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Old Jan 14, 2011, 09:53 PM
Sky's not the limit, ground is
skydanz's Avatar
USA, CA, San Jose
Joined Dec 2007
855 Posts
Build Log
PCA-2 Build Don's turn!

Let me start off by noting that the other build logs on this kit are excellent and should really get the juices flowing. Dave's build log has great videos of just about every step and really explains what needs to be done. I admire his dedication for picking up the camcorder when he could spend precious time building.

I bought the laser cut kit as my Christmas present. My dogs got chewies so they weren't forgotten. Unfortunately I had tendon surgery on my ankle on December 21 and haven't been able to do much standing till now. I have looked over the plans a hundered times and created a game plan for construction.

Since the build has been documented so well, I will try not to duplicate a lot of the construction, except where I may deviate a bit from the plans. I hope to build a good scale reproduction of this fine kit.

Don
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 10:33 PM
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Boneswamped's Avatar
DeRidder LA.
Joined Nov 2008
1,961 Posts
Hi Don,
Glad you're ankle is well enough to finally start your build. I'm watching man, let's see what you've got.

Regards,
-Mike
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 10:50 PM
Sky's not the limit, ground is
skydanz's Avatar
USA, CA, San Jose
Joined Dec 2007
855 Posts
Stand back Mike. I don't want to get you all covered in balsa dust!
I took some photos of the cowl project. I'll post them tomorrow. For some reason I can't download them to RCG from my iPad. I have to use my girlfriend's computer.

DC
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 09:17 AM
AND FOR MY NEXT TRICK....!
jodini's Avatar
Omaha Millard, Nebraska, United States
Joined Sep 2004
4,052 Posts
Don,
Looks great on the laminations! I think that's the toughest part of the build and you're done! NICE!

Shouldn't have too much dust from that cowl...it's pretty close to a dome with those laser cut parts!

Looking forward to more pics! Take care of that ankle!
Joe
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 10:32 AM
Sky's not the limit, ground is
skydanz's Avatar
USA, CA, San Jose
Joined Dec 2007
855 Posts
Thanks Joe

Now that the laminations are dry, I've assembled the tail feathers and added the rib "enhancers". I'll keep the parts taped together until all the sanding is complete to maintain alignment. Then I'll simply cut the capstrips with a razor to separate. Make sure you don't glue the control surfaces on!

One deviation from the plans is I switched the location of the hardwood elevator joiner and extended it to the capstrips. I'll remove the balsa "V" behind the joiner and round the hardwood a bit to simulate the tubing used on the full scale. Since I'm using pull-pull system on both elevators, I don't think this will be a problem.
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Last edited by skydanz; Jan 15, 2011 at 11:40 AM. Reason: typo
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 11:20 AM
Sky's not the limit, ground is
skydanz's Avatar
USA, CA, San Jose
Joined Dec 2007
855 Posts
A sage scale builder once said (paraphrased) "The design is not complete until you've figured out the tailwheel". Since I wanted to make a scale tail skid (with aftermarket wheel attached) I thought I'd share a little trick from years gone by.

Carbon fiber rod is the strongest, lightest material for it's size, that hobbyists have available. The problem is that it comes in straight pieces and we need curved ones sometimes. I've heard of guys heating the rods and bending them but that seems to weaken it considerably. Well, you can make your own and to any size and shape you want.

If a picture says a thousand words, the ones below could write a small novel. Carbon fiber tow (like yarn) is readily available and relatively inexpensive. Find a piece of silicone tubing with the inside diameter you need. In this case, this surgical tubing is almost exactly 1/4". Cut several lengths of tow twice the length you'll need. There should be enough tow to completely fill the tubing. Make a wire with a loop bent in the end that is slightly longer than your tubing. Hook the tow in the middle and soak the whole wad in epoxy finishing resin. I added a bit of black coloring to the resin to make things more uniform. Push the wire through the tubing and pull the wet fiber tow through. This gets a bit messy so be sure to wear gloves and do it over a lot of newspaper. About 90% of the resin gets squeezed out when you pull into the tube but that's OK. There's very little strength in resin so excess resin is just weight.
Once in the tube you can bend it any shape you want and hold it with pins. In this case I just wanted a smooth 90* bend. Let it cure and then cut off the tubing.

My finished tailskid (minus wheel) only weighs 7grams and I can't break it. A piece of aluminum tubing the same size weighs 6g and you know what would happen if I bent it.
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 02:52 PM
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DeRidder LA.
Joined Nov 2008
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Cool Tip on the Carbon forming!!

Let's see those cowl pics. The cowl is currently my nemesis since I have to integrate the cowl,inner ring, and radial for looks, and structural integrity. I'm still working on it. I'm very interested to see how you're doing yours.
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 03:16 PM
AND FOR MY NEXT TRICK....!
jodini's Avatar
Omaha Millard, Nebraska, United States
Joined Sep 2004
4,052 Posts
Hey Mike,
Cowl rings were sent out yesterday buddy!

Don has some great ideas on the radial. Sounds like he's going to come up something very true to scale and said he might be able to produce a few. He might be able to hook you up Mike!

Joe
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 08:29 PM
Sky's not the limit, ground is
skydanz's Avatar
USA, CA, San Jose
Joined Dec 2007
855 Posts
OK gang. Here's what I've got so far.

A dummy front end was built from the plans. This part will be finished with fiberglass and paint just as if it were the actual part of the plane. This is called the plug. Once the plug has had all the scale seams, rivets, screws and louvers applied, a mold will be made of it. It is very important to have the plug finished as nice as possible because it will represent what the final part will look like.

The plug is longer than what the final part will be. This allows the fiberglass to be layed up beyond the cutoff line. It's just easier than trying to cut the glass cloth exactly to length. The whole part will attach like a normal cowling on a plane. The hatch can be cut out along the scale seam.

A similar process will be used to make the radial engine shroud but I have to wait until this mold is completed to make sure it fits properly. If things go right, the engine shroud will be adjustable to accomodate various engine combos.

DC
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 10:14 PM
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Skydanz,

That is an AWESOME way to make a "bent" CF rod! Thanks for sharing.

Mike
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 12:54 AM
AND FOR MY NEXT TRICK....!
jodini's Avatar
Omaha Millard, Nebraska, United States
Joined Sep 2004
4,052 Posts
Man Don,
You are an innovative builder! Look forward to your building!
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 08:03 PM
Sky's not the limit, ground is
skydanz's Avatar
USA, CA, San Jose
Joined Dec 2007
855 Posts
I have been very busy working on several items at a time. The fuse is nearly complete and the tail feathers are done. As you can see from the picture, I've added the scale false ribs to the stab. It barely added 1g to the structure but I've done a lot of sanding for weight savings. I've also added the structure for the strobe in the tail. Yes, I'll have lights too.

I'm also moving along well with the cowl mold. I've put a couple layers of bondo and I'm pretty happy with the rough shape now. The red dye that I added to the initial glass and resin shows up great and helps me know when I've sanded too far. I've added a layer of finishing bondo this evening and have to wait for it to cure. The round opening in the front is 6". OOPS! I JUST REALIZED THAT'S WRONG. THE OPENING IS 5.75" The cylinder shroud that I'm making as well will fit into that opening.

The only other change I'm making right now is to the ailerons (and servo location). I'm making the leading edge of the ailerons rounded and the trailing edge of the wing is concave to clean up the hinge line underneath and give it a more scale appearance.

More to come!

DC
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Last edited by skydanz; Jan 20, 2011 at 10:12 AM. Reason: Change of dimension
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 10:09 PM
AND FOR MY NEXT TRICK....!
jodini's Avatar
Omaha Millard, Nebraska, United States
Joined Sep 2004
4,052 Posts
Holly cow Don....where did you find those cool pics! Never seen the inside of the PCA-2. COOL!

Looks like you are going to do an AWESOME job on that radial! Can't wait to see what you come up with!
Good to have you on board!
Joe
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 10:33 PM
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imsofaman's Avatar
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VERY impressive Don. You are a true craftsman with a wide variety of talents! I think I have found a new best friend!

Dave
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 09:48 AM
Sky's not the limit, ground is
skydanz's Avatar
USA, CA, San Jose
Joined Dec 2007
855 Posts
Thanks guys. Joe,I promise not to change too much. Nothing I'm doing will change the flight characteristics.

I need to correct one thing. I said the front opening in the cowl was 6". It's actually 5.75"

Mike, what is the diameter of the crankcase you are using? I want to make sure the shroud clears so if anyone else uses that radial, it fits.

DC
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