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Old May 23, 2006, 01:35 AM
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FrankW's Avatar
Portland Intl, Oregon, United States
Joined Dec 2002
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Build Log
Oakdale Aircraft X-32 prototype build thread

This will be the build thread for the Prototype kit of the X-32 by Oakdale Aircraft. I have been wanting to build an X-32 for some time now, so when Russ offered to let me build, test and review his new X-32 I jumped at the chance.

When the kit arrived I tore into the box quickly. It includes a fiberglass fuselage & canopy, foam wing cores, plywood bulkheads and spars, and a sheet of plans drawn by Micheal McCaffrey.

The fuselage looks great, it's lightweight and seems very strong. The front ducting and support bulkhead have already been installed. The wingcores were cut from 3 pieces of foam for each half (due to the extreme taper). The plywood pieces look top notch and the plans will be great referance sheets.

I have already planned a few modifications to the kit as it sits. I will be installing retracts, adding a scale gunport which will serve as a "cheater hole" (due to the relatively small front intake), and will be using a more scale control surface outline, as elevons. I will also be moving the fan rearward from the stock location as I believe it will serve EDF better. This will require me to engineer my own rear ducting and fan mounting. I will also be adding "scale buldges" under the wing to replicate the gear doors. The wings will also have carbon spars to reenforce where the retract cutouts will be.

I plan on powering it with a Great Planes 28-56-2300 motor on 6s Great Planes Power Series 2100 lipoly (have had good luck with the 1500s) spining a Wemotec Minifan 480. Motocalc estimates 623.9 watts out. I'm hoping to keep the total weight to 53 oz (or 3.3 lbs).

The dimensions of this plane look to be: Length - 32", wingspan 28" and wing area - 346" sq. This plane has a lot of wing.

I'm hoping to keep this thread updated nightly with new progress on the plane. I'm really looking forward to getting this one in the air.

-Frank
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Last edited by FrankW; May 23, 2006 at 01:53 AM.
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Old May 23, 2006, 01:45 AM
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FrankW's Avatar
Portland Intl, Oregon, United States
Joined Dec 2002
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I have currently amassed most of my equiptment and supplies for this project. Currently I have:

- Wemotec minifan
- Castle Creastion Pheonix 80 ESC
- (2) Hitec HS-85 servos (for elevons)
- Hitec HS-56 servo (for front wheel steering)
- Eflite S75 (for retract valve, may be replaced by HS-56)
- Micro pneumatic retracts from rc-warbirds.com
- sonictronics hidden hinges (for gear doors)
- Robart hinges
- Robart 1/2" control horn
- Dave Brown lite flite wheels (2" rear, 1.5" front)
- Sermos connectors
- 4mm GP bullet connectors
- (3) 6" x 48" x 1/16" balsa (only 1.3 oz/sheet )

I still need to get a reciever and I'm waiting on the motor, batteries and UBEC.

I also bought and built an Italeri 1/72nd scale X-32 plastic model for referance purposes.

There will be odds and ends that I will need, but I should have them all laying around my hobby room.

-Frank
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Old May 23, 2006, 06:04 AM
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Kevin Cox's Avatar
St. Louis Intl, Missouri, United States
Joined Jan 1997
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Nice Frank!

I know you are a big fan of the X-32 and I'm glad you finally got one.

Oh yeah that isn't a gun port but an intake for the APU and something else...I can't remember at the moment.

Signing on to this thread!
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Old May 23, 2006, 08:38 AM
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Jet Dreams's Avatar
Farr West, Utah USA
Joined Dec 2003
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The X-32 is a good looking bird, I had never heard of it. What was it developed for? Interesting air intake....

Erick
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Old May 23, 2006, 09:33 AM
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United States, AZ, Queen Creek
Joined Feb 2004
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The X-32 was Boeing's entry into the Joint Strike Fighter competition for the Military's nest Gen fighter. Lockheed's X-35 (now F-35) ended up being awarded the contract.
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Old May 23, 2006, 10:26 AM
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FrankW's Avatar
Portland Intl, Oregon, United States
Joined Dec 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Cox
Oh yeah that isn't a gun port but an intake for the APU and something else...I can't remember at the moment.
Cool, thanks for the correction. I'm hoping the NACA duct and APU intake will add at least 10% to the total intake area. From some rough measurements and calculations, the stock intake area is about 100% FSA. I plan on using an exhaust with about 85% FSA.

Yeah, the X-32 lost to Lockheed's X-35 (and not by a slim margin), but it's such an interesting design that it's worth modeling.

-Frank
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Old May 23, 2006, 01:30 PM
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Friday Harbor, Wa
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IMHO the X-32 should have won. The idea was to select a cheap and versatile plane. The brass were true to form and picked the expensive one. Granted the X-32 didn't perform as well as the X-35 in the time frame but it did do everything required in the contract.
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Old May 23, 2006, 04:13 PM
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Las Vegas, NV
Joined Dec 1996
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Well when you have to fly at sea level with the gear doors off to be light enough to take off, you're a bit short on power. I don't recall the specifics or how much thrust they were short but the X-35 was getting a tremendous amount of thrust out of that front fan. I'm sure the guys flying the thing on a hot day will appreciate that extra margin of power.
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Old May 23, 2006, 05:13 PM
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FrankW's Avatar
Portland Intl, Oregon, United States
Joined Dec 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Waldrep
Well when you have to fly at sea level with the gear doors off to be light enough to take off, you're a bit short on power.
You mean hover/VTO right? They had to take off the gear doors, wing tips and front intake cowling. I'm at work, so I can't post a picture, but I have some at home of the X-32 in hover. I think it also failed the "must hover and go supersonic in the same flight" test.

Realistically, the F-35 is a better design for performance (I don't know about maintenance) albeit more expensive. I just love the design of the X-32.

I'm currently taking a short break for the day on working on the plane (I'm working on it at work, cool eh?). I have the wing sheeting mostly done. I'll give a more detailed update and pictures when I return home.

-Frank
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Last edited by FrankW; May 23, 2006 at 11:15 PM.
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Old May 23, 2006, 05:19 PM
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Honolulu, HI
Joined Jun 2003
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Interestingly enough, couple weeks back, I was talking to one of the test pilots that was involved in testing the X-32 and he said that the pilots liked it. More so than the X-35. I was a little surpised to hear that.
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Old May 23, 2006, 09:52 PM
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Cincinnati ,Ohio
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The F32 is at the Air Force Museum in Dayton.....it is in the restoration area and we were told that it will not be put out on display for quite awhile................just down from it is the YF23 but the YF23 is in sections the F32 looks like they could just clean it up and roll it out
Glenn
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Old May 23, 2006, 11:06 PM
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FrankW's Avatar
Portland Intl, Oregon, United States
Joined Dec 2002
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Alright, here's a build update:

Today I focused on the wing panels. I laminated the wings using .75 oz fiberglass and 1/16 inch balsa. I first had to cut out each piece of laminating material seperately (the laborous part). To make the balsa sheets big enough for the wing panels I had to CA two pieces of sheet togather. Each piece was cut roughly 1/2" larger, on each side, than the wing core itself. The balsa layers were then sanded lightly at the seam to keep them smooth. I also made sure that the grain of the wood follows the leading edge of the wing panel.

I used iron-on covering material to keep the wing panels from sticking to the beds. I actually used the backing side because it didn't hold onto the epoxy during tests. I did this for two reasons: I had a big roll of white left over from a patching job I had to do on a park flyer and I had used wax paper for the same purpose on an earlier project and wasn't happy with the finish. To keep the material in place on the wing beds I used 3M styrofoam-safe spray on adhesive. I also glued togather the A and B wing beds, so they wouldn't migrate from each other.

The layup layers go as follows:
- bottom bed
- covering material
- .75 oz fiberglass
- 1/16th inch balsa
- wing core
- 1/16th inch balsa
- .75 oz fiberglass
- covering material
- Top bed

Each layer was lightly coated with 3 hour NHP epoxy. The sandwich was then vacuum sealed with a Food Saver (these things are awesome). This was done to help keep the layers compressed against the foam core, eliminate air bubbles and to pull out any excess resin. It should result in a very strong and light wing panel. Hopefully the finish will be better than when I had used wax paper. I elected not to use wing spars and instead use carbon fiber tubes as wing/fuselage reenforcement. The stressed-skin properties of this layup should provide sufficient strength and rigidity. Now I must let the wing panels cure over night.

Unfortunately I ran out of Food Saver bag material before I could do the wing tip panels, so I will finish those tomorrow.

I have included step-by-step pictures of the layup process.

-Frank
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Old May 23, 2006, 11:13 PM
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FrankW's Avatar
Portland Intl, Oregon, United States
Joined Dec 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Corrie
The F32 is at the Air Force Museum in Dayton...
F-32? As far as I know one doesn't really exsist. There was a mock-up of it made, but not a flying demonstrator. The F-32 was a little different design than the X-32. I have included a couple 3-views to illustrate. This also lead to the X-32/F-32 downfall, the flying demonstrater was not the same aircraft as the production aircraft. Boeing, late in the building stages, decided to change the design to a more standard "four-poster" design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankW
You mean hover/VTO right? They had to take off the gear doors, wing tips and front intake cowling. I'm at work, so I can't post a picture, but I have some at home of the X-32 in hover. I think it also failed the "must hover and go supersonic in the same flight" test.
Here's also a good picture of the X-32 hovering without it's gear doors, wingtips and intake cowl.

-Frank
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Old May 23, 2006, 11:37 PM
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Just my observation; but..........

The poor thing has always looked like a Grouper or Bass to me!

That said, I do adhere to the concept of "If it's not Boeing........I'm not going"

Check 6,
-Mike
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Old May 24, 2006, 08:55 AM
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Tempest's Avatar
Gaithersburg MD, United States
Joined Nov 2000
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Interesting approach on vacuum bagging the wings Frank. I'll definitely be watching this thread.

You mentioned a few modifications to the kit. Do you know what the intake area is (% FSA) for just the chin scoop? Will the production kits require the builder to make the same modifications for the intake and fan placement?

Very cool subject by the way!

Paul
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