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Life Flight Hours for a Foamy

#1
Started building a year ago and I have a great scratch built FT Arrow that was my first true great flying aircraft that I have flown for several months. It probably has a couple of hours of total flight time and survived a few moderate to severe crashes and a replaced servo or two.

Which begs the question; assuming “normal” flight outcomes (no serious crashes, damage, impacts, etc.), reasonable replacement of consumable parts (servo replacements, motor repair and replacement, etc.), and the average demand on the airframe (“some” rough landings, moisture encroachment, heat/cold, sharp turns, turbulence, etc.), what would you say could be the expected total flight hours a foam board airframe could sustain in its lifetime before it cannot be repaired? 50 hours? 100?

Anyone have something incredibly old that still flies like the glue is still hot?
 

Fluburtur

Cardboard Boy
#2
The main issues I have on my foamies is the tape hinge unsticking but thats easy to fix, I havent worked with foamboard but a wire cut foam plane will last basically forever if you maintain it well, depending on how well you glued it (I usually crash my planes before they get old however)
 
#3
something incredibly old that still flies like the glue is still hot?
not sure about the flight hours but I can tell you it’s lots n lots 🤪
yes had many crashes and stuck back together lol, ripped the engine out it yesterday (inverted crash) hot glued it back in and she’s ready to rip up the sky’s tomorrow 😂👌🎮💫✈️💥

probably not the accurate answer your looking for however I like hot glue
 

Attachments

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#6
Honestly the life of your build is entirely set during the build. In addition the repair techniques and materials used also make a big impact.

My first builds lasted about a year before they began to weaken to the point that I needed to replace them, but after a long program of trial and error testing different techniques, different glues, and different sealing methods my FB builds are now so long lived that I have more than once needed to repair or replace the motor due to bearing problems and that is having never crashed, nosed over, or even broken a prop. Similarly I do need to occasionally replace the wheels especially on the larger models as the wheels I use are cheap and they grind out the axle hole over time.

Once you get your build techniques sorted out then you will find the biggest danger and source of life shortening damage is hanger rash! I have a number of FB planes that are over 2 years old without any issues related to FB issues and many that have well in excess of 100 hours of air time and a small number with many more air hours.

I can provide a few details of what I do in key areas of my builds but remember I live in a relatively hot sub-tropical environment where even in mid winter we can still see temperatures over 20 degrees Celsius.

Have fun!
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#7
It depends I am hard on my FB planes I look at them as being disposable so I do stupid things with them that I would not do with my balsa planes. Which a great way to learn of what I can actually do and not do or think I can. Which many times I learn I can`t so I have a new flying scenario to work on which keeps it interesting.. Doing loops and touch the gear on the ground flying inverted and drag the tail, hey look those two branches looks like enough room to get thru, fly under fences, I just have a blast with them. SOOoo life expectancy of mine is usually short lived $2-$6 worth of foam and couple of hours and another is ready to do stupid things with..
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#8
It depends I am hard on my FB planes I look at them as being disposable so I do stupid things with them that I would not do with my balsa planes. Which a great way to learn of what I can actually do and not do or think I can. Which many times I learn I can`t so I have a new flying scenario to work on which keeps it interesting.. Doing loops and touch the gear on the ground flying inverted and drag the tail, hey look those two branches looks like enough room to get thru, fly under fences, I just have a blast with them. SOOoo life expectancy of mine is usually short lived $2-$6 worth of foam and couple of hours and another is ready to do stupid things with..
Great attitude! That is my mentality as well. The ft-22 has been my real beater for that kind of thing cause you don’t even break a prop when you crash, so crash I do! Those things don’t last long in my hands lol... but it’s such a simple and fun build, so I just go for anything I feel like!