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Old Apr 27, 2010, 02:03 AM
A-4 nut!!
skyhawk's Avatar
Vancouver B.C.
Joined Apr 2002
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Another Byron F-16 conversion

Well.........I seem to have no end of projects. This one is a Byron F-16 I picked up. The object of this one is to keep it as light and simple as possible. It is intended to be a test platform for new powerplants before they go into scale birds, and as an everyday flier that I don't need to worry about chipping the paint on..........I'll even use it in the spring to get my groove back.

It was advertised as ARC and I learned LONNNNG ago not to buy any plane built or partly built (unless someone reputable built it) so this one was close enough that I inspected it, it needed a few things but seemed OK overall.

Or so I thought................
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Old Apr 28, 2010, 02:16 AM
A-4 nut!!
skyhawk's Avatar
Vancouver B.C.
Joined Apr 2002
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I weighed her as is right now and she weighed 10 lbs 8 oz.

I then proceded to remove the glow equipment and fully inspect every part. As you could see - some of the items are the ply is falling off of the horizontal stabs - which I didn't really want anyway as I'm trying to keep the weight down, the wheels have disintegrated and cracked over the years, and there are some heavy ply pieces in there that need to go.

I also found that the vertical stab has about a 5 - 10 degree tilt.
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 10:24 PM
A-4 nut!!
skyhawk's Avatar
Vancouver B.C.
Joined Apr 2002
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I have stripped out eveything that wasn't needed and everything that needed to be re-done. What I ended up with was a bare fuse with just the main former in. Guess I just bought a kit.

This was kind of a mixed blessing though, as the stuff that wasn't needed or wanted was siliconed in and was easy to remove. Some other stuff was glassed in but the surface was not sanded so it came right out. Also - the glass used to install stuff was only 2 oz and it should be 6 oz.

I found some things done by previous builders that were good ideas - but poorly executed. Such as the stabs - they had been drilled through and a scew put straight through the pivot tube - but whoever did it did not measure right and one side was dragging on the fuse, the holes were not finished either and tapped making it a disaster looking for a place to happen. The vertical stab had two threaded rods inserted in the front but the stab was tilled 10 degrees to one side and the glue and rods popped off when I tried to remove it.

I removed 3 lbs 11 oz of stuff and the bare fuse with main former weighs 3 lbs.
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Last edited by skyhawk; Apr 29, 2010 at 11:02 PM.
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 10:28 PM
A-4 nut!!
skyhawk's Avatar
Vancouver B.C.
Joined Apr 2002
4,644 Posts
I think this was one of the first F-16's Byron produced. There are a lot of air bubbles in the resin and some of the reenforceing strips look to be lacking some resin. Also the glass is a bit lighter than the F-16 I used to have and the inside looks to have brush strokes in the resin. Seems to me that they had not refined their manufacturing techniques.

Oh well - should be fun to finnaly get this old girl in the air after 30 some odd years!
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 10:58 PM
EDF all the way!
bruff's Avatar
Gilbert, Az
Joined Jun 1999
7,924 Posts
It should be a good flier. Going with retracts?
Bob
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 11:01 PM
A-4 nut!!
skyhawk's Avatar
Vancouver B.C.
Joined Apr 2002
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Na - not right now. Just for the simplicity and weight reduction.

Might retrofit them later. Will fly it first with the Byron fan and Hacker A50 that is just sitting collecting dust.
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Old May 21, 2010, 02:23 AM
A-4 nut!!
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Vancouver B.C.
Joined Apr 2002
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After some house work - I got back to this.

I started with the tail. I found that the original robart hinges were cut off and someone installed metal pin nylon hinges, but the center one was broken and when I tryed the others they snapped. Nylon gets brittle after a while! I sanded down the ply it was covered in and I made some new holes for the new robart hinges that I will use - then proceded to cover the fin.
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Old May 21, 2010, 02:26 AM
A-4 nut!!
skyhawk's Avatar
Vancouver B.C.
Joined Apr 2002
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I have also made some new formers for the tail and an ESC mount. The smaller former was never there and the F-3 former is one of the newer updates.

As all Byrons are polyester - I first sanded the fuse with 80 grit paper and then cleaned with white vinigar. Some 5 min epoxy to glue the former in, then followed up with 1 inch wide strips of 6 oz cloth and polyester resin. Strong as can be!
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Old May 22, 2010, 08:13 PM
A-4 nut!!
skyhawk's Avatar
Vancouver B.C.
Joined Apr 2002
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Today - I thought for a while about equipment placement and installed my ESC mount, made templates for my battery mount and did some spot filling on the fuse. I finished covering the fin and rudder and I glued the new hinges into the rudder side.
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Old May 22, 2010, 08:21 PM
A-4 nut!!
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Vancouver B.C.
Joined Apr 2002
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One thing I found about owning a Byron F-16 years ago was the weak spots. Since I may retrofit retracts at a later date (if I can aquire the parts) and during servicing, transport, and the odd belly landing - the fuse has 2 areas that tend to need a little extra reinforcement. The bottom intake area and right behind the engine former are 2 areas that are very soft and weak, they tend to get cracks.

To combat this and add a little longetivity to the airframe - I tried a new way of strengthening the fuse. I read that someone had added some depron to a gear door they laid up in a mold and the amount of strength it added was surprizing. So I glued a strip of 2mm depron to the fuse, then glued a carbon fiber strip to the foam and then covered the whole thing with a single layer of 6 oz cloth. The 2 spots added about 3 oz to the plane - but WOW!! it super stiff now.
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Old May 24, 2010, 03:12 PM
EDF Addicted
MustangAce17's Avatar
Ocala,Florida
Joined Sep 2005
5,310 Posts
looking good skyhawk,has me thinking about my CBM F-16 I started but got into other projects,good luck and staying with this one
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Old May 24, 2010, 08:10 PM
A-4 nut!!
skyhawk's Avatar
Vancouver B.C.
Joined Apr 2002
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Thanks MustangAce17!

Got the vertical all finished up and I glued the rudder to the stab. Then I glued the assembly to the fuse. I now have a nice straight vertical!

Since the vertical attachment is a little on the weak side - I decided to add a fwd sub spar. This is a good idea anyway and if it gets a power upgrade later - it's already done. I used a piece of 5/16 hardwood dowel glued to the stab and the fwd side of bulkhead F-3. I will glass this to F-3 shortly as well.

After the epoxy dried - I glued in F-9 which glues to the front of the main vertical spar and joins it to the fuse. I mixed some glass fibers into the epoxy when I mixed it. It then got glassed to the fuse on the fwd side.
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Old May 24, 2010, 08:14 PM
A-4 nut!!
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Vancouver B.C.
Joined Apr 2002
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Here is another shot of the fuse reinforcement I did.
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Old Jun 01, 2010, 02:36 PM
A-4 nut!!
skyhawk's Avatar
Vancouver B.C.
Joined Apr 2002
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Progress is slow - but moving forward.

I have fabricated and installed a mount for my batteries - it was inspired by one of the Aussies I believe. I also made and installed the mount plate for the elevator servo - which was moved to the tail in the later updated version of the model, right before they went to dual elevator servos. Thanks to a certain someone - I have the upgraded elevator control yoke.

I've also been filling pinholes and voids like crazy!
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Old Jun 09, 2010, 07:49 PM
A-4 nut!!
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Vancouver B.C.
Joined Apr 2002
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Built a front servo tray (actually - it's just for the rudder/NWS servo right now) and installed it. I then routed and installed the nyrod control for the rudder.
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