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flexiwing....sail.....long life'......?

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  • flexiwing....sail.....long life'......?

    My question is.....if a flexiwing aircraft is, mostly, fully derigged after every flying session..........does this habitual rigging/derigging in itself impose discernible extra damage/ wear/tear on the sail...?........maybe even cancelling out the financial benefits of home storage...?

  • #2
    flexiwing....sail.....long life'......?

    Hi Patrick,

    It seems to be a rare thing that flexwings are derigged after flight these days. Our field is one of the last to do this (lack of hangarage).
    If I do an inspection, these days, the owner usually stands agog as I remove and de-tension the wing... That's the only time they see it done.
    We fly 30 year old flexwings, and no, it doesn't do any damage. Constant rolling of the fabric probably increases cloth porosity by displacing resin, but that's never going to be noticed on a powered machine.
    One thing that can be an issue is properly padding the bagged wing on the roof-rack or trailer if transporting. We do store in lorry backs, which avoids any travelling wear.

    Dave

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    • #3
      flexiwing....sail.....long life'......?

      I derig machine after every flight, by simply stepping out of the cockpit. ;-)

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      • #4
        flexiwing....sail.....long life'......?

        The two biggest factors in sail life are care and the choice of the cloth.

        Storing away damp and strong sunlight are two good factors for a short life, also if you use sail cloth described by the cloth manufacturer as for "economy" or "low price sails at low cost of material" then it probably won't last.

        HG rig and derig often, worth looking at their sails for wear.

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        • #5
          flexiwing....sail.....long life'......?

          Thankyou guys for these snippets of useful info...

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          • #6
            flexiwing....sail.....long life'......?

            Hi Patrick,
            What is your wing?
            Some rig and de-rig better than others, and some have critical areas for padding (generally around the roll bracket).
            There are techniques to put the battens in and out that minimise damage the sail (eg put all the middle battens in half way first, then fully in).
            The trouble is that you will learn by your mistakes and each mistake will be a little bit of damege - generally not a structural problem but annoying - so worth finding somone local who knows your wing type and can show you what to do
            AndyB

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            • #7
              flexiwing....sail.....long life'......?

              uh huh Andy I do not have a wing. I am trying to decide what to buy and the best storage method for my circumstances and this thread is part of my research.

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              • #8
                flexiwing....sail.....long life'......?

                Used to rig every time 20 years ago, two tricks used at the time may be useful:-

                1) Spray battens with Caravan Awning lubricant, a silicon harmless white liquid used to smooth the sliding parts

                2) On tight battens I fitted batten repair sleeves or 'socks' bought from the old Mainair sports, they take the wear off the sail pockets and are dead easy to install or renew

                3) There is no third thing ;-)

                cheers

                Kev
                G-KEVA
                BMAA 5696

                "If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: it's all balls."

                R.J. Mitchell :- Designer of the Supermarine Spitfire

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                • #9
                  flexiwing....sail.....long life'......?

                  I use to rig and derig for 18 years. No problems.

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                  • #10
                    flexiwing....sail.....long life'......?

                    Thank you Kev, Gwyn for latest info. I have decided my operation will be habitual rig/de-rig and SSDR.
                    I've just started 'differences training' on flexwing.
                    My aircraft acquisition might be an existing 2-seater for mod and reg to SSDR.........any useful info in this connection most welcome.
                    I anticipate my activity will be all local......no touring ambitions.

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                    • #11
                      flexiwing....sail.....long life'......?

                      I seem to remember Roger Pattrick telling me that they got worried about flying wire life with constant rig snd derig. Or rather they felt that if you kept permanently rigged you could extend the lifeing on the wires. I think the problem was/is that you can easily kink them without realising - I guess it's easily monitored though, unlike cloth condition.
                      Mike

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                      • #12
                        flexiwing....sail.....long life'......?

                        The rolled cable terminals on Mainair wings were a bit susceptible to stress raising where the cable exits the terminal.
                        Need to be careful when stowing and again when tensioning.
                        Suggestions:
                        Raven
                        Pegasus Q
                        Flash 2A
                        All fine with a 447 when solo. I prefer the Raven, and it's easiest to rig. But the others are fine too.

                        Dave

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                        • #13
                          flexiwing....sail.....long life'......?

                          These suggestions much appreciated..........thanks

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                          • #14
                            flexiwing....sail.....long life'......?

                            Dave Smith wrote: The rolled cable terminals on Mainair wings were a bit susceptible to stress raising where the cable exits the terminal.
                            Need to be careful when stowing and again when tensioning.
                            Suggestions:
                            Raven
                            Pegasus Q
                            Flash 2A
                            All fine with a 447 when solo. I prefer the Raven, and it's easiest to rig. But the others are fine too.

                            Dave
                            ... and on the other hand storing my Mainair Blade fully rigged caused a different kind of problem. condensation from the roof would run onto my wing and down the flying wires and gather at the ends of those very rolled terminals you mention. Despite the wires and the terminal being stainless steel the wires corroded at that point. I took it very seriously after the late Steve Clarehugh told me he watched in horror as the individual strands started pinging apart when he was flying with a student many years ago.
                            Mike

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                            • #15
                              flexiwing....sail.....long life'......?

                              LOL.....some of this stuff could put you off microlighting..........

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