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Old Jan 31, 2013, 09:43 AM
Official Boat Bum
Eddie P's Avatar
United States, NV, Reno
Joined Mar 2000
7,051 Posts
Great work. I like hidden control linkages on projects like this. For me, when I first did these I didn't add much thought to maintainability in the future. I got lucky with all but one. Form then on, I made sure to make the linkages maintainable - like adding an access hatch or at least a weak area to cut through and re mount the newly cut out hatch if it comes to maintenance down the road just in case. Sometimes it's not worth the trouble or weight of making everything with removable hatches, etc though. If a problem crop up, then it's just extra work at that point to access and fix... but it may be worth the risk depending on the builder.

You work look really nice.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 03:08 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,453 Posts
Eddie

Thanks for the kind comments. On planes like this I always try to see if I can hide at least some of the linkages/horns etc. It always drives me nuts when I see a nice scale model with servos and horns and whatnot hanging out in the breeze. Just my outlook on things!!

Stupid wind and rain storm kept me awake most of the night last night. I am a very light sleeper and any noise wakes me up. With heavy pounding rain and 40 knot winds blowing I think I got about 2 hours of sleep last night. So when I got home from work this morning and finished my lunch the couch kept calling my name. So as the Borg say Resistance is Futile so I crashed for a few hours. Needless to say that prevented me from getting much done on the P-3 this afternoon.

I did manage to sheet the upper right side of the stab. Yesterday I had glued up the sheeting blanks so this afternoon I cut the sheeting to size and glued it in place with some thick slow cure CA to give plenty of time to get everything aligned properly and pressed in place. When the CA cured I carved and rough sanded the LE to shape. I then made up the tip blocks for the stab and elevator, glued them in place and rough sanded them also.

Next step is to sheet the left upper side of the stab and get that all done. Then I need to sand the LE and tips to the final shape, along with the fin and rudder. I also need to make up the torque rod for the rudder. At that point the tail feathers will be mostly done.

Brian Allen

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 07:04 PM
This is a fine fiddly business
Robert R's Avatar
United States, WA, Marysville
Joined May 2009
1,290 Posts
Beautiful balsa work. I still can't quite wrap my head around a fully sheeted Pat Tritle design. I like it a lot but it challenges the way I think the universe runs.
Best,
Robert
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Old Feb 01, 2013, 09:31 AM
Mulit-Platform Pilot
barracudahockey's Avatar
United States, FL, Jacksonville
Joined Sep 2004
3,008 Posts
Keep up the good work!
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Old Feb 01, 2013, 03:08 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,453 Posts
Greetings All

Snow again here today so I had to go out and buy ice melt and head to work to shovel the walks etc for the preschool. Gotta make sure the little devils don't slip and slide!! :-). So my morning got chewed up fairly quickly.

After lunch I decided that the last section of stab sheeting needed to be completed. So I cut and glued and sanded and the stab is basically done except for the final sanding on the leading edge and tips. Should be tonights job I hope. Weight of completed stab at this point is 3 1/2 oz.

I put the fuselage back on the bench after I cleaned it off of all the tail feathers stuff so now I can get back to work on the nose gear retract setup and get the rest of the nose glues up and stringered.

Brian Allen

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
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Old Feb 02, 2013, 06:05 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,453 Posts
Greetings All

Well I did not get anything accomplished last night. After dinner I just plopped down on the couch and read a book or two until bedtime. Learned a long time ago never to work on a plane if you are not in the proper mood to, otherwise you will do something stupid or mess something up bad. So last night was reading night.

This morning I went and visited my flying buddy and chief test pilot Ron out at his place. I have purchased a new set of E Flite 60-120 retracts for the P-3 and I could not get them to work. All three would just start and move a little bit and then stop. Very frustrating to say the least. So we looked at them, took one of them apart, tried them on 3 different radios and a servo tester and they simply would not work. Finally called Horizon and spoke to a tech support guy who was very helpful but equally as baffled. I can understand one not working but all three? We also tried a set of the small 10-15 size retracts that Ron had and they worked fine in all the radios so it wasn't a radio or endpoint problem. So I need to send them back to Horizon to be looked at and replaced so that will keep me from doing any reasonable work on the fuselage as the next thing I need to do is the nose gear mount and I want a working retract before I start that. Oh well. Might start on the wings I guess.

Brian Allen

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
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Old Feb 02, 2013, 09:23 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,453 Posts
Greetings All

As noted above, until I can get a working set of retracts any additional work on the fuselage has stalled for the time being. So I decided to start on the wing. I studied the plan for quite some time to make sure that there were not any surprises. Those who have followed any of Pat's builds the last few year note that his preferred style of wing construction is an egg crate design where the spar and ribs are each notched half the distance and they then slip together. Neat, quick and easy. Well the P-3 is no exception. The major difference is that he builds up the main spar from 1/8" balsa with 1/16" aircraft ply doublers on the front and rear sides for strength. The doublers extend out to a point about midway between the nacelles, past the retract location in the inner nacelles.

Pat usually caps the length of any particular piece at 24" (not sure if that is a box/shipping limit or if Charlie's laser has a 24" bed) so anything longer than that must be designed as a multi piece item with the pieces glued together. The P-3 wing has two spars, the front one A1 has the ply doublers and holds the retract mounts while the rear spar A2 is 1/8" balsa with no doublers.

I removed the various bits and pieces from the balsa and ply sheets and glued up the spars. The rear spar A2 is made of two pieces A2 and A2A which are glued together with thin CA. two spars are made up, one for the left panel and the other for the right. When gluing the piece A2A to A2, the joint is at a spot where a rib notch is. The ribs here are 3/32" balsa so I used a scrap of 3/32" balsa to make sure that the slot width was correct, thus making sure the pieces were properly aligned. A2 stays as two separate pieces until ribs are added and they are then joined in the center section of the wing as they parallel the tapered trailing edge of the wing.

The front spar A1 is made up also of two pieces A1 and A1A. They are glued up as A2 was, also at a rib slot so again some 3/32" balsa was used to insure the slot width was proper. Again two pieces are made up. When done and sanded smooth they are joined at the center (rib slot here is 1/8") to make up a long one piece spar.

The 1/16" ply doublers are also two pieces. They are marked as front and rear and are glued up to form the one piece doubler for each side of the main spar. I glued the doublers to the main spar one at a time using some slow CA to make sure that everything was lined up properly. When both doublers were in place, the edges were sanded smooth.

The spars are capped top and bottom with some 1/8" x 1/4" balsa spar caps. Need to check and see when they need to go on.

Looks like we can start adding ribs in the center section next!! Stay tuned, same bat time, same bat channel.

Brian Allen

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
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Old Feb 04, 2013, 08:44 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,453 Posts
Greetings All

Well I have sent my malfunctioning set of E Flite retract back to Horizon Hobbies for an exam and replacement. Hopefully they will get back here soon.

In the meantime I decided to continue working on the wing. Previously I had glued up the main spar and the rear spars. So the next step was to collect all the parts for the center section of the wing. This consists of 3 ribs, the rear wing bolt plate and some stick stock. While I studied the plans pretty well before I started I can be a doofus at times. I had put most of the center section together before I realized that I probably should have glued up and pinned down the bottom center section sheeting. This came to light when I realized that the center section ribs were not laying plat on the board at the rear of the center section by the wing bolt plate. The light bulb slowly came on (obviously a CFL bulb!!) and it was too much work to unpin everything and start over. So I just used a lot of the scrap pieces from the tail surface sheeting and shimmed everything up. No biggee, would have been easier with the sheeting down though.

First step is to pin down the 1/8" x 1/4" hard balsa lower spar cap under the main spar plus the wing bolt plate and the 1/8" x 3/8" TE. When that was done the main spar was glued to the spar cap and I started to set the three center section ribs in place. The rear spars and the lite ply spar brace A3 are then added and everything is glued up.

When dry, the center section was unpinned and the wing was rocked over on the right side wing panel section of the plan onto the 1/8" x 1/4" lower spar cap and tack glued in a couple spots.. The plans call for balsa but I used basswood as I had a nice selection of basswood pieces in the correct size. 1/16" balsa shims were placed everywhere (under front and rear spars) and everything was pinned in place.

The next step is to laminate the retract gear mount plate doublers on ribs R4 and R5. Make sure to get the doublers in the correct location!!. Here I ran into a bit of a problem as the slots in the rib doublers were cut about .045" too low on the doubler. If you installed the retract plate in these slots the tabs on the front and rear edges would not line up properly with the slots in the main and rear spars. So I had to trim and resand the slots in the rib doublers to get everything to line up properly. When everything was lined up, I glued up ribs R4 and R5 plus the retract mount plate to the ribs and spars. There is also a section of 1/4" x 3/8" balsa that goes from rib R3 to R9 at the lower rear spar. This is a support for the flap hinges and was added at this time.

One other problem that was encountered was that the lite ply rib doublers on R4 and R5 did not have the 3/32" notches for the wing stringers. Will need to sand them in when I add the stringers. Did not notice that until I had glued the ribs in place. Have been keeping Pat appraised of any small problems I find and he will correct the plans and cut files.

Once the retract ribs and plate was done, I started to add the remaining ribs R6 to R14, making sure everything was pinned down properly and in alignment. This went fairly quickly. I then finished gluing the front main spar to the spar cap.

Next step is to add the 3/32" stringers, the remaining 1/8 x 3/8" TE and the leading edge. Then rock things over to the left side and repeat.

Til next time.

Brian Allen

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
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Last edited by Brian Allen; May 05, 2013 at 07:13 PM.
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Old Feb 05, 2013, 08:44 AM
Visitor from Reality
United States, VA, Arlington
Joined Dec 1996
12,788 Posts
LHS somewhere must have suffered a blackout when Pat T walked in and bought all that sheet wood for the P3 prototype!

Reckon you'll get her built and flown for your electric Fun-fly this year, Brian?

D
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Old Feb 05, 2013, 07:13 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,453 Posts
Dereck

Good to hear from you mate. Hope all is well out in the Windy City. Miss having you around these parts.

Doubt I will get her done in time for our annual E Flyin in July. Kinda shooting for the NEAT Fair in September. Pat did not build one of these yet. In an email with him he noted that after he designed it he realized it would not fit in his transportation so the design has kinda languished since 2008. Looks like I am the guinea pig here!! Was quite the balsa order from National Balsa and I am sure I will need more.

Brian Allen

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
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Old Feb 05, 2013, 07:25 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,453 Posts
To quote the great Tony Kornheiser, we are back for more cash.

Did a bit more work this afternoon after my nap. Gotta love naps.

I added the top spar cap from a piece of hard 1/8" x 1/4" balsa. I then hogged out some leading edge blanks from a sheet of 1/4" balsa. I drew a centerline down each piece to align with the rib nose centerline tick marks. I then glued the leading edges to the center section and the right wing panel.

When done with that little chore I popped (gently gently) the wing off the building board and flipped it over. I reglued all the rib/spar joints to make sure everything was glued up well. I added the 3/32" stringers using basswood. I also added the remainder of the 1/4" x 3/8" flap hinge support that I could not do from the top side due to the position of A3, the rear spar brace. I found a minor problem in that the wing bolt plate was 1/8" short in length on each side so I added some scrap balsa to fill that area out and to make sure the Ribs R2 have sufficient glue area at the rear.

Next step will be to add some sheeting to the center section bottom to help stiffen things up a bit and them the left side panel.

Brian Allen

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
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Old Feb 06, 2013, 08:25 AM
Mulit-Platform Pilot
barracudahockey's Avatar
United States, FL, Jacksonville
Joined Sep 2004
3,008 Posts
Here's mine

Well one that I spent quite a bit of time on....
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Old Feb 06, 2013, 12:08 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,453 Posts
Greetings All

Barracuda, nice looking Orion. Although I might speculate that it is a tad larger than the one I am working on !!

Did a bit more work this AM. I decided that the center section leading edge needed a bit of reinforcement. The design has the two wing hold down dowels glued into the 1/4" thick leading edge. To me this seems somewhat weak. I have built enough large airplanes and have had more than a couple of dowel/leading edge failures (it always amazes me that when you lose the wing and fuselage is coming down like a lawn dart all the up elevator in the world doesn't do anything!!). So I have gotten a bit conservative about wing hold downs. Since the center section LE is just glued to the 3 1/8" center section ribs and edge glued to the 1/16" balsa center section sheeting I felt some additional gluing area was called for. I added two pieces of 1/4" balsa to the leading edge from rib to rib on each side. I then sanded the pieces to match the curve of the ribs. I then sheeted the lower center section with 1/16" balsa to stiffen things up a bit while moving the wing around. I will probably also extend the wing hold down dowels back to and thru the main spar when I set them in place. Just want to be sure nothing comes apart. Particularly since most of the mass of the plane is in the wing like Pat's DC-6 and 310 models. Fuselages weigh nothing, wings a bit more!!

Brian Allen

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
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Old Feb 08, 2013, 08:35 AM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,453 Posts
Greetings All

Did a bit of gluing this morning before I set out to do my errands. I made up and glued in place the 3/32" sq upper surface wing stringers from some basswood stock I had. Did this while I was also working on my Park Scale Models Whim SE-5a to get that ready, along with getting the dummy radial mounted on Pats AgCat. Will be doing more this afternoon, probably start ribbing out the left side of the wing.

Got an E mail yesterday from Horizon Hobby. They looked at the electric retracts I sent back and said they seem to be working fine. Go figure. I will be calling the tech today to see what the scoop is. Sounds like I was not doing something correctly and that I need to have him walk me through what ever needs to be done. Hopefully I can get them back soon as I would like to get the fuselage further along.

I also received a set of plans from Flying Models yesterday of John Huntons 60" P-3 Orion that was published by FM in 2006. Will be mining it for ideas on the wing nacelles. I also have the plastic nacelles that Sparky at Park Flyer Plastics makes that I will also use for ideas. That is still to come.

Brian Allen

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
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Old Feb 08, 2013, 02:39 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,453 Posts
Spoke to the guys at Horizon this morning and it seems the electric retracts I sent back work fine. It appears that there is a specific initialization procedure you must follow which, of course, isn't covered in the instruction manual. Although after speaking with the tech (Larry who was very helpful BTW) it seems Ron and I did all that.

In any case, received notice that they are on the way back to me today so when I get them Larry said to give him a call and he will walk me through whatever procedure is needed to get them to work. So hopefully early next week I can get the nose retract mounted and the nose of the fuselage done!!

Brian Allen

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
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