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By FlyinHD
#402484
We all know sails have various life spans, anyone have thoughts on the lifespan of an air frame, assume in good condition, no accidents or major whacking. Are we talking 10-15 yrs, 15-20 or something else? Understanding the bones are only useful if they can be fashioned with skin.

Thanks and happy flights!
HD
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By red
#402486
FlyinHD wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:10 am
We all know sails have various life spans, anyone have thoughts on the lifespan of an air frame, assume in good condition, no accidents or major whacking. Are we talking 10-15 yrs, 15-20 or something else? Understanding the bones are only useful if they can be fashioned with skin. Thanks and happy flights!
HD
HD,

There are too many variables to give any good answer. A glider that I often flew in big air developed tiny cracks, radiating from bolt-holes in the crossbars. A glider that I had stored in a garage developed corrosion inside the tubing (it was not my glider, and I do not believe that the owner ever paste-waxed the hardware or the tubing, inside or outside).

Neither glider could be trusted in serious air, now. Corrosion can be prevented, but not repaired, beyond a certain point. The airframe with cracks coming from the bolt-holes could be repaired with modern fittings, but that old design is not worthwhile now. If you take good care of a glider, the airframe can usually outlast the sail, and maybe a second sail. Noisy landings can shorten the life of an airframe by a lot. If you take a glider to the beach, or travel in bad weather without the glider being in a waterproof bag, corrosion may bite you.
By FlyingWolfe
#402491
My UltraSport 135 bought new in 2001 has never had a hard landing *knock on wood* and the frame appears pristine still, 17 years. No corrosion or cracks that are visible from the annuals. Its stored in a heated basement around 20% humidity though and only has about 40 hours on it, I only take it out when I wanna ‘ride the bull’- its a pain to fly when youre 120lbs. :shock:

Depends on the wings use, storage, even how its transported on a vehicle. Im 10 miles from the ocean so I hide my gliders in the house as soon as I get home. Corrosion is a killer in New England.
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By Lucky_Chevy
#402508
If it's not corroded, dinged, or cracked the life is indefinite. I still routinely fly old Cessna aircraft that were built in the late 60's and 70's and they don't receive the TLC that your wing does.

Wills Wing just test flew a couple of gliders that were on display for the past eight years. The wings were reported to have new-wing performance.

Perhaps the limiting factor is the design. New wings are constantly be developed. I'd like to think that there is continuous improvement in safety, handling, and performance.
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By miraclepieco
#402513
Barring engine vibration, impact damage or salt water immersion, contact us back when your airframe reaches 10,000 hours.

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