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Old Jan 10, 2013, 09:44 AM
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Bud Nosen 1/4 scale Citabria/Decathlon

There's a couple of guys expressing interest in a Citabria build,and I'm turning a little rogue,intending to do a Symmetrical airfoil "Decathlon",with my own airfoil.

First,I'm going to build the horrible stock wing, made of many pieces of die-crunched balsa and plywood.
One photo shows the wood removed from the sheets,and aligned and squared to prepare for sanding.
I press spar material in all the irregular notches,then sand the airfoil with a 4" wide belt sander...No matter how horrible they look when I start,they are sanded to an acceptable shape.......To those worried about the airfoil being thinner than the plans, You could use 1/8" sheeting and capstrips, but nobody does.

Next,we'll sand the spar notches with a nifty little widget.
The spar notches suffered as well ,with die cutting,and no amount of sanding will make them fit tightly to the spars..Heh heh.so we'll just make the spars wider.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:24 AM
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Just so you know who you're dealing with, I have two contract builds in progress,and three airplanes of my own in various stages of construction.

I am a widower, living alone with the Stupid Dog....she doesn't complain about anything, like dust, airplanes on tables, or the various smells emanating from the various bottles and spray cans.

We walk 2 miles every day, and lie about it when we don't.

I was a builder in the Delaware R/C club for many years,and I'm unable to confine myself to one build at a time.-I'm not apologising, although some guys think I'm out of discipline, doing more than one build...I followed the "rules " for 50 years,......it's my world now.

The guys I build for now,Know there's no such thing as a "completion date", and if they want it sooner than that,I help them load it up,so they can haul it away.

I'm slowly heading to where I build an airplane I like, fly it, then sell it to make room for my next dream plane.

I dislike ARFS,but I assemble them for guys who can't build.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 12:30 PM
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United States, WA, Hoodsport
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Subscribed. I have history with Citabrias/Decathlons, and with this kit in particular.

I also considered bashing my Nosen kit into a Decathlon. I went as far as drawing semi-symmetrical ribs (1412) but abandoned that mod and will build it as a Citabria with flaps (7GCBC) and oversized tires (Du-Bro 1/3-scale Cub tires). I also had TnT Landing Gear make me up a *far* more sturdy set of main gear.

I have two Nosen kits - an authentic Nosen kit and a AA kit. I'll be building the AA kit and saving the Nosen kit. The bad new about the AA kit is that die-smashed parts are pretty horrendous. The good news is that there are very few die-smashed parts. I'll be duplicating the kit ribs.

Enjoy your build!

EJWash
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 02:49 PM
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A&A industries

As you can probably surmise from viewing the ribs,this is an A&A Industries kit.
After about 500 kits being stamped, the dies become very dull.....after a bout 5,000 kits they sharpenened them.....
This one is kit # 4,999...lol.
But in the grand scheme of things,a bad kit is better than none, I guess.
This won't be a 'scale' effort,(I'm saving that for the Monocoupe), but we'll put at least SOME effort into it.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epoxyearl View Post
This one is kit # 4,999...lol.
Then I've got kit #4,998!

When I initially went through the box to inspect the kit, I thought, "there's a lot of wood here, but where'r the ribs?" Well, I was looking at each individual sheet, turning then over, there they were! The "cutting" didn't go all the way through!

EJWash
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 04:50 PM
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Blowin' in the wind.

Yep-comparing quality,I just got an Executive Designs Monocoupe,1/4 scale...
It arrived today,and the ribs can be blown out of the sheet.
It's full of such quality wood,it was sanded 30 years ago,and it's still smooth.
The vacuum formed parts are a full 1/16 " thick !
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 05:09 PM
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On the other hand, the Nosen kit wood is pretty nice, and the die-cutting is 7-to-8 out of 10.

EJWash
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 06:16 PM
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Nosen woodie

I ordered the 'Decathlon' cowl and wheel pants from Fiberglass Specialties..

Craig Schmidt has been helping modelers, out of sight, for a long time..One of the unsung heros of the modeling hobby.If you need F/G parts,don't forget him.

Comparing the A&A,and Nosen kits, Bud was into balsa even then,and established himself as a buyer and supplier.
At one point quality of milling was poor,and you could get 1/8" balsa on one end,and 3/32 on the other ! I used to think I was sanding too much ! lol.
That's been fixed, but people won't forget...
I don't insist on things being perfect,as with these ribs- I can fix them.When I think that one guy refuses a kit that's done poorly,and it can be rescued with a little work, isn't it still less work than scratch building the whole thing?
10 minutes of work,and these ribs are useable,as opposed to at least two hours and the cost of new materials for scratch building new ones......just me.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 03:52 AM
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Oh, how I used to drool over the Nosen magazine ads in the early 80's. Then I started hearing the negatives that you talk about here. So many kitters back then kept puking out kits with super heavy wood cut with worn out dies. I'm not going to name some that I built.....At least we still had a ton of kitters to choose from back then. Now we can count kitters on both hands and maybe half of one foot.

I'm starting to think it would be nice to dump all of my parkflyer sized planes and maybe go with one or two 1/4 scale to gain some room. I have well over 30 planes filling an extra bedroom and part of the" hobby room". It's just a thought. It will probably never actually happen but I'll be watching this thread to see how you make one of these Nosen kits "right".

Joe
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 05:01 AM
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I'll be watching with interest as I am currently building a Super Decathlon from an old Great Planes kit. (Started a build log in glow to electric conversions)
I purchased two of these kits on Ebay and both had excellent wood, although a little dried out in some cases. As I said I am converting to electric and doing a little re-engineering to have battery access without removing the wing or inverting the plane.
I really love these older kits. They were complete with lots of goodies and nice hard wood The only downside to these older kits is the price you pay to purchase one today. Should have invested in kits instead of the stock market.
I know the "lighter is better" crowd will disagree however, for me, stronger is better.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 06:00 AM
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Light vs flight

I have no problem using kit wood, nor do I have a problem throwing some away.
The advertised weight for the plane is 10-11 lbs. I once drilled lightening holes in all the ribs of a Citabria-3 holes in each wing rib-and when I weighed the wood removed,it amounted to 3.3 ozs. Not EVEN ! Waste of time.

I'm a strange man....I build the plane,install the radio, cover it and fly.Sometimes I weigh them,after several years, but usually I don't bother....I mean,what do I do ,if it's too heavy ?
I built a 12 lb. Cessna at 17 lbs.All the bells and whistles,really scale..The client says it's his favorite airplane.Flys it a lot.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtibbetts@hotm View Post
I'll be watching with interest as I am currently building a Super Decathlon from an old Great Planes kit. (Started a build log in glow to electric conversions)
I purchased two of these kits on Ebay and both had excellent wood, although a little dried out in some cases. As I said I am converting to electric and doing a little re-engineering to have battery access without removing the wing or inverting the plane.
I really love these older kits. They were complete with lots of goodies and nice hard wood The only downside to these older kits is the price you pay to purchase one today. Should have invested in kits instead of the stock market.
I know the "lighter is better" crowd will disagree however, for me, stronger is better.
I'm of the same sentiment( see my previous post)...Some of the better flying models I've had were the Sterling "steel" models-I swear they used OAK,bleached to look like balsa...But they fly fine,last forever,and absorbed any vibration the engine could provide.
We've been brain-washed into lightness, by those who believe! -Fine with me-they overlook a lot of fine kits.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 07:17 AM
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Straight slots

We discussed yesterday to just widen the spar slots to correct for the torn areas of the poor die-cutting.
I normally have these "slot machines" made for regularly opening poor die-cutting, or when scratchbuilding.
Stack as many ribs as you're comfortable with, (preferably ALL of them)aligned and clamped. Sanding the groove will ensure the spar slots.
align with each other.
The tool controls the depth and width of the spar slot.
I had tried putting sandpaper on the sides as well,but it's too easy to open the slots too much.Sandpaper on the bottom only is good.
I used spruce for the sandpaper mount,as it seemed strength would be the smart move.
In the second picture,the slots are acceptable.The few tear-outs left can be glue filled.
The spars can be faced along one side with 1/16" stock,and then be glued into place...All we,ve spent is the price of some 1/16" balsa strips...$5.?
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 07:34 AM
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I'll be following along, Earl. It looks like a fun project.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 07:45 AM
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I'll be following along, Earl. It looks like a fun project.
Ain't had any fun so far ! ha ha. Maybe it'll start today. Hi Tom.
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