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Old May 15, 2015, 11:35 AM
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Greg's XC#8 to eXC#8-F

So I'm the proud new owner of Greg Noseworthy's venerable XC#8 ship!

I've been looking for a larger sailplane to convert to electric with the idea of testing some ArduPilot / autonomous soaring code I've been developing. I'm also interested in trying my hand at GPS Triangle racing and maybe some FPV soaring. This is definitely going to be a testbed for me.

The goals are:
1. To convert to ePower. I have absolutely no desire to lug a winch around with me.
2. To add flaps. Here in VA, we don't have the luxury of big open expanses.
3. To add modular support for things like telemetry, Pixhawk, and FPV gear.

Right now I'm planning on power from:
- NEU 1509/1.5D/6.7:1
- CC 100 Amp ESC
- 18x12 folding prop

Probably a little over-kill, but what the heck!

Here are some shots of the initial Rhinoplasty. The idea here is to get the hole sizing correct and consistent and make sure it's 90 to the chord of the wing.
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Old May 21, 2015, 10:54 AM
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Getting the flaps cut out

Because this plane was born and raised in CA and because they have tons of wide openness XC#8 didn't have flaps or spoilers. That's not going to work here in VA so I'll be working on the 'F' part of the eXC#8-F.

These photos show the marking, scoring, cutting and enlarging of the flaps as well as the initial installation of the flap servo.

This was pretty straight forward and followed the standard method of cutting control surfaces out: Use a sharp / fresh blade. Don't go too fast and cut against a straight edge. I used a piece of folded over sanding paper to increase the gaps at either end of the control surface.
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Old May 21, 2015, 02:07 PM
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Looks like very good work. I would consider facing the bare foam with 1.5 oz glass at +/-45 like a dlg just to cover the exposed foam and close the box. Probably no need for a wiper since these will be for flap only.

Also now that I see how small the newer servos are and how far back you may be able to place them in the wing, you may not cut into the thickest structural part of the wing and there would be no need to add structure to compensate for the servo hole.
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Old May 24, 2015, 07:23 AM
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Thanks Greg! Was wondering the same regarding the wiper. I'll take your advice and glass over the servo pockets. Good call!
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Old Jun 22, 2015, 01:15 PM
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Getting ready to cut the fuse hatch

So despite Greg's warning that cutting a hatch in the fuse is going to end up badly, I just couldn't resist. The motor will slide forward and could probably be bolted in place successfully, but I *really* wanted unfettered access to the interior in order to swap gear in and out.

Here I've got the outline of the cut drawn on the fuselage and the G10 fabricated firewall test-fit in place.

In the next few posts, I'll let you know how things turned out!
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Old Jun 22, 2015, 08:59 PM
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The hatch is possible with patience. Sorry for the delay but I was suggesting facing the open foam on the aileron and wing side of the hinge cut. 45 degree 1.5 oz cloth should be fine. It closes off the box to stiffen the flap and protects the raw foam.
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Old Jun 25, 2015, 11:41 AM
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More work on the nose / hatch area

@Greg, Thanks for the idea on facing the flaps. That's a good one.

The very first thing I did was to pull a mold off the fuselage so I could create an inner carbon fiber ledge for the canopy to rest on. I also figured a bit of CF would be good reinforcement in this potentially weakened area. After I pulled the mold, I laid up a couple of layers of CF to make the hatch ledge. Once this layup was dry, I pulled it and then epoxied it inside the cut-out of the canopy.

To cut out the canopy, I just used thin Dremel cut-off wheel and went slowly and carefully. One good way to wrangle the Kevlar fuzz that I've used is to wick in a little thin CA glue. This makes light sanding more feasible.

I then epoxied in the carbon fiber inner railing and let it set up. When it cured, I cut the CF ledge with a little over lap. Hopefully the pics show what I'm talking about.

Everything came out pretty decent. The front part of the hatch is held in place with a little tongue that slips under the front part of the fuse and the rear portion is held in place with a rare earth magnet.

Next up: motor installation, component installation and CG.
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