Tower Hobbies - No Help!

I'm starting to think that Tower is starting to lose their customer service focus. I have been a Tower customer for 6 years. My LHS is too far away. The
bigger they get, the less help they seem to be. My letter to Tower: "I have been trying to purchase a wing kit for a GP PT-60 for a long time. You tell me that it is discontinued. I do not want to purchase the individual parts to build it. It would cost as much or more than a new plane. All I need is a wing, not a whole plane. Perhaps you can tell me if the wing from another plane such as the Tower Trainer 60 ARF wing would fit. The chord of the wing would have to be similar. You don't publish those specs so perhaps you can find a plane (preferably an ARF) that has a similar wing and chord length. Any suggestions? Any help? Sincerely yours, Howard ******** Acct # ******** Super Saver Club Member"
Towers reply:

Thanks for your most recent e-mail. We are unable to assist with your question. We do not carry measurements for the chords. We have no idea if there is a different wing that would work, sorry. I hope you find this information helpful. Product Support David Do you believe that, they have no idea!!!!! In this case you would think someone could have gotten off their butt to take five minutes and either measure the chord of a wing or contacted one of their techs to look up this info.What do you people think? BTW, any recommendations for a wing with a 12.5 inch chord. I'd be looking for a semi-symmetrical wing, with little or no dihedral. I'd like to change my old trainer into a little more acrobatic plane and liven it up. TIA, Howard
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You must be a member of generation X: the instant gratification generation.
Wine, wine, wine. Go to your local hobby shop, get some balsa and glue and covering and build one. You could have it done in the amount of time it would take tower to ship it. Total cost, about 20 dollars.
Crashes and rebuilds go hand in hand. If you can not accept that, you will not be in this hobby very long. -- Jim in NC
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I agree. The cost couldn't be over $20. Tower Hobbies hardly has the time to dedicate an employee to go rummaging through the warehouse with a ruler, opening all the trainer kits they carry (many of which are shrink wrapped from the manufacturer) to pull out and measure wings for your lazy butt.
If you fly, you will crash. You will learn to rebuild, or spend countless $$$ on new kits and kit parts.
Dr.1 Driver "There's a Hun in the sun!"
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Dr1Driver) wrote in message

I think you are expecting too much from Tower. This is a problem you can solve.
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I suspect that in addition to the last comments, Tower does not want to make a judgment call on a hybrid wing/fuse for you. How can they know what will work, or not? If they did pick a wing, and it did not meet your expectations, you would be even more dissatisfied with them. It may have a liability component as well, especially if someone gets injured later on.
Tom
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Howard,
You have spelled out the difference between a LHS and a large mail-order/web business. I would bet that the good folks at Tower who handle the telephone, web, and mail-in orders never personally touch or see any of their products. That is the nature of the business; take the order and enter it into the computer so the magic trolls in the warehouse know which sku to pick and ship.
I have been involved in flying models since the early 50s' and it is my opinion that the mail-order houses, and now web businesses, have done a lot to keep the cost of our hobby from tracking with the price increases of many other consumer products. It was not too long ago that hobby shops sold stuff close to the "suggested retail" price. The advent of the discount mail order (&web) businesses drove price competition and that is good for our billfolds. However, it spelled death for local hobby shops that could not stay in business at the reduced margins or that could not afford to tie up capital in the selection of merchandise required. At one time, I had to drive 100 miles each way to visit a hobby shop that carried RC stuff. (Yeah, I also walked 10 miles to school in 40 degree below zero temps and 6-foot snow drifts.) Also, as a positive, the mailorder/web based businesses have made it possible for people without access to a hobby shop to become exposed to, and involved in, our hobby. That is why many "significat others" have been heard to say, "The Toy Truck is here." when the UPS, Fed-X, Parcel Post, etc. pulls up to the curb in front of the house.
If possible, I still purchase as much as I can from our LHSs. It is very convenient to just walk in to get supplies (especially fuel, hardware, and props). And, to help support their presence, if they have the engine/radio/kit I want I will purchase from them rather than mailorder. I like to inspect any kit I buy and it is a lot easier to do that on the counter of a LHS than having to ship unsatisfactory material back to one of the mailorder/web businesses.
I understand your frustration in trying to find a replacement or subsitute assembly for a discontinued model. Unlike the automotive and appliance industry, the model industry does not have the same consumer and legal pressure to stock replacement parts. And, there is not enough money involved for "third party" manufacturers to fabricate and stock things like wings for your GP PT-60.
If you really want to salvage your GP PT-60 there are a few paths available to you. 1) Did you save any part of the wing so that you can cut rib patterns and measure the dimensions? Order the balsa, spar stock, and covering and do it yourself. You may find that building a new wing can be interesting if not actually fun. 2) Instead of bitching about Tower, post your need on rc newsgroups - maybe someone has a wing that they don't need or is in good enough shape to use as a pattern. Or, someone may have been in the same situation and already know which wings that will work. 3) Measure the span and cord and note the airfoil shape (important if it is going to fly correctly) of your GP PT-60 wing and then make the effort to go to a hobby shop that will let you compare the dimensions with newer stuff they have in stock. 4) Do the same as #4 and spend some time going to flying fields and asking folks flying newer models if you can measure their wings. With #3 & #4 you may find a model that has a wing that will work AND is new enough in the market that replacement wings are available. Or, you could save your pennies until you can buy a whole new airplane!?
J

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I went to 'Airplane Parts / Airplane Wings' and clicked on everything that was 60-size. Then I looked at the description of the airplane and found what might be a close match.
Hobbico Hobbistar 60 MK III ARF wing set.
Price 89.99
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXEPD5&P=0
From the description of the plane:
SPECS: Wingspan: 71" (1805mm) Wing Area: 887.5" (57.24 dm2) Wing Chord: 12.5"
Airfoil: Semi-Symmetrical, High-Wing Center of Gravity: 3" Back from the wing's leading edge at the fuselage sides. Control Throws- Ailerons: Up & Down 3/8" (11mm) Elevator: Up & Down 1/2" (13mm) Rudder: Right & Left 1" (26mm)
Do I get a commission for doing the research?
Carrell

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On Sun, 14 Sep 2003 14:09:19 GMT, "Carrell"

For the same ninety bucks you could get enough wood to build at least a dozen or more wings. Cheers, Fred McClellan the dash plumber at mindspring dot com
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Uphill both ways :oP
-Nick
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You forgot the part about the load of bricks in your backpack and no shoes :-)
Bob Ruth
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Don't forget about the goat on your head!
Mike

:-)
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No, goats on the roof! (door County)
--
Paul McIntosh
Desert Sky Model Aviation
  Click to see the full signature.
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And the snakes, the snow snakes.

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On 18 Sep 2003 03:28:22 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (BobAndVickey) wrote:

And shoes worn so thin you could step on a dime and tell if it was heads or tails.
Alan Harriman

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On Sat, 13 Sep 2003 20:02:52 -0400, Howard wrote:

Building it would not cost that much. I think you're barking up the wrong tree here because what you're asking for won't happen. Even at the LHS here they wouldn't open a shrink wrapped box to measure each wing to see if it fits.
Next time you crash, save the pieces and rebuild it. It's rare that you lose everything, there's usually something left to build from, make templates, etc. Balsa is cheap as is the covering for a wing.
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Subject: Re: Tower Hobbies - No Help!

"I think you're barking up the wrong tree here because what you're asking for won't happen. Even at the LHS here they wouldn't open a shrink wrapped box to measure each wing to see if it fits. Next time you crash, save the pieces and rebuild it. It's rare that you lose everything, there's usually something left to build from, make templates, etc. Balsa is cheap as is the covering for a wing."
Now that you've made your foolish statements: (as well as some other posters here) At my LHS (though local is not apprpriate, it's 30 miles away) they would gladly do something like that. They just don't have a strong airplane inventory, mostly RC cars. Maybe just yours won't, or just you! And, I DIDN'T CRASH THIS PLANE. I never said I did, either. I'm just looking to improve it. Look before you leap. ----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: rec.models.rc.air Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2003 10:13 AM
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So improve it! There are all kinds of programs that will plot airfoils, skin thicnesses and even spar location and sizes. The answer to you problem still is build your own from scratch.
Get online with Tower, order yourself a big stack of balsa and some glue and covering and get busy. Just because you didn't crash this time, ..........................................................You will!!!
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Ah...Howie, that IS a LHS. 30 miles isn't too far to drive. If you would buy more airplane stuff from them, rather than from Tower, they might decide to stock more. Maybe ask them to order what you need? See the relationship? You buy more, they stock more.
Maybe just yours won't, or just you! My LHS will open anything and accomodate me any way they can. I spend 95% of my R/C dollars locally. Because of that, my LHS will attempt to make me a good price on high $$$ stuff, like radios. If your shop is so good to you, why are you buying from Tower?

Then why not tell the WHOLE story at first? If people had known what you REALLY wanted at first, their replies might have been different. If you know enough to try to "improve" a trainer, then you should know enough to design and build your own wing. BTW, when you DO "improve" your trainer, be sure to call Hobbico, Sig. or GP so you can sell your design to them. Their designers don't know what they are doing, of course.

Don't bite the hand that feeds you. Next time, look in another group for your easy-way-out answers.
Dr.1 Driver "There's a Hun in the sun!"
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If you would buy

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The owner of this LHS is "not the sharpest knife in the drawer" but he happens to be the only one within a reasonable distance (more than 45 miles). He wants to cater to the RC car kids. Many of my clubs members have told him the same thing, get more in and we will all patronize you, but he doesn't respond. I count my pennies and dollars like many other people do, and I buy where my money takes me further. " Next time, look in another group for your

You were right one one count, this group did give me way-out answers. When I figure the cost of driving (gas & wear/tear on car) as well as the difference in price (usually higher at the LHS) I make my choice. Thanks, but no thanks.

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Except those are completely different circumstances, and an unfair comparison. A local hobby shop would gladly do it because they're stocking a sum total of one, maybe two planes that have a remote possibilty of being suitable. Most local shops are not very busy, and hungry for sales, so they will literally bend over backwards.
If I picked through Tower's site, I can probably find a dozen or more planes that might have suitable wings. I could probably name half that many off the top of my head. Someone would have to locate these wings in a gigantic warehouse, unpack, measure, record, and repack. Compared to the rather simple task of taking one plane down off a wall, opening the box, and measuring, this is certainly non-trivial and could take hours.
What you're asking Tower to do is akin to asking your LHS to order in wing kits for all the planes that might have a suitable wing just to measure them. THAT is a fair comparison.
Just off the top of my head, the Hobbistar 60 is the first ARF that comes to mind that might have a suitable wing. Unfortunately, the cost of said wing is $89.99, and that's going to be typical of all the ARF wing kits you find. The ARF wing kit costs more than the entire PT-60 kit!

Gotta agree with you here. People need to pay more attention while they read. When I read your original post, I came away with this: I want to build a semi-symmetrical wing to improve the performance of my PT-60. Nothing about crashing.
If you want balsa, your best and most economical bet will still be to scratch build it. Use the PT-60 plans for spacing and wingspan, and use flat-bottom ribs for the center section so it sits on the fuselage. Heck, if you build the flat-bottom wing with no dihedral the plane will be significantly more maneuverable and fun!
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