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Posted by UpNup | Apr 28, 2018 @ 09:59 AM | 2,089 Views
A Long EZ has to have its designer at the controls, right?

Here’s my stab at putting Burt Rutan in the cockpit circa 1985ish. The ARF is from Nitroplanes about 2005.

Rutan liked Elvis and kept his chops. Mine are from a thick polyester yarn I use to hang my planes. Metal microphone arm came with the pilot figure....Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Apr 13, 2018 @ 02:21 PM | 1,273 Views
After hanging a new plane, I feel like a mother hen checking on her chicks. Will the 3M hooks hold? Each hook is rated at 3 lbs. apiece.

Each 3M hook has thick, soft yarn attached to it. This system costs about $5.00 per plane. Note that I put a pillow below my Ford Flivver and foam guards around the dummy engine cylinders.

The yellow plane is a PZ Sport Cub S2. It has been hanging that way for a year. It weighs two pounds. The Ford Flivver, without battery, weighs about 3 pounds.m

These planes hang in the corner of my garage waiting for the weather to break. They’re exposed to below freezing temps and heat in the 100s with no ill effects so far.
Posted by UpNup | Apr 07, 2018 @ 03:00 PM | 717 Views
The 10 X 8 propeller is battleship gray for the electric motor in the Ford Flivver 268 build. Rather than paint it, I used a brown Sharpie pen.

The tips were painted yellow using just a dab of Testors enamel yellow. Then, starting at the hub, I made long, unbroken stripes to the tip. I started in the backside in case I messed up, but didn’t need to worry.

When the Sharpie stripes dried (in minutes), I made horizontal swipes with the marker over the yellow painted tips. This gave the illusion of copper plates that the original Ford Flivver has on its prop tips.
Posted by UpNup | Apr 06, 2018 @ 03:21 PM | 1,112 Views
My Ford Flivver 268 1/5 scale build took about 160 hours stretched over 11 months, and took several hundred dollars. This was my first build from plans. The CG was right where it should be, which was tricky for an electric conversion. The final weight was 3 lbs., 9 oz., one ounce below the target weight. My UpNup blog follows steps to completion over the past year. Start at May 2017 when I first printed out the plans.

As for my plans for the maiden flight, I want to build up skills to fly it in a couple of months. Thanks for reading!
Posted by UpNup | Apr 06, 2018 @ 03:08 PM | 1,020 Views
The Ford Flivver 268 build included the need to reverse the rudder servo. Reversing is a hidden gem in the settings. And it’s so very simple.

My Spektrum DX6e does it this way:

1. Scroll to SYSTEM SERVO.
2. Tap Travel twice as if it were a hyperlink.
3. The screen changes and you’re at REVERSE.
4. Scroll Down to the rectangles this look like switches. Click on RUD. You’ve now changed it.
5. Rudder servo should now work the way you wanted it to be.
Posted by UpNup | Apr 04, 2018 @ 08:23 PM | 1,231 Views
The original Ford Flivver 268 hanging in the Ford Museum at Dearborn, Mich., has a rear hatch on the right side below the stabilizer. That doesn’t work on the RC model.

To access the tail servo, I chose to build a hatch in the bottom. I should of done one on the wings. When I put Monokote on the 1/16” balsa, it pulled up when the Monokote heated and shrank. However, I kept going and rigged it so that the wind would help keep the trap door shut. A brass piece that I made from an AC plug worked just right.

Almost finished with this build.
Posted by UpNup | Apr 04, 2018 @ 08:09 PM | 1,212 Views
The Ford Flivver plans call for operational braces between the rudder (fin) and elevator (stabilizer).

I looked at three options including Kevlar csbles, some flimsy metal wire, and then .025” gauge piano wire. The wire was required by Dereck Woodward, the plan designer.

The Catch was affixing the wires to the plane. When I built the frame, I chose to put 1/64” plywood rectangles in place and pre-drilling the screw holes. The tiny black screws were salvaged from a Toshiba Netbook that I destroyed when it died. I put Monokote over the ply bases.

Looking at various posts by builders I could solder or perhaps find something to affix the wires. The answer was something in the electrical department 16-24 .25” male disconnects. I removed the blue plastic covers and bent the aluminum to fit and had to enlarge the holes.

My linesman’s pliers crimped wires cut to size. I hit every crimp with red Locktite thread lock (glue). I put a drop of CA into the screw holes on the plane.
Posted by UpNup | Apr 02, 2018 @ 08:39 PM | 1,412 Views
The Ford Flivver 268 plans place the tail servos behind the firewall. Thanks to incredible technology, I put the elevator servo into the tail. I kept the pull-pull but moved it just behind the CG in the center.

Note that the cables cross and go thru the fuselage in pre-cut holes. The holes are rimmed by matching blue stirring straws I brought home from an American Airlines galley. Thanks to a recommendation I kept the rudder bracket and the servo arms about equal.

The tail servo was epoxied into place. I missed that the extension cable would drape down right into the elevator cables. So I pulled the cable up and into the hulled-out long silver headrest and above the cross beams. It worked like a breeze. If I were into this build it would have saved time to put the elevator rudder into place before flying in the king headrest.

The urge to finish this build is strong!
Posted by UpNup | Apr 01, 2018 @ 09:53 AM | 1,159 Views
Rigging is recommended in the Ford Flivver 268 plans. When gluing the fin and stabilizer with epoxy onto the fuselage I noticed how important the rigging needed to be.

Shims were glued to the stab to level it. I had to trim off the pegs on the fin so that it would fit into the fuse slot. The fin had to be set vertically and also in alignment with the fuse. This was certainly more art that science.

Gorilla Glue epoxy dries in five minutes but can be set in 30-minutes. I trimmed off any Monokote to expose wood so epoxy could go on balsa. I put epoxy on the stab, fin, and the bracket into the rudder and bracket into the elevators.

After all was set, the left side elevator lifts up 1/8” higher. The rigging will need to correct this.
Posted by UpNup | Mar 24, 2018 @ 05:42 PM | 1,410 Views
The Ford Flivver 268 has very distinct graphics. Back in 1926, the Ford Motor Co., had a paint shop that got creative. They didn’t have fonts to reference. They had the new cursive Ford logo and that was about it.

The RCM plans by Dereck Woodard recommended stenciling artwork onto the plane and then painting it on the surface. Monokote is so slick, I chose to recruit Callie Graphics (info@Callie-Graphics.com) to make vinyl lettering. At a very reasonable cost, I received scale artwork and a professional look on those custom Ford Flivver graphics.
Posted by UpNup | Mar 23, 2018 @ 05:27 PM | 969 Views
The Ford Flivver 268 build has an interesting tail. It's complex and everything "hinges" on two CA hinges. Ahem. Once covered with Monokote Sapphire, the carefully cut-in hinges disappear. When I finished one side, I not only used a Sharpie to make the placement, I immediately transferred the CA hinges. A ballpoint pen marking the middle of the hinges helped them stay equal. Later, I plan to put thin CA and bond them along the hinge lines.
Posted by UpNup | Mar 23, 2018 @ 04:59 PM | 1,001 Views
The Ford Flivver 268 build used two rolls of Monokote Aluminum and one roll of Sapphire colors. I thought long and hard about breaking up the strips, but chose to make the bottom in one sheet and the top in one sheet. The big test was whether or not the metal beads glued to the top of the ribs would heat and melt through the Monokote. I used an iron to tack down all the edges and then hit the plastic film with the high heat setting on a heat gun. Everything went extremely well.

Some glitches include some very tiny puckers on the edges. And underneath the wing tips on one end, there were some buldges that were not obvious until the Monokote shrank into place. The film was extremely forgiving and I often re-heated certain edges, especially around the ailerons. I covered the whole wing and then went back and cut in the tray in the middle of the top and the small hole holding the nylon wing screw....Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Mar 23, 2018 @ 04:28 PM | 1,006 Views
The Ford Flivver 268 build used black pleather cut using a cockpit template on the 1068 RCM plan. The template should have not just used the outline of the cockpit, but a half-inch border to allow for the pleather. I used a sturdy needle and double-threaded black cotton threat around the inside and outside edges of the pleather. Shorter cuts were estimated for the little cockpit edges by the pilot's shoulder. I tried covering the edge with a thin line of double-stick tape, but it didn't really work.

I started in the middle right behind the windscreen. I put a line of CA on both edges of the coaming. I simply pinched the pleather right onto the Monokote skin on the top and the painted planking underneath. It stuck. I slowly worked down the left side putting drops of CA on the pleather edges and pinching them and smoothing them. It worked. The coaming on the hatch wasn't a perfect match, but the original Ford Flivver didn't really match either. And because the pleather was so spongy, I didn't have the overlapping of the relatively thin leather used on the original plane.
Posted by UpNup | Feb 26, 2018 @ 08:40 PM | 2,357 Views
The Ford Flivver 1/5 scale #268 needed a more scale appearance on its instrument panel. The photo of the original plane hanging in the Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich., held a clue that wasn't available in the short kit from Laser Design Services based on the Dereck Woodward plans published June 1990 in RC Modeler Magazine.

One nice thing about working on a project for more than seven months is time to think, reflect, and utterly destroy your previous work in favor of something much more scale and better working, in my opinion, of course. And you don't feel so bad about what was left behind so much that way.

In a previous blog dated June 22, 2017, the instruments were described as (l-r) oil pressure gauge, Jaeger tachometer, and an on-off switch. The gauge was a penny and the tach was a quarter. These instruments were re-scaled and glued to smallish buttons that were much smaller, but much more realistic. Like the original, they stuck out rather than being behind the instrument panel. I made the gauges using PowerPoint and a printer using only the good quality, but blurry photo from the Ford Museum online.

I'm sure you can improve on the quality, but this was fun to figure out. The hatch stays on extremely well with one magnet. The cut in the cowl is so precise that the hatch only fits going straight down. It was a success and will be interesting to see if it really works when the plane is in the air and bouncing around on a landing.
Posted by UpNup | Feb 26, 2018 @ 06:57 PM | 2,056 Views
The Ford Flivver 1/5 scale from plans needed some alterations to accommodate electrics.
1. Four servos were placed in new spots -- 2 on the wings driving the ailerons, one in the tail for the elevator, and one below the cockpit for rudder push pull.
2. A 7" X 4" battery tray was sunk into the middle of the hatch compartment floor. The aft end was left open to run the ESC connector to the lipo.
3. The motor required ply supports adapted from the short kit. I brought the front of the motor right to the cowl opening.
Posted by UpNup | Feb 24, 2018 @ 05:11 PM | 1,369 Views
The Ford Flivver 268 has a very big front end. The electric conversion filled it up.

Installing the motor in advance meant things got dusty when I cut out the holes for the cylinders. I had to CA glue the 1/32” balsa “floors” to each hole.

The Rimfire .25 outrunner means that the whole “can” around the motor moves extremely fast.

The cowl can be cut out more but at this point I’m leaving the motor encased in the cowl.
Posted by UpNup | Feb 19, 2018 @ 12:13 PM | 1,850 Views
The Ford Flivver 268 build from plans is to the point of needing a hatch and cowl. All the electronics are installed and tested except for the two servos underneath. I tried doing just the hatch (see previous blog), but it needed to be integrated with the cowl. I plan to cut away the hatch. I used wax paper to keep glue off the fuselage.

Note: The hatch replaces the one described in the blog posted June 22, 2017.

The photos tell the story. This took about 16 hours....Continue Reading