Friday, August 19, 2011

Broken Flaperon Repair

We just repaired our proto aluminum airplane.  We put triplers on the root flaperon riser, and we put a doubler on the opposite end flaperon riser.  We did this on both flaperons, left and right.

The doublers were reinforced with JB Weld (cleaned and roughed surfaces first) and the extra new pin bolt is a stainless 6-32 bolt with a locknut.

In the second photo, you can faintly see the crack on the original flaperon riser.

Here's the pics:

The original failed part is in the middle of the aluminum sandwich, above.

6-32 stainless bolt with washer.

Right wing riser with reinforcements.  This one wasn't cracked.

Outboard flaperon riser with doubler.  We reinforced both outboard left and right flaperon risers.

Inboard flaperon riser with triplers, JB Weld, and bolt (which will be trimmed).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Service Bulletin: Broken Flaperon Riser

As Belite manufactures Part 103 aircraft, and also parts for experimental (customer-built) aircraft, this bulletin has no force of law.  You may choose to follow our advice, or ignore it.  We hope you follow our advice. A picture of the broken part, along with a new part is at the bottom of this post.

While inspecting our prototype aluminum airplane, one of our personnel found a broken aluminum flaperon riser on the innermost position on the flaperon.  (The position closest to the fuselage, or root of the wing, where the flaperon connects to the control cable).  Further examination determined that this was a fatigue failure.  This failure appears to have been possible where ever this part was used, and we have been using this part for some time in our entire line of aircraft.  We do not know when this failure occurred.

We have sold aircraft and kit parts with these flaperon risers.  Some were made of steel, some were made of aluminum.  We do not know which customers have steel or aluminum.

If your part is made of steel, you may ignore this directive.  We believe the steel parts are OK.

If your part is made of aluminum, we recommend that you immediately install a reinforcement before further flight.  We are in the process of designing an improved part, and also designing a reinforcement plate for existing installations.  We expect this redesign to be completed by the end of next week.  We expect replacement parts and reinforcements to be available sometime soon thereafter.

Please contact us if you believe you have affected parts, so we can advise you when reinforcement straps are available.

In the future, we will be creating a place for service bulletins on our main website.

The photo is below:

Fatigue Failure on Flaperon Riser