Friday, July 24, 2015

Lots of progress, and almost there

Apologies to anyone actually following this blog.  I've made lots of progress on the plane, but not many blog updates!  I've sanded down the fuselage, cut out the wing opening and fashioned the wing mounts, and covered all of the flying surfaces with Sig Koverall and poly.  I also managed to get the fuselage painted and the motor cover attached with located pins and a magnet.  If anyone wants details just let me know.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Wrap your you-know-what in fiberglass.....

I've decided to wrap the fuselage in fiberglass.  Honestly, I think the fuselage is strong enough as it is, but because I only used 1/16" sheeting I didn't want to take the risk of sticking a finger through the side during a hanger incident.  

I used .5 ozs glass cloth and Zip finishing epoxy.  I've got some sanding to do, but all in all I like the result and the fuselage does feel a lot stronger.

I also managed to get the rudder hinged and temporarily mounted.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Wheel fairing

For the last bit of the bottom of the fuselage around the wheel, I decided to got with blocks of balsa.  The angles and curves were starting to get extreme, so blocks and sandpaper seemed to be easier.  It started out looking pretty bad, but like that Ancient Italian guy said, there is a statue waiting to get out of every block of marble - errr, balsa.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

More sheeting pics

Slowly getting there

Picture issues

Yes, I've been working on her but iCloud sync issues were delaying any posts.  Updating this blog without pictures is like eating toast without butter.  It just ain't right.

The first big milestone was finally removing the fuselage from the crutch.  Since I attached the formers to the crutch using hot glue, I just ran a knife down the seem and the parts separated very nicely.  But before all of that I took my time figuring out the wing mount location and marked it with pencils and pen on the wood.  That way when I cover the fuselage with fiberglass I'll know where the cut lines need to be.  I also did the same for the servo access doors in the tail.  The easiest way to find the internal bulkheads was to turn the lights out and shine an LED flashlight up under the fuselage.  The formers showed through the sheeting and gave me a clear line to trace.

I also took some time to make a servo lead extension for the rudder servo.  No pics of that, but I did have a little excitement when I was shrinking the heat tube over the connectors with a match and the balsa lit up like it was soaked in gasoline!  Luckily I restricted the damage to a small 1/2" x 1" section which was easy to replace.

Then it was time to figure out the main landing gear before starting the bottom sheeting.  I used a 2.25" wheel and 3/32" wire to form the main gear.  There are two pieces of wire that sandwich together in a brass hub in the wheel.  That whole assembly is then attached to the 
rearmost ply former with hard balsa  blocks and epoxy.

You can also see that I started installing the bottom backbone made from 1/8" bass.  I used tracing paper to transfer sections from the plans to the wood, then used my bandsaw to cut the pieces out.  I cut slots in the formers and glued in the spine.

I also started sheeting the bottom.  More pics soon.....

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Planking the hull, I mean fuselage

This weekend I started on the fuselage and fin.  There is only one way to cover this beast, and that's with patience, strip balsa, glue, and a hot iron.  Just like with the gull wing, I used the hot iron method to strip plank the fuselage.  

I had to remove some of the crutches to get to the under side of the fuselage for the first strip.  I used a couple of large strips of balsa where they could handle the compound curves, but I had to gradually reduce my strip width down to about 1/4" towards the top.

I also got the fin covered including using some filler balsa at the base near the fuselage joint.  

The whole mess looks a bit ugly right now, but that's OK.  It will get a good sanding then I will remove it from the remaining crutches and finish the bottom side.  At that point the entire fuselage will get a coat of 3/4 oz glass and finishing resin.

Monday, April 20, 2015


A rainy day yesterday meant no yard work, no bike riding, but I got a chance to work on the plane for a bit.  

I mounted the stab and rudder servos in the tail.  These are relatively easy mounting options because of all of the room I have back there.  I will create access doors in the sheeting to allow for maintenance.  This should make for nice tight linkages, and with the short tail moment I should not suffer too much on the nose weight penalty.

I also figured out how I want to mount the wing, and it will be a simple flat plate bolted to another mounting plate inside the fuselage.  Here is the 7ply 1/8" wing plate epoxied to the center panel.