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Old Oct 08, 2004, 08:30 PM
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soholingo's Avatar
Laurel, MD
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Prices on the materials will be different depending on the type/quality plane you want to build. That said, suffice it to say that the materials in the plane are somewhere between 15-25% of the retail cost. That's still 4 planes for the price of one. This assumes you know what you are doing, have all the equipment, and buy in bulk (to be honest I don't know why we assume anything other than this).

Marcus's planes cost $200 in the highest quality materials, and he makes and sells them by the boat load. He is one the best I have seen. If you guys think I am trying to build to that level then you are mistaken.

(Don, sorry to boguard your thread, but maybe this is the reason we can't get affordable F5B planes...)
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Old Oct 08, 2004, 09:52 PM
Tragic case
davidleitch's Avatar
Sydney Australia
Joined Feb 2002
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One obvious way to improve the situation would to have more molds available. Let,s assume than CNC machines are available for hire at universities and commercial organizations at a reasonable cost.

Then what's to stop someone with some CAD skills sitting at their workstation, and these are reasonably common, and designing a mold. Several copies of the mold could be made and rented out to whoever, or even produced to order.

Once there are a good supply of molds in existence competition will tend to drive down production cost.

Thoughts?
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Old Oct 08, 2004, 10:03 PM
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San Diego, CA, USA
Joined Mar 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erez-E
As an engineer, I take offence to that comment.
I hang out with a bunch of engineers. We can get talking about 8 million ways to do something... when the important thing is just that the job gets done. So, my friend (one of the engineers) makes that comment so we'll "snap out of it" and get to work. No offence is intended, so I'm sorry you felt that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erez-E
Ok, on to the graphite. 3k is about 6oz/yd^2. and about $22/yd^2.
As Steve mentioned, there is no place for 6oz (3k) graphite in an F5B type model. It is simply WAY too heavy. The 3oz carbon is MUCH more expensive.

See one of Marcus' threads for detailed itemizations, if you like. Even in bulk, the materials are still quite expensive. Nobody is trying to discourage anyone here... rather, we are simply trying to give a dose of realism and perspective. It truly is difficult to imagine what's involved until you have seen it, or done it yourself.

Good luck!
-David
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Old Oct 08, 2004, 10:25 PM
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Oh don't worry about it, I took it as a joke. I'm not quite so sure I agree that 6 oz carbon is useless, unless its hard to get it to take shape? I've got a roll of it. Now granted, I've never built an F5B, but I have made plates, and a 2 layer plate is quite strong. There are plenty here with more experience than me, but it seems to me that with using correct materials stratigically would result in low material cost without much weight impact.
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Old Oct 08, 2004, 10:34 PM
slope'n the Colombian Andes
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Colombia, Antioquia, Girardota
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Guys, lighten up on Jay. You forget that he wants to do it, and his wages will be gained experience and fun (he thinks); and that is priceless. Personally, I'd like for him to get on with it as soon as possible. I'm betting on the fact that, within a year, he'll be building pretty decent airframes and reporting that top-notch airframes are a steal at $700.

Dieter Mahlein, ShredAir
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Old Oct 08, 2004, 11:42 PM
Beware of squishy fishy
Fishstyx's Avatar
Carlisle, PA, United States
Joined May 2003
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I agree. Jay should get on with it. All this discussion is academic until he actually makes a go at it and reports once an airframe or two is flying.

Criticism of Jay's approach is legitimate since he regularly presents the benefits of 'roll your own' in terms of it being cheaper than buying airframes from a distributor. In other words, leaving out the whole business related to the "joy of building", Jay has consistently made the case that one should be able to save money building their own (ref Jay's case that the materials should be cheap).

As an impartial observer, who's had a peek into the inner workings of the building process, I believe that the investment (strictly in terms of dollars) required to produce an airframe independently is prohibitive. Especially if the goal is to have an end product that is at least half as good as the mass produced models. Therefore, the justification (unless one plans a commercial venture) must be in terms of "I really dig this". If that's the primary driver, anyone interested should give it a go. However, if the goal is to save money, you'd have to be you own really good customer for it to make financial sense, and that's a lot of planes.

Jason
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Old Oct 09, 2004, 06:18 AM
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Laurel, MD
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I thought doing this as enjoyment was a benefit that I wouldn't need to list. Sure the ramp up costs are going to be a few thousand dollars. That's two new airframes. Then from there, its an enjoyable learning process (at least for me it is).

The other thing I see folks doing is they are putting their values on me. No one is telling Marcus he should stop building and buy because its too expensive. Why? Because he has already made the investment, become quite good at it, and can afford to sell them even while working on his doctoral. The difference between Marcus and myself is that Marcus ramped up quitely, while I feel this need to announce everything here.

I have no intentions of selling planes, as I don't want ther responsibility of building an A1 craft. I want to build planes for myself so that should one crash, I can simply move the equipment into another plane, or just buy top of the line equipment (and batts). When an F5b crashes, sure I am miffed about the components being damaged, but not nearly as much as I would be if a cracked spar rendered the plane useless....

(Oh well, I have a brushless slow stick to finish... )
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Old Oct 09, 2004, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soholingo
Laugh and mock if you must... but I said nothing about a state of the art competition F5b. I said a molded f5b plane. I am aware of the cost of the carbon, and maybe a few years from now I will be building planes worthy of competition. I am speaking of building a plane like the sirius for now.

I don't know why I still mention this stuff in these forums...
Jay,

Not sure why people waste time being negative about your idea. This is a hobby and F5B is particularly fun becuase it involves the application of materials at the cutting edge. Sure, may cost more than $50 or even $200-who cares.

TD
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Old Oct 09, 2004, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdearman
Jay,

Not sure why people waste time being negative about your idea. This is a hobby and F5B is particularly fun becuase it involves the application of materials at the cutting edge. Sure, may cost more than $50 or even $200-who cares.

TD
Trevor you hit the nail dead on the head... $50 - $200 is still not $400 - $1300. I decided to tough it up and rather than buy more airframes better to buy materials and teach myself.

For what its worth I have enough materials already to make about 10 - 20 planes with kevlar fuses, and full carbon wings (minus the balsa/foam and the material for the spar)... Price paid for this material?? Less than $200. (Most of my materials were purchased used and not full retail (bags of kevlar, half rolls of carbon, etc...)) I consider EACH of these first 10-20 planes throw aways.... So yes I am familar with the expenses...

If I figure out how to make these planes, then I will decide if its worth the effort to make a competition plane... I may give it up at that point who knows??? But I must try...
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Old Oct 09, 2004, 10:58 PM
We come in peace.
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Canada, BC, Penticton
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Jay, even if you fail it's ok. What failure means to me, is that you had the stones to try.
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Old Oct 10, 2004, 10:23 AM
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Calgary, Alberta
Joined Nov 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soholingo
The other thing I see folks doing is they are putting their values on me. No one is telling Marcus he should stop building and buy because its too expensive. Why? Because he has already made the investment, become quite good at it, and can afford to sell them even while working on his doctoral. The difference between Marcus and myself is that Marcus ramped up quitely, while I feel this need to announce everything here.
Don't be so sensitive Jay, I think we're just trying to give you a reality check. Nobody's told you not to bother. In fact, people are actually anxious to see you move from talking about it to the "put up or shut up"" phase. I, for one, hope you do decide to try. It's a lot of work, but very worth it in the end.

I think the thing that has been erking people is that you tend to make off the cuff statements like these:

Quote:
Originally Posted by soholingo
If I could do the layup/build process over the course of a week, with about $50 worth of material, it would be worth the expense to learn how to do this...
Quote:
Originally Posted by soholingo
I know the fuses are $5 worth of material and probably less...
..or that infamous line in one of the threads where you said that "this doesn't look much harder than building my Filip" or something of the sort. It makes it seem like you're trivializing the process, which rubs people the wrong way. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it
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Old Oct 10, 2004, 10:58 AM
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Laurel, MD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoarNeck
..or that infamous line in one of the threads where you said that "this doesn't look much harder than building my Filip" or something of the sort. It makes it seem like you're trivializing the process, which rubs people the wrong way. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it
I don't remember saying that, but I wouldn't doubt that I did... At anyrate, I have started small with my servo covers and the molding process is not that difficult. (no I am not comparing servo covers to a wing, but the process is similar, wax the mold, layup the materials, apply expoxy, (vacuum if needed) and wait.... That said it took me about 3 months to become comfortable enough to make the servo covers... However now I can make a set in about 30 minutes of waxing and laying up, and have some tomorrow...

Why that experience can't be extrapolated to a plane, is beyond me... By the way, i am going to start in on another set of servo cover molds while I am repairing my other planes. I may document this I may not, but I know I can have a good set of servo molds and pull covers by next week.
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Old Oct 10, 2004, 01:55 PM
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Fishstyx's Avatar
Carlisle, PA, United States
Joined May 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soholingo
The other thing I see folks doing is they are putting their values on me.
It seems to mo to be more about you placing a value $$ on what it takes to build an airframe of reasonable quality and performance prior to actually getting it done. Since it's all about the challenge and learning process, you'd surely get a more supportive response if your focus was on your progress and overcoming obstacles opposed to how cheaply you can build a plane. Since the end costs are speculation at this point, why go there?

Almost all of the posts that can be interpreted as 'critical' of what you've said on the subject are in response to an apparent trivialization of the costs and complexity of the endeavor. I just don't understand why if price is no object for you, why do you constantly bring it up?

No one is saying you're wasting your time or have no business trying to build a plane. Many of us, myself included, are eager to see your progress regardless of the costs. There are a number of beginner moldie build threads here on ezone and those people get a lot of active support from the masters since they don't presume to know what it's all about until after they've done it.

Jason
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Old Oct 10, 2004, 04:16 PM
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Laurel, MD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishstyx
It seems to mo to be more about you placing a value $$ on what it takes to build an airframe of reasonable quality and performance prior to actually getting it done. Since it's all about the challenge and learning process, you'd surely get a more supportive response if your focus was on your progress and overcoming obstacles opposed to how cheaply you can build a plane. Since the end costs are speculation at this point, why go there?

Almost all of the posts that can be interpreted as 'critical' of what you've said on the subject are in response to an apparent trivialization of the costs and complexity of the endeavor. I just don't understand why if price is no object for you, why do you constantly bring it up?

No one is saying you're wasting your time or have no business trying to build a plane. Many of us, myself included, are eager to see your progress regardless of the costs. There are a number of beginner moldie build threads here on ezone and those people get a lot of active support from the masters since they don't presume to know what it's all about until after they've done it.

Jason

The 'apparent trivlization of the costs' is born by the interpreters not by me. Like I said, I haven't bought any of my materials at retail costs, and the more I think about MY actual costs, the closer it is to $50 rather than $200. Like I said, that's others putting their values onto me.

The other issue is building vs flying. I get equal enjoyment from both sides of the hobby. And due to my hectic schedule, I actually get MORE time to build than to fly (probably why I push so much when I do fly). That said, taking an hour to cut the cloth, then on another day waxing the molds for an hour, then on another day, laying up the cloth, etc... would be time well spent.

Look at it this way, and maybe you will undestand my position better. I look at the amount of pleasure I can get out of $1000. Spending that money, on airframe limits that amount. If I can build 5 different types of planes for the same amount of money (irregardless of time), then that is $1000 better spent to me. Others will definitely disagree, and that's ok...
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Old Oct 10, 2004, 05:24 PM
Beware of squishy fishy
Fishstyx's Avatar
Carlisle, PA, United States
Joined May 2003
684 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by soholingo
Look at it this way, and maybe you will undestand my position better. I look at the amount of pleasure I can get out of $1000. Spending that money, on airframe limits that amount. If I can build 5 different types of planes for the same amount of money (irregardless of time), then that is $1000 better spent to me. Others will definitely disagree, and that's ok...
I'm not sure how that's relevant to anything I said. Ughh, this is going nowhere and has become rheotrical. We're not even talking about the same thing. Best of luck with your efforts. I respect anyone puts in the kind of effort and resources needed to get it done. Hopefully, you'll share your progress.

... and now is official, we've totally hijacked eye_rc_soar's thread.
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