.....the wing's the thing!

Published by: monty stone on 20th Jan 2017 | View all blogs by monty stone

a trike,  is  basically a wing, and a bunch of 'other stuff' hung under it. during flight at altitude, to me it is an object of 'adulation' and awe! (with a tinge of 'don't fail me now!). however many air mollecules hit it they are ignored!, but, UV will attack it. we in washington state run screaming for our 'moms' when the sun DOES come out. we don't 'TAN' we 'RUST', one month it came out TWICE! we all stayed indoors both days!  until recently when the trike wing 'gurus' finally began to blurt out the TRUTH about THE  WING! we sure had to squeeze them! , we, average trike drivers were abyssmally ignorant of the 'true nature of 'flex wing flight, now we are ALL eggspurts, more or less, and each of us could convert a stack of tubing and a roll of bedsheet into a wing, that somebody else should be willing to test-fly! !. we are completely at peace with them little engine pishkins hurrying to and fro 80 times a SECOND, just behind our heads. no problem, but that wing is our personal magic carpet, enableing us to enjoy the SECOND most pleasureable experience known to mankind, next only  , of course to sugar coated cream-filled do-nuts. the alluminum parts start to die as soon as they are born, though slowly. the plated fasteners pretty gold stuff starts to 'go somewhere else ' in a few months, but doesn't leave the fitting degraded, only 'unprotected' till the ensuing rust film will then protect from corrosion  . the wire bits get 'longer' but, unless kinked or cut, would probably outlast the other stuff, though mfrs, and wire co's reccommend replacement periodically. the 'jesus' bolt, the most feared and respected bolt in history, is also replaced, periodically, though a 'used' bolt has already been 'tested' and works, whereas a 'new' bolt is an 'unknown' quantity, to each his own. if replacing a 7$ bolt takes your mind off a 'looming' mega $$ wing fabric replacent cost then it works! so, how can we extend the life of our wing. don't ding the leading edge, (or any other wing tubeing), ONLY fly at night, i tried this, using a hand held flash light to help with the landings, and though fun, it has it's limitations.  but if you INSIST on flying in daylight then, realizing the insideos nature of UV degradation we cover, when possible, though it often 'aint possible all the time. i seem to remember some magic 'potion-lotion' that mega$$ yacht sails use to repel uv rays?? i paint my leading edges and outer two panels with a secret latex paint i get from my local hardware store, i tell 'em it's to paint my dogs kennel, i lied, i don't even have a dog, if i told them it was for my wing they would double the price and make me sign a 12page 'waiver', plus a seven day 'waiting' period, credit ck and homeland insecurity interview  . this 'secret' paint seems to accept being frequently rolled up by not cracking or peeling. this is on my 'lowly' northwing, my chronos repels it and looks like a 'molting python'. the french 'trilam' is slightly shiney and doesn't like being painted. when 'observers' point to the 'flakes' i put my finger to my lips and whisper ' prototype boundery layer test'. i recently sent a test patch from my morthwing to the factory and they said i had 10% of life left.  i took this as a  'kind' gesture, but at 82 they are being 'optimistic!,  for the wing also! . kamron said they usually 'retire' the wing fabric at 50% but the frame lives on! so, anyone out there in 'flexwingflyingthingamyland' got any ideas to prolong my life, i meant my wing's life let's have it,.............freazier nutszoff

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Comments

11 Comments

  • Bryan Tuffnell
    by Bryan Tuffnell 10 months ago
    Monster, old fruit, just fly indoors and your problems will soon be over!
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 10 months ago
    ok tuss, i knew there had to be a way!
  • Bryan Tuffnell
    by Bryan Tuffnell 10 months ago
    Just remember to leave the lights off!

    The stuff they use on yachts does very little to prolong the life of the sail, according to the dacron manufacturers. Even their 'UV treated' cloths don't outlast the standard cloths by much. You could tan bark yours (ask google).
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 10 months ago
    >>we in washington state run screaming for our 'moms' when the sun DOES come out. we don't 'TAN' we 'RUST', one month it came out TWICE! we all stayed indoors both days!  until recently when the trike wing 'gurus' finally began to blurt out the TRUTH about THE  WING!

    Love your writing style...that was funny :)
  • Lucian Bartosik
    by Lucian Bartosik 10 months ago
    Years ago I recall a spray on liquid being tested for extra UV protection of the dacron wing sail. It seemed to help a little but what had not been noticed was that it began to make the stitching a little more brittle by drying it out prematurely. So although the wing material seemed to be helped, things were not going well for the stitching. That problem was noticed by pure chance later and the spray substance was no longer used.

    I mention this because I bet no one reading here about the Yacht spray mentioned, even gave a millisecond to think about what else may be affected by that UV sail spray and what else should be looked at or taken into consideration, other than the wing material itself, when trying out something new. All too often things get overlooked which may (or may not hopefully) begin to show signs of being affected, that were not even thought about, when trying out something new on a wing.
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 10 months ago
    Good point Lucian, I built a 'copy' wing 'rippa', the picks are on here, somewhere, I couldn't find 'specs ' for wing material 'rip' grammage, or 'thread' pull rip level, I couldn't 'test' much without a reference point. But thread is a 'worry' cos each thread goes through a hole, so a broken thread could start a seam failure along the hole line, even though the material might be 'ok'. What do you think of my 'latex' paint uv repellant?
    "
  • Bryan Tuffnell
    by Bryan Tuffnell 10 months ago
    Hey, are you guys going to give me a sleepless night! I'm currently on a small sailboat anchored in Rere Bay, Whangaroa, New Zealand, sitting out a storm! Quite seriously. TPS has been useful distraction over the past week, which has had some 'mixed' weather. I'm trusting that my homemade sails hang together in case I need them in the middle of the night should my anchor drag! ;-)

    Most sails are made of dacron, which is a resin filled polyester. Most sail threads are polyester, and when you buy them they're labeled dacron (V69 and V92 Bonded Dacron in my case). What's good for the goose, etc.
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 10 months ago
    Hey tusks, is there a local hardware store within easy swimming distance? Tell them to sell you some 'secret latex paint, and a roller. DON'T TELL THEM IT'S FOR YOUR SAIL. Spin them the dog kennel story, they'll buy it. By then the tide will enable you to wade back to your boat, (keep your roller dry!). Ps, it only works if the paint is yellow, or dark black. Hope this gets to you before the stitches abandon sail. Minty...........ps, I tried to reach NZ once, in 1953ish, I got as far as Townsville, que, AUS, I didn't know whether to turn left or right, so I went home, to London, Uk..
  • Bryan Tuffnell
    by Bryan Tuffnell 10 months ago
    Hey Munty, thanks, I knew I could count on you for advice! If I have to sail upside down to keep the sun off the sails should I paint the hull dark black?

    In 1953 no one knew if NZ was left or right from Australia. We kept it a secret as long as possible. Now we just try to keep upwind of AUS.
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 10 months ago
    hey trasks , i love it when a plan comes together! yep, dark black for the hull, might as well while the roller's wet. marty
  • Neil Scoble
    by Neil Scoble 10 months ago
    I have been using nikwax tent and gear solarproof on my wing as recommended and sold by P&M Aviation, it can be easily purchased locally.
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