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Posted by UpNup | Mar 23, 2018 @ 04:28 PM | 1,952 Views
The Ford Flivver 268 build used black pleather cut using a cockpit template on the 1068 RCM plan. The template should have not just used the outline of the cockpit, but a half-inch border to allow for the pleather. I used a sturdy needle and double-threaded black cotton threat around the inside and outside edges of the pleather. Shorter cuts were estimated for the little cockpit edges by the pilot's shoulder. I tried covering the edge with a thin line of double-stick tape, but it didn't really work.

I started in the middle right behind the windscreen. I put a line of CA on both edges of the coaming. I simply pinched the pleather right onto the Monokote skin on the top and the painted planking underneath. It stuck. I slowly worked down the left side putting drops of CA on the pleather edges and pinching them and smoothing them. It worked. The coaming on the hatch wasn't a perfect match, but the original Ford Flivver didn't really match either. And because the pleather was so spongy, I didn't have the overlapping of the relatively thin leather used on the original plane.
Posted by UpNup | Feb 26, 2018 @ 09:40 PM | 3,207 Views
The Ford Flivver 1/5 scale #268 needed a more scale appearance on its instrument panel. The photo of the original plane hanging in the Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich., held a clue that wasn't available in the short kit from Laser Design Services based on the Dereck Woodward plans published June 1990 in RC Modeler Magazine.

One nice thing about working on a project for more than seven months is time to think, reflect, and utterly destroy your previous work in favor of something much more scale and better working, in my opinion, of course. And you don't feel so bad about what was left behind so much that way.

In a previous blog dated June 22, 2017, the instruments were described as (l-r) oil pressure gauge, Jaeger tachometer, and an on-off switch. The gauge was a penny and the tach was a quarter. These instruments were re-scaled and glued to smallish buttons that were much smaller, but much more realistic. Like the original, they stuck out rather than being behind the instrument panel. I made the gauges using PowerPoint and a printer using only the good quality, but blurry photo from the Ford Museum online.

I'm sure you can improve on the quality, but this was fun to figure out. The hatch stays on extremely well with one magnet. The cut in the cowl is so precise that the hatch only fits going straight down. It was a success and will be interesting to see if it really works when the plane is in the air and bouncing around on a landing.
Posted by UpNup | Feb 26, 2018 @ 07:57 PM | 2,896 Views
The Ford Flivver 1/5 scale from plans needed some alterations to accommodate electrics.
1. Four servos were placed in new spots -- 2 on the wings driving the ailerons, one in the tail for the elevator, and one below the cockpit for rudder push pull.
2. A 7" X 4" battery tray was sunk into the middle of the hatch compartment floor. The aft end was left open to run the ESC connector to the lipo.
3. The motor required ply supports adapted from the short kit. I brought the front of the motor right to the cowl opening.
Posted by UpNup | Feb 24, 2018 @ 06:11 PM | 1,935 Views
The Ford Flivver 268 has a very big front end. The electric conversion filled it up.

Installing the motor in advance meant things got dusty when I cut out the holes for the cylinders. I had to CA glue the 1/32” balsa “floors” to each hole.

The Rimfire .25 outrunner means that the whole “can” around the motor moves extremely fast.

The cowl can be cut out more but at this point I’m leaving the motor encased in the cowl.
Posted by UpNup | Feb 19, 2018 @ 01:13 PM | 2,480 Views
The Ford Flivver 268 build from plans is to the point of needing a hatch and cowl. All the electronics are installed and tested except for the two servos underneath. I tried doing just the hatch (see previous blog), but it needed to be integrated with the cowl. I plan to cut away the hatch. I used wax paper to keep glue off the fuselage.

Note: The hatch replaces the one described in the blog posted June 22, 2017.

The photos tell the story. This took about 16 hours....Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Feb 15, 2018 @ 02:55 PM | 5,380 Views
The Williams Bros Models Pilot figures have been around a long time. They typically have very wide eyes that look garish. This blog adds face-painting detail to my blog July 4, 2017. Some of the ideas are from other places in this forum and the Aces of Iron painting tips.

1. Sand the sides of the eyelids. They’re too wide. Ignore the outer edges and keep everything in a normal eye-shape oval.

2. Use the tip of an Xacto knife to scrape off the plastic nearest the nose, deepening the eye socket just a bit.

3. Paint the whole face with a flat paint that resembles skin tones. Keep in mind that Caucasians aren’t really white, but a sand-colored tan. I started with a raw wood color and mixed in just a bit of red and yellow to warm up the tones. I mixed everything in a white egg carton. While you have the flesh tones, mix in enough red to make it pale pink. Paint the lower lip (only) and inside the eyeballs nearest the nose.

4. Paint the eyeballs white. I mixed in a drop of gray to soften the brilliance. Stop painting the white way short of the edges outside to make them more realistic. Stop short of the pink near the nose.

5. Paint the iris blue. Some say brown doesn’t work as well. I mixed in some white and didn’t blend it thoroughly to give it streaks. Make the circles hide the top part with the eyelid. Too far up and they’ll look sleepy. Too low and they’ll look scared. Make them equal or they’ll look crazy.

6. Make a dot...Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Feb 02, 2018 @ 11:16 AM | 2,684 Views
Formers for the Ford Flivver need to change to accommodate the Rimfire .25 motor. The hatch and cowl must be re-thought. My hobby shop recommended tearing out the battery tray, eliminating the pilot and put in a mid-size motor mount (Great Planes). But, well, I like the pilot and lipo tray. So I started at this point deviating from the plans. I already have mini servos in the wings and tail so the precedent has been set. I did buy the GP motor mount as a safety net I can always revert to if my ideas don’t work.

To make the plywood formers, I turned to the plywood jigs provided with the short kit (wingtips, rudder, and elevator laminations). I don’t have saws so I used a click knife and Xacto knife to cut out the parts and 80 grit sandpaper to finish.
Posted by UpNup | Jan 19, 2018 @ 04:15 PM | 2,473 Views
Here are some costs that I did not anticipate when I started flying RC airplanes.

75.00 AMA -- Dues & Magazine
75.00 Club Dues
134.99 DX6e 6 Ch Transmitter
22.39 Battery Case
TOTAL: $307.39
Posted by UpNup | Jan 19, 2018 @ 04:10 PM | 2,508 Views
Cost Tax Item purchased
89.99 6.58 Rimfire .25 Outrunner Brushless motor
80.00 FF Short Kit
79.99 13.96 AR636 6-Channel AS3X Sport Receiver (SPMAR636)
56.58 3s 2200 Batteries ($30 ea. X 2)
39.55 15.95 Balsa Shipping $16
35.96 4 Servos _ New Power Digital Servo ($8.99 ea.)
34.99 ESC ZTW Beatles 60 Amp
19.95 3.5 Wheels - 3 3/4" Golden Age
17.99 Great Planes Brushless Motor Mount GPMG1255
16.34 1.1 Balsa
16.14 MonoKote Aluminum
14.98 6.78 FF Plastic Model via eBay (incl. shipping)
14.34 0.97 Balsa
13.59 Monokote Sapphire Blue
12.79 Balsa
9.60 0.68 Printed FF plans 1/5 Scale (AeroFred RCM)
9.59 Sullivan Pull Cable Kit #521
6.99 0.88 Paper Craft - White lettering
6.99 Spinner and backplate
6.97 Sandpaper assorted pack
6.50 Wheels - 1 7/8" Golden Age tailwheel
5.99 Scissors
5.98 0.42 Music Wire 3/32" and .062 in. X 5
5.97 0.87 Loctite Super Glue
5.49 Y-harness - JR Compatible Servo 12 inch
4.99 0.5 Balsa
4.67 Bulk Dura-Collars (wheels)
4.66 7.27 Pilot (shipping)
3.58 Balsa
3.58 Balsa
3.49 3.03 1" CA Hinges (24)
3.06 0.5 Spray Paint
2.99 Propeller
2.99 12" servo extension
2.98 Music Wire 1/8" X 36" X @ $1.49 ea.
2.49 0.29 Thumb tacks
2.44 Testors Paints for pilot
2.39 0.16 Balsa
2.00 3 2 Quick Links - control arms
1.95 2.63 Steel Straps
1.18 Landing Gear Straps (4) 1/8"
1.07 0.07 Balsa
1.00 0.07 Waxed paper
0.99 0.06 Kwik-link 1' - servo control and clevis elevator
665.75 69.27
$735.02 TOTAL Ford Flivver 1/5 scale build from plans
Posted by UpNup | Jan 16, 2018 @ 06:39 PM | 2,390 Views
Little things mean a lot. Weight creeps up. Things begin to skew. But some little things look awesome and are worth the effort.

The seat back for the Ford Flivver is not mentioned anywhere. I made a template and found some black sheet called leather. To get a quilting effect, my wife sewed seams across lines I’d made. These help the back look better than just painting brhind the pilot figure.
Posted by UpNup | Jan 07, 2018 @ 06:58 PM | 2,002 Views
The back of the Ford Flivver 268 has an incredible top deck.
1. I had to add two 3/32” sheets to the Long headrest I had blogged about previously.
2. Instead of stringer sticks, the plan wisely calls for three triangular slats angled to go the entire length.
3. The 3/32” sheet would not bend so I had to plank the sides of that deck.
Posted by UpNup | Dec 29, 2017 @ 08:17 PM | 2,743 Views
The Ford Flivver has walls that are extremely rigid. But! All was well gluing together the frame formers. And all was well gluing down the 1/64” thick plywood foward sides.

The 1/32” sides needed glue and all that wetness began to bow everything. It was so bad it popped the sides of two plywood cross-beams. And it kept on bowing. I went into action and pulled everything out of the middle except for the side formers.

I threw the sides on a Formica counter and starting piling on the heaviest books I owned. The side panels began flattening out under the weight. When I removed the books 15 hours later, the glue was dry and the sides were flat.

Too much drama.
Posted by UpNup | Dec 27, 2017 @ 02:15 PM | 2,898 Views
Back in the summer, I made the instrument panel. Not having a guide, I used a penny for the oil pressure, a quarter for the tachometer, and ply/balsa carving for the on/off switch.

Today was the time to put it all into the top hatch. The Ford Flivver plans included a loopy template for the forward cockpit. I made an aluminum cutout from a pop can, but it didn’t work. However, I managed to find one curve that I liked, so I made that work. All that trouble a few months ago finally began to pay off.

I don’t know about you, but God has done some things in my life that I just had to scratch my head at the time and move on. But later, I saw how what I learned or a skill that I had developed made me smile and go, “So THAT’S why I went through that!” And boom, I use it to help someone. I’ve had cancer, had my position cut at work (twice!), cared for my wife when she had leukemia. And you just don’t get answers to the “Why God?” question at the time. Years later, we benefit from a stronger marriage, an ability to counsel others in crisis, and have an incredible new job opportunity that I would have missed stuck in the old job. And on this job, I don’t travel much, so there’s more time to build this plane.

The plans called for 1/4” thick and 3/8” wide planking, but I used 3/16” thick and 1/4” wide balsa strips. I used my rotary tool to neatly cut away the balsa cockpit wall extenders. After sanding with an 80-grit block, I touched up some cracks with balsa slivers and then hit it with some wet lightweight spackling.

UPDATE: This whole hatch had to be re-invented. The hatch extends much further and needed to be integrated. The thickness was not enough. And the instruments were not scale. Although the former came with the laser cut and matched the plans precisely, they needed to be updated to be more scale.
Posted by UpNup | Dec 22, 2017 @ 10:00 PM | 2,550 Views
Behind the Ford Flivver #268 pilot’s head is the world’s longest headrest. It reminds me of the helmets cyclists wear during time trials. They’re built to be aerodynamic and so is the Flivver’s headrest.

Making this 16 inch by 1 1/8 in. balsa piece that runs down the spine of the airplane intimidated me. I had to buy two balsa blocks, use the plan’s measurements and figure out how to cut them down and glue them together. After hulling out the bottom, I painted it silver with a brush. The silver paint is so fluid that it didn’t leave brush marks.

EDIT: To make it fit right, I had to add two laminations of 3/32" balsa sheeting. I put wood glue on one side and sprayed Windex on the other. I tied everything down with rubber bands. This put some dents along the bottom, but they were superficial and easily sanded out.
Posted by UpNup | Dec 13, 2017 @ 10:21 PM | 2,371 Views
When building the ribs, I mounted the servos with screws and glued them on plywood rails at an angle. The idea is that the servos must be perpendicular to the control horns to work correctly. The control horns were cut from the clear cover of an Apple iPhone earplug box. I cut them out with my rotary drill. I sanded them and painted them with Testors aluminum (dull silver) paint.

In this set, you'll notice that I've glued metal beads down the tops of the ribs. On the original wings, there are these beads just under the skin. It's like they are clamps or U-shaped staples of sorts holding down some kind of wire or line running down the tops of the ribs. My concern is that they'll melt through Monokote when the covering is ironed on. I plan to test it. The little metals beads were found on a 2 pound exercise cuff that my wife used. It had "runs" in them like a women's hose that dripped these tiny pellets. And they worked perfectly if they won't damage the covering.
Posted by UpNup | Dec 10, 2017 @ 08:16 PM | 2,500 Views
The Ford Flivver 268 plans are tricky in places. The fin and rudder have details that have to be closely followed.

The fin is 1/8 in. thick to build over the plans. When finished, you have to add 1/32 in. sheeting on both sides.

The rudder is 3/16 in. thick with extremely long and curved laminations. I made everything from cuts to sheeting. However the rudder has no sheeting.

The moment of truth is when the tail wheel bracket has to be inserted into a hole in the rudder and a trough has to be delicately run down the lower spine of the rudder. My alignment was off by only 1/16 in., but that threw the tail wheel off by 1/4 in. To resolve the problem, I could have re-soldered the bracket, but realized it could lead to new problems. I used a metal file to slim the top of the bracket insertion rod and cut the insertion hole on an angle. By gluing on a 1/64 in. plywood curved side, I covered where the bracket popped through the soft balsa.

There are two 1/8 in. dowel rods inserted into the bottom of the fin. Now, that means the 1/8 in. balsa rail gets cut through in two places! I cut the holes carefully and sliced the sides. Then I sanded flat the parts so that the sides didn’t bulge. I used CA to quickly fix the dowels.

When I put the 1/32 in. sheeting on, everything laid flat. I used yellow wood glue on the fin and it alarmed me when the balsa began to limber up. I moved quickly to glue both slides. I layed the glued fin on a Formica kitchen countertop and...Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Dec 02, 2017 @ 12:52 PM | 2,897 Views
One of the most unique noticeable characteristics of the Ford Flivver 268 is its tailwheel. The plans provide some but not all details. In 1990, apparently Dereck Woodward that wrote the plans did not have access to a Williams Bros. 2 inch diameter Golden Age wheel. It matches the 3 3/4 in. wheels used in the landing gear. It beat having to make a ply and balsa tailwheel. However, during the tedious soldering I melted the plastic hub on one of the two tailwheels. Brass hubs conduct heat extremely well.

1. Buy or make your 2 inch diameter tailwheel. Drill a hole in the axle that is just slightly larger than 1/8 in.

2. Cut a brass axle and shorter hub. I found the brass tubing at Hobby Lobby. You will need a hacksaw and a very light touch. Run the 1/8 brass hub through the wheel to make a hub and then slide the smaller diameter brass tube through the hub. Cut to fit. Then use pliers to mash the ends flat, making sure the hub and wheel spins freely.

3. Bend and cut the wires. Solder the pull-pull brass strip to the vertical post being careful to place it perpendicular to the wheel axle. Then solder each piece of wire as directed. Tin every metal torch point prior to soldering.

4. Place a wet piece of cardboard next to the wheel hub. This will help wick away some of the heat from your soldering iron. An industrial high heat soldering iron is recommended. But touch the axle no more than five seconds at a time. Do not let that plastic wheel melt. Keep checking that it...Continue Reading