Well after a very successful maiden last week, I had a very unsuccessful third flight today. After about 2 minutes in the air this morning, the EDF quit in flight and I ended up “lawn-darting” her in.
The battery had plenty of charge left so it wasn’t a brown out due to a low battery. I could still move the control surfaces, so I know it wasn’t due to loss of radio signal. I assumed either the motor fried or something went wrong with the ESC.
After getting her home and doing a bit of disassembly, I discovered that the motor to ESC wires had come loose!!! How does this happen in flight? They must have been loose from the factory.
Unfortunately, the connection is hidden when the fan unit is installed and I never thought to remove the fan to check the connections. After-all, I never had anything go wrong on bench tests before her first flight. It just never occurred to me to even think about checking the ESC connections.
Well lesson learned! From now on, I will be double-checking all connections and mechanical joints on any ARF I happen to buy.
To make matters worse, I had a new 4S 3000 mAh pack (only used once before) in the plane that got a bit crunched too. The pack is deformed and feels a bit squishy (not like its puffed), so I think I am going to trash the pack. It’s not worth the $37 to risk fire with a physically damaged pack.
I sent pictures and a description of what happened to Motion RC (where I bought the plane). Maybe they will take pity on me and help me out here. If not, I can pick up a new fuselage for $50 and get her back in the air without too much trouble.