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StayQuiet's blog
Posted by StayQuiet | Feb 23, 2012 @ 11:46 AM | 1,995 Views
First bits in CAD drawings are done. There are so many commands in ModelCAD, and I wish I knew how to use some of them. But, I just struggle along and it seems to get the job done (at least so far).

Now, as if ModelCAD doesn't keep me busy enough, I've begun to think that this plane would look much better with a plastic canopy, rather than the 'simulated' canopy made up of balsa sheeting. I've been checking YouTube videos on how to build a vacuum form table at home. Honey, why don't you go shopping, while I just warm up the oven?
Posted by StayQuiet | Feb 22, 2012 @ 06:23 PM | 1,952 Views
02/22/12 - just making a note for myself so I can see just how long this project is going to take me!

I looked over the plans this evening. Wing build is pretty straightforward, and I won't have to do any real alterations to the plan to complete the electric conversion. Fuselage looks like it has a nice area where the original fuel tank and receiver pack is located that can be adapted for a lipo pack, receiver, and ESC. Lots of weight reduction can be accomplished in the fuselage rear deck and tail feathers.

Step one: get some data points on the wing ribs and wingtips so I can enter them into ModelCAD. The easiest way I've found is to use a light table and some technial graph paper, which is laid out with grid lines 0.10" apart. By carefully tracing the outlines of the parts, I can then determine X-Y coordinates for points along the rib outline, and then use those points to re-draw the part in ModelCAD. I did remember to add in some building tabs on the ribs to help in the building process. Those tabs can be cut off easily after the wing is glued together. Those tabs aren't on the original plans.
Posted by StayQuiet | Feb 21, 2012 @ 08:23 PM | 2,056 Views
So here I am, looking at two sets of plans and possible projects.

On the one hand, I would really like to build a half sized "Double Impact", but that would entail a lot of re-scaling, and the thought of drawing multiple sized ribs in CAD (which I am still struggling with) just may turn into a study of frustration.

On the other hand, the "Demi Duster" is about the size I'm looking for (44" wingspan) and has a constant chord wing, so draw one rib up and just duplicate as needed.

The Demi Duster was also designed for glow power, and has a listed airframe weight of 25 oz. Looking over the plans and the build article (I got the back issue of Flying Models magazine when I ordered the plans) there are lots of areas on the airframe that could easily go on a diet. I think I can resonably get the weight down to around 18-20 oz and still have a pretty stout plane. Add in the fact that I'd need one less motor and ESC, and can use a smaller (re: less expensive) battery, and I think my decision has been made.

Tomorrow night, I start drawing up wing ribs in ModelCAD. It's a good thing I already don't have any hair, 'cuz I'd be pulling it out.
Posted by StayQuiet | Feb 21, 2012 @ 06:06 PM | 1,784 Views
Came home today, there's a long, triangular package waiting for me. Hmmm, what the heck is that?

Surprise! It's a set of plans for the Double Impact I had ordered from Carstens. So, what's the surprise? I ordered them on 2/3, and they arrived in less than three weeks. The last set of plans I ordered from them took over 3 months, and I had actually been told by Carstens that they had no record of me ever ordering from them.

Now, the bad news - the plans call for a tapered wing. My idea of redrawing the plans in ModelCAD at half size for electric power just got more difficult. Instead of drawing up one rib and duplicating it the required number of times, I now have multiple drawings to do.

Maybe I should scale down my idea....
Posted by StayQuiet | Feb 20, 2012 @ 05:27 AM | 1,510 Views
This may be a long, not often updated build log - just a warning!

For my winter project, I decided I would build a plane from plans - my first attempt at something like that. I found plans for a small glow plane (called the Demi Duster) through Carstens Plan Service, called and ordered them in November. My intention was to convert it to electric power.

Six weeks later, no plans. A call to Carstens to ask about my order got me a "we have no record of your order" response. Okay, I guess it happens. Hmmm, how about a twin? Carstens had plans for the Double Impact available. It's a large (72" wingspan) plane, designed for twin .40 - .51 glow power. A half sized version would be about perfect for electric power, and by scaling it down in ModelCAD I could get a short kit cut for myself. I placed another order with Carstens, this time on the website so I could get a copy printed out.

Two days later, the plans for the Demi Duster arrive. Three and a half months? Well, we'll see just how long it takes them this time. Order was placed on 2/3/12.

(By the way, I know the electric "Minimum Impact" is available. Just not interested in a quick foamie build.)