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Old Jul 08, 2008, 09:16 AM
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White Bear Lake, MN
Joined Jun 2006
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Putting Tower Trainer on Floats

I bought a Tower Hobbies ARF trainer 40 and plan on putting it on floats. I have never flown off of water but I have flown and assembled other glow planes. So my question is what tips can you guys give me about putting this trainer together for the water? And what tips can you give me about flying off water? Or any other things about anything?
I was looking at the the July issue of the AMA magazine and it had a lot of info on float flying but more won't hurt.
Also I looked at my LHS for some floats but I don't remember what kind they were. Does anyone have any suggestions on some foats? I was looking at floats and a lot of them are really heavy. Light would be nice.
Thanks a lot, Josh
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Old Jul 08, 2008, 06:32 PM
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Joined Jan 2005
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I'm a broken record about this. Order some foam floats, or make them yourself. Light, strong, efficient, can't leak.
Lots of sources and instructions listed on my website.
http://smilesandwags.com/floats.html
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Old Jul 08, 2008, 10:54 PM
Sudden Crosswind on Final
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Loveland, CO
Joined Jun 2008
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Here's my Kadet 40. Handles great, the extra drag from the floats takes some getting used to.
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Old Jul 09, 2008, 05:13 AM
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Canada, ON, Thunder Bay District
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Electristar trainer on floats. Had to remove some of the motor down thrust to compensate for the drag of the floats.
Electristar on Floats Video
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Old Jul 09, 2008, 10:26 AM
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White Bear Lake, MN
Joined Jun 2006
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Thanks for the responces.
skippyspad and Fast Guy, do you have a link to those floats?
If not, could you tell me what they are made out of, there weight and do they have/need a water rudder.
Thanks a lot, Josh
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Old Jul 09, 2008, 10:29 AM
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White Bear Lake, MN
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Fast Guy, I noticed you have that extra fin under the rudder. What is the purpose of that?
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Old Jul 09, 2008, 11:18 AM
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United States, TX, Kingsland
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Many high wing float planes need a little extra vertical surface area, so we add a sub-rudder under the fuselage.
Mike McD
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Old Jul 09, 2008, 01:19 PM
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Joined May 2002
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FantanaS

I have a Tower Trainer myself, no floats yet. My club also has one and we install floats during our club Float Flys. Works great.

Some rules extracted from many helpful souls that seem to work well -

The float length should be 75 - 80% of the length of the fuselage - from the prop to the back of the rudder (about 40" for the Tower Trainer).

The step of the float should be located about a half-inch behind the CG for .40-.60 size models.

Check the CG with the floats installed and correct the CG by altering the weight of the floats. That way, when you install or remove the floats, your plane will still be balanced.

The nose of the floats should be a little low with the wing mounted about 3 degrees positive to the top of the float

The floats should be parallel to the direction of travel and to each other. (no toe-in).

A water rudder will help with steering while on the water. It is not an absolute necessity with the Tower Trainer but it helps, particularly under windy conditions. Using a “Kickup” rudder helps prevent problems such as striking a submerged log or rock during taxiing.


Several mail order dealers have float sets that would work but they all seem to be $50 - 100 and that seems excessive for a plane kit that sells for $80 (I got my kit for $65 on sale). I'd cut a set of floats out of foam or do a balsa build before spending that much.

Richard
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Old Jul 09, 2008, 01:34 PM
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White Bear Lake, MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingsflyer
Many high wing float planes need a little extra vertical surface area, so we add a sub-rudder under the fuselage.
Mike McD
Thanks for the responce guys.
kingsflyer- So what is the point behind putting that sub-rudder on a float plane? Does it make the plane more stable or make it easier to taxi?
Thanks, Josh
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Old Jul 09, 2008, 01:42 PM
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rszanti: I wish I could find a set of foam floats that were fairly cheap. Do you know what your club uses for floats?
So on the specs for the Tower trainer it says it weighs 5 pounds ready to go and has a wing loading of 17 ounces per square foot. If the floats weighed 1 pound the plane would still be fairly light. I would guess the wing loading would still be around 20 ounces. How much do foam floats weigh compared to others like wood or plastic.
I have a friend who had plastic floats on a plane until a bolt came loose and the front of one float came down. The ending was not so good. I've heard that plastic floats leak a lot, but it would seem like the plastic floats would be a good option. And should last a long time.
Josh,
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Old Jul 09, 2008, 08:59 PM
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Canada, ON, Thunder Bay District
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuntanaS
Thanks for the responces.
skippyspad and Fast Guy, do you have a link to those floats?
If not, could you tell me what they are made out of, there weight and do they have/need a water rudder.
Thanks a lot, Josh
Great Planes Floats
The floats, the mounts and the stablizer fin added 1lbs 14oz to the weight of the plane. The floats are made of balsa and light plywood. Covered with MonoCoat. Comes in kit form with a water rudder. Water rudder makes a big differance when taxing on trainers with their small controll surfaces.
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Old Jul 09, 2008, 09:45 PM
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Joined May 2002
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FuntanaS

I believe the club floats are foam. One of the members came up with them and I understand they were originally purchased. I don't know where. As mentioned before Tower Hobbies and Horizon Hobbies, among others, sell them but at a pretty stiff price.

There are some guidelines for float design in the forums that would supply basic dimensions. One of these is "http://www.seminolerc.com/EZ-Float-Design.html". If I was doing a set, I would cut them from foam and possibly cover with some thin sheet balsa.

Richard
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Old Jul 09, 2008, 11:13 PM
Sudden Crosswind on Final
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Loveland, CO
Joined Jun 2008
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This set of floats is from Sig Mfg.
http://sigmfg.com

They were on clearance because they had no support gear with them and they needed sanding and painting. $50.00. They are 41" long, and made of fiberglass so a little big for a standard 40 size. The kadet is a little bigger than a normal 40.
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Old Jul 10, 2008, 10:18 AM
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White Bear Lake, MN
Joined Jun 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimCasey
I'm a broken record about this. Order some foam floats, or make them yourself. Light, strong, efficient, can't leak.
Lots of sources and instructions listed on my website.
http://smilesandwags.com/floats.html
Your website has a lot of good info on installing floats. Although I looked at the foam floats for sale and they were expensive. For being mostly just foam that seems like a lot of money.
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Old Jul 10, 2008, 04:31 PM
Scale Warbirds of Norway
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cheap floats

Stop looking!!! Go to www.hobbycity.com for exellent floats. Light but strong fiberglass under 40$. increadible quality!!!
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