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        Build Log EON Olympia 2b by Aussie RC Plans

#1 shinck Jan 12, 2013 02:15 PM

EON Olympia 2b by Aussie RC Plans
2 Attachment(s)
This is my first build log, and will be a 1/4 scale EON Olympia 2b.
Below are a couple of photos of the particular aircraft I will model.


#2 shinck Jan 12, 2013 02:17 PM

A little history
The 1939 DFS Meise (Olympia) was designed and selected for the 1940 Olympic games, which were never held. The design was slightly modified by Elliots of Newbury in England after the war. This particular example was completed in 1958 and is serial number 115 of approximately 150. Registered in Britain as BGA 1539, it has over 3,880 hours of air time and 10,740 launches.

I have always liked the Olympia IIb and had started updating the Cliff Charlesworth wing plan for a more modern airfoil. Then in September of 2010 a couple of guys in Australia started a 3D CAD-designed Oly project. So I am going to tell you that story before the build starts.

#3 shinck Jan 12, 2013 02:23 PM

Model background
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CAD designed, engineered and prototype built by Shane Williams
Prototype laser cutting by Andy Smith, as well as CAD wing and tail design
Both of these gentlemen live in Victoria, Australia and run www.rcplans.com.au

The kits are now in limited production. If you are interested either go to the above web site or email andy@rcplans.com.au for more information. Tell them Scott sent you (hey, it can't hurt!).
There is a possibility that the kits may be cut in different areas (such as the US) to lower excessive shipping costs.

The original build log for the prototype is at

May 2013 update: the original site, and build log, went down and may or may not be reconstructed.
I had copied all the photos and most of the text before then, just in case that happened. I still refer to the original photos occasionally to clarify some of the build.

#4 shinck Jan 12, 2013 02:25 PM

Sources for scale information
Just before I started this project, Marc Hecquet started a build log on this site of the Nord 2000 1947 which is a French version of the Meise Olympia. It has no wheel and has the original pieced canopy instead of the blown one-piece used on the Olympia IIb. Marc is a true craftsman, and I got several ideas from his build log. My Olympia will be stand-off scale, rather than Marc’s museum scale.

There are two walk-arounds with very nice photos in RC Soaring Digest, 2009-05:

And many more full-size photos here:

And I have added some more scale info on Post #112.

#5 shinck Jan 12, 2013 02:26 PM

Some material notes
This was a metric design, but built in the USA, so “equivalent” sizes are being used. Most of the parts are 1/8, 3mm liteply. There is some aircraft birch ply of various thicknesses. Most of the ribs are balsa.

The prototype was covered with balsa, though .4 through .8mm ply is an option. As this sailplane will be painted and I haven't planked with ply (yet), I will also use balsa, with the fuselage being glassed for ding resistance.

I will keep track of the materials used as I find out what they are! Except for the main wing spars, there is very little strip stock used.

As far as glue, I will be using Titebond III throughout, with thin and thick CA as convenient, maybe a little epoxy. I just discovered Super Phatic glue (a thin, wicking aliphatic in a CA-type bottle) and will try that out on already-assembled joints. I think aliphatics make a stronger wood airplane and work better with plywood than CA. I am using Titebond III because I happened to have a lot of it (main reason); because it has a longer open time for positioning parts; and because it tends to “disappear” when dry, being a wood-like color.

#6 shinck Jan 12, 2013 02:29 PM

How I got the laser parts
When I heard of the design being started, I kept track of the progress on their website. The original intent was to sell the completed design as a short kit. As that had not yet happened, I asked permission to get their cut files so I could have them laser cut in the US and build it. Andy was very nice and sent me the files, with several conditions, one was that they wanted me to document the build on the Internet. After sending the files out, we (me and the laser cutter) found out that they needed some cleanup work as the smooth curved lines were actually made up of very short segments, which really cause problems on the laser cutter. But we were both patient and I finally got the parts in September of 2012. My construction started in November of 2012.

This build log will be quite detailed in hopes that the short kit will actually be marketed.

#7 shinck Jan 12, 2013 02:35 PM

No Plans?!?
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There are no plans for this design—none. There are several 3D images of the fuselage and tail from the Rhino software used for the design (see below), and the afore-mentioned prototype build log. The kit is nicely self-jigging, but it takes a different mindset when there are no plans from which to get parts layout and dimensions to help answer questions that come up. Most, but not all, of the parts are marked. To help in identification and order of assembly, I will try to make notations on photos as I go along. Everything is pretty much built to a single straight line on a flat building surface. I do have the Cliff Charlesworth plans of the same scale and looked at them several times for answers to detail questions, such as skid configurations, wheel size, etc. I am including that info in the build log.

#8 shinck Jan 12, 2013 02:40 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Because this is a unique way to build, I also decided to get a good start on the model before submitting the build log to the world. Also, we have all seen interesting builds that fizzled part way through. I am a slow builder (I think too much) so maybe having the goal of submitting this to you has speeded up my construction.

If you have other ideas on better ways to get the job done, or feel I skipped over something, please comment here.
So, on with the build! By the way, unless otherwise noted, all photos were taken by myself.

Here are the laser cut parts:

#9 shinck Jan 12, 2013 02:47 PM

Fuselage layout and parts
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Identify the fuselage parts. Here are some photos with notations for the parts that were not marked when cut.

#10 shinck Jan 12, 2013 02:55 PM

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Finally! Some gluing!
Splice the keel and main, full-length longerons. I used a long straight edge while pinning down to make sure these "flowed" smoothly.

Next installment(s) tomorrow. Time to do a little more building...

#11 Alien_Tech Jan 12, 2013 03:31 PM

Hi Scott,

Looks like a great project. I've always admired the vintage sailplanes, but short of a couple of indoor foam aero-towed ones, I've never built one. I'll be watching with interest! :popcorn:


#12 shinck Jan 12, 2013 05:03 PM

Laser cutter
I have received permission to divulge who laser cut my parts:

Red Jensen
ProgramManager/Chief Pilot
539 Martin Ave.
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone: (707) 206-9372

Red did a great job, fixed a bunch of problems, and really knows CAD. He cannot cut this kit (no permission, yet) but would love to talk to you about your laser cutting needs. As you can see from his information, this is not his main source of income.


#13 shinck Jan 13, 2013 04:01 PM

Fuselage jig
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I used ¾” MDF for the base. It needs to be about 8” wide and 65” long. I attached 2x4’s to the MDF to keep the base flat and to allow me to move it about while building and photographing. The 2x4’s were jointed and ripped to make sure they had straight and parallel edges.

Mark a center line on the base and on the 9 formers with stand-offs.

Cut jig strips about ¼” square—fit to the cutouts in the former bottoms.

Using loose jig strips and the laser cut vertical jig supports, along with the center line and some right angle guide lines, glue the vertical supports to the 9 formers which have them.

#14 shinck Jan 13, 2013 04:05 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Now use the former/support assemblies to space out the ¼” square jig strips along the base, using centerlines on each former to get them straight. Don’t worry about the longitudinal spacing right now. I then glued one strip down, using weights to help it stay in position. When dry, the other strip can be glued down.

#15 shinck Jan 13, 2013 04:10 PM

Former positions
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As I had no measurements for where the formers went, I did a bit of reverse engineering by assembling the fuselage dry and then measuring where the formers ended up. I was within 2mm on each former when I later got the "official" measurements from Australia. Note that the dimensions are from the FRONT of F1 to the FRONT of the other 8 formers.

From the FRONT of F1 to the FRONT of… Is…
F4........................ 3-13/16” or 96mm
F8........................ 10-1/4” or 262mm
F13...................... 19-1/4” or 489mm
F17...................... 28-1/4” or 719mm
F20...................... 37-1/4” or 947mm
F23...................... 46-1/4” or 1174mm
F26...................... 55-1/4” or 1404mm
F30...................... 62-1/4” or 1579mm

F1 is squared up to the base rails and glued down. Then each of the 9 main formers are tack glued in position (doesn’t take much) and the keel glued to all. Use clamps if necessary to make sure the keel is flush with the bottom of the formers.

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