Clint Dethrow's blog View Details
Posted by Clint Dethrow | Mar 02, 2017 @ 06:47 PM | 7,435 Views
I probably won’t be in a position to really start the build of my Cherokee until mid to late summer due to the fact that I need to work on converting my 3 car garage into bay 1 for my wife a ‘craft’ area; and then bays 2 & 3 for myself. But in the mean time I’ve been working to make everything easy to move when the time comes; and of course still working on a couple of small projects for both our given areas.

With that being the plan I have however, designed and laid out my jig plan for building the front & rear spar boxes for the wing center section which will be assembled as part of the fuselage. Both boxes will be built back to back with a straight ¾” square poplar stick separating them. The jig itself will be ½” ply 4-3/8” x 48” set on (10) 2” legs to give me room to position clamp along the full length. The only thing I haven’t done yet is to find a material I can use on both sides of the poplar and beneath the boxes to keep Titebond II from adhering everything together. I’ve got a few ideas, now just have to see what works best.

Posted by Clint Dethrow | Feb 17, 2017 @ 07:54 AM | 7,161 Views
The further I got into the information gathering for my up-coming build of the “Cherokee” the more I realized how little knowledge I really had to take on a project of this size. Sure, I’ve built a number of planes; I even designed & built two that flew (one was okay, the other not so good); and took an .09 size plane and scaled it up to a .46 (which in itself was a bit tricky since it originally was a hand toss aircraft; I ended up building a trike like sled to get it airborne.

But here I am now, not only am I stepping into the world of Giant Airplanes, but add to that going with a gas rather than a glow engine. My first knee-jerk response was “This is way over my head. I can’t possibly get all the way through building this airplane; detailing it out the way I imagine it, then fiber glassing it, and painting it like I want.”

But being the stubborn guy I am, I kept studying the plans (finding new things every time I look at them) and started reading through several of the forums and the build logs of other guys. Then I began posting discussion items and questions about things I’d see, and things I wanted to know how to handle. I was encouraged every time I got responses from the guys here who had spent 20-30 years building. Not one soul treated me like I was an idiot; they only asked questions to get me to clarify something or to question my logic. Then posted answers based on their own experience.

So here we are. My original plans (2 sheets 42 x 96) have been
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Posted by Clint Dethrow | Jan 31, 2017 @ 04:45 PM | 7,097 Views
Having made the decision to make the jump from building smaller planes (40 up to 120 size) into the world of Giant Scale (30%) I’m quickly learning that every step of the way is going to be much more involved than what I’m used to having to deal with.

The airframe alone is more complex and will be a plethora of details that will need to be examined from every aspect along the way to keep everything straight and level as it needs to be.

When and where to use CA, why glues like Titebond are used more (my wife thinks I have way too many clamps - little does she know) and my use of applying epoxy in a more neat fashion will no doubt help.

And stepping up to a gas engine is something completely new to me, so it’s another thing I will have to learn in this scope of flying with the big boys. Along with that comes all the electric goodies that come with making a gas engine run more efficiently.

Then to top everything off, once the plane is built, there comes the subject of how to finish it off. My total exposure to fiberglass is to join the two wing halves together and then covering it. But then even once that is done, I’m not done yet. Then I get to detail out the exterior surfaces of the plane to get it ready for painting.

I must admit though, that I started down this path and all things considered, I’m looking forward to every step of the way. It’ll probably take me longer to build this plane than other guys do, but that’s alright, because my mind’s eye already sees the final product.

Posted by Clint Dethrow | Jan 27, 2017 @ 12:59 AM | 7,232 Views
I came back to this forum when I finally decided to build the Cherokee. After looking at so many threads of the questions others ask in all the forums that pertain to my interests I am now convinced that this build has to be done. I've spent countless hours in research, visiting different websites to find parts, information and costs, and yes, posting my own questions here and there. What I've found out is that the folks here don't always tell you what you 'want' to hear, but will tell you what you 'need' to hear. And that's a good thing; and if they don't know the answer, they generally try to at least give you additional sources to check out.

I probably won't actually get to start my own build until this cold weather passes in the spring; but by then I plan to have my plan formulated to start building. As the thoughts of it run through my mind daily (sometimes hourly) I keep jotting down notes and stashing them away in the folder.

I keep thinking of how I want it to look better that just another plane; like detailing the cockpit and cabin area, creating the baggage door, modifying the wingtips to more like what they are now, and several other little things. And along the way I've got to learn how to lay out all the electric pieces and connections so one thing doesn't cause static or interference with anything else. And then there is the engine. The largest I've dealt with has been an OS FS 120. Now I'm looking at installing a gas engine, and a twin at that.

Oh yeah, I think I'm going to have my hands full. But you know what? I'm going to love it. Watch for it ... and when it happens, I hope that there will be lots of questions, comments, and yes, LOTS of suggestions and/or recommendations on things.

So until then, I'll be reading what you other guys/gals are doing on your builds and learning.

Posted by Clint Dethrow | Jan 19, 2017 @ 09:42 AM | 8,285 Views
Walking into some hobby stores as we travel back and forth from here in Oregon to Oklahoma one might think that ‘kit’ planes no longer exist; instead ARF’s and Drones have taken over for everything that takes to the air. I am amazed at the level of technology that now exists in them both. Planes that make it possible for anyone to fly, in spite of never having any previous experience. And the drones with HD cameras, GPS, automatic folding landing pads…and the list goes on.

The last hobby shop I was in during our travels there were no boxed kits on the wall, but I counted 17 ARFs and at least 7 different drones with an abundant supply of electric motors, batteries and other goodies for both. It’s like we’ve turned into a nation of individuals insistent upon ‘instant gratification’.

I have nothing against electric powered aircraft; I have a few of my own. But the airplanes I have them in (some kits and some from plans) were made by my hands, covered and assembled by me and flown.

It wasn’t until I came back to this RC forum and found all the different categories of people who still enjoy the process of starting off with sticks and sheets of balsa, bass, and ply to build and fly everything from micro to giant scale aircraft of every kind with glow, gas or electric power.

Not only that, but I’ve found them to be the most generous folks you’d ever find. Have a problem or question? Post it here and you’ll most likely get answers or suggestions from someone who has been there, done that. And they do it willingly in description, or links, and photos; asking nothing in return but just to share their knowledge and past experience to those of us who need it.

Posted by Clint Dethrow | Jan 17, 2017 @ 12:54 PM | 7,121 Views
In 2001 I had an opportunity to work week-ends in the local hobby shop where I bought my first airplane kit. I had become a friend to the manager and got to spend a lot of time with him in his home shop once or twice a week in the evenings. And in the process he taught me things as I watched him; and sometimes even got to help him.

Over a period of about 6 years there were guys who came in saying that they were moving, getting married, decided that building wasn’t their cup of tea, or due to health couldn’t build or fly any longer and had stuff they wanted to get rid of; asking if someone wanted to come take a look at what they had and possibly buy all of it.

The shop manager already had a shop full of goodies so there were times he’d give me the information since he knew I was a balsa junkie. Needless to say, I ended up with a plethora of kits, engines, wood, cowlings, props, spinners, servos and just about everything else you can imagine.

In 2011 the wife & I decided the kitchen/family room was in bad need of work (the dishwasher died a terrible death and she hated the stove, the kitchen cabinets, and dropped ceiling with hanging cabinets that blocked the view into the family room, and we both hated the shag carpet) so we started the process of designing things to suit her wants and needs. The plan was to tear out everything back to bare walls and install new cabinets, larger pantry, stove and microwave and give her an island to work on as well as new
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Posted by Clint Dethrow | Jan 13, 2017 @ 02:41 AM | 7,590 Views
I started out in this hobby in the late 90's building a Aero~Star 40 after I walked into the local hobby shop and told the owner I wanted to build a 40 size P-51. He was ready to take my order to get one in, but then asked how good of a builder I was and how long had I been flying. When I told him I didn't know, it would be my first. He laid down his pen and proceeded to tell me why I shouldn't start off with the Mustang. Needless to say, I listened to him and he pulled a Aero~Star out of the back room and guided me to the supplies I'd need to begin building with. Leaving the store I was disappointed that it wasn't a Mustang, but once I got started building it faded away. In retrospect, he did me quite a favor and he did it gently without coming across like "I'm smarter than you so listen to me" As it turned out, I got it built, managed to cover it decently; joined a club and actually learned to fly it. That was it, I was hooked. Since then I've built the Aero~ Star 60, Sig's Wonder, DH-88 Comet (electric with 400 brushed motors), then scaled up the Wonder for an OS-46 for a bud, (2) little Herr Engineering P-51, Four Star 40. My next plane was the Four Star 120 and I went all out (or so I thought) by putting an OS FS-120 in it, fiberglass cowl, wheel pants and carved & hollowed wing tips.

Well, now that I'm retired, that P-51 that was always there in the back of my mind made its way back into my thoughts. I started gathering information; what all I'd have
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