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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wing One Rebuild (Say that fast 5 times)

This beauty was my next project!

This wing came to me from the second owner who had not actually done anything with it.  He reported that the original owner had flown it with some sort of pod on top that housed the battery, electronics, and motor.  The pod and what was contained were no longer with this wing.  It did show signs of having been flown but was still in really good shape.

Here I started to take the covering film off of the trailing edge of the section between the elevons.  I started to do this because I knew I would need to take this section out to be able to move the motor forward.  I wanted to move the motor forward because I also knew it was going to be hard enough to get the CG right without the motor being so far back.


Here is a closer look after I had cut the trailing edge balsa lose.  I also have the motor/prop combination that I intend to use and the start of a motor mount/firewall.


Here I'm getting an idea of how things will line up.



Here is how I originally thought everything might lay out.


To provide for some flexibility in the power system (in anticipation of crashing), I decided to use a block of stiff foam to mount the firewall.  I cut out the covering film where this foam block will be glued down.


I decided to use Gorilla glue to secure this block as it would expand into the foam as well as adhere to the wood and foam of the wing.  Also, Gorilla glue is more flexible than epoxy (remember the anticipated crashing?).  I used the popsicle stick to help spread out the glue.  I did not show these steps, but I also spritzed it with water to help activate the glue and then held everything in place with masking tape.
(Our cat Dewy is trying to get in on the action)


Here is all of the pieces glued in place.  I made sure to have the motor wires run over the top just because I though it would make it easier to connect up.  Also, you can see the slight up tilt in the motor.  This was done to keep the thrust line pointing to the center of mass.  If you do not do this with a pusher, you will get pitching up or down when applying power.


After doing some CG work (I used an online CG calculator for flying wings to come up where the CG should be for this wing.  I think I used one of these: wingcgcalc and fwcg), I realized that the battery would need to mount like this to get the CG right.  I centered the battery and then traced around it and dug out the foam about half an inch down.  I did not want to go too far into the foam so as to maintain as much strength as possible while still providing a good battery mount.  You can see that I glued some bamboo skewers into the long corners of this cutout.  I also wrapped a strip of velcro around each of these.  I thought that these would help reinforce the foam and help to secure the battery.  This actually worked very well.


Here is a closer look.


 Here the battery is strapped in.


Here I am out for the maiden flight.  A friend who is a really good wing pilot got it up in the air for me and then handed the controls over after he trimmed it out.  Thanks Richie!
If flew great and he was easily able to launch it and trim it out.  I came down a bit hard on a landing and loosened the glue on the firewall.  I just used a couple of rubber band from front to back to secure it and that is what you can see here.  I did this because I was not ready to go home and really wanted to continue flying!
(Editorial Note: I am not condoning the flying of damaged airplanes in any way!)


  It flew great just like this for two flights.  Then I came in rough again and encountered the damaged prop and completely broken loose firewall that you can see here.



Here it is again all rebuilt and ready for another day of flying.

I have been really impressed with how durable wings can be.  I have continued to fly this wing just as it is for many flights including some nasty crashes.  My worst crash was at a pretty good speed into a street curb.  The crash destroyed the battery and broke the hinges on one elevon and the related clevis.  I have since replaced the battery repaired these and flown it again.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Please feel free to post comments, good or bad, and be sure to come back and check for future posts.

Foamy Rehab 2

Part II

At this point, the carbon rod spar was glued back in place on the opposite side of where it was originally as this surface was clean and flat.  Instead of the brittle epoxy, I opted for Foam Tac which will be more flexible on top of being easier to use.

With the adding back of the carbon fiber spar, the frame reconstruction of this little plane is complete.

Now on to the control surfaces and electronics.

On the left in the photo below are the old servos that came with it.  They were a weird mix and I did not want to rely on them.  I happen to have two new 4g servos on hand and decided to swap them out.


Here is a photo showing the ESC and old servos again.  Note the micro connectors.


This photo shows the size difference in the connectors.  They are much smaller but I was not going to be able to use the 72MHz mircro receiver that came with it (I sold this receiver along with another on Ebay for about $20!).


Here is the new 4 channel receiver that I will be using with the two new micro servos installed.  The old ESC still has the micro connector.  I'll have to replace this connector as I don't want to replace this ESC as it already has all of the other connectors soldered on and I would have to get these as well.

OK, on to the tail surface repairs that I decided to make as well as changes to the control horn installs.

There were some dings in the leading edge of the stabilizer that I fixed by applying Gorilla glue and then covering with masking tape.  I let the glue foam up and then trimmed and sanded to shape.


I removed the elevator so that I could redo the hinge tape (pretty much rotted apart) and install a new control horn.  You can see here that the rudder just uses the paper on one side of the foam board for the hinge.

Here I'm cutting pieces from a plastic card to make the parts I need.  I kind of played with the shapes until I was satisfied.

I used this method (Ed from Experimental Airlines, thanks) where it glues on one side and penetrates to the other.  This makes for a light but solid horn.  I cant remember if I used hot glue or Foam Tac for this, but either should work well.  For the hinge on this piece I just use Scotch tape!  Works just fine for this little guy.


Here I did the same for the rudder making sure that at least one of the holes lined up with the hinge point.  You can see that it had to sweep forward to achieve this while not interfering with the cut out on the other side.


I did not want to just glue the servos to the side like had previously been done so I cut some strip of the plastic card and slid them through some slots in the fuse.  These were glued in with hot glue and provided perches for the servo tabs.  The servo tabs were then hot glued to these.  The photos below show both sides.


The push rods extend a long way and the old ones flexed a lot so I attached wires to the ends of some bamboo skewers to make fairly rigid replacements.


Here they are attached to both servos and control surfaces.  I used "Z" bends and mini "E/Z" connectors.  This made it much easier to make adjustments.



Here is a photo with all of the other electronics stuck on.  I used velcro for the receiver, ESC, and battery.  The battery is way forward so as to get the CG close.  It's still a little tail heavy.  As for the CG, I just kind of guessed assuming that it should be between 25 and 30% back from the leading edge.


This is what it look like with the wing balanced on.  I did not have a rubber band available, but this is what it looks like.


It's all ready to go now.  Just need a nice day and the battery charged.

I have since flown this little thing and I have to say that it is a real kick in the pants to fly.  Looks like it would be too light for any wind but surprisingly enough it handles the wind quite well.  I actually love taking this thing out and flying it when others won't because it's too windy.  One caveat is that it flies well once you get it nosed into the wind!  Otherwise your fighting to keep it from tumbling.  But hey, isn't that part of the fun!

Anyway, I hope this has inspired you to have fun with this hobby and to not be afraid of taking on what may seem like a piece of junk!

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Please feel free to post comments, good or bad, and be sure to come back and check for future posts.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Rebuild and Conversion Projects

I have kind of started to find my niche in this hobby and realized that I am enjoying taking old and slightly broken planes and rehabbing and converting to electric.

You may have noticed my last post of my Foamy Rehab.  This was one of the projects that started me on this route and I should have a second part soon.  As I recall, I picked this one up at the same swap meet at the first red plane below.  I think it was thrown in for free and included an old micro receiver, 2 micro servos, brushless ESC, and a motor.

Here are some of my current projects.

I received this from a buddy for free!  It included 2 servos.

I picked this one up at a swap meet for about $30 including 2 servos.  This was originally setup for nitro and I had a little bit of cleanup to do.

I got this one at the swap meet along with the above for about $20 including 4 servos and motor

This is my latest gem that I picked up for $50 including servos, brand new motor and OrangeRX receiver.  This one was also setup for nitro but had no signs that it had ever been run let alone flown!

I have several other electric and slope wings that I will get to, but these are on my bench now.  I have a bunch of photos and hope to be posting updates as soon as I get time.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Please feel free to post comments, good or bad, and be sure to come back and check for future posts.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Foamy Rehab 1

Well, here we go!  Let's get started.

After looking over the whole aircraft and its design and parts, I decided that the ugly epoxy job had to go!  This really involved two items.  The first was the tail section where it had broken off just in front of the rudder.  The second was the carbon fiber rod that ran down the bottom of the fuselage.  Both were ugly globs of epoxy. 

This photo gives you an idea of the parts I started with.  Just imagine that the tail was still on and the electronics were also still installed, either on the white Velcro strip, or just in back of it.


This photo doesn't quite show it but if you look close you can see that the rudder does not line up with the fuse section.  It was off set and twisted.  My first thought was to just cut it somewhere and fix the alignment.  But I could not find a decent place to do that that would not involve sawing through epoxy.  I finally started by just breaking it off past the epoxy farthest from the tail.  This also involved separating some of the carbon fiber rod as well and you can kind of see that in the first photo and the next.

Next came an inspection of what was left.  I had this ugly jagetty edge and this long carbon rod to deal with.  I also was going to have to deal with this micro servo that was epoxied in as well.  I started by finding where I could cut a straight line and clean up the edge, which you can see in the following photos.  I did this so that I would have a clean edge to work with.

Now the carbon rod must come off!


The best way that I could figure out to remove the epoxy and carbon rod without doing too much damage was to carefully slide and work by Exacto knife between the foam and epoxy.  This took some time but worked surprisingly well!
All of the epoxy came off and did not do too much damage to the foam.  The worst area was toward the front, especially where the servo was.  No I was left with this ugly epoxy encrusted carbon fiber rod.  I was pretty happy with this so far.


The cheep Dutchman that I am, I just had to save that carbon fiber rod.  I started by breaking most of it off with my fingers.  Not such a good idea as some of it was sharp and pokey.  If you are going to try this, then I would suggest using gloves!  What did not come off with my fingers came off with using pliers to nip off pieces.  For the rest, I found that the biggest notch in my wire strippers fit over the rod just right and I started sliding it up and down to remove that rest.

I really did not like what was left of the tail and rudder section.  The elevator was just fine, but not the rudder.
I decided to come up with a replacement.  To make this, I laid out the pieces that I had and traced around them on a piece of Dollar Tree foam board.  I used this because it was very close in size to the depron that the rest was made from.  Then I cut this out and gave myself some extra toward the front.


In the following photos you can see how I cut out the foam from this extra length so that I could use the paper to help secure the two together.

This shows me aligning the two sections together.










This last photo shows how it will look when completed and glued.









Well, that's enough for now.  In the coming entries I'll complete this rebuild and hopefully give this plane a test flight.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Please feel free to post comments, good or bad, and be sure to come back and check for future posts.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Two new projects

Recently I went to my local hobby shop sponsored flea market (RC Country for those in the Sacramento area).  They hold this event once a year in April.  These are great ways to find awesome deals on any sort of RC gear!  This year I went as early as I could and arrived at 7:00am.  Just driving up I could tell that I was late to the game as I had to park several blocks away!  I found out that sellers were there as early as 5:00pm the previous day and some had sold stuff as early as 11:00pm the previous day.  Surprisingly enough there were still a lot of bargains to be had.

I had $60.00 in my pocket burning a hole and I was not leaving without a new project plane.  Well, I ended up with two project planes!  One a serious project and one a fun project.  The biggest deal of all was that I did not spend any of my 60 dollars!  That's right!  I got both planes for free!  Ok, one is a little indoor/outdoor foamy but it had all its parts including motor, esc, servos, and receiver.  Well the receiver was an old 72MHz so I'll have to swap that out.

The left photo shows all the parts and after I broke the tail off.  I forgot to get a photo before starting.  On the right is a photo that shows the tail on but it was crooked and epoxied on (and a not very good job).


The other is a nice 44in. balsa profile 3D plane.  The bad part(s) is that it has damage to the wing leading edges and a fracture in the fuselage right behind the wing.  Also it was gas and I'll be converting it to electric.


Well, I think I have my work cut out for me!  My upcoming posts will be progress updates for each so stay tuned to see how they turn out.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Please feel free to post comments, good or bad, and be sure to come back and check for future posts.