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Old Jan 20, 2016, 03:08 PM
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24.25" Gloster Gladiator - DTF Biplane

Started drawing one of these a couple nights ago:

Thought I would post it In this forum as I hope it will be light enough to fly indoors.




So far, I've done two Axis powers War Birds in the Flitetest mighty mini style. I think that the Mighty Mini lineup was about due for a biplane fighter. There's just something about biplanes, and the Gloster Gladiator is a beautiful plane.

It's also got a rather interesting history. It was the last biplane fielded by the RAF, and the first fighter to have an enclosed cockpit. It was put into the field just as monoplanes were starting to dominate, and as such, it went to export very quickly. The number of countries that fielded the Gladiator was kinda crazy. The first recorded kill in WWII from a Gladiator, was a US pilot in China who shot down a Mitsubishi A5M.

If I remember correctly, there were a couple squadrons involved in the Battle of Britain, where they were way overmatched. In many of the other theatres, they held their own, or dominated the skies. So many different countries ended up with them, that several ended up on the Axis side, and I believe even the Russians ended up with one.

Here's one outfitted for snow:





So, on to the plans:



Drawn up with a 24.25" Wingspan. It's being designed around the Flitetest F power pack. Anything close to a 2204 2300kv motor and 12 Amp ESC. It's set up to use the flite test mini power pod, which is pretty darn simple, but you could install any type of firewall.

I didn't realize it at the time, but this is the same wingspan as the FT Baby blender. However, with the more refined build techniques, this plane will be far, far, lighter. I'm also going for a thin semi-symmetrical airfoil. This in combination with the rounded wing tips should induce far less drag. The under camber on the tips may add some of that drag back, but I believe it will do a lot to enhance stability.

The fuselage design is something new I'm testing out. Lots of paper has been removed from many parts, including the fuse. For the tail section, I plan to only include as much foam board as necessary for strength. The rest of the skin of the plane will be poster board or paper. Should be just as easy to assemble as any other FT style plane, it will just have the added benefit of lightness and a more accurate rounded fuse. I'm hoping for a bare airframe weight increase of only 25% (it may be less) from the current monoplane mighty mini warbirds. All while doubling the wing area.

Of course, it will have a hatch to hide the batteries in, and will be getting the full clear canopy treatment. I'm also testing out a better method of creating a round cowl with a smooth rounded transition in the front. Got some goodies from the minwax isle to play with. I'm hoping that a very smooth cowl can be created with very little work.

Anybody know much about wing aerodynamics?

Just built half of one wing wing, and it came out as planned, I'm just wondering if I should extend the bottom area all the way back to the trailing edge. The "flaps" that are left in place with a short under wing really seem to help on big planes, but I had trouble with a micro spitfire design (18" wingspan) where I did something similar. If no one has tried a wing both ways, guess I'll just see what happens.

Yeah, my leading edge bevels are ugly. I have one good knife left and don't want to use it yet. :black_eyed: The trailing edge bevels were much smoother even with a rough blade. I cut those after removing the paper, makes it much easier.








Here's the good news. Even if I add more foam to the wing, it'll still be super light.



Hot glue and tape aren't all that heavy:



What's heavy are the gigantic y connectors that come with the F power pack. They're at least 3 sizes too big, meant for much larger servos. Even after I cut one down, cause they're also super long, it weighs more than a 5g servo. Oh well, it's all I have.





Bottom wing assembly:







So, 66 grams. If you subtract 16 grams for the electronics and wires it comes out to 50. Not bad. The bottom wing is slightly lighter than the top.






Most recent plans:

Mighty Mini Gloster Gladiator Beta v.4 Tiled
Mighty Mini Gloster Gladiator Beta v.4 Full
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Old Jan 22, 2016, 02:40 AM
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It's late and time for bed but I think I got everything figured out except for the Canopy. It's looking pretty good so far, but won't be quite right until the canopy is on it. That'l be the project for tomorrow.

Made alignment templates so the BBQ skewers will be easy to install. Gets your wing incidence, stagger, and height figured out without any trouble. The long pieces on top will be cut off and added to the center wing section where they will poke into the fuselage. Should be very strong, no need for foamboard supports.




Finished weight should be right around 190 grams before battery. Might add a few g's in glue and such before it's all done. Plus whatever the canopy weighs. A 500mah 2s will put you well below 250, and you can still probably go bigger. Think hobby king has some 800mah 2s batteries that are 50 grams. A smaller motor should also be an option. This is just one I had in a pod already. It's a 2206 2150kv motor that puts out >600 grams of thrust on 3s with the 6045 prop that's on it. This plane will not need that much power.







Once this is done, if I have time, I may paint it and draw up some decals for it. Should have some aluminum paint lying around somewhere.
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Old Jan 22, 2016, 07:35 AM
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Looks great LF. I'm not familiar with the Flitetest F power pack seems like it's a bit of a porker.

Pete
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Old Jan 22, 2016, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtflyr View Post
Looks great LF. I'm not familiar with the Flitetest F power pack seems like it's a bit of a porker.

Pete
It's probably a bit on the big side for what you normally get in this forum, but I'm hoping it will be slow enough for indoor flight as well as outdoor fun. I'm building with dollar tree foam with paper on some of the sides. This makes things a bit heavier that what you normally see here, but makes the build very fast. Typically, the entire plane can be built from scratch in an evening. If it ends up slow enough for indoor flight I'll have hit both my goals.

The F power pack is essentially a 250 quad motor. I mentioned the type of the motor in my post, 2204 2300kv motor and 12 Amp ESC, but not the weight. Motor weight is 24 grams. Now that I'm getting closer to finishing, I know I can go down in size without a problem. Ended up lighter than originally planes.

I have 1704 2300 kv motor that weighs 15 grams, and a 6 amp ESC that's pretty light. I may use that one instead.
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Old Jan 22, 2016, 12:40 PM
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That model looks good... well done.
Was wondering initially re the layered foam wing construction rather than a simple curved surface one.

This is a good motor:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...or_1800kv.html
fitted with a 5 x 4.3 GWS prop.. proven motivation.. for models below 150 gms
Add a 2S 300 mah 17gm battery, a 6a Plush Esc and yer good to go.
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Old Jan 22, 2016, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bare View Post
That model looks good... well done.
Was wondering initially re the layered foam wing construction rather than a simple curved surface one.

This is a good motor:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...or_1800kv.html
fitted with a 5 x 4.3 GWS prop.. proven motivation.. for models below 150 gms
Add a 2S 300 mah 17gm battery, a 6a Plush Esc and yer good to go.
Thanks. I went with the layered wing as I plan on being able to use a bigger motor and run 3s for bombing around outdoors. You could leave off the bottom piece and spar, then just curve the wing. It would be plenty strong enough for indoors flight and perhaps 18 grams lighter.

I'll add that motor to my hobbyking list. I already have a list and I just placed an order a few days ago...

I think it might be a little underpowered for my current weight, but I do have some of the new Hobbyking 3mm stuff on the way. Might redraw the plans to accommodate the thinner material, or shrink the size some.

Here's the 1704 2300kv motor I think I'll do the test flight with. The pod setup is nice. Pull a toothpick, and you can swap motors between planes, or drop in something bigger.





And here's what the plans look like now:

Gloster Gladiator Beta v.2

Top hatch has gone away, as the upper wing made top access annoying. Going with battery access between cowl and bottom wing. The paper coverings for the top deck still need a little tweaking, just need to find the time to redraw the changes. And of course, no canopy yet though I did add decals.
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Old Jan 22, 2016, 09:05 PM
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Looks like my electronics are here, so I'm going to work on finishing this up tonight. For now, I'm going to be posting up the first set of the build walk-through pics.

Cut out your wing. Poke holes for your BBQ Skewers as marked on plans. Make the two creases on the wing bend lines. Remove paper from everywhere marked. Cut your leading and trailing edge bevels. I'm going about a half an inch on my bevels. Without the paper layer they're very easy to cut. They could also be sanded in. Cut your aileron bevel. Glue on the spar as shown. It's centered between the two wing bend points.

end points.

Make some practice folds to make sure it all looks good.



Then glue it together. I put glue on the leading edge crease, the trailing edge bevel, and the spar.



Reach in with your knife and cut the spar. Don't cut into the wing, just the spar, as we want the wing to bend a bit.



Squirt some glue into the crack you just made, put the center section flat on the table, and use the provided dihedral gauge. Hold until dried. Repeat for the other wing.



Now were going to do a similar process to glue the two halves together. A bit of tape makes this easy.



Add glue and hold the center sections flat onto the table. The only bends in the top wing are the ones we did above.



Completed Top Wing:



The bottom wing is almost identical, except there's a servo to contend with, and it bends in the middle rather than two places. Use the same dihedral gauge.



Cut out and add bevels to your elevator and rudder. Forgot to take a pic of the rudder, but it's not any different. Refer to the plans for what to bevel.



Glue the two pieces together making sure that the vertical stabilizer is straight and at 90 degrees. The slots hold things together pretty well, but it's always best to make sure.



After your wings and tail pieces are finished move on to the fuselage sections:



First step is to flip it over and add a bit of tape. There are several pieces that will be discarded, but for now I like to leave them in place to help keep everything square. The tape helps keep them from falling out.



Go ahead and clear out all of your cavities and remove all the paper as shown in the plans. When removing paper, follow the lines on the plans. Cut very shallowly, just enough to get through the paper, you don't want deep cuts where the paper is being removed. Leave the gunports alone for now, they also add strength.



Start adding a bit of a bend to the front fuselage sections. I just use my fingers, with the paper removed it naturally want to curl, help it along a bit until the curve matches the top fuse plate.



Where I cut the paper to remove it, I like to add a bit of tape for extra insurance. Don't know if this is needed or not.



Do some test fitting, then fold one fuse side up and glue it into place. Make sure it's at 90 degrees and that the curves at the front and the back are held in place. This is a B fold. The fuse sides fold "Beside" the middle plate.



Once it's dried I like to go back and add some glue along the joint. Remove the excess with a piece of scrap foam. This is a lightweight build, with a lot of foam removed, the glue helps out when things are this light weight.



Take a strip of blank paper and tape it over the gun port. When the fuse is assembled, you'll pull the foam out of the gunport slot and this paper will be visible in the background.



Cut out and glue the power pod mount. This is also a B fold.



Glue the mount into the front of the fuselage. Also go ahead and test fit your power pod. If you're using a large motor where the wires don't fit through the firewall you'll want to make cuts so things fit now.



If you will be installing the bottom hatch rather than leaving the space between cowl and wing open, cut and glue this support into place. It sits on the nose of the fuse directly below the power pod mount.



Test fit your wing and assembled tail section. The should both just fit into their respective slots. Make sure everything is lining up.



Once stuff looks good glue in the wing, and then glue the rear fuse stabilizer. Use a table to help keep everything square.



Once the stabilizer has dried, glue on the tail. This is your last chance to adjust things so that the wing and horizontal stabilizer are even. You can also now remove the junk pieces from the fuse. The flaps of paper that are left get glued down over the edges of the foamboard. These really add a lot of stiffness.



Cut out and glue in you formers. Their location will be labeled on the plans.

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Old Jan 23, 2016, 03:08 AM
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Didn't get as much done tonight as I would have liked, but I did get the Canopy figured out and glued the top wing into place. The canopy was a pain but it's figured out now. The final revision will look a bit better than the one pictured, but I had built so many of them tonight that this one is good enough for the prototype. :black_eyed:

The canopy is made from printable overhead transparency sheets. They're pretty cheap, and once you have the design figured out very easy to build. Print it, cut it out, and either tape or hot glue together. Think I'm going to make a scale-ish cockpit design for the next one of these. Gonna leave the prototype as is for now.



This is scale. The top wing was just below the canopy line. Visibility would have been scary for a fighter pilot in one of these.






These weights are with the 1704 2300kv and 6amp ESC.

203 Grams with 500mah 2s



246 grams with 850mah 3s



I have some 260 gram 2s batteries, but I think i'd have to add enough nose weight that it would be pointless.
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Old Jan 23, 2016, 04:19 PM
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No time for paint, and that might curse the maiden anyway.

So, I started drawing up simple decal sets. I have several different ones that I'll be adding to the plans as options.



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Old Jan 23, 2016, 07:18 PM
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Well done!
Pete
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Old Jan 23, 2016, 08:56 PM
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Got enough finished on the prototype to try it out. This flight is with a 500mah 2s battery and the tiny 1704 2300kv motor. Had to add a bunch of nose weight, so the tiny motor isn't really worth it.

Plane may have still been a bit tail heavy, and this motor really doesn't have much power. For the maiden, I only hooked up the lower ailerons. Thought I'd try and see how it would work for people that might not want to hook up the tops.

Ailerons react very slowly, and there's a bit of adverse yaw. Impossible to fly without rudder input. Hooking up the upper ailerons might help, but even that might not overcome the wing design. Probably too much undercamber. On the bright side, I think I inadvertently created a 3 channel Rudder, Elevator, Throttle trainer biplane.

Gonna do some more testing tomorrow with the rudder on the aileron channel and a 2204 motor. If it does well I may end up having two sets of wings. One that will do the aerobatics that I want, and the current ones, for those who want an easy to fly biplane.

Mighty Mini Gloster Gladiator Maiden Lower Ailerons Only 1.23.16 (0 min 44 sec)
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Old Jan 23, 2016, 10:26 PM
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Really moves me , read about the Gladiator and the Island of Malta in WWII I was about 9 or 10 years old. It was dark days indeed.
Google up faith hope charity malta and you will see what I mean try

The Siege of Malta and the Gladiators Faith, Hope & Charity (5 min 3 sec)


cant wait for more from you cheers
ron
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Old Jan 23, 2016, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acheyj View Post
Really moves me , read about the Gladiator and the Island of Malta in WWII I was about 9 or 10 years old. It was dark days indeed.
Google up faith hope charity malta and you will see what I mean try
Glad you liked it.

Yeah, saying Malta was a bad place to be in WWII is a massive understatement. I remember reading about in somewhere when I was a kid. Going up against swarms of bombers with outmatched Biplanes was incredibly brave. I'm way to young at 30 to have been around for WWII but I greatly appreciate the sacrifices made by that generation.

I started building warbirds after Flitetest came out with plans for a P-51 and a Corsair in this same size. I designed and built a Mitsubishi Zero as a counterpart to the Corsair, and am working on a Bf 109 to pair against the mustang.

That was too many Axis planes for me, so I had to make something from the right side of the war. Bi-planes are my favorite, and the Gladiator was the perfect fit.

If you wanted to look at some of my other designs here's the Zero in 25" wingspan:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2562121

Scaled up to 42" with scale floats:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2563938

And the Bf 109:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2584864


Once I get this Mini Gladiator figured out I want to scale it up as well. I think it would be a lot of fun with a 40" wingspan, and it would look great in the sky.
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Old Jan 24, 2016, 05:14 PM
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Put on the top set of ailerons and did some more testing today. There was a bit of wind, which isn't great for something with such a light wing loading. First crash turned into a bunch, but in the end the plane was successful, and it shrugged off all the crashes. DTF is excellent for durability.

If watching other people crash is entertaining, you will enjoy this. At least until I get stuff figured out, cause it eventually starts flying nicely.

Mighty Mini Gloster Gladiator Testing Dual Ailerons 1/24/16 (9 min 35 sec)


I think 3 channel will work if I increase the rudder size. Which would probably just necessitate making another whole version. Might do that later.

For now, airfoil shape is going to change a bit, and I'm going to increase the size of the ailerons. Those will hopefully make for much crisper roll control. It rolls at scale speed right now, but I want it to do more.
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Old Jan 25, 2016, 02:53 PM
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Made the changes to the wings on the plans in case I need them.

Here's what the new plans look like:

Mighty Mini Gloster Gladiator Beta Plans v.3




I may have gone overboard on drawing up decals... Got a little something for everybody. Well, maybe 20% of everybody. There were Gladiators everywhere.



Before trying the new wing design I've dded 1.25" to each aileron. If this doesn't improve responsiveness, I'll test out the other airfoil shape.

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