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Posted by UpNup | Jun 01, 2019 @ 09:05 PM | 545 Views
Making my own wheels has been an interesting project. Using layers of balsa and basswood ply has been a challenge, but theirs texture looked like tread. The last part was building a "receptacle" into which they can fit inside the wings between #4 and #6 rib.

I've made my own plans on this. And except for pinching my thumb and later my palm with linesman's pliers working the 1/8" wire, it was relatively painless and full of good sanding effort.

The wheels were rattle can spray painted with Testor’s flat black and I used clear flat matte spray lacquer on the finished wheels for protection and durability. The hubs were dry brushed with Testor’s silver enamel. They were affixed with Gorilla Glue 5-min. Epoxy.

UPDATE: After building 3” diameter balsa wheels, I added rubber tread. I’m a cyclist and skidded to a stop at an intersection. It tore a hole in my rear tire. Hmm... I cut 3/8” strips from the tire that were 10” long and epoxied them in place. I had to repaint where I sanded and masked off the rubber before hitting it with a couple of coats of matte finish rattle can spray. In retrospect, strips from inner tubes would have been easier....Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | May 27, 2019 @ 06:44 PM | 1,291 Views
Amazing that it took several free hours this weekend just to make one flap and an aileron. I’m trying to be careful, but wowzers. This is my second RC build from plans and no short kit this time. Gratification yes, instant no on this P-51B 57” WS.

Can I at least get a participation award? Ha!
Posted by UpNup | May 18, 2019 @ 06:08 PM | 1,456 Views
Major difference between cutting ply and ribs.

Ply requires tough love. Balsa ribs are like cutting through butter. Ply requires saving room on cuts so you can sand to the line. Balsa requires fluid smooth strokes right down the line. If balsa is poetry, ply is a tirade.

Used the drill bit in my hand drill. Blew smoke everywhere. Still looks like a badger made the inner circles.
Posted by UpNup | May 11, 2019 @ 08:41 PM | 931 Views
Through Facebook Marketplace I bought a Hawker Tempest by Airfield that has 800mm wingspan (31”). It’s a foamie and my first warbird. It was practically a barn find being covered in grime. The Tx came with it and one 1300 3S lipo. There was no wing bolt. Nothing more, but acceptable for just $25.

The seller was upfront that the motor didn’t work. However, my LHS discovered that the throttle setting switch had been reversed. And I later discovered that the 3mm motor mount screw was missing.

After cleaning off grime with a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a bowl of water, it cleaned right up. I etched the panel lines in a pencil and removed the guided bombs under the wings. Lightweight sparkling filled in the divots left where the bombs had been stuck to the wing. I painted over the splotches with flat Testors enamel paints.

I hope to fly it when I resolve CG issues that make a tip over on throttle up.
Posted by UpNup | May 11, 2019 @ 08:21 PM | 958 Views
My P-51B plans don’t call for an exhaust stack, so I had to invent one. Scale was tricky to get. However, the 5” x 3/4” size was derived by measuring my 1/48 scale plastic model and doing some math. And there are six pipes on each side.

I made the first draft by stacking and gluing strips of balsa. Then I drew half-inch circles on the wood 1/4” apart. I then used a reamer to hand-drill the exhaust ports by hand. I drilled these at about a 45 degree angle. I sanded, filled with lightweight spackling, and painted silver. I’ll weather it later.

To make the pipes, I cut 12 sections of a 1/16” thick black hose about 1/2” in diameter. I dry brush painted silver fading to the black. Then I cut out 1/8” rings from a 1/2” diameter thin plastic rod. I painted them flat black. I glued the rings on the end of the hose and inserted them into the base.

UPDATE: reworked the design. Painted base olive drab flat green and the pipes are from a window shade rod. They’re painted flat black. Much more scale.
Posted by UpNup | May 09, 2019 @ 02:43 PM | 660 Views
The stab and rudder on the P-51B is 1/4” thick. I cut and sanded the balsa. However, during sanding to taper the trailing edge, I broke the rudder in half - twice! I used blocks of balsa as repairs.

I used flexible hinges near the top, middle, and bottom. The horn is to be mounted outside.
Posted by UpNup | May 09, 2019 @ 11:42 AM | 715 Views
Building the P-51B takes two wheels .75 in. thick and 3” in diameter. The tail wheel is 1” in diameter and about a half-inch thick.

Yes I could have spent $12 to buy Williams Brothers excellent balloon tires. However, I could get some balsa stock for $4.

After research I built the wheels in layers. The hubcaps came from a thin sheet of modelers plastic—1/32” maybe. I used a 1/4” in. paper hole punch to make the revolver-patterned holes. They usually take 8 triangles, but I never was satisfied with test hubcaps. The plastic is crisp.

I don’t have a lathe or a way to screw these onto my drill. I cut the ply and balsa circles out using a micro-blade saw. I got close to the line. The 1/8” ply wanted to splinter. The 1/16” ply sheets were really solid.

The layers alternated left to right: 1/8” balsa, 1/16” ply, 3/32” balsa, 1/8” ply, 3/32” balsa, 1/16” ply, and 1/8” balsa. I carefully marked a center point on each circle poking they the template cut from the plans. On the outside balsa disks, I cut out holes for the hubcaps using the template from the plans. They were difficult to get truly circular.

The tailwheel was only one 1/8” ply middle and 1/8” balsa with the circles cut out. I did not add a hubcap to the tailwheel...yet.

After gluing, I stuck a T-pin thru the pre-drilled center holes and sanded the perimeter of the wheels. I taped a sheet of 100 grit sandpaper on my sork bench. I rocked the wheels while sanding. It was hard to sand the ply disks....Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | May 02, 2019 @ 02:44 PM | 964 Views
Starting a new project building a P-51B Pony by Norman E Meyers from plans on Aerofred.

Started by using up scraps from old builds. This was an adventure with the elevator being 20” wide with thickish ribs. I have really found helpful taping two sheets of 150 grit sheets on my workbench.
Posted by UpNup | Apr 26, 2019 @ 08:03 PM | 996 Views
Plastic models help me study a plane that I hope to build someday. While investigating canard planes I tripped across the Macross DY-30 Chronos. It’s a transformer from PlayStation videogame only available in Japanese.

The plane is very close to modern jets. While evaluating a number of them I discovered the Russian SU-35/37 Super Flanker Jet. So I found the plastic model in China and bought it with no problems. I had to make lots of parts and trim the canards to match photos.

Here’s some photos of my version. The model will serve as a guide some day for a jet.
Posted by UpNup | Dec 05, 2018 @ 02:31 PM | 2,194 Views
When researching to build an RC scale balsa plane from plans, I have found that it was helpful to build a plastic model of it first. I found just what I was looking for on eBay for $14.

This week, I finished the 1967 Monogram 1/48 scale Ding Hao! P-51B. This was my first warbird and a real joy to research and build. The cockpit and wings had good detail. I can live with the final result.

However, 52 year-old decals do not go down easy. Micro-sol, Pledge floor wax, and finally CA at least got everything to eventually stick. And I mean everything peeled up from the “no step” to the “Stars and Stripes.” And this model certainly came with a generous collection of decals.

The P-51B base green plastic was rattle can sprayed with Testors paints (olive drab and gray) and a final coat of their dulling spray. I went with zinc chromate brushed on interior surfaces. And the coup de grace? My wife contributed a blond hair for the radio wire.

It will be great to see how this will be a reference for the RC version with 60” wingspan.
Posted by UpNup | Nov 09, 2018 @ 08:51 AM | 1,970 Views
Finished up. Guillows says the 1903 Wright Flyer was for ages 12 and older because it’ll often make you feel like a 12 yr-old!

The model is extremely delicate. I can see why many say they don’t finish. The plans go from highly directive instructions to photos with labels. The worst advice was to put rigging in the wings before adding all the other elements. Adding the motor, pilot, and chain runs would have been almost impossible.

The wood block provided as an engine was horrible. I googled the real engine and tried to make something a bit more sophisticated. Instead of black thread, I wish it had been thinner or gray. It stands out too prominently.

Yes I’ll be proud to display my Wright Flyer. Once the rigging was in place it became much stronger. The support struts and other pieces make it much stronger, but I’d never want to throw it to see if it glides.

It makes you appreciate what the Wright brothers invented!
Posted by UpNup | Oct 27, 2018 @ 06:15 PM | 2,378 Views
P-51B’s have a diamond-shaped airfoil. It’s pretty symmetrical end to end. Counsel online suggested unless you’re going pure scale, then the airfoil should change.

I looked st two airfoils that could work: Selig S8036 and NACA 2415 root, 2414 span, and 2412 at the wingtips. The Selig was just too thick for a Mustang.

1. Print AeroFred P-51B plans at Office copy place. I paid $7.50 for each page. I made two copies—one for reference and one to cut up in building. 57.75” WS P-51B Pony

2. In PowerPoint, create a large worksheet with 1” grids onscreen. Use plan graphic on the screen sized to accurate scale. Measure in real life to match the 1” grid in PPT.

3. Trace NACA airfoils to use. http://airfoiltools.com/airfoil/naca4digit

4. Put NACA airfoil lines over the printed plans onscreen. Add markings on each rib to the drawing. Use 4 pt. Line width. Add titles on plans.

5. Create PowerPoint file the size of a piece of paper. Tile it. In other words, transfer the tubes from the large PPT to the one that you can print from. Add a vertical red line on the edge of the page. The ribs will hang over. Copy the rib and put it below or on another page the rib. Make sure all of the right side of the rib is onscreen.

6. Print out the ribs. Cut them apart and tape the ends together if necessary. Place the new rib over the plans. Does the new rib match up at LE? Sheer Web marks? And the TE? Go back into the PPT to re-size until they all match.

7. Use the new ribs with the airfoil change.
Posted by UpNup | Oct 21, 2018 @ 07:56 PM | 2,092 Views
Began assembling the 1903 Wright Flyer 24” static. Full kit. Rib-ticklin’ fun!

So far the plans are very clear and accurate.
Posted by UpNup | Sep 30, 2018 @ 05:48 PM | 2,374 Views
Vented the rear with 9/16” drilled holes and one vent under the two front servos. The airscoop is a whit plastic spoon. I saved the plastic package formed to my 2” spinner. This would be a fix later on if it gets too warm in the fuse.
Posted by UpNup | Sep 27, 2018 @ 08:33 PM | 2,199 Views
More landing gear progress. Installed 425 and 322 Hi Tec servos.

The trick was getting the hole cut in the front wall and running the control rods exactly where they should go.

The cockpit slid down over the servos with plenty of room to spare.

The next challenge is the motor controls.
Posted by UpNup | Sep 19, 2018 @ 03:46 AM | 2,390 Views
Wheels on the landing gear need to be reamed out to fit the axle.

The nose gear is more scale liking with a new pastiche sleeve. I used a plastic rod from window blinds. I used a box cutter to slit the side and pop it over the nose gear wire. Then I put CA and clamped it to seal the slit. A white plastic straw would have been easier.

The wheel pants in the instruction manual are wrong. For one, it left out the axle. Slots must be cut on both sides of the wheel pants.

The key to the wheel pants assembly is to put the wood piece into the pants and screw it to the landing gear. Mash the assembled wheel, wheel collar and axle into the soft plastic wheel pants.
Posted by UpNup | Sep 01, 2018 @ 05:39 PM | 2,389 Views
Here is an instruction manual that I cobbled together from photos of the actual manual.
The guy that provided them has done an electric conversion.

Instruction Manual - Long EZ .46 Nitroplanes -- PDF file attached
Posted by UpNup | Aug 05, 2018 @ 04:54 PM | 2,073 Views
My Ford Flivver was several ounces too tail heavy. This pushed the CG back 3/4”. It’s test/maiden rocketed straight up and then dove. I pulled up the elevators enough to pancake and flip.

When planning for an electric build, it will be lighter up front so that needs to be taken into consideration when designing or re-engineering the tail feathers.

1. Replaced the Williams Bro. plastic & rubber tailwheel. Made a ply/balsa wheel. Slipped it over the axle bracket. Plastic wheel was twice the weight of the wood wheel.

2. Moved the 11 gram servo in the tail up to the firewall. Made a balsa control rod to drive the internal elevator control horn. Covered the ends with shrink wrap.

3. Moved the rudder servo with its pull-pull up to the ply rail next to the elevator servo. Had to cut New Kevlar strings.

4. Hollowed out the balsa base on my pilot figure. Firgured it couldn’t hurt.

5. Left off the hatch cover that was on the rear servo. Abd this will help the ESC get more airflow. I don’t think this will mess with the control.

With all that effort, I still had to add one ounce (28 grams) sticky lead weight to the battery compartment.

The plane now balances on the printed CG on the plans.
Posted by UpNup | Jul 21, 2018 @ 01:32 PM | 3,123 Views
On my Ford Flivver’s maiden flight, it rose six feet off the deck and then nose dived. I managed to pull up enough to just pancake. It landed in grass but the central landing gear wire shoved upward hard enough to break the wing-to-fuse “tongue.” She couldn’t fly and I had to take it home after its five second maiden. .

My mind went into overdrive. Reviewed the pre-flight check list. Had the throws set just so-so. Did the range test. Picked a dead-calm day. Why would this plane dive like that?

A guy at the field suspected that I decreased the elevators too much. That was the first hint. Elevators.

When I hung up the plane in my garage, I eventually saw the problem the next day. When I was in my pre-flight checkup. an older flier at the field noticed my elevators were reversed. And he quickly reversed the controls for me.

What I missed was that when the elevator controls were reversed to normal, I did not look at how they were now in a downward position when neutral. Boom. She dove.

My elevator servo was installed in the rear of the plane. It required only moving the control arm 1/8”, but that was enough to level out the elevators.

Some new balsa and Monokote patchwork put the plane back to ready. Looking forward to flying soon.

Another lesson learned. When reversing controls, check the flying surfaces to see if they changed.