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Old Jul 16, 2014, 05:19 PM
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United States, OH, Columbus
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Not really a "conversion", but...

... this seems like maybe the most appropriate forum (?). I've started on an electric version of this plane:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2190289

After a couple years of building a lot of functional, but not particularly elegant electric foamies, this year I've gotten into glow planes, which need to be a little more sturdy (not entirely foam ). The one above is the latest.

This new one is going to be quite similar, but high wing, and a lot lighter in weight to suit electric power. It's not going to have any major foam components either (the plane above has a foam wing).

So yesterday & today I've started on the wing. First I made a sheet metal template of the rib shape, and used that as I guide to cut them out of 1/16" balsa:

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This afternoon I framed up wing halves:

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The shear web is 1/8" balsa - in the center section it will be a piece of 1/4" thick pine instead to join the two halves . The two center bays will be sheeted in 1/16" balsa top & bottom.

More as things progress
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Old Jul 17, 2014, 07:04 PM
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United States, OH, Columbus
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Not a lot of time to work on it today, but I did get the center section of the wing sheeted top & bottom. (I joined the two wing halves last night)

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It's got a tiny bit of dihedral - 1/2" at one wing tip over the 42" span.
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Old Jul 18, 2014, 07:13 PM
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United States, OH, Columbus
Joined Aug 2012
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A bit more work on the wing this afternoon:

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I've planed the leading & trailing edges to rough shape, added some diagonal braces in the front, and roughed in the wing tips. In that sheeted center section I'll add pieces to the trailing edge, coming out flush with the wing tips. I've got a couple pieces of balsa glued up to form that section (not shown).

I'm thinking the ailerons will be built up, with ribs... not sure about that though.

I'm going to use a Heads Up RC 450 "Sport" motor and a 40 amp esc. I've got the same motor in a couple of similarly sized foamies, and they are veritable rockets. This one is probably going to weight a bit more, so I'm thinking it will certainly be "sporty", but perhaps not a "rocket". That will be fine .
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Old Jul 19, 2014, 06:53 PM
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United States, OH, Columbus
Joined Aug 2012
114 Posts
Started on the fuselage today. The sides are 1/16" balsa with a ~.050" pine doubler glued on from the nose back to the trailing edge of the wing (on the inside). Here's everything piled together:

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There will be a turtle deck from the back of the wing to the tail, like the other plane. This time I'm going to attempt vacuum forming a canopy, rather than a black foam thing. I made a less than successful vacuum forming gizmo today; we'll improve on it soon
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Old Jul 20, 2014, 04:51 PM
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United States, OH, Columbus
Joined Aug 2012
114 Posts
More on the fuselage today. I put in all the formers (except for the turtle deck), firewall, hard points for mounting the tail skid & main gear, and elevator & rudder push rod guide tubes:

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And I fabbed up the main landing gear, high enough to give good clearance for a 10" prop in grass.
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Old Jul 21, 2014, 06:01 PM
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United States, OH, Columbus
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114 Posts
Yesterday & today I've framed up the tail surfaces and the turtle deck. Here's everything loosely piled together:

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And the motor, esc, and servos arrived in the mail

Moving right along!
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Old Jul 23, 2014, 05:59 PM
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United States, OH, Columbus
Joined Aug 2012
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Over the past couple days I've worked out the wing mounting, made the ailerons, done lots of sanding, and (not shown) put in the elevator / rudder servo tray:

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Almost ready to start covering!
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 06:11 PM
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United States, OH, Columbus
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Moving right along... I'm fairly pleased with the battery hatch:

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It's got a little (.25" dia.) neodymium magnet holding it in place, in conjunction with a tiny piece of steel. It's not going anywhere

And I covered the wing and ailerons, and hinged the ailerons (CA hinges).

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I wish that I had put a stringer of two in the front bay of the wing, top & bottom, because without them, the shape of the airfoil is quite distorted between ribs . I expect it to work OK, but stil... Live & learn, eh?

I'm now estimating an all-up-weight of about 32 oz, based on all this stuff piled on the scale:

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That's about what I expected, and should give a power to weight ratio of about 1: 1 (early in the flight, declining as the batteries drain).

More as things progress!
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Old Jul 26, 2014, 02:44 AM
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Joined Aug 2013
657 Posts
I would call it a conversion. If it was intended for glow and you are making mods to optimize for electric that is converting. It is better that it never saw a glow engine, it could have been seriously infected.
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Old Jul 26, 2014, 06:32 PM
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United States, OH, Columbus
Joined Aug 2012
114 Posts
Thanks Mike - yes, no contamination

Since the last post I've installed the sat receiver back in the rear of the fuselage, covered same, and installed the motor. And I've joined the halves of the elevator with a 1/16" music wire joiner, and sanded all the tail surfaces, ready for covering:

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And I put in velcro patches to secure the batteries & main receiver
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Old Jul 27, 2014, 06:18 PM
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United States, OH, Columbus
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OK, all the covering is done (although I might do a white starburst thing on the wing too), and the tail feathers are installed:

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I put the batteries and esc in place and it's balancing right on the wing spar - I guessed the length of the nose correctly! Still sticking with the 32 oz AUW estimate.

We may well see a maiden flight this week (with or without the canopy/cockpit in place).
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Old Jul 28, 2014, 06:40 PM
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Lots of little stuff today! I did do that white trim on the wing, and I'm pretty pleased with it . All the radio stuff & servos are in place and working. Yet to go are the control horns on the rudder and elevator, and clevises on those push rods. And of course the pilot and canopy.

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That hole in the bottom of the fuselage is the cooling air exhaust port.
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Old Jul 29, 2014, 05:39 PM
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United States, OH, Columbus
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Well I finished it up this morning (except for the canopy) and decided to give it a try . It's my new favorite plane! The power situation is about what I expected - it can't go straight up unlimited, but it can do very big loops. It can knife edge in sort of a long arc, but not constantly in a straight line. It's as happy inverted as upright. I'm pleased

The addition of a canopy will no doubt speed it up a bit, so I'll get on that.
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Old Today, 05:03 PM
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United States, OH, Columbus
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OK, I'm calling it done:

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No progress on vacuum forming; for the canopy I went with foam, coated with epoxy, then painted. It's held on with a magnet. There are a few pin holes in the finish which I may or may not address in the future

I'm really pleased with it!
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