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Old Feb 07, 2005, 11:14 AM
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Fort Wayne, IN
Joined May 2002
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Best Thermal build for beginners!

Help out a new builder with a Spirit!

This may sound like a plug but it is not. I have no connection to Great Planes or any other manufacture. I'm retired and am enjoying the winter building. The reason I started this thread is because I just pulled an old Spirit kit out to build a spare wing for a spirit ARF I picked up at Toledo two years ago. I found that the instructions are idiot proof. They go into great detail with most of the build instruction pages having at least 4 pictures and most times 6-7 pictures per page. The first 30 (you got the correct thirty pages out of 40) are devoted to the build and are in great detail with step-by-step instructions. They have diagrams on how to pin down the spar to the work surface and information on what to do if the spar is warped. Nothing is left to chance. An example is step #13 of the wing build where they tell you to "apply several drops of thin CA to the rear portion of the balsa wing tip" to "harden the wood and protect it from damage" and they even have a picture. Now that is just the kind of detail that a newbe needs.

Another nice feature of the kit is that it comes with pre cut and numbered shear webs and per cut plywood jigs to hold the shaer webs in place while the glue dries. They also provide pre cut and numbered rib gauge pieces and a picture of how to glue it together. The only real complaint about the kit is that the wing joiner is week and should be replaced it you intend to winch launch the finish product (but then that is not what this plane is designed for).

The other great things about this kit is that it has about 10 additional pages that cover thing like:

Balance The Model
Final Hookups and Checks
Radio Set-up
AMA safety code
Trim Flights
Hi-Start Launch (with diagrams to show what to expect)
Thermal Flying (with diagrams of a typical thermal)
Pointers for Contest Flying
Slope Soaring
Slope Landing
Powered Launching (with a power pod)
Building Notes (to record information on your build, date, where purchased, first flight, wing weight etc. etc.)

The Thermal Flying section info is great, especially for people new to flying, and the two pages of Contest Practice Record are nice for keeping track of the flying you do. All in all the Spirit instruction book is a great asset for a new builder of any kit. If you have an old instruction manual give it to a new builder and help them get started on what ever project the have.

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