Kevin's F/A-18 construction - RC Groups
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Sep 13, 2001, 05:01 PM
Lithium Member
Herb's Avatar

Kevin's F/A-18 construction

I am more than halfway through with the construction of my EJF F/A-18,

I am getting to the taileron setup part. Does anybody have a picture of how they did it?

I am planning on doing it a bit differently from what the instructions recommend - if can I understand it properly - by using thick piano wire shafts through a brass tube bushing.

Thanks in advance.
Last edited by Herb; Dec 25, 2005 at 01:45 PM.
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Sep 13, 2001, 09:57 PM
herb:i had some that haldor sent me that worked well.unfortunately they got wiped out in a hd crash a few months ago. try e mailing him and he could send them to you...........gregg

i used carbon shafts with piano wire inside for reinforcement,and drilled out larger holes in the fuse sides, filled with epoxy and then drilled the correct size for the carbon shafts.this way the epoxy made a nice bushing surface.
Sep 13, 2001, 11:26 PM
EDF Head
Haldor's Avatar
Here is a pic of my assembly.
Sep 14, 2001, 02:04 AM
Cees Kraaijeveld's Avatar
I made the tailerons from 3 mm (1/8") balsa, glued in 3 mm piano wire (epoxy glue of course); bushings were made from brass tubing, inner dia. 3 mm of course. Balsa blocks in the fuselage have been reinforced with 0.8 mm (1/32") plywood on both sides.
Sep 14, 2001, 03:29 PM
Dude, where's My Plane?
JasonJ's Avatar
Ill send some pics of mine tonight if I can remember . I dont think mine are as nice as some of these guys like Haldor's , I just used what I had on hand. I used a sandwich of 3/32 balsa squares and criss crossed the grains for bushings. I used some wooden dow rods for the piviot shafts. I used 1/8 ply for the control horns and Z bend piano wire for pushrods. Keeping the slop out of the linkage of course seems to be the main point to avoid any flutter. I am trying to keep mine as light as I can as I am using a brushed race speed 480bb and 8 X Cp1300s, so Im not going to be as fast or heavy as these guys with the brushless 10 cell configs.
Sep 17, 2001, 04:41 PM
Lithium Member
Herb's Avatar
Thanks for your info, I eventually found the right Dubro hardware for the linkages...wish it was just included in the kit (Robert ). Here is how

I ended up arranging things </A>, it's a simple compact & lightweight setup and seems to work well. I use twin rugged HS-81MG (metal gear) for the tailerons, no slop with brass bushings. I have setup my linkages in such a way that I can do first a mechanical adjustment of the taileron throws.

There is a Dubro hardware 22-piece package (#101 Aileron linkage) that for $5 with some cutting & adjusting has almost all the linkage parts you need for the F/A-18, you only need to buy the collars & brass tube extra,

I also experienced some warping in the horizontal stab after glassing the stab bottom with water based acrylic - even though I applied the acrylic on both sides at the same time. Oh well I am pressing it straight again now - and doubling the thickness of the tailerons.
Last edited by Herb; May 26, 2004 at 01:44 AM.
Sep 17, 2001, 05:38 PM
herb: i tossed the wood for the tailerons, it seemed pretty flimsy. i susbstituted it with some stiffer balsa...........gregg
Sep 17, 2001, 07:18 PM
Registered User
Jim Phelps's Avatar
I had to toss mine also. I made new ones out of 3/16 balsa and sanded them to a symetrical airfoil. Just started a new one and think I will use the the balsa with the kit and glass it this time. Anyone ever try ailerons on it? I'm thinking of trying it on this one.
Jim Phelps
Sep 17, 2001, 11:12 PM
Lithium Member
Herb's Avatar
Well it's almost done now - except for some details & paint job. I used some MinWax polyclrylic for finish, with lightweight glass cloth on the fuse underside & tailerons.

The kit is very nice and goes together real easy, and the finished product looks quite sharp too . Will first trim it out maybe w/out powertrain and then paint.

Picture of unfinished F/A-18 here </A>

Setup is MF480, Hacker B40-8L, Kontronic Smile 40A BEC esc & 10 pushed CP1300 cells, 380 Watts ca.

Or about 150 Watts per pound, with a (static) thrust to weight ratio of about 0.80.
Last edited by Herb; May 26, 2004 at 01:45 AM.
Sep 17, 2001, 11:39 PM
herb: it is a very nice kit to build.looks great! with the 1300's it should come in light. hand launch?.
i was tempted at 40oz, but went with the launcher........gregg
Sep 18, 2001, 09:24 PM
Lithium Member
Herb's Avatar
...Whether it will be ultimately hand launchable or not will depend on the power & weight, and therefore on static thrust, watts per pound and wingloading. My target is around 150 Watts/pd.

I am not sure yet what the final weight will end up - since I am not done with the paint & fglass yet, and also don't know yet exactly how many CP1300's I'll use...

Anything with a wingloading of under 30 I think I can handlaunch without too many problems , above that it can be risky & the bungee would be the way to go.

I'm almost done with the paint - no panel lines yet -, the finished weight is around 39 oz, maybe when the paint dries completely it will be less ...

[Original, ]
Last edited by Herb; May 26, 2004 at 01:46 AM.
Sep 22, 2001, 08:32 PM
Lithium Member
Herb's Avatar
How did you guys attach the canopy? I put a ply tongue on the front of the hatch, but I think it won't work due to the canopy's placement, the canopy get unglued when I pry the hatch open at the back.

...ok here's how </A> I did it. Hope it stays on long enough.
Last edited by Herb; May 26, 2004 at 01:49 AM.
Sep 22, 2001, 08:47 PM
herb: i had the same problem,i used silicone to attach it to the wood and left a small gap at the rear. when i open it i squeeze it from the sides (at the glue joint) and lift it up and slide it back. hasn't come loose yet.
one bunus from the gap at the rear is; in addition i drilled an air outlet in the wood for some venting of the battery heat............gregg
Sep 22, 2001, 10:48 PM
Registered User
Kevin Murray's Avatar
Wow Herb, Very nice finish. I guess you are planning on a lot of inverted flying.

So the blue bottom won't blend in with the sky.
Sep 23, 2001, 08:41 PM
EDF Jet Jam 2017, June 15-18
Kevin Cox's Avatar
That's a sharp looking Bug (nickname for an F/A-18) Herb!

What did you finally use for your decals?
Last edited by Kevin Cox; Sep 23, 2001 at 08:48 PM.

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