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Old Jan 25, 2010, 03:14 PM
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Spring, TX
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Help!
Reccomend a fun Scratch Build

A little background.. I've built and flown 3 HLG and High Start gliders, one free flight stick and tissue, and one electric trainer.

I just put the final touches on my latest sailplane (sig riser electric conversion), and I copied the eppler 205 airfoils to balsa blocks to have a few extra. I cut out the profile with a bandsaw, sanded it down and cut them out with a razor saw. (No spar notches yet though). And I ended up with a whole set. I was really itching to try some scratch building with them, and even went as far as hobby lobby to buy some more materials to construct a fuse.

After considering this urge thats hbent on becoming an obsession, I thought I would set them aside and start with something simple.

I suppose I should start with a chuck glider of some sort. I'd like it to be balsa and hopefully fly better than the $3 Guillow's models you can buy here and there. I have a 6 year old, so anything that I build and fly will not be in vain.

I'd love your reccomendations.
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Old Jan 26, 2010, 07:20 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
South Wales U.K.
Joined Mar 2003
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There is scratch build, and there is scratch build.

Some see it as building from an existing plan or even a kit. Others see it as 'from scratch', not even a plan.

There are plenty of plans for downloading off the Internet, (also plenty to purchase). Some of the model magazines also do a free pull-out plan and build article.

If you had included 'foams', (personally I like both foam materials and balsa scratch building,) there are plenty of free plans in the Foamies (Scratchbuilt) forum.

It depends a lot on just what you want to build, a balsa kit is probably the easier way to go, and Mountain Models seems to have a good reputation here on the forums.
There are other kit manufacturers as well.

So you may have to narrow your requirements to get specific models recommended, there are so many different types and shapes, from 'a box with a wing on it', to 'scale' models. Also it can depend on what RC and power equipment you have or are willing to get. Even to how well you can already fly.
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Old Jan 26, 2010, 12:27 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
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I comend you on your thought to start out with some simple chuck gliders to learn your wood handling and finishing skills. Not to mention that it's a heap of fun to fly them either with hand throwing or a simple sling shot catapult if your shoulders can't take the punishment.

There's no need at all to buy a kit for a hand luanch glider. There's many a plan around. In fact a quick check turned up this link that has plans as well as a very nice how to make HLG's page.

http://f4bscale.worldonline.co.uk/hand.htm

If the carving of the wing seems over the top for now perhaps warm up with some profile scale chuckies that you and your son can goof around with in the backyard and local school yard. Design your own and experiment since simple gliders are so inexpensive and quick to build. There's all manner of scale models that'll get you and your boy grinning. And there's canards, flying saucers, delta wings, flying wings both swept and plank and any number of other oddballs that you'll learn a lot about what it takes to fly them in a stable manner by playing with small and cheap test glider versions of them. A nice size for these fun models is 12 to 16 inch span using 1/16 for the smaller size and maybe 3/32 for the bigger ones for the wings. 1/32 sheet for the tails and 1/8 to 3/16 for the fuselage. All wood should be light as you can for the wings and tail with light to medium for the fuselage. Low wing designs will require enough dihedral that the tips are up near the top of the fuselage if you're doing something like a P-51 profile. These quickies may not fly in a thermal hungry sort of way like the fancy contest HLG's in the link above will but your boy will enjoy them for sure. And after the flying when there's a box load of them you can turn them into a mobile for his room.

Careful though, the first time your fancy 18 to 20 inch wingspan carved wing polyhedral HLG flips out ideally at the top of the climb and catches a thermal you'll be hooked big time and you'll understand the lure of free flight.
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Old Jan 26, 2010, 06:19 PM
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Hows about an Olympic II sailplane, great flier and simple to build, however lots of ribs.

I don't hold with that scratch thing. I call it Scratch from plans; or, scratch from own design. Not that it matters; but, I think building is building and designing is designing.
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Old Jan 26, 2010, 08:37 PM
B for Bruce
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The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
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There's lots of arguments about what consitutes a "scratch build". I don't care what some folks consider it to be. If someone cuts their parts from virgin sheets of wood, preferably without the aid of a laser , then it's a proper rightous build regardless of what some folks want to argue about calling it.
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Old Jan 26, 2010, 10:27 PM
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Spring, TX
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Thanks for the reccomendations Bruce. I have enough balsa to put together a few chuck gliders of various sizes. This week, we played around with some Guillow's by shaving off some of the fuse, and putting polyhedral in the wing and reconfiguring the CG. I was really suprised at how just a few minutes of implimenting some features into these $3 gliders made all the difference in the world.

I may start with the rib set that I have and build up a poly wing to wrap with some plastic wrap and put in on a stick Fuse.
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Old Jan 28, 2010, 02:15 AM
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Spring, TX
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Got an airfoil template from kit scraps...


Traced it onto scrap balsa block and cut it out on the bandsaw.


Cut spar notch into the top of the profile drew on some cut lines and split the line with my dovetail saw.


The End Result


I test fitted the rib spars and part of the trailing edge and leading edge.


I'm going to research distances to use between rib wings. I'm using balsa for spars, I've always used spruce on my 2m gliders. I hope this doesn't pose a problem. Right now I'm just focusing on the wing. I expect it to be a poly wing at about 30 and 40 inches, light weight since it will not be carrying anything but a stick and a tail. I really like how once you jump into a project, and transition from research into action, questions seemed to get answered fairly quickly.
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Old Jan 28, 2010, 02:20 AM
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And a Quick Video on how I sanded them flat.

Sanding Wing Ribs. (1 min 7 sec)
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 11:37 AM
jfv
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Bridgewater, NJ
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You might want to try this plane. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...hlight=scratch

It was designed for a scratch building class at my club. If you want, I can send you the plan.
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 12:48 PM
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Spring, TX
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Wow... That's one nice looking straightforward design. Love the wing structure.

I've already started on this wing, and it looks like it's going to be a 60" poly wing on a stick. Wouldn't mind having the plan for my next scrap balsa pile though.
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 01:12 PM
jfv
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PM me your e-mail address and I'll send it to you.
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Old Feb 01, 2010, 12:32 AM
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Spring, TX
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I got a chance to scratchbuild a few gliders this weekend. The two small ones perform as expeced. The red one does well in wind. The other small one is a little unpredictable upon launch, but a straight throw and steady release, it tracks well and has incredible speed and distance for such a small glider. It's built like a floater, but by no means does it float.

The big guy I had a bit of trouble with. I tried several balance/trim combinations, but at faster speeds, it just seemed to have too much lift (if thats possible), I added a metal binder right under CG and it climbs, and levels out and glides very well under medium toss. I can't really determine what I need to do with it.
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