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Old Jan 15, 2010, 01:05 AM
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B. Bradley's Avatar
Houston, Texas
Joined Sep 2007
232 Posts
Build Log
1957 Tri-Pacer parkflyer 36 1/2" span

I had no idea that Pat Trittle has been working on a 50" Tri-Pacer. Dang!

I have built Pat's 40" Tiger Moth (fly's like a Moth should), Rob Caso's Fairy Swordfish ( Heavier than the Moth, but fly's great!), and while I was working on Pat's (Dumas) Dragon Rapide, something was telling me that no one has built a parkflyer Tri-Pacer. Since I have owned and flown a 1957 and a 1958
Tri-Pacer's for about 12 years, I thought I would like to design a stand off scale electric parkflyer.

In all of my Tri-Pacer "stuff" I had factory 3-views, parts catalogs, photos of my own planes, and a print of the original Piper factory blueprint of the 1957 paint scheme. The Monogram plastic model box is also this scheme.


Armed with 3-views, CAD, and my memory I laied out a Tri-Pacer with flaps, shock absorbing nose gear, later instrument panel with the "hump", and one piece wing allowing cavernous interior space.

My one big worry was the cowling. The thing that is the focal point of the Tri-Pacer is the unusual cowling. I was so worried about it that I started on it first. I built a cowl from balsa and lite-ply. Keith Sparks pulled the one piece cowl for Pat's Tiger Moth, so I sent mine to him. "Sparky" did his magic and I had a cowling to be proud of, and it's all in one piece. It's beautiful.

With the cowling problem done, I sent the parts to Manzano Lazer and
Charlie and Vicki did their lazer magic. Sure beats the Dremel jig saw.

The model structure was completed, covered with Polyspan, and given one coat of Polyacrylic. I wanted to fly it in this unfinished state to find any problems before any detail painting.

Monday and Tuesday were rain cold and wind. Wednesday was to be cold and wind, Thursday and the rest of the week was rain wind and cold.

I had to fly, so wednesday with cold and wind it was. We fly from an old concrete street with concrete curbs. Directional stability is a must! If you
hit the curb it's all over. Crosswinds are exciting.

Nosewheel steering is very positive, so takeoff was uneventful. Climb into the wind no problem, power back couple of trim clicks to the ailerons, and hands off. Slow fly hover into the wind, finally loops and rolls, and a greaser landing.
About 8 minutes for the maiden flight. I was thrilled!!

I am going to finish the model in the original Piper factory 1957 Paint scheme
with cream and red trim.

Specs are: wingspan 36 1/2", flying weight 20 oz, Motor Turnigy 2209/28, ESC Hobby King 20A, prop 8 x 4, 5 servos, includes flaps. battery 3s 1500 LiPo


The photos are random, they were not meant to be a build thread, but thought you would like to see them.

My plans are made from an old HP printer which prints 11 x 17 paper. A couple of sheets taped together is all I need. Works for me.

If any one is interested in a 36 1/2" sport park flier Tri-Pacer I can easily have the plans printed. The cowl is done, and the laser parts are done.
I think about $75 ought to cover the cowl, plans and laser cut parts.

The enclosed photos were not meant to be a "build Thread" but just personal photos. As you can tell I am not a photographer hince the only photo of the Maiden flight had to be enhanced with Photoshop.

If you read this far, thanks, and let me know what you think.

Bill Bradley
Tri-Pacer 57
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 08:45 AM
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supercubman's Avatar
Slaton, TX
Joined Oct 2008
735 Posts
Bill, Awesome job on your little TP!! Your cowl might have been hard to do, but it looks like you pulled it off very well. How does the little bugger react when you put full flaps down? I will bet it almost just sits in the air. Keep up the good work, would love to see you continue to design and build!!

Trey
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 02:08 PM
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Houston, Texas
Joined Sep 2007
232 Posts
Trey, thanks for the encourageing words. No I couldn't try the flaps. My 2.4 transmitter
suddenly deciced not to "bind" to any of my receivers. I wanted to hit my one day weather window, so used a 72mh 4 channel receiver, so no flap channel.
Also with the wind gust we had not sure this would have been the time to test the flaps.

Going to get some paint on her this weekend. Bill
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 03:17 PM
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San Bernardino California U.S.A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tri-Pacer 57 View Post
I had no idea that Pat Trittle has been working on a 50" Tri-Pacer. ...........

If you read this far, thanks, and let me know what you think.

Bill Bradley
Tri-Pacer 57
Yeah, Mr. Bradley,I read the whole thing, looked at the pics. found the rag and wiped the drool of the keybord before it shorted out, & am writting you this to ask you how to get your plans, the short kit, & of course the cowl cause yes, thats probobly the hardest part to get right......

Will check back on this thread, you say about 75 bucks or so, next month (when new funds become available) as they say Ill buy that for a dollar!

Thank You, Laramie.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 06:26 PM
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Houston, Texas
Joined Sep 2007
232 Posts
Laramie, wow! thanks for your interest. I am in the process of cleaning up my CAD drawings to make nice printed plans.

I would like your openion on this,--- do we really need parts sheets printed full size, or just maybe half size with their numbers for the purpose of locating them on the laser cut sheets? Just wondering...

Next month might work out just right..

Thanks Bill
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 07:10 PM
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San Bernardino California U.S.A.
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To Tri Pacer 57,

This whole laser cut thing is new to me (& I like it!) Guillow prints the part numbers on the wood before lasering (I built thier Folker DR1 & thats how it was), Bob Holman of San Bernardino, CA., Marks the parts by lightly laser-eching them, maybe ask him. i am not at my bench right now and cannt post the link, but he advertises in Flying Models magazine, google it?

Im used to scratch building, and anything is easier than that!

Yours in the Sport,

Laramie.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 07:43 PM
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United States, NJ, Browns Mills
Joined May 2005
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Don't feel bad. I just finished my TriPacer around Christmas! My wife asked me to build her one, to compliment her ElectroCub. It hasn't flown yet as my wife won't let me test fly it until she has a full set of pictures of it.

Area: 252 sq. in.
Span: 37 in.
Weight: 17 oz.
Power: Skatty 450XT on a 3S lipo (approx 1300 MaH). No flaps; we have a long runway and the wind is usually blowing.

The color scheme is completely bogus, with her AMA number as the N-number.

CD
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 08:11 PM
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Slaton, TX
Joined Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tri-Pacer 57 View Post
Laramie, wow! thanks for your interest. I am in the process of cleaning up my CAD drawings to make nice printed plans.

I would like your openion on this,--- do we really need parts sheets printed full size, or just maybe half size with their numbers for the purpose of locating them on the laser cut sheets? Just wondering...

Next month might work out just right..

Thanks Bill
Bill, FWIW a parts listing is really helpful. IMO it does not need to be very big, just large enough to ID the parts.

Trey

P.S. I think it cost extra to have the parts laser etched.
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Old Jan 16, 2010, 12:23 AM
TeachSeventh
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Houston
Joined Dec 2008
121 Posts
Not a Hangar-Queen

This is one well designed Tri-Pacer. Definitely, not a hangar-queen. The ailerons are very responsive and the rudder tracks her right where you point her. Really good motor, prop and battery combination makes for a stand-off scale park flyer that can even handle a stiff breeze really well. Can hardly wait to see what she looks like with some painted clothes on... Congrats, Bill.

Joe
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Old Jan 17, 2010, 10:42 AM
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Aye. She does fly quite nicely. Another excellent job sir!
Clif
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Old Jan 20, 2010, 05:06 PM
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San Bernardino California U.S.A.
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I.D.ing the parts......

Quote:
Originally Posted by supercubman View Post
Bill, FWIW a parts listing is really helpful. IMO it does not need to be very big, just large enough to ID the parts.

Trey

P.S. I think it cost extra to have the parts laser etched.
Youre so right about IDing, Trey, the laser eching Bob H. does is probobly because he does his own laser cutting, offers laser eching, so he probably doesnt charge himself too much.....
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Old Jan 22, 2010, 03:02 AM
TeachSeventh
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Houston
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Weather Looks Good

Hi Bill the weather is shaping up good for the weekend. Hope to see you get some flights on your Tri Pacer now that you got the paint and trim on.
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Old Jan 22, 2010, 12:58 PM
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Houston, Texas
Joined Sep 2007
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Well, It's starting to look like a Tri-Pacer. Working on the wing struts now, hope to be in the air again Sunday.
The plans are ready to print, I have Sparky's cowl, and revised laser parts are being sent to Manzano. Should have complete package in about 2 weeks.
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Old Jan 22, 2010, 01:08 PM
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About 2 weeks.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tri-Pacer 57 View Post
Well, It's starting to look like a Tri-Pacer. Working on the wing struts now, hope to be in the air again Sunday.
The plans are ready to print, I have Sparky's cowl, and revised laser parts are being sent to Manzano. Should have complete package in about 2 weeks.
Good to know, keep us up=dated,when & how to order......
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Old Jan 25, 2010, 01:51 PM
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Houston, Texas
Joined Sep 2007
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Tri-Pacer completed

Sunday was suppose to be flying day, but wind was awful all day.

Tri-Pacer completed, couldn't fly, so took pictures.

Dying to fly and get some aerial shots. Want to test the flaps.

Bill
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