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Posted by pd1 | Jul 14, 2014 @ 06:55 PM | 1,149 Views
A few years ago I bought a lot of kits from a gentleman that was getting out of the hobby.
With the kits was a partially built Little Stick he gave me.
I was never a fan of the Sticks so I just put this away with a few other airplanes that I thought I would never build.
I came across a build thread by Balsabird on an Ugly Stick. After reading the thread I decided I'd have a stab at getting my Little Stick finished.

The wing was started, well at least the ribs were attached to the leading and trailing edges. It was also covered in some brown stuff that really made the parts look awful. 40 years of collecting dust had transformed the wood to something you didn't want to touch for fear of catching the Gleep or something.

Some cleaning and sheeting and it started looking better.
Next the fuselage, what an easy plane to build.

Because the wood is so dried out I gave the plane a couple coats of clear dope. All the woodwork is done, the airplane minus the motor and covering weighs 29 ounces. if I can keep it under 3 pounds I'll be happy.

Here's some pictures.

It's funny how the flash makes all the variations in color show up. You can't see that when you're actually holding the plane.

The trailing edge sheeting is only 1/16 balsa and is unsupported, so I added 1/16 webbing between the sheets to keep my hands from breaking the sheets after the plane is done.

I think it will be a little heavier than the target 3 pounds. Up to 37 ounces before covering.

All covered and with...Continue Reading
Posted by pd1 | Jun 11, 2014 @ 06:48 PM | 1,584 Views
My buddy stuffed another one in. Doesn't look too bad, until you look close and squeeze the structure. The lite plywood frame delaminated and shattered like glass.

I replaced the wing and tail on this a couple years ago, but because this plane got a lot of flight time, the on off switch actually wore and failed.
End result is it ended up on my workbench.

I went to my box of Pulse parts and traced a fuselage side onto 1/8 balsa and some 3/32 inch plywood for a doubler. New sides, some old formers and some new pieces and the Pulse is almost ready for a new stab at life....Continue Reading
Posted by pd1 | Oct 05, 2013 @ 02:33 PM | 3,281 Views
I probably should have done this a while back. Better late than never.

My resurrected Sig Kadet then added lights.
The Kadet was covered in silkspan, peeling cracking disgusting old silkspan.
I tried to remove the covering off the wing and got nowhere fast.
I finally cut all the covering from between the ribs and left the covering on the sheeted surfaces. I had some Tower coat just sitting there so I used that.

Then I had the idea of making a night flyer out of it, wish I had the idea a couple days sooner. I used the self adhesive LED strips from our famous Chinese retailer and soon had about 420 lights on the plane.

It was not the same as staring onto the sun, but it was blinding when turned on in a dark room.

I like it so much I might do another one , this time I'll cover the plane with doculam and have the lights internal.
Posted by pd1 | Aug 19, 2013 @ 12:33 PM | 5,375 Views
For some reason I've always liked the Shoestring. The first time I saw one was at the Smithsonian in DC back in the fifties, the original was hanging, just out of reach.
In the mid 60's Carl Goldberg came out with a Shoestring Kit for pylon racing. I got one and had a ball with it, the plane flew great even with reeds.

Years later I got to do flight testing in a full sized one, that was fun.
Through the years I built a few others, all flew well.

I was given a partially completed Goldberg Shoestring a few years ago.
When I picked it up, it felt like it was welded to the bench. Not just a little over weight, but truly heavy.

This plane was built in 1972 and covered in silk and painted a fetching green. Because it was so heavy, I just accepted it and put it aside, I could always use it for patterns and make a lighter one.

While working on other planes I slowly picked away at removing the covering and sanding the HobbyPoxy"Stuff" off the plane.
I managed to remove over one pound from the wing.

Next the fuselage, there was so much sanding I would do a little work and put it away for a month or two. The fuselage had HobbyPoxy over the "Stuff", sanding steel would have been easier.

I made a new tail and new larger ailerons and and it was finally light enough to electrify it. I had to use a Saws All to cut the nose off and remove the old beam type motor mounts. Now it sports an E Flite Power 32.

I just finished covering it, some numbers still need to be added, but the plane is essentially done. I don't think it will be tested any time soon, I need a break from building, but maybe this fall.
Here's a few pictures.
Posted by pd1 | Dec 01, 2012 @ 05:54 PM | 3,558 Views
I got a little diverted from the Bootsraps build. The structure is almost done and waiting for covering.

Frank G ( murocflyer) here started a couple of group builds, on on RCG and another on wattflyer.
Frank has been threatening to build an Astro Hog for years and I thought I could corner him into building one if I said I'd build one too.

Frank dodged the bullet again, but I did build mine.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=68179

Quite a while ago I bought the plans for the Berkeley version of the Hog with full intent on building that one. Then I came across a Sig kit of the Hog.
After looking at the differences I decided to still build the Berkeley Hog.

My friend brought his Sig Hog to the field this fall and I flew it, I liked it .
Now I'm back to the Sig kit....Continue Reading
Posted by pd1 | Aug 13, 2012 @ 08:00 PM | 3,825 Views
Berkeley kitted an airplane designed by Henry Struck called the Bootstraps. Also designated A RC- 1 Berkeley's first RC kit.

My dad had one back in 1952 or 53. It promptly flew away and was grabbed by a passing motorist.

A couple years later the motorist tried to sell the plane at the local hobby shop.
I don't think they realized how rare RC airplanes were, and that the hobby shop owner knew my dad.
We got it back and my dad made some radio equipment that was almost reliable. We got to fly it for a few years.

It was single channel, rudder only and no throttle or elevator.
Push the button and the rudder went full swing to one side, Next time the switch was pushed, the rudder went full swing to the other side.
By 1962 I was getting pretty good at flying it, and more often than not I came home from flying with an undamaged plane.

I have a picture of my cousin and myself with my two single channel airplanes in 1962.

Now I decided to build another one, this time electric and with elevator control. How neat is that?

I started construction and I'll be posting pictures as I progress....Continue Reading
Posted by pd1 | Apr 19, 2011 @ 08:09 AM | 6,375 Views
Japanese Tissue is the lightest covering I know of.

It has a few quirks when covering so I'll try to remember all of them.
It is easier if you give the structure or sheeted area to be covered a couple of coats of dope first.
The dope under the covering helps to adhere the tissue to the plane.

Two methods of covering ; dry, wet.

Dry is only good over open framework.
You have to wet the tissue with water after covering to shrink it.
If you try to cover large sheeted areas dry, the tissue will have puckers that won't go away.

Wet will work over open framework and over sheeted areas.

1. Size the piece you're going to use about a half inch to one inch larger in all directions than needed.

2. Determine the shiny side.
One side is glossier than the other. The glossy side is out.

3. Determine the grain.
If you are going over open areas the grain goes the long way. Span wise, not chord wise.
If you try to tear a piece of tissue, it will tear readily in one direction only, This is the direction of the grain.
It doesn't want to tear across the grain.

4. Lay your sheet out over the area to be covered.
Wet the sheet with water, an atomizer works well.
You can wet the sheet then place it on the area to cover.
I have great difficulty doing it this way.


5. Once wet, work the wrinkles and excess water off the surface with your fingers. Use them like a squeegee.

Be careful, once wet this stuff can get very fragile.

6. Once the wrinkles are out,...Continue Reading
Posted by pd1 | Apr 19, 2011 @ 08:02 AM | 6,305 Views
Covering with tissue
I covered the wing using Japanese Tissue.
I covered the wet method of covering in the Shoestring thread.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23572

Sparky build thread:
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42422

Here's the dry method.

1. Cut tissue. Grain goes lengthwise, not chord wise.
Tear a corner to check grain direction.
Cut tissue about 1 inch over sized.

2. Adhere tissue to the structure.
This is more personal preference, or what works for you.
I have heard people using thinned out white glue.
Glue sticks.
Cellulose based glue (Ambroid, Duco).
Nitrate dope
Butyrate dope.
And a new possibility, Min Wax and an Iron.
Ron, Skysharkster is using this method on his Waco with a different material.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41555

I don't use Nitrate anymore, too flammable for me.
So it's butyrate this time.

3. Prep. At least two coats of clear on the structure with sanding between. I use 50/50 thinned clear.

4. Lay the tissue over the area to be covered. Wet the structure with a fresh coat of dope and lay the tissue on the framework.
Try to get the wrinkles out, but don't go too crazy.
I cover the whole bottom of the wing then the top.

Once the tissue is stuck to the frame, trim the edges and add more dope to the perimeter .
If there are a few big wrinkles on the woodwork, you can flatten them with more dope and your fingers.
Try not to get any dope on the open...Continue Reading
Posted by pd1 | Apr 19, 2011 @ 07:53 AM | 6,356 Views
Silk anyone?
Working with silk.
Silk is a natural fabric It is woven and will cover around compound curves very well.
I've covered foam planes with silk, and balsa too.
This will be about covering open areas of a balsa structure or a solid sheeted area.
Minimaster build thread:
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35712

First prepping the wood.
Balsa is cellulose based and it absorbs colored dope/paint like a sponge.
The faster you can seal the pores of the balsa, the less coats of paint you will need.

Dope, both clear Nitrate and butyrate, fills the pores in balsa well and stops the wood from sucking up paint.

The better the finish of the uncovered wood, the better the overall finish will be.
A few coats of clear will seal and then start to fill the grain of balsa.

Some people add talc powder to the dope so it fills the grain a little faster.
Some use a product called sanding sealer to fill the grain rapidly.

I prefer thinned dope. Thinned dope fills pretty fast and doesn't get too thick over the high spots.
Then I dry sand with 180 to 220 grit sandpaper using a block to get all the high spots down.
The goal is to get an even smooth surface, before you cover.

A lot of people use nitrate dope for the first steps.
I feel butyrate works just as well.

But remember nitrate and butyrate are not the same.

Nitrate can't be applied over butyrate. It will react and ruin your finish.
Nitrate is very flammable compared to butyrate.
...Continue Reading
Posted by pd1 | Feb 09, 2007 @ 10:37 AM | 8,099 Views
It's a foamy ARF, but it flies nice.
A friend took these pictures of my T-28 rolling....Continue Reading