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Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Feb 26, 2015 @ 05:57 PM | 1,659 Views
Gentlemen :

The Ptarmigan has seen the beginning of the fuselage construction for the upper part of the model . This fuselage will be using blucor sections as well as typical foamboard . It will be necessary to carefully construct these sections to allow for access to the internal equipment . A lot of planning is happening for this .

I decided to use an old LG set that was in my salvaged parts box until I can bend up a new set . I need to gain a bit more height for the model to maintain the proper clearances for 10 x 6 props . The nose LG has not been cut yet but will be done when the main gear is bent up .

Futaba S148 servos are to be used for the aileron and elevator (Cyclic) operation as they are a bit heavier than the 9 gram micro servos that I usually employ . I have a feeling that the extra thrust provided by a pair of Emax CF2822's will be stressing the rotors a bit much . Controlling the cyclic should be no problem for these servos .

The Ptarmigan should be coming together quite quickly now as the fuselage is constructed . Whipping up a set of tail feathers is in the mix at this point . Busy , Busy .

Until the next installment of this blog , regards to all of the builders and flyers out there and THANX for the blog support . Comments are always welcomed . RickC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Feb 23, 2015 @ 09:21 PM | 2,207 Views
Gentlemen :

The past couple of days has seen the completion of the engine nacelles and their mounting to the rough sanded wings . The essential note for these nacelles is the use of a ROTORBITS engine mount as the base . This part is attached to a round bulkhead that is epoxied within the nacelle's shell . The whole assembly is bolted to the carbon fiber wing spar .

Each thruster motor will have its wiring housed within the nacelle and will be routed with wiring extensions thru the inner bore of the wing spar to exit within the fuselage near the ESC pair . This will ensure that this wiring is not exposed . The motor mounts will be able to be shimmed as necessary for correct thruster angles .

The most challenging part of the project is coming next ; the upper fuselage . This must be built in 4 separate multi-curved sections and mated as they are constructed to maintain the proper relief for any internal equipment . A whole separate update will be necessary for this section of the project .

Until next we meet , regards to all of the builders and flyers . RickC_RCAV8R

Comments are ALWAYS WELCOME !
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Feb 21, 2015 @ 01:43 PM | 1,898 Views
Gentlemen :

The Ptarmigan's wing is coming along reasonably well but is proving to be a bit tedious with the foam laminating . I decided to use a preformed balsa leading edge from stock that I had on hand to simplify the wing's airfoil . The application of this proved out to be quite effective but is a bit time consuming as there are a number of segments required to form the inside curve . Well worth the effort though .

Stuffing all of the necessary avionics inside the fuselage turned out to be the most time consuming part of the build so far as there has to be a lot of planning before the various mounts are secured in place . I managed to keep all of the gear inside the space of the intended fuselage shape with no major problems . Cutting the airframe to maintain access for the internals will be a good exercise in engineering .

The model weighs a mere 9 ounces as it is now which isn't bad . The remaining foam fuselage shell will only add on a couple more ounces to the final weight . The tail feathers , of which I haven't worked out yet , will be quite light as they will be foam based as well . Overall , the fuselage is proving to be very light in weight while being extremely strong due to the ROTORBITS carbon fiber skeleton .

The pictures shown are of the laminated wing build and its shaping . Note the placement of the various equipment mounts that will be inside the finished fuselage . Should there be any glaring errors in my planning , please feel free to let me know about them before I go too far along .

As usual , regards to all of the builders and flyers . Regards : RickC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Feb 18, 2015 @ 09:44 PM | 2,049 Views
Gentlemen :

This project is a first time one for constructing an autogyro and with working with carbon fiber . My autogyro friends like Lockey and Britinoz helped me with information regarding the construction techniques used for carbon fiber materials . Thanx guys !

The Ptarmigan is a hearty little bird that lives in Canada's far north . As such , it must be a tough little guy indeed . I am hoping that naming this model after that bird may prove to be an apt one .

My Ptarmigan has a carbon fiber skeleton that is based upon Hobby King's multi-rotor ROTORBITS building system . I am planning to use this system for various multi-rotor concept models as it is based along the lines of the well known Meccano building system that we all knew as kids . At this point , the Ptarmigan can be easily taken apart leaving the parts to re-use for other projects should posted feedback advice reveal that this is a crazy idea . Although I am finding that the system is a bit on the heavy side , I am planning to use a pair of CF2822 motors running on 3S power twisting 10 x 6 props . Plenty-O-Power ! The rotor head and blades will either me home made or the HK offered ones .

Plans for the Ptarmigan include a tricycle landing gear system and a full 3D blucor foam based fuselage and wing . I have not worked out the tail feathers for this model at this point . Further plans would include a pair of swivelling engine nacelle mounts which I have for the ROTORBITS system and a KK2.1...Continue Reading
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Feb 12, 2015 @ 08:51 PM | 1,304 Views
Gentlemen :

The DIIIa is coming along quite well albeit slowly . The fuselages (2 models) are nearly done and one of them already has the 1st drywall filler mud coat applied and sanded . Most of the fuselage sections are easy to assemble with epoxy having been cut from my templates . The only sections that require some thought before cutting are the F5A - F6 cockpit and the F9A - F10 tail piece . These sections need to have their side profiles cut first and the fuselage contours second . Other than that , the construction is pretty straight forward .

The wing center section uses the W7 rib only that is shown on the plans that I used . This section is of a gull wing shape for the lower wing . Cut and assemble this section in the 3 pieces keeping in mind , the orientation of the lateral dihedral brace location lines . Once the profile is assembled , cut along those lines to glue on the dihedral braces . Upon complete assembly , use this section along with a piece of sandpaper as a block to true up the lower wing saddle which has been cut out with its special locating template .

I am willing to post the templates for the fuselage bulkheads and the wing ribs if there is interest in this model .

Thanx to StephenM from Ontario for pointing out an obvious exclusion for this posting . The model's SIZE ! 35" length and 46" upper wingspan .

Thanx for the continued blog support and regards to all builders and fliers :

Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Feb 08, 2015 @ 09:51 PM | 2,432 Views
Gentlemen :

The construction of this scratchbuild foamie is my main winter project although I have been working on the V22 Osprey and recent completion of the Luobo V2 autogyro . I am cutting out enough blucor foam for 2 models and will probably end up giving one away to my buddy Frank for his birthday .

The construction technique used here is involves the cutting of 3D foam segments from the StyroFoam using a hot wire cutter of my own design . This was the same technique used to make the V22 Osprey in another blog .

These initial pix are of the fuselage construction from the nose rearward to the F5 bulkhead which is just forward of the cockpit .

I will be having to plan for an equipment hatch somewhere in the fuselage to get at the RX , servos , and ESC . The question is where . If anyone has ideas for this , please feel free to contact me about it .

Until the next installment , regards to all of the builders and fliers : RickC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Feb 07, 2015 @ 09:25 PM | 3,900 Views
Gentlemen :

Here are a few pictures of the completed Luobo V2 autogyro kit . I decided to build an optional polyethylene foam transport cradle to protect the blades from on hand stock . This idea has been used before and provides the blades a secure platform while transporting the model .

Another option that I employed is the use of a spring loaded landing gear damper based around a pair of small fishing tackle swivels . This will provide some cushioning for the longer than normal aluminum landing gear of this model for anti-splaying . I will see its full effectiveness when the weather allows flying .

This was a quick project while waiting for the tilt servos to arrive for the V22 Osprey . Those guys arrived this afternoon . I will be busy for awhile .

Regards to all of the builders and flyers and thanx for the blog support : RickC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Feb 04, 2015 @ 08:05 PM | 3,252 Views
Gentlemen :

Although I could have easily completed the construction of this kit in one evening , I elected to spend a bit more time on it for the cosmetics . As built , the autogyro did not present any real problems and went together well . Some careful work with trimming the covering flashing of the main rotor blades was done with my X-Acto knife and was then sealed with some thin CA glue . Having chose to align the cyclic servos across from each other , it was necessary to drill a pair of 1/8" holes in the middle bulkhead to pass a screwdriver for the mounting screws .

As I had feared , it was necessary to build the tail feathers from 4mm foamboard edged with balsa as the EPO ones included in the kit were pretty flimsy due to their thickness . I also decided to add a balsa trailing edge to the elevator and increased the size of the fin / rudder by about 20% .

Here are a few of the pre-paint stage pictures showing the wooden structures coated with a thinned layer of epoxy .

If it would quit snowing , I would like to give this bird a maiden flight .

Regards to all of the builders and fliers : RickC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Feb 03, 2015 @ 10:43 PM | 3,851 Views
Gentlemen :

While awaiting the arrival of the heavier tilt servos for the V22 Osprey , my Luobo V2 Autogyro kit showed up . A perfect sized model for the Emax CF2822;s that I have on hand .

Upon unboxing this kit , I was immediately struck by the quality of the CNC machined hardware and the lite ply fuselage pieces . I also noticed that some of the model's assemblies were already done . I downloaded the instructions for this one and dove right into the construction . Although I do not read Chinese , the wealth of accompanying photos makes this assembly project an easy one to do .

There are only 2 options to be decided upon with this build which are the placement of the aileron and elevator servo layout and the choice of using the aileron control function of the cyclic . All of the parts for these options are included in the kit along with the connecting hardware , pushrods , landing gear and wheels . Aside from the motor and ESC , only 3 micro servos , battery and radio RX are required to complete this model .

As a matter of personal preference , I tend to use LOCKTITE on all of the bolt threads . There are a number 2mm ones to be done with the V2 , mostly in the rotor head .

So far , the construction is proving to be easy to do as most of the pieces just snap together prior to gluing . The only problem that I can see with this kit is the use of the 5mmm EPO foam used for the tail feathers . It is kinda flimsy and will be beefed up with a bamboo skewer material on all of the leading edges . Other than that , I would rate this kit as excellent as far as the quality of materials and machining goes . A solid 9 out of 10 !

A few of the early construction pix presented here . Regards to all of the builders and flyers out there . Thanx much for the continued blog support . RickC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Jan 18, 2015 @ 12:16 PM | 1,973 Views
Gentlemen :

I was thinking of building up some wings , foam core style and skinning them with 1/2 ounce fiberglass sheets of my manufacture . The normal construction for skinning the core in this manner is to apply an adhesive to the core , wrap on the skin and cure the whole deal from within a vacuum bag set-up .

I have a vacuum pump that I built that was recently returned to me by my friend who runs his ice business locally . I made this pump from an automotive AC compressor from my old Ford crew cab truck as I was parting it out . I attain a 29.97 InHG vacuum with this pump and can get up to 375 PSI on its outlet if needed . (WITH SAFETIES INSTALLED) I have used this rig to laminate some 2100 MSR 2x10 spruce for structural beams with a 1 1/2" fire hose as the expander and a lumber constructed jig . My questions are of the other required materials required .

What kind of BAG is used for this ? PolyEthylene ? How thick ? Sources ?

Which FORUMS have info on this technique ? I search , but ................

Any help here would be greatly appreciated . Also , if anyone is interested in constructing this simple vacuum pump / high pressure compressor , I could throw together a quick posting of it . Thanx in advance . Regards to all builders and flyers :RickC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Jan 13, 2015 @ 07:31 PM | 2,405 Views
Gentlemen :

I am doing the final bench testing of the OUTput profile mixes of the Osprey and decided to whip up a set of drawings that may explain the individual goals of each one . They include both flight profiles P1 and P2 and should show what I am trying to achieve .

The OpenAero-VTOL manual found in the first posting within the VTOL section of this website and the firmware manuals on the Steveis blog are also extremely helpful for programming the various parameters needed .

My initial PIDs along with my project notes will be posted soon as I enter in the complete set of flight tested variables . The most difficult TILT servo profiles are consuming a lot of time to get right but should be done in a day or two . Until then , chew on these PID diagrams of the Osprey . Note that the basis pictures for making these diagrams were taken from the web .

EDIT Jan 16 : I am currently reworking the tilt servo linkages in hopes of better dialing in their operation . There is a noticeable amount of slop in the servo itself to deal with . A pair of Tower Hobby M995 metal gear servos and metal servo arms are in the mail as of yesterday . Hence the delay in posting the numbers .

As usual , regards to all of the builders and flyers : RickC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Jan 07, 2015 @ 04:19 PM | 2,123 Views
Gentlemen :

A couple of years ago , I purchased a pair of F103 FireWolf coaxial type mini helicopters just for giggles . Indoor flying was the object of this one . As I had decided to take a small break from playing around with the Osprey , an upgrade of the dead batteries of these helis came into the queue . I figured an hour to do both of them would suffice .

Working with LiPo batteries of any size should be done with caution ! Any type of short circuit with these guys will cause a lot of heat , smoke and eventually a fire ! I am planning to try and find a 2nd hand pressure cooker at a yard sale to use as a gun safe for storing my LiPos . That would keep them from igniting anything that shouldn't be lit up . Even having Kitty Cat knocking one of these guys off of the bench could make them ignite .

The battery salvaging exercise was going along nicely for removing the needed battery charging circuits for the new batteries until I nicked one of them with my X-Acto knife . A brief spark and then the internal heat of the battery started . Gradually at first , but definitely increasing to the touch . I quickly opened up my window and turfed the battery into the nearby snow bank before it lit on fire . I managed to recover the charging circuits and soldered them to the new batteries dealing with one terminal at a time . Insulating tape was used to seal up the battery and circuit before soldering them to the F103s . I had to drill a couple of holes in the bottom of the canopy to run extended battery leads from the main circuit board of the heli as I did not want to mess around with trying to solder directly to the board . Lead extensions were a better option . Used heat shrink tubing of course .

A minor exercise that could have been catastrophic was averted . Think over the idea of the LiPo gun safe . I am planning to find one of these for storing all of my batteries .

Regards to all builders and flyers : RickC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Jan 04, 2015 @ 06:17 PM | 2,049 Views
Gentlemen :

If anyone knows where a guy may find a Programming Primer for the OpenAero firmware used by the KK2.1 flight controller , please feel free to post it .

As I have written up and modified my initial set of OUTput MIXes for the Osprey several times , I have reverted re-reading the OpenAero manual yet again for more clarity on some issues . The most important concept to understand with this firmware , in my opinion is best stated by Ran D St.Clair on page 77 of the manual . This sums up the whole thing for me .

"You want to make any necessary trim adjustments first mechanically in the linkages , then in the FC parameters , and almost never in the TX . " (radio)

You bet ! Let the KK2.1 and OpenAero firmware do all of the controlling of the model as it was designed to do . This combination yields mixes that are far superior to any that I have ever encountered by any radio manufacturer anyway . The flexibility of the mixers is impeccable . Follow along any of your model programming while having a copy of this manual handy as it will greatly aid your efforts to a satisfactory conclusion .

RESET your radio for the model that you are working with for all parameters before programming firstly ! No things such as servo travels , direction , mix profiles , throttle curves or duals rates are to be used . Either inhibit or zero out these appropriate values to obtain a "clean set-up" whereby the radio will be transmitting absolutely full...Continue Reading
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Jan 02, 2015 @ 09:17 PM | 1,918 Views
Gentlemen :

I am starting to program the KK2.1 flight controller (FC) having flashed it with the latest OpenAero firmware . The genius of Happy Sundays programming is becoming apparent as I go thru the process . The generous channel mixing options coupled together with the required options for setting up motor ESCs or servos are included . So as they state in their excellent blog , why not use the FC to do all of these functions ! Leave the radio RESET to defaults for your model .

Assuming that the FC is properly flashed , the radio transmitter is RESET to defaults for this new model and that a guy has the model's channel assignments mapped on a copy of the input / output template , it is matter of inputting the numbers .

Parts 2 and 3 of this blog will cover each of the individual flight profiles in detail with MY NUMBERS and will be posted later . For now , my basic philosophy of the Osprey and why I assigned things as they are .

As the V22 flies in 2 modes of flight , careful consideration must be used to assign the parameters affecting each output channel mix as it transitions between the modes . I want to mix in some aileron input in the thrust motor mixes to create a roll function while in HOVER MODE . A similar mix of throttle and yaw will be used to create a turning function while in the FFF mode . My most complicated mix will be the yaw and forward / back mix of the TILT servos while in the HOVER mode . Getting the percentage of each adjusting input...Continue Reading
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Jan 01, 2015 @ 06:15 PM | 2,317 Views
Gentlemen :

Linkages . A very important area to focus on for this model , at least . Upon working with these , a couple of weak problem areas did show their ugliness to me . Careful removal of affected obstructed areas cured this problem to all for servo throw travels to be optimized . Other cautions include the use of swivel link , ball links and the installation of a throw limiting stop bar for the servo over rotation . Once completed , this set-up will be strong enough for the hover testing as the thrust motors only be driven to angles of attack that are near vertical . Upgrades should be considered to include extended metal servo arm and metal geared servos .

Bicycle spokes ! I love them for their use as servo linkages . Their threaded ends are of the same type for use with clevises , are a bit heavier gauge than the usual wire and are cheap . The tilt servos have short lengths of the spokes soldered into threaded adapters for the ball and swivel links .

CAUTION : The physics of my tilt solution are already starting to show up even before any flight testing . The standard servo arms had to be extended to obtain a proper travel throw but show a hint of flexing near the end points of the stroke . Use metal ones here . Also , my Futaba S148's have plastic gears in them . Although they move the rotation rods with no problems , power wise ; they will no doubt be strained to the point of stripping as there is a momentum related force of each nacelle present . I...Continue Reading
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Dec 29, 2014 @ 07:15 PM | 2,195 Views
Gentlemen :

I finally got back into the building after the holiday break and spent a fair amount of time on some of the radio installation and the cosmetics of the Osprey . The bird is in the short strokes as far as the project goes with only the remaining radio equipment , tilt servos and ailerons left to work out . Programming the plane for the V22 mode using the Happy Sundays firmware on the KK2.1 flight controller will be the next major task to complete . I have the mapping of the motors and servos written up already . Hover testing by the weekend , hopefully .

In the meantime , check out these few pix of the Osprey . As usual , regards to all of the builders and flyers . Have a Happy New Year chocked full of happy landings !
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Dec 18, 2014 @ 12:10 AM | 1,924 Views
Gentlemen :

I thought that I had better post these last 2 scans to complete the package . You now have all of the pieces of this puzzle to be able to reproduce this model . If someone with CAD experience would like to clean these up , please do and keep me in the loop .

The recent construction of the Osprey included the fixing of the nacelles to the winglets . I also built up the rotation servo mounts and the ESC mounts . The afternoon saw me doing some soldering of the ESC extension wires that will be required between the wing and ESCs and the outer wing to nacelle motors . The first light filler coat was also applied to the wing . Some epoxy coating to do tomorrow and the final fillings . Paint to come this weekend , possibly .

Should someone attempt this project , please let me know how it is going !

Regards to all of the builders and flyers : RickC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Dec 15, 2014 @ 02:26 PM | 2,271 Views
Gentlemen :

I am very proud to be able to share these pix of the Osprey's wing construction to date as it includes the detail shots of the nacelle rotation system as completed . This rotation system WORKS awesome ! A nearly frictionless bearing / rod system whereby a micro servo can do the rotating of the nacelles . I am opting to use a pair of the heavier standard servos though .

Inspect the detailed pix of the rod system that show how it was designed as they better explain the previous text postings . Please ensure that all of the internal wiring , servo placements and aileron / flapperon hinge mounts are installed before the top wing sheeting is appplied as they will not be accessable later on . Please also note the locations of various cut-outs to enable the modeller access to the final nacelle mounts and actuating servo linkage wheels .

There is a fair amount of cutting and fitting to be done to each of the extended wing portions that attach to the nacelles . Some cutting and sanding of the foam winglets was aided by the careful layout with a French Curve drafting template . Be sure to make a wing profile template from light cardboard of the finally sanded wing to use for marking out the nacelle to be cut away . Layout and cut the wing profile on the nacelle firstly ; trim the winglets next .This same template will be further used to layout the finished wing profile on the wing pod piece . When this pod piece is cut out , it can be epoxied to the top of the wing to form a seamless structure .

Rotation servo mounts and linkages , ESC mounts , Flapperons and forward wing mount will be the next on the list to construct to complete the wing . I continue onwards .

Regards to all of the builders and flyers : RickC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Dec 12, 2014 @ 05:35 PM | 2,652 Views
Gentlemen :

The construction of the wing is proving to be quite easy to do IF each facet is done in order . As the outboard nacelle wing sections will be permanently fixed to each nacelle , they will NOT be removeable ! It is therefore necessary to carefully plan and install any equipment mounts , internal wiring and the rotation rod bearing system BEFORE the top wing sheeting is applied ! The nacelle sections of the wing should be cut thru on their bottoms before the top sheeting is applied as well .

The wing uses some 26 foamboard ribs as well as 2 heavier spruce ones that will be used to permanently fix the nacelles to the rotation rods . Begin the wing construction in the usual manner . Install all flapperon balsa hinge mounts and servo ply mounts next . Cut the internal servo wiring chase and webbing to make a tunnel . Be sure to install a plywood wing bolt piece in the rear of the wing's center . Note the use of my previously posted ESC wiring headers used in the wing . These headers will allow for all of the wiring to remain within the wing but also provide easy connections to the motors and ESCs with standard female connectors . These headers also make for a completely flush connection system .

Use a pair of rotation rod bearings and a 3/16" drill bit to drill each wing rib along the pre-marked rotation rod line and glue in the bearings with each ready-rod / all thread rod , in place . Let the glue completely set before continuing on . Cut thru the bottom wing nacelle sections after the 1/2" x 1/2" leading edges are epoxied in place . Remove the rotation rods and re-install with all locking nuts , washers and servo rotation wheel . Only now , can the top wing sheeting be applied !

The construction of the wing as shown yielded an effective , nearly frictionless nacelle rotation system . Refer to the detailed pix in my blog .

As usual , regards to all of the builders and flyers out there : RickC_RCAV8R
Posted by RickC_RCAV8R | Dec 10, 2014 @ 08:27 PM | 2,294 Views
Gentlemen :

It dawned on me the other day that I had not posted the final pictures of the rebuilt ULTIMATE foamie . Getting old I guess . Anyway , as I will have to wait until next spring to be able to fly her , I thought to post the final pix before I hang it up for the winter . Here they are .

Note the way that the canopy area formed due to the careful placement of an internal fuselage cut while under construction . This cut helped to form the fuselage side aft of the canopy to be a gentle curve in 2 directions . There was no real filling or sanding to do as of this trick . Sheet metal trade skills , I guess .

I beleive that I finally solved the powering problems with this model as I had borrowed a watt meter from my friend Quinn . The final powering is a 3538 motor on a 4S battery , twisting an APC 11 x 7 prop . Tons-O-Lift with this set-up . Can't wait to fly her .

As usual , regards to all of the builders and flyers : RickC_RCAV8R