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Old May 13, 2014, 12:57 PM
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Build Log
Beechcraft Staggerwing from HZ Champ

soanyoldways ... I got to a place in my Curtiss build that I was kinda getting over my head with a whole lot of new building techniques, so I decided to step away for a moment and try a project where I could try out a couple first. I figured I'd learn wing baking and covering with tissue on a simple project first.

Gene had shared with me a number of HZ Champ fuselages a while back (thank you very much!!!). Every time I look at that little flyer, I see so many other a/c that this can be carved and sanded into. I was pretty sure I saw a Beechcraft D17S Staggerwing in there so I started sanding. If this all works out, I'm going to finish it in USN GB-1 silver and appropriate USN markings.

I found a set of scale drawing for the drawings for the Staggerwing and one for the Champ. Using Microsoft Paint Brush, I kinda cut and pasted and superimposed the Staggerwing side view on to the Champ to get an idea of scale and where to cut and etc.

I also used the plans to come up with the patterens for the wing tips, horizontal and verticle stabalizers, engine cowl and wing struts. I found that 2.21 worked as multiplyer (enlarge by how much) number using the Paint Brush program. I will scan and post patterens for these pieces.

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Old May 13, 2014, 01:11 PM
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The wingspan is 17 3/8 inch ... the width of the wing is 3". I made up a "wing baker" using plans fond on this forum ... and it worked very nicely.

The engine cowl is made from two 1 3/4" rounds of 1/4 foam, one is used to form the from part of the cowl, the other is cut and trimed to fit and glued to the cut down nose of the champ fueselage. The cowl is going to hold the two fuselage halves together.

You can figure out the rest of the cuts I made from the drawings below.

Obviously I'm going to strip off all that yellow Champ paint before I begin to cover this.
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Old May 13, 2014, 01:14 PM
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This is pretty much where I am this a.m. I just trimmed the wing struts to fit and sorta pinned things together.

At this point, without engine, prop, or rx the weight is 23.6 grams. The Champ with engine and all is 35.4.

I'm going to try to get some more weight out of the fuselage.
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Old May 13, 2014, 01:18 PM
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This is what I have for parts so far. I'm going to need a pair of fillets for the lower wing.

I'll add patterns for parts to this post as soon as I scan them.
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Old May 13, 2014, 01:29 PM
Gary
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I have built the Staggerwing and think that it is one of the best looking planes ever manufactured. I like your build - nice job on the conversion - it is capturing the spirit of the aircraft.
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Old May 13, 2014, 02:48 PM
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I have built the Staggerwing and think that it is one of the best looking planes ever manufactured.
Me too!!! Its got a VERY classic line.

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I like your build - nice job on the conversion - it is capturing the spirit of the aircraft.
Thank you. Its not a "scale" a/c by any stretch of the imagination. The point of doing these conversions is to capture the look and feel of an a/c.

Mostly ... I hope that it will encourage the guy who bought a Champ and has worn it out learning to fly it to try to build something with it. A couple of simple techniques and he's got a whole new airplane to fly ... and maybe on his way to doing some real building.

anyoldways ...

There's a lot of places to remove weight from the champ without sacrificing strength. Every little bit helps.

I never liked the seperation line of the fuse halfs. Glue and fill. I made a new cut line I hope I can hide with door lines and such.
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Old May 13, 2014, 07:37 PM
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Cool!
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Old May 15, 2014, 03:12 PM
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Yeah ... I know ... its gonna be heavier then hell. But its looks GREAT and it couldn't be easier.

I just did the vertical stabilizer and rudder.

The covering is Celebrate It metallic tissue, I applied it using 3M General Purpose 45 sprey bond. The simulated ribs are 1/16" masking tape.

The color is about what I was hopeing for, I didn't want a polished-metal silver. It might be just a *little* too dark, but its very close.

I've only done a couple flat surfaces. We'll see how it goes when it gets to compound curves.
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Old May 17, 2014, 01:43 PM
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Progressing along ... I've hit a bit of a snag or two.

I am using 1/16" masking tape to simulate ribs and other details. This tape will be under the tissue.

I'm haveing a small problem getting it to stick in place, especially on curved surfaces. This may be a pretty big problem when I try to apply the tissue. I've tried brushing a clear coat of polyurathane over it ... and that didn't do anything.

I'm now trying a thin coat of thined Elmer's white glue.

Does anybody else have any suggestions?

On another front, what can I put under the occasional edge of tissue that just won't stay down?

Finally, I am trying to work as clean as I can, but every once in a while I get a little smear of spray adhesive from under an edge on a piece of tissue.

Is there anything that will clean this without hurting the silver finish on the tissue? I've tried alcohol, amonia, and just a touch of kerosene. All lof this seems to attack the silver on the tissue.
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Old May 17, 2014, 02:29 PM
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Go to an auto parts store and get some pin striping tape. Should stick better and you can get thinner sizes. For removing the adhesive, try lighter fluid. Should be less aggressive than the other things you have tried.
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Old May 19, 2014, 11:48 AM
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As I mentioned, this build was mostly about trying 2 building techniques or skills.

The wing baking worked like a charm. I had to give the first one a couple tries until I got the heat correct. In our oven the job required 20 mins at 225 degrees F. For new guys ... here is a thread for building a jig like I used: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1600127 Just do a google search for wing baking jig rcgroups and you will come up with a lot of jigs, but they are all basically the same.

Working with tissue paper is about what I expected. Cut it roughly to shape, spray the glue on, install, trim with razor, blend/repair with pastels as needed. For the record, I'm using a lot of the techniques found on Mountain Flyers and Speedy's various build threads. Just do a search on their screen names and you will find a gold mine of info building with foam and covering with tissue.

back to the build, already in progress:

I can now add "clean off glue with lighter fluid". Lighter fluid does work and is less aggressive than other stuff I used ... but it will loosen the silver finish on this paper if rubbed too hard. I have to be very gentle.

It should be noted that this paper is very soft. It shows EVERY mark, scratch or dent. This a/c will look like a battle scared vet after my first flight.

I finished the top of the top wing ... all 17 3/4 inch of it with one sheet of paper. This is the longest length I have tried to cover and it was kinda tricky-sticky. Were this the Curtiss I am building, I would probably thrown this one away and did an entirely new wing, but for this a/c I don't think its too bad a job.

BTW ... the thinned Elmers white glue worked just fine holding down the masking tape.

Now to start on the fuselage.
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Old May 19, 2014, 07:34 PM
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As I mentioned, this build was mostly about trying 2 building techniques or skills.
Ted,

EXCELLENT< EXCELLENT< EXCELLENT!!!!

What scheme do you have in mind (as per your post above)? Will you be doing those fancy prototype wheel pants?

Gene K
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Old May 19, 2014, 09:14 PM
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Ted,
EXCELLENT< EXCELLENT< EXCELLENT!!!!
Thankyou X 3!

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What scheme do you have in mind (as per your post above)?
All silver just like the a/c in my first post. It will have all the same USN markings.

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Will you be doing those fancy prototype wheel pants?
Not unless I can find a Staggerwing with twin engines.

I just had a long talk with my scales.

I have been trying very hard to keep the weight down, but I'm figuring this a/c will come in about 42.60 grams w/o battery when all is said and done.

Thank GOD I didn't have anything extravagant planed for the engine.

Maybe the combination of the Mustang motor and all that extra wing area will help this thing fly ...

I'm thinking flights will be made with gear up and doors closed and locked.

The good news is ... you guys were right, this tissue isn't really all that hard to work with. Covering the fuselage went pretty easy. I did it in sections trying to keep any and all seams out of the line of site.

Based on the work I've done, I am really confident that the Curtiss will be drop-dead GORGEOUS!
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Old Jun 05, 2014, 12:25 PM
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How goes it, Ted?

Gene K
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Old Jun 07, 2014, 10:42 AM
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How goes it, Ted?

Gene K
A very brief intermission. Although I didn't find the teaching job of my dreams, I've taken a part time job at a VW restoration shop and am taking advantage of the "teachable moment" to share the finer points of German Automobile repair.

What started of as "NO MORE THAN 2 days a week" has grown to "we'll try to hold you to about 4 days" a week.

I am playing serious catch up ball physically and have been a little too tired to get anything done. I plan to do a bit today and tomorrow.

The last thing I accomplished was to cover and mount the lower wing and start to lay out how I was going to accomplish the wing to fuselage fairing ... as simply and light as possible!!! Perhaps the layoff was helpful because I am cofident that I have come up with a neat way to get this done. Pictures as I get them.

Thanks!

T
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