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Old Apr 05, 2015, 08:59 AM
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DRAGONFLY by Tex Newman Feb 1976 Model Builder Mag

RCMW-FSP (love this magazine) featured this plane in there December 2014 issue. Fell in love with it immediately, it's so ugly only its mother could love it. I had in the back of my mind that I wanted to build something, vintage, unique, and very easy to fly slow flyer. I hope I found it. Going to convert it to electric. This build should go very fast because I actually started this about 2 months ago. Been slightly delayed, but now that the nice weather is here, I want it done yesterday. Hoping to have it done in the next week. The pictures of the article shown here are what I found on the internet, I just reposted them so there are pictures of the completed plane. If someone out there would have nice individually scanned pages of the complete article, I would greatly appreciate it. I have not contacted VRCS yet, but I quess this airplane should qualify. It is not listed in there eligable aircraft list?
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Old Apr 05, 2015, 09:06 AM
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DRAGONFLY build pictures

These pictures were taken a couple months ago. Horo stab and fuselage was started.
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Old Apr 05, 2015, 09:15 AM
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DRAGONFLY build pictures

These pictures were just taken today. Wings are a work in progress. Decided to sheet the center section of the wings for strenght for the rubber bands. Top sheeting still needs to go on. Also adding sheeting in the valleys where the tips meet the main wing. It's time consuming, but hopes it helps with covering. Gives me something to put the silkspan to. Never covered the inside of the valley of a polyheadral wing before. Never built a polyheadral wing ever.
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Old Apr 05, 2015, 09:33 AM
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DRAGONFLY build pictures

Just took these pictures today also. Was thinking of modifying the Ziplock bowl on the table, and on the nose into a cowling. My builds always end up heavier. Don't know if I ever want to build another wire wing support like this again. I've done basic landing gear in wire, but nothing like this before. I have at least 6 hours into it so far, and still have more work to be done. have no clue if I ended up with 3 degrees of incidence as recommended, but at this point I feel, thats what shims are for. Just ordered the motor and ESC for it last night, UPS ground shipping, so I guess at least a week till it shows up. Going to get a couple hours assy in today, and hoping to go flying tommorrow. But hoping to have it painted and ready for the motor in about a week. Was thinking about painting as though it looks like it was built 30 years ago. But worried about it just looking like a piece of *#@#. I have this bright orange and yellow I like because of how easy it is to see. If this is going to be a floater/glider far away. I guess it would be nice to be able to see it? Undecided on paint scheme at this time.
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Old Apr 06, 2015, 04:30 AM
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Here's a picture of my second Dragonfly. This one's got an electric motor up front. The first one had an O.S. .15. The first one flew away and spent the winter in the woods near Blacksburg, Virginia. That was 1976 or '7. I built it as soon as the plans were published but I didn't get more than a dozen or so flights before I launched it with the radio turned off that fateful day. It flew just like an angel - better than any other FF model of mine that I could recall. Just kept going up in wide circles til it was out of sight.

The new one uses the same "birdcage" parasol and landing gear (including the wheels!) that was recovered from the original - just had to clean up a little rust on around the music wire/solder joints.

Even though number two is heavier due to the 3S li-po she carries, the flight characteristics are still the same. That draggy airfoil keeps top speed down to a 'trot' but she is sooo graceful. I take her out once or twice a year now.
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Old Apr 06, 2015, 05:51 AM
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Glad to see another DRAGONFLY

Raymond

Thanks for your comments. Glad to see another. What size motor, esc, and battery did you use in yours? I'm not a pro at this elec motor stuff, but I'm going with a E flite park 480 960kv, 30 amp esc, and a 3s 2200mah 30c battery. I see you left yours unfinished (not painted). I was after mine to look vintage, and was considering this same idea. Leaving the clear coated wood and silkspan. But I thought it would be hard to see in the air. My first couple airplanes were white, and I quickly learned I can hardly see white airplanes. It also looks like you skipped the diagonal bracing in the wings. I was confused on this because it's not on the plans, but I could see it in the old time pictures I had. After having the wing partially built, the wing would rack diagonally. So I decided to put in the diagonal bracing. Glad to hear about the flight charerteristics, this is what I was after. Tommorrow I'm hoping to have the wing assembled and sanded, and start covering Wed's.

Dave
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Old Apr 07, 2015, 07:41 AM
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Iím too lazy to haul myself upstairs to check out the motor in my DF Ė but Iím sure itís similar to your setup.
I first used a folding prop just like I use on my Ďregularí sailplanes but decided to try a non-folder to take advantage of the break effect. Didnít make any difference but was not as hard on the ESC Ė so I left it.
I just ran a strip of Velcro down the bottom of the fuselage for the li-po so I could use different batteries and get the same CG.
As for covering, the only regret I have, I used the same clear laminating film Iíve used exclusively since the mid-70s. But this time I didnít paint it Ė and it does get confusing if I let her get too high.
On the film; I either spray the outside with light passes of Rustoleum or spray Floral paint (from Michaels or a craft store) Ė lightly Ė on the glue side to try and make it look like tissue. I use yellow and red exclusively as they came out looking closest to tissue for my taste. The paint doesnít seem to reduce the stick-to-it of the film but sometimes it seems like it takes longer to set. For what itís worth, that film does not bubble and sag like the Ďcotes do Ė ever.
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Old Apr 11, 2015, 07:57 AM
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DRAGONFLY build pictures

Wings are built, ready for a little finish sanding and ready to cover. Tail is totally ready to cover. Put sanding sealer on the fuselage, and fell in love with the natural wood look. Sanded and sprayed on clear satin laquer. Fuselage is ready for electrics/servos. Yes, decided to go with the add weight and drag cowling idea. painted it yellow, have no idea why. Thinking of painting the wings and tail orange, because I have it another of my planes, and you can see it a mile away. Work bench is cleaned off, starting covering today.
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Old Apr 11, 2015, 09:05 AM
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Deleted accidental duplicate entry

Deleted accidental duplicate entry
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 07:36 AM
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Dragonfly build pictures

Wings are covered, nitrate dope and silkspan. Electrics are going in.
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Old Apr 14, 2015, 07:44 AM
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This paint scheme is not for everyone.

From the beginning I was after something vintage. And had hopes for it to actually look like it was built 30 years ago. Was going to leave it all clear dope and natural finish, but thought it would be hard to see in the air. Had allot of ideas, but not sure what to do. Shot from the hip as I was doing the painting, and finally came up with what is shown in the pictures. I love it, looks 30 years old. Pretty sure this is not for everone, oh well. Have decals to put on yet, and final satin finish. Ideas are going thru my head, to get that nice new pretty look off the cowling.
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Old Apr 15, 2015, 08:24 AM
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Okay, okay, you shamed me into it . . . I have resolved to squirt some paint on my Dragonfly before I fly it again. My standard colors are yellow and red - which I expect will come out looking much like yours - only, alas, much less 'real'. Nice job. I am anxious for your flight report.
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Old Apr 16, 2015, 10:29 AM
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Dragonfly further build pictures

Have the electrics in, need to bind yet. This is what I get for shooting from the hip, and not pre assembling everything. The rudder is to short for the linkage to hook up. Either going to add a piece on, with ply doublers on each side. Or just make a new rudder, haven't decided yet. Fell in love with the vintage look of it so much, that I made an old style wire latch for the battery cover, instead of magnets, that I do not have on hand. Almost there.
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Old Apr 16, 2015, 10:51 AM
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Couple little things and one big thing to do yet

Thought I'd stick it together and get some last pictures out there. Have to fix the rudder, bind, adjust surfaces, and locate wire wing support to CG, and I'm pretty much ready to go. Except for one big thing, just found out yesterday that Perry township closed our field (Farview Flyers in Hamburg). This is an old time airport (Grims Airpark), that full size ultralights, paragliders, and small aircraft are allowed to use, but not RC airplanes? So, currently at this time, I have no where to fly it. The wind has been sucked out of my sails at this time. I am a beginner pilot, flying and landings I'm pretty good, but takeoffs are subject to change at any moment. I don't think I'm letting the plane roll out long enough, and trying to pull it into the air to soon. Not sure how long it may take me to get into another club. If I need to be signed off by someone in the club that I can fly, that may be a huge delay. When the day does come that I get it into the air, I'll get some final flight pictures out there.
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Old Apr 16, 2015, 03:08 PM
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Great Dragonfly there Davey!

Been following you on your build, always wanted one but I have a Lanzo model that looks very similar but with a larger fuselage. The local hobby shop owner has one and still talks about giving his wife the tx and walking away. You'll love it.
Since you have the magazine you must know the DF is actually a scaled up version of an indoor model called the Ross Flyer. Here's a video of them...
Ross Flyer Mass Launch-EAA Family Flight Fest 2013 (4 min 14 sec)
You can see how stable the design is.
Did you mean Grimes Airfield is now closed? To full scale traffic also? Shame if so.
Jim in Bethlehem
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