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Old Apr 30, 2008, 06:52 PM
Visitor from Reality
United States, VA, Arlington
Joined Dec 1996
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VSP - a Very Short Plane

Disclaimers - this is all own-design, hand-built, and balsa. There's no chance of a ready-made appearing just yet, because no plan has been published for 'that lot over there' ( I better not say Chinese ) to reverse engineer from.

It's still a work in progress too! But, like many OD fanatics, the day I stop playing with it, I give it away and go home to design the next model.

The aim: Something like my recent Q&EFI published 'Sportex' 10 cell NiMh / 3S Lipo low winger - low mounted, low AR wing, light weight structure, easy service access to the expensive bits. Sort of OT looking framework, lots of holes with some light balsa trimming and, as you can get away with it at this size, SoLite covering.

Hardware: An "Atlas' 2312/09 outrunner, aiming to pull around 12A from a 3S LiPo around 2200mA with a 9"-ish APCE parkie prop. A smattering of small servos, around Hitec HS65 sized, and a 6 ch Futaba 2.4GHz receiver.

Structure: the first round of shots show the extent I love laminating outlines from balsa strip. The laminating jigs are made from old cardboard boxes, cut to shape and edged with clear office tape. The outlines are three layers of 1/16" light balsa, tossed in a bucket of water to soak a little, wiped dry, coated in good old carpenter's yellow glue and pulled around the former on a balsa building board. One shot shows how I use some alloy L section, part of my wing building jig set of bits, to hold the balsa laminations against the jig.

Most of the time taken to make these outlines is drying time - overnight is not only good, its effectively free! Make up the outline, get it pinned down and go to bed. It's s-o-o- hard building these things

The laminated outlines are real tough - I once trashed a Lazy Bee wing, which uses pretty big laminations for its tip bows. The wing was wood chippings, apart from the tips. I sanded them down some and built a new wing between them in a couple of days. So those skinny outlines can take whatever you throw at them.

You read a lot of plan feature articles, the writer goes on about 'make a kit of parts'. That sounds like a fun idea - whereas I have been known to not finish the plan until I got a big bit or two made first, and there's been the odd wing in my past ended up on a completely different model by the time the balsa dust settled.

If you hadn't figured it out, VSP is a Very Short Plane. It's also one of the nicknames of my wife's grand-daughter - a miniscule three year old. Zoe's other nickname is "The Centre of The Universe". Those of us who are up far enough to have acquired grandkids will understand, I suspect.

End of Part One

Regards

Dereck
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Old Apr 30, 2008, 07:07 PM
Visitor from Reality
United States, VA, Arlington
Joined Dec 1996
12,788 Posts
Back again, before I have to go take the wife out for an airing (a line from an old, but still hilarious, English TV sitcom set in a department store).

This one shows up lots about VSP's flying bits - the rudder is as above and does little beyond waggle around at the back really.

Aiming to keep up the OT-ish look, I went for an open frame wing - hence the diagonals I added later to keep the durn thing from distorting in a parallelagram fashion.

On reflection, not worth the effort and time, the covering will do as much. Buidling the wing - well, I can't abide the idea of building two panels, then joining them together. What I did here was to build the entire mainspar, which starts at the wing section bottom edge and goes up to some 3/4 of the section's depth. I just spliced the two parts together over the drawing - which, as I drew it, had just that part drawn on it - to make the complete tip to tip mainspar, dihedral and all.

It hasn't got any ply bracing As it's over a half inch deep, with a long overlap at the centre, I couldn't see that baby Atlas helping pull enough G to tear the spar apart. The other two top spars are there to stabilise the section, stick into the covering some, and because I've made a wing like this but without them, and never cared much for the way I could hold the tips and bounce the fuselage up and down as the wing flexed.

The itty-bitty spars are just 1/8" square hard balsa. I never bother buying stripwood, a cheap little balsa stripper I've had for years gives me an almost endless supply of strip for little effort. The LE is 3/16" strip, whatever deep and then lovingly sanded to section, while the TE is a square bit off the same 3/16" sheet. There's little 1/16" balsa gussets between ribs' back ends and the TE, to stabilise that otherwise small glue joint.

I could have made the tailplane up like the elevators, but got a little fed up and short-cutted. The tailplane sits on its seating on the rear fus, while the top decking stops at the tailplane LE. This is called 'simple building'

The rudder is all-moving. Good News - it saves building a fin and rudder. Not So Good News - you really have to work at getting a short sternpost fitted dead on vertically, plus ditto on the two hinges, to get the rudder vertical. You also need a slop-free drive to it - mine would be, but the rudder servo has a little play in its output arm but, as it's glued to the fuselage side, keeps its job and I live in terror of waggly rudder syndrome.

Onwards!

Dereck
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Old Apr 30, 2008, 08:04 PM
Visitor from Reality
United States, VA, Arlington
Joined Dec 1996
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And there's more!

The fuselage is a box section, rectangular to its core! I openly admit to cribbing this off a good friend, the late, great Randy Randolph who could do incredibly simple models with real style - mine's amateurish compared to dear old Randy.

What in these images?

Well, the UC is similar to what a lot of folk have hung off the bottom of a Lazy Bee, but with some depth vice the LB's straight wire UC. So it has springing - good old rubber bands - and is removable. So when it acquires 'toe out' due to too many not quite perfect landings, I remove one wheel, remove the entire wire UC, perform a 180 turn with it and replace it - that offensive 'toe out' is now the far more desirable 'toe-in'. It's in a little box made of two sheet pieces of plywood, around 1/32" with two strips of 3/32" spruce - the same thickness as the UC wire. Said box is glued into two slots in the fuselage sides, being as the box is the same width as the outside width of the fuselage.

The other shot shows how the top's as rectangular as it all comes and has a huge battery and RC gear hatch. I hate having to scrat around when fitting things like servos and batteries - especially batteries - so I design my models so the battery centre point is over the CG, allowing me to use slightly different sizes and shapes of 3S, and can just drop them straight in through a gaping hole that's covered by a big hatch.

A side benefit is that I can also get at the servos and receiver just by taking the hatch off. The 'big hole' in the top is allowed for in the model's structure, so it has no affect on matters physical or aerodynamical. On VSP, its held in place by a tab at the front, which also locates the hatch side to side, and by a couple of itty-bitty magnets at the back. Despite having no slope to front or back, it drops right in with no sweat.

Back later - I have plans, and I need to draw one up for a low winged Old-timer/Vintage looking 40" span rudder/ele/motor model - that's also pretty aerobatic without ailerons...

Regards

Dereck
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Old May 01, 2008, 02:02 PM
OCD: Old, Cranky and Disgusted
challenger_i's Avatar
United States, TX, Sweetwater
Joined Mar 2005
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I await news, with baited breath!
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Old May 01, 2008, 02:48 PM
Visitor from Reality
United States, VA, Arlington
Joined Dec 1996
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Well, don't hurt yourself

There's more, as the saying goes. As a teaser, she has flown and looks like she will be taught many cute party tricks. For one, I found out that she has my prefered rudder reaction, with no yaw/roll coupling.

Though I don't want to admit to how I found out about that.

This was the first model in something like 10 years that I built with torque rods and a central single servo. It will also be the last...

My custom design/build service suffered a severe degredation of building skills which resulted in the ailerons having not really enough throw A little surgery has since fitted a pair of Micro Futaba servos in the approved IMAC fashion - looking dumb as they hang out the bottom of the wing. This will be addressed in the sequel "VSP-51", but for now, a word of warning.

Cheap-O clone ESCs can have an intense dislike to running four servos and go into sulk mode when asked to replace a real ESC. Fortunately, the motor cuts were suffered in the hangar, not the air, and a Castle Creations T'Bird 18 with a 3A BEC is someplace inbound.

Regards

Dereck
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Old May 01, 2008, 03:47 PM
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Ken Myers's Avatar
Commerce Township, MI
Joined Aug 2001
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Well, that's a neat one! :-)

BTW, I love/loved "Are You Being Served?" Extremely funny, even for a Yank.
I even have a book about the show. Great cast. I imagine that many have passed by now.
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Old May 01, 2008, 05:59 PM
Visitor from Reality
United States, VA, Arlington
Joined Dec 1996
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Hi Ken
The AYBS cast went on to do 'Grace and Favour' - the same cast and characters, but the dept. store had closed and all their retirement had been invested in a crumbling hotel out in the country 'someplace'. So the entire staff took up running a restaurant.

It was hilarious, just as funny as AYBS, but didn't run too long. I have a feeling it was briefly shown over here, but under another name - or I might be thinking of something else, TV isn't really my thing.

The record is still held by "Last of the Summer Wine', which has been running for 30-some years now, still with some of the original cast. If you've not seen it, track it down. One writer for the entire run, with around 8 episodes a year - and how many writers do some comedy shows need to be barely funny?

In the meantime, to show I'm thinking about the present track some, here's a motor bay shot. Unfortunately, I got the motor position wrong by 1/8", and failed to enhance sales at 'Motor Mount Extenders R Us' by putting a piece of 1/8" ply in there. Like most things on VSP, my stock of rulers put in some overtime here, though I did fit some curved sidecheeks in lieu of a 'proper' cowling. The ESC is right behind a curvy hole in the firewall that runs parallel to the bottom edge and the motor's rear plate mount, and did it ever need it for cooling.

I really must try it on 2S and a little amperage...

Regards

Dereck
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Old May 01, 2008, 08:51 PM
OCD: Old, Cranky and Disgusted
challenger_i's Avatar
United States, TX, Sweetwater
Joined Mar 2005
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VSP-51? Sounds intriguing! Think I'd be interested in a VSP-40.
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Old May 02, 2008, 10:37 AM
Visitor from Reality
United States, VA, Arlington
Joined Dec 1996
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Packing in the radio - no sweat. Yes, I suspect the reciever may have sloped off for this shot, but it is sticky-taped onto the left hand fuselage inside. It's that thin, it creates no problem-O.

It's all a little packed in there, of course -in some ways, I wish I'd put the servos where I usually put them, just aft of the wing. I took that up around the time of the original 4*40 and have found it a great idea when most of the over-wing space is taken up by a battery.

The other shot is my first - and last - attempt at a single aileron servo and torque rods since the dear old 4* ten-odd years back. Dubro's itty-bitty hardware is great, my pudgy old fingers (and some wayward CA, I suspect) didn't fit them with due love and attention, so I ended up with a lot less aileron throw than I wanted.

Am too ashamed to show you my two aileron servo re-fit - it looks like the bottom of an IMAC or BARFer, with the servos as much on the outside. The next one will be done properly.

And, finally, in response to dozens of letters from the newly formed "VSP fan club" - a doodle of VSP-51! Though other idle thoughts suggest I should be true to my ethnicity and racial heritage and consider a 'VSS" - 'Very Short Spitfire".

Not sure if it will show or not, but the 'doodle' was done by printing out VSP's outline as a jpg and adding the VSP-51 outlines over the top, leaving the wing and tail positions and areas mostly untouched. It really should have a tapered wing - a little tricky - and a wing mounted UC, though it could fly well without wheels hanging out. I had a semiscale electric P51 back in England around 15 years back, and it landed fine on its nasal undersides and that very obvious airscoop under the wing TE.

Though personally, I always though the Hurricane did just as much, it just wasn't as cool and well-endowed in the PR regions - so maybe there could be a VSH in the offing... A doodle of the VSP-40 is eagerly awaited, plus we all await the translation of the concept down to the 'recycled blue foam insulation lobby'.

Off the high horse, lads - I've published two plans of models made mostly from Artists' foamboard, and years before anyone invented Blu-Core too

Regards

Dereck
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Old May 02, 2008, 08:02 PM
North East England
Joined Feb 2004
3,180 Posts
Nice build, Dereck - and very entertainingly written too! On the subject of sitcoms, I'm sure you will appreciate the humour of my favourite ...'The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin', starring the late (and great) Leonard Rossiter. Don't know if it ever made it across the water to the USA, but it's out on DVD (all 3 series in a boxed set) -comedy at it's best!

Steve
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Old May 02, 2008, 10:35 PM
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Xpress..'s Avatar
Joined Oct 2007
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Nice, clean build there.

Looks kinda like those Clancy Aviation Bee's.
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Old May 04, 2008, 10:06 AM
Visitor from Reality
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Joined Dec 1996
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Steve - Ah! Reggie Perrin! Leonard R was a true comic genious, I will have to look up that one. I saw some, but back then, I spent my nights out on my bike training for cycle races and the TV was under my wife's control. Without TiVo - the salvation of the clutter-break hater - or even a DVR - the chances of my watching what I wanted were minimal.

We just got the latest and last-but-one disc of "Allo, Allo" - as well as the actual episodes, it also covers how the series evolved, on the writing, producing and acting aspects. It never ceases to amaze me how the Beeb can produce such incredibly funny comedy with a minimum of people - unlike US comedy, which is marginally funny and needs dozens of people just to write the lead-ins to the commercial breaks.

One I did get to watch, mid 70's and a true 'sleeper', was 'Rock Follies' - probably more social commentary than I appreciated, and Rula Lenksa had a lot to do with the rest, but it was a great series.

Back on track - one of the early CAD files, pre-VSP, was titled 'NAB' -for "NotABee' . Yes, the much discussed, seldom seem 'Low Winged Lazy Bee'. But, like all my attempts at the LWLB, it wandered off and became VSP - if anyone comes up with a better name, let's be hearing from you.

It does have many of the LWLB's traits - low AR, short coupling, big stabs, and the all moving rudder definitely comes from you-know-where. Her big sister - 'Sportex' - is very similar with the low AR thing, but she dates back to the very un-Bee-like "Puts-E" design of mine from a while back.

The configuration is probably not that efficient, but it has a wide flight envelope - any of them could cruise around slow with the best of the OT lobby, but they can kick up some heels and do a lot of aerobatics, if not in best FAI fashion. I haven't yet gotten VSP to a square loop with half-rolls, but that's a lot from around 180W or so

Right now, it's blowing a gale, there's 'tree poop' all over the yard and wifey is getting frantic in case the cost of tree bark to cover it all goes ballistic, like gaspetrol

Regards
Dereck
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Old May 04, 2008, 10:52 AM
Build more, websurf less
FlyingW's Avatar
Long Valley, NJ, USA
Joined Dec 2001
1,687 Posts
Dereck,

Is Allo, Allo the show with the dentist father and the children who often made fun of the wife's cooking?

Had to be at least 25 years ago. Very funny - and the kind of funny when you're thinking about it the next day while driving to work.

VSP - great overall "look." Could add that 3-blade prop and headers.

Fairings on the LG legs would be cool too.

Paul
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Old May 04, 2008, 04:43 PM
OCD: Old, Cranky and Disgusted
challenger_i's Avatar
United States, TX, Sweetwater
Joined Mar 2005
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That is a sweet looking bird!
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Old May 04, 2008, 05:08 PM
Blade Butcher
smitty240's Avatar
Boones Mill, VA
Joined Nov 2002
543 Posts
Nice...and simple...

Sweet looking plane. As you mentioned a 9" prop, I'm guessing from the finished photos that it's around 36-38"? Looks as though it could be an inexpensive trunk plane, or as they say across the big water, boot plane.

Yes, I used to work on British Leyland cars.
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