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Sep 08, 2010, 11:58 AM
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Question

Adding ailerons to balsa wing


I am trying convert my Dad's old nitro trainer into an electric plane. I think I have the motor,prop, battery stuff figured out. The plane is currently a 3 channel (throttle, rudder and elevator), However I would like to add ailerons. This was really easy with my Super Cub, however the current plane is a balsa frame wing which will make adding ailerons more difficult.

I am thinking that building a whole new wing to add ailerons may be the best bet for this plane. The current wing is ~48X9 inches (~436in^2). I looked on Mountain models and stevensaero, however most of the wings are either ~36" long or ~57". I don't have experience building models, so I was hoping to find a kit instead of building everything from scratch. However, if there is no kit i could try and build a wing but I would need plans. I have looked for plans online, however nothing has a wing with ~430in^2 of surface area.

Does anyone know of a good site for simple high wing trainer plans?

Would it be easier if I just built a whole new plane instead of trying to find a second wing?
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Sep 08, 2010, 12:55 PM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
Unless the old nitro model is exactly what you want, (and it doesn't appear to be as you want aileron), then buy or build a dedicated electric model is my recommendation.

Adding two more servos, (two is easier than one with push rods and bell cranks or snakes), is relatively easy. But would you be happy with the dihedral ?. Also is the front end of the fuselage oil soaked ?, is there room for the battery ?
And most of all, is it going to look good ?
Sep 08, 2010, 03:38 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by eflightray
Unless the old nitro model is exactly what you want, (and it doesn't appear to be as you want aileron), then buy or build a dedicated electric model is my recommendation.

You are probably right. I was thinking I could save some money retrofitting this plane, but it will probably be more of a headache than it is worth. Plus I should probably start out with a nice easy kit so that I don't get too far over my head when building/covering the model.

Thanks for the recommendation
Mar 03, 2014, 03:41 PM
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kdahlhaus's Avatar
This is old, but here is a tutorial on adding ailerons to a balsa wing: http://hobby-on-rc.blogspot.com/2012...77539001272623
Sep 05, 2016, 10:55 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdahlhaus
This is old, but here is a tutorial on adding ailerons to a balsa wing: http://hobby-on-rc.blogspot.com/2012...77539001272623
Hey thanks for that link. was exactly what I needed to help equip my Air Boss with ailerons.
Sep 06, 2016, 12:17 AM
Registered User
papadwight's Avatar
I would add a small balsa sheet at the wings to act as flaps use strong tape to connect and glue servo to wing
Sep 06, 2016, 01:00 AM
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Grup's Avatar
Dad's old nitro trainer sounds like a family heirloom/keepsake to me. It at least contains more emotional attachment than a first flight trainer should!

As others, I'd recommend getting a fit-for-purpose trainer; once you are flying that pretty good, think about what you want to do with the hand me down. There's a lot of things you can do with an old balsa plane.

Another upside of this approach is you start with learning to fly, not learning to build/fix.

Regards
Sep 06, 2016, 01:23 AM
DFS#000178
Rampage's Avatar
Adding ailerons has always been pretty easy as far as I've done it.

I've built 2 RET Herr planes and added ailerons to both. I built the wing per the plan, then cut a section of the trailing edge out. I cut the ribs in that area a bit short, and then glued in a sub-trailing edge that attached to the ribs and the trailing edge of the wing, generally out to the wingtip. I then used the trailing edge that was cut out (strengthened if necessary) as the aileron.





This is how I did it on my Herr Cherokee. Same principle.



Then you can add a servo to each aileron.



ezpz
Sep 06, 2016, 09:28 AM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
There's a couple of things to think about before you cut into the old bird.

First off is that 3 channel models are generally built with a little more dihedral than a 4 channel model will have. This is to provide a stronger rolling action from the rudder yawing the model. You see, the rudder works with the dihedral to provide the roll into and out of the turn. At the same time it makes the model more self stabilizing so it will return itself to level flight if let alone. So you might just find that it responds to rudder and banks into turns just fine.

If you are going to use this model as your first trainer then putting the rudder onto the right stick and just treating it like an aileron control works out just fine. With the stronger dihedral the rudder will give you what LOOKS just like a normal rolling action. It won't be quite as smooth as with ailerons but it will roll into and out of the turns just fine just like it has ailerons. And it has the advantage of allowing you to focus on ONE stick for roll and pitch during takeoff and landing.

If there is a lot of dihedral then ailerons tend to behave a little funny when added to such a wing. So you don't always get what you expect. There will be some adverse yaw so it seems like the ailerons are not responding in a linear manner that you get with a wing with less dihedral. So USUALLY the best way to add ailerons to a 3 channel model often involves also cutting the dihedral joint and reducing the dihedral angle by quite a lot. And at that point a new wing starts to sound easier.

If you're beyond the idea of a trainer and just want to fly Dad's old plane and you don't want it to be boring consider another option. Add a strip to the rudder's trailing edge to increase the movable area by about 50%. Or recut the fin and add a new rudder such that the vertical tail keeps the same outline size but so the hinge line is more forward and the rudder is again about 50% larger in area. Then use enough throw to liven up the flying.

You might be surprised what you can do with an old trainer set up like this. As I mentioned the rudder works with the dihedral to make the plane roll strongly just as if it has ailerons. Rolls, immelmann turns, rolling figure 8's and even flying inverted area all practical maneuvers. About the only things you can't do is stuff where you would use crossed ailerons and rudder such as knife edge flying or side slipping down to a landing. But if you can name just about any other maneuver chances are you can do it with 3 channels on a model with a good strong dihedral angle.

Finally at this point you have nothing to lose. Add the motor and fly it as it is. If it isn't lively enough increase the rudder throw. If that's not enough try taping a trailing edge extension to the rudder to increase the area. If you are STILL not happy with the model THEN consider doing something with the wing or making a new wing. But having flown a couple or three snappy rudder/elevator models over my years I suspect you'll find the model is VERY entertaining to fly before you feel the need to cut into the wing for ailerons.

Along the way don't forget to play with the balance point. If you're looking for a sporty sort of handling you want to shift the CG back a bit for a lower stability margin. Making the pitch axis less self stabilizing will also sharpen up the roll response from the wing.

If you are thinking that ailerons will totally convert this model you also might be disappointed. Ailerons on a trainer won't turn a model into a hot aerobatic model. There's still too many other design features that fight that. But again I think you will be amazed at what the old bird can do in stock form with a little tuning and a little more rudder.
Sep 08, 2016, 02:47 AM
Registered User
Grup's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMatthews
There's a couple of things to think about before you cut into the old bird.

First off is that 3 channel models are generally built with a little more dihedral than a 4 channel model will have. This is to provide a stronger rolling action from the rudder yawing the model.

If you are thinking that ailerons will totally convert this model you also might be disappointed. Ailerons on a trainer won't turn a model into a hot aerobatic model. There's still too many other design features that fight that. But again I think you will be amazed at what the old bird can do in stock form with a little tuning and a little more rudder.
Everything BMatthews said is 100% correct. As an example for you, I added ailerons to a Super Cub S. That's a 3 channel high wing trainer, with dihedral. A foam version of what you have, essentially. It did NOT make it fly any better.

An evaluation of it's flying characteristics led me to believe I would have to reduce the dihedral and shorten the wingspan to get the results I was looking for. I decided that wasn't worth the effort, and flew it like that.

I eventually tried alternating between using ailerons and rudder for turns, and amazingly, it turned better with rudder only than ailerons only. But it did seem to turn best with both (ie, coordinated turn)

Regards


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