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Old Oct 29, 2012, 09:16 AM
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I preferred F, then B designs
Too late for my vote I guess, but it looked like his mind was made up from the start
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Old Oct 29, 2012, 11:12 AM
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Yeah sorry the polls are closed on the fuselage voting. You're not alone in choosing the more traditional looking profiles. B & F were, & perhaps that was to be expected, the most popular. They both look like modern sleek fiber-glass sailplanes.

Nope my mind wasn't made up from the start. I spent quite some time reviewing everyone's input, posted new designs, it was a process. Ultimately I went with this design because I realized something a little different, a little retro, might be more fun. Modern scale looking sailplanes are a dime a dozen, I already own a couple & while I enjoy flying them, I'm pretty sure the uniqueness of this design will start some interesting conversations.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 10:12 PM
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Hurricanes are zero fun!
Six days without power! Yeah that sucked but I can't complain. Lots of folks in my area don't even have houses anymore. Other than losing everything in the refrigerator there's no real damage at my place. The power finally came on a few days ago so I'm back in my workshop futzing with my airplane again.

Okay fine

I still feel these metal brackets would have been an elegant, effective, simple & strong solution for attaching the wing to the pylon but enough of you have grunted & grumbled about them that I've decided to go with a more traditional plywood/glass approach...



Before I can even start building the wing-saddle though, I need to figure out my wing-bolt system. I chose to install three hard-points on the wing, two right at the spar & one buried in the trailing-edge...




The carbon-bars are firmly attached to the structure using epoxy & Kevlar thread. This all looks a bit ugly right now but it'll get pretty again once its integrated into the wing-saddle...




Added the trailing edge & test fitted the rear wing-bolt. In this top view you can still see how the Kevlar is wrapped around the main-spar...




Wing Saddle

With my mounting system in place it was time to turn my attention towards the wing-saddle...



Testing fitting...




Before I can start adding fillets & glass, I need to get the tail-boom mounted. I'm using a double slot technique here which has worked nicely for me in the past...




Here's how she looks with a Bubble Dancer tail-boom attached...





Lets make this chunk of wood even more complicated...




Added some Kevlar wrapped carbon-fiber. The horizontal one to reinforce where the tail boom mounts, the vertical one to give the pylon some added support...




Here's how the wing-saddle is looking...




Gluing the pylon to the saddle...




The next step is to lay down some fiber-glass. Then I'll add some 1/2" balsa either side of the pylon & do some shaping. Will post more soon.

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Old Nov 11, 2012, 08:13 PM
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Hairy sticky mess
Ahh how we love working with fiber-glass. Here's a second layer of 2oz glass ready for the epoxy. I'm using 3M contact spray to tack it in place, makes life a lot easier...



After a little more glassing & maybe some triangle stock, I'm planning to add balsa fairings either side of the pylon to hide all this ugliness. Before I can do that I need to attach the pylon to the pod...



Yeap that's one unusual looking fuselage, I'm liking it...



I also glued the tail-boom on there, no turning back now...



I used slow set epoxy for most of today's assembly so I'm going to let this setup good & solid. That's a wrap for today.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 12:35 AM
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Trimming some triangle stock...



On its own, the triangle balsa doesn't add much strength...



What it does do however is angle the fiberglass at 45 which should add a lot of strength...



I had some carbon-fiber thread I've been itching to use on something...



I placed three strips of it under the glass cloth. Man & I thought fiber-glass was difficult to work with, major pain in the butt trying to get the CF thread to lay down neatly. As you can see I wasn't too successful but it doesn't need to look pretty to do its job...



Time to hide all this structural stuff & make her pretty again...



I thought carving the turtle-deck on the first version of this sailplane was a challenge. I don't even what to think about how many hours I spent today whittling, sanding & test fitting these pieces...



The pylon balsa sidings are just roughly shaped at this point but she's starting to look like something, pretty pleased with how she's looking...



So just to recap here's how the new wing-saddle was put together...



Tomorrow I hope to finish shaping the pylon...

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Old Nov 16, 2012, 07:27 PM
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Putty? That's cheating!
Filling the less than perfect areas with HobbyLite wood putty...



After sanding...



I'm probably going to paint the fuselage rather than cover it so these lightening holes need to go away...



The balsa plugs are lighter than the hardwood ply so I suppose they're still lightening holes...



Finished up the wing-bolt system, that's good to go...



Next step is to glass the entire thing with some lightweight cloth. Looks like I don't have enough so will head out tomorrow & get some more...

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Old Nov 17, 2012, 09:34 PM
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3/4oz glass
From experience I've learned, no matter how careful you are with fiber-glass, the epoxy just ends up getting everywhere. So first things first, I covered my spiffy Bubble Dancer tail-boom in plastic to protect it...



I sprayed the fuselage with 3M contact cement then laid down the glass...



I'd always thought fiber-glass was heavy stuff until I tried working with 3/4oz glass. This stuff is like silk, its virtually weightless...



Much of the weight however comes from the epoxy finishing resin but daub most of it off with paper towels & you're left with a nice lightweight fiber-glass covering...



This'll setup overnight then tomorrow I'll see about producing a nice paintable finish...

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Old Nov 18, 2012, 07:06 PM
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Smells like wall
Well the fiber-glassing is cured & looking good. After a light sanding it was time to fill the weave so I can paint her. As I've mentioned before, I'm somewhat new to the glassing scene, so I did some reading up on the subject. Apparently there's no shortage of ways to produce a smooth finish, the one that grabbed me involved dry-wall spackling...



Right out of the tub this stuff is really thick. I mixed in some water until I had a creamy consistency somewhere between milk & yogurt. Then I slapped on a couple of coats...



I ended up with brush strokes in the finish but those should sand right out. I just need enough spackle on there to fill the glass' weave. Any more is just dead weight...



While I was at it I also did the glassed areas of the wing...



Well once again I need to let this dry. That's all for today.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 07:45 PM
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Nodd

Wow, nice custom work. I can't wait for this maiden....
I'm a huge fan!!!!


I PM'd you about a fuselage I'm thinking of making...
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 08:25 PM
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gorges, Nodd.
you are an amazing designer and craftsman.
Ben
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 07:50 PM
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Thanks guys.

Both Wet & Dry?
This should look familiar if you've ever tried using fine sandpaper. It clogs quickly & then bad things happen to your finish...



Ordinarily I'd wet-sand but this spackling seems to be water soluble even after its dried. The wet sandpaper was producing a big white mess & seemed to be dissolving the spackling rather than sanding it. So I did some head-scratching & came up with a wet & dry system. I'd sand dry & then every few minutes I'd wash the paper with water & a sponge to unclog it. Then using an old hand-towel I dried the paper, then back to sanding. That seemed to work well...



The thin layer of spackling once sanded did exactly what I'd hoped. It filled the fiber-glass' weave beautifully without adding any real weight at all...



This may look rough but the surface is actually silky smooth. Spackling is my new best friend...



Paint Time
Next went on a dusting of primer...



Light sanding between coats & I'm blown away with how nice & smooth this is coming out, couldn't be happier...



Tomorrow I'll get back to construction, need to get the canopy mounted, maybe install the electronics. I also need to start thinking about the tail-feathers. Fun Fun.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:05 PM
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how do you make it look soooo simple!

If I had the skills like that, I would never buy a plane from a manufacturer again....
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexusFPV View Post
how do you make it look soooo simple!

If I had the skills like that, I would never buy a plane from a manufacturer again....
While my skills are not on par with Mr. Nodd, they have slowly improved over the 15 years that I have been building.

You could be right there with him, but you have to start somewhere. Use this thread as inspiration. Go buy a wood kit or set of plans and a stack of wood and give it a go. You will never know how good you are till you try.


Sorry Nodd. Didn't mean to hijack the thread for a random "Bring Building Back" rant.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 05:34 PM
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I totally agree. I started out building free-flight balsa kits, moved onto RC, did some kit bashing & next thing I knew, I was designing & building airplanes from scratch. These days foam is more prevalent but regardless the material used, I'd encourage folks to try their hand at building. For me, building is as much fun as flying, I enjoy both equally. In my opinion, if you're not building, you're missing out on a big part of this hobby. Give it a try.


On a different note, look what RCAerotowing posted today...



This sure looks familiar...



Someone stole my design, went back in time & built a full-scale!
I swear I've never seen this airplane but it sure does look a lot like what I'm building here. I'm digging what they did with the tail, may have to copy that look. Especially like the way the v-stab protrudes down below the boom. As we figured out earlier in this build, some form of tail-skid maybe necessary to keep the fuselage level during landing. Its interesting they came up with more or less the same solution. I like it!

Anyway for those in the US, happy Turkey day! Lots of flying this weekend so not sure how much I'll get done, will post more soon.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Nodd View Post
n my opinion, if you're not building, you're missing out on a big part of this hobby. Give it a try.
Couldn't agree more...
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