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Old Mar 17, 2007, 08:36 PM
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Build Log
Balsa USA Taube 40 Conversion and Build

Hi All,

Well, I finally finished the Taube (German for "Dove"). I actually started this back before Christmas but when the Shoestring arrived I put off the completion. Anyway, this is the Balsa USA .40 size Taube kit. I have converted it to electric with the E-Flight 46 motor and a 4S 4000mAh Lipo. I don't have a ton of photos, but here are a few original photos to get started. There is a great replica in the Seattle Museum of Flight. The original used wing and tail warping for control. Take a look at those long bars under the wing to carry the control wires. Amazing really. The Seattle Taube is what I used as a guide. The Balsa USA version is a "sport" scale version designed for easy Sunday flying. It has a flat bottom airfoil and is only three channel - E/R/T. The larger sizes add ailerons, but I think that actually detracts from that great wing plane-form. The original was modeled after a bird and from the ground was quite hard to spot. I suppose it was the first "stealth" aircraft... The Taube was actually in service before WWI and was primarily used for surveillance as it had no mounted guns. They were phased out fairly quickly as technology changed but in their day, they were cutting edge. I love the lines and am always up for a classic.

Franny
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Old Mar 17, 2007, 08:38 PM
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The build...

The Kit is supplied with top quality balsa and lots of it. The construction is really pretty easy with the only built up structure being the horizontal stabilizer. I just had to make a decision as to how much detail I wanted to add. The kit is a bit thin on details but I think it doesn’t take much to make it sing. The field I fly on is grass and nose-overs are common (well, for me...) so I wanted to make the dummy engine removable so I could fly with or without it. It is attached with two pairs of very strong magnets as is the battery hatch on the underside. I decided to build up the elevator which I started from their solid slab. Same went for the fuselage sides. I cut out the pattern in the sides and then added 1/4"X1/4" strengtheners to the inside. The result is a strong structure with a vintage look. I didn't add the bottom sheeting to the fuselage. Instead, I added cross braces similar to the sides. I did leave the fin and rudders solid. Another area I addressed was the landing gear. The kit called for a single 5/32" wire gear so I added a few pieces to look a little more scale. The original gear is kinda nutty and actually attaches to the wing. Mine is a bit of a compromise. I did find a set of 4" spoked wheels which weigh a ton, but you can't beat those looks. For the motor mount, I used the nylon mount included in the kit as a spacer. It worked out just right! All I had to do was cut off the rails and I was in business. The cowl is removable to access the motor and is also secured with magnets. Here are a few construction photos...
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Old Mar 17, 2007, 08:44 PM
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Final Photos...

I used "Coverite" fabric covering for the first time and it was really great to work with. I was a bit intimidated at first, but it went on really well and shrank right up. The front part of the fuselage is painted a flat olive drab as is the top of the wing. Now paint and I generally don't get along and, of course, just as I started painting, it started to rain but I did manage to get a pretty good finish in spite of my lack of skill. I added a little rigging and the center rigging support. That is also removable for transportation. The actual thread is stretchy thin shock cord so it will always be taught. Oh, I did add a tail wheel. The original had the usual skid, but I though it would be easier to handle. For the prop, I started with a standard wood prop and sanded the trailing edge straight and curved the tips. I then sanded the entire thing to remove the finish and then stained it. It took like 30 min total and looks a million time better than what I started with. I'll probably fly with the usual thin electric gray plastic prop which doesn't look all that bad. Instead of control rods, I went with a pull-pull control on both the elevator and ruder. It was a little bit of a pain to set up, but looks cool.

I hope to get it in the air this weekend so I'll post some photos after it flies. Here are a few I took this afternoon.

Thanks!

Franny
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Last edited by Franny B; Mar 18, 2007 at 08:40 PM.
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Old Mar 18, 2007, 03:33 AM
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Franny,
Nice Taube mate. I flew a friend's one built from this kit and it's a dream to fly. Okay, so his has a .40 FS in the nose but you can't have everything. You'll probably find you have masses of power, the one I flew cruised round beautifully at little more than half throttle. It's very easy to fly, as demonstrated by the fact that his model was set up for mode 2, I fly mode 1.

Nothing to do with the model but your post is full of coincidences, not least of which is your name. I used to own a Francis Barnet m/cycle, affectionately known as a Franny B and I live just a few miles from the original Denver, a tiny town in rural Norfolk.

Pete
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Old Mar 18, 2007, 09:55 AM
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Franny,
Nice build! I hope yours flys better than mine. It was set up with .35 glow and was a real handful in the air. I ended up with a huge amount of rudder deflection to control it. Even my friend, who is a much better flyer than I, handed the transmitter right back to me. One very unstable bird. It now resides hanging from the ceiling of my barn.
Jay
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Old Mar 18, 2007, 10:02 AM
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Great build Franny.........and a very interesting subject!!.

I remember reading McCudden's FLYING FURY account of his encounters with this type........and if I recall, they flew at great altitude, and were not easy to catch.

Be interested in the maiden flight, Thanks.

Ian
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Old Mar 18, 2007, 11:44 AM
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Jay,
I'm really surprised by your comments on how your Taube flew, it contrasts so starkly with my own experience. To give an indication of how easy to fly the one I'm talking about was, my friend used it to teach a neighbour to fly. It put in dozens of hours and was eventually sold to said neighbour who carried on flying it for some time. I would never have imagined it could be a handful, just goes to show how different two models built from the same kit can be.
My 80" Flair Taube was also an easy to fly model, despite the built in headwind from all the rigging. That too would fly very happily on a .40 FS. The .48 Surpass originally fitted made it awkward to land because one click of throttle trim was the difference between not having enough power to overcome the drag and a model that wanted to keep on flying. Bear in mind, this 80" model, Solartex covered and with standard size servos only weighed 5.5 lb. No, I can't figure out how it came out that light either.

Franny,
Good luck with your model, let's hope it emulates my friends, not Jays.

Pete
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Old Mar 18, 2007, 08:14 PM
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Pete,
I used the solartex for the first time on that bird and it looked great too. But I could never figure out why it flew so strange. Overly sensitive to pitch and almost unresponsive to rudder. And it wasn't real heavy either. I triple checked the CG. I even have one crash on video! It's the only model I've built that just won't fly. But it looks too darn good to throw away!
Jay
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Old Mar 18, 2007, 08:26 PM
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Hi All,

Thanks for all your kind words!

Well, the maiden went really well today. It really is a joy to fly! I think I am just a tad nose heavy, but thats better than a bit tail heavy! It turns like it has ailerons and lands like a dream! I couldn't be more happy with it. As you might imagine, it is way overpowered. I don't think I ever got above 3/4 throttle and flew between 1/3 and 1/2. Just a joy.

Here are a few photos...

Franny

Jay: you might want to double check your CG. Nothing can make your airplane more squirrely than tail-heaviness. I have been fighting with my little 1/2 A Blazer on that issue and had to extend the motor mount out a bit to reduce it's tail weight problem. It was completely unstable and even performed the "spiral of death" last week. This week it flew like a kitten. Just something to think about... f

Pete: That is really interesting... The last place I lived was Virginia Beach which is right next to Norfolk VA. Small world, huh?
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Old Mar 18, 2007, 08:57 PM
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Looks great!! I especially like the overhead shot with light shining through.

Please to add a pilot!!
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Old Mar 18, 2007, 09:11 PM
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Hi Sky King,

I keep hearing that... I'll have to look into that. It is a looker, huh?

f
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Old Mar 18, 2007, 10:18 PM
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Franny,
Congratulations on a nice model and successful maiden flight. I'm pleased to hear it flies well and it certainly looks good.

Just for comparison, here's a couple of poor photos of my Flair Taube.

Pete
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Old Mar 19, 2007, 08:44 AM
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Hi Pete,

Wow! That really looks fabulous! Looks like you sprung for all the extras. I fretted over the level of detail to add... Is your wing warping functional? That really is amazing!

Franny
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Old Mar 19, 2007, 09:57 AM
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Nice Taub Franny. These early machine always look so graceful in the sky.
Dave
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Old Mar 19, 2007, 11:16 AM
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Thanks Dave,

It cleared the skies yesterday when it flew. I didn't think all the speed guys would even notice, but it was a big hit!

Franny
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