The Retro Rebel needed repair; the screw eye for the forward shock cord attachment had pulled out. I started by drilling out the old hole to 1/4″ diameter. Note that this is a bulkhead in the end of a tube… not a plug. So there wasn’t a lot of wood for the screw to grab onto. Nor a lot to glue new wood to… I cut a short piece of 1/4″ dowel. Then I glued it into the hole. Carefully. It would not have done to push the dowel all the way through the bulkhead and drop it into the tube. I let the glue dry, then drilled a 3/32″ inch hole into the dowel. And finally I put a drop or two of yellow glue on the screw eye and screwed it in. Good to go? I think.That black stuff, by the way… I thought it was just soot, but I’m not entirely sure. It doesn’t seem to want to rub off. Hard to believe the wood’s actually charred, though, given that the parachute and elastic seem to be fine.
Here’s the thing with the Retro Rebel: There’s only about 3½ inches of BT-50 forward of the motor mount. The model’s fairly heavy, so they supply a 15 inch chute to bring it down. Packing a 15 inch chute into such a small space isn’t all that easy. I suspect that’s why they supply a Nomex chute protector; there’s not enough room for wadding! On the first flight the chute got overheated and acquired some small holes. Nothing keeping it from working fine, though; it did, but (probably due to a less than expert packing job on my part) the shock cord got tangled. Basically there was mostly Kevlar and hardly any elastic functioning as a shock cord, which meant high force on the screw eye, and it came loose. So next time: careful to wrap the Nomex around the chute, careful to arrange the shock cord for tangle-free deployment, and hope for a good recovery. If it has another recovery problem I may have to retire it… and that’d be a shame. Especially now that I’ve seen how it flies on a composite D.