Pierre_de’ Loop's blog View Details
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 20, 2019 @ 10:07 PM | 1,139 Views
Cockpit sheeting completed, I began soldering the landing gear pieces together. I have to solder washers on the inside of the axels and then make up my push rods. After that the airplane will be ready for a final sanding.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 18, 2019 @ 10:28 PM | 936 Views
The new kits come with 1/64" plywood die-cut for sheeting the cockpit. My older kit provides some rather thick balsa for this task. I like the the plywood idea and feel fortunate to have a relatively large sheet of 1/64" handy.

Next up, the forward cockpit.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 16, 2019 @ 09:19 AM | 1,350 Views
The Balsa USA website says the Taube should weigh in at 5 Lbs. and I confess being skeptical, but so far I'm at 3.3 Lbs. That weight includes the engine, landing gear, wheels, radio and airborne battery plus all the built up parts. The only stuff missing is push rods, control horns, sheeting on the bottom of the fuselage and the "cowling" plus the covering. The plans call for 1/8" sheeting but I'll use 1/16" along the bottom and 3/32" up by the engine.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 13, 2019 @ 11:41 PM | 1,461 Views
Rather than taking the Mini Telemaster out for a romp in the snow I opted to stay in and keep plugging away on the Tuabe. Next, I'll sheet the bottom, opting for 1/16" rather than 1/8" from the landing gear back, and then tackle the cockpit sheeting. I guess I'd better look at placing that order with Sig for dope and Koverall in the near future.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 12, 2019 @ 10:06 PM | 872 Views
Those bits at the end were two big triangular balsa blocks! Rather than planing them I use my little table saw to cut them about in half and then sand them. Yes, they were THAT big.

The fin has three one and one-quarter inch holes cut with my drill press and a slight warp. What can one expect after 30+ years? I expect it will come out with a little encouragement when I cover it. Onward...
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 10, 2019 @ 10:09 AM | 1,033 Views
My wife gave me a 1/6 scale Sopwith Pup for Christmas this year. Upon opening the box I found the note pictured here. Well played, Balsa USA.

The engine and fuel tank are mounted for the Taube. Now I'll start the radio installation, working from the throttle backward. The shape of the Taube's fuselage makes it difficult to get straight. I can see that I'll need to take special care lining up the horizontal and vertical stabilizers during the final assembly.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 01, 2019 @ 07:34 PM | 1,262 Views
The Taube's fuselage is a trapazoid rather than a standard square when looked at from the front. It is also tapered at both ends when looked at from above, rather than being a rectangle with a tapered tailpiece glued on like many airplanes. Consequently my building triangles won't help me keep it straight.

The revised plans say to join the fuselage upside down, which seemed like a fine idea until I tried to place former F4 in and realized it was too big to be placed in the fuselage when it is upside down. Sure, enough this looks like something BUSA changed when they revised the kit. The picture in the revised plans shows an F4 former that is about half as tall as mine without the rounded top that mine has. Interestingly the guide to the cut parts on the first pages of the revised instructions show a tall F4 with the rounded top like the one I have. Oh, well.

One idea is to cut the top off F4 and follow the revised instructions before gluing the F4 top back in place after the two sides are joined. The only problem is that there is a center section cut out of my F4 that is so large my F4 will become a U shape rather than a rectangle when the top if cut off, and I'm worried it won't have the strength and rigidity I'd like if I do this. So after sanding the upper and lower longerons and stabilizer supports on the two fuselage sides to an angle that allows them to meet, but still accommodate a 1/4" stick for the rudder post, I have decided to simply join the...Continue Reading
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Dec 17, 2018 @ 10:24 AM | 3,930 Views
It is common for me to spend 30 minutes or so with the Dremel tool making holes and removing weight from the backside of the LE or underside of a top spar to balance a wing, but this time is unique. I've removed all the weight I feel comfortable removing from the left side of the Taube wing, but it remains a full quarter of an ounce heavier than the right side. Looked at differently, it balances about half an inch to the left of center. I'll either have to live with it or (shudder) add that quarter ounce to the right wingtip.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Dec 13, 2018 @ 07:25 PM | 1,359 Views
I stumbled on these pictures in an old photo album. They show a rocket glider I built in middle school sitting on the launch pad plus a shot of it taking off. I put a few flights on it and then hung it from my bedroom ceiling. I recall using a plastic nose cone to taper the back and placing the bottom of that nose cone at the front. I used plastic straws for launch lugs and launched it at an modest angle. It flew on a mini A motor, climbed out at a shallow angle, and then found its wings in time to glide back at a surprisingly gentle speed. The canopy and pilot were from a 1/48 scale Testors plastic model kit of the F-19 Stealth fighter.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Dec 13, 2018 @ 02:45 PM | 1,265 Views
The good news is that the two sides of the wing line up well. I've completed the preliminary work with the plane and sanding bar along the LE corners and I have joined the two sides. The original instructions call for raising one wing 1 1/4" at the first tip rib while the revised plans call for raising it the same height about three inches inboard at the double rib - effectively increasing the amount of dihedral . I followed the revised plan.

Next is the three part center rib and dihedral braces.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Dec 10, 2018 @ 11:39 AM | 957 Views
The parts for the left side of the wing have been cut out and made ready assembly. No word from BUSA yet but I'm feeling better about the results on the right side. I haven't run across any online pictures of Taube bones that look substantially different than mine. I figure that means I'm on the right track.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Dec 07, 2018 @ 10:55 AM | 1,350 Views
I've completed the right side of the wing, but I'm a little unsure about the blending to be done at the LE corner. Rather than make a guess about it I've written to BUSA for some guidance before I begin building the left wing.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Dec 04, 2018 @ 02:19 PM | 1,602 Views
The good folks at Balsa USA shipped this Taube 40 to my mother at our home just outside of Baltimore sometime in the 1980’s. My father must have received it for Christmas, but never felt the itch to build it. I’ve had my eye on the box for a while and pulled it from from my Dad’s garage about a year ago thinking my OS 35 will make a gentle flier of it.

I poked around on the internet for a revised set of instructions for building the airplane after reading the sparse 4 page instruction document that was included in the kit. I found it and after sanding all the sheet wood I began to inventory the parts. Right out of the gate I noticed the revised kit includes 1/64” plywood cut for sheeting around the cockpit. This was not the case with the older kit. The older kit also assumes one is building on a hallow core door and builds the entire 62” wing in one piece. I don’t have a building surface big enough to do that so I’m grateful to have the revised plan to follow, which builds the two halves separately.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Nov 27, 2018 @ 03:12 PM | 1,748 Views
My wife added another bookshelf to the house and decided that rather than filling it with books we'd move some books around from other shelves and open up some space for a little decor. I have just the thing, I told her. There is no reason for my vintage model airplane engines to be packed away when they can be on display for all who visit our home to admire. While she didn't buy that last bit about visitors admiring them she did give me the go-ahead to add a few engines to the shelf. So last night I took a bit of music wire and started bending stands for my Atwood Wasp and OK Cub. They are both mounted on firewalls so it wasn't hard to make a stand. My Royal Spitfire is beam mounted so I'll needed to fashion something a little different for that one.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Nov 05, 2018 @ 09:42 AM | 1,837 Views
Twenty-five minutes of frosty, early morning flying with the Super Cub and Randolph Observer on November fourth; one month closer to the All Season Flyer patch and 25 minutes closer to this year's goal of ten hours in the air.

Later we tested the new rocket launch controller and the egg carrying rocket. I'm proud to say the egg-stronought returned safely.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Oct 21, 2018 @ 03:55 PM | 1,811 Views
My vintage Estes model rocket launch controller from middle school has finally been retired. Unlike the more recent 6v systems that rely on AA batteries in the controller and a separate launch pad, my old system featured a launch pad that was designed to fit on a 12v lantern battery. It was simple and very effective.

After completing the Slow Poke I set my mind to knock out a series of smaller projects like building my son a 1/2 A control line airplane and restoring my speed 400 Bristol Scout and Super Cub to flight-worthy status - replacing my old Estes launch controller was on the same list. However, rather than a restoration or new purchase, I decided to build my own system with a rechargeable 12v battery and banana plugs linking it to a controller featuring a key switch, LED, and toggle switch for launch. I was also eager to find some better alligator clips for the igniter. The system was easy to build with a schematic from Estes and a small order from All Electronics in CA. Plus, rather than spending a small fortune testing the system with costly igniters I wired up a 12v automotive bulb.

While at it I used a carbon fiber rod and some plastic caps to make an improved system for carrying the lunch rod.

As soon as the weather improves we'll test my son's egg carrying rocket.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Oct 14, 2018 @ 07:11 PM | 1,842 Views
Woo-Hoo!

This is the post-successful-maiden-photo of my slow poke sport 40. The kit was a Christmas present from my father. Starting work in early January I completed the build in late August. When school started back I resigned myself to seeing the maiden take place in 2019, but fortune was on my side. Low winds and a gracious wife afforded me an opportunity to maiden the airplane early this morning. No surprises or bad habits, but I think the OS 46 needs a bit more breaking in. I celebrated with a lengthy flight on my refurbished Bristol Scout resulting in a flight by my newest build and my oldest.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Oct 05, 2018 @ 01:29 PM | 1,978 Views
This is the 1/2A control line model that I promised to build for my son upon his first solo flight. The airplane is based on Dave Kingman’s 1/2A Cubby. The wing is a generous 25” of ¼” sheet balsa painstakingly sanded into the shape of a proper airfoil. The landing gear is held on by a rubber band and has been elongated to give the pilot a fighting chance to land intact. I also took the liberty of using a nylon engine mount from an old Sterling Model's Beginner Series kit to speed up the build. I got it this far in less than 24 hours working at - for me - lightning speed. If I can get the bell crank, control horn, and lead lines in this weekend it will be ready to fly.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Oct 01, 2018 @ 08:10 AM | 2,184 Views
This is a Pat Tritle Super Cub originally kited by Aero Crafters in New York and sold alongside the Eastbourne Monoplane in the Hobby Lobby catalogues. "Designed for the Mini Olympus!" was the boast, I believe. This little airplane has had its brushed motor, ESC, and gearbox removed and replaced with a brushless motor and ESC. The radio too has been upgraded to a 2.4ghz set. With an 8x6 propeller it is easily one of the best flying three channel airplanes I have ever flown, even outperforming my Mini Telemaster. Why did I wait so long to restore it to flight status?
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Sep 17, 2018 @ 09:34 AM | 2,295 Views
The restored Scout flew briefly amid some breezy conditions yesterday and proved (again) to be a fine airplane. Now I'm looking forward to better weather and a little model airplane nostalgia.

Speaking of nostalgia, I've modified some Williams Brothers pilots to resemble some of my favorite childhood toys; the Fisher Price Adventure People from the Northwood's Trailblazer set and the GI Joe Adventure Team Commander.