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Old May 19, 2011, 02:45 AM
Gliding like a rock!
Oreo's Avatar
Baltimore, MD
Joined Apr 2007
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Need help with my first composite project.

Hey guys,
I'm interested in using an EPS foam kit plane ( http://www.bananahobby.com/2100.html ) to create molds from, & then of course use the molds to build the plane out of carbon, Kevlar, or whatever is most appropriate. I have no experience with composites but I am quite handy & with a little guidance I know I can pull this off.

I'd like to use the bladder-assisted method described several threads down. I need help finding info on How to build the molds proper, and I also would like to know of any special considerations you think would apply to this A-10 airframe. Things an amature like me may not even think to ask about. I'm using the search function for all its worth but any assistance you can provide for me to get started on the right foot would be greatly appreciated. If you were going to tackle this project, how would you do it?

Thanks in advance!
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Old May 19, 2011, 03:01 AM
Gliding like a rock!
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Baltimore, MD
Joined Apr 2007
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More thoughts:
I've ordered the kit & when it arrives I'll post pics of all the individual parts of the airframe for your consideration. However, I was thinking of doing the fusilage as one piece since it would be easily work with the inflation bladder technique. I'm thinking of cutting the wing lengthwise & making it in two long sections that when glued together, the walls that mate will form the spar. Control surfaces will have to be molded separately of course. The nacelles will be done as separate piece(s), as well as the tail sections.
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Old May 23, 2011, 06:23 AM
Father of Fr3aK, DLG Pilot
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The molding techniques and shapes used for foam (injection molding) may or may not be compatible with traditional composite work. Make sure you create the molds with shallow enough draft angles (may be 3 part molds) etc.
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Old May 27, 2011, 01:25 PM
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Oreo, If you do not have the experience or tools it will be a long process and a very steep learning curve. Not to discourage you but it will be cheaper to buy 2 fiberglass A-10 than to try to make one from scratch.
But you came here for answers so here is my two cents, look up How to build a B-1 Bomber in youtube, you will be hooked.
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Old May 27, 2011, 03:44 PM
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That A-10 is much too complex a moulding project for a first timer.

Start with something simple, learn the techiques and then proceed to more challenging shapes.


T.D.
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Old May 27, 2011, 07:58 PM
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That would be tough. I'd cut off the hardpoints, nacelles and wings and go from there, piece by piece. You'd have to smooth all the damage and then worry about how to locate everything. You might make a great fuselage or a nacelle, but locating them so to correctly fit is the bigger challenge. It would take some tricks and many molds.
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Old May 27, 2011, 08:10 PM
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....duplicate
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Last edited by HELModels; May 27, 2011 at 08:11 PM. Reason: junk connection
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Old May 28, 2011, 03:32 AM
Entropy is happening!
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Bellingen NSW Australia
Joined Aug 2008
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Too complex.

I don't know the model, but I am of the same opinion as the others above.
Also, there has been no mention of the politics of copying a commercial model.

I started moulding with a most simple curved plank plug and mould. The fin was added to the fuse later. No wing fillets or interuptions to the smooth flow of the shape. And it paid off! Good way to learn the inflation bladder seaming method.
Don't underestimate the learning curve here, and don't be discrouraged by the occaisional set back or apparent failure. Keep trying and it will reward you big time when you pull out that superbly seamed, light, strong composite fuselage one day.
It took me two years to learn to produce a flawless fuselage with inflation bladder seams.

Jim.
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Old May 28, 2011, 03:36 AM
Gliding like a rock!
Oreo's Avatar
Baltimore, MD
Joined Apr 2007
241 Posts
I appreciate the replies guys so thank you, even if you say I've got a bad idea or something at least I've got honest feedback to make decisions with.

As for the complex shapes, keep in mind that this foamy kit comes in many pieces meant to be glued together. Not to mention, I can cut difficult sections into smaller, easier sections & reassemble after the lay-up. You guys tell me what you think, but just the bare fusilage, minus any small protruding fins, looks like it would be just as simple of a shape as the pods done by Wyowindworks in this thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1056468 it would just be larger. I figure to start there, and then do other pieces in order of complexity as I develop the skill.

The kit comes in the mail in about 5 days. I'll post pics of the individual pieces then & maybe you guys can tell me where & how to start.
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Old May 28, 2011, 07:23 AM
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Just for an idea of how many individual molds it will take, each part in the kit will require 2 molds (rudders left/right, wing top/bottom, fuselage, etc.) to reproduce. Parts like the fuselage may require more molds for difficult areas like wing mounting areas or any area that could lock the part in the mold. Some parts you may be able to make a single part for and simply use it on both sides (Rudders, hard points,etc.). The wings should be made as top and bottom so you can add all the spars and structure as you build the parts. (This is how we do our Q500 & Q40 racers for ease of construction as well as strength.) The parting boards for each part you will have to construct and they are just as important as the plug itself to your molds, so plan on spending a lot of your time building parting plains. proper support for each part, alignment and fitting to the splitters can be a big challenge. If you want to do it, just take your time and realize it will take many, many hours of work and quite a bit of your money before you ever see a finished aircraft. My Q40 design model took over 400 hours of design & CAD work, 3 months for NMPRA approvals, 400~500 hours constructing the plugs and I am just now starting the molds (4 piece fuse molds, 4 piece horizontal stab molds (2 piece stab), 2 main wing molds = 10 molds, 200 hours creating the molds (est.) and $$$$$'s)

With all that being said, do you have permission from the company to copy their aircraft? If I found one of my designs copied without permission I would not take it sitting down. You could pretty easily be sued for copyright infringements. It would really suck to have $2,000 to $3,000 in your molds and get sued and lose everything you own.

Not to mention, most guys who design their own stuff and mold it, will seriously look down on this activity since you are stealing a design for someone who did it the right way. I would suggest you put in the time and do it right and do not steal someone's work.
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Old May 28, 2011, 08:02 AM
Gliding like a rock!
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Baltimore, MD
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It isn't stealing since I bought the kit & its mine to do with as I please. Its not like digital media at all. I could indulge this subject ad nauseum but that's not the conversation I'm looking for. I appreciate your concern though.
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Old May 28, 2011, 10:04 AM
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Oreo, how about using the A-10 kit as inspiration instead of copying it?

I'm talking about using the areas, moments and angles of the ship you bought to design a simplified moulding project that will have a high probability of success, then going on to tackle a more complicated and scale A-10 project.

BTW, I'm not trying to poke you in the eye here but there is more to it than:

"I bought the kit & its mine to do with as I please"

If you do go ahead with a straight copy of someone else's work without their permission it is unlikely that you will receive the help that you really do need to learn moulding...at least from anyone who actually knows what they are talking about.

Just food for thought to help you get off on the right foot.


T.D.
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Old May 28, 2011, 11:13 AM
Gliding like a rock!
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Baltimore, MD
Joined Apr 2007
241 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by T.D. View Post
Oreo, how about using the A-10 kit as inspiration instead of copying it?

I'm talking about using the areas, moments and angles of the ship you bought to design a simplified moulding project that will have a high probability of success, then going on to tackle a more complicated and scale A-10 project.

BTW, I'm not trying to poke you in the eye here but there is more to it than:

"I bought the kit & its mine to do with as I please"

If you do go ahead with a straight copy of someone else's work without their permission it is unlikely that you will receive the help that you really do need to learn moulding...at least from anyone who actually knows what they are talking about.

Just food for thought to help you get off on the right foot.


T.D.
No, that's not what I'm interested in at all. Either this project can be done or it can't be done. If it can be done then I am capable of learning how to do it.

This will be my final word as to "stealing" the design. THIS IS NOT THEFT. The kit that was sold to me was a scale A-10 made of foam. I intend to create a scale A-10 made of composite. The final design will be similar in appearance to the original but entirely different in many ways. Furthermore, since this is strictly for personal use & not for sale I am firmly, squarely, and entirely on solid legal ground. My integrity is in tact and that anyone here is suggesting otherwise is insulting me. Help or not as you please but anyone who continues to suggest that I'm somehow stealing is no longer welcome in my thread. If that's how you feel I don't need, or want your help. Get lost!

Now, can we please stay on topic?
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Old May 28, 2011, 12:05 PM
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Good luck...with your attitude you will need a lot of it.


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Old May 28, 2011, 12:13 PM
Father of Fr3aK, DLG Pilot
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USA, OH, Worthington
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I'm getting lost too.
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