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Posted by vulturetec | Apr 07, 2018 @ 10:17 AM | 5,370 Views
Another glider project for '18 '19.

From my past builds I've had a ton of inquiries about my CNC machine and cutting details, here's a rehash: I'm using a first-generation Shapeoko 3 (the newer ones a little more robust in the Z-axis and have a few other updates) with a DeWalt 611 router for a spindle. I added a 1/8" collet from Precise Bits, and typically use 1/32" downcut bits for thin balsa and parts that need detailed cuts (anything lighter than 1/4"). 1/4" and thicker - and some heavier materials are cut with 1/16" long-reach bits (all from Precise Bits). My wasteboard is covered with 1/2" blue foam to simplify things.

My machine is the smallest Shapeoko they make. It sits nicely on the end of my computer desk. With some careful planning it can be used to cut parts (fuselage sides, etc).

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Back to the glider: the wing design was mostly done in devWing2, with final editing in CorelDraw and Fusion 360. CAM work for cutting is with Cut2D. A couple of weeks of part-time CAD/devWing2, followed by waiting for a wood order (and final editing based on the wood dimensions) I'm ready to start cutting parts. We'll start with the wing - the fuselage would be too much of a giveaway

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The first group of ribs are set up in Cut2D. These are all the inboard wing panel ribs except two special ribs (we'll get to those later):
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Posted by vulturetec | Mar 04, 2018 @ 10:30 PM | 5,792 Views
This is a simple LUA script I wrote to help keep track of the number of flights and flight time on individual models. The logging data is stored in GVARs and therefore will remain intact as long as the GVARs 8 & 9 (on all flight modes) are not changed. The logger data can be backed up along with the model setup using companion.

The script is intended for fixed wing aircraft, primarily gliders. Flights are automatically counted when the aircraft is above a specified height above the ground for a length of time. The flight ends and the flight time calculated when the aircraft drops below that same height. Alternatively a toggle switch can be used to manually start and stop flights.

  • Originally written for use with OpenTX 2.2.1 on a FrSky Taranis X9D+ it may work on other platforms but has not been tested.
  • For fully automatic operation the script relies on telemetry data from a variometer (VARI-N, VARI-H, or G-RX8) with the sensor's altitude reset before takeoff. In some situations the sensor calibration may cause it to immediately show very high readings at power-up, if that happens the telemetry should be reset immediately or false flight times will be recorded.
  • Manual operation can be configured that will use a toggle switch input instead of altitude.


The flight times currently cannot exceed 1024 hours. This may be revised in future versions. However, the flight counter is not restricted to 1024 flights (it has been tested to over...Continue Reading
Posted by vulturetec | Jan 21, 2018 @ 07:30 PM | 4,964 Views
Lots of fun watching people fly that know what they're doing! Really need to get some practice. Hadn't flown but once since November - and my landings sure showed.

Didn't take that many pictures this time, didn't want to push my knee too much (I was really giving out at the end)...anyhow, here are some snapshots from today:

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Posted by vulturetec | Jan 02, 2018 @ 05:51 PM | 7,050 Views
2017 Slideshow (9 min 10 sec)

Posted by vulturetec | Nov 23, 2017 @ 03:41 PM | 7,361 Views
Scratch building a Gentle Lady. Trying to make it a "quick build" project over Thanksgiving. We'll see!

The plans are floating around the internet but I have an original RCM set and a set from a kit around here somewhere. The .pdf-based plans are kind of rough, but dimensionally fairly good and usable for creating parts. As long as everything fits it isn't overly critical anyway.

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Day one & two, weekend prior to Thanksgiving - worked on drawing up the parts in CorelDraw. I already did the basic rib layout a while back in Profili/Wing Dev but tweaked them for the build.

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Posted by vulturetec | Nov 08, 2017 @ 11:58 AM | 5,642 Views
Some RC flying sites I've found in my travels. Will add them (and update them) as I find 'em.
Posted by vulturetec | Jul 16, 2017 @ 10:01 PM | 7,099 Views
Before laminating the ply doublers to the balsa sides I set things out as they should be first. I'll inevitably do something really boneheaded if I'm not careful, so this kind of thing keeps me from making two left sides.

I also tend toward using slow glues where it makes sense so I at least have a little time to align things (thin CA wicked into an assembly already dry-fit is an obvious exception, if that technique is appropriate for the situation). For the doublers I opted for slow-setting CA. During previous projects I've found this type of CA also tends to flow out nicely when the parts are clamped, giving a really solid bond across a large area - and it doesn't take a whole lot of glue to do it.

Working quickly I glued up the ply, lined everything up using a board with a jig on it that kept the ends of the doubler/balsa assembly flush while keeping the bottom edges aligned by pressing the edges down on the board together. Quickly clamping the assembly between two planks assures a good bond between the parts and keeps everything flat in the process. Even though it's CA I give the slow stuff several minutes to completely set up before moving on.

For those that haven't seen the instructions, plans, or kit, it may be helpful to know how everything is designed to go together - at least up the "pod" stage (presumably the rest will be equally well thought out). It's well designed to be self-jigging, the parts all line themselves up with minimum effort...Continue Reading