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Old May 26, 2008, 03:24 PM
Late for work again!
Gary Binnie's Avatar
Northampton, England
Joined May 2004
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Build Log
Flair Albatross 100S

Ok then folks, here it is! A build thread for the Flair Albatross 100S glider.

I wasn’t going to build this until the winter but the weather has been so bad I thought there would be no harm in starting early, it might be a long build though.

The Albatross was Flair’s successor to the Sunrise introduced in the mid-1990’s I think, it does not appear in their current product range and these kits seem to be becoming rare.
Like the Cambrian Elan there is very little on the Internet about this model.

I am biased towards Flair’s kits as every one I have built have been winners in both the building and flying department so forgive me if I ‘blow their trumpet' a bit occasionally but I will also highlight any faults or problems when I find them.

On to the model then: The Albatross is a 100S class traditional built up glider, it uses the Selig 7037 wing section. Airbrakes are optional and parts are included in the kit. Another version was available with a foam/veneered wing.

What’s in the box? You get 11 panels of die cut Liteply parts, sheet and strip wood, a bag of hardware, snakes and cables and a couple of ‘Albatross’ badges.
Paperwork includes one large plan for the wing, six A3 sheets of illustrated instructions and seven A4 sheets of general construction notes and a comprehensive parts list with diagrams of the Liteply panel parts. All very nice.

Progress so far: Not a lot! I have spent several evenings studying the plan and instructions which always helps to avoid mistakes later on. This afternoon I numbered the Liteply parts with a pencil as a precaution and checked through the other balsa strip, sheet and parts. It’s all there.

The first step in construction is the inner wing panels with a note that if it is being built with airbrakes then this is where to start by building the boxes. So that is where I will start.

Cheers

Gary
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Last edited by Gary Binnie; May 31, 2008 at 08:40 PM. Reason: Move an apostrophe.
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Old May 26, 2008, 05:25 PM
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RC-JG's Avatar
United Kingdom, Holbeach Saint Johns
Joined Mar 2005
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Nice one Gary looking forward to this
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Old May 26, 2008, 06:20 PM
Chuck it and see!
Wing-span's Avatar
UK, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire
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I'll have to pick one of these up next time I see one. I thought they were still in production.
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Old May 27, 2008, 05:09 AM
Late for work again!
Gary Binnie's Avatar
Northampton, England
Joined May 2004
1,901 Posts
They are getting rare. The Albatross does not appear on Flair's current website, they have also dropped the fantastic 1/4 scale Schleicher K8 which was very popular. I presume that they are still trading although they don't seem to advertise at all and their website news has been static for a long time, bit of a mystery.

A long time ago they kitted a slope soaring EE Lightning and Hawker Hunter, very rare and sought after now.

Fortunately the kit collectors release all these old models for sale occasionally, it's down to luck whether you see the advert before someone else though!
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Old May 27, 2008, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wing-span
I'll have to pick one of these up next time I see one. I thought they were still in production.
Here you go http://www.sussex-model-centre.co.uk...d.asp?id=25494
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Old May 27, 2008, 11:18 AM
Chuck it and see!
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Thank you.
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Old May 27, 2008, 02:11 PM
Late for work again!
Gary Binnie's Avatar
Northampton, England
Joined May 2004
1,901 Posts
One giant leap for mankind!

Felt a bit tired after work today but I reckoned I could tackle the highly complex airbrake boxes!

Flair call them airbrakes, I know they are actually spoilers.

Only thing to watch out for here is that the small hardwood 'seats' are cut from 3x3mm square which was nearer 3x4mm in reality so I just made sure that they were all fitted the same (3mm) way round. The spoiler would not sit evenly otherwise.

The wing ribs as supplied are die-cut for a non-spoiler wing so I will have to modify them to take the boxes and two snake outers that run in each leading edge 'D' box. This is not specifically mentioned in the instructions and it could be embarrasing later.

So a little bit of rib trimming next.
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Old May 27, 2008, 04:12 PM
Late for work again!
Gary Binnie's Avatar
Northampton, England
Joined May 2004
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I removed a set of ribs for an inner panel from their sheets, they almost fell out! Tapped them out with the rubber end of a pencil and pushed the joiner tube holes out with the sharp end. Great, this is the way to make ribs!

I took the slightly rough edges off with sandpaper, they don't have to be super smooth as they all get covered with sheeting or capping strips. This time I have numbered them where it can't be seen through any transparent covering.

The spars would not quite fit initially so I took a file gently to the slots then squared the noses up.

The tails of the ribs do not end squarely, probably a limitation of the die-cutting (ed's note: it was deliberate and not a limitation) but I checked against the plan and they have left about 2mm over so that they can be squared up, very good. I think it's always worth spending a bit of time on the ribs as it makes wing building a doddle (easy).

Joiner tubes fitted through the holes without adjustment so all I've got to do is modify the ribs for the spoiler boxes and cables which I will leave until tomorrow (best not to do complicated stuff when I'm tired).

Cheers

Gary
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Last edited by Gary Binnie; Jun 02, 2008 at 09:00 PM. Reason: Add a note
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Old May 28, 2008, 03:47 PM
Late for work again!
Gary Binnie's Avatar
Northampton, England
Joined May 2004
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Onwards and upwards!

Tired again (early shift does nothing for me) I messed around with the wing parts tonight.

Two pairs of inner ribs needed laminating and all the ribs from the root to the outer end of the spoiler box needed holes drilling for the cable guides, some need a single hole, some need a slot big enough for two guides. Five ribs had to be modified for the spoiler box.

There are no holes for the spoiler cables in the fuselage sides so I marked the left side using the root rib, saves a bit of guesswork later.

The lower spar, trailing edge and the false leading edge are cut to length and everything is dry fitted, no glue tonight.

Cheers

Gary
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Last edited by Gary Binnie; May 28, 2008 at 04:22 PM. Reason: Correction to number of spoiler ribs, oops!
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Old May 30, 2008, 07:10 PM
Late for work again!
Gary Binnie's Avatar
Northampton, England
Joined May 2004
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Evening folks,

I completed the basic structure of the wing panel tonight.

The ribs were attached to the trailing edge first with a 1/16th packing strip underneath to allow for the capping strips.

Minor warping of the ribs was easily straightened while they were fixed to the lower spar. The false leading edge was added and then the upper spar.

The outer rib is angled inwards 8 degrees using a jig made from a drawing on the plan.

There was a slight disagreement between the plan and the instructions about the spar webbing, I stuck with the instructions and fitted double webs for the first seven rib bays with single webs further outboard and on the rear face of the spar.

The joiner tubes were cut to length and epoxied in place. The spoiler box is not fixed at this stage in case I need to adjust it after sheeting.

All pretty standard stuff, just making an effort to keep it accurate and neat.

The false leading edge needs sanding to the rib profile and then the top sheeting and capping strips can go on.

Cheers

Gary
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Old May 31, 2008, 05:15 AM
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Coming on nicely Gary
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Old May 31, 2008, 05:55 AM
Late for work again!
Gary Binnie's Avatar
Northampton, England
Joined May 2004
1,901 Posts
Thanks, how's your ankle?

It's all quiet in the house this morning (just me and the dog) so I will plod on.
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Old May 31, 2008, 06:25 PM
Late for work again!
Gary Binnie's Avatar
Northampton, England
Joined May 2004
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Toiling

Spent about nine hours today bashing balsa.

Have to post while I can remember what I did!

Where where we? Oh yes, inner wing panel.

I sheeted the upper 'D' box then turned it over for the lower surface. It is important that the structure is well pinned down as any warps will be fixed in as a 'feature' for eternity.

But before sheeting the bottom don't forget to fit the spoiler cable guides!
Instructions suggest a heat gun to bend the plastic guides, I don't have a heat gun but my wife has a hairdryer, job done but it burnt my fingers at close range!!

I then fixed the spoiler box in place and I was happy that my guess at the rib cut-out needed was about right, the instructions could have been slightly more helpful here with a full size drawing of the ribs. There is a gap between the spoiler box and the sheeting, this was filled with 1/16th strip.

I mentioned a drawing problem earlier, there was none! I could just not see what was going on under the woodwork, comes from having only one inner panel drawing to work on I suppose.

Added rib capping strips (except at the dihedral break) and the leading edge which is pre-shaped, very little sanding was needed to blend it in to the sheeting.

Will split this post, next installment in about 20 minutes (for those who can't wait).
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Last edited by Gary Binnie; May 31, 2008 at 06:27 PM. Reason: If I can't spell 'spoiler' by now I am in trouble!
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Old May 31, 2008, 07:19 PM
Late for work again!
Gary Binnie's Avatar
Northampton, England
Joined May 2004
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The excitement continues!

I know, you are all reading 'Histarter's' thread, perhaps he is like me, stuck in the past, I like Glenn Miller you know! (I do really!)

I like these 'winged manhole cover'/'clunker' models (launched by hi-start BTW). On a family budget and with other more expensive hobbies this suits me. One day I might have a shiny carbon moulded full house 'starship' but I have to be worthy of flying it first.

Did I digress?

Ok then, on to the lucious wingtip.

Yep, it's the same as the inner panel but shorter and tapered! In fact it is the reverse of Flair's earlier Sunrise, the leading edge sweeps back the same amount as the trailing edge swept forward on the Sunrise. Dudley Pattison (designer and Flair's former owner) must have worked that one out in the pub!

The construction is quietly different, balsa spars instead of spruce and a recommendation to sheet the lower surface first so that it can be pinned down flat to avoid wash-in or wash-out.

No rocket science here, nice little wingtip assembly to sand tomorrow.

I might build the fuselage next or even the tailplanes as I get bored with wings, who knows?!

Cheers

Gary
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Old May 31, 2008, 07:31 PM
Chuck it and see!
Wing-span's Avatar
UK, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire
Joined Sep 2006
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Gary,

You have a great work ethic. The build seems to be coming on at a pace!

It looks like the spoilers are activated by cable/string pulling horns which are externally mounted, correct?

Si
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