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Posted by UpNup | Dec 10, 2017 @ 08:16 PM | 857 Views
The Ford Flivver 268 plans are tricky in places. The fin and rudder have details that have to be closely followed.

The fin is 1/8 in. thick to build over the plans. When finished, you have to add 1/32 in. sheeting on both sides.

The rudder is 3/16 in. thick with extremely long and curved laminations. I made everything from cuts to sheeting. However the rudder has no sheeting.

The moment of truth is when the tail wheel bracket has to be inserted into a hole in the rudder and a trough has to be delicately run down the lower spine of the rudder. My alignment was off by only 1/16 in., but that threw the tail wheel off by 1/4 in. To resolve the problem, I could have re-soldered the bracket, but realized it could lead to new problems. I used a metal file to slim the top of the bracket insertion rod and cut the insertion hole on an angle. By gluing on a 1/64 in. plywood curved side, I covered where the bracket popped through the soft balsa.

There are two 1/8 in. dowel rods inserted into the bottom of the fin. Now, that means the 1/8 in. balsa rail gets cut through in two places! I cut the holes carefully and sliced the sides. Then I sanded flat the parts so that the sides didn’t bulge. I used CA to quickly fix the dowels.

When I put the 1/32 in. sheeting on, everything laid flat. I used yellow wood glue on the fin and it alarmed me when the balsa began to limber up. I moved quickly to glue both slides. I layed the glued fin on a Formica kitchen countertop and...Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Dec 02, 2017 @ 12:52 PM | 1,292 Views
One of the most unique noticeable characteristics of the Ford Flivver 268 is its tailwheel. The plans provide some but not all details. In 1990, apparently Dereck Woodward that wrote the plans did not have access to a Williams Bros. 2 inch diameter Golden Age wheel. It matches the 3 3/4 in. wheels used in the landing gear. It beat having to make a ply and balsa tailwheel. However, during the tedious soldering I melted the plastic hub on one of the two tailwheels. Brass hubs conduct heat extremely well.

1. Buy or make your 2 inch diameter tailwheel. Drill a hole in the axle that is just slightly larger than 1/8 in.

2. Cut a brass axle and shorter hub. I found the brass tubing at Hobby Lobby. You will need a hacksaw and a very light touch. Run the 1/8 brass hub through the wheel to make a hub and then slide the smaller diameter brass tube through the hub. Cut to fit. Then use pliers to mash the ends flat, making sure the hub and wheel spins freely.

3. Bend and cut the wires. Solder the pull-pull brass strip to the vertical post being careful to place it perpendicular to the wheel axle. Then solder each piece of wire as directed. Tin every metal torch point prior to soldering.

4. Place a wet piece of cardboard next to the wheel hub. This will help wick away some of the heat from your soldering iron. An industrial high heat soldering iron is recommended. But touch the axle no more than five seconds at a time. Do not let that plastic wheel melt. Keep checking...Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Nov 29, 2017 @ 07:32 AM | 995 Views
Building the Ford Flivver requires constantly looking at plans, building directly over the plans, reading an article written in RC Modeler June 1990, and a three view from the Williams Brothers plastic model kit.

My trip to Dearborn to see the original was astounding. Nothing videoed, written, photographed or talked about in a forum compared with the original.

All this reminds me of my faith in Jesus. One of his followers named Paul said we only see now as if thru a darkened glass, but one day face to face. Becoming a follower of Jesus is like these model builds. We try to make them scale, using quality copies as reference, but the original is what we focus upon. Are you looking at imitations or do you pore over the Bible looking for Truth? And yet that personal relationship with Jesus is astounding. Get to know Jesus as I have and youll find that direct connection beyond compare.

Meanwhile, Ill keep building this plane and referencing the best plans and reference material possible.
Posted by UpNup | Nov 28, 2017 @ 10:47 AM | 1,109 Views
Building a plane from plans means that you make mistakes. But those glitches are not a fatal flaw, but an opportunity.

My right wheel was rubbing one of the three landing gear wires. I built the gear just like the left one. And that meant I threw a wire right into the wheel.

Second chances are wonderful. Now the wheel rolls fine. And I painted all three wires black which is more true to the original.

Grace comes at a price. The fix took a night and dragging out the soldering equipment. Life doesnt often have grace. As a Christian I know that my life flaws are forgiven by my faith in Jesus. It cost Him His death on the cross. He lives today so that I can be forgiven, cleaned up, and set rolling along again.
Posted by UpNup | Nov 23, 2017 @ 09:06 AM | 1,664 Views
Things change when you see the original. Seeing the only existing Ford Flivver 268 was a treat. You know you're working hard at a build when you travel several hours to see the original. The Ford Flivver is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. The museum is very well done and worth the $22 ticket plus six dollar parking.

What changed for me was the detail that doesn't exist in the Williams Bros. plastic model and in the RC Modeler June 1990 article and plans. Dereck Woodward built the 1/5 scale plans I'm using off of the plastic model. For instance, the plastic model shows a gas cap in front of the windshield. The plans don't have it. But the real FF has a gas cap and some kind of other port, probably for oil. There were many other details that I noted and placed as captions in the photos.

Anyone building scale should certainly consider viewing the original. You'll have limitations like I did. Couldn't measure anything. Couldn't climb underneath or peer into the cockpit. But there is enough detail to keep me busy on this build....Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Nov 18, 2017 @ 05:08 PM | 1,190 Views
Enjoyed spending a couple of hours today at the AMAs National Model Aviation Museum in Muncie, Ind....Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Nov 17, 2017 @ 08:21 PM | 1,355 Views
Elevators coming along for my Ford Flivver build.

Had to run to Hobby Lobby for the 3/16” square sticks and 3/16” sheeting that the plans called for. The collection of balsa was there but it was an organizational mess.

The laminations on the curved parts went well, except the left elevator. It was warped about 1/8”. Even though the wood glue had set, I wetted it thoroughly with Windex and pinned it down.

The wings were built using CA, but I went with Gorilla Wood Glue (non-foaming) on all of the elevators.

I’ve got an internal control horn that is to be added later.

If you haven’t noticed, I’m building on the exercise matt my wife uses just siting on top of glass.
Posted by UpNup | Nov 10, 2017 @ 05:17 PM | 1,366 Views
The wing on the 1/5 scale Ford Flivver came together. It was far more technical than anticipated. Cross-grain web shearing had to be cut and fitted between each rib. I was glad for the short kit laser cut ribs, but still had to swing by the store for 1/16 sheeting. I finally tacked a second set of plans to the wall for reference. Im glad that I chose to do the landing gear first as it was important to get the insertion holes drilled correctly into ply before sheeting. There are at least 60 hours of work into completion.
Posted by UpNup | Oct 06, 2017 @ 05:40 PM | 1,720 Views
The RC plane plans Im building called for my pilot figure to sit on a 1 block of wood. I received my Balsa order and realized I could add an inch to my pilots chest. All I had to do was cut, sand and raise it up, right? Matching colors again and getting the seams to match was a bigger chore than I thought, but well worth it.
Posted by UpNup | Sep 28, 2017 @ 10:38 AM | 1,376 Views
Looks like Arcy Plain is at it again. This time he got his math a little skewed.
Posted by UpNup | Sep 26, 2017 @ 03:01 PM | 2,439 Views
You'd think that your local hobby shop would have the best prices and selections of balsa wood for constructing a new RC plane. But online dealers really have the best prices.

This week I'm on vacation and went to a local hobby shop that was very well equipped. I'm building my first plane from plans and not a kit. Balsa sheets sized 1/32" X 3" X 36" were $2.48 each at the LHS compared to 1/32" X 3" X 24" for 85 cents online at Balsa USA. I know they weren't exactly the same, but that's an amazing price difference. I thought I'd be able to buy my balsa locally for an entire plane, but I had to look online.

After seeking some counsel online at a FB page, here was good advice to pass along:

:: Balsa USA cuts their own balsa, so their prices are lower.

:: Ask your LHS to purchase what you need for your project. You'll still probably get it cheaper than buying individual stick/sheets from him, but he'll get a bit of markup from your business. And your business will help to ensure he's still around for the small stuff when you need it now! [Maybe for some LHS, but not mine--see original post above.]

:: I found that buying bundles from Tower to be the way to go. I've also picked some up from Micheals. I've been buying sheets and cutting my own sticks for a few years now. Even when I build a kit now, I don't throw all the left overs away until after I pull out my stripper and cut a few sticks. [In my test piece pricing, Tower Hobbies wanted $1.64,...Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Sep 09, 2017 @ 01:44 PM | 1,290 Views
It was good to add Sport Cub floats to my PZ Sport Cub S2. Yes, this is the red and white foamie, but I covered it in Econokote.

At first I grabbed the wrong rear wire, but located the wire struts that came with the Sport Cub S2. Changed those out and the set-up is correct. The SC S2 just uses the 9 X 6 prop that came with the kit. A sport cub needs to upgrade their prop....Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Aug 16, 2017 @ 08:14 PM | 1,786 Views
The Ford Flivver calls for three large music wires soldered together. I found on the FB store, a $10 huge, hot soldering iron that heats to 800 watts.

To get wire, I had to strip some small gauge solid copper wire. I bought flux and lead-free silver solder. To get stability, I held down the largest wire (1/8") with a clamp. The other two music wires (3/32") were Gorilla-taped into place. (You go with what ya got.) When rigid, I wrapped the three wires with close-wound copper wire and clipped spare threads top and bottom, mashing the loose ends into the wrap.

I tried this two weeks ago and didn't clean the joint after a failed low-temp 60 watt iron attempt and got oxidation (aka rust) on the wires. I sanded off the wire down to a sheen and started from scratch.

The chisel tip was screaming hot in 10 minutes. I placed it under the copper wire cluster. The solder melted thru from the top. I was glad to have a tim pan to catch the splashing solder.

To avoid rusting, I spray painted Rust-oleum black the wire nearest the axle. The parts going up near the wing were painted Testors steel.

Note that through all of this I've had to dodge and consider those wooden faux rubber stacked doughnuts. I imagined them bursting into flame. However, just by sliding them up and down, they stayed unscathed.

The final product is an extremely wide and strong landing gear to be mounted below the 50" wingspan.
Posted by UpNup | Jul 28, 2017 @ 03:12 PM | 2,147 Views
My plans called for 1/8" music wire or piano wire. This is extremely rigid wire that's perfect for rc plane landing gear.

My trusty linesmans pliers came out and it took all I had to bend the wire. And I had a hard time making crisp corners that were in line.

After reviewing videos and blogs about vises, clamps, steel jigs, and really great tools, a thought hit me. What if I just drilled two screws about 1" apart into a two by four?

My homemade jig for $0 worked really well. I even got the 2x4 free from a dumpster on a construction site.

The only technique to recommend is to make the bend in one smooth motion. No jerking. Pull it past the stopping point and adjust it using the jig or pliers.

On the Ford Flivver 1/5 scale plane I'm building, the landing gear had rubber doughnuts in a stack. That meant I had to make my stack ahead of time and insert them during the bending process. It took a bit of advanced planning.

Hope this helps someone else save some time and money.
Posted by UpNup | Jul 24, 2017 @ 07:37 PM | 2,877 Views
My reliable foamie with 60+ flights in her was stored in a hot garage before flying in 90 degree temps. Didn't dream that the heat and choppy winds would loosen the cellophane tape. After flying loops and rolls for 7 mins., I'm lining the Champ S+ for landing into the wind when the tape lets go.

It was spectacular.

Somehow the bottom half of the nose sheared off and the prop cut thru the right fuse side before I could cut the throttle. Wires held it together in a slowish death spiral. Landed in grass.

But hey, a bit of Gorilla glue and it's ready to go with some new character lines and a wiser pilot.
Posted by UpNup | Jul 13, 2017 @ 05:57 PM | 3,424 Views
Looks like someone figured out how to make money with this hobby!
Have a smile on me.
Posted by UpNup | Jul 04, 2017 @ 09:49 PM | 3,293 Views
Had fun on my day off with a Williams Brothers 1/5 scale pilot figure applying painting tips from Aces of Iron. My role model for the bust wore a tie and not an ascot, so I added a collar and just painted a tie on him. Probably need to add a Clark Gable mustache when the Dullcote dries.

Williams Bros. has been around a long time and some dismiss their pilots, but for $4.66 plus a few Testors paint bottles, it was a first for me.

Update: With winter coming on I added lamb fleece and Brooksie grew a mustache. To help hold on his goggles, he needed some help in the back.

The fleece is an ancient athletic sock turned inside out, cut to fit, and died with coffee. The mustache is my wife's (discarded) false eyelashes, and the buckle on the back is a paper clip....Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Jun 22, 2017 @ 05:05 PM | 3,139 Views
Been having some fun working on a scratch-built instrument panel. Look carefully at my 1/5 scale gauges and ignition switch and you'll see that they are laying on a photo of the real instrument panel of a 1926 Ford Flivver hanging in the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. Link: https://www.thehenryford.org/collect...rtifact/264186

The one cent-sized gauge is a Ford oil pressure gauge. The dial is glued to a 2017 penny painted with Rustoleum textured black. The penny is .75 inches in diameter. I was shooting for .66 cm.

The 25 cent-sized gauge is a Jaeger Tachometer. The quarter I picked at random for a scale reference at random is from NC commemorating the Wright Bros.' first flight at Kitty Hawk, of course. I found a similar tach on eBay for 895.00 or roughly $1,000. The plastic ring was exactly 1" in diameter and pulled from the center of a pinstriping coil and painted with Testor's silver paint. I was shooting for .994 cm.

The gauges were worked up from scratch in PowerPoint and scaled down in a .jpg file. I put nail polish on the printout after gluing them down. I covered them with a thick (quality) clear plastic from Venom lipo battery packaging. The ignition switch is carved out of balsa and ply and painted with Testor's steel and silver. It was coated with clear nail polish. I used Sally Jansen Advanced Hard as Nails Strengthener. I'm making a big deal about this because it is thick, didn't run, and didn't streak my paper dial. Now, it's tough to make balsa look like metal and I'm open for suggestions.

I have three tiny eyeglasses screws for each gauge and the switch that are planned for the instrument panel when I get to that stage.
Posted by UpNup | Jun 10, 2017 @ 01:03 PM | 4,141 Views
The Ford Flivver plastic model by Williams Bros. was available on eBay. The 1/5 scale RC plane plans are actually based on the plastic model rather than the real thing. So I ordered it and built my first model plane since the 8th grade.

Despite being manufactured in 1995, the kit was in great shape. The decals never tore and the plans and sprue were sealed in plastic. I thought hard about keeping the kit untouched for some vintage collection one day--hey, it's 22 years old! But decided I needed the model-building experience. And the insights I'd get along the way.

To me, the plastic model was hummingbird tiny. The wingspan is just 5.5" and fuselage is 3.8" long. The Testors paints were not thinned and so they dried just thick enough to leave fingerprints if I wasn't careful. The dark blue paint had to be stirred every time the bottle was opened or it varied in shading; noticeable in touch-ups. I never figured out how to do the rigging on the tail feathers and opted eventually to put small black plastic strips cut from a broom. One wrong slip of the glue carefully put into place by toothpicks and the paint was marred. I don't own a magnifying glass, so there were some close-up tasks that caused eye strain. In viewing some YouTube how-to videos, I quickly figured out that this plane is so small to begin with that it would compare with a 1:78 vehicle or bomber.

The late Dereck Woodward who drew the 1/5 scale RC plane plans was right about the instructions that...Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | May 17, 2017 @ 01:33 PM | 4,081 Views
The Ford Flivver airplane 1/5 scale seems like an interesting project. I need to plan ahead for budgeting my time and money. I used AeroFred to download a 5 MB plan RCM 1068 and then had it copied on a huge sheet at Staples.

The "RCM 1068" refers to Remote Control Modelers magazine, plan #1068. I was thumbing through old RCM mags that someone in Northern Kentucky gave me. They filled two filing cabinet drawers. On eBay, they sell for $7 to $10 each, so this was a goldmine for me. The June 1990 edition of RCM carried a very thorough description, 3-view photos, and the plans. However, the plans cross over two pages, making it impossible to photocopy.

Two resources were shared with me by Simages, here on RCgroups.com.
1. Article from RCM June 1990 in PDF format:

2. Wood cut outs for the plane from Laser Design Services.

Obtaining the electronics to make this plane could be an expensive and time-consuming challenge. I'm considering purchasing a used Sport Cub S2 and raiding it for the electronics. The planes are close in size. The electronics cost $161 and that doesn't count the control horns, push rods, engine mount, prop/nuts/backplate/spinner, and other clevises. The Parkzone Sport Cub S2 is currently available for $179.99. That might be the way to go. And if I'm careful, I can save the foam cadaver as backup for my own Sport Cub that I'm...Continue Reading