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Old Aug 17, 2015, 06:47 AM
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Build Log
Creation of Cubfish

Usual conundrum for me, where to begin? Were this a build log for some sort of normal airplane would be easy, "throw some servos, glue and motor in the box, shake it a bit and out comes and airplane RTF ...." not so with a Cubfish!

First you have to conceive them and then build them .... So, don't know whether to start with conception, flying or building? But think, for this part of the story, will start with the finished fish and then go back to conception and building.

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Old Aug 17, 2015, 07:02 AM
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So, on to conception ....

I'm an unabashed Cubnut!

I love Cubs ... have been modeling them for 40 years and loving every flight I've ever taken in one whether I was in it or on the ground piloting it. And, "yes" I do have some other aviation interests but all of my interests seem to center around Cubs and all the variants that have been created over the years, including the rather peculiar TG-8 and way more well know Taylorcraft.

So, here's what happened:

Woke up to a cubfish swimming around in my head at 3 one morning …. trying to figure out how I was going to successfully “breed” a fish and a Piper Cub? I’d guess he won’t leave my head until he’s airborne and immortalized in stories?

Where do Cubfish come from anyhow?

… from dinner at the Cowfish Bar in Lander WY. Was just sitting there minding my own business having a nice steak and a couple of beers when, all of a sudden, Cubfish pops into my head! No way of stopping him, just all of a sudden there he was! Am sure it had something to do with reading the “Legend of the Cowfish” on the back of the menu, about how some wranglers started seeing cowfish disappear into the local streams and ponds. Took them many years to lasso one. The wranglers were actually embarrassed about what they saw, afraid to admit to their fellow cowboys these aspirations of fish with cow heads! They’d see them, and like a mirage, they’d disappear Who’d believe their visions until they could actually rope one and get it on the grill? Ranchers dismissed the stories as nothing more than the lore of a bunch of drunken cowpokes.

Well the day finally came when one wily cowboy snuck up on a grazing cowfish and, before the cowfish could disappear into the Appapogi, lassoed him. Now that was just the beginning of the cowboy’s troubles because, once you lasso one, they put up a hell of a fight! You’ve seen those movies of fishermen catching sailfish off the coast of Baja, that’s the sort of fight a cowfish puts up. After all, what cowfish wants wranglers to know just how good they taste?

Well it requiring a superhuman struggle to keep the cowfish out of the pond, taking him down and tying him up was like having a bulldog’n rodeo right there on the range.

In any event, once tied up and away from water, the cowboy headed back to the ranch with the cowfish tied over the saddle, him walking the horse along, quite weary from the struggle. Only thing he had to work with was horns and fins! Had he spent any time fishing, he’d have known how to handle all those darn fins?

Nonetheless he got his cowfish back to the ranch to the amazement of all the other buckaroos. After the shock wore off, they pretty much knew what to do. Built a fire and let it burn down to the red hot coals, then grilled and ate cowfish, opening a whole new chapter in gastronomical delight ….

I don’t think the Cubfish I have swimming/flying around in my head is going to be any sort of meal though. I suspect he’s going to be some sort of flying/swimming adventurer. Think he’ll have the personality of showoff like Evel Kneivel, Henry Houdini or a Michael Jordan. Haughty ……. but I really don’t know yet.

Only way to get him out will be to create him, get him in the air and see if I can keep him from disappearing in the closest stream or pond?

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Old Aug 17, 2015, 06:04 PM
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On to the nuts and bolts or "foam and fins" of the build

Place to start is with the Cub you plan to cannibalize to build your Cubfish?

CF III is from a Hanger 9 .40 Cub so, took the fuse and laid it out on butcher paper. Did the same thing with the carwrap graphic/covering I was going to use. Carwrap needs to be sized to the fuse so that you'll get an airplane of approximately the same configuration as the Cub you're working from. All you're really doing is to replace the fuse and fin.

I got a 4x8' sheet of pink insulation foam from Home Depot, and after having sketched the shape out on butcher paper, transferred that to the foam and cut it out. Foam comes 2" thick and I glued 2 sheets together. Glue it with very light epoxy or carpenter's glue. If you use too much epoxy will hang up the hot wire you're going to use to shape it.

Having built 2 of them now, I've yet to get the covering quite right, didn't figure out the circumference of the fish exactly? Subsequently, had a gap down both top and bottom? It's just a "fantasy fish" though so, simply painted the gap and camoed it with green and black and it went away but, would be nice to have it match better.
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Old Aug 17, 2015, 07:37 PM
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Pat Chewning
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I can see why this was conceived in Wyoming -- it is conceptually equivalent to a jackalope.

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Old Aug 18, 2015, 06:20 AM
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Wing saddle but first, rough shape of the plug

These pictures are of building CF II and I suspect reasonably self explanatory? Know you'll ask if I don't make any of this clear?

Two things I wanted to show with them are the process of conceptualizing the plug from picture to rough form.

Also wanted to show the foam cutter. Unfortunately I've lost the address for the site where I found the transformer and instructions on how to build it, darn, because the guy there was super in telling me what/how to do it. Think the total cost was but $40! Works great with the light dimmer in the circuit, simply adjust it for how thick of foam you're cutting and how fast you want to move the wire.

Once the plug was rough cut with the band saw and hot wire, used an orbital sander to give it final shape. Patch the divots with a little sheet rock spackle.
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 06:39 AM
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Ok, wing saddle and incidence angle

You'll note some markings on the foam?

What I did was to calculate the position of the wing as a function of where it was on the H-9 airplane. Was advised it needed to be 25-33% back from the nose and then an angle of incidence of 3 degrease, as I recall? Check that out before you start cutting!

My plan was to cut out a section of foam and then connect the wings to it? Didn't work out that way though .... what happened was that I took the center section I'd cut out, trimmed it down by the width of the plywood I was working with and glue the plywood back onto the plug then reinsert the plug back into the fuse.

Next issue was locating the wing rod? Simply calculated the location on one side and drilled it out. Estimated the other side and did the same. On the "other side" cleaned out the hole to "oversize" and then started shimming it until the wing rod was plumb.

THERE'S MAGIC IN USING 2 SHEETS OF FOAM ... it's square! All angles are 90 degrease and it's 2" thick.

Having laid the fuse on its side, you can use a square to locate things like wings and wing rods. You can sight down the glue joint to locate the fin ... wonderful material!

And note that I glued templates to each side with a slit in the top of each. Ran the wire down and thru the opening and then just followed the template. When done, withdrew the wire. Used a little epoxy to rejoin the fuse above the wing. (Would eventually get a layer for fiberglass anyhow. So no real issue of structural integrity anyhow.)
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 06:45 AM
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Jackalope

Pat,

ABSOLUELY a jackalope!!!! On our way back from that trip to Lander, we went down around the south end of the Great Salt Lake and over to Winnemucca, then north to the Alvord Desert. Signs all over the Outback advising motorists to be careful not to hit the poor jackalopes! One of the only places in the whole world they're left, endangered species!

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Old Aug 18, 2015, 06:57 AM
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Shaping the fuse/plug

Makes a big mess and isn't without safety issues.

Most likely hazard to avoid is your wife! Don't do this in your living room! Don't do it in your garage either nor your driveway .... do it in your neighbor's driveway or living room.

Although, with the hot wire most you can do is to burn your finger, with the sander you create a huge amount of dust that doesn't belong in your lungs. Best wear a dust mask!

If you used epoxy to glue the foam sheets together instead of carpenter's glue, when you cut it with the hot wire it emits fumes that can be quite toxic! Cut the foam with a fan at your back ....
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 07:10 AM
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Trial balance

I don't know about you, but the most exciting flights I've ever had were when I was flying an airplane that was balanced wrong!

Never too early to start balancing your airplane!

Per normal, big issue was motor and battery .... vs the weight of the tail feathers.

When I had it in the approximate location, simply took the hot wire and cut out the opening with a couple of templates. When I had the block cut out, took it to the band saw and cut off a slab about 1/4" thick and glued it back on the other side. (Remember it gets glassed so structural integrity isn't going to be an issue.)

As it turned out I was about an inch off on the bat location and merely had to "hog out" a bit of foam with the Dermal tool to get the CG right along with about 5 oz of lead.
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 07:24 AM
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Foam is just marvelous to work with!

What follows can best be described as "foam butchery" ..... hack out a little here, hack out a little there, cover your mistakes with a little spackle and then fiberglass and, unless you show your friends what a hack builder you are, they'll never know?

Back to the marvel of working with a material that's plumb, calculated where the firewall should be and cut it off square. (Didn't think I'd need any side or down thrust, and that guess worked out ok.)

Hacked in the push rods for the rudder and elevator, and you can see what a messy job I did of locating the elevator servo. (Hopefully it won't ever fail ....)

As to the fiberglass, used 3/4 oz cloth and, in retrospect, probably didn't need to use it? Certainly it's much more durable with it but, will it ever get flown enough that durability matters? And, on the other side of the coin, does the glass add enough weight to matter? And the answer is that, having flown it, weight's not an issue at all.
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 07:32 AM
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Landing gear?

My initial idea was to fly CF III with floats on a pond or lake. Wanted to see it in a "water environment". CF II, on the other hand, simply built as a sloper/aerotow airplane.

So, put a plywood plate in the bottom of the fuse to attaché floats to. Wanted a little more strength than the plywood alone would likely handle so, drilled holes in the foam and plugged them with epoxy and 3/4" dowel. Spread the load out a bit .... and worked well for the test flights off Dexter Reservoir.
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 07:52 AM
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Covering and float installation

When I built CF II, got the project to this stage and didn't know how I was going to cover/decorate it? One of the reasons I glassed it was to provide for a surface you could paint on .... Just didn't know what I'd do?

Showed it to my flying friend Jeff Hickman, and he said, "go to Canby Graphics and have them print you some car wrap, you know, the stuff on all the cars and trucks for advertising." WHAT A GREAT IDEA!

Compared to installing your basic film converging, was a cinch .... took two us to get it properly located on the airplane but, after that, easy. Used a bit of heat in a couple of places but really quite simple!

As you can see by the piks, with floats, not the most graceful looking CF in the ocean!

Don't remember what I was cutting on the airplane but do remember cutting my finger with the Dremel. As I remember, the blade bound on what ever I was cutting, jumped out of the cut and made another cut, in my finger. Will have to go back to Dremel training school?
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 08:00 AM
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Test flights at Duster's in Woodburn

Proof that it would fly came at Duster's with floats on.

With the CZC electrics in it, we knew we had enough thrust to get it off the grass even with the drag of the floats and we did.

Jeff flew it first and then let me. Flew just like any other Cub!

Was a very hot day and we melted a solder joint on the speed controller, but otherwise, a very successful flight.
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 08:28 AM
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And then flying at Cape Blanco in the natural environment of a Cubfish

(After having improved the airflow over the motor and speed controller, we still burnt another spdcont up! Am replacing it with a bigger one, we'll see if that works on the next flight?)

WHAT'S NEXT?

Well, you're not going to see me kitting Cubfish and selling them! I already have enough to do producing gears for the eFlite Carbon Cubs. Reasonably overwhelmed with that project already.

Whole purpose of the building these CF's is to generate graphics for stories about Cubfish. One of the fist stores will be set at the mouth of Nehalem River. A scene where Larry Schoenborn of Fishing the West notoriety, catches a Cubfish.

Might build a 36" version, "micro Cubfish" and then a 1/4 scale out of some H-9 Super Cub wings I have. They're the wings off the Cub I lost in the surf at Lincoln City a few years back flying off the surf and, when I stalled the engine after a landing, I went out to retrieve the airplane and got knocked over by a sneaker wave, came within a moment of drowning! Were it not for a good Samaritan, I would have. Wings with a history ....
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 08:30 AM
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Wow! You do beautiful work. Except for the finger. Youch!

Can you make me one about 32" long without the wings for my wall. ;-)

Quote:
Don't do this in your living room! Don't do it in your garage either nor your driveway .... do it in your neighbor's driveway or living room.
Nominated for Best Statement on RCG for 2015
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