UpNup's blog View Details
Posted by UpNup | Nov 26, 2020 @ 07:41 PM | 3,092 Views
The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) had a Type 99 Number 80 Mark 5 bomb that was 92.1" long, 16.1" tall. It weighted 1,756.6 lbs. or 796.8 kg. This bomb was strapped underneath the lead level bomber on Pearl Harbor. I made a 1/9 scale version that is to go on my B5N2 Kate. It is just over 11" long. There are two propellers at the end of the tapered tail that serve as fuses.

My first version was crooked and the planking was a distraction. A second version isn't perfect, but acceptable. One note is that I hid a basswood plank under the planking so that I can drill into it and mount it one day under that plane....Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Nov 21, 2020 @ 07:58 PM | 5,039 Views
The Nakajima Sakae 11 had 14 cylinders stacked 7 in front. For my 1/9 scale B5N2 Kate level bomber, I’m only showing the first part.

The goal was to see if an acceptable balsa version could be scratchbuilt instead of purchasing one. This model is stand-off scale so I think it will work well....Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Nov 14, 2020 @ 09:38 AM | 7,428 Views
Yesterday I visited the Air Force Museum just to see and photograph the F-15A Eagle on display....Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Oct 31, 2020 @ 09:01 PM | 6,783 Views
Building a scratchbuilt B5N2 includes this Type 92 Machine Gun. It is 4 long.

The barrell is a coffee stir stick, sight is a sprue melted and stretched to a point, the trigger and guard were cut from a plastic tube, and the rest is balsa.

Panted with Testors spray and dry brushed with silver.

Very satisfying.

Update: Visited Air Force Museum in Dayton, Oh., and found a Type 92 in a display case. The lighting was terrible and I've boosted the gain on the photo.
Posted by UpNup | Oct 15, 2020 @ 06:45 PM | 2,928 Views
Harley Michaelis died on Monday, October 12, at his home in Walla Walla, Washington. He was 99 years old. Harley designed and flew competition sailplanes, but also designed many other RC planes including an Easy Eagle powered 2 meter glider. He also designed an internal servo system so that the control horns weren't visible (RDS). He helped many people get into gliding as a hobby. He encouraged me and coached me how to find and track with thermals.

About a year ago, as described in my blog, I decided to try and make a powered glider. I went back through old magazines I had on hand until I found Harley's article in the November 1989 edition of Model Aviation. In that article was Harley's email address. I emailed him and he emailed right back. We became pen pals of sorts with him coaching me. For a Christmas present, I mailed him my copy of that 1989 magazine. He said he didn't have many of the magazine articles he wrote. He would loan them out and not get them back. He said he wrote 17 magazine articles, which helped offset medical expenses when his wife, Patricia, was going through efforts to save her prior to her death about 30 years ago. Harley was featured in the September 2020 edition of Model Aviation.

I believe God used me to help Harley get ready to step from this life into the presence of Jesus in Heaven. We had several talks about faith, conversion, church membership (or not), and other aspects. He sent me his memoirs, which contained very little mention of...Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Oct 02, 2020 @ 06:58 PM | 2,205 Views
Back in July a friend stumbled on this prop jet in an antique mall. A couple of weeks later my wife and I went there and checked it out. I took photos and put them on a balsa kit building page. Everyone said it was an incredible deal and to grab it.

So after haggling for three weeks with the owner, we reached a deal. Keep in mind this is only available in a balsa kit that took months to complete. He came down 11% and threw in a radio controller. This flies like a plane (the propeller part) but looks like an FA-18 Hornet fighter (the jet in prop jet) flown by the Blue Angels.

At least a 1/10.8 scale version. Its 59 inches long, has a 53 inch wingspan, and weighs 8.5 lbs. No decals, but gas the Navy blue and yellow accents. Other version surpass 100 mph, so itll be awhile before this thing flies with my thumb at the helm.

I understand the Super Tigre 90 engine on this prop jet is rare and valuable. The ling tuned pipe muffler adds to the power. So I plan to strip it out of the plane and sell it separately. I fly electric motors and not fuel types anyway.

Another feature is that it has retractable trike landing gear. Thats pretty cool adding realism. I plan to use it as a winter project.

And the best part is that my wife suggested that I buy it....Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Sep 25, 2020 @ 02:56 PM | 2,804 Views
Its fun to design new planes. Awhile ago, a PS4 video game caught my imagination and I mashed a Sukhoi 35/37 Super Flanker into a Macross YF-30 Chronos.

See https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...-30-Jet-mashup

A friend recently discovered a FA-18 Hornet in an antique mall. The prop jet is made by Direct Connection I may not get it, but it reignited a desire to figure out how to bring a video game jet into the RC world.

Could the ruddervators lay down flat after takeoff when the landing gear is retracted? Could they raise back into position when the landing gear comes back down?

Weight is an issue. The Sailplane crowd uses two small Servos north of the CG to run push/pull cables. That would allow a second set of strong service to tuck into the rear a bit.

Its fun to imagine.
Posted by UpNup | Sep 20, 2020 @ 02:35 PM | 2,803 Views
Today my wife had the hard part while I flew the plane. While she was videotaping, a 4 year old came up to her:

Colton: Can I fly that plane?
Mary: Maybe when you're older.
Colton: I'm almost five. Maybe I could trade my RC cars for that airplane. Would you go ask him?
Mary: Well, my husband really likes airplanes. He spent a lot of time building them from little pieces of wood.
Colton: My Dad leaves the cars in a closet and doesn't charge them. They can go really fast! 186 miles an hour! ... How long is he going to keep flying (sigh).
Mary: Well, sometimes ten minutes. He's only been up for five minutes. You can ask him to show you how it works when he lands.
Colton: Will he land soon?

Actually I did land right about then and got to describe how the servos worked. He helped me count out all six rubber bands. He was captivated watching me remove the battery and power down my Tx. His grandmother who had hovered nearby promised to get him a rubber-band balsa stick plane. It's what I started on when I was about his age.

The influence we have is really powerful if we'll see engagements as an opportunity and not a nuisance, especially with a precocious kid like Colton. And it didn't hurt that the grandmother noticed my Jesus fish (Ichthus ) on the wing and read the Fellowship of Christian Modelers logo on my hat.
Posted by UpNup | Sep 11, 2020 @ 02:22 PM | 2,223 Views
After watching the Goldberg Electra porpoise today into the wind, I decided to add 21g of lead. The flight stability was much better. However, I plan to add an additional 7g to reach a full ounce of nose weight.

The original 1986 Goldberg Electra with NiCad packs and hefty servos weighed 48 oz. or 3 lbs. or 1,360.78 grams. It was considered a “lead sled” with the combo weight and weak 550 kv motor.

Here’s my Electra’s data:

Fuselage w battery 1 lb 4.75 oz or 590 g
Wings w 6 rubber bands 13 oz or 365g

Total weight 955g / 33.7 oz or 2.1 lbs
Minus 28g weights is 927g or 2.04 lbs.

Weight target could have been lighter. Some have it at 25 oz. My Electra’s weight is probably due to: 3s battery, 2212 1400kv motor, 1/2” Balsa/ply nose extension, handbuilt cowl with 3 magnets, Gold-N-Rods running the full fuse with clevises, and full Monokote covering.
Posted by UpNup | Sep 07, 2020 @ 06:39 PM | 5,922 Views
After a series of test glides, the Goldberg Electra checked out. The CG was very close. However, I pulled a groin muscle making all those test flights! During one of those tests, the battery slid forward and cracked the beam holding the servos. This was an easy fix.

Today had mild winds and so I gave it a go. The 1400 kv motor is a bit strong for this powered glider. However, any throttle past halfway gave it a vertical climb posture. It got me out of trouble at least twice. Those dihedral wings really do fight to keep the plane level. I'm still wobbly at flying with just rudder and elevator. At one point, I realized that my hands were going the wrong way with the knobs. Doh! My heart was racing in one part of the maiden and I had to take a deep breath, take my hands totally off the controls and go after it fresh.

Watching the Electra glide was a treat. In the second flight, it stayed stock still in the air. Some updrafts were coming off a row of tallish evergreens. The wind and updraft (thermal?) was balanced just right. I slipped off the front edge as it passed and dipped, so maybe it was a thermal.

The landings included one hard bounce that knocked loose a piece of metal holding the cowl in place. However, the wings and fuse seem very strong.

The weakness in the building was the black cockpit cover. Despite six #64 rubber bands, the wings did give a bit on landing. The covering creased and pulled free of the screws. I need to design something that is more durable and perhaps fits either on magnets or under the rubber bands.

The color scheme worked incredibly well on a blue sky. I would imagine the red/black bottom and white tops would work well on a cloudy day.

I can't wait to fly again. Walked home with a silly grin. And even my wife said, "Well, I think you've got something you can fly." I'll take it.
Posted by UpNup | Sep 05, 2020 @ 09:06 AM | 5,937 Views
Here is the link to the Build Log for my Carl Goldberg Electra.
Posted by UpNup | Aug 30, 2020 @ 05:58 PM | 7,389 Views
Getting close to finishing my Electra. I joined the Fellowship of Christian Modelers last week and was inspired to use the Jesus Fish (Ichthus).

The overall scheme was inspired by Harley Michaelis Genie Big Smoothie. Harley is a friend who is now 99 and designed competition sailplanes for years.

My favorite design part of the Electra was the hidden elevator control port. My least favorite was trying to get the CG right given the light weight of todays motors and lipos. I moved the two 9g Servos up to the firewall and used Sullivan Gold-N-Rods the length of the fuselage. 8X4 folding prop, 2012 Motor, 30A ESC and Spectrum AR410 Rx.
Posted by UpNup | Aug 29, 2020 @ 01:09 PM | 9,225 Views
Havent thought of the Jesus fish (ICHTHUS) in years. The Fellowship of Christian Modelers uses it almost like a loopy control line turn. At any rate it got me thinking about the white top surface of my new Goldberg Electra.

I created the pattern using PowerPoint and had to experiment three times to get the scale right. I printed on paper the outline, transferred it to cardboard templates for each part, and then traced them (backwards) on the protective coating of red Monokote. When I cut out the pieces from the original printout, I saved it as a template. The Windex allowed some freedom for alignment. I squirted the glue side with Monokote and let it dry in your place, checking a couple of times with the template. After an hour, I used my iron at high temps and then went over everything lightly with my heat gun.
Posted by UpNup | Aug 26, 2020 @ 11:20 AM | 4,899 Views
Last week I joined the Fellowship of Christian Modelers. These guys are serious about their faith in Jesus as well as modeling. They do devotions at places like Joe Nall and other major events. I joined their prayer team. They participate in competitions, too.

There’s no fee, but if you make a $20 donation or more you can get a hat or t-shirt. Check them out!
Posted by UpNup | Aug 23, 2020 @ 03:13 PM | 5,885 Views
So there I was trolling design photos for the Electra when I see there is something different underneath the wings in a black & white photo. Nobody ever shows underneath their wings, so I studied the clean lines. Thats when I saw there was sheeting underneath the middle part of the wings. I was almost ready to cover mine when I had to go back into production mode. I pulled up the manual and there it was. I bought what I assumed was a finished frame with no plans, manual, nothing. Pays to keep checking!

To help the squares have something against to rest until the CA dried, I had to glue little ledges in place. I assume this would have been much easier done during construction.
Posted by UpNup | Aug 15, 2020 @ 09:32 PM | 5,162 Views
The Goldberg Electra has a cockpit canopy and a front cowl. Since my $25 balsa frame didn't come with a cowl, I could have spent $16 plus $14 shipping for a fiberglass version. (Click for Fiberglass Specialties.)

Or I could try to make one....

I scoured the house and found an old plastic container that I tried to make work. However, it was heavy and the plastic didn't cover the bottom of the plane.

I have made cowls in the past for a Ford Flivver and a P-51B, which I liked, but they were a pain to build. So, being a bit cheap, I jumped right in and after two prototypes (ahem), finally made one that should last at least for the maiden. It has a ply back plate and front plate. The formers are 1/8" sticks I made from sheets, and it's sheeted with 1/32" balsa sheet. What could go wrong? I'm being a bit leery of this cowl being fragile because all I've read is that guys tear up the cowl pretty early trying to land. The good news is that my cowl was made from scrap pieces that I had laying around plus some rare earth magnets that were left over from the P-51B.

Now, there is also a covering to be made of the cockpit area. I used .015 thick K&S clear sheet left over from work on the DW Hobby Griffin. With a couple of adjustments, the canopy that I made of 1/32" sheet balsa served as a simple mold. My heat gun melted the plastic just so. I painted the inside with black gloss rattle can spray after masking the outside with blue painters tape. The...Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Aug 15, 2020 @ 07:13 AM | 4,566 Views
Here is the PDF containing decals for the Carl Goldberg Electra. I have sized them for a sheet of paper 8.5" X 11" landscape.
At the top is my re-creation using PowerPoint, so that they match, but are crisper than the decal sheet that I found online. The Electra used the Countdown font, available free for downloading online. To match the decals, I made a JPG and "narrowed" it L-R about 1/2" to match .

You can print these out on Printable Vinyl. Silhouette has packs with 8 sheets currently at an Office Supply shop.
Print using your printer's highest quality print setting. Do not touch the vinyl sheet after printing for at least one hour.
Coat with a gloss clear lacquer spray. I used Rust-Oleum's rattle can spray on the sheet. Spray on one quick covering, then a second coat in five minutes.
Cut apart with scissors, peel off the backing and place on the completed plane.
Posted by UpNup | Aug 12, 2020 @ 08:10 AM | 6,335 Views
My $25 Goldberg Electra has a fuselage that needed more work than was apparent when I got it. It didnt help that I knocked the fuse off my workbench causing the tail feathers to pull off. I believe it ended up being a good thing. They were barely tacked on to a 1/16 thick piece of balsa and had been altered to just lay on top and not go down into slots.

A video by Sonex413 on YouTube influenced me greatly. I am trying to match his setup:

Vintage GOLDBERG ELECTRA Motorglider with Air-to-Air Views (12 min 5 sec)

A 2212 motor and Sullivan Gold-n-Rods were purchased. The motor came with 9g Servos. He ran wires and Im trying to stick with the Sullivan kits yellow control cable. He also built a box for his lipo.
Posted by UpNup | Aug 02, 2020 @ 09:34 PM | 3,627 Views
Spent this afternoon cleaning up the wings on this C G Electra. Used a rotary tool to drill out the glued balsa pieces in the center of the wings and added an aluminum strip cut from a soda can, well-sanded. Scratchbuilt 3/4” wingtips. After touching up some gaps with lightweight spackling, I sanded it thoroughly, but carefully, with 80 grit sandpaper. Cracked two ribs, not mine thank the Lord, but they CA’d back in place just fine. Working with a 30+ yr.-old, brittle, 78” 100% balsa and ply wingspan was an experience.