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Old Nov 20, 2013, 09:37 AM
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United States, WA, Bellevue
Joined Jan 2013
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Midwest Citabria Build

Really wanted a kit to build over the winter months and decided building a "camping" plane would be coolest. Something that could go on floats easily but still be fun to fly other times, but docile enough that I could in theory fly it for years. Was kinda set on a clipped wing super cub, but really love the lines of the Citabria. The Midwest kit has a symmetrical airfoil not flat bottom which is a huge plus. Plans are to:
1. Lighten/stiffen this old kit where I can.
2. DLE20 RA power
3. Elevator counter balances (like a Decathlon)
4. Change some parts of the appearance around the cabin design to look a bit more realistic.
5. 2 piece wing so I can actually transport the thing.
6. Basically attempt to make a smaller Pilot Decathlon out of it. (bigger control surfaces and throws, full length ailerons split to have flaps as well) LOVE the way that plane can fly.
Pilot-RC 107" Decathlon with DLE-55 (3 min 24 sec)


Anyway this will be to track my progress, and I'm really really hoping others who have built this kit once upon a time will chime in as this is my first build. I guess I should say that I built many a stick and die-cut rubber band plane as a kid but now have the means to build a big awesome RC plane.

Immediate action items are to get a copy of the plans made and get my building area complete.
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Old Nov 23, 2013, 04:43 PM
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tailskid2's Avatar
USA, AZ, Phoenix
Joined May 2003
3,060 Posts
You might want to change the manner in which they mount the aileron servos. Kit goes together very fast but with your modifications, it just might be a winter's project

Good choice for engine by the way.
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Old Nov 25, 2013, 06:43 AM
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United States, KY, La Grange
Joined Feb 2006
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Don't you just love all of that unused infrastructure in China where you can use a 4 lane road as your own personal runway?

Looks like a fun build. The Citabria is on my bucket list, so I will be following with interest.
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Old Nov 27, 2013, 01:27 PM
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United States, WA, Bellevue
Joined Jan 2013
65 Posts
Haven't gotten to start building with a busy last week and a half and now the holiday. Did manage to get a copy made of the plans and put them up on the wall. For one, they look awesome. Will frame them at some point. Secondly, it's a lot easier to stare at them like this when thinking of how to make the changes I want to it. Getting building stuff Friday then getting started!
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Old Dec 01, 2013, 04:31 PM
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United States, WA, Bellevue
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Started on the rudder yesterday. Harbor freight had Black Friday deals on just about everything I needed which was nice.
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Old Dec 05, 2013, 11:23 AM
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United States, MD, Frostburg
Joined Aug 2008
1,417 Posts
A few years ago I had the option to buy this kit in the DC area for $80. Went home to get my cash, and it was gone by the time I got back to the store

I will enjoy your build!
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Old Dec 06, 2013, 10:21 PM
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United States, WA, Bellevue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4075aaron View Post
A few years ago I had the option to buy this kit in the DC area for $80. Went home to get my cash, and it was gone by the time I got back to the store

I will enjoy your build!
WHAT! If I see this kit at a reasonable price anywhere I'll be buying and storing it as a backup. Or maybe build another someday and make improvements based on the final product.
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Old Dec 07, 2013, 08:28 PM
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United States, WA, Bellevue
Joined Jan 2013
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Finished up the rudder today. Just needs final sanding. Put in an extra piece of hard balsa so I can put in flying wires (carbon rods) into the tail section. Thought of a good way to add washout into the wing too. Hopefully get to that in a week or so. Next up is the elevator and some custom chaos to add counterbalances.
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Old Dec 11, 2013, 09:03 AM
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United States, WA, Bellevue
Joined Jan 2013
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Started on the elevator. In order to add counterbalances, the stock kit parts would have involved a lot of weak glue joints and a bulky structure. Gave laminating balsa strips a try and it seems to have gone well. Needs final sanding and then I'll make the other side.
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Old Dec 11, 2013, 12:55 PM
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United States, KY, La Grange
Joined Feb 2006
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Good idea on the laminations. Not sure if you have seen Pat Tritle's method, but I have used it for all of my curved strip laminations for the past 3 years now. Works great and can be done relatively quickly.

http://www.patscustom-models.com/bowedoutlinres.html
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Old Dec 11, 2013, 02:24 PM
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United States, WA, Bellevue
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I actually tried that method first! My foam template wasn't perfect though, but it worked well to initially bend the wood overnight. I thought when the wood dried and was taken off the form it would be solid in place, but the strips were just kind of bent. Reshaping the foam until its perfect might have been the "better" way to do it, but now that one side is done and symmetry is the most important I'll make the other side in the same exact manner.
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Old Dec 15, 2013, 08:16 PM
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Canada, ON, Lindsay
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looks like a nice start!
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Old Dec 19, 2013, 12:27 PM
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United States, AR, Lockesburg
Joined Feb 2012
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Looking good! thanks for the PM.
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Old Dec 20, 2013, 12:18 AM
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United States, WA, Bellevue
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The laminations were being challenging so I decided to start on the fuse. Am I crazy, or is there lots of excess wood here? I feel like there is a lot of weight to be cut out here, and other parts of the fuselage too.
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Old Dec 20, 2013, 05:54 AM
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United States, AR, Lockesburg
Joined Feb 2012
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I was thinking of going to the fuse also. Mainly just wanted to see something on the bench that looks like an airframe. I ordered a bundle of 1/4" spruce to use in place of the balsa. What are you going with?

Been toying with the ideal of placing the tail servos in the tail to offset the weight of the DLE 20. Do you think that will be needed?
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