I recently noticed a trim change on my Giant Wild Thing–it was climbing pretty badly. Eventually I landed uneventfully to see that the rudder had fluttered off, breaking 4 hinges. The forces involved in flutter are impressive as the rudder was secure enough to resist pulling apart by hand.
This is the second incarnation of a rudder on this airplane. The first rudder was ineffective and the plane would not knife edge. I added a lot of aerodynamic balance to it. Following good model airplane practice, I also rounded, rather than sharpened, the trailing edges of the rudder. Apparently that was not enough. The repaired configuration doubles the hinges and also statically balances the rudder by adding a fishing “bullet weight” to the front of the rudder.
The initial flights with this new configuration went well, but a hard landing meant that the plane will need to be repaired before it is clear that the fix has cured the problem.
The weather has finally started improving and this has left us with a few spectacular flying days plus a lot more good days, and the members have taken to it happily.
The farm is growing potatoes rather than tomatoes this year, and it is clear that they are better financed than in recent history. Helicopters have been spraying the potatoes regularly and two helicopters have been seen regularly at the field.
We also talked to a man who was talking about spraying with fixed-wing aircraft, but he never actually sprayed.