Originally Posted by fulldec
I flew the telescoping brass tubing hooks for many years, I still have a few, and still fly them once in a while. They are very lightweight. I never had a single Red Baron, never. I have always been amazed that it has worked every time! They look like they should hang up. They are particularly good at holding the pod and glider together on the pad on a windy day.
It's great that it worked for you. The model I saw, the brass tubing ends were raw, with burrs. I do not know if the kit came with the tubing pre-cut already (so they came with burrs), or had longer pieces that required the builder to cut them, creating the burrs.
In any case, as a kit, it required a lot more special and unique work by the builder to get it to work smoothly, than I think a good kit should require. I mean, how many model rocket kits require a small flat file, also skinny enough to be able to de-burr the inside of the small diameter brass tubing? Most would not have needle files like that. As though building a contest-type glider is not enough of a new or special thing to learn to do without also learning metal-working needing special tools.
As Ed LaCroix and I discussed the glider kits I'd be desiging for Apogee (the Maxima gliders), one of the criteria was a very reliable nad consistent method of attaching the pop-pod, that did not require any special or finicky work by the builder. And so the cast universal hooks were created, where the "hardest" parts of the assembly process were orinting them in the correct direction, and gluing them on with thick CA (in other words, really easy, with zero work on the hook/slot interface).
I'm hoping to get my 3D printer working properly in the next week or so. When I get it working, i'm hoping that the 3D version of the "L-Hook" glider hook prototypes can be mass produced well enough, and if so I'll be selling them.
BTW - none of the above is meant to slam the use of square brass tubing for glider hooks. Some people used them for other pods in the 1970's, worked well for some, and not quite so well for a few others. But the builders were mostly experts (building from plans, often with more scratch-building experience than kit-builders).
There are some methods I use in fabricating some parts for myself, that are not suited for a beginner or typical kit builder to get invovled with.
To pose a theoretical example, if I say to do "X", get out your Dremel tool and use a cut-off wheel. Which does no good for those who do not have that tool, as well as risky to suggest to anyone who may never have used a cut-off wheel before, for their first time to be in fabricating "X".