GreatPlanes Fling DL ARF - Build Thread
I bought a Fling DL at my LHS (Aeromicro) and am putting it together.
RANT: let me get this out of the way first. Who the *** in marketing at these companies comes up with the B.S. statement "ready to fly in 1-2 hours". What a crock! I DEMAND that GreatPlanes proves that even a pro builder can build this kit stock in under 2 hours... in fact, I bet $100 they can't do it. I hate bogus marketing like this, major pet peeve of mine. Be honest with us and we will respect you as consumers.
OK, I feel better now... on to the "build".
First up, I decided to enlarge the tail control surfaces because I read they are undersized (Dr. Drela said so...). I left the ailerons the stock size because changing them would be too much work.
Here's the elevator before re-covering... note the balsa I added. I didn't worry about adding lightening holes.
Here are my re-covered tail surfaces:
One of the wings was quite wrinkled:
Instead of jumping on the internet to whine, I grabbed a covering iron and it was smooth about 5 minutes later - no big deal:
Here are the servos I'm using, from http://www.soaringusa.com - also I bought some replacement 'wire' for the push/pull system... this is Spiderwire 6 pound test from Cabela's:
Centering servos before installation... using a Sombra 3 RX - not sure what battery I'll use yet:
I used the provided servo covers to decide where the servo will be in the bay... even if you didn't use these covers, these help you line up the control arm with the pre-cut notches for the control horns:
Goop the servo in place:
Hold it in place for a few minutes... I'm using the sandpaper as a makeshift square so I stay normal to the control surface:
Trim and sand the covers. Dont sand the bottoms too much or you'll break through the thin plastic.
Now expose the pre-cut control horn slot:
I used the provided control rods and made Z-bends using a needle nose pliers... it worked great, i just followed the directions:
Not pictured: I gooped the servo covers over the servo, testing the full range of the servos before the goop set to make sure I had clearance.
I was unhappy with my trial fit of the wings using the joiner. First up, I couldn't even get the joiner in so I had to sand it down. Secondly, as you can see, the wings really didn't fit together that well. I had to sand for half an hour, using various jigs, to get it as close as you see below. The metal bolt channels were not glued in precisely, and were a bit off center (1/2 mm)... not that happy about this, but I made it work as best possible:
Here I am sanding the joiner more:
Because of the gaps, I had no choice but to use Microballons + 20 minute epoxy for the wing assembly:
Here she is, all epoxied and taped up:
Once it dried, I decided to use 3/4" of 3oz glass, top and bottom, for a little extra reinforcement on the wing joiner. This is not in the directions... I used Paul Naton's procedure outlined in his EXCELLENT DVD (shown below) - if you want to learn how to do this, buy his video "Handlaunch Building Clinic".
Here are the glassing materials all ready to go:
I trimmed a 1" wide swatch through the monocoat to the bare wood, and sanded it a bit to get ready for my 3/4" fiberglass reinforcement:
Here she is, glassed and drying:
Next up... installing the push/pull system ( still a bit confusing to me, but I think I'm overthinking it) and the fuse gear, etc.
Ft. Mill SC / Charlotte NC
Joined Mar 2001
I dont know if you started the tail controls yet but I switched to a carbon rod out the back. I used the same push rod housing and it works fine. There is no slop in this configuration.
As for a battery I used a 750 mil aaa 4 cell pack. It needs the weight up front so a bigger battery is fine. aaa cells fit fine.
Your wing was way off compared to the one I have. I guess I was lucky. I used microballons to join my wing too.
So... on the fin I drilled the hole where they told me to (trust me):
...but when I test fit the fin, the slot they gave was cut so deep it would have covered the hole (blocking the elevator return assembly), so I compromised and installed the fin back a bit. (shrug)
I couldn't get the extensions to fit - trust me, I tried. And tried. And tried.... but there is a small opening between the pre-installed boom and the opening they provided.
Ms. Fuse, meet Mr. Dremel - problem solved:
I was a bit frustrated at this point.
Glued the fin in... 90.0004 degrees from flat.
Now here is where I screwed up... no biggie... drilled the four holes for the thread on the wrong end of the fin. Then I re-drilled them in the right spot and used my Spiderwire + CA to get it in place:
Prepped the boom by sanding it a bit (wasn't in directions, just figured....)
Used Thick CA to install the horizontal stab, careful to tape over the pull/pull hole before using the CA.
Wired up the control surfaces... a little tricky but I figured it out... definitely a two person operation if you want to keep the tension up while CAing the knots on the thread:
Spent this evening setting up my radio and the throws ( see my questions here )... pretty psyched to maiden here. Just need to install the peg (that will take about 15 seconds), balance for CG, check lateral balance...
Oh yeah... ordered a couple batteries from CheapBatteryPacks:
>> KAN150AAA/2x2 Stick/22AWG Wire/Hitec male
... these might not have much capacity, so I bought two of em so I can swap them up at the slopes.
Couple funny things from the directions:
1) On page 13 Great Planes suggests: "If you wish to photograph your model, do so before your first flight". LOL!
2) On page 11, it says "If necessary, adjust the clevises on the pushrods to center the control surfaces". Um... looks like somebody got a little aggresive on the "cut and paste" in the GP documentation department.
Lemme know if you have any questions. Pretty psyched to hit the slopes and try my first plane with a rudder!
I figure I have about 6 hours into this so far... 1.5 of which were for my own mods (off the stock build).
Joined Apr 2004
Sorry for the negative vibes but... Just return that plane to whereever you bought it from, either right now or right after the boom breaks. Do not put any more time into making it look nice. The boom is going to break, period, and not very long from now.
The Fling is a defective product period, and Great Planes should know better.
heheh... probably took two hours just for the photos to download.
Surprising how much "hate" is coming out of the woodwork for this plane - I'm getting PMs from people telling me what a mistake I made, etc..... never had that sort of negative reaction before, where people are bending over backwards... GP must've burned some bridges here and/or before...
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