After what has been an unexpeted series of successful flights, it eventually came the day on which I dared a bit too much a bit too low. Coming out from a series of hoverings, I messed up the recovery and impacted the ground almost vertically. It was only from a couple of meters of height, but it was high enough to hurt.
Surprisingly the damage was not extensive. To be honest, the plane could have been “patched up” and sent back in the air with limited efforts. But when I started to fix it, I decided to replace all the damaged parts entirely. The main objective was to improve the ergonomics of the battery installation/connection operation. I called this update A1-C2 as it isn’t a major redesign.
The A1-C2 is born
To do so, I decided to attach the wing permanently to the fuselage, something I had considered also when building it, but not done because of concerns about the ease of transport of a one-piece airplane in the cabrio. Given that in the first flights the only reason to remove the wing was to insert the batteries, and that the operation was quite clumsy due to the servo cables and elastic bands from the canopy, it made sense to find a better way to load the batteries. At the same time I strenghten the structure by sharing the loads of the wing equally on several points instead of two.
The nose in the A1-C2 update has been rebuilt with a truss structure, hatches in the lower part, and an improved, larger battery compartment, accessed from the canopy. The engine moved slightly foward, with a longer cowl, while the tail has been lightened with a carbon tail skid in place of the metal steerable tailwheel assembly.
There are still several adjustments to do, the cg is still to be perfected, but the plane is back in service and flying consistently since then.