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Monday, March 31, 2008

Scale Gliders

With the Sungazer scale slope weekend just weeks away its a good time to go over your glider and make sure its airworthy . Some of the gliders have been pulled out of storage after many years of gathering dust and would need a comprehensive check.
There are 3 areas to focus on
1. The airframe ,its possible that in storage the wings may have warped, covering torn, control surface and hindges damaged and linkages damaged . Plastic parts tend to become brittle and may snap under load, if you have any doubts repair or replace any part that may be suspect.

2. The batteries if they are old should be replaced with a new pack and cycled several times before considering flight, likewise old servos should be checked out and may just need to be opened up , cleaned inside and relubricate the gears with a bit of silicon or teflon based light grease, if they do not move smoothly rather replace them as they will let you down. Try carry out a range check from all sides and make sure the arial can receive a good signal especially if your fuselage contains carbon fiber .

3. Assemble your glider, check the wing joiners ,control surface movements, reprogram the radio if required, check the incedance and nose weight, as a basic rule a glider should balance about one third back from the leading edge if the wing is not very sweeped forward or backward, its safer to slope launch a slightly nose heavy plane.

The picture above shows a team launch at a slope event held at Hermanus in the Cape province, I think it is an ASW 26.

If you are a relative newcomer or not sure ask one of the other pilots to give your glider the once over he may spot something that you overlooked and help prevent a potential problem.

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