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Old Aug 12, 2015, 04:01 AM
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Farman Moustique 1 - need a little help...

I have lately wanted to start building a balsa ultra micro size plane. I saw a thread asking for prototype builders, well, I'm very inexperienced (at building and flying) but pretty well only fly ultra micro foam planes and there were these nice looking plans offered by Peter Rake, so I thought I'd have a go. I didn't want to do a thread, for a couple of reasons, being building inexperience and inability to post what I call decent pics (cheap camera focus issues), but, I am having some difficulties so thought I'd start a thread and post a few build pics.

First of all I bought a kit from Manzano Laser, great service from Charlie. I built the wings and tail, no real problems there (that I know of), but the fuse, I have messed up. Its a bit crooked as shown in the pic. I ran some carbon tubes through the wing locating holes and you can see the wings are going to be twisted relative to each other. I'm wondering how to fix it before building any further. The problem is caused by the fuse sides not being in line with each other, so its obvious I didn't square it up properly before the glue set. Not sure whether to remove one fuselage side, cut a new one and refit it, or what. Any suggestions welcome

The plans for this model are here.
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 04:30 AM
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A few more pics. This model has a 21" wing span and a wing area (by my crude calculations) of around 175 sq in so it could be a nice slow flyer with any luck.

A few nights ago I bought a set of mini steel squares from ebay, no idea why
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 05:29 AM
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Add in left thrust to that twist and you've got real problems mate.

Given that the bottom of the fuselage sides are flat, I'm puzzling how that happened. What is it that actually caused the twist. It looks as if your fuselage is pretty advanced, so getting rid of the twist is likely to be a problem.

Pete
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 05:54 AM
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When I sit the fuse on a flat surface, one of the sheet balsa sides is about 0.5mm off the deck at the back, just before it starts tapering up for the longeron section for the tail. So I've misaligned the two sides as far as I can see. Just wondering the easiest way to recover from this. If I can save the ply motor mount and F2 I could start again, not as though I don't need the practice.
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 06:26 AM
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I checked the fuse sides to be parallel to each other in the vertical plane with verniers. It seems its just the LHS fuse panel (RHS in the pic) being kicked up at the back causing the rear rod to show the misalignment of the locating holes. I'm now thinking if I slot the rear hole on the LHS fuse side until the rods are parallel (should only take half a mm), I might get away with that. Maybe do a dry run and see how it looks.

Yes I did glue the motor mount in upside-down too (causing left thrust instead of right), to rectify that I sanded the LHS of the inside cutaway of the motor mount to the plan, and aligned the motor correctly. Trying to minimize mistakes from here on...

Another pic, this and its partner are attached to the fuse but not to each other at this stage.
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 06:56 AM
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Ian,
The biggest problem you might have is that if the F2/F2A assembly is glued in so both little lips are sitting on the fuselage sides the likelihood of the dihedral being right is pretty slim too. Possibly the only way to fix it is to remove both sides and make sure that the F1, M, F2/F2A and UC assembly will sit flat to the board. You may need to separate a couple of joints to aid that. Once that is right glue the sides in place and again make sure it all sits perfectly flat to the board. Use a couple of spar stock pieces to check that you end up with equal dihedral both sides.
The F2/F2A assembly and the locating dowel holes work well to align the wings, but only if the entire fuselage is assembled correctly in the first place. Micro models allow even less margin of error that larger models because their flight is more easily disrupted by inaccuracies.

I'm not sure if this is any help, but I like to use two tiny spots of CA each side to tack formers to the sides (just to hold them accurately in place), pin everything down to get it all straight and square and then use a stick dipped in woodworking glue such as Titebond to apply a small fillet along all the joints. Leave that to dry completely and you should, assuming your board is dead flat and there were no lumps of glue or tiny scraps of balsa in the way, end up with a perfectly aligned basic fuselage.

Pete
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian444 View Post
I'm now thinking if I slot the rear hole on the LHS fuse side until the rods are parallel (should only take half a mm), I might get away with that. Maybe do a dry run and see how it looks.
That's just what I was going to suggest you do. I think it should work just fine.

Larry
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 07:07 AM
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Thanks Pete, will take that on board, and post progress in a few days.

Edit - missed your post Larry! Thanks for the support
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Old Aug 13, 2015, 06:17 AM
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One of my reasons, if not the main one, of getting into balsa micro models is to have a straight airframe, or a broken airframe, but not in-between, which is how all my foam micro planes end up. They take quite a few hits in their stride, but end up bent/creased/weakened in the long run and it affects their flying. Not their fault of course, I'm not a good pilot and my flying area is not an open field. But when the air is still, I really want an accurate straight airframe.

So, in regards to my build, I extracted the motor mount and F2/F2A from the fuselage, and the rest was discarded. I cut out a new F1 and the two fuselage sides.

When I assembled the fuse last time, I thought about it and did it in this order. Not sure if this was good or bad thought. The result was certainly not good, not sure if it was the assembly order or my lack of skills or both.
1. Glued F1 to M (M is the motor mount).
2. Glued F1 to one fuselage side, no glue was used between M and the fuse side at this stage.
3. Glued the other fuse side to F1 only.
4. Assembled F2 with carbon rods and F2A, then glued it into the fuse sides.
5. Finally put glue between M and the fuse sides.

The fuse section is a bit of a jigsaw puzzle, in that F1 slides into M, and F2 slots into the other end of M, so those 3 are sort of locked together, and then you have to line that assembly with the 2 fuse sides keeping the whole lot dead square.

What would be the best order of assembly? Maybe spot glue the whole lot together, jig/clamp it square, and then glue the whole lot in one foul swoop?

(For reference the plans for this model are here.)
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Old Aug 13, 2015, 08:30 AM
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Don't get discouraged. You are experiencing the problems we all went through went starting/learning to build. Keep at it and you will develop the skills. It's a learning curve. Incidentally, You have started with the most difficult size for learning. A lot of us who have been building for many years, struggle with keeping the small ones straight.
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Old Aug 13, 2015, 09:15 AM
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Ian,
I think maybe your mistake was to glue both sides to just one former, a route strewn with potential issues because it's too easy to get one side out of line - as you will have spotted.

If I were doing it I'd spot glue F1 and the F2/F2A assembly to one side, making sure both are seated with the little lip snug against the top of the side. Then spot glue that to the other side, again making sure the lips are snug against the top of the side. F3 could be similarly spot glued, but isn't essential to alignment at this stage. NOW pin it all down over the drawing to get it all square and do the fillet gluing I mentioned before. Use those carbon rods as a guide if you like.

Don't be tempted to use CA glue for sub assemblies like F2/F2A, it grabs too fast and doesn't allow you to get things aligned properly. Those two HAVE to align correctly if the dihedral is to work out right, and as you know, the sides have to align correctly if the incidence is to be equal both sides.

As mentioned, don't be put off by early mistakes. I've lost count of the bent or twisted fuselages I've produced over the years. Take your time, check and double check alignment at each stage and you'll soon be producing ONLY straight, square fuselages.

As an aside, when you build the rear fuselage, build it as a separate unit. There are no curves in the sides and the top longeron is completely straight. Once you have your side frames, pin them over the plan with just the tailpost (the bits of 1/16x3/8 aft of the pushrod exit) joined and the top longerons pinned over the plan. Get it all square and then add the cross braces. Then it's a relatively painless task to join the two sections to result in a straight, square fuselage.
Parts M and UC can be added any time you like once the front box is built and the glue completely dry. Although, if you feel they'll help you get things aligned, build them in as you create the front box.

Pete
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Old Aug 14, 2015, 07:12 PM
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I think I lied when I wrote the thread title - it should have read "need a LOT of help." Anyway, back on track, new forward fuse assy is built and straight this time, I followed your instructions Pete with lots of care and checking at every stage and it is what I call "within limits". Not perfect but it will work. Also, don't worry about the F2/F2A alignment, they were originally glued with white glue and carefully aligned, they are very good.

Need to build a new aft fuse assy, will do that today, build the two sides then place them over the plan top view and put the cross pieces in, sounds easy enough...

I started covering the tail in some old grey Guillows tissue, but after reading the Eze dope trials thread, thought I'd try covering with wet tissue, but the Guillows tissue tears when wet. The results from applying it dry with 50/50 Eze dope were OK though. So I ordered some Esaki tissue, and have been trying that on the wings. I sealed the frame with one coat of full strength Eze dope, then put the tissue on wet using 50/50 Eze dope/water to stick the edges. I had a reasonable amount of trouble getting the edges to stick, and only just got it done, close to abandoning and trying something else. So on the second wing I applied the tissue dry using Bostik Blustik and that went on great, really smooth and neat. Then I applied a coat of 30/70 Eze/water to shrink. Waiting to see how that goes when dry. I haven't covered a balsa plane for nearly 40 years so here I go again.

And I forgot to put the al tube for rigging in the wings, I don't think its too late, only one side is covered. Oh, and the locating pegs, I knew there was something else.
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Old Aug 15, 2015, 09:03 PM
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A few more pics. Having trouble with tissue as you can see in the pics. Building nice models is going to be a longer road than I thought. I still forgot to put in the tubes for rigging, will have to open up or recover the wing bottoms to put them in, I really want to do some rigging since I've never done it before. Any tips welcome, but I think I'm beyond help, its just a matter of more experience/practice/reading/doing it.

Peter, are these pics any good to you or not really? If not, I'll probably stop posting them as they won't do anyone else any good. When I finish the model, I'll post a pic of that if it doesn't look too shabby. I think I bit off more than I can chew. Not to worry, I gave it a go. And having fun to boot. Sorry it hasn't turned out to the usual forum standard.
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Old Aug 16, 2015, 05:10 AM
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Ian,
Covering looks okay to me. Not the right colour, but good enough as covering goes.
How did you apply the EzeDope? I found a good way is to use a small sponge brush (about 1" wide) that I spotted in with some kiddies painting bits and bobs at the local shop. To me it seems quicker and smoother than a normal small brush.

Ah, now then. You say you have the control horns on the wrong side? Is that the wrong side as per the drawing, or the wrong side bearing in mind what I said about having the exits on the wrong sides? I'm not sure how you'd get your radio gear to transpose rudder and elevator controls. So, if you haven't joined the rear fuselage frames yet, but have installed the exit plates, make sure you do it the opposite way to that shown on the plan -elevator on the left, not the right.

As regards the photos, I think they are helpful. As long as the end result is a reasonable looking model that flies you'll have achieved all you set out to do for your first micro. The perfecting techniques can come later. Believe me, some of my early attempts were far from pretty - some still are.
You're doing just fine mate.

Rigging tubes aren't essential, they just make things easier. The rigging isn't functional, so just sew the threads through the wings, glue them there so they can't tear the tissue and then attach them to pylon and u/c. A tiny patch of heavier tissue applied at each rigging point will reinforce the tissue for added safety.

Is that LiteFlite tissue, or Superflite?

Pete
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Old Aug 17, 2015, 05:29 AM
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Pete, what is the right colour, I've only found 2 black and white pics of this aeroplane?

To apply the dope, I've been using a make-up brush my wife let me have, its nice and soft. She did buy one of those kids painting bags for me instead of more make-up brushes, and it has something like a 1" sponge in it, and a smaller round one that I tried. I will try the 1" sponge when I do the fuselage. There is also a large nylon brush that I've taken a liking too.

I did the rudder exit on the left side, I was aware of your correction, I just mentioned it in the pic so someone doesn't see the pic and build theirs the same. I have a Turnigy 9X radio with er9x firmware, so the X or Y axis of either stick can be assigned to any servo, and choose the servo direction, and set the servo travel limits and centre point, so that makes it easy.

I might leave the side exit balsa pieces until I get the brick fitted to be sure of pushrod and exit hole alignment. I'm using a HK brick (well planning to, so far it works) but can rob a plane for a Parkzone brick if needed, or use a V911 brick but that is a bit heavier around 2gm heavier (5.4gm vs 3.4gm). The HK brick will need a couple of cross-beams to mount it and that means the pushrods will be lower in the fuse compared to using the recommended Vapor brick.

I managed to get the al tubes for rigging in without recovering. I did a special trip to a local hobby shop to get that tube and there was no way it wasn't going in.

The tissue I used on the wings and elevator is Esaki, the tissue on the horizontal stab and the rudder is some old Guillows tissue, recovered from a kit that never got built because the cat slept on it. I tried the Guillows first, then ordered the Esaki, which I will probably stick with. Some rough calcs looked like the Guillows tissue would have added around 5.2gm to the entire model if I used it, which I guess is not too bad, not sure really. I haven't done any weighing of the wings since I covered them with Esaki to get some comparison figures yet. One of the best pleasant surprises I've had from doing this build is discovering how much strength the tissue adds to an airframe!

Tonight I joined the 2 rear fuse frames together at the rudder post using the new squares that arrived. Wow does that make things easier. I can almost see light at the end of the tunnel, maybe a candle in the wind, but there's definitely something there No more building for a few days, work routine to attend to.
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