Graham 65's blog - RC Groups
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Posted by Graham 65 | Jul 15, 2012 @ 03:55 PM | 12,579 Views
This is a rather late update on the electric Bubble Dancer build.
The delay was mostly a lack of progress when it came to the fuselage pod. I should have built everything else and then would have had more reason just to get on with it. Anyway after much huffing and puffing and buying composites materials and endless thread reading progress did eventually start. The first plug got destroyed when I tried to mould a canopy and stuck the mould to it. oh dear me.
Second plug was made from MDF which is quite easy to sand to shape and reasonably tough. This was sealed with epoxy and painted with rattle cans.
A canopy mould was made and with PVA released ok. Phew ee. On to the parting board and then the moulds, this went ok some bubbles trapped and the first side was not left long enough before the glass was added but it works. Bubbles fixed and first fuselage popped out, the wet seem was poorly joined. More help from RC groups and number 2 was a good seem but wrong cloth due to shortage, number 3 is a keeper, could do better, and will, but need to get on!
Finished tails and sanding, joined parts to fuselage and boom, covered the wings after much sanding and its ready to fly.
AUW 1315g or 46.7oz inc 3s 1300 pack and HL switch
First flight Saturday 14 July, awful morning then cleared and clouds bubbled nicely, very little wind. Clubmate Steve took some photos and then it was time to fly. Full power and a good chuck and away she goes. Slight adjustment to the elevator setting...Continue Reading
Posted by Graham 65 | Dec 11, 2011 @ 04:52 PM | 12,097 Views
Top sheeted the centre section, with 3/32 sheet, its more than 4" wide so takes 2 sheets and they need to be 48" sheets, I know now!
The servo holders or at least the trays are in place as is the wiring along with a 4 pin socket for connecting when putting the wing on.
The end ribs have been bevelled to 5 degrees and the joiners are being glued in. This is out of proper order and would be easier to do in the correct order, ie when the wing is just a spar and ribs.
Posted by Graham 65 | Dec 04, 2011 @ 03:03 PM | 12,206 Views
Still working on centre section.
Had to sort out the spoilers in my head first then change the plan.
Ran out of balsa for top sheeting.
On the plus side have ordered a boom and now have plenty of solarfilm to cover it all.
Safe to say I am having a mid project lack of motivation
Posted by Graham 65 | Nov 25, 2011 @ 03:31 AM | 12,599 Views
Have got going on the centre panel.
To prove I don't learn, have repeated some mistakes from the other panels and made some new ones!
Anyway its good to be able to see how big this thing is, 3.2m of floater coming together, can't wait for the summer
Posted by Graham 65 | Nov 13, 2011 @ 02:09 PM | 12,274 Views
Both wings mid and tip sections now finished and ready for sanding, so next job is to move onto the centre section. Some modification required to go with split spoilers so a little bit of time wasting doing some head scratching to come.
Posted by Graham 65 | Nov 09, 2011 @ 04:50 PM | 12,736 Views
Working on mid sections. The first one is pictured below with progress so far. Have realised that I used 3/32 sheeting on the tip panels which should have been 1/16 so have some careful sanding to correct the issue.
Posted by Graham 65 | Nov 04, 2011 @ 04:56 AM | 12,426 Views
One wing tip joined to the mid section, one to do. The mid sections have been wrapped up to the second last rib. The final wrap is done after the tip is joined up. It makes a nice mid size glider wing without the centre section! I will finish off the mid/tips before starting on the centre section.
Posted by Graham 65 | Oct 30, 2011 @ 03:51 PM | 12,150 Views
Spent much time making the joiner boxes. They are made from limewood which is the UK equivalent of basswood apparently. The mid sections are now ready for wrapping with Kevlar tows and then joining to the tips.
Posted by Graham 65 | Oct 23, 2011 @ 10:12 AM | 12,525 Views
Tip panels are now complete but not sanded.
The plan is to start on the mid panels next.
The joiner blocks that go between the centre panel and the mids are still to be made so I will leave that unwrapped to start with.
Disc sander is on order to help with the joiner blocks.
It is a lot easier to get the right tools rather than make do with whats in the workshop for this type of build.
Posted by Graham 65 | Oct 18, 2011 @ 05:29 AM | 13,431 Views
Have started on a winter project to build a Bubble Dancer for electric power. This is a 3.2m glider with RES and throttle controls, designed by Mark Drela about 10 years ago. It has evolved over time as the Ava range of planes and various others also. The construction is a mix of conventional built up with some composites thrown in for strength and lightness.
Wing is first thing on the board and is built around a strong spar, its looks like a fish skeleton with just the spar and ribs ready to be wrapped with Kevlar.
Started with the bolt bar and then the tips, so far so good, a few teething troubles with the new techniques, second tip is a lot better than the first!
Short kit from Micron Radio Control, carbon from CST, plans and information from Charles River Radio Controllers.
Posted by Graham 65 | May 01, 2011 @ 05:38 AM | 13,345 Views
Tomboy finished!

Weight 290g with a 460 2s pack, a bit more with a 1000 3s to get the cg right.
Motor blue wonder 1300, prop 7x3.3 or 8x4.

Waiting for the wind to drop, 20mph today, e soaring comp cancelled

Angus recons its the best plane ever
Posted by Graham 65 | Apr 27, 2011 @ 09:37 AM | 12,946 Views
The Tomboy build ran into some problems with the fin and stab attachment.
The design is for attachment with rubber bands so some thinking had to go into a strong way of gluing it all together, this meant adding various bits of balsa in the stab.
The only downside is a bit of extra weight at the back which may cause some issues with balance.
The fus is now covered and progress is being made so hope to fly it over the weekend.
Just need to finish off a few bits and bobs. Wing attachment, radio, battery, motor and esc, windscreen, wheels.
Posted by Graham 65 | Apr 01, 2011 @ 12:02 PM | 14,507 Views
Covering has started with wing, still one or two things not sorted.
The fin attachment needs a bit more strength so more wood is required in the centre of the stab.
Looks like I may run out of covering material before its all done.
The covering is lite span, it looks a bit like tissue when its on, has no glue so Balsaloc is needed.
Posted by Graham 65 | Feb 27, 2011 @ 09:21 AM | 12,955 Views
This is a Vic Smeed Tomboy using electric power and rc.
Vic died earlier this year so this is my tribute to him and his great designs. The Tomboy is being built with/for my son Angus who is 7.
So far progress has been quick and then slow, initially all was going well until it came to thinking about the motor and rc equipment and how to fit this into a freeflight airframe.