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Old Oct 06, 2003, 08:00 PM
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FrankW's Avatar
Portland Intl, Oregon, United States
Joined Dec 2002
1,912 Posts
Yippee!
My new Micro V canopy came today

I have been anticipating the arrival of my new Micro V canopy for a few days now. This canopy looks great. It's a sleeker design than the stock canopy and should be a little more aerodynamic. GMRO used .020 plastic. It doesn't feel quite like lexan, feels like PETG. Maybe Ron can enlighten us further on the plastic type. The canopy should definitly hold up well to normal use, but I wouldn't count on it standing up to a hard crash very well. But at the inexpensive price of only $25, it's easy to replace.

PETG tends to be slightly heavier and less crash resiliant than Lexan, but it's a whole lot easier to mold and a whole lot cheaper than Lexan. Lexan requires at least an hour of predrying at about 200 degrees F (lexan is hygroscopic), then needs to be heated up to about 400 degrees to become formable. PETG however doesn't require predrying and molds at about 250-300 degrees. PETG is also about 1/5th the cost of Lexan. So, for producing canopies on a small scale, PETG is definitly excelent. You can make far more canopies in a shorter time at a lower cost, which then can be reflected in the final price of the product. Having molded R/C car bodies I know that Vacuum forming is a big pain in the behind.

Also, with PETG, do not use the score-and-fold method of cutting! Use lexan scissors.

I noticed no thin spots in the plastic while I looked it over. The molding of this canopy is of excelent quality, that helps in keeping it strong.

In my opinion, this is an excelent product for an excelent price. I can't wait for my liquid mask to dry and paint mine.

*thumbs up*

-Frank
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Old Oct 07, 2003, 06:43 PM
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Millville, N.J. U.S.A.
Joined Sep 2001
175 Posts
Congratulations ! I'm glad to hear a good report on the Micro-V canopy. I ordered one just over a week ago, but it hasn't arrived yet. After reading your post, I'm even more impatient.
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Old Oct 07, 2003, 07:13 PM
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Russellton, PA
Joined Oct 2002
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Thank you Frank for the kind words. Between you and I, this is very close to the same reply I gave on the Yahoo V-E Group. BUT I figured some may not subscribe to that or visa-versa.

Anyway, I guess you let the cat out of the bag... <VBG> I tried to find a material that, as you said soo well, was very cost effective but gave great properties for the modeler. Small runs are difficult to price for retail. I'd say if the canopy was priced @ $60.00 each none would sell. The lower target cost for retail really had a large impact on what materials and such would be chose for this product.

Yes the material is clear PETG and it is .030" thick. I did make some very lightweight .020" thick canopies for myself for a very light canopy while I was R&D'ing the material to be used but I decided on the .030", which is what all Micro-V's that have been sold so far are made from. The .020" didn't hold the shape as well as I'd like as the longer side areas below the rear body mounts had waves in them. Like a car with poor body work. The .030" is better at holding it's shape in that area and it was not that much heavier than the .020". Yes the .020" was cheaper yet but I didn't want to sacrifice the final product quality.

AND yup, DO NOT use the score and snap method for PETG. The instructions that come included with the canopy state very clearly not to. We sometimes do it when we manufacture the Micro-V but we are very good at cutting with blades. Personally, I still prefer the lexan scissors. Also lexan is more expensive and it does take a lot more temperature to form it as you stated.

We have really maxed out our production methods to give a great looking canopy and a great locking flange as well. The tooling cost me quite a bit. NO it's not a "bondo" or wooden tool. It an aircraft grade epoxy resin tool, actually 2 of them...one for each half of the canopy. It was OVER KILL but the quality canopies it produces speaks for itself. I've even been able to take canopy halves from different lots of materials and production
runs and pair them up. ALL of them align perfectly. Guess we got it right! <ROFL>

Thanks again for the explanation and your views of the Micro-V. I
appreciate it for sure. And I can't wait to see your final painted Micro-V!

__________
Best regards,

Ron Osinski
aka - GMRO
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Old Oct 07, 2003, 09:19 PM
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FrankW's Avatar
Portland Intl, Oregon, United States
Joined Dec 2002
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I should be laying down the paint on Thursday. I think I've decided on my paint scheme, should look good.

The thickness of the plastic at the canopy is about .020; I can see how you used .030 due to the stretching of the plastic. So, I bet if you used .020 plastic, then it would result in being .010 to .015 inch thickness at the canopy. That would be way too thin to hold up well.

I prefer the score and fold method myself, but it doesn't work well with PETG. I've used the method successfully with some car bodies I've molded, but I've also had many rips and tears too.

I use .060 lexan when making face shields for my helmet I wear when streetluging. It's a big pain to work with. I usually let it pre-dry for 2 hours, just to make sure I get no air bubbles in it. Poor visability on a streetluge is just not an option. But I need to use lexan because it's very impact resistant and shatter proof (it's what bullet-proof glass is made out off).

The molding is excelent. Did you use a wooden prototype mold and make a male plug, then use that to make a resin mold? When I was working on car bodies, I was looking into "tooling-resin" (the stuff that's used to make molds for molding tools).

I plan on resurrecting my small vacuum former sometime and making myself a little scale fuselage for my Voyager as a winter project.

-Frank
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Old Oct 07, 2003, 09:46 PM
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Honolulu Intl, Hawaii, United States
Joined Feb 2003
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sorry to crash the thread but i had to throw in my pic of my VE before I sold it. I was very happy to have found a nice looking canopy for a reasonable price. It looked sooooo much better than the stock one!
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Old Oct 08, 2003, 07:19 PM
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Russellton, PA
Joined Oct 2002
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WOW! That's a nice looking V-E and Micro-V...Astro!

Frank,

Balsa was used to make the plug of the Micro-V canopy. Then it was cut in half... The balsa halves were then reverse cast in molding plaster. The molding resin for the tool was put into the female plaster halves. I still have the plaster halves incase we need to make another set of tools. BUT the balsa bucks were ruined while getting them out of the female plaster reverses.

The finished tools have all the outlines in them as the balsa had it on them so all the lines were carried over to the final tools. The only thing we added were vacuum holes and the grommet holes once we pulled the first set of halves off the tools. We cut out the first set of halves and taped them together for a trial fit. The canopy worked super on the heli. IT FIT PERFECTLY!

Now all is done and we make them as I run out. <G> I've got a major distributor now working with me and the canopy is getting more and more exposure. Really, it's been available for over a year now. BUT it all takes time!

We made a nice aluminum clamp frame to hold the blanks that are ready to form. I have a shop vac for vacuum and simply use a kitchen over for heating the blanks up. It usually takes 3 of us to make 60 canopies about 3.5 hours. That's forming, trimming and packaging with grommets and instructions. Not bad for an evenings work really. <G> 60 is our magic number with yields and grommets and bags. To date...all has worked. I don't think we lost more than 4 total canopies in the 3 production runs we've made soo far.

Thanks for the interest!

___________
Best regards,

Ron Osinski
aka - GMRO
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Old Oct 08, 2003, 09:13 PM
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FrankW's Avatar
Portland Intl, Oregon, United States
Joined Dec 2002
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Quote:
Originally posted by GMRO
Balsa was used to make the plug of the Micro-V canopy. Then it was cut in half... The balsa halves were then reverse cast in molding plaster. The molding resin for the tool was put into the female plaster halves. I still have the plaster halves incase we need to make another set of tools. BUT the balsa bucks were ruined while getting them out of the female plaster reverses.
Thought so, but how did you overcome the grain of the balsa?

60 in 3.5 hours! Wow, that's quite a feat! With the good quality of this canopy, that's awesome.

I'm almost ready to lay down the paint, the mask is almost dry.

-Frank
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Old Oct 09, 2003, 06:06 PM
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Russellton, PA
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Hey Frank,

Sanding sealer was put on the balsa bucks. Clay was added to the balsa halves to outline the flange and the windshield lines and side window areas as well.

Once the plaster female reverses were made from the balsa bucks the grain disappeared. The reverses were detailed to remove any flaws and to make sure the windshield and canopy lines showed up.

The finals tools came out of the reverses perfectly as a mold release and light gel-coat and was applied to the female plaster surfaces. No flaws or grain marks at all were transferred. The final tools were also detailed once de-molded from the reverses. The molds look like gray PEWTER metal. The vacuum holes were added with micro size drill bits in places. Most holes were cast right into the tooling resins with very small diameter wire. The wire is coated so once the tooling resin sets up it can be pulled out leaving tiny voids. Each canopy line and detailed area has 4 or more vacuum holes that run from the surface to the backside of the tools. Then the tools were mounted on a base. WE form 1 blank at a time and we get both halves.

Since the tools work soo easy and perfectly...a little spring in your step and some elbow grease and we make 60 in 3.5 hours as said.

I'm very happy with the final products. I'm also glad all the work we've done with it is noticed by the trained/interested eye!

Thanks...

__________
Best regards,

Ron Osinski
aka - GMRO
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Old Oct 11, 2003, 12:58 PM
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United States, CO, Durango
Joined Sep 2001
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I put one on my VE this summer and I really like them. I modified the aft window to sweep it back some and changed the look of the front window. It does not weigh anymore then the stock one butchered for weight savings but I think its easier to track in the sky due to the increase in width and profile shape.

Great product GRMO!
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Old Oct 12, 2003, 10:46 PM
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FrankW's Avatar
Portland Intl, Oregon, United States
Joined Dec 2002
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Almost finished with my paint job. It should be done by tomorrow evening. But I have to remember not to let my girlfriend pick out colors anymore. They're not bad, just not me.

-Frank
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Old Oct 19, 2003, 10:03 AM
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ozoneone's Avatar
NYC
Joined Jun 2003
756 Posts
Paint job

Let's see how it came out, Frank. That line about your girlfriend made me curious. I wanted to add a line in my wedding vows regarding such decisions... she didn't go for it.

So if you paint the halves first & join later, isn't the glue just joining the paint? Do you yse CA or "airplane" canopy adhesive or something else? Can you use Pactra window tint on the windshield? I'd like to try a Micro-V.
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Old Oct 19, 2003, 10:21 AM
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Russellton, PA
Joined Oct 2002
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Hi Ozonene,

I've used Pactra windshield tint on my Micro-V canopies and it works super. YES, I do paint the halves separately and then CA them with THIN. YOU are a little correct that the paint is being glued but the way the FLANGE locks and the way the instructions say to apply the CA for WICKING purposes from the front or outside of the edge...it will make a bond on the edge of the material and it really locks. I've purposely squished my canopy to test the bond and it won't break.

You could use a shoe-goo or E-6000 type glue from the inside but you will add weight and it may look messy. I've assembled close to 10 canopies while testing and making some for myself...the CA works super on a painted surface. You can also assemble the canopy and paint the outside and clear it. That is also mentioned in the instructions. I prefer the inside as car bodies are done.

FRANK! SO, grace us with the paint job! <G>

You can buy the Micro-V at rcmodelsports.com or heliproz.com Both have them in stock...

THANKS for the continued interest!

__________
Best regards,

Ron Osinski
aka - GMRO
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Old Oct 19, 2003, 12:55 PM
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Portland Intl, Oregon, United States
Joined Dec 2002
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LOL, alright, alright. I'll take pictures tonight. But first... off to work :-P


-Frank
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 03:31 PM
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Honolulu Intl, Hawaii, United States
Joined Feb 2003
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Yea, me too, the more time goes by, my imagination's running wild and I'm already thinking pink and lavendar with daisy's on it LOL. I'm curious too. haha
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 03:35 PM
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FrankW's Avatar
Portland Intl, Oregon, United States
Joined Dec 2002
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Pictures are posted here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...hreadid=161353

-Frank
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