Up until now I had managed to avoid inflicting any serious damage on the VersaCopter despite a couple of unexpected visits to the ground. The first time it came down was when I clipped a post, judging depth and plotting a course is tough when flying around obstacles! From that a couple of small cracks developed in the side plates but everything could still be straightened and flown again.
The second crash came when I fumbled the sticks whilst a couple of meters from the ground and couldn’t recover. Again, straighten out the alignment, replace broken props and it was back in the air. This illustrates the strength of the clamp-on-tube ethos. Allowing mounts to rotate certainly takes energy out of the crashes and also reduces the chance of motor damage.
This crash was more severe. Essentially I ran out of talent, I was pushing limits further than I had previously and at the time I crashed I was flying high speed figure 8 circuits In very close proximity to the ground, less than 1m AGL for the most part. Upon rolling left to execute a turn I dipped the front motor to low and it caught the ground. The VersaCopter then proceed to tumble along on its side bouncing of the end of each boom for 4-5m.
The first photo below illustrates what I was greeted with when I went to collect it. Everything was still together but evidently some more serious damage had occurred. The front boom was at an odd angle and the rear boom had shifted significantly. The motors had rotated to all sorts of interesting angles.
Closer inspection revealed that all of the vertical plates around the front tube were broken and the displaced boom had bent the side plate in.
Similar damage also happen to the rear end during the tumbling however everything stayed in essentially the right place. All of the vertical Delrin plates will need replacing to get this back in the air.
Spread out on the table the this is what the damage looks like. Unsurprisingly the cracks all occurred at very thin sections of the frame.
Thankfully, in anticipation of just such a circumstance I ordered a couple of crash kits several days ago so soon enough I will have the replacement Delrin parts to get it back in the air. I’m also interested to see what the Flite Test crew comes up with for the ‘stronger upgrades’ they are working on.