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Old Aug 24, 2004, 05:08 PM
cptomes is offline
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Gee Bee peanut as a backyard flyer?

I'm bitten by the Gee Bee virus.

I am in the middle of a Peanut scale build. I "boxed" the fuse by adding keel to main stringer 1/16sq glued to the fuse formers, and then ran a diagonal across each box. I'll put in 1/2 of the stringers (there were about 1/2 the scale number anyway) and will probably end up with a wash for weight gain. It's about 14" span, designed for rubber ff.

I'm beefing it up to let my 3 yr old chuck it in the backyard. She's had the same paper (folded) airplane for three months, and it still flies well. Not as well as the day I got it in a thermal and it came down in the neighbor's yard, but pretty well. I made a ~8" flying wing (I think it was a printout of a fanfold plan, and I thought it might work as a paper wing...) that she's been playing with too. Soda straw spar, kabob leading edge and f/r center spine, 20# cheap paper used once in the inkjet printer. Anyone want too see Chris Matthews crashing to the ground repeatedly?

I'll get an idea of the auw in another week or so. I'm planning either 1/32 sheet (lose all but one stringer in each quarter) or tissue. Looking at it, the fuse is strong enough to make the outer covering disposable. I may even do away with the remainder of the bulkheads and carve pink foam to get the shape correct. Attach it to break away easily, then sand to shape.

The fuse is strong enough to take some major loads. I hurt my finger trying to twist it. If I wasn't keeping the center clear for a possible rubber motor, I'd have the diagonals of each frame in place as well.

That's when I realized, this plane might be a good candidate for a "scale" pylon racer. If I put a Park Flyer type flight pack in it, it would about double the wing loading (back of napking scribbling...) which would make it less of a backyard model, but it might be more "true" to the nature of the Gee Bee racers.

I haven't decided how I'm going to build the wing. The plan has a single 2/3 height spar, about 3/16x1/16 and tapering slightly at the tip. This seems wrong to me, since the bottom of the wing is under tension and the top compression. The designer gave away significant strength by not having a full height spar, or one lower and two upper 1/16"sq spars.

I was thinking of either a single webbed spar or four spars (two top/bottom) of 1/16"sq balsa. After reading a little about aircraft and model wing design and loads, I'm also considering building a d-box with 1/32 sheeted wing. So I really have no idea how I'm going to build it until the day I start cutting parts.

To keep the theme of triangulated trusses, I was tempted to go with two upper 1/16"sq spars and one lower. Run diagonals to take upright flight loads in tension from adjacent ribs. This would also keep the wing from twisting.

Whtever the case, I'm going to make the wings plug-in units, and put monofilament scale wing braces in place to keep them on. I will be able to change out wings that way. I predict a lot of rebuilding of wings and replacing of fuse covering as I learn to fly it.

I'll post pics soon. Right now it's pretty boring, just the fuse.

Last time I built balsa flying planes (ff or rc) CA glue was just starting to hit the hobby stores. I love this stuff! I only glued myself to the plane once the other night. That fuse went together in one marathon 6hr plus last night, 2 hr, sessions. I may build the next one with 1/20"sq (if I can find it) or smaller, this one is way overbuilt.
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Old Aug 24, 2004, 05:32 PM
Zeroaltitude is offline
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Hey, your project sounds like fun, IŽd say go R/C for sure!
I am not an expert on micro scale R/C models, far from it. Your question may be better suited in the "Indoor and Micro models" forum though, thereŽs a LOT of information and experience in rubber freeflight to R/C conversions.

I have done a couple of conversions of freeflight planes. The most succesfull one being a Herr 35" J3 Cub, that flew very well on GWS Pico equipment (the stuff from the GWS Pico Tiger Moth).

I do feel that your plane will need something a LOT smaller than regular park-sized R/C equipment. The wingloading on that plane with this stuff will be disastreous in my opinion. There is however equipment suitable for this type of plane and you can read all about it in the aforementioned forum.

Good luck!
Anders O
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Old Aug 29, 2004, 09:22 PM
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Very interesting... I dont think I've ever heard the words Gee Bee and backyard flyer in the same sentence, not that they belong together...

Anyways it sounds like a really fun project and I'm starting to think about building up one of the dumas Gee Bee Z's that I have as an R/C to gain some more Gee Bee time before I start building my next big project, come to think of it, I havn't flown a Gee Bee in a couple of years! I think its about time to get one in the air! Thanks for the inspiration, I dont think I'll be starting for a while, but thanks anyways! Please keep us posted with updates and a flying review at some point!

~GB Fan
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Old Sep 03, 2004, 09:58 AM
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Looking at the plans, weight budget, and the available power/control systems, I think I can scale it up ~200% and use the inexpensive GWS park flyer equipment. I'm going to buy one to relearn flying r/c anyway, so I'll already have the equipment.

This one will be rubber ff.

Sarah and I went up in a Piper Cherokee last night. I flew for about 15 minutes. I need my own airplane...

I talked to a ME friend last night, he agreed that the typical all-rectangles balsa structure of a wing and fuselage made little sense. I'm going to refine the design of a triangular truss structure for a wing spar on this model and also build a traditional wing according to plan. I'll weigh them and maybe even test a couple of samples of each to destruction to see how they perform.
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Old Sep 03, 2004, 10:17 AM
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I just realized that the thickness of the fuse at the rudder/fuse hinge point is probably big enough to enclose a BIRD actuator for the elevator and rudder. There is definitely enough room for a BIRD in the wing for aileron control.

Is there anything lighter than 1/32 balsa sheet for rigid skin?

There was a poster of an R-2 in the airport office. Sarah immediately pointed it out and loudly exclaimed "That's the racing airplane!" She's 3.

Are there any peanut scale or slightly larger plans for a Piper Cherokke around?
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Old Sep 03, 2004, 05:08 PM
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Okay, it's not RC! But they could be ...

Check out Bill Hannan's Runway, Stick & Tissue International, Vol. 3

This has profile no-cal Gee Bees R2 & Z, plus a canard R2 - beat that! 16" span, not a lot of effort to turn one into a profile RC. With present micro gear and micro lipos, sounds feasible.


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Old Sep 03, 2004, 05:13 PM
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Balsa can vary in weight between sheets ( and even in the length of a sheet it can vary vastly)

I cannot answer what may be lighter than very light balsa but for some of the heavier balsa a few things come to mind.

Getting back to the lighter balsa as long as you weigh your balsa carefully (and in doing so you will see exactly what I mean about variances) pick the very lightest and from there you may sand down the thickness to make it lighter still. This has been done for ages with the folks who fly the smallest and lightest indoor rubber planes.

Additionally, you might substitute covering film like doculam depending on where and why you need this"sheeting".

I hope this will help you in some small way!

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Old Sep 03, 2004, 09:53 PM
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CP I'b be tempted to keep the wings light and rely on functional scale rigging to hold it all together. Although, if the little GeeBee is light enough to fly well, I'm guessing that it won't be heavy enough to break itself anyhow.
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