Vladimir Models / Kennedy Composites Sprite #200 Build Log - RC Groups
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Jan 28, 2010, 12:51 PM
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Build Log

Vladimir Models / Kennedy Composites Sprite #200 Build Log


Despite last weeks rain, the ground here in New Hampshire is covered with snow and there is more coming down right now. So, why not document the build of Sprite #200?

The 2009 NATS 2-meter competition featured several of these good looking ships produced by Vladimir’s Models in the Ukraine (http://f3j.in.ua) and distributed the U.S. by Kennedy Composites (http://www.kennedycomposites.com).

There are several threads on RC Groups regarding referencing both the thermal and thermal-electric variants, but no real step-by-step guides. The thread I found most useful is at https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=934607.

If this is your first composite sailplane build you might wish to view Paul Naton’s instructional DVD titled “F3 Building Clinic”. This and other interesting titles are available at http://www.radiocarbonart.com.
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Jan 28, 2010, 12:53 PM
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What's in the box?


Model Contents:
Left and right wing with carbon joiner
Fuselage with canopy, boom, installed pushrods and fin mount
Left and right elevator with two carbon joiners
Vertical fin / rudder
Servo tray with four screws
Four servo covers
Four control rods with eight screw-on clevises
Four brass threaded control arms for ailerons and flaps
One circuit board type control arm for rudder with clevis
Two clevises with couplers for carbon pushrods
Four wing bolts

Optional accessories:
Ballast set
Wing bag
Jan 28, 2010, 12:54 PM
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What do you need to add?


To complete the model you will need:
Two flap servos (JR 285MG or similar)
Two aileron servos (JR 285 or similar)
Four wing servo frames (optional)
Elevator and rudder servo (JR 368BB or similar)
Flight battery (2/3 AA up to 2/3 A bullet-style will fit easily)
Receiver
Switch and charging jack
Servo extensions or materials for custom wiring harness

Recommended building supplies and tools:
High speed rotary tool
30 minute epoxy
Epoxy thickener (baking soda can be used)
Medium CA
Razor knife or blade
Alcohol or swabs for cleaning
Sandpaper and/or emery boards
Jan 28, 2010, 12:59 PM
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Mount the fin


Dry fit the fin, and mark the location for the rudder control horn. Use a fresh razor blade to cut the control horn notch, being careful to remove foam all the way to the opposite side skin. Rough up the horn with sandpaper, and clean thoroughly with alcohol. Glue in place with epoxy.

Rough up the contact points of the vertical fin and mount. Clean thoroughly and glue sparingly with epoxy.
Jan 28, 2010, 01:06 PM
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Ready the wing for control rods


Use a rotary tool to grind out the shear webbing for control rod clearance. (Note that the supplied rods may be too short for the flaps). Solder the clevises to the rods on the servo end. The flap rods also required a bend in order to get full travel without binding. It was also necessary to extend the length of the brass control horn for the flaps by leaving a few threads exposed.
Jan 28, 2010, 01:15 PM
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Wiring and radio setup - now is a good time


Four pin Deans connectors can be used to make a custom wing wiring harness. In the diagram below note that the positive and negative feed to each wing half comes from the receiver flap channel, the only line used from the aileron feed is the signal. Both the positive and negative lines are split in the wing and shared by each servo.

Setup the model in your transmitter, check out the servos and label them. Remember to pay attention to proper subtrim settings on flap servos. Trim the servo arms, label the servos and mount them in frames.
Jan 28, 2010, 01:18 PM
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Mount the servos in the wings


Mount the servos as far forward as possible making sure the servo arms are lined up with the horns in the ailerons and flaps.
Jan 28, 2010, 01:25 PM
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Install the wiring harness


Mark the wiring exit location with a fine ink marker. Be sure to get behind the spar box, and allow a wing root thickness of 4.5mm. Use a rotary tool grinder to start a small hole, and then use a small hand file for final shaping. Bend the solder tabs of the Deans connector as necessary to fit in the wing. Secure the deans connector in the wing with medium CA.
Jan 28, 2010, 01:29 PM
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Button up the wing when you are sure it's all good


Complete the installation of the wing wiring. Once you are satisfied with control rod installation, centering, and deflection you can trim the servo covers with sharp scissors or blade. Secure them with tape or a spot of CA in each corner (with patience and CA debonder they can be removed later if needed).
Jan 28, 2010, 01:34 PM
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Mount the wiring plugs in the wing pylon


Use aircraft ply to hold the plug end of the Deans connectors in the wing pylon. Glue the plugs to the holder with medium CA. Again, bend the solder end as required for clearance. Trim the plug holder to size and then mount one half of the wing with the plug installed. Secure the other end with thickened epoxy. After the first side is cured, repeat the process for the other side.
Jan 28, 2010, 01:38 PM
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Need more radio room? Trim the ballast tube.


Trimming of the boom/ballast tube is optional if you require additional room for your receiver. Rough cut with a rotary tool grinder, and then smooth with an emery board or sandpaper on a popsicle stick.
Jan 28, 2010, 01:43 PM
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Position the radio gear for balance - glue the servo tray


Mount the rear servo on the underside of the servo tray so that the control rods will clear each other. Dry fit everything first and position the receiver, battery, switch and servos such that the plane will balance without additional weight. When you are satisfied with the balance point, secure the servo tray with thickened epoxy being careful to avoid excess epoxy on the servo tray seams.

Trim the elevator and rudder control rods and secure the threaded couplers. Note the use of 2-56 bolts (not supplied) for servo mounting.
Jan 28, 2010, 01:46 PM
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Shorten the hook?


Here the tow hook has been cut with a rotary tool disk and de-burred with a hand file.
Jan 28, 2010, 01:53 PM
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Wing template for flight modes


The attached file can be used for initial setup of the wing surfaces for flight modes. These reflect the -2, 0, +2 degree deflection for speed, cruise, and thermal.
Jan 28, 2010, 01:57 PM
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Downloadable build log


If you want to print this stuff and save some paper, here is a downloadable document.


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