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Old Apr 09, 2004, 08:59 PM
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Shorts 360

Some minor changes were made to this post on 12 May. JF

In September 2003 I went with Jürgen Heilig (a popular contributor to The E Zone Photo Gallery) to visit the Inter-Ex R/C airplane meet in Holland. There I met Laurent Berlivet, editor of Aérotech, a new French sailplane and eflight magazine. He showed me the then-second Aérotech issue and inside I noticed the second installment of a construction article for a balsa Shorts 360 (wing span 1.64 meter). The model looked impressive and I immediately wanted to add it to my collection; it would also make a great sister ship to the Shorts Skyvan I built 5 years earlier from free plans provided in the German magazine, FMT. The Aérotech article's first part was in the magazine's premier issue, so I asked Laurent the price for a back-issue and plans, and said I'd send him the money -- EUR 20 for the plan, EUR 5.50 for the magazine and EUR 2.50 for postage -- within a day or two. He then gratuitously gave me the second issue I was looking at and said the plan would be ready in a few weeks as they (two sheets) were still being edited.

Laurent also gave me the impression that I was the first person to inquire about buying the plan and building the model; and about 2 weeks later I received everything in the mail. The drawings looked nice but everything being in French required some tricky study. Only after looking again and again over the two large sheets did I begin to notice things lacking, particularly profile views and little details that had been exquisitely depicted in the only model I'd previously built from plans -- my Shorts Skyvan. Such detail had also been noted in the Robbe and Grauper kits I'd built, so I became hesitant about building from this French plan.

I emailed Laurent about what I believed the plan lacked and asked for more information, to which he replied that everything not on the plan was shown in the numerous color construction photos in the magazine. That sounded nice, but the photos have rectified little since beginning construction. The bottom line is that some basic information should be noted on the plan to quell any questions; for instance, the wing's incidence angle and motor's incidence and offset angle, whether it's 0 degrees or not, is not shown, although the wing obviously has some negative incidence (and the motors appear to have none).

Overall I've found the construction challenging and it has required a lot of thinking -- figuring out or guessing how to do little things that could potentially have a big effect. My most positive comment is that many large drawings do stare you in the face and fit together quite well. Yet I would NOT recommend this plan unless you're a very experienced builder, although I predict that flying it will be relatively easy.

DETAILS (weight could vary)

Wing span: 1.64 m
Length: 1.44 m
Surface: 30 dm2
Profile: SB96 12.7/3.0
Weight: 2.05 kg
Wing loading: 71 g/dm2
Motor: 2 x Speed 480/7.2v
Gearbox: 3.8:1 planetary
Battery: 10 x Sanyo 1950 FAUP (for initial trials)
Props: 8.2" 5-blade VarioPROP
Channels: 5 (elevator, rudder, aileron, flap, motor)

My power combination will be less efficient than the recommended direct-drive Permax 450 Turbo with a 6.5 x 4 two-blade prop. But an additional reason I'm building this model is its novel scale appearance...and I wanted a functional 5-blade prop. So using my connection to the maker of the VarioPROP, I persuaded Christian Ramoser to machine a batch of 5-blade 6A VarioPROP hubs (the 8B and 12C 5-blade hubs have been available for a year already). This Shorts 360 will essentially be a testbed for this new 6A hub. Part of the model with 5-blade props will also be on display at the VarioPROP stand in the Dortmund Intermodellbau-Messe (Dortmund Modelling Exhibition) this coming 21 - 25 April.

The posts are how my construction is progressing...slowly. I live and work in a two-room big city apartment and the small round table (pictured) is all I have. The only tools are a penknife, Xacto saw, small Dremel-like tool, Black & Decker drill, some screw divers and a few straight edges -- nothing fancy. And this highly limits my pace and occasonally makes things difficult. But now I have a models that is distinguishable as a Shorts 360. Its livery will be of a former Shorts for the commuter airline Aurigny (photo by Ben Pritchard, taken from Airliners.net); it's the French name for Alderney, one of the three British channel islands off France's north coast. The other islands are Guernsey and Jersey.

I'd also like to thank Ed Putnam (aka EddieP of P-3 Orion and Convair 540 discussion) for his comments regarding scale appearance; also thanks to Jürgen Heilig for French translation assistance.

Maiden flight is scheduled for sometime in July...in Oregon/USA, not in Germany. I'm looking forwad to this summer vacation.
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Last edited by James Frolik; May 12, 2004 at 02:55 PM.
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Old Apr 09, 2004, 09:01 PM
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Scale documentation I recently found.
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Old Apr 09, 2004, 09:03 PM
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A mass of parts (not complete) that still need to be sanded to profile.
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Old Apr 09, 2004, 09:07 PM
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Here it is just fit -- and nothing's glued -- together. The fuselage still requires top and bottom planking, but first I have to install the pushrod linkages and mounts for radio equipment. Since it's a 5-channel plane, this model won't fly BEC.
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Old Apr 09, 2004, 09:08 PM
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Old Apr 09, 2004, 09:14 PM
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The battery tray is located at the bottom of the fuselage -- lots of holes in the tray structure. Thanks to Brian Gaskin and his Soft Bore tools for getting that lightened (and I used them elsewhere too). I'd have located the battery higher, more or less just under the wing, but whenever I build a model I try to adhere to the plans per se the first time around. If I make any major altercations it's always done whenever I build a second time.

Nonetheless, a belly-located battery compartment will certainly assist with stability. I'm sure the model won't slip around the sky like a fish; contrarily, it should track like it's on rails.
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Old Apr 09, 2004, 09:25 PM
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Jim

Lookin' Good!

Quite a different project from the foamie twin scale job you were flying in Oregon, when we first met

Terry
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Old Apr 09, 2004, 09:49 PM
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In my very first post I had a picture from Ben Pritchard, but it was oversize and I tried to replace it with a smaller picture. I could delete it, but afterwards the menu's `edit´ button wouldn't display any option to attach a new picture. So here's the Aurigny picture showing livery I have chosen.
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Old Apr 09, 2004, 09:58 PM
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This is the decal sheet I slaved over back in December '03. Looks simple but it isn't. I print it out on a clear thin plastic transfer that's sticky on one side. After the inkjet dye dries I spray it with a clearcoat sealer specifically for inkjet printers.
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Old Apr 09, 2004, 10:04 PM
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This photo by Laurent Berlivet is from the premier July-August 2003 issue of Aérotech. The construction calls for a solid fuselage to spare additional work to construct a windowed cockpit -- it did'nt really matter, though, because the thing's tough enough. So I sliced out the balsa and will glue in window struts for "real" plastic windows.
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Old Apr 10, 2004, 09:40 PM
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I always thought the shorts 360 would be a great model since the first time I flew in one-back and forth over Lake Michigan. Boy, could that plane 'fishtail' bigtime.

Looks great already!

Jim
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Old Apr 11, 2004, 06:50 AM
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Jim,
Long time my man. Nice to see a bit of an unusual subject being modeled ya done a superb job so far I'll be keeping me eye on this thread.

Cheers Sluf7
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Old Apr 11, 2004, 10:26 AM
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Looks really great Jim. It's a big fuselage!!
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Old Apr 11, 2004, 06:02 PM
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EDF rules... :)
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It is a nice looking plane.

Cheers,

Eric B.
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Old Apr 11, 2004, 06:05 PM
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So I worte "I'm sure the model won't slip around the sky like a fish" and JimF writes the real plane could "fishtail bigtime." Ummm...hope the model isn't the same with the battery located in the belly.

Ed -- Yeah, the fuselage is big, too big for one reason: shipping. Today I marked where the nose section will be cut off (just aft the cockpit windows) in order to fit in a box to send stateside. It's tough to do because it has to be carefully throught through in order to make reassembly easy and durable. But I have to keep the length within a certain measurement or the post office won't take it. FedExing it would cost way, way too much, and I'm already bringing a Lear Jet with me as my second piece of baggage when I fly over this summer. The Lear is a styro kit (don't ask how it wound up in my possession) and the box is longer than the Shorts, so it can't be cut down and shipped.
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