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Old Aug 23, 2010, 01:38 AM
building building building!
aerophilia's Avatar
Melbourne Australia
Joined Jun 2006
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Build Log
Great Planes Super Decathlon

I inherited this kit about a year ago from a good mate of mine. It had been in his garage for a while, about 80% finished. There was a bit of hanger rash that needed some attention, but that was all easily fixed and now I feel like I'm on the home stretch.

The wings, fuse and tail sections were essentially complete. After fixing the hanger rash, I have made the wheel pants and glued the tail sections in today. It's starting to look great.

I have a Turnigy Plush 80 amp sec, Turnigy 50-55 600kv motor which I plan on running with 4S 4000mah batteries. I have 2 batteries, and depending on the weight, I will connect the batteries in parallel and will hopefully get some seriously long flight times.

Wingspan is 64 inches, fuse is 45 inches, AUW should be 6-6.5 pounds. Just by doing a quick weigh of all my partsI should be around the 6.25 pound mark with one battery.
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Last edited by aerophilia; Aug 23, 2010 at 01:58 AM.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 03:47 AM
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Looks great Mate. Can't wait to see this thing take to the skies after such a long time collecting dust.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 11:23 AM
Air, Ground & Water
freechip's Avatar
Canada, ON, Rockland
Joined Aug 2008
24,588 Posts
I was just in my LHS yesterday and saw either the exact same thing or very similar, almost pull the trigger. Looking good, nice work.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 08:22 PM
building building building!
aerophilia's Avatar
Melbourne Australia
Joined Jun 2006
5,158 Posts
LOL, I'll let you know how it flies Freechip!! I just had a look on the Great Planes website, and couldn't see it listed as a kit anymore. They do a bigger one now, 89" wingspan. So looks like this kit is out of production. Any idea when you bought it Rawdy?? I think it must be a "collectors item" now
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 08:24 AM
building building building!
aerophilia's Avatar
Melbourne Australia
Joined Jun 2006
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Although it doesn't really look like much, I feel like I've done a lot in the last couple of days!

The tail is completely glued in. I have filled in some fiddley bits around the tail and sanded them to suit. I've cut the hole in the wing for the aileron servo. Trimmed the cowl to fit, and cut out the motor shaft and cooling holes.

Tonight I started on the motor mount. Had to mount a piece of ply off the firewall to offset the motor. Attaching the motor directly to the firewall just didn't work because of how high the motor sits. The only problem is the motor doesn't exactly line up with the cowl yet because those enormous washers get in the way of the X mount. I'll get some smaller washers tomorrow and everything should be fine.
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 10:19 AM
Air, Ground & Water
freechip's Avatar
Canada, ON, Rockland
Joined Aug 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerophilia View Post
Any idea when you bought it Rawdy?? I think it must be a "collectors item" now
The one I saw also look like it mite be a getting rid of stock kinda deal BUT not 100% will check it out next time in LHS if its still there. Would be good addition to my PKZ Super Decathlon.
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 10:10 PM
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Melbourne Australia
Joined Jun 2006
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OK, the motor is now bolted on. It has lined up better than any motor/cowl combination I have ever put together. Lucky, as the hole in the cowl is only big enough for the motor to poke through. I may enlarge it a bit more.

Just getting the servos and pushrods organised. Won't get much done this weekend, daughters 4th birthday.
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Old Aug 29, 2010, 01:17 AM
Where did Steve go ?
Alexandra
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watching...
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Old Aug 29, 2010, 01:57 AM
building building building!
aerophilia's Avatar
Melbourne Australia
Joined Jun 2006
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Recovering from party pies and cake. Just did another coat of paint on the undercarriage.

Am about to wire up the speedy and see how the motor handles a 14x8 prop.

OK, the 14x8 prop gave me 45 amps and just under 700 watts. Not a freshly charged battery, so I'd expect a bit more on a fresh pack. Not exactly oozing with power, but should be fine. Should give me some decent flight times if I don't have to fly at full throttle all the time
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 11:39 AM
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Omaha, NE
Joined Jun 2004
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Decathlon

This is one of my favorite airplanes. I think it looks more scale than any other and now have my 3rd one. I hope you don't mind if I chime in with my experiences with it. I have seen many people over the years crash this one rather quickly and say it was a bad design.

This airplane has taught me a lot and will kick your butt if you don't fly it correctly. You will notice it has a symmetrical wing section, which makes it a great aerobatic airplane. In a spin, it doesn't self recover; does great snaps.
Flies inverted pretty well. On takeoff, though, it is tricky and will try to ground loop. You can't just push the throttle forward and expect it to track straight. I've had the best luck (on grass) holding up elevator to keep it straight until it actually flies off, then relax the elevator. I stay away from pavement if possible. I might suggest a buying a tailwheel assembly that will keep the tail a little higher up in the air (the type that has a spring, etc.).

I'm wondering if you are making a hatch or where your batteries will go?

Jim
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 11:05 PM
Where did Steve go ?
Alexandra
Joined Jul 2007
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Cool thanks for tips, im just about finished my 1/4 scale and wondered how it would differ from a cub.

shame the thread owner is so slow :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lear45 View Post
This is one of my favorite airplanes. I think it looks more scale than any other and now have my 3rd one. I hope you don't mind if I chime in with my experiences with it. I have seen many people over the years crash this one rather quickly and say it was a bad design.

This airplane has taught me a lot and will kick your butt if you don't fly it correctly. You will notice it has a symmetrical wing section, which makes it a great aerobatic airplane. In a spin, it doesn't self recover; does great snaps.
Flies inverted pretty well. On takeoff, though, it is tricky and will try to ground loop. You can't just push the throttle forward and expect it to track straight. I've had the best luck (on grass) holding up elevator to keep it straight until it actually flies off, then relax the elevator. I stay away from pavement if possible. I might suggest a buying a tailwheel assembly that will keep the tail a little higher up in the air (the type that has a spring, etc.).

I'm wondering if you are making a hatch or where your batteries will go?

Jim
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Old Oct 01, 2010, 02:09 AM
building building building!
aerophilia's Avatar
Melbourne Australia
Joined Jun 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingrally View Post
shame the thread owner is so slow :P
Ha ha. You're funny. You can call me captain slow if you like. But then that would be pretty ironic See you Monday. Get something ready in the shed for me to finish

Lear 45, thanks for your post. That's all great info, especially the ground handling part. Will look into tail wheel assemblies and see what I can find.

Not sure on a hatch at the moment. It may be a wing off job, which isn't so bad, 2 bolts and at least the wing is on top!! I've seen someone make a hinge type arrangement on the windscreen that worked well for accessing the batteries. I'll investigate that a bit later. There is heaps of room in front of the servo tray for batteries. It's a nice big fuse. Just depends where the cog needs to be as to how far forward/back they need to sit.

The build is going well. I've been distracted by an ARF at the moment I'm trying to get ready for a fly-in in a couple of weeks. Then it's back to the decathlon.

Is your electric? And can you give some indication of where your cog is and your throws?

Thanks, A.
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Old Oct 01, 2010, 04:46 PM
Go Dawgs!!!!!!!
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USA, NC, Clayton
Joined Feb 2001
5,881 Posts
Set the cg on this one generously nose heavy, and dont use more than the recommened elevator throw... this airplane LOVES to snap roll. And Lear is 100% right about the tailwheel, get a cb associates or similar leaf spring one. My theory is that during takeoff roll, the tailwheel leaves the ground before the vertical stab/rudder gets adequate airflow, and there the groundloop begins. The raised tail helps get the air over the stab, and typicly the tailwheel steering is not as sensative. I've owned two of these, and always flew off pavement, never had a takeoff issue after figgering out the tailwheel thing. Lost the second electric one in an inverted spin because I forgot the cg was so sensative.
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Old Oct 02, 2010, 05:46 AM
Where did Steve go ?
Alexandra
Joined Jul 2007
3,312 Posts
Hurry up you have two weeks to have this ready for swan hill.
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Old Dec 11, 2010, 06:07 PM
building building building!
aerophilia's Avatar
Melbourne Australia
Joined Jun 2006
5,158 Posts
Well it's only been 2 months since I've dome anything Moving house tends to take up all of your building time. But! I have at last managed to cover the wings. It's really my first attempt at covering anything this big. And although there are a few imperfections, I'm pretty happy with the result.

All that's really left to do is,

Mount the servos in the fuse
Glue in the control rod sleeves in the fuse and cut to length
Make a battery tray
Sand and cover the fuse.

There's a slight chance this may be done before christmas........slight

At the moment it's quite nose heavy. I'm hoping the film and control surface will balance it out a bit. I don't want to have to put the battery too far back in the fuse. Will make it hard to get to.
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