|Jan 09, 2013, 04:29 PM|
1992/3 Miss T-Plus
It is getting late in the boat building season, given that the season kicks off in March, but I am going to try to have a new 1/10th scale modern hull ready for the 2013 campaign.
The plan: The 1992/3 Miss T-Plus twin wing. Craig Bradshaw at West Coast Custom Boats is currently building up a carbon fiber and epoxy hull for the twin wing design, and Mike at Thunderboat Graphics has a decal set that I plan to use. The vac-u-formed canopy "glass" will be made by Mitch Dillard, who has molds for a variety of cowlings, canopies and inserts.
My job will be to add ride pads, cut out the cockpit area in the cowling, strap on the hardware and do the paint. The power system will be a Proboat 1500kv motor on 4s with an Turnigy 120 speed controller.
The original boat was designed by Ron Jones Jr. and Dave Villwock who ran the hull as the Coors Dry in 1992. In San Diego, Dave scored an upset victory and became the first driver since Howie Benns in 1974 to win his first-ever Unlimited race.
The T-Plus team started with the hull design in 1992, and with Steve David as the driver the boat had some success. In the Honolulu race of 1992, the team ran conservatively in the preliminary heats, but David had the speed when it counted in the finale. The result was a clear-cut victory for Miss T-Plus over Miss Budweiser in the final heat, as the boat set a world record speed of 154.025 miles per hour for the 12.5-mile distance.
With the introduction of fuel restrictions the hull was coverted to a more standard configuration in 1994 and that was pretty much the end of the two wing design in Unlimited racing, but I have always been a fan of that design.
I am still waiting for the hull to be completed somewhere in the next week or so and then it will be time to start the finishing process.
|Feb 08, 2013, 12:48 AM|
I have my new T-Plus hull in my shop now, ready for me to start work on ride pads, the cockpit, hardware and paint.
Attached are some pictures. There is a horizontal wing, but I didn't put that in the photos.
There is a huge amount of space in the hull - and batteries could even fit left to right across the nose and go into the front wing and sponson area. That is one nice change from my 1/12th scale wood twin wing where there were no openings into the wing area.
The cowling is has a metal pin in the front and some magnets at the rear of the hatch. The magnets are sufficient for display purposes, but not enough to hold things down during a race, so I have a bit to do there as well.
Overall the finish is really nice and I am quite excited to get to work. First up will be doing the ride pads.
|Feb 09, 2013, 04:51 PM|
I sketched and taped the outlines for the cockpit on the T-Plus, which might be the scariest part of this build - cutting holes in the cowling. If I get something wrong here it will be hard to fix.
I do need to leave about 10mm from the bottom of the cowling so that it gets above the fiberglass and plywood rail that runs around the bottom edge of the cowling. That will make the windows a bit shorter than what might be perfect scale, but it will be close.
|Feb 10, 2013, 07:54 AM|
Looking good cyber.
I know how you feel. I always take a big deep breath before cutting into a perfectly good fiberglass cowling or hull.Only one chance to get it right & a hundred chances of getting it wrong.
|Feb 10, 2013, 07:37 PM|
Ride pad #1
First ride pad - just a wedge of plywood, 2 inches wide, trimmed to fit in the slightly recessed slot built into the sponson. The sponson out of the mold has a depression of about 1/8" where it needs a ride surface. My plywood bit is about 1/4" thick so it raises the ride surface about 1/8" higher than the basic surface of the sponson, and does make for nice sharp edges which is difficult to achieve out of a mold. I did use a bit of epoxy/mico balloons filler on the front edge to make sure there were no gaps for water to get under the wood. Eventually all of the wood will be protected with a thin coat of 20min epoxy.
The ride pad slot on the opposite sponson was a tad deeper than this one, but it will use the same basic technique.
|Feb 13, 2013, 11:48 PM|
I am into what is very often my least favorite part of building a boat... hardware.
It always seems you have this tiny little area tucked under around and behind every structural member of the hull where you need to reach in to get nuts on bolts. The T-Plus is no exception. I always manage to drop some nut or washer which seems to tunnel out of the universe. Due in part to the law regarding conservation of matter when the current nut leaves the universe something else returns, so I always find some other nut I lost about 2 years prior, but never the nut I need.
Anyway, I am mounting a Speedmaster strut pointed backward so that the strut is under the boat, and a Speedmaster rudder as far over to the edge of the transom as I can get it. I am using blind T-nuts for the rudder bolts, and locking nuts for the strut.
One of the hardest parts will be to position and tighten down the bolt that holds the strut to the bracket. There is just very little room to get any kind of wrench into the space, and then to turn it maybe a 1/16th of a turn.
Hence my least favorite part of building.
I did do a very crude weight and balance check, and I think the batteries are going to end up going left to right in the very nose of the boat (just under where they are in the pictures). There is plenty of room to run them out into the front wing/sponson area and that would seem to be necessary to get the CG to be just a couple inches behind the sponson. There is certainly plenty of room to move the CG aft, but not much wiggle room forward. I think the motor will go near the wood frame, ESC forward of the motor, batteries in the nose.
|Feb 14, 2013, 05:10 PM|
The T-Plus is going to cross braces from the transom to the vertical wings, and I was going to try something new for the connection on the wing. Craig Bradshaw at West Coast Custom Boats pointed out a fitting from Sails Etc, which while intended for sail boats could be a nice option for the wing.
The rumor is the hole is the perfect size for a snap linkage - so I am thinking a 4-40 rod with one end threaded snapping into the eyebolt... we shall see.
|Feb 15, 2013, 02:23 PM|
The molded hull has a bit that looks like the exhaust, but I am working toward the "Northwest" version of the T-Plus, which has a different exhaust tube that you can see on the picture below.
This brings up the question of how to create a turbine exhaust for the boat. I am thinking I will try to create a fiberglass tube using the "lost foam" process. I considered trying to bend some metal, but I have no skills along those lines.
In theory I would carve some pink foam into the proper shape, cover it with a layer of packing tape, apply some wax, then a couple layers of fiberglass and resin. Once it is all dry you use acetone to melt the foam, pull out the tape and you have a part. I think I would incorporate a couple plywood pieces in the front and along the bottom help secure it to the hull and help provide some shape guidelines. It would seem that trying to make it smooth and round could be fairly challenging since fiberglass will show any imperfections.
The rest of the plan would be to paint the inside black and cover the outside of the exhaust with "FliteMetal", which is an adhesive backed metal foil. I ordered the 12x6" sample piece for $5, which should be enough for this project.
If anyone has a better method I would be interested since I have never done "lost foam" molding before, so this would be a new experience.
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