Sunday, January 17, 2016

Bulletproofing the Serpent wing

The new wings Serpent has come out with are great.  Adjustable, beautiful, and lightweight, there is only one problem: the front wing breaks easily at the attachment.

It appears the object was to keep the front wing lightweight at the attachment, and maintaining a realistic look.   Both were achieved, but a good crash will crack the wing.  I attempted to rebuild and re-enforce my broken wing with J-B Quick epoxy and a piece of carbon fiber, but it broke just as quick again on the next practice run.

At home, I thought about what could be done, and I realized that just the wing itself could be attached as the Xray lexan wings are.  I was able to remove the old wing pylon and drill the wing element for an Xray bumper.

At that point, I decided that while the Xray bumper certainly would be secure, it would probably be a bit heavy, and possibly strange looking.  I decided to use some scrap carbon fiber chassis material to make an attachment using the same hole pattern as the Xray bumper.  This would allow me to use either the Xray bumper or the carbon fiber.  Not a bad option if the carbon fiber did not pan out in testing.

It didn't take too long to make a little tongue to mount the wing to the chassis.  Not only is it light weight, but it allows some flexibility in how high the wing is mounted as well via spacers underneath the wing element.

I have 2 sets of holes to allow a little more forward mounting.  I did have to do a little dremel work on the wing where I made the mounting hole to remove some material so the wing would have the proper angle.  It initially wanted to tilt back slightly.  Taking a little off the wing bottom forward of the holes let the wing sit at te proper angle.

All in all, this worked out fantastically.  I ran it all day at the local series race, and there were no problems.  The wing proved very durable once the attachment was improved.  I noticed the lighter Serpent wing gives a little more steering and response, so the carbon fiber attachment only improves this aspect.  At some point I will try to make a better finished version, but this prototype piece worked in an excellent fashion. 

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