I was feeling a bit peckish. Even though it was far from exhausted, I topped up the battery while I was scoffing, and launched it off again. The bit of wind helped it get to a good height, and I was just flying about, picking up the odd bit of weak thermal lift here and there. Tried the occasional loop and roll. After about 20 minutes, I was circling in a bit of a lift, in full sight of the model (which was rising gently at maybe about 300ft), when suddenly it plummeted into a vertical dive.

It is now at the very top of the tallest tree along the field edge at the bottom of the slope. The tree is about 50ft tall. The plane is hanging from a branch, which has pierced the leading edge, so may require quite a lot of force to dislodge. The branches are too thin to climb out to it.

Any thoughts about how to retrieve the model? My best idea so far is to try bamboo canes taped together with strapping tape. It would take 6 or 7 of the 8' ones that I use as runner bean supports, and the tree is twiggy enough to provide some support along the length.

I'd like to get the plane back if only because I am really curious to know what went wrong. The battery wasn't low. The servos are MKS 6100's on elevator and ailerons, KS HD47MG on rudder. The most extreme manoeuvre the plane has ever done has been a loop. At the time of failure, I was just holding it in the turn with a bit of rudder. I have however had two elevator servos fail in this plane before. (See thread on this forum called 'MKS DS65K') The installation has been redone since the second of the MKS DS65K's packed up. I am wondering if there isn't something about it that is causing elevator servos to fail.

 

 

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Presuming the elevator is on a pull string and spring, is/was the spring placing unnecessary load on the servo?

Fishing equipment (rod. line and weights) might be the most successful method of retrieval.

Jef

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Fishing rod "blanks" can be good:  you can get a loooong fibreglass pole that comes in sections of diminishing diameter that are pretty long (8m?) for a very reasonable price (or maybe that's because I bought mine at Lidl's?).. To go longer you could borrow a windsurfing mast from a mate and tape it on the bottom?

 

Or, just call Adam Lambretta to pick it up with his multicopter-rotor thingy :unsure: ...

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My mate climbed a tree to retrieve another friend's model and ended up breaking his leg. 

 

Make leaving the ground the last possible option!!!

 

Jef

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I love trees, so I would never recommend the "final solution" which goes: "BRMMmmmmmmm, brmm brmm bbrmm...."  :wacko:  ..

The National Trust might have something to say about that, too!

Thanks for all your suggestions. I've got a windsurfer mast of my own, which is about 18ft long. It would need an extra 30ft or so of something added to it. They are probably lighter nowadays than when my antique one was built, but I don't fancy trying to manoeuvre one through tree branches over my head. I've also got a telescopic fruit picker, which is a bit more than 20ft fully extended.

That too is quite unwieldy and heavy at full extension, even though it is designed for a similar job. Fishing gear? I haven't got any, neither do I have the skill to use it. What happens when you cast and miss and the line gets tangled around a load of twigs? I suppose a multicopter with a hook on could do the job. The attempt would make a good video.

Fishing rod blanks are probably about the same weight, but more flexible than bamboo canes. At 8m long, I would need at least two taped together. Today, I'm going to try the bamboo canes. I can tape them together as I push them up through the branches, in much same way that chimney sweeps extend their brushes, and double or triple them up if they get too floppy.

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Only 30'! I made a 35' poker this morning out of bamboo canes, and ran it up a tree in the garden. It is surprisingly manoeuvrable. Whether an extended version will do the job, the rest of the day will tell. The Aeroloop seems better suited to people who can't miss small trees.

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Glad you got it back OK. A great weight off your mind no doubt!

Is your tailplane mounted above or below the boom? 

Most Blasters have the tailplane mounted above the boom, so the spring applies up elevator.

Good luck with the repairs.

Jef

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Richard Swindells

Unfortunately the blaster wings are a little fragile when they meet solid objects.. , but if the damage does not reach the spar it should be an easy enough fix.

I know that converting the Blaster elevator from all-moving to a fixed stab with elevator has been a very popular modification (when I was producing tail surfaces I'd estimate at least 100 sets went to blaster owners). With the Snipe the manufacturer has moved to a more conventional setup at the rear .

It might be worth considering with your model as you will get a lighter set-up and a more reliable linkage. 

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I know that converting the Blaster elevator from all-moving to a fixed stab with elevator has been a very popular modification (when I was producing tail surfaces I'd estimate at least 100 sets went to blaster owners). With the Snipe the manufacturer has moved to a more conventional setup at the rear .

It might be worth considering with your model as you will get a lighter set-up and a more reliable linkage. 

Mine is Blaster 3.5 and came with a fixed stabilizer already fitted. I've attached a photo of the horn that failed, taken shortly after I picked it out of the tree.

When I used to build out of wood, I always used to pin hinges and horns, usually with a cocktail stick driven through them. I didn't build this plane myself, so I don't know exactly how it was put together. The elevator of the Blaster is so thin though, that there is barely room for a cocktail stick in it. Nonetheless, the horn fixing could be a good deal more secure than this. The horn is made of G10 about .5mm thick, and is glued into a slot that extends a bit more than halfway through the thickness of the elevator. The gluing area is very small, and it looks as if the bottom of the horn has been scarified a little. I can't tell whether it made contact with the bottom surface or not. I suspect not.

I think that when I get around to fixing this, I shall at least extend the horn into a slot cut into the bottom surface. Even better, if it can be done, would be to let a small G10 plate into the leading edge of the elevator with a slot in it, egg-box style to accept the horn.

Elevator horn.pdf

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