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Old Dec 06, 2012, 09:32 PM
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conrad907's Avatar
China, Guangdong, Shenzhen
Joined Feb 2012
402 Posts
Must agree, this plane has very beautiful lines to its design.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 09:27 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Christchurch,England
Joined Aug 2004
2,734 Posts
Sorry to have been off-air for so long: we had a very pleasant holiday in Lanzarote (aircraft highlight, standing under the flightpath only a few yards away from the end of the main airport runway...photo lowlight, leaving my camera on the path after a refreshment stop on a mountain and finding it gone when I returned to collect it). Then the day we got back, the hospital phoned to ask if I could go in for my "old man's eye" operation (cataract surgery) so I'm just reaching the end of my two weeks "no dusty environments" prohibition.

So my Christmas present to myself was a replacement camera rather than a Kindle Fire HD - ah well, wait till next year.

Instead of covering the forward fuselage with 1/32 as most seem to do, I opted for infilling with very soft 1/8th balsa, most of which will be sanded off. This technique is a favourite of Mike Stewart, whose holy grail Free Flight website is one of my favourites. I can't say I enjoy the process, as it is very time-consuming and frankly looks as rough as hell at the moment. Perhaps when I'm "cleared to sand" it will regain its former good looks.

A belated Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year.

Mike
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 10:00 AM
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Trevorh's Avatar
Hampshire, U.K.
Joined Jun 2008
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Hmm, I can see the merit in that technique when you just want to fill in one or two bays, eg for a pushrod exit, but when you want to fill in or cover the whole thing it does seem a lot of extra work - and is surely going to be heavier than 1/16in sheet, let alone 1/32?
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Old Jan 01, 2013, 12:53 PM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Christchurch,England
Joined Aug 2004
2,734 Posts
I'm pleased with the end result and after quite a lot of planing and sanding the forward fuselage is looking quite like a TA152. The 3-part nose block separated perfectly from the laser-cut sheet and was exactly the right diameter. I used a card template to get the right curve to the front end.

The basswood stringers made the task of sanding slightly more difficult than I had anticipated, because the tendency is to sand away the balsa and leave the stringers, so you get a polyhedron rather than a circular cross-section. But you could say it does look vaguely like panel lines!

Happy New Year to all balsa builders

Mike
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Old Jan 04, 2013, 11:01 AM
MPP
In Unusual Attitude Recovery
MPP's Avatar
Danbury CT (DXR)
Joined Oct 2005
2,152 Posts
Very nice work! This is going to be a very nice model.

Happy New Year Mike!
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Old Jan 04, 2013, 11:09 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Christchurch,England
Joined Aug 2004
2,734 Posts
Thanks mpp - she does look good after all that infilling.

Last night I filled in the awkward fin/fuselage join with pink foam and sanded it to the profile. You'll have to excuse this bit of non-balsa work! I also added a small plate to take the wing bolt and a few other bits and pieces. Hope to make a start on the covering soon, which will be silver Litespan.- (the only colour I had in the box).
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 09:36 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Christchurch,England
Joined Aug 2004
2,734 Posts
Covering is well underway, with the tail surfaces and rear part of the fuselage done. I've used Litespan. I had forgotten how tricky it was (must be the old age creeping up) and each time I use it it seems to throw up new challenges and, sometimes, solutions.

It is very hard to get it to conform to more than one curve at once, so the fuz is covered section by section. I make a paper pattern 1/8th oversize then transfer this to the "wrong" side of the film, twice (once for left, turn the pattern over, once for right). Then I paint Balsalock onto the outlines using a 1/4" brush.

While working on the project I leave the brush in water. As I need to paint on the Balsalock, I wipe the brush half dry then dip it in the pot: this has the effect of slightly diluting the adhesive, making it more workable and keeping it at the right consistency and still keeps the brush from drying out.

Once the adhesive is dry, I cut to the outline, wipe a glue stick (Pritt or similar) round the outlines of the section to be covered and stick the Litespan to the balsa. The Pritt allows it to be fiddled around until it is in the right position and then using a cool iron I tack down the corners, then the edges of the piece.

I find that it's possible to stretch the film slightly using the sole of the iron while doing the final seal, and before turning the iron to warm to do the shrinking.

Frankly, the finish is not very good, with far too many wrinkles, and I can get much better results with tissue and dope, but Litespan does not smell, coat the inside of your lungs or need constant repair after a flying session.

More later!

Mike
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 01:43 PM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Christchurch,England
Joined Aug 2004
2,734 Posts
I completed the covering of most of the sheeted areas before dinner. Once you have done the paper pattern/traced this twice onto the Litespan/added the Balsalock it does not take long.

I have not done much sheet covering with Litespan, so had to read the instruction sheet and ended up brushing adhesive over the whole piece, lightly rubbing the balsa with Pritt then doing as I was told and starting in the centre of the section with the iron and working outwards to the edges.

The results are better than the open areas...that's all I can say.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 11:51 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Christchurch,England
Joined Aug 2004
2,734 Posts
The 152 is finished, apart from painting and adding the pilot and cockpit, so in true electric flight tradition, she is ready to test fly.

The weight comes out at 8 1/2 oz, with with 1.4 sq ft of wing gives a very reasonable 6oz/sq ft loading. The blue wonder motor turning a 6x4 (EDIT - sorry, 7 x 6") prop on 2 x 600 mAh cells gives almost enough thrust to lift the model vertically from my hand, so won't have any problem in flying around the patch.

I was out flying this afternoon, but still had work to do on the plane. Unfortunately we are due snow and very cold (for the "soft south") weather over the next few days. I'm pleased to have got it ready before the original finish date, but glad that I have 5 weeks or so to do some painting and have a proper go at flight.

For some reason the photos won't load, so I'll do those on the next post,

Good luck to everyone still in the build,

Mike
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Last edited by Sopwith Mike; Jan 17, 2013 at 03:48 PM.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 11:53 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Christchurch,England
Joined Aug 2004
2,734 Posts
Here they are. Must have been finger-trouble!
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 06:46 PM
Heads up...
RMCCOR7737's Avatar
United States, VA, Stafford
Joined Jun 2009
744 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sopwith Mike View Post
Here they are. Must have been finger-trouble!
looks great Mike. Can't wait to see her fly.
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 05:02 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Christchurch,England
Joined Aug 2004
2,734 Posts
The first snow of the year has postponed flying for a while. The spinner provided in the kit is half an easter-egg container, which has a neat snap-on rim. The male part of the rim is cut off (ouch) and glued to a ply backplate, then the female front scale-ish part is trimmed round the prop and just snaps on. (Sounds weird I know, but they are just words). I need to trim and smooth off the backplate, but could not resist doing a bit of painting.

The RX is a Silver end-pin job I saw on the ads at the top of one of these pages:

The pilot has had a long and distinguished career flying a Westland Welkin for the RAF, then a Super Scooper for Ontario and now he has changed sides to the Luftwaffe. He is a fully paid-up member of SPNOKA (Scale Pilots next of Kin Association) and has survived three crashes. The look on his face tells you all you need to know about my piloting skills.
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 08:53 AM
UMs & parkflyers... for now.
davidterrell80's Avatar
United States, VA, Herndon
Joined Apr 2012
3,002 Posts
I love the spinner... and the headrest... and the pilot!

I have noticed that my ability to "reuse and recycle" has grown with my reentry to the hobby. After seeing me doing similar re-purposing, the neighbor kids have become fully engaged in a game of "stump the chump" (me), bringing various objects to hear what they can be used for in an airplane. When I can, I use the object, or at least rework it to look like the part I said it could become.

Recently, some of the kids are beginning to re-imagine objects for themselves. I introduced them to "pinewood derby" last summer. We have a nice sloped "no-parking zone" with an adjacent berm. The addition of a sheet of plywood to the berm makes a nice acceleration zone. The cars are beginning to become more complex as the kids add exhausts, fenders, etc from materials they've recycled.

Maybe, we'll get an engineer or two out of the lot.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 11:59 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Christchurch,England
Joined Aug 2004
2,734 Posts
She flies! Despite the cold weather we had a day of calm, so out to the local patch and an underarm throw on full throttle saw her climb gently out, no urgent trim adjustments needed and she flew just as beautifully as you would expect.

I'd checked the CG and it was well forward, but there was still enough up elevator to keep out of trouble and eventually flare out to land after three minutes or so.

I got the camera ready this time, and after another clean launch and climb took a few flying shots, but I was on my own and they are pretty awful, but evidence of flight!

As you can see, there is still a lot of work to do bringing her up to some sort of standard, but those two excellent flights have given me the urge to complete before the closing date.

The final set-up was a Blue Wonder motor with a 7x6 prop, 10A SC, 2 cell 400mAh battery, ailerons and elevator controls. AUW about 9oz I guess.

What fun model planes are!
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 02:32 PM
UMs & parkflyers... for now.
davidterrell80's Avatar
United States, VA, Herndon
Joined Apr 2012
3,002 Posts
That is outstanding! She almost looks like a motor-glider, with those beautiful tapered wings. Make the aerial photos B&W and they could almost be WW2 gun camera photos!
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