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Posted by UpNup | Aug 05, 2018 @ 04:54 PM | 690 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 | 1,762 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.
Posted by UpNup | Jul 15, 2018 @ 07:37 PM | 1,158 Views
Developed a cockpit for my Long EZ ARF 46 by Nitroplanes. I plan to convert the plane to electric so left room beneath the floor for lipo and electronics.

The ARF came with a flimsy plastic sheet with bumps depicting controls and seat. My mod included 1/32” balsa sheets. Everything is in two pieces. There is a cross ply former that I didn’t want to destroy. This shoved the front seat much further frontward. The seat backs are hollow and slide down over the crossbeams. The floor is 1 1/8” below the sides.

The canopy on the Long EZ is very large. The plans call for mounting it in the corners with four screws. Because I need to change out lipos, the canopy needs to be removed and replaced with ease. I used six pairs of 5/16” diameter rare earth magnets. I made balsa supports that sit on the sides. I sunk a magnet into each one. Then I matched up the canopy and marked where the canopy magnets went. They sunk into the magnet holders on the fuse. This took some fiddling. I used 5 min epoxy on the canopy magnets.

To test the strength I blasted the fuse and canopy with a leaf blower. My anemometer only measures up to 27 mph, but I had a variable speed control on the leaf blower and at least doubled the wind. The canopy held fast....Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Jun 15, 2018 @ 10:41 AM | 1,693 Views
Hey, it's Friday! Here's a smile for you.
Posted by UpNup | May 27, 2018 @ 04:03 PM | 1,147 Views
Being tired of my Sport Cub S2 Landing Gear bending after virtually every flight, I saw supports that were soldered onto the LG. I’ve noticed that the Carbon Cub S+ have identical LG and brackets. The version of the support struts that I saw at my flying field attached using the plastic holders in the rear for floats. Since I had floats, all the hardware, 3/32” piano wire, linesman pliers, and solder, this project took about three hours.

Usually these planes are red and white but I covered mine in Econokote. My scale model example was Nate Saint’s Piper PA-14 flown into Ecuador’s jungles. He and four others were martyred. Their story is in the 2005 movie, “End of the Spear.” I also used fabric-coated rubber bands and rubber tubing for struts.

Update: Removed the brace after flying. It made the plane not as stable. Since the plane was covered in Econokote the tail was already a bit heavier. I moved the lipo as far forward as possible but the brace wire messed with the CG.
Posted by UpNup | May 21, 2018 @ 11:55 AM | 1,456 Views
The US Air Force Museum in Dayton Oh unveiled the fully-restored Memphis Belle B-17 Flying Fortress. The date was set on May 17, the 75th anniversary of her 25th bombing run in 1943. It was the first B-17 to complete the 25 runs. The plane was received by the museum for restoration in 2005, so this took awhile to complete.

The Memphis Belle was brought to the States from Europe to help with the War Bond drives around the country. Before scrapping it, the city of Memphis displayed it on Mud Island where it deteriorated from weather and vandalism.

The plane is impressive. You can walk under it. There were 160 WWII re-enactment actors who really set the stage and gladly posed for photos. I went with my brother and his son and grandson. Well worth the time.
Posted by UpNup | Apr 28, 2018 @ 09:59 AM | 2,527 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 | 1,677 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 | 1,120 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 | 1,602 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 | 1,443 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 | 1,643 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 | 1,623 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 | 1,826 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 | 1,583 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 | 1,830 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 | 1,407 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 | 1,423 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 | 1,427 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.