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Straightening bent aluminum

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Flyboy
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Straightening bent aluminum

Postby Flyboy » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:12 am

Ran my Zeeko alloy foil into a sandbar at speed. As a result of the impact there is a small deviation in the front of the aluminum fuselage - about 1/4". It's surprising, because the fuselage seems VERY solid (there was no damage to the wind itself). This means the wing no longer sits quite in line to the horizontal. How viable is it to straighten the fuselage? I was thinking of taking it to a metal working shop.

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Re: Straightening bent aluminum

Postby max » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:46 am

do you have the spitfire or a normal setup Zeeko?

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Re: Straightening bent aluminum

Postby jumptheshark » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:06 pm

Have read a few reports of this so far and got a PM about it so it's happened to others.

Ran aground into a rock pretty early on in my foiling with the same foil (classic not spitfire) and was all stressed about the micro bend in mine. It was truly minimal seen with a straight edge along the top of the fuse at the front. I did nothing for a long while and noticed no difference in riding. I eventually did vice it, protected the nose with a piece of leather and used a large hammer to give it a few taps. Mine was straight within two or three controlled hits, no paint cracking or noticeable issue. Has ridden fine since. I would say be slow and cautious, but you can likely bend it back. If it's truly a 1/4" I'd take it to a shop. Last thing you want to do is crack or break it.... a new fuse would be a bummer purchase, but worst case scenario, I knew if I messed mine up, that was always an option.

I read a bit about work hardening aluminum before I worked up the nerve to straighten mine.

https://www.totalmateria.com/page.aspx? ... ktn&NM=163

Can't say I know much about it, but as long as you don't impart big enough force to cause small cracks, you're likely fine.

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Re: Straightening bent aluminum

Postby NYKiter » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:02 pm

DONT USE HEAT

You will render it useless....it will take ~50% of the strength out of it and continue to bend....

If its the spitfire I would put it in a vice between some wood shims, place some long bolts into the holes and crank down on the bolts with a good pipe wrench ....probably whistles Dixie now....

I wouldnt take it to a shop....they would do the same thing.... :cool2:

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Re: Straightening bent aluminum

Postby tmcfarla » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:55 pm

Had the same thing happen to my zeeko. Never managed to fix it, but I don’t have a vice, which makes it tricky. I think it is a problem with that foil (in shallow areas). Mine was nearly unrideable by the time I gave up on it, even with a shim under the front wing. I’ve run my lift into the ground just as hard and frequently and no issues with it.

Small bends can be fixed with a shim under the front wing, but the angle of the bend will get worse if you keep hitting it. Mine seemed like once it started even light groundings would make it worse.

I’ve since made a carbon fuselage to fit my zeeko wings/mast, and I like that, but I don’t trust it not to break and don’t use it much.

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Re: Straightening bent aluminum

Postby Flyboy » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:29 pm

IMG_0227.jpg
I'm thinking a metal working shop (there are quite a few locally) would have the expertise with aluminum & the equipment to know the best way to deal with it. It's certainly rideable as is, & could also be shimmed to bring the wing back to its original position.

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Re: Straightening bent aluminum

Postby jumptheshark » Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:05 pm

Agreed, I'd do the same.

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Re: Straightening bent aluminum

Postby Jyoder » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:30 pm

I bent my Stringy foil fuse the same way running aground hard, about 2mm deviation. I just took it off, jumped on it a few times, and it’s good as new. Has lasted more than a year since with multiple more groundings.

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Re: Straightening bent aluminum

Postby Flyboy » Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:21 am

Jyoder wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:30 pm
I bent my Stringy foil fuse the same way running aground hard, about 2mm deviation. I just took it off, jumped on it a few times, and it’s good as new. Has lasted more than a year since with multiple more groundings.
2mm? Really ... or 2 cm?

How exactly did you jump on it?! I've tried bending it back, but it's very stiff. The trick is to only bend the bit that needs straightening. Gonna take it to a shop & see what they can do ...

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Re: Straightening bent aluminum

Postby downunder » Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:59 am

But, does it make a huge difference when riding?

I mean, you could shim more your back wing if it does...


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