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Old Feb 19, 2015, 12:47 PM
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Holland, Michigan
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Build Log
Kloud King - Mickey DeAngelis

For 3.5 months I have been meaning to post this Kloud King build finished in the fall of 2014. In late October my elderly mother-in-law sold her Florida Home and moved in with us until a room opens up in the retirement center we selected. This event has dramatically changed our life style for a while and temporally cramped my modeling activity. If I don’t post this now it will never get done. Better late than never I guess so, I will try to breeze through it quickly.

My good flying friend Bill P. gave me an extra set of plans he had for Mickey DeAngelis, Kloud King. He had been given a set of these plans by Mickey himself at a contest years ago. Mickey handed the plans to Bill and then said something to the effect, “Build this it is a great flying plane.” Bill did in fact build one, which he still flies with gas power...one of many in his 'old timers' collection.

Last summer when it was apparent the weather was shaping up for a lousy flying season I decide to begin building the Kloud King. I would build it light, use a 1600mAh lipo battery and power it with an unused Eflite 480 I had kicking around. My building goal: 32 ounces … no more than 34. I keep my options open as I build but I like to start with a goal in mind.

Researching on the Internet for information about this plane I found there are at least 4 slightly different plan versions floating around. This one pictured below is not my plan but one of the others. The Kloud King plan pictured here shows formers, plywood frame components and the beefing up of structures in places like the tail for example. My plan is a stick build and features a more common curved radius wing tip. By the way, my plan is not the one Mickey gave Bill. My plan is a 1964 retracing from an ozalid reproduction (I had to Google that term) of the original plan.

My wing spar is not like the original but rather a more contemporary style. I have made some other changes for convenience of powering with electric. A few other minor changes include, extending the cowling to the electric motor (not stretching the nose) plus a little softening of the wind screen and an almost unnoticeable location change where the landing gear is attached in the fuselage – otherwise the lines are pretty darn close to the original. I want this to look representative in style to Mickey's even though I use some modern materials for part of the build.

Larry
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Old Feb 19, 2015, 01:53 PM
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Holland, Michigan
Joined Dec 2006
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Wing

Either the wing or tail feathers are usually my favorite place to begin. Once the parts are cut the assembly goes pretty quickly and it is rewarding to see the rapid progress. While the fuselage can be framed out quickly too, once the parts are cut it takes more thought for the details of placing equipment and making accommodations for components that are totally different than available in 1938 when this model became a “record holder”- 10 plus minutes on a 30 sec. motor run.

My approach to construction is seldom the same from plane to plane. I like trying different ideas. Often I just make a 1/32” plywood rib template without the notches for the spars. Then I trace cut the ribs separately,.

For the Kloud King I cut a 1/32” ply template and a 1/8” basswood copy of it. Then I used a ¼” Forstner bit to recess a few holes in the basswood so the head of a 256 nylon bolt would sit flush to the outside of the basswood. This allows me to bolt half the rib blanks between the two templates and then push the bolted unit through the jig saw. There is a stick you can see attached with double stick tape to the basswood rib. Its purpose is to give me something to hold and keep the saw blade from making washers out of my fingertips. You will see a red outline around both rib templates. This helps me to see if I’m sanding into the template while shaping the rib stack.

I’m sure many of you cut ribs this way. The reason for the pictorial is I am always in hopes there are some folks out there who would like to or are new to building an airplane and look at this site for ideas and the inspiration to dive in and build a model. I get tremendous value reading this forum.
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Old Feb 19, 2015, 03:44 PM
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Holland, Michigan
Joined Dec 2006
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Wing parts cut.

My preference is to cut all the individual pieces for a component I’m about to build so I don’t have to stop and do it along the way. In the first photograph you can see many of the parts ready to build the wing though not all cut parts are pictured here. I cut the dihedral angle into the spars, leading and trailing edge before assembly. On this build I cut the center section sheeting out too before starting construction.

Another picture show the wing tips rough cut as a pair and resting in place on the plan. I cut all the parts on the jig saw in pairs using bits of small double stick tape to keep the balsa slabs together. After they are sanded to final shape I carefully pull them apart. Then the tip pieces are cut and joined into a single piece. Stacked together again and sanded together to be identical. Finally I line the inside edge of the tip with a narrow (1/4”, in this case) strip of 1/64” plywood. This strengthens the tips while handling them and keeps them from warping when covering…not a necessity but it works for me.
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Old Feb 19, 2015, 04:37 PM
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Holland, Michigan
Joined Dec 2006
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Beginning the build

On a build earlier this year I saw how one builder on the Vintage Groups built the center section first and then built the wings off of that. I thought that was a neat approach and adopted his method while building my wing. There are some small changes from the plan how the center section is built but they do not that change the shape or look of the wing.

It is notable the center section of the wing is the same width as the fuselage. The rubber band wing tie downs will actually run right across the wing where the covering meets the center section sheeting. This is not good. I thought of widening the center section sheeting so there would be support for those rubber bands. That would alter my covering scheme so I decided to take another course. I would have the rubber bands from each side of the back of the wing meet at one peg in the middle of the wing in front of the canopy. Many old timers are built this way. My plans don’t show or refer to placement of the wing tie down dowels. I found a picture with the dowels placed below the side windows front and rear. That method creates more drag from the rubber band tie downs and does nothing to enhance the appearance.

Rather than make all the center ribs smaller top and bottom to account for the 3/32” sheeting I thought it easier to take a couple of spare ribs, cut them 3/32” smaller top and bottom then glue them inside the outer ribs of the center section so the sheeting rests on the smaller ribs and is flush to the top and bottom of the full size ribs. I sheeted the bottom of the center section first. Now with the help of the sheeting to hold things together I cut a slot between the spars for the plywood wing joiners. After the wing is built and joined the top of the center section is sheeted.
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Old Feb 20, 2015, 11:57 AM
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Holland, Michigan
Joined Dec 2006
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Building the wing panels

Checking the plans for accuracy in the drawings I found the rib spacing was slightly inconsistent. This is not to be critical of the designer…it is actually pretty common given time constraints, tools of the day and reproduction equipment. 3” spacing between the ribs works out to be close to building the right length wing. I cut the sheer webs accordingly out of different weight balsa, using harder balsa sheer webs near the center section and lighter toward the middle and outward. Before gluing the sheer webs between the spars they are use as spacers to align each rib near the leading and the trailing edge and keep the ribs vertical and parallel. The trailing edge was pinned to the plan but the ribs were spaced equally apart by the sheer webs…not the rib lines on the plans. It all worked out fine.

The center section is pinned firmly in place so the wing panel can be built right up to it. However, it will not be glued to it until later after the other wing panel is built in the same manner. I decided on this approach and scrapped the template mentioned earlier.

When the two wing panels are built and before joining the ends to the center section, the ends of the leading edges are marked with the aid of a template for shaping. The leading edge is then shaped with the aid of a hobby razor plane, followed by a sanding block, followed by sanding free hand with 240 and eventually finer sandpaper.

Once the wing is joined the top of the center section is sheeted. After final sanding I balanced the wing and found it needed just a small weight on one tip. I began with ¼ oz. lead weight segment and trimmed it to fit between the spars where they meet the tip. It weighs less than 1/8 oz. A small amount of epoxy anchors it.

I reduced the dihedral called for on the plan from 6” under each tip to 5.25". No doubt it could be reduced more but I fly these old timers pretty much like free flights. The trailing edge was shimmed up beginning about ½ ways in from the tip increasing gradually to ¼” at the tip during construction. I lost about 1/16”of this washout after covering. Finally a small rectangular piece of 1/64th plywood is glued down over each seam of the dihedral break on the trailing edge to resist wear and stress from the rubber band tie downs. The wing is weighed and ready to cover.

One other modification on the wing was the addition of a rib between the last outboard rib on the plan and the wing tip. I was surprised Mickey didn’t add one there to maintain a better airfoil shape. If you look closely at some Kloud King pictures you will see the shape of the airfoil really flattens out from the last outboard rib to the very edge of the tip. It’s hard to know what was in the mind of the designer in 1938. Was the rib omitted because of some notion of improved flight performance or just expediency of the build?
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Old Feb 20, 2015, 01:45 PM
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Holland, Michigan
Joined Dec 2006
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Tail feathers build

There are a couple reasons I like to build the stabs to be bolted to the fuselage. Ease of repair or replacement is one reason. Another is to easily change the angle of incidence if needed. This requires a departure from the plans but at the same time works well for another slight modification. I use the expanded center section supports made for bolting down the stab to include a firm slot in the center for the vertical fin to slide into. It makes it much easier to align the fin straight up and down and makes a strong marriage between the two. You can see a temporary spacer for the fin inserted in between the two stab supports as the parts are glued in place. This method makes covering a little easier too because I cover the pieces separately before gluing in the vertical fin/rudder.

The stab and elevator spar halves are temporarily joined with bits of double stick tape. This makes it easier to sand the entire piece. The tips have a 1/64” plywood strip glued to the inside of the curve like the wing tips.

The fin and rudder are built together like the stab and elevator. The fin itself must be lengthened 1/4:” to fit down into the slot made for it at the middle of the stab.

The hinge slots are cut into the two spars taped together for the stab and elevator before it is pinned to the plan. The same method is used for the fin and rudder. I find it easier to line up the hinges perfectly this way.

Once each piece is built and sanded the hinges are inserted to test alignment and range of motion then removed again. I off the tip of each metal hinge pin and remove the pin from the hinges. Then they are all slid onto a single piece of music wire of the correct diameter, reinserted into the elevator and the stab and then glued into place along with the slotted balsa hinge block behind the hinge. The wire is pulled back out leaving the nylon parts in the stab and elevator. It is easier to cover the two pieces separately. The same procedure is used on the rudder and fin.

After covering, the pieces are joined again with the music wire. The wire is bent at the end, leaving a ¼’ long end that can be fixed in place on the elevator with a small strip of covering. This technique adds a little weight but allows for easy repairs if necessary.
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Old Feb 20, 2015, 01:55 PM
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Holland, Michigan
Joined Dec 2006
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The fun begins now

Like the wings and tail I cut all the fuselage side pieces by taping the parts together so every piece is an exact duplicate. I try to be as exacting with angles and sizes as possible. My little Microtec table saw is invaluable to me for this but I have friends who free hand cut these pieces very well too.

I talked about this before. I use white glue almost entirely on my builds. Sometimes if I have to hold parts glued together until they set up I use just a drop of CA for assist. Never-the-less the parts are still attached together with white glue. I suspect a lot of white glues on the market work fine. I use white glue made for picture framers that is just a little elastic (latex) so it won’t become brittle like the old days. It sets up in a few minutes and will be pretty solid in about 10 minutes.

I gently rub white glue on both pieces to be attached, a lesson I learned from a home builder as a kid. I go through gobs of cotton Q-tips on every model plane build. All excess glue squeezed out of the joint is completely mopped away before it can set up. This accomplishes two important things. It keeps the weight to a minimum and makes sanding very easy. By the way, I also quickly swab up excess CA. I keep a pile of fresh Q-tips right by the glue bottle.

I use to go over almost all the white glue joints before covering with a drop of CA but I pretty much abandon that now to keep the weight down. Look at weight on the bottle of CA. It doesn’t evaporate much like white glue does so almost all of the weight in that bottle goes onto your airplane parts and stays there. It also stains the wood a way white glue does not so if you are covering with transparent film the joints made with white glue look as clean as the balsa everywhere else under the covering.

It just boils down to a personal choice and everyone has their preference. I use to do all of the build with CA. I slowly converted and I’m happy I did. One other note, when I glue plywood such as a firewall in place I take an awl or big T-pin and poke little holes or dents into the edge to give the glue or Epoxy something to adhere too. For most everything, I prefer the strength of white glue although; Epoxy has its place too. Just be sure to clamp parts together even if no longer than to set up just a few minutes.
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Old Feb 20, 2015, 02:05 PM
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Holland, Michigan
Joined Dec 2006
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Fuse build continues

Hard ¼’ balsa stringers were selected for the front of the fuselage and on back to a vertical line perpendicular to the trailing edge of the wing. The cabin area is very hard balsa, below it medium hard. The bottom rail running fore and aft is medium light balsa like all the wood behind the wing.

I begin by framing out the cabin area. It took me a little while to figure out the gussets. I ended up taking a ½” by ¼” piece of balsa length and quickly sanding the radius into the ½” dimension with my Dermal fitted with a sanding drum. Then I sawed it close to the radius edge and sand fit to the window frame.

I made a bunch of these and then hand selected the best of the lot. The radius gussets add some strength but are ornamental as much as bracing. I back all the cabin window stringers across their joints with 1/64” x ¼” strips of plywood for added support. The small 1/64” ply strips are very light but when glued and clamped down to dry add a lot of stiffness to the cabin area.
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Old Feb 20, 2015, 02:22 PM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
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South-west France
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That's coming along nicely Larry.
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Old Feb 20, 2015, 02:29 PM
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Holland, Michigan
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Fuse build continues

In the attached picture you can see how I brace all the parts true to the plan by pinning scrap balsa clamps to keep all parts in place. This really goes quite rapidly with all the parts precut. Above the fuselage side being built are the identical parts of the companion side lying in wait.

The next photo shows it pinned and glued…no pins are used in the actual parts, just the scraps holding them.

When it’s dry I unpin only one side of each part of the frame so the other fuselage parts can be lined up precisely the way the first one is made. The fuselage is now resting on top of some of the pins for the photo.

With the fuselage lifted away you can see all the alignment blocks left pinned down to the plan.

The second side takes about 15 minutes to build…assembly really moves along now that most of the effort went into the first assembly. The first fuselage side is placed on the new one to show how precisely they match. Note the ¼” plywood floor with holes drilled in the photo. This is for the landing gear mount. It extends from the nose to the cabin, more on this in a moment.

Closer up you can see even more clearly the match but also I want to show how I made a little change in the placement where the landing gear goes. I will not change the outside lines of the fuselage but I want to put my battery or BEC in a compartment with the landing gear with the other component right above it to keep the weight at the nose. For that reason have moved the gear mounting a little higher on the fuselage.
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Old Feb 21, 2015, 08:22 AM
Culper Junior
eastern pa
Joined Feb 2007
2,331 Posts
Hi Larry,
Several years ago I bought a KK at a swap meet and flew it several times with electric power. Although it had enough power it always seemed to 'drag' the tail around. ie fly tail low. It was balanced quite forward so I don't think a proper CG was the problem.

My stab was flat as yours is, and I always wondered if the original used a lifting stab. Did you see anything like this in the different plans you viewed?

BTW excellent craftsmanship.

Wondering,

JIm
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Old Feb 21, 2015, 09:17 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
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South-west France
Joined Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeronca52 View Post
Hi Larry,
Several years ago I bought a KK at a swap meet and flew it several times with electric power. Although it had enough power it always seemed to 'drag' the tail around. ie fly tail low. It was balanced quite forward so I don't think a proper CG was the problem.

My stab was flat as yours is, and I always wondered if the original used a lifting stab. Did you see anything like this in the different plans you viewed?

BTW excellent craftsmanship.

Wondering,

JIm
All the Kloud Kings I can find seem to have the flat tail plane. Dragging tail low could be a symptom of TOO far forward CG, meaning it has to fly with the wing at a higher angle of attack, especially in turns.
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Old Feb 21, 2015, 10:36 AM
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Holland, Michigan
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Hmmm, that is an interesting thought....I would not have considered. There is no mention of a balance point on the plan and that always makes me nervous. I'm finding that many of these old timer plans do not mention where to balance.

I balanced this one on the main spar for the first flight...I think it can go back even a little further...more on that just a little later on this build.
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Old Feb 21, 2015, 10:56 AM
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France, IdF, Lagny-sur-Marne
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Nice craftmanship.
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Old Feb 21, 2015, 12:52 PM
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Thanks for your comments fellows. This build is about to become a little more interesting...at least it was for me.

In fact you would see more of it now if I hadn't just inadvertently deleted the next portion just as I was about to submit. :-(
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