This article details the repair of
Thwing!. The damage occurred on the second flight immediately after
launch. The electric motor was running at nearly full throttle during
the initial climb out when it pulled out of the mount.
We heard a loud
THWACK! and the plane pitched down violently.
The motor hung on by the wires and did not part company with the aircraft which would have made
the plane uncontrollably tail-heavy. Mike let the plane dive long enough to gather
airspeed and then leveled the aircraft and landed it straight ahead in tall weeds.
When we got to the model we could see the right wing near the root was
chewed up. The motor was underneath the airplane.
I had invested a lot of hours in building this model so I did what I have
always recommended to others. I took everything home and set it aside
until I was prepared to look over the model objectively. That took
about three weeks.
Damage is almost never as bad as it looks at first. Usually just
cleaning the model will make it look a lot more repairable.
The thing that concerned me the
most was that a lot of wood needed to be spliced in and a splice can't be
made invisible. This is important due to the transparent covering.
If the model had opaque covering, the only thing that would give the repair
away would be the covering patches. But even then the model can use
trim pieces instead and nobody will be the wiser.
That wasn't an option for Thwing! so I made the joints fit as well as possible. If I
can't hide them I may as well make them neat.
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