Got out early on Friday, and since the family was all off doing something, I decided to hit the field and get some practice in before the heat came in this weekend (forecast was for 95+ for the next several days).
I’m finally starting get a more comfortable with the plane, so my sequences are looking better. First flight was great. On the second flight, something wasn’t right after the first maneuver. The first maneuver is an outside Q-loop with 1 1/2 negative snap rolls on exit. That’s a lot of negative g’s with a full tank of 64oz of fuel (4.8lbs). I guess I should have added some screws to the field tank floor because it came off.
Split the hardwood and pulled right off. The glue joint did not fail except for on the wing tube. I WAS SO LUCKY!! When the tank came loose, it went backwards and then fell down in back of the front support rail, crimping the fuel lines and starving the engine. Yes, I now had a glider, but I was high enough and close enough that I got the plane down in one piece.
If the motor hadn’t quit right way, I would have never known something was wrong and the real badness could have happened. The fuel tanks could have blown through the canopy or the lines could have come off. That would have been FAR worse since much of the fuselage bottom is foam sheet with balsa. Gasoline will eat all that foam, and the fuselage would need to be rebuilt.
Luckily, none of that happened, and I have a pretty simple fix. I should be flying again this weekend, just in time to prepare for the Northeast IMAC Regional Finals. As the Northeast Regional Director (yes, the NERD), I am the Contest Director (CD) for the Regional Finals. Of course, this means another drive up to NH. Since July, this will mean 3 trips up north with the trailer for flying contests, plus 1 hockey tournament in July (Chowder Cup College Open) and another in late September (Jr. Bruins Shootout). That’s five(!) trips up north in less than three months.