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Old May 15, 2013, 01:13 PM
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United States, TX, Fort Worth
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Sophisticated Lady turned High Performance Mama

Yesterday I got a Sophisticated Lady ARF basically as a bonus in a purchase deal. Well, of course I can't just build it out of the box, so last night I added ailerons and flaps and am in the process of adding the servos. I've read mixed things about converting these, but didn't find anything difinitive...

My plan is:

Ailerons and servos added...

Wing polyhedral changed to only the dihedral of the wingtips and use carbon fiber spars in lieu of the metal one...

I'm going to use mini servos instead of standard

And finally I'm wondering if I cut some material out of the rear side panels of the fuselage... Will that reduction of weight do anything to benefit the flight?

I'm not sure... I think I'll fly it this weekend and just see what needs to happen from there.

Anyway... Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated!
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Old May 15, 2013, 07:06 PM
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I wouldn't cut anything out of the fuse sides. They are fairly important for combating the twisting forces generated by the tail surfaces, especially on a t-tail. And I don't think it will save you that much weight anyway. Don't get too aggressive with your launches unless you modify the whole spar. A better wing rod isn't going to do much without at least shear webs and carbon spar caps on the inner panels.
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Old May 15, 2013, 08:53 PM
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Hamilton, CANADA
Joined Sep 2009
333 Posts
fen... If you haven't had one of these before, the weakest part is the vertical fin.
What Edf.... said is a fact.. Keep the integrity of the fuse sides, some light fibreglass
cloth layed up on the sides and bottom at least is a good thing. Just as critical,
fix the fin onto the fuse with some 2 oz glass cloth as well. I've had a couple of the
stock birds and tho they are a marvelous soaring ship, you'll be repairing the rear of the fuze and fin until they can't be repaired anymore,...or you have to add pounds of weight
in the nose to overcome the repairs at the back end.

Luck'
Ray
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Old May 15, 2013, 09:57 PM
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thanks guys! Well, I've gotten pretty far tonight with the mods, and without any electronics and just the factory tail setup, it's pretty tail heavy... I'm definitely not going to cut the sides out... really good point about the twisting.

My hope for this experiment is that it becomes a good knock around sloper... but who knows...

Here are a few pics of where I am tonight with it. It looks cool!! I hope it flys! I'll have to set up a video of it when I go for the maiden.

So, what I've done to the wing is basically added a spacer in there that has a gap for my aileron and flap extensions... I used a 1/4" carbon rod, which you can't see, and then an 1/8" carbon rod in the back for a little extra support. I used epoxy to join the wings... and then got my servo mounts and all finished up... Once I hook everything up and test it, I'll re-cover the bottom of the wing... So far the fuselage is factory, per the instructions...

I'll definitely figure out something to reinforce the vertical stab. Anyway... It looks like I know what's going on... so far! I need to do some fairing and stuff... but anyway... I'm having fun with it.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:00 PM
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Ah... one more thing... the point of the spacer is 2 fold... first... I wanted to flatten the angle of the wing some... it still has a slight up angle, but not much... and the second... I needed somewhere for my servo cables to go.... We'll know pretty quick if this was a good idea or not. right?
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Old May 16, 2013, 12:47 AM
Fly R/C writer
Redlands, Ca
Joined Dec 2004
1,866 Posts
Hi Fen,

Bad idea. This model uses a flat bottom airfoil and as such, needs to maintain a slight positive angle of attack to fly correctly and stable. What will happen with your change is that the elevator will have to use more up trim to hold level at normal flight speed. Even if you move the CG back, it will not be as efficient as the original positive wing incidence. Almost all planes fly with some degree of positive wing incidence relative to the centerline of the fuselage. The GL needs it.

Mike Lee
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Old May 16, 2013, 08:55 AM
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It's still has some degree of up angle... I read on another forum that flattening the angle some on the SL or the GL would change the dynamic some, make it a bit faster, so I didn't go completely flat, but just a few degrees from where it was... Hopefully I haven't ruined it... Worst case scenario is that I have to spend $50 on a new set of wings and make this the most expensive 2 channel sailplane in the world... lol. On the other hand... Christopher Columbus sailing West was a bad idea too. I can't wait to finish this project and see what happens!

Thanks for all the input, keep it coming and I'll report back as well!
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Old May 16, 2013, 09:57 AM
Kurt Zimmerman ≡LSF 4461≡
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Montrose, NY
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I think you know something's amiss if your SL has a tendency to tuck. Worst case simply shim the LE back to where it is on the plans.
Kurt
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Old May 16, 2013, 11:22 AM
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Okay... Do you mean the dihedral of the wing or shim the angle of attack?
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Old May 16, 2013, 02:01 PM
Kurt Zimmerman ≡LSF 4461≡
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fencelake View Post
Okay... Do you mean the dihedral of the wing or shim the angle of attack?
AOA
Kurt
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Last edited by kzimmerm; May 16, 2013 at 04:35 PM.
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Old May 16, 2013, 02:59 PM
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Cool... Thanks!
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Old May 17, 2013, 09:57 PM
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This afternoon I did a couple of test flights... I first threw it just straight ahead, and it flew perfectly.... I did that a couple of times and then went up on the river flood plain damn, and pitched it off into the 18 kts wind, and it flew so well. It definitely likes the rudder when it slows down, but wow! I made a couple of tweaks to it, the canopy needs a better way to stay on, and the elevator is controlled by a cable... you don't get a lot of throw out of it, which didn't seem to be an issue, but visually it looks like it needs more.

Anyway, I'm ready to send it up on the high start this weekend. I will set up video somehow... I'm really impressed with the way it came out!
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Old May 18, 2013, 06:45 AM
Kurt Zimmerman ≡LSF 4461≡
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Montrose, NY
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That sounds great. Glad it all worked out.
Kurt
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