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Old Aug 16, 2014, 05:48 AM
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Matt Cook
United Kingdom, New Mills
Joined Feb 2014
148 Posts
Build Log
West Wings Lancer 100S Class kit build

I've just bought a Lancer kit, and must say that it felt a little bit of a leap of faith, as there doesn't seem to be very much about them on the internet. (I thought about a BoT - for which there are so many build logs, but the LHS didn't have one, and I was feeling impetuous.)

I'm not a particularly accomplished builder. Most of the models I built were way back in the '70s and I am one of the born-again model flyers. I hope that I can produce something reasonably tidy though.

First impressions of the kit are good. The plan is of course too large to be useable without chopping it up (it is all on one sheet), but the layout is such that this can be achieved neatly. The wood seems to be of high quality (nice and light where it needs to be), and the quality and fit of the pre-cut parts (laser-cut ribs, and CNC ply parts mainly) is of a rather higher standard than I could have hoped to achieve by doing it myself. This looks like it will almost build itself, the fit is so good.

The only thing that I don't really care for at the moment is the building notes, which are written in the sort of light-hearted jokey manner that is suitable in club magazine build articles, but seems a little un-professional in the context of a commercial kit - especially one of this cost (which is close to twice the cost of the BoT kit, although I won't be needing to buy a whole lot of new wood to replace the heavy stuff normally found with that model, I believe). But that really is a small niggle.

I am starting the build with the tails, then the fuse, and saving the wings until the end. This is because I am thinking of adding carbon to the spars, and a spoiler system, and I want to give myself plenty of time to research these before deviating from the standard build. I will put these in their own posts, and edit as necessary, in an attempt to keep the layout tidy with all the build photos and text in a contiguous block.

So, without further ado ...
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Old Aug 16, 2014, 05:48 AM
rug
Matt Cook
United Kingdom, New Mills
Joined Feb 2014
148 Posts
Tails

Started working on the tails. Horizontal first, and then vertical.

So far so straight-forward, but I have hit the first point where I am going to diverge from the design.

The elevator consists of two balsa sections, joined with a 3mm x 6mm hardwood L/E. It seems to me that there is too much flex in this system. It was very easy to twist one side relative to the other, and given that the elevator horn will only be driving one side I think it prudent to try to firm this up a little. There seems to be a reasonable amount of room for me to add more material here, but I want to keep it light, it being the tail ... Plenty of time to think (and ask questions).

Also, plenty of sanding to do already and I've barely started !

...

Finished building the vertical and rudder, and roughly shaped them. The horizontal and elevator are sanded to profile, but I will be sealing them and re-sanding to get the best finish I can before covering them.

When I push fitted the vertical into the slot in the stab, I was pleased to find that it was dead on 90 degrees with no need to adjust it at all.

...

Tails basically finished now. Covered. Glued vertical to horizontal. Fitted the control surfaces to the fixed ones. Only need to fit the control horns and set up the servos, and the job will be complete.

Note: I had decided that the flex in the elevator would benefit from a bit of beefing up of the middle section. Once I placed the tail on the fuse, I then had to chop away most of what I had added so that the required elevator throw was possible. (In fact, so any down elevator at all was possible !).

Right ... On with the rest of the kit !
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Last edited by rug; Aug 27, 2014 at 07:42 AM.
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Old Aug 16, 2014, 05:49 AM
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Matt Cook
United Kingdom, New Mills
Joined Feb 2014
148 Posts
Fuselage

Glued the ply doublers into position, and weighted them down overnight to dry.

Once dry, I added the strip wood to the top and bottom edges. At this point I made an error, which is probably worth highlighting for future builders ...

There is enough 3/16 x 1/4 strip to complete the task, but there is no excess. The bottom run is too long to do in one piece, and so a scarfe joint is required. I cut these at a good shallow angle for strength, and then found I didn't have enough wood left to match the long taper. (See photo). I suggest that you hold the wood in position, and cut the taper to fit the overlap I don't think this is going to be a strength issue, but I will provide some local reinforcement before boxing in.

Once the glue was set, I added the F4 and F6 formers. These have supplemental parts which ensure that they are mounted square to the fuse sides. in my case the slot for the F4 former caused it to want to lean forward, hence the high-tech clamp and weight in the photo of this step.

...

After a break to let the glue set, I then added F5, and fitted the left side to these three formers, and then joined the tail with a piece of 1/4 square balsa. (This is a piece about 1 1/2 inches long, and was provided as an individual piece in one of the bags of bits. Presumably this is just in case you build models but don't have any scrap balsa about the place It certainly seems a very comprehensive kit ...) Sighted along the fuse to check all was straight, then left to dry again.

Next up was to add the three remaining formers in the rear of the fuse. The formers so far have been slightly short of flush with the outer surface, which is fine, as I will fill them, and get a cleaner look. Two of the rear formers were slightly proud, so I needed to sand them down a little to allow for the same process. That achieved, I popped them into place.

Just three more formers to go at the front. F3 is in. I will leave this to set before adding F2 and F1, as there is a tendency for the fuselage to bulge apart when the F1 and F2 formers are added. This will probably make fitting F2 a bit tight. I will let you know if this was a mistake ...

...

No, that was fine. F2 slipped in OK, then the nose was held together with a good degree of rubber band power while F1 set.

Added the brass tubes for the wing mounting rods, and also the control snakes.

NOTE : It was at this point that I found I really should have worked on getting the holes for the control snakes just a little larger. Fiddling them into place through holes that were a tight fit was a bit awkward. In the process, one of the outers became kinked to the point where it was binding on the inner too much for comfort. I discovered (so it is probably common knowledge, but I didn't know ...) that by pulling the whole lot out and pouring boiling water on it, it is possible to make it run smoothly again. Best to avoid this if you can though

Started to fit the top and bottom decking. There is an inconsistency in the notes here. It says NOT to fit the 1/4 bottom sheet yet, but then tells you to glue in the tow-hook reinforcing ply piece (F13) - which glues to ... yep, you guessed it ! I have measured and glued it onto the 1/4 in sheet. We'll see later if it buts up against the F4 edge as it should.

...

Yup, all nice and tidy

Most of the fuse is now boxed in. The hatch is in progress - needs the rails added to the base to key it in position, and probably going to paint it too.

All that remains of the fuse structure is the decking ahead of the hatch, and the nose. I see some more sanding looming on the horizon

...

Painted the canopy black, and added the alignment rails to keep it snugly in position. Also glued, trimmed and sanded the front top section of the fuselage decking, and glued the sections of block together to form the nose - which will be glued to the fuselage as soon as it has dried

...

The fuse is now well on the way.

The holes have been filled and sanded, the majority of the structure is done, and that is sanded too. The outstanding part is the area above the wings. This will be a slight departure from standard, as I will be building a hatch here, rather than simply gluing the sheet in place. This will enable me to add ballast at the CG, and also to connect/disconnect the leads for the spoiler servos in the wings.

As is customary at this point, although the model is not finished I had to take it outside and take the 'this is it nearly finished' photos. Sorry for the cliche

...

Just a little work done this time. Sheeting in the area between the wings on the fuse top. Still need to build the hatch section, allowing access to servo connectors, wing joining hooks, and the (yet to be decided upon) ballast container.

...

The fuselage is now partially covered, and the radio gear is installed - although the elevator is not connected, as I have mislaid the supplied m2 bolt and will need to get a replacement (or rig up an alternative). The top hatch is built, and now need the retaining magnets to be added to the fuse structure to hold it in place.

Hope to get this finished by tomorrow, so will add photos then.

...

And tomorrow has arrived. So (bar the addition of one 2mm bolt to fix the elevator to its control snake) it's done

The CG is a few mm in front of the plan position, just in case, so the weight may come down a tiny bit later on, but currently in a ready to fly condition it weighs in at 1,344g.

Hope to have the bolt tomorrow (if the post office do their stuff), and this coincides with light winds and sunshine - so fingers crossed for a (successful) test flight.

I'll let you know how it goes in the hitherto unused 'flying' post of this thread.

Matt
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Old Aug 16, 2014, 05:49 AM
rug
Matt Cook
United Kingdom, New Mills
Joined Feb 2014
148 Posts
Wings

The instructions state that I should build the centre sections first, but as I am planning to add spoilers I would like to leave a little more thinking time, so I am going to forge ahead with the tips first. Yes, I know ... I'm a crazy impetuous fool

I may be overdoing things a little, but before selecting the wood to use, I weighed each piece first, so I can use the lighter pieces in the tips. Also, as the tips use half-lengths of each strip for the L/E, T/E and spars, I am using halves of the same piece on opposite wings, to try to maintain lateral balance ! (I think I am going too far, but it costs nothing )

...

Building the basic structure of lower spar cap, lower T/E and ribs, and then adding the upper spar cap and false L/E went very quickly and easily. Adding the webbing was more time consuming of course, and then they all needed to be sanded flush with the caps. The sanding seems to be about 50% of the build time

I will use some of the sanding dust, mixed with some ezee-dope I have (tried it on a model my son built, to try to avoid the traditional dope fumes - but I cant say I like it as a dope substitute. It does seem to be a reasonable sanding sealer though) and I will use this to fill the places in the fuselage where the ply parts poke through. Should get a smooth finish that way.

It seems that there are insufficient pieces of spar webbing balsa provided in the kit. I am quite surprised at this. I will have to make some of my own, which is no big problem. I don't know whether to make some from thin ply to use in the wing root areas. A little more weight isn't a problem, and a bit more strength is always nice, but I'm note sure about sanding them flush - that sounds like more work. I suppose if I cut them more accurately than the balsa ones ... Watch this space !

...

Started work on the main wing panels. Same process as for the tips, but bigger !

I have decided to build the spoilers of 1/8 flat construction, stiffened to prevent twisting. The actuator will be in the centre of each panel, so an odd number of bays was required. I opted for 5, which gives a spoiler length of a little under 12".

To accommodate them, I have sanded the tops of the relevant ribs by 1/16, as they will be capped with 1/16 elsewhere, so I will have flush fitting spoilers with very little material removed. I hope ...

The tips will be ready for L/E sheeting plus the cap strips once the carbon arrives - and this should be later today with any luck. Won't get a chance to fit it today though.

...

Quiet day today. Fitted the balsa webbing on the middle wing panels. There were not enough of the pre-cut ones in the kit, but there was enough 1/16 sheet to cut the 28 extras that I needed. Put the pegs back to work again !

I also cut lengths of the carbon strip, sanded them to give a surface key, and glued one in place on each of the wing tip sections. The tip I am doing top only (top, as that is where the compression loads are - the tensile strength in the bottom spar cap should be enough in the tips ...), but I will be doing both top and bottom on the middle sections. I used 60 minute epoxy for this job. The sheeting will need some light sanding to accommodate the thickness of the carbon (0.5mm + epoxy).

...

Fitted the L/E sheeting to the tips, trimmed to match the false L/E, and added the block for the true L/E. Hey - that means I'll have more sanding to do

Fitted the carbon to the main wing spar caps (top and bottom this time), and sanded the false L/E ready for the sheeting to be applied.

...

The right wing is very close to complete now. Both parts are sheeted, and the rins are capped. The tip has the block glued in place, and just need it to be shaped and sanded, and it will be structurally complete. The middle panel has the spoiler section built (a bit smaller than originally planned, since looking at othre models yesterday), and is waiting for the servo to be mounted before the last piece of sheeting can be put in place - but I am waiting for parts before I can complete this.

The left wing is a little behind. The tip needs the block glued to the tip (but I will get this done tonight, so it is set and ready for shaping tomorrow). The middle section needs the L/E added (again, I will glue that tonight), and then the spoileron box and spar caps will need to be added.

At this rate I should have the wings ready for covering by end of play tomorrow - unless the required parts still haven't arrived.

...

Covered the tips first, then glued them onto the middle sections. Once set, I covered the remainder of the wings and covered and fitted the spoilers too.

So that's the wings completed then ! Easy ...
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Old Aug 16, 2014, 05:50 AM
rug
Matt Cook
United Kingdom, New Mills
Joined Feb 2014
148 Posts
Flight

I've flown it !

I had done a few hand throws to check it was behaving correctly, and tonight a club pilot brought his bungy along, and I did my first ever bungy launch. Easy. Went up like it was on rails. We could have done with a bit more breeze (it was probably less than 5 mph low down, and not very much more higher up).

The spoilers, despite being smaller than I had originally planned, certainly kill the lift very effectively. They are coming open a little on the fast part of the launch, but I don't think they're causing too much of a problem there.

The only area I am going to look at following the test flights is the tow hook. It is the supplied hook, mounted in the suggested position. It is quite a soft nylon hook though, and when another pilot had a go, he pinged off early - and as I mentioned, it was not even windy tonight. He also felt it was too far forward for best performance - and he has donkeys years of experience of such things.

So a stronger more rearward towhook, and I'll be sorted. Just in time for winter ...

Matt
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Old Aug 16, 2014, 06:53 AM
Late for work again!
Gary Binnie's Avatar
Northampton, England
Joined May 2004
1,868 Posts
Go for it, will be watching with interest. If you've uploaded images they are not displaying?

Cheers

Gary
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Old Aug 16, 2014, 07:39 AM
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Matt Cook
United Kingdom, New Mills
Joined Feb 2014
148 Posts
Hi Gary.

Good to know that I won't just be talking to myself

I cut up the plans last night, but I have only started the actual cutting and gluing wood today (and I took a break to go for a short bike ride - I need the exercise), which is why no pictures yet. I've taken a couple though, and will take more as I add more bits. I will post them up a little later today in the appropriate post above.

Matt
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Old Aug 16, 2014, 01:46 PM
Late for work again!
Gary Binnie's Avatar
Northampton, England
Joined May 2004
1,868 Posts
I have a fetish for 100" span wooden gliders!!

Have seen a short review on the Lancer somewhere. I have a feeling that it is not very popular due to the price (149?), the Flair Albatross is similar at 106 and the Cambrian Elan is cheaper still at 70. It does look like a very nice kit though, laser cut?

I'm sure the hardwood elevator joiner would be fine considering the small amount it needs to move and the fairly low speeds that it will (should?!!) fly at.

Do they give a finished weight and wing loading?

Cheers

Gary
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Old Aug 16, 2014, 02:52 PM
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Matt Cook
United Kingdom, New Mills
Joined Feb 2014
148 Posts
I've have seen the review too, but it appears to be the only one out there AFAICT.

I looked at other gliders too (including reading your Albatross thread, thank you ), but I preferred the aesthetics of the Lancer. The fuse looks a little leaner to me, and I don't like boxy fuselages. I would love to have a slim pod/boom type, but that doesn't go well with building from wood, and as such tends to get expensive. I'm mainly into DLG at the moment, so that scratches that particular itch.

Also I guess I am just a little unorthodox, and the lack of information was intriguing.

I honestly have no idea of the finished weight, but mine will end up whatever weight it does regardless of manufacturer claims. I'll post the weights of the parts and the completed model as I go on.

I am sure that I will have questions for you as I progress, especially when it comes to the wings/spoilers.

Matt
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Old Aug 16, 2014, 03:27 PM
Late for work again!
Gary Binnie's Avatar
Northampton, England
Joined May 2004
1,868 Posts
No worries!

They won't sell many with it not appearing on their website!!

Try and get hold of an old book by George Stringwell, 'Radio Control Thermal Soaring' (Radio Modeller Books, 1981). Many mysteries solved!

Another good book is 'Radio Control Soaring' by Dave Hughes (1974/75), more towards slope flying but is very good with a design section by Chris Foss.

GB
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Old Aug 17, 2014, 08:21 AM
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Matt Cook
United Kingdom, New Mills
Joined Feb 2014
148 Posts
Gary.

You asked about whether the kit was laser cut. The balsa ribs are laser cut, while the ply parts are CNC cut. The sundry block balsa parts (nose blocks, wing tips etc.) seem to be cut using a bandsaw at a guess - but very precisely done, so perhaps computer control here too.

I've added a picture of the ribs.

Matt
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Old Aug 17, 2014, 08:56 AM
Registered User
United Kingdom, Emsworth
Joined Nov 2013
13 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Binnie View Post
Go for it, will be watching with interest. If you've uploaded images they are not displaying?
Gary
I'll also be taking an interest in your build blog - thanks for sharing
David
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Old Aug 17, 2014, 10:31 AM
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Matt Cook
United Kingdom, New Mills
Joined Feb 2014
148 Posts
Hi David.

You're very welcome. I used to live in Emsworth, my mother's side of the family are from there. Small world ...

Matt
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Old Aug 17, 2014, 11:43 AM
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Matt Cook
United Kingdom, New Mills
Joined Feb 2014
148 Posts
Time for a questions for you more experienced builders.

As far as I understand it, this model should be perfectly strong enough if simply built as per the kit. However, it seems that many (most ?) people prefer to add carbon caps on the spars for extra strength. I can see myself flying this off the slope, as well as bungy, and will be incorporating a ballast box to up the airspeed a little.

Given that I seem to be looking at the carbon route, would this be the sort of thing to get ? Or is it simply a case of using epoxy and carbon tow on the spar-caps ?

If I use the carbon strip linked above, would top and bottom on the inner panels and top only on the tips provide good strength ? Or is this going massively over the top. It certainly should be pretty strong I would have thought ...

At the current rate of progress I will be working on the wings before the week is out, so I need to order the required materials pretty soon.

Thank you all.

Matt
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Old Aug 17, 2014, 01:40 PM
Late for work again!
Gary Binnie's Avatar
Northampton, England
Joined May 2004
1,868 Posts
I would say it is OTT without seeing the spar structure, you won't want to fly it in more than about 12 mph wind on the flat so bungeeing should be safe, as long as you don't do F3F laps on the slope with ballast you should be ok as well! With no ailerons you wouldn't want to be sloping in rough conditions anyway.

Have not used carbon in any of my spars, I did try to break a wing over my knee when I threw it away (Medicine Man first build wot ended up in the loft water tank), result was a hurt knee and a slightly dented wing!

GB
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