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Old Oct 24, 2013, 09:10 AM
cpo
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Build Log
CPO's Officially Unofficial FT Bloody Wonder Scratch Build

I had so much fun with my first fixed-wing build that I was looking for what was next. My son and I were both intrigued by the simplicity, cost, and what appears to be fun of the Dollar Tree Foam scratch builds. We were looking for the "right plane" and came across the Flite Test guys doing some streamer combat with two FT Bloody Wonders. We both looked at each other smiling, and I knew this was going to be the plane for us. I am sure we will learn a lot about scratch building and planes/flying in general.

Anyway...

This is a build log to document and share our build. We are building two at the same time. One for him, and one for me. I ordered a second radio so we can each have our own...and in fact, I will buddy box him for a while until he gets the hang of it. Then...we fight!

Feel free to comment, suggest, critique, help. Obviously I can't/won't/shouldn't implement every suggestion, but I do love hearing the different opinions and feedback. This probably will look like every other FT Bloody Wonder build log...so likely nothing special. This is my first scratch build, so perhaps the perspective might be different.

I still don't have the electronics...and thanks to an emergency tire replacement on my car...I don't have the funds to place the order at the moment anyway. I am still trying to sort out what motor/esc/battery I want for these planes...keeping in mind that it's using the swappable power pod system...so I'd like to be able to use it for other builds as well.

Let's get to it...

First, I had to grab the plans from the Flite Test website:

http://flitetest.com/articles/FT_Blo..._Scratch_Build

Then I printed them (using the poster mode with cut lines) and began putting the pieces together.

I used bits of masking tape to hold the pieces as I got them aligned. I also used a straight edge to make sure longer lines that spanned pages were straight. This part of the process was more frustrating than I expected...but I got them all together...taking my time.



Once I got all nine pages put together into one "poster" I used masking tape on the back seams to finish securing them in place. I then cut out rough shapes around the parts (just to get rid of some of the unused parts of the paper.



Using some 3M Super 77 spray adhesive I had in the garage, I sprayed a sheet of poster board down and applied all of the cut out pieces. Because we are building two planes, and wanted to be able to re-use the templates for future builds or repairs, I decided to toughen them up a bit with the poster board. (This is just the page with the power pod, fuselage, and tail section of the plane. I did all of this with the the other page that had the wing and spar, except there were no parts to really cut out...I just glued the whole sheet to the poster board making sure all of the template areas were on the board.)



Using that straight edge and a razor knife, I cut out all of the templates.



Next, I laid the templates onto a sheet of Dollar Tree (Adams) foam board. Every single piece of foam board I had was a little warped, so I looked for ways to apply the templates such that the warping was minimal (or at least consistent or centered) for each part.



My son helped me hold the templates down as I carefully traced them all onto the foam board.



Then, using that straight edge and razor...I cut out each of the foam parts. I decided to use the break-away style razor so that I could easily have a fresh cutting edge. Cut a little, break. Cut a little, break. It seemed to work well.



Now that I have the parts cut out, there doesn't seem to be any noticeable warping of the pieces.

Next steps...

Finish the template for the wing section (and spar) and cut that out. Then, I will cut an entire second batch (remember we are building two planes at once.
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Old Oct 28, 2013, 10:49 AM
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I'm a big fan of Flite Test and love what they've done for the hobby in a very short time.
I look forward to your continued "Docu-build" of your Bloody Wonder.
btw..with some many FT plans out there why did you choose the Bloody Wonder (as opposed to the Spitfire or Cruzer et al...)?
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Old Oct 28, 2013, 11:37 AM
cpo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChinoDiablo View Post
btw..with some many FT plans out there why did you choose the Bloody Wonder (as opposed to the Spitfire or Cruzer et al...)?
Simplicity. It was a very simple, yet capable design. More advanced of a flyer than the nutball or flyer. This is only my second plane ever...and my first scratch build...AND I am going to have my 11 year old son build one for himself. This just seemed like a good middle ground. Additionally, we liked the idea of future combat possibilities.
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Old Oct 28, 2013, 01:49 PM
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Awesome!
I think that it's great that you and your son can share in this fun hobby.
I have a 6 year old that's really not interested in it but I'm hopeful that when he get's a bit older (10-11) he, too, will have an interest in building and flying.

How much have you spent so far in your build, if I may ask?
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Old Oct 28, 2013, 02:37 PM
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The Wonder is also one of the better flying of the bunch. Consider lengthening the fuselage so the nose is an inch and a half longer (or do it normally this time and build your next pair that way). To get CG correct you often have to push your lipo far up in the nose of the plane.

Lengthening the nose by 1.5" will take a little thought, since some features would move forward and some would not.

As far as CG if you have any doubt push the CG forward, I flew my first one in wind with the CG set roughly where the plans show and it was twitchy and ugly. Later I crammed the lipo forward and it flew like a babydoll.

And once it's built limit your elevator throws so it doesn't high speed stall on you if you get too much elevator deflection in tight loops.
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Old Oct 29, 2013, 06:18 AM
cpo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownEyedFool View Post
The Wonder is also one of the better flying of the bunch. Consider lengthening the fuselage so the nose is an inch and a half longer (or do it normally this time and build your next pair that way). To get CG correct you often have to push your lipo far up in the nose of the plane.

Lengthening the nose by 1.5" will take a little thought, since some features would move forward and some would not.

As far as CG if you have any doubt push the CG forward, I flew my first one in wind with the CG set roughly where the plans show and it was twitchy and ugly. Later I crammed the lipo forward and it flew like a babydoll.

And once it's built limit your elevator throws so it doesn't high speed stall on you if you get too much elevator deflection in tight loops.
Thanks for the info. With regard to the CG and extending the nose....obviously motor and battery choices will impact how CG falls into place. What motor (weight) did you use with yours?
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Old Oct 29, 2013, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChinoDiablo View Post
Awesome!
I think that it's great that you and your son can share in this fun hobby.
I have a 6 year old that's really not interested in it but I'm hopeful that when he get's a bit older (10-11) he, too, will have an interest in building and flying.

How much have you spent so far in your build, if I may ask?
I'm very excited that my son is [finally] showing some interest. I have been flying helis for a year, and he has shown zero interest. : (

Here's essentially what I have in these builds (per plane):

Adams (Dollar Tree) Foam Board -- $2 total
Turnigy TG9e 9g servos -- $5 total for 2.
NTM 28-26A 1200kv motor -- $15.15
NTM Accessory Pack -- $2.05
Turnigy 1300mAh 4S 20C Lipo -- $10.82
TURNIGY Plush 25amp ESC -- $12.90
APC style propeller 8x4-E -- $1.10
Music wire -- $1 approximate

I also spent $10 on firewalls (5) and control horns (20) from Flite Test. I debated just making my own, but by the time I went and bought the wood, figured out how I was going to cut it/drill it, and all of the time involve...I decided $10 was worth it to just be able to have a bunch of that stuff on hand.

This also doesn't include the receivers...which can be had for $15. I think that's about it. SO... totaling all of that up....

Each plane is costing me about $50 each...building completely from scratch and sourcing all new electronics. That sounds like a lot.... but with the swappable fuselage...my next plane will cost me...um...maybe $10-$15 to build! With the ability to transfer the power pod from plane to plane...all I need is servos, foam, and glue for the next one!
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Old Oct 29, 2013, 06:41 AM
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Here are the Flite Test control horns and firewalls I got in the mail this week. This will certainly make things easy!

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Old Oct 29, 2013, 06:49 AM
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Here is the latest. I have the wing made. This was a little bit of a challenge (remembering this was my first build). It was easy...but challenging, if that makes any sense. The most challenging was cutting the bevels in the foam for the ailerons and for the wing leading edge. My blades just don't stay sharp long at all. The angle cutting definitely takes practice.





I did cut a little too deep on one side of the leading edge 50% cut line, and went through the paper on the outside just for a couple of inches. No problem! I just ran a length of packing tape along the foam where the leading edge foam is...and all is right in the world. Probably a good idea to do anyway!



I did notice that the CG mark I transferred from the planes falls pretty much right under the rear half of the wing servo. I'm not sure if that's going to be the optimum CG point for this plane when built...but that's an interesting point of reference for a starting position.

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Old Oct 29, 2013, 08:48 AM
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Tips from my builds:

My motor is a Suppo Park 370 from altitude hobbies.

I always do a packing tape leading edge as well. My second and third builds were done with Foam Tac rather than hot glue. If using hot glue make sure your gun can put out enough heat to run 3 beads in quick succession to do the wing (leading edge, top of spar, trailing edge).

If your bends aren't right on the armin wing your servo can conflict with the spar. Don't worry about it, you can notch the spar without an issue.

The rear fuselage piece under the tail you can eyeball the length of the notch or go dig through the thread on the FT forums to find a small supplemental sheet with dimensions for it. It's not critical.

There is a more recent build video they did of the power pod that has several small improvements in the build process, use that one. For example the new power pod includes small 1" strips of extreme packing tape looped over the 4 "ears", then covered lengthwise. The original design you ended up cutting out the tape around the ears. New design easier and stronger. Routing the motor wires through a port in the firewall is an improvement on the old notch in edge of pod too.

When you do the wide flat bevel for the top rear of the wing, do it in two stages. Do a roughly 45 degree cut first, then come back and get the remainder of the bevel. My experience trying to get the bevel to extend far enough back leads to the blade chewing up the edge of the paper at the front.

I've never flown mine with the lipo on the outside of the fuse, always inside.

The lengthening of the nose for CG purposes was actually something Josh Bixler told me at the NEAT Fair.
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Old Oct 29, 2013, 08:06 PM
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Power pod complete. I am expecting all of the electronics to arrive tomorrow...so I figured I better get this part finished tonight.





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Old Oct 29, 2013, 08:21 PM
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looks great so far! Cant wait to see it fly! hopefully i can make a plane that will fly for more than 3 seconds soon >.< :P
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Old Oct 30, 2013, 08:32 PM
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FT Bloody Wonder is coming along. I finally got the shipment of electronics today...so there is a little more incentive for completion. I need to get some female bullet connectors for the ESC, and my RX's are still MIA in shipping.

Anyway, here's the latest pics. I think my son (who decided he wants to do the build by himself) is waiting to see how mine turns out before he gets started. I think seeing the plane at this stage is starting to make him a little more excited than when it was just foam pieces.











I decided to go with the stock nose length. I have fallen into the trap before with regard to doing mods that worked for others, to find out later that they weren't necessary for my situation. I figure I will build it as designed first...and adjust as necessary. My motor is on the beefier side of things...and is a little heavier than others, so that could "help" the CG situation.
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Old Oct 30, 2013, 09:28 PM
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Good plan. Get fluent in the basic design before you start tearing off into custom.
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Old Oct 31, 2013, 09:58 PM
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My son started working on his FT BW tonight...













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