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Old Feb 12, 2011, 10:59 PM
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25% Lanier Laser diet and completion

I bought a framed-up and primered Lanier Laser on eBay for 47.00. It was a local pick-up, so I drove the day to get it. Upon seeing it I was reminded of how pics on the internet always leave something to be desired! At least it had plans, a cowl, canopy, gear and wheel pants. I figured I could do something with it, so I brought it home.
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 11:12 PM
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Next, I assessed the structure as I took it apart. The sides are luan and the thing was really heavy. The abs turtledeck is bondoed in place and the tail was fully sheeted with 1/16th. The design itself made for some heavy construction if anything but contest wood was used and so I embarked on a plan to lighten it after seeing a similar 33% model needing the same thing. I copied that modeler's techniques.
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 11:21 PM
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I sanded the whole structure down to the wood were possible to try to remove the primer and get a good idea about what was underneath. Finding the bondo, massive gaps and generally un-workmanlike construction made things seem dire. I added a big piece of filler to the leading edge of the stab and the trailing edge was repaired and a length of square stock added to it so I'd have something to put hinges into. This made me feel a little better.
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 11:28 PM
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Next I started routing holes out of the body. It was so heavy as to be unbelievable. Since I had seen Picard's, "33% Laser on a Diet", thread on Flying Giants, I became more bold and drew some round hole templates out of cardboard in various sizes. I simply traced them onto the models sides and used a sanding drum to carve them out by hand! Crude, but effective, I didn't have the neat router add-on for my Craftsman tool.
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 11:33 PM
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Now having some idea of what I could do as far as effectively lightening the structure, because I could FEEL the difference, I went for the tail surfaces. I need to remove as much weight aft of the CG as possible so I just stuck my fingers into the stab sheeting on the bottom to see where the sticks were and what it looked like from a construction standpoint.
Since the stab and rudder are square, I thought that lightening the things and leaving them attached would be easier than building a new tail, we'll see!
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Old Feb 13, 2011, 03:56 PM
Paul Pappas AMA 42520
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Chris, It looks like your putting it on a major Diet !
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Old Feb 14, 2011, 12:14 PM
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It sure needs it, Paul.
I'm going to cut the ABS turtledeck off next and use sticks for stringers, adding a few formers in between the front and back. The luan is the problem, plus the not so contest-grade balsa. Once I locate the wings, engine, pushrods and servos I'll cut it up some more.
I only get to work on it a few hours a week because it's in my crash-pad in St. Louis so I'll update each week or so.
Chris...
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Old Feb 14, 2011, 01:40 PM
Paul Pappas AMA 42520
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Chris, Luan plywood wasnít used in original Lanier Kits was it?
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Old Feb 14, 2011, 02:46 PM
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Hi Paul,
I have heard that the first years had nice ply and balsa and later they reverted to the less expensive, heavier wood selections!
Reminded me of my old Berkeley and Sterling kits...
I'm trying to get it into the 9's and am powering it with a 1.08. The wings are a real mess and I may have to have some cores made and build them new. That'll be a blessing and a huge weight savings there. It'll really up the expense though.
Chris...
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Old Feb 14, 2011, 03:16 PM
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Chris the reason I made the comment about the luan plywood was back then in my local area at least, many people scratched built these and used Luan for building the fuses.
You Brought back some memories for me from those days.
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Old Feb 15, 2011, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitstop000 View Post
Chris the reason I made the comment about the luan plywood was back then in my local area at least, many people scratched built these and used Luan for building the fuses.
You Brought back some memories for me from those days.

When was this kit most popular, Paul? I see a lot of them on different sites, but more so the 33%. I read two product reviews on one site and they were polar opposite. One from the early/mid 90's said the kit was filled with nice wood, the other referenced the luan and the kit's heavy weight. That was a few years after the first.
Chris...

PS I found those reviews. No dates, I must have dreamed that part. The one guy likes his, says it is light and uses an OS 90, (maybe that's how I dated it). The other guy, not so happy.
http://www.hdmfc.com/KitReviews/Laser2.html
http://www.hdmfc.com/KitReviews/LanLaser.html
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Old Feb 16, 2011, 08:41 AM
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i had one of these....can't remember exactly when but I think it was in the mid nineties. it's actually a nice flying airplane, and the look is unique. I finally had to give up on it after the second mid air. the luan is indeed heavy, (2x as heavy as lite ply) and you will benefit from the lightening, and was used in the original kits, both the 25% and 33%. I did the same thing - threw away the plastic turtle deck and went with stringers. looks much better. I flew mine with a webra 1.20, which was a good combo. 1.08 is okay, but vertical performance will likely be limited.

have fun.......
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 01:25 PM
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Thanks for the note, Kopter.
I found some NIB 1.08's for 75 and 80 bucks, so they became the engines for me. Some guys around have 1.08's and they seem like great engines for size and power, really impressive. One's an ASP and one is a Magnum. When it gets warm enough for break-in I'll see what the ASP has got.
Chris...
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Old Feb 19, 2011, 11:11 PM
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Today I had a couple of hours so i removed the turtledeck from the Laser. I cut three slots into the ABS where the formers are located and traced the shape onto a piece of paper.
Then , I cut that thing off. What a difference in weight. i'll use some bass stringers and lite ply for the formers, The plastic on the fin/stab intersection I'll probably leave on it.
Chris...
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Old Feb 20, 2011, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by stuntflyr View Post
When was this kit most popular, Paul?
Chris, Iím not going to be any help with a time line for you. I donít want to make a statement that Iím not 100% sure about.
I can tell you when Bubba started kitting (Lanier was known as an ARF company) the wood and kitís were of acceptable quality for the time.
I had a friend/mentor (RIP) that did build and field work for them, so I got to see a lot of these.
I have to wonder if latter to cut cost they didnít use Luan instead of light ply since he advocated the use of Luan to save money for the scratch builders.
He overpowered everything so weight was never an issue.
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