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#1 burkefj Sep 27, 2011 12:10 PM

Profile Rocket Glider construction instructions
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My attempt here is to do a step by step photo instruction set for the winged V-2 and X-15 for people that haven't done this type of construction before so that they can see it put together sort of how a kit would do it. Hopefully that will show how easy it is and encourage others to try it. This thread would also apply to the Bomarc, and InteR/Ceptor with slight changes in the foam details, and to the Jayhawk except that it uses elevons instead of a full flying tail.

For those of you viewing this from the main blog page:
Click on the "Comments" link to see the rest of the build instructions/step by step and expand the thread.


#2 burkefj Sep 27, 2011 12:13 PM

Get the pieces together
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Here are the first steps, gather all the pieces: You will also need 1/8" carbon rod, enough for a spar for the V-2 and about a 18" long for the pivot for the tail surfaces, not listed for both models.


#3 burkefj Sep 27, 2011 12:16 PM

Make the launch lug
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Now I use launch buttons on all my gliders. You need to be sure you can mount them so that the rail will clear the components/control surfaces. If you can mount them on the side it is best as it will help prevent the model from twisting on the rail. I simply contact cement a 1" disk of .03 styrene on each side of the depron and then drill and glue in a T-nut into the hole. The rail button then mounts to the T-nut. I space them 6" to 12" apart.

Places like appogee components carry them. Rail-buttons.com carries them as well.

If you have to mount them on the bottom due to clearance issues, I inset a piece of 1/4" by 6" spruce into the foam and then sandwich a 1" by 7" piece of .03 styrene on each side to reinforce it. I then just drill and screw the launch buttons into the spruce. If your fuse is more than single ply you can use a piece of 1/8" carbon rod, glue a 1/4" cap of styrene on the end, and then just poke a hole and glue the rod/styrene with the rail button into the foam directly.


#4 burkefj Sep 27, 2011 12:19 PM

Make the motor mount
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Fairly straight forward. I do this very simply and light, as it doesn't take much abuse and light in the tail means less nose weight. For the x-15 I used a longer tube to allow use of the non-RC aerotech case if I want, for the V-2 the torque tubes are in the way of a longer motor mount unless you want to let it stick rearward, but again, this will require more nose weight.

#5 burkefj Sep 27, 2011 12:24 PM

Cut the small tubes to hold the full flying tail.
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Cut the small pieces that will lock the full flying tail pieces in place.

#6 burkefj Sep 27, 2011 12:27 PM

layout pieces and cut them out of depron.
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Tips on cutting depron: Use new sharp xacto number 11 blades and have nice straight edges handy. Hold the xacto at approx a 45 degree angle when cutting, don't hold the knife vertical or it will tear the depron. Go very slow and make several cuts, don't try to cut in one pass or you will tear the depron. If you feel any tearing happening, stop and replace the xacto blade. I will use three or four xacto blades cutting out a model. Start in the corners and cut away from them. Don't finish a cut INTO a corner or you will have excess cut into the corner and the depron may tear there. Don't cut freehand if you don't have to, and make sure the xacto is not at a side to side angle undercutting the straight edge. Once done cutting, use 320 grit sand paper and a sanding block to clean the edges or round them if desired. I don't like to use sandpaper in my hand as you tend to catch the edge of the paper in the depron and tear it. Same for sandpaper blocks, make sure the sandpaper wraps around the block and does not overhang or it will catch the foam and tear it.

Lay out the pieces and cut them out. Note the V-2 takes two sheets due to the awkward size, and the X-15 will fit in one. However if you don't have the 27x39" sheets you can splice them as you like.

I use one of the cut pieces to mark the tail cone joint and wing joint on the body pieces of the V-2 to aid in masking and give a little detail to the parts. A fine sharpie permanent marker is good for this. If you get pen where you don't want, spray with accellerator and wipe off with a paper towel.

#7 burkefj Sep 27, 2011 12:29 PM

Cut motor tube slot and tab and slots for assembly
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Next you will cut your tab and slots for assembly. Be sure to do this precisely as a good tight fit will help avoid needing too much glue for strength. Also cut he motor tube slot the width of the motor tube and the length to suite your chosen motors. Remember the V-2 motor can't go further forward than the pivot rod will be placed.

#8 burkefj Sep 28, 2011 12:58 AM

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I normally mark my own tab and slots, evenly spaced down the center line and use the plans as an approximate guide. I make a 3mm line on each side of center, then mark the slots. I cut the top view first to make sure I have left enough of the wing intact and that I don't have conflicts with the pivot tube for the tail and the wing spars. Once I have the top view slots cut I use that overlayed on the side view centerline to mark the slots for the side view. Remember, tab in top view is slot on side view and vice versa. I then cut the slots out. By overlaying them you ensure you have your tabs/slots perfectly aligned.

I then cut the tabs loose from the side view(don't do this for the top view it only has slots). Although I show the tabs connected to alternate sides, I now recommend just splitting the tabs down the middle so that the joint when installed will be inside the top view slot. It is also easier to just slice all the tabs down the middle. I don't separate the sides completely either, I have them connected at the front. I feel this gives a stronger connection.

#9 burkefj Sep 28, 2011 01:05 AM

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Test fit the fuse together and check motor tube fit.


mark a top and bottom on the top view. The bottom will have the spar and torque rod mounted, the top view will be pristine.

Cut the spars to the correct length

For the V-2:

Cut 1/8" carbon rod to make
2 13" wing spars
1 10 3/4" pivot rod

Cut 1/8" by .034" strips to make
5 1/2" ventral fin support strip(middle)
9 1/8" ventral fin leading edge support
8 1/8" ventral fin bottom cap strip
13 1/2" bottom nose skid
14 1/2" strip to support wing spars

cut aluminum 1/8" id tube to make two
pivot tubes 2 5/8" long

For the X-15:

Cut a 1/8" carbon rod 10 3/4" long
Cut a 1/8" id aluminum tube to make two 2 1/4" long pieces, and deburr inside and outside.
Cut 1/8"x.034 carbon strip to make one 9" piece, one 6 3/16", and one 3" long piece.

Mark the wing for the spar if applicable. Be sure to mark the spar on the same side as the torque rod will be placed as this will be hidden on the bottom of the airplane.

For the V-2 Cut a V slot in the depron for the spar half the thickness of the depron. Glue the spar in place with thick foam safe CA. Cut the slot for the strip spar halfway through the depron, from one spar to the other, and insert it edge on so that it contacts the round spar pieces. Glue in place with thin foam safe CA. Once dry use dubro hinge tape to secure all of the spar pieces.

Note***for reinforcing the places where landing would grind down the foam, I show here how to use carbon strips if you have them, you can also use .03 or .04 styrene strip attached with uhu POR or foam safe CA, it cuts easy and is nicely sandable, is white and is flexible.

For the X-15 Cut the vertical stab reinforce strip, and make a slot in the fuse side view half way through to secure it. Slide the strip into the foam and secure with thin foam safe CA. You do not need to tape this.

For the V-2 you will have a leading edge cap strip support, a bottom support and a mid support. None of these need to be taped after gluing.

Cut cap strips for the bottom of the tail and the bottom of the nose where it will contact the ground when landing, and secure this to the edge of the foam with foam safe CA. Sand the edges to smooth them. Be careful when you sand the carbon as this black dust will embed itself in the edge of the foam and if you don't plan on painting will make a black mess that is hard to remove.

#10 burkefj Sep 28, 2011 01:17 AM

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Next mark the control surfaces and fuse for the pivot rod.
Cut the pivot rod to the correct length. Cut the aluminum torque tubes to the correct length. Make sure you don't crush the torque tubes and clean up any inside or outside burrs with sandpaper or an exacto blade, and clean up the ends of the torque rod with sandpaper.

Make a V cut into the depron to half of the thickness. Use thick foam safe CA to glue in the pivot rod into bottom of the top fuse view, (same side as the wing spars) then when set apply dubro hinge tape over the rod and the fuse to secure it.

Fit the dubro control horns over the ends of the torque tubes, and use thin CA to carefully glue them to the torque tube. You must be sure you get NO CA inside the torque tube.

Cut a V slot into each control surface half of the thickness of the depron. Next you will CAREFULLY glue the torque tube into the V slot using thick foam safe CA so that the control horn is perpendicular to the control surface and ensure that no CA gets into the torque tube. Once dry apply dubro hinge tape over the torque tube to secure it.

Be sure to create a left and right control surface.

Next you will slide a control surface onto one side of the carbon fiber pivot rod. the pivot rod should be on the bottom of the fuselage top view. the control horn should be pointing down. Butt the control horn against the fuselage. There should be a small amount of pivot rod sticking out past the control surface/aluminum tube.

This is the critical step. You will slide the small 3/16" piece of aluminum tube over the end of the remaining pivot rod and CAREFULLY apply a little dot of thick CA to the end of the rod so that a tiny amount touches the short aluminum tube only. DO NOT GET ANY GLUE INTO THE MAIN TORQUE TUBE or you will have to remove and replace the torque tube and torque rods and control surfaces. The tolerances are very close and any glue in here will cause binding. You only need a tiny amount of glue on the small tube pieces to cap the rod and prevent the control surface from sliding off, in reality the pushrod and control horn should keep it from ever coming off anyway.

repeat this step for the opposite side, then take deep breath, the worst is over.

#11 burkefj Sep 28, 2011 01:20 AM

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Slide the two fuse halves together, make sure that the tabs are fully seated and that the fuse is straight and cruciform is square to itself. When happy with the fit, use thick foam safe CA down the four corners of the joint and set with accellerator. Once happy with the joint, glue in the motor tube, ensuring it is square with the centerline of the fuse, use a small amount of epoxy or foam safe thick CA and accellerator.

On My V-2, since the vertical stabilizer is fairly tall, my foam had a warp in it, so to correct it I made a slot and put in another 1/8" by .034 carbon strip and glued it to straighten it out, you may need to do the same but it is not shown on the plans.

#12 burkefj Sep 28, 2011 01:21 AM

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Use a ruler to slot the fuse halfway through for the launch lug at the location in the plans. Slide the carbon strip attached to the launch lug into the slot and secure the rod with foam safe thick CA and set it.

#13 burkefj Sep 28, 2011 01:23 AM

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I normally hand place the components to check CG and placement and mark it on the fuse. At this point the X-15 is 7 oz and CG looks good with an 800mah pack and a loaded rocket motor.

Connect the pushrods to the servos in a right and lefthand manner. Power up the receiver, attach the servos to the receiver, and make sure you have elevon mixing enabled. Make sure your servo horns are centered and trim the remaining horn pieces off.

Connect the pushrod to the control horns.

Secure the the control surface so that it is neutral and secure the servo with glue or foam double back tape once happy with the location. Repeat for the other side.

***NOTE**** more photos to come when I've completed this step and taken the photos.

#14 burkefj Sep 28, 2011 01:25 AM

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Try to place the rx, battery, and bec as far forward as possible to help CG. You may need to use servo extensions to allow this. Once happy with the placement, secure with velcro strips. That will allow you to remove them and paint the model.

#15 burkefj Sep 28, 2011 01:27 AM

Check control movements. From the rear of the plane, moving the xmitter stick to the right should make the back of the right control surface go up and the left one go down, and vice versa. Moving the stick back should make the back edge of the control surfaces move up, and moving the stick forward should make the back edge of the control surfaces move down. Make sure they move at least one inch at the trailing edge and that they move the same amount and that they are neutral when the sticks are left alone.

Using a 800mah 2s battery the X-15 with empty RMS case came out at 7 oz, and a little under 8 with loaded motor. No nose weight was needed.

Using the same battery the V-2 with empty RMS case was 10 oz, and a little under 11 with loaded motor. The V-2 needed 1.5-1.7 oz to get proper CG.

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