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Old Oct 19, 2004, 10:31 AM
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South Alabama
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Gentle Lady Build Intheswamp

Back again! I received the Gentle Lady kit last weeke and finally got a chance to stick some balsa together last night. Put the basic stab together. A couple of problems I had with the kit were:


  1. The stab center's forward center-point was cut off-center...sanded to center it back up. Not sure if it was supposed to have been offset, but it appeared not to match plans. The stab tips appeared to be a tad short.
  2. I started building/pinning from the LE, to stab tips, to TE, to stab center, and then trusses. I think it would be better to change the order by swapping places/order with the TE and LE. The reason being that once I got to the TE I had to gentle bend them toward the front of the stab to match up with the stab tips. I didn't really think this would be a problem and continued with the build. Once I had everything in place and glued (including trusses) I positioned the elevator behind the stab trailing edge and found that there was a 2mm gap at each end of the stab/elevator joint when the two were butted close together. In other words the stab TE and the elevator LE are not parallel with the stab TE having a very slight curve/bend to it. Not sure if I need to redo this or let the covering hinge handle the difference...I'm leaning to redoing it...what do ya'll think?

BTW, I'm building with Titebond and will be weighing the glue to see just how much glue is used. I figured it'd be an interesting piece of data, though the glue weight will be a worse case scenario due to much of in evaporating during the curing process. My digital scale will only go down to a gram and the stab construction didn't change the bottle weight.

Construction is IN PROCESS!!!!!! Look out BOEING, HERE I COME!!!!

Ed
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 01:45 PM
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South Alabama
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Re-evalutated stab/elevator gap

This morning I took a metal straight edge and checked the stab TE. The measurements of the gaps between the straight edge and TE at each end is about 1.5mm and at the center point of the TE there is about a 1mm gap. The points of contact between the TE and the straight edge are at 1/3 and 2/3's the TE length. Not too bad, but not a flush alignment either. Do I need to be concerned with this?

Thanks,
Ed
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 04:57 PM
aka: Dances with Buzzards
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TX
Joined Jun 2002
454 Posts
It would be nice to have a straight trailing edge on the stab.....maybe a couple of swipes witht the 22" bar will help (oops, we talked you out of it). If you use monokote hinges a slight ripple won't hurt. Plastic hinges may bind if there are more than two used and i believe you will need four. Keep us posted on the progress.
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 05:23 PM
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New Zealand
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OR you could use hinge tape.....it shouldnt be too much of a problem, my GL has the same problem and i used hinge tape and it works like a charm.

I originaly just used the overing to make a hinge.....didnt really work and started to bind so i switched to hinge tape.

happy building
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 08:52 PM
Think Thermals!!!!
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Costa Mesa, California
Joined Mar 2004
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Kit parts seldom match the plans. The stabs (vertical and horizontal) should be built with the hinge line straight (as well as the elevator and rudder). If you have to force a leading edge, trailing edge or the hinge spar then you have the trusses/ribs too long. The trusses should be the last items fitted.
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Old Oct 20, 2004, 08:39 AM
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Ok, everybody. I worked the elevator/stab gap down to less than a milimeter so I think I'll go with it as it is.

As I mentioned, I think my problem was starting to build from the LE of the stab...it seems (at least for a newbie) the beginning building point should be at the stab TE. There's no mental reinforcement of the importance of the stab/elevator joint-line being straight. I think the stab TE should be the reference line from which the rest of the assembly is built from.

For me, I was excited about beginning the build but was being very tedious about the work. Where I erred was in pinning the TE...I pinned it according to plans and when I got to the ends of the TE I had to "pull" the ends up to meet with the stab tips. After getting the outline glued I inserted the stab center and had to pull the TE up a tad to it. All the time leaving the pins that were inserted into the TE at 1/3 and 2/3 of the length...I should have removed those pins and let the TE "relax" and then repinned. After that I installed the trusses, not forcing any in place. What I might do now is go in and saw out a couple of the trusses and see if it relaxes the TE and helps straighten things out.

Keep the feedback coming...this thing might actually fly one day!!!

Thanks!
Ed
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Old Oct 20, 2004, 08:56 AM
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Fin

Built up the fin/rudder last night. The build went pretty good, no major problems. The parts sheet with all the stab parts on it was busted up when I received the kit (loose parts in the back and broken scrap frame). When it came to installing the gussets the first ones I grabbed wouldn't fit correctly...I searched through the bag and found two that worked great. Thus, a newbie would be advised that though all the laser cut gussets appear at first glance to be the same...they're not. Just thought I'd throw that in there for newbies like me!

Having fun building!!!!!!!

Below is a pic of the fin.

Ed
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Old Oct 20, 2004, 01:40 PM
Think Thermals!!!!
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Costa Mesa, California
Joined Mar 2004
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Building is fun -- to me. Way back in the dark ages of RC sailplanes (No! not THAT far back) it was the ONLY way to get a flying sailplane. The design you are building was considered a novice to advanced building project. It was expected that you had built a few before and knew the basics. In may cases there was an older mentor that you could turn to with questions. Even in the small community I grew up in there was the fellow at the hobby shop and a few local experianced builders/flyers.

You can always use a stright edge and trim the stab TE down straight and glue another piece on to make up the difference. Or a sanding beam.

Keep us posted on your project and don't forget to ask questions!
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Last edited by SoCalGliderFlyr; Oct 20, 2004 at 06:53 PM.
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Old Oct 20, 2004, 06:26 PM
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New Zealand
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You are so lucky to laser cut parts....i had to work with the old die cut parts .
The TE of the stab and some of the other "sticks" with my kits were warps quite badly becasue of the single rubberband and the fact that the model has been sitting in the LHS for years.

Any ways i just put some really heavy weights on top of it to the oppisite direction of the warp....if u know what i mean....

Enough of me rambling.

Intheswamp, just remember when u are rounding the LE of the verticle fin, to not round the bottom inch or two....because u have to glue the dorsal fin onto it.

cheers
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Old Oct 20, 2004, 06:40 PM
Think Thermals!!!!
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Costa Mesa, California
Joined Mar 2004
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Laser cut parts can be just as bad as die cut when the plans don't match the parts or the parts don't match the plans. In fact laser cutting can expose some real design flaws as they just magnify the problems. Then on the other hand when care is taken in the design and drafting laser cutting can be a remarkable thing.
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Old Oct 20, 2004, 06:46 PM
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I agree with you socalfliderflyr,
Do you know when the laser cut GL first came out? so i can work out how old my kit was before i purhcased it.
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Old Oct 20, 2004, 07:56 PM
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South Alabama
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mumble...mumble...ARGHHH!!!!

Ok folks, so far I've built to of the assemblies for the Gentle Lady and make two mistakes. First the wavey TE of the stab. And now, silentfly has just pointed out an error on the fin...DON'T SAND THE LOWER 2" OF THE LEADING EDGE OF THE FIN!!!! ARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!. It's even printed in big, black, bold letters in the instructions!! *I* remember reading it!!! ARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! Man, I've built ham radios that'd fit in an altoid tin, built one I've talked (CW) all over the USA on...and I'm having problems reading simple instructions....let me correct that, I'm having problems *following* simple instructions! Geez, maybe I need to pick up a different hobby...making rubber band balls or something...nahhh, this is fun even if I keep goofing.

Well, I've brought some plate glass strips home. They're 3/16" thick, 3" wide. Miscellaneous lengths from 6" to over 2'. I figure I can use one of the long pieces and some sand paper to straighten out the stab TE...but I might try sawing out the trusses in the high-points first. I don't know...would it be a better build to sand the TE down smooth and laminate a thin piece of balsa to it or to try sawing the trusses out?

As for the sanded lower 2" of the fin's LE I'm open for suggestions on flattening it back out. I guess I could sand that back down flat and laminate a piece on it too, eh?

Next step in the instructions is to tack-glue the rudder to the fin and the elevator to the stab. 4 drops of CA along the joint for the elevator/stab and maybe 3 drops for the rudder/fin? Any recommendations on this part?

After sanding the assembly the tacked pieces are to be separated and the LE of elevator and rudder are to be sanded. The elevator is to be sanded at 30 with no options. But, the plans show that the rudder has two sanding options...either a full 45 across the LE or either a centered-bevel. It also has a note to see "page 10" of instruction manual...my page 10 shows fuse construction. The instruction book says to "sand front surface of rudder to match with view on plan"...which shows both full bevel and centered bevel. Seems to me the centered bevel would work better on the rudder, but I'm a newbie. Which one would be better?

silentfly: Sounds like you did ok with the die-cut kit. Look at me...nice laser-cut kit and I keep messing up.<sigh> Thanks for pointing out the "no sand" area of the rudder for me...at least I didn't get to the dorsal and get all confused. Glad you mentioned that about the rubberbands...I've got some a couple of bundles I need to unbind.

SoCalGliderFlyr: Well, so far I've pretty well just messed up, but I'm enjoying the little bit of building that I've done. I like the idea of kit-building...even if the "mods" I've done have been unintentional. I seem to be drawn to the older planes and finding them in ARF offerings are non-existant...besides, from what I've read the ARFs are subject to quality flaws anyhow. At least if my GL self-destructs at 500' and I watch the pieces flutter to the ground I can say "Yelp, I built it myself!". Only problem I have is an absence of local flyers and the closest hobby shop is about 90 miles away, so for me this message board is great! The only problem I see with it is the natural time-delay in user response (which is natural for many reasons), but the information, suggestions, help, information, recommendations, tips, advice, etc., far out-weight the time-delay factor!! It's a life-saver for me!

Well, I'm going to work on the current problems and wait to hear back on the tacking and sanding of the rudder LE.

Thanks!!!
Ed
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Old Oct 20, 2004, 08:11 PM
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Intheswamp,
dont worry about the dorsal problem.....i did the EXACT same thing as you....
Fortunately its not a crutial joint...its not a big deal at all.
Just flatten it out a little bitand just glue it on and use some gap filler....OR you could do it your way, it just sounds a little complicated? nah....thats probally just me.

About the bevling....it depends on how you hinge your elevator and rudder, if you use the traditional hinges (like the CA hinges and other "hinge" hinges) then use the center bevel. ...sorry for the confusion..

If you use hinge tape then you have bevel it 30 degrees....like the elevator.

Hope this helps!!
GOod LUck!!
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Old Oct 20, 2004, 08:47 PM
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silentfly: Thanks for the feedback. I just checked back in on the computer and I'd already gotten your reply...might have to take back what I said about the time-delay, eh? I made me a sanding board from a piece of the plate glass and it worked great on the stab's TE...I've got a flat surface except for the last 3/4" on either end and it's only a small gap...think I'll stop where I'm at with it. Looks like I lost about 1mm of balsa in the sanding process, do ya think I need to laminate a thin strip and sand it back to full dimension?

I also fit the dorsal against the fin LE and it fits better than I thought it would. I hadn't done a finish sanding on the fin, but I guess what you'd call a rough sanding. There's a small gap but yet a flat surface to rest on with the edges rounded off. I think when the time comes I won't have a problem mixing up some balsa-dust putting and filling the gaps. Thanks for alieving my anxiety over it.

Now for the tack-gluing...

Ed
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Old Oct 20, 2004, 11:19 PM
Think Thermals!!!!
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Costa Mesa, California
Joined Mar 2004
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Hinge tape: 3M 600. You can get a large roll in most stationary stores. The only problem with the rudder being taped is the force of the push rod can sometimes cause the tape on the bottom to loosen. two or three layers of tape in the last inch can usually slow this down.

As to building: Persistence. Goldberg has a PDF of the instructions on their web site. Might be worth the time to down load to see if they have updated anything.
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