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Pierre_de’ Loop's blog
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Feb 28, 2015 @ 09:48 PM | 2,273 Views
Still plugging away at the Aqua Star fuselage and tail feathers, removing weight where I can. I decided to use 1/64" birch ply for the windshield rather than the plastic provided in the kit believing the ply will be easier to seal. I also skipped the hatch at the front believing it was for the purpose of accessing radio batteries. As I'm converting this airplane to electric, the hatch looked like potential leaky spot I could avoid.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Feb 21, 2015 @ 09:35 PM | 3,226 Views
The SemRoc Swift boost glider is complete and the Herr Aqua Star build is underway.

I've read enough about the Aqua Star to know that not everyone has success getting it to ROW. I'm hopeful that lightweight electronics, a brushless motor, and a few of the tips I picked up reading about other folk's experience with this airplane will help get mine in the air.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Feb 11, 2015 @ 08:28 PM | 2,752 Views
Building on the success of my Quest Flat Cat, I'm completing a Semroc Swift Boost Glider.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 18, 2015 @ 10:08 PM | 2,266 Views
I applied a coat of dope to the Brigidier’s recently completed wing this afternoon. As soon as I work out a way to secure the battery hatch at the bottom of the fuselage, I’ll finish that bit of work and put the airplane away until spring.

I’ve not weighed the airplane yet, but I suspect I’m a good place. The airplane balances per the plan, which I confess looks a bit rearward to me (behind the wing spar), but I’ll trust the plan and take some solace in the additional upfront weight that will come with the battery and few ounces of glowfuel in the tank.

UPDATE: I made a battery hatch with a sewn hindge and applied another coat of dope to the wing before testing the engine and radio configuration. The engine and throttle operated perfecty. No modification was needed for the placement of the fuel tank. The first flight will come in the spring...
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 08, 2015 @ 08:51 PM | 2,417 Views
Cutting the wingtips and trailing edge has brought me closer to assembly, but I still have to notch the trailing edge for the ribs before I can begin gluing the parts together.

I used my balsa stripper to cut the trailing edge down to the correct size called for by the plan. I can't imagine trying to make a decent cut like that without it.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 03, 2015 @ 06:47 PM | 1,790 Views
Work on the Brigidier was sidelined in June by a renewed interest in rubber powered free flight and profile control line. However, exactly a year after starting the airplane, I've resumed building and set my sites on having it in the air this spring. So far, I've cut my 20 wing ribs.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Nov 26, 2014 @ 10:14 AM | 2,194 Views
It's just about finished. I'd like to put another coat of paint on it, perhaps adding a red nosecone, but that will have to wait for warmer weather.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Oct 31, 2014 @ 08:26 AM | 2,401 Views
This is a thirty year old Estes Cyclone model rocket. The rocket was produced in 1983 but it didn't stay on the market very long. I built many model rockets in middle school, but this is the only one that didn't go missing. When I retrieved it from my parent’s garage all four fins had been broken off and hastily repaired many times. The plastic nose cone even had a crack in it – how did that happen? I believe it’s ripe for an overhaul.

The body tube in the picture looks pretty rough where the fins were removed, but it’s got a couple of coats of sanding sealer on it and its surprisingly smooth. I used plastic putty to repair the crack in the nose cone. I'll put a dab of sanding sealer on that spot too before I paint it as I recall the putty being porous even when it looks smooth. Pictured are the original fins, cut into a slightly different shape and sanded. I never liked the fins on the Cyclone so this was my chance to improve them. The motor mount is a split between old and new material. The metal hook and upper centering ring are from the original, but the engine mount tube and the lower centering ring are new, along with the centering tube between the two rings. This is something the original rocket didn't have, but I had the part on hand and felt it wouldn't hurt to use it. I've tied a Kevlar thread to the motor mount. Once more, this isn’t stock, but rather it will be set up like the Quest rocket kits; the Kevlar will be tied to an elastic chord that will have the parachute and nose cone on it.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Oct 16, 2014 @ 08:05 PM | 2,309 Views
I'll have to wait for a sunny day before I tackle the finishing work.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Oct 13, 2014 @ 09:39 PM | 2,585 Views
The tail feathers are on and the bell crank assembly is mounted and connected.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Oct 11, 2014 @ 04:13 PM | 2,351 Views
I used a Dremel tool to cut a grove in the engine mount like the old plastic mounts. The engine sits flush on the firewall with the landing gear sandwiched behind it.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Oct 10, 2014 @ 07:37 AM | 2,448 Views
Blind nuts are behind the firewall and the motor mount is ready for side sheeting. I'm pleasantly surprised by the strength and fit of the cabane struts.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Oct 05, 2014 @ 09:01 PM | 3,206 Views
Recalling how much I enjoyed Sterling Models' Beginner Kit series, I've decided to build a profile Pup along the same lines (ha, ha, ha). I haven't flown control line in more than 20 years, but I recall it being great fun.

Also pictured is a great little glider inspired by Bill Hannan's article, "Soda Jets - The Last Straw."
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Sep 07, 2014 @ 09:07 PM | 3,314 Views
This weekend's scrap balsa bounty.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Sep 03, 2014 @ 09:23 PM | 3,339 Views
This airplane flew best with a bit of clay on the tail so I dropped the Sig propeller and hanger and replaced it with an Easy Built propeller and thrust button. It's certainly balanced better...we shall see how it flies.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Sep 03, 2014 @ 10:22 AM | 3,701 Views
The wind rescued it from our neighbor's roof just before the thunderstorms broke. Lucky little pilot, I think.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Aug 26, 2014 @ 08:02 PM | 2,811 Views
This modified Guillow's Strato Streak delivers flights that last between 30 and 40 seconds...more than enough time to delight the family.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Aug 23, 2014 @ 09:36 PM | 2,971 Views
My children are discovering the thrill of balsa gliders and simple rubber powered flight. I'm rediscovering it.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jun 12, 2014 @ 09:54 PM | 3,513 Views
The fuselage is complete.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jun 01, 2014 @ 09:56 PM | 3,539 Views
Much progress this weekend...covered the left side, attached the tail feathers, and applied a cote of dope. My only regret is that the dope...or the sunlight...introduced some wrinkles into my covering. So it goes. I'll tackle the landing gear next, install the engine, and then begin building the wing.