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Phoebus A as a first glider



 
 
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  #11  
Old April 13th 18, 09:20 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
John Foster
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Default Phoebus A as a first glider

That’s part of the reason for the post. Our mechanic (A&P) has no experience with this type of construction and wanted me to find out what the known issues were, how to check for them, and ultimately how they need to be remedied. The glider has been stored indoors in his hanger the whole time, and about 15 yrs ago he did the annual inspection on it and it hasn’t been flown or out of his shop since. To my inexperienced cursory inspection, it looks OK, without any glaring obvious problems.
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  #12  
Old April 14th 18, 01:15 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
2G
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Default Phoebus A as a first glider

On Friday, April 13, 2018 at 1:20:47 PM UTC-7, John Foster wrote:
That’s part of the reason for the post. Our mechanic (A&P) has no experience with this type of construction and wanted me to find out what the known issues were, how to check for them, and ultimately how they need to be remedied. The glider has been stored indoors in his hanger the whole time, and about 15 yrs ago he did the annual inspection on it and it hasn’t been flown or out of his shop since. To my inexperienced cursory inspection, it looks OK, without any glaring obvious problems.


I would get in touch with a fiberglass repair expert such as Rex Mayes at Williams Soaring, and get an inspection procedure. The fact that it has not been flown is irrelevant; more important are the storage conditions, which sound excellent. Look for any evidence of mold or mildew (areas of dark coloration), which would make the glider unairworthy. You will need some sort of borescope or camera to do this. Rust on the metal parts is also evidence of moisture intrusion, another deal breaker. You can inspect the wings for any delamination by tapping all surfaces with a plastic-faced hammer; good areas will have a solid high-frequency knocking sound (caused by the bond reflecting back the tapping sound energy), bad areas will have a much softer lower-frequency sound. This principal is used in aviation ultrasonic bond testers (I designed and built this equipment in my former life).

Also, you didn't mention anything about damage history. I would pass on the glider if there were any major repairs.

Good luck!

Tom
  #13  
Old April 14th 18, 01:32 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Frank Whiteley
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Default Phoebus A as a first glider

On Friday, April 13, 2018 at 2:20:47 PM UTC-6, John Foster wrote:
That’s part of the reason for the post. Our mechanic (A&P) has no experience with this type of construction and wanted me to find out what the known issues were, how to check for them, and ultimately how they need to be remedied. The glider has been stored indoors in his hanger the whole time, and about 15 yrs ago he did the annual inspection on it and it hasn’t been flown or out of his shop since. To my inexperienced cursory inspection, it looks OK, without any glaring obvious problems.


Try this group
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...ailplanes/info
  #14  
Old April 14th 18, 03:16 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
John Foster
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Posts: 354
Default Phoebus A as a first glider

On Friday, April 13, 2018 at 5:32:22 PM UTC-7, Frank Whiteley wrote:
On Friday, April 13, 2018 at 2:20:47 PM UTC-6, John Foster wrote:
That’s part of the reason for the post. Our mechanic (A&P) has no experience with this type of construction and wanted me to find out what the known issues were, how to check for them, and ultimately how they need to be remedied. The glider has been stored indoors in his hanger the whole time, and about 15 yrs ago he did the annual inspection on it and it hasn’t been flown or out of his shop since. To my inexperienced cursory inspection, it looks OK, without any glaring obvious problems.


Try this group
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...ailplanes/info


Thanks. I put in a request to join the group, but haven't heard back from them yet. As soon as I'm permitted, I'll ask over there as well. Thanks.
  #15  
Old April 14th 18, 03:19 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
John Foster
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Posts: 354
Default Phoebus A as a first glider

On Friday, April 13, 2018 at 5:15:15 PM UTC-7, 2G wrote:
On Friday, April 13, 2018 at 1:20:47 PM UTC-7, John Foster wrote:
That’s part of the reason for the post. Our mechanic (A&P) has no experience with this type of construction and wanted me to find out what the known issues were, how to check for them, and ultimately how they need to be remedied. The glider has been stored indoors in his hanger the whole time, and about 15 yrs ago he did the annual inspection on it and it hasn’t been flown or out of his shop since. To my inexperienced cursory inspection, it looks OK, without any glaring obvious problems.


I would get in touch with a fiberglass repair expert such as Rex Mayes at Williams Soaring, and get an inspection procedure. The fact that it has not been flown is irrelevant; more important are the storage conditions, which sound excellent. Look for any evidence of mold or mildew (areas of dark coloration), which would make the glider unairworthy. You will need some sort of borescope or camera to do this. Rust on the metal parts is also evidence of moisture intrusion, another deal breaker. You can inspect the wings for any delamination by tapping all surfaces with a plastic-faced hammer; good areas will have a solid high-frequency knocking sound (caused by the bond reflecting back the tapping sound energy), bad areas will have a much softer lower-frequency sound. This principal is used in aviation ultrasonic bond testers (I designed and built this equipment in my former life).

Also, you didn't mention anything about damage history. I would pass on the glider if there were any major repairs.

Good luck!

Tom


I'll give him a call sometime. The glider seems to have been stored well, but my one question would be what would have happened during the hot summer days sitting in the attic of a hanger, and how the heat would affect the materials. Your point about rust is also a good one, as the glider is in WA state where it seems to rain a lot. It's been kept out of the rain all these years, but the humidity is still a potential issue. I'll ask Rex if he can email me something that I can forward to our mechanic/A&P that will give him more specific things to check for.
  #16  
Old April 14th 18, 06:34 AM
POPS POPS is offline
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Default

Phoebus, fun plane in 10 easy steps!
1. Go to phoebus.vassel as directed and read everything written on the
Phoebus, and then watch all the videos Bruno made flying the ship, you'll
get an excellent idea of its capabilities.
2. Go he http://www.ltb-lindner.com/phoebus-ad-sb.html
Rudolph Linder was one of the original designers, his shop is now run by his
son. He will respond to emails, and you can speak with him if necessary.
Look at the AD&SB Summary, particularly as it pertains to
13 94 001 . 09 27-6 . 08 27-20. Many AI's won't even see this.
There have been virtually no AD's on this ship anyway.
3. Take the seat pan out and fill that area with lots of pillows because your
knees and legs will go here. Then remove the cubby shelf. With a utility
light, a strong flashlight, and an inspection mirror on an extendable arm at
the ready, carefully climb in there, taking care not to load up the control
rods that are under the pillows... and stuff your head right on into the area
that was the cubby shelf you took out, and where you will see all the
control rods articulating everything. It's really quite enjoyable to get
in there and play around seeing how it all works. You can get even
further in as you relax and get comfortable.. I hope you're not a 250
pounder by the way.
4. You need to take your time and inspect every rod-end
fitting in there. The ones they used back in 65 were of the exposed ball
bearing type, in other words, you can see the balls contained in the
bearing.
Sometimes there are some missing balls, you may even find some laying
down in the fuselage. Some may be frozen from corrosion or lubricant
solidification. Have the rod-end unscrewed from the rod and replaced
if there's any question. Quality replacements are not expensive.
Now go and find every single rod-end fitting on the ship.
5. Do # 4 yourself. Have a trusted/knowledgeable aircraft person go over
your work and hopefuly find nothing more if you feel lacking.
I hate to say it but aircraft inspections rarely, and I mean rarely inspect
to the bone marrow. Sad but true.
6. While you are in the "cave" check carefully that all the gussets and
stand-offs that hold things out away from the fuselage all have solid
fiberglass laminations; nothing is able to move, all is solid. Check
everywhere throughout the ship like this.
6. Polish the heck out of the wing root pins and hope they buff-out perfect
with no pitting, checking etc... otherwise the wings may be toast,
but there's a pair of C model wings out in Cal!
7. Check every moving part, every connection on that creature yourself
before an Annual is called for. Make certain you are there for that annual,
you will be amazed at what they NEVER look at, and then you will realize,
it is true, that You better know every nook and cranny of any aircraft
you ever own.
8. And then... and then.... move to the trailer and pick it apart.... rig the
whole plane with the knowlegable person that truly knows how to rig it,
not just somebody figuring it out on the fly..of course, before the annual.
Go through the logbook carefully, is it is complete? Was the plane rigged
for the annual? Got the picture?
9. Great bang for the buck them Phoebi'
10. Never ever get rushed into rushing with any of this. You buy it you own it.

Best of luck.







Quote:
Originally Posted by John Foster View Post
On Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 9:48:50 PM UTC-7, wrote:
http://phoebus.vassel.com/site_page_2511/


Thanks for the link. That is a very insightful evaluation. I'm also interested in what others think, particularly those who have flown a Phoebus.
  #17  
Old April 16th 18, 03:00 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Aaron Thomson
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Default Phoebus A as a first glider

I have extensive experience with Phoebus Gliders. I helped Bruno get his Phoebus A and I restored a Phoebus B. I’ve inspected 5-6 different Phoebus as pre-buy and condition inspections. I don’t have a lot of time to email or text so feel free to call! Love to talk to you!

Aaron Thomson
801-458-4885
  #18  
Old April 16th 18, 08:25 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Phoebus A as a first glider

First off, get someone who knows what they're doing to perform a thorough pre purchase inspection. Type specific experience is a plus but anyone who knows composite gliders well and is willing to look closely at everything should be able to do a fine job. This applies to any glider you're thinking about buying. The 15 year lay up wouldn't deter me from at least taking a good look at it - I've seen fairly new ships that were being flown that were awful and conversely a 20 that a club member recently bought that had also been parked for around a decade that turned out to be an absolute beauty.

The only Phoebus I've flown is a C. Weak airbrakes, but sufficient and it was easy to progressively increase the full airbrake sink rate by applying a slip if needed. General handling pretty good and fairly docile though it does tend to gently drop a wing when stalled. Or at least the C I flew had this characteristic. The drop was gentle though and the ship really needed to be very nose up to stall. The all-flying tail was perhaps a touch more sensitive than an ASW-15 but shouldn't present any difficulty to anyone who flies with any degree of smoothness. I actually found it to be nicer than Bruno Vassel did when he wrote about flying his Phoebus. High speed performance was better than I had expected too and the climb was wonderful. Removable canopies are awkward but the Phoebus has an advantage over the ASW-15 in that the latch can be locked in the open position when you need to get in whereas on the 15 you need to reach in with one hand and pull the release back and while holding it against the spring pressure you then need to lift the canopy away with your other hand. The under each rudder pedal there is a steel tube running fore and aft on which the rudder pedal assembly slides for adjustment so your feet HAVE to rest in the heel cups on the pedals and some find the cups too small. Because of the tubes you can't rest your heels on the floor like you can in most gliders. It wasn't a problem for me as I fit fine - I'm size 11. If you're size 13 and like to wear the sort of shoes John Travolta checks out in the opening sequence of Saturday Night Fever though it could be a problem"-) Rigging is easier than I had expected with the only quirky part being that, as there is no access to the aileron and airbrake connections when the wings are attached you need to connect and safety the L'Hotelliers right before you slide the wings in the last few inches. Support from Lindner (this ship has needed very little but I've had to go to them for the club Grobs) has been excellent and Lindner is owned by the designer of the Phoebus. A nice first generation glass ship and I would have been happy with a good one.

It's also a very pretty ship.
  #19  
Old April 16th 18, 05:29 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Phoebus A as a first glider

I have been thinking about the advisability of buying a 50 year old Glider and several things came to mind. There were 3, first generation ships, Diamont, Phoebus and 301 Libelle. Two of them used balsa wood wing core and the other didn't use any core at all (Diamont 16.5 & 18) and one used a wooden box spar (Phoebus). The next generation of sailplanes didn't employ any of these construction methods! The next generation (ASW-20, etc.) was built about 40% stronger after the LBA changed the strength requirements for their sailplanes. As an example, the Phoebus uses 3 layers of 4 ounce cloth in their fuselage (and wings) while the 20 uses a minimum of 3 layers (or more) of 6 ounce cloth in their fuselage. The question becomes, Is the Phoebus built strong enough? Yes, but the integrity of the wooden based box spar must not be compromised! What could compromise the integrity of the box spar? A ground loop that resulted in a split seam for a few feet. Pilot probably got out and was relieved to see the T tail still standing proud. He probably made a careful inspection, looking for any cracks and decided all's well, that end's well, right? A split seam in the box-spar can't be seen from the outside! Something else that could weaken a box-spar is wood rot, can't see that from the outside either. We know the ship has been stored in the rafters for 15 years, but how was it flown and stored before that? The ship may not be a bargain at any price!
I've been remembering the tragic crash of BG-12, that a new pilots dad had perched for his son. The kid made a high speed pass, like he'd seen the big guys do, then pulled on the flaps (probably going too fast), the inboard hinge of one flap gave way and took out the drag spar! That allowed the wing to twist and one wing departed the aircraft! Wood rot was found in the drag spar!
Buyer be ware!
JJ
  #20  
Old April 16th 18, 09:25 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Steve Leonard[_2_]
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Default Phoebus A as a first glider

On Monday, April 16, 2018 at 11:29:56 AM UTC-5, wrote:
I have been thinking about the advisability of buying a 50 year old Glider and several things came to mind. There were 3, first generation ships, Diamont, Phoebus and 301 Libelle. Two of them used balsa wood wing core and the other didn't use any core at all (Diamont 16.5 & 18) and one used a wooden box spar (Phoebus).


snippage

Minor correction, JJ. The Diamant DOES use core in almost all of its skins.. It uses PVC foam, not balsa. But, it DOES use core in its skins.

Steve Leonard
Wichita, KS
N1193 (Diamant serial 12)
N11LE (Diamant serial 13)
 




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