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Old Sep 18, 2007, 02:31 PM
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Joined May 2005
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Help!
Balancing Large Scale Airplanes

I am on my third large scale build (CAP 232G) and continue to be challenged on the best way to support the plane for balancing during the completion process. I have a very light weight balancer that would not hold the plane and was designed for lightweight Electrics or small glows. I know the answer is have two people hold it at each wing at the desired CG - that is not the most accurate nor easiest way when you have a 14lb plane. Does anyone have any "tricks" they use or links to some sights that would solve this dilema???? I am about to put two eyelets in each wing tip and hang it from the ceiling for balancing
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Old Sep 18, 2007, 07:30 PM
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United States, ID
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I just went through the same thing with a 20 pounder..........did a internet search and found some extravagant suspension systems with plumb bobs and more string than at a kite festival............I actually considered doing it........
then I came back to my senses. I went to the shop and cut two pieces of 2x6 each a foot long............drilled a 1/2 inch hole 1" deep in the center of each 2x6 (center of the flat side).........cut two lengths of 1/2 inch dowel so when I stuck a dowel in the hole in the 2x6 and slid it under the wing the wheel was just lifted off the ground. I found a couple of 1/2 inch rubber stool leg covers to go over the end of the dowels...........long story short, you can now put your plane up on dowels (close to the fuselage is sturdier) and just keep moving the dowels until the plane balances.........there's your CG.
Very cheap.....very easy.........very accurate..........and...........you can do it by yourself.
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Old Sep 21, 2007, 08:18 AM
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Joined May 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roknhs
I just went through the same thing with a 20 pounder..........did a internet search and found some extravagant suspension systems with plumb bobs and more string than at a kite festival............I actually considered doing it........
then I came back to my senses. I went to the shop and cut two pieces of 2x6 each a foot long............drilled a 1/2 inch hole 1" deep in the center of each 2x6 (center of the flat side).........cut two lengths of 1/2 inch dowel so when I stuck a dowel in the hole in the 2x6 and slid it under the wing the wheel was just lifted off the ground. I found a couple of 1/2 inch rubber stool leg covers to go over the end of the dowels...........long story short, you can now put your plane up on dowels (close to the fuselage is sturdier) and just keep moving the dowels until the plane balances.........there's your CG.
Very cheap.....very easy.........very accurate..........and...........you can do it by yourself.
thanks - I had not thought of that and that is a great solution - I really appreciate your response
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Old Sep 21, 2007, 09:28 AM
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United States, MA, Westford
Joined Nov 2005
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Balance stands as described above work well when the C.G. of the aircraft is below the bottom of the wing. If it is above, then you can flip the airplane upside down and it will work. The tough ones are when the C.G. is located vertically within the airfoil section and no matter how you support it on a stand the C.G. is above the point you are trying to balance the airplane on. That is where the sling and plumb-bob method comes to the rescue. Just a different way to skin the cat and the airplane can't fall off the stand and get dinged with hanger rash.
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Old Sep 21, 2007, 11:26 AM
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Joined Dec 2006
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there is a way to do it with a level tape measure and a scale to weight it . it is the same way they c.g. a real plane.

issaboo
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Old Sep 21, 2007, 06:14 PM
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If you're going to be serious about this, then you really do need to weigh the model and do the math (Courtesy of Mr Phil Clark, England):

1) The model has to be jacked up 'level'....by level, with the fuselage datum at '0' degrees

2) Hand a 'plumb bob' of somewhere convenient....in this case, the end of the crank shaft stocking through the prop (yellow arrow)......this determines our 'known position.

3) Measure the distance from this 'known position' to the centre (axles) if the main wheels. This is distance 'A'

4) Measure the distance from the 'known position' to the centre (axle) of the tail wheel. This is distance 'B'

5) Using a set of scales, place them under one main wheel and take a weight reading. When doing this, the other main wheel, and the tail wheel MUST be chocked up the same amount as the thickness of the scales so as to maintain the models 'level'

6) Swap the scales and chock to the other main wheel, and take a 2nd main wheel weight reading. Combine the 2 main wheel weight readings. This is 'Wt1'

7) Using the same method as above (with both main wheels chocked up) take a tail wheel weight reading. This is 'Wt2'

We now have 2 distances (A and B), and 2 weights (Wt1 and Wt2). The 2 weight readings can now be combined to give us the 'total' weight of the model.

The 4 values can then be plugged into the following formule, to determin where the CG is, in relation to the 'known point'.

(A) (Wt1) + (B) (Wt2) = (Wt1 + Wt2) CG

So.....here's the figures.

(33.5" x 145.8lb) + (113.75" x 29.2lb) = (175) CG

4884.3 + 3321.5 = 175 x CG

CG = 8205.8
--------
175

CG = 46.89" back from the 'Known point'


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Old Sep 27, 2007, 01:59 AM
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Joined Jan 2007
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Reply to #6:
Interesting and useful.
This could be useful for models 10 - 50 lbs
Generally we are given the C of G range.
But where is it actually on your particular model with varying equipment placings?
How about purchasing a kiddies see-saw (or make one)?
Remove handles leaving flat plank and make sure it balances dead level
Place on garage floor.
Extend pivot point by painting a line on the garage floor on each side to make model alignment easier.
Secure airplane to plank....foam cutouts etc.....with design CG on pivot point.
Adjust equipment until plane balances level.
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Last edited by hwka; Sep 27, 2007 at 02:12 AM.
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Old Sep 28, 2007, 06:40 PM
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Joined Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwka
Reply to #6:
Interesting and useful.
This could be useful for models 10 - 50 lbs
Generally we are given the C of G range.
But where is it actually on your particular model with varying equipment placings?
Working back with the original CG formula, if you add some equipment in the model, you can calculate its impact on the CG position.

You know the distance from the datum, and the weight of the equipment added and alter the existing figures to the following (in this case using 8lb's as the estimated nose weight requirement)

(33.5" x 145.8lb) + (113.75" x 29.2lb) + (12" x 8lb) = 183lb x CG

4884.3 + 3321.5 + 96 = 183 x CG

CG = 8301.8
----------
183

CG will now be 45.36" rearward of our datum. Adding 8 lbs of weight on the nose of this model moves the CG 1.53" forward.
The effect any object in the model placed in the model can be calculated in this manner, by replacing the '12" x 8lb' in the formula with the distance and weight of the object in question.
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