AIR ATOS Wing - 3axis from a trike wing

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Aesquire

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Jul 28, 2014
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The aluminum tubing used in, for example, a Kasperwing, is fairly resistant to minor hits, like running through a bush on landing. You can dent a leading edge if you hit something solid, like a shed or big tent pole, which then would need replacement, but loading & unloading, setup & breakdown just take reasonable care.

Composite D tubes are harder to inspect for damage, you can't just run your hand over the leading edge ( under the fabric, on a tube frame wing ) and be sure you are safe.

The biggest perceived difference, IMHO, is during setup and break down where a composite airframe needs more attention to rocks etc. & handling. Either material can be damaged by careless spreading of the wings and excessive torque on the wing root pivot points, etc.
 

Aesquire

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2014
Messages
2,397
Location
Rochester, NY, USA
But the aluminum tubing frame on many ultralights are under the fabric, usually a sewn envelope. During a thorough preflight you can run your hands over the leading edge and feel for dents and breaks.

I don't do it every time, ( but most times ) when folding up a hang glider, or preflight on a left assembled craft, run my hand over each cable, feeling for sharps showing a broken wire. It's best to wear cotton gloves, when you do this, to reduce blood stains on your stuff. ;)

I also ALWAYS take a moment and step back from nose & tail and look for asymmetry. Same wing twist on each side? Same shape? In some cases, rudder centered/rudders pointed same ( or proper ) direction?
It's absurdly easy to have a cable tang turned around or other glitch that won't stop assembly but locks the machine into an uncontrolled turn or pitch. ( and if something took way more effort than usual to get lined up for a bolt, etc. STOP and find out why. )

Plus you get that moment of contemplation of the beauty of the curves that shape the wind to fly.

Composites are wonderful, but can hide damage from view & touch.
 
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