Joined Jul 2009
Venture 60 Build Thread Continued
After double checking to make sure I really am now building the left wing panel & that the other one I built ready for joining is the right one, I took a wing-building break & turned my attention to the rest of the plane. Page 1 of the manual has you start with the fuselage, so that is where I began. And right off the bat when you start doing what the plans call for in building the fuselage, you are confronted with the fact that you need to have your engine or electric power conversion plans not only made, but actually be in possession of both the engine or motor & mount you plan on using for this purpose. The very first step in working on the fuse is to set up the firewall for mounting, as stated in the manual & plans, either a .60 -.65 size two stroke engine, or a .65 - .80 four stroke engine.
But even before purchasing my V60 kit (they weren’t even available yet) I had some lengthy email discussions with Bruce about my plan to use an electric motor that was rated between a .46 - .55 equivalent. The one I had in mind was a Heads Up Power Up 46 Sport. I use this same motor on my Sig Kadet Sr EP & it has more than enough power. Jeff Anderson at HURC lists the motor with an APC 13X6.5E prop as producing 96 ozs. of thrust & 800 watts. With the expected weight to be around 7 lbs. or less, this should give more than 100 watts per pound & seems about right for my style of relaxed flying & easy aerobatics. Bruce responded that with the big wing on the V60, this motor should fly it with no problems, & also be able to fly it like I was looking for it to do.
Moving on, I already had the motor & the X mount that comes with it, so just needed to pick up some various sizes of nylon spacers, 2” 8-32 bolts & blind nuts. The plans call for 6-32 hardware but I upsized it because of the approximate one inch plus of motor stand off I expected to have. Positioning the mount along the thrust line that you have to draw on the firewall was the first thing to do, then adding the necessary ventilation holes in the firewall came next - & in the process I really came to appreciate just what a beefy firewall you get with the V60!
Next step, curiously enough, has you jump to the landing gear plate & mark, then drill 3/16” holes in it that match up with the 2-section set of the gear struts that you line up according to the plans. Then pound the 4 supplied 6-32 blind nuts in place. Here I also decided to deviate from the manual’s standard use of metal 6-32 bolts to attach the landing gear. While at the AMA convention in Ontario in January, I had picked up a supply of 6-32 nylon bolts. I test fitted the gear struts to the LG plate, & everything lined up perfectly. Also really liked the look of the swept back appearance of the gear & noticed that it was much thicker aluminum than I expected to see on this plane. If you follow the manual & plans, there will be no problem, but I could see the possibility of getting a bit confused about which way is up or forward with this gear plate, but the plans are very clear on this point.
Finally back to the fuse with glueing a reinforcement piece on the lower half of the second former (F-2) that will be where ¼” holes are made for the pegs on the leading edge of the wing. Then draw some lines on the cockpit floor, which doesn’t get installed at this point, for placement of the instrument panel & cockpit headrest, which you do right off of the plans – no problem here so far. Then I came to a halt. The kit comes with 2 lengthy pieces of pre-shaped 3/32” balsa sheeting that needs to be glued together along a center seam in order to construct what will become an extended & rounded balsa nose cover. I, however, plan on putting a hatch somewhere in the middle of the nose (closer to the firewall) for my battery access; so I set this aside until I will be dealing with this hatch – some time after the fuse has been built to the point of being able to construct a hatch but before the fuse is so complete that I would have to cut up the fuse to create one.
So I jumped into glueing the fuselage doublers to the fuse sides, & this proved much easier & more certain than past kits, as their respective shapes & notches for formers make it very clear. Bruce has you use either slow CA or 5 minute epoxy, but I used my fresh bottles of 20 minute epoxy (my 5 minute was kind of old). He includes a nice clear picture to keep you from making 2 left or 2 right sides, instead of the requisite one of each! After glueing in the tailpost assembly to one side, then the fun really begins. The instructions, step by step, guide you through the process of assembling the sides with the formers in place, & the rear fuse bottom along with the cockpit floor, which you then hold together with rubber bands or tape (no glue at this point). After carefully making certain everything is in place & lined up correctly (the fuse viewed from overhead shouldn’t look like a banana or a skinny orange, but an airplane), then you proceed with medium CA to glue all of the fuse joints, corners, straight sections & finally, the other side of the tailpost. I’ll add a shameless plug for one of Bruce’s options: I was in need of some more glue products & one thing he offers is a quite adequate supply of all the CA’s you need, with kicker, micro tips & an extra long tip from Handibond, which he recommends for the V60. I hadn’t used their glues before but am most impressed & pleased with their adhesion & ease of use.
Sorry for this long post but once you start with this first phase of the fuse, there is kind of no stopping, so I thought I should get this info online up to the first real break in building the fuse. And I’ve got just a few shots showing the firewall work I did right before I first rubber-banded the fuse pieces all together; along with a shot of the fuse’s expected battery compartment behind the firewall; & a full length of what the fuse looks like right before the glue gets applied. The battery compartment photo shows that I’m planning on using the fuel tank floor for the Lipo platform, and I also drilled some ventilation holes in it (it’s just sitting in place to see how it will work, but is not part of what you do with the fuse at this point). And since I had the drill ready, I went ahead and drilled ventilation holes in the front fuselage bottom panel, which will be located right below the battery compartment. Also posted a picture of that. But got so carried away with enjoying the break from the wing, I forgot to take more pictures!