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Old Sep 04, 2014, 01:57 PM
Life is a Hobby
Canada, ON, Delhi
Joined Aug 2012
956 Posts
Painted the cockpit dark green, glued in the pilot and instrument panel. Installed the canopy. Installed the cowl. Put on the wheel pants to get a total weight - 8 1/2 lbs - the upper limit in the manual. Will take the wheel pants off for the maiden. They appear to be directlly under the CG so shouldn`t affect the balance.

The original reviewers on this site and the other site both said the `Bolt is tail heavy with the recommended OS .91 FS. They both moved the large Rx battery into the engine compartment to help balance. The RCG reviewer had to add 196 gr of lead on top of that. Seems odd that GP would specifically recommend an engine that is not heavy enough to balance the airplane.

My previous experience with GP ARFs such as the .40 and .61 Escapades is that the manual`s CG point makes the models nose heavy. I am flying the .40 with the CG a full half inch back with no problems. Am wondering if the same situation exists in the `Bolt.

This `Bolt is powered with an RCGF 15cc gasser with Pitts muffler which is 175 gm. heavier than the newer OS .95 FS. I am guessing that this heavier engine will balance the plane with no extra weight needed. Am confident enough in this that I have the Rx/ignition battery in the fuselage cavity on the CG.

The moment of truth...............marked the 4 5/8 inch CG point on the bottom of the top wing either side of the fuselage. Put the `Bolt on my biplane balancer-----------RIGHT ON!! ---------- Wow, I am one happy dude. Was not looking forward to taking the wings off if the Rx battery had to be moved around.

Now I can relax and look forward to the maiden as soon as the weather co-operates.
;
Digitals below of the finished `Bolt.
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Old Sep 07, 2014, 08:23 AM
Life is a Hobby
Canada, ON, Delhi
Joined Aug 2012
956 Posts
Maiden..............went to the field yesterday morning. Light west breeze straight down the grass runway. Had broken in the RCGF 15cc gasser on my .61 Escapade so knew it ran well.

Did some taxi tests. The tail wheel mechanism gives a softer response to rudder input than I am used to. OK on low rate for takeoff and landing. Increased the high rate for to and from the pits. Tracked straight and true on either rate.

Put a tach on the 12x8x3 prop at run-up making sure the Walbro carb was set at 200 below max RPM so the engine could unload in the air.

Lined up into the breeze, slowly advanced throttle, let the tail rise a bit and she was in the air. Slower rise than I expected so thought would probably need up elevator trim. Yep...........needed some up clicks for level flight. The ailerons were dead on, no trim needed.

The original reviewer also needed elevator up trim which ties in with my suspicion that the CG in the manual is nose heavy. Could explain why the recommended .91 FS wouldn`t balance the airplane.

Came in for the first landing. The `Bolt settled right in, landing slow and steady with no bounce. Checked for anything loose, refueled and went up for another flight. Loops, rolls, split-s. Tracked true and solid. Same perfect landing.

I keep the first session with a new model short so I can go home and give a thorough check for anything loose. Want to move the CG back a bit to see if that gets rid of the elevator up trim but will fly a few more sessions with the original CG before I start experimenting.

Bill
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Old Sep 15, 2014, 10:42 PM
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Joined Mar 2014
95 Posts
I build the kit 12 yrs ago, awesome aircraft! Had an os 90 in it , plenty of power, well over 100 mph at half throttle.
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Old Sep 16, 2014, 07:57 AM
Life is a Hobby
Canada, ON, Delhi
Joined Aug 2012
956 Posts
Tom..........do you remember if you had elevator up trim?
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Old Sep 21, 2014, 07:10 PM
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United States, OR, Astoria
Joined Feb 2011
1,052 Posts
Finished mine a couple of days ago. One of the easiest "builds" I've done, everything went together smoothly. It balanced perfectly with the OS FS-110. Great flying plane.

Great Planes Super Skybolt (7 min 38 sec)
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Old Sep 22, 2014, 07:49 AM
Life is a Hobby
Canada, ON, Delhi
Joined Aug 2012
956 Posts
Khoy..........nice video. The `Bolt is a great flyer.

I noticed the trail of exhaust when you took off. Just what you want from a 4-stroke.

You balanced right on with a heavier engine than the recommended .91 FS. That is my experience with the RCGF 15cc (.91) gasser with Pitts muffler. Same displacement but heavier than the OS .91 FS.

Do you have elevator up trim that you weren`t expecting?

Bill
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Old Sep 22, 2014, 09:28 AM
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United States, OR, Astoria
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Thanks Erie. I did need a few clicks of elevator up trim but I wouldn't call it unexpected. I actually expect that I need a little trim on newly built planes.
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Old Sep 22, 2014, 02:38 PM
Life is a Hobby
Canada, ON, Delhi
Joined Aug 2012
956 Posts
One thing I never got into with my build posts is the fact that the full scale Super Skybolt is actually a 2-seater. The SBolt was created by putting a Pitts S2 canopy on a Steen 2-seat Skybolt along with a few other mods.

The GP SBolt ARF has a single large cockpit that could be modified by inserting a partition halfway with another instrument panel decal. The canopy is screwed on and over the next Winter I might remove the canopy and modify the cockpit.

Or you could say 200 feet in the air who can tell the difference anyway so why bother.

And I might wind up glueing on the canopy with Pacer 560. My experience with screw holes through butyrate canopies is the plastic eventually cracks and chips around the screw holes.

Bill
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Old Sep 24, 2014, 09:38 PM
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United States, CA, Clovis
Joined Mar 2004
3,310 Posts
Nice builds and vids here folks..!. I've watched the thread for years... and still have my SkyBolts..... not built yet.. one ARF and one Sig kit...but proudly among my collection of someday planes. I've got options of the 2 newer OS 4-stroke engines.. the 1.10 and the .95V.. I've not built yet partly because I'd been testing the OS 1.10 in another plane.. and the 1.10 is an astounding excellent ... and I don't want to pull it from the plane its in.. so I got the .95.. and haven't ran it yet... but it just might go into the SkyBolt.. I haven't been exactly motivated to do such work lately.. but I'm gaining on it. Good job though.... all you guys!!.
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Old Sep 24, 2014, 11:08 PM
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I run the 95v in a Twist 60 and also a Pulse xt60. It's great power for those two and they both weigh a pound less than my Skybolt which weighs 8.2lbs. IMO the 110 is perfect for the Skybolt.
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Old Sep 26, 2014, 06:00 PM
Life is a Hobby
Canada, ON, Delhi
Joined Aug 2012
956 Posts
The more I fly this plane the more I am impressed with its stability. It locks in to a knife edge and stays there until you decide to do something else.

I had a Skybolt 30 years ago. Think it was a SIG balsa kit. It almost landed itself and I am finding the same thing with this GP SBolt ARF.

My club field is on a sod farm with thickish grass. I knew the 2 3/4 inch wheels in the kit were too small and replaced them with 3 inchers from the getgo. They were even too small if the farmer was late with a cut. Never had as full noseover on landing, just some semis but that was enough to replace with 3 1/2 inchers. This means no wheelpants but the longish grass would tear them apart anyway. Now perfect landings no matter the depth of the sod. Hold in full low rate elevator (40%) just before touchdown and it flares into a perfect 3 point with a short roll out.

My experience over the years with biplanes is a need for large rudder to aileron mixing and this SBolt is the same. Taking off right to left and banking right against the torque of the prop to come over the designated flying area induces an adverse yaw as the plane digs in to gain altitude. You can see the nose fighting the turn. I have differential ailerons to help with the yaw and am up to 50% rudder to aileron mix to counteract the yaw. Once the 15cc gasser unloads the yaw disappears in subsequent right to left passes.

My previous experience with GP ARFs is light in the landing gear and firewall areas. After a dozen flights I am keeping my eye on the landing gear and firewall in the SBolt. They are tight so far.

Bill
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Old Sep 28, 2014, 09:33 PM
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United States, OR, Astoria
Joined Feb 2011
1,052 Posts
Warning!!!

Check the servo tray in the fuselage, apparently it's not glued in well. I was flying today and suddenly had a deadstick and barely had any elevator. After an emergency landing I found the servo tray came out of position. Luckily I had some elevator control and the only damage is a cracked wheel pant. I reglued the tray and added a strip of balsa on either side the keep it from happening again. I can post a picture if needed.
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Old Sep 28, 2014, 10:06 PM
Life is a Hobby
Canada, ON, Delhi
Joined Aug 2012
956 Posts
Thanks for the headsup.

While assembling my SBolt I jerked, yanked, tugged, twisted the trays, LG, firewall and everything seemed secure.

Have a dozen flights on the SBolt now and don`t see anything coming loose on the outside.

Taking the wings off to look inside for anything loose is a bit of work. Going on faith until the Winter shotdown which in this part of the world is end of October. Might get a few days in November.

Bill
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