Espritmodel.com Telemetry Radio
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 08:23 AM
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Canada, ON, Delhi
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To get the DLE20RA gasser set up the way I wanted in my TF Spitfire, moved the DLE 1/2 inch ahead on the GP Extra Large mount and moved the firewall back 1/2 inch in the Spitfire. Easy to do in the Spit after the plane was built. The firewall is the forward part of the fuel tank box which juts out from the first large former. No fusealge sheeting or stringers were involved in the modification.

Setting up the DLE20RA in this P40 build with the same GP mount spacing will involve modifying some parts before any glueing because the firewall is involved with stringers and doublers and fuse sheeting. Would be a messy operation to move the firewall back after the plane is built.

Started eyeballing the forward crutch, firewall and fuse sides for the 1/2 inch setback. Checked the plans and manual, drew some lines keeping in mind the right thrust offset and eyeballed some more. Don`t want to make any cuts until I am sure of the outcome.

The firewall is a two-part laminate. The rear firewall sheet is glued on top of the crutch. The front sheet is glued to the rear sheet and the front edge of the crutch after the rear sheet is captured in the fuse sides. Makes the lamination of the 2 firewall sheets a little awkward but must be kept in mind before doing any surgery.

Digital below of the planned setbacks in the crutch and fuse sides.
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Old Jul 16, 2014, 05:49 PM
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Canada, ON, Delhi
Joined Aug 2012
796 Posts
Started the fuselage build. Made the cuts in the front of the crutch, fuse sides and chin plate to set the firewall back 1/2 inch maintaining the firewall offset for right thrust.

The fuse is built upside down with the crutch over the plans so the offset looks like left thrust. Have to be constantly thinking about the orientation so no screw-up in the offset. The angle is correct on the plans so just keep lining everything up on the plans.

Start with ply formers 2,3,4. Like the wing parts, the formers punched cleanly out of their sheets. TF has obviously made an effort to keep their stamping dies sharp. Thirty years ago crushed ribs and formers were common in kits because of dull stamping dies. Costs money to keep the dies sharp which accounts for some of the cost of today`s balsa kits.

Glue F2,3,4 to the crutch checking for square. Don`t like the fumes but thin CA is the best at the start of the fuse build to get a quick grab. Glue in left fuse side then right side. The firewall is a 2-part laminate. The rear slab is glued in first checking for vertical square and offset. The fuse has to be eventually lifted from the board to glue the front slab.

The chin plate between the rear firewall and F2 is glued in watching the offset angle. Now leave on the board and let glue set up. Even CA needs time for complete cure. Tomorrow will re-glue all joints with aliphatic.

Digital below of fuse build so far.
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Old Jul 19, 2014, 08:40 AM
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Canada, ON, Delhi
Joined Aug 2012
796 Posts
Have to construct the tail wheel assembly. Requires some silver solder and fitting in the fuse. By placing the tail wheel in the scale location, a linkage from the tail wheel to the rudder has to be set up. After the fuse is skinned and covered there is no way to get at this linkage so it has to be right in the first place.

To facilitate maintenance in this area, a hatch could be built. Or as in the TF Giant Scale P40 ARF, the area could be left open. Interestingly the TF .60 size P40 ARF has the tail wheel in the non-scale sport location immediately attached to the rudder. The pre-Gold Edition P40 had the tail wheel in the sport location. If you think the following description of the GE balsa kit procedure isn`t worth the hassle then placing the tail wheel in the sport location is an option. That would give a direct pushrod from the servo to the rudder without a nylon ball link intermediary.

I use the Stay-Brite silver solder kit for these jobs. It contains a coil of solder, acid flux bottle and instructions. Start the job by cleaning the wire tiller arm with sandpaper and alcohol. There are two nylon fittings trapped in the bent wire that must be protected from the heat of the soldering. Easiest way is to clamp the wire in a vise so the solder area is above the jaws and the nylon below. Then the jaws will be a heat sink protecting the nylon. A short brass tube has one end flattened. Acid flux is applied to the wire tiller arm, brass tube slipped over the tiller arm, small length of solder placed on the wire/brass junction, heat applied with a propane torch until the solder flows. Let cool and rinse with water to get rid of the acid flux. Dry and lightly oil.

A 1/16 hole is drilled in the flattened end of the brass tube. Then a ball link is secured with a nut through the 1/16 hole. The tail wheel assembly is then attached to a ply plate that is then glued to F8 which is then glued to the stab support plate which is trapped and glued to the fuse sides. The 3/16 rudder pushrod tube is slipped through the pre-drilled holes in F4 to F8. A double-ended nylon ball socket is screwed on the end of a 36 inch 2-56 pushrod and the pushrod slipped up inside the 3/16 tube. The ball socket is then snapped over the ball link.

Next step is to create a 3 1/2 inch rod threaded on both ends to connect the tail wheel tiller arm to the rudder through the nylon ball socket. The manual says to do another solder job to form this short rod. Seemed a lot simpler to me to go into the parts box and find a length of 100% threaded 2-56 rod and cut it to length. I secured the rod in a pin vise to screw it in and out of the nylon ball socket.

Now comes the part that took a lot of time - cutting the short rod slot though the fuse side going to the rudder so there was no bind in the tail wheel movement. The manual says to glue a short section of 3/16 pushrod tube through the fuse slot and cut it flush with the fuse side. I found there was not enough play in the 3/16 tube to allow the short pushrod to the rudder to move freely. Also the ball socket was rubbing on the stab support. Cut off the top of the socket to clear the rub.

Needed a wider slot for the short pushrod so took out the 3/16 tube and replaced with a nylon exit hood. Slid the hood around until no bind when swiveling the tail wheel wire. Filled excess cuts with balsa, sanded smooth and there it is, a scale tail wheel linkage.

The nylon hood won`t be glued in place until after the fuse is covered with SolarTex. The wider slot allows the nylon ball link to be readily visible. This means the short rudder push rod can be screwed into the nylon ball socket after covering. The manual`s method with a permanent 3/16 tube would mean the short rod would have to be screwed in place before covering which would be a bit awkward.

All of the above may seem a bit tedious but must be done properly if the tail wheel/rudder is not to be a maintenance problem once the P40 is in the air.

Pix below of the steps for inserting the tail wheel assembly into the fuse.
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Last edited by erie_flyer; Jul 19, 2014 at 01:16 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 07:55 AM
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Canada, ON, Delhi
Joined Aug 2012
796 Posts
The P40 fuselage is shaping up nicely. Standard former and stringer construction.

Looking at the potential weight build-up, the upper fuse sides are 3/32 balsa. The rear fuse bottom is 1/8 sheet. The rest of the fuse is 1/4 sheet carved to shape. It is not unusual to have one of these 1/4 sheets hard and warped. Going over those parts in the kit, it all appears to be straight medium soft balsa which is easy to carve and keeps the weight down.

The rear upper fuse side with its window cutouts is stamped out of 3/32 sheet which saves a lot of work. Procedure for glueing the 3/32 sheet is medium CA along the bottom edge for a quick grab to the lower fuse side. Then dampen the sheet to start a curl over the formers. Tape the sheet over the formers to complete the curl. Remove tape and apply aliphatic to the stringers and formers. Retape and let cure overnight.

The tops of the sheets are planed and sanded down to the tops of the formers. Then 1/4 sheets are glued with aliphatic to the tops of the formers and 3/32 sides. When cured the 1/4 is carved and sanded to shape.

Pix below of stages in the fuse build.
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Last edited by erie_flyer; Yesterday at 04:42 PM.
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