Stevens Aero Skybuggy - RC Groups
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Sep 20, 2010, 04:49 PM
The original Flying Pigs Sqd.
Up&Away's Avatar
Build Log

Stevens Aero Skybuggy

Here's another first for me. I bought a lasercut kit!

Quick background: I've assembled some ARF's, some foamy wings, scratchbuild two models from a plan, and have done extensive repairjobs on all of them. But I've never build a kit. When I re-started RC, the Clancy range seemed very attractive and appropriate, but out of my pricerange, and then they stopped producing them altogether.

Recently though, I saw something very similar, and within my price range; the Skybuggy. I think it's one of those models you either love or hate. Obviously, I love it! I'm realy looking forward building a kit.

So hold on to your seats, and keep your heads and hands inside the bus!

Just opened the box in my office. Will have to wait till I get home to unpack further.
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Sep 20, 2010, 04:59 PM
The original Flying Pigs Sqd.
Up&Away's Avatar
Out of the box. All's neatly packed in a plastic bag.

And this is what came out of the bag.

After reading the manual (actually, I downloaded it way before I put in the order and printed it. Kept it in my diary at work. Everytime I went to the mensroom I took the manual with me...) again, I started with sanding the wood, lightly. Too heavy handed and you run the risk of seperating some of the pieces.

I temporarily re-attached them with maskingtape, so I won't loose them...
Sep 20, 2010, 05:09 PM
The original Flying Pigs Sqd.
Up&Away's Avatar
On with the magic of laser cut kits!

Find the parts, carefully remove the parts needed, test fit

Press together and apply thin CA. And there's the elevatorstab.

Less then 10 minutes later, here's the elevator.

And another 15 minutes later the rudder and vertical stab are done as well!

Altogether I spend a pleasant 40 minutes. Going to bed now. More later...
Sep 20, 2010, 06:13 PM
Truss-Loc Monkey
Stevens AeroModel's Avatar
Looks great - thanks for sharing your build with us.

Sep 20, 2010, 09:09 PM
Registered User
Patrick Plawner's Avatar
Balsa plane.... You know what happens when they crash...
Sep 20, 2010, 09:52 PM
Registered User
MikeinNC's Avatar
If they are like Bill's "Squirt" you dust 'em off and keep flyin'. Tough planes, good design.
Sep 20, 2010, 09:54 PM
Student of ohms law
weasel53's Avatar
Originally Posted by Patrick Plawner
Balsa plane.... You know what happens when they crash...
Pray tell! How does the story end!


Look forward to following your build thread.

Here is a link to the finished model flying at the NEAT fair just concluded on Sunday.
Sep 21, 2010, 01:53 AM
The original Flying Pigs Sqd.
Up&Away's Avatar
I forgot to mention one other thing.

In the manual you are told to use the bag (where the whole caboodle came in) to cover your work surface. Uptill now I've always used greaseproof paper to cover my work surface when glueing CA. But this stuff is SOOO much better!
Sep 21, 2010, 01:54 AM
The original Flying Pigs Sqd.
Up&Away's Avatar
Originally Posted by Patrick Plawner
Balsa plane.... You know what happens when they crash...
You pick up the pieces, glue them back together again, and go back flying!
Sep 21, 2010, 06:24 PM
Visitor from Reality
Did you know there's as many pieces of wood in the tailplane and elevator outlines as I'd use laminating up a 'real' Lazy Bee this size.

Yea, I know. Hit these with kiddy glue and they're assembled.

Okay, after six Lazy Bees and on my third Speedy Bee, I'd take some convincing to change the structure...

Sep 21, 2010, 06:27 PM
The original Flying Pigs Sqd.
Up&Away's Avatar
Got home late, so just spend an hour piddling about. I'm telling ya, I spend more time looking for the pieces then fitting and glueing them!

Thought I'd share this idea of mine with you. When using thin CA I use a dropper with a very thin spout for accurate application. This also means the bottle is left open. So as not to spill CA if it falls over, I put the bottles inside a roll of tape.

Fuse crutch tacked.

When fitting some pieces, I found that a tiny balsa tab remains that needs to be removed to get a perfect fit. I found my wife's emery board is a perfect tool for that...

Fuse nearly finished. I have to stop here, because the next step is fitting the motor stick. As I am going to use a brushless setup, it'll need some adjustments. So I'll do this when I'm not tired.

So far it's been fun!
Sep 21, 2010, 07:54 PM
Truss-Loc Monkey
Stevens AeroModel's Avatar
For your BL setup you can hold off on the motor stick until you are done framing and finishing. Looking great!
Sep 22, 2010, 04:02 AM
The original Flying Pigs Sqd.
Up&Away's Avatar
Here's dedication for ya! A day of today, and instead of going to the flying field at 0630 as usual (before it gets to hot), I am sitting at home, building...

Which motormount to choose? Decisions, decisions...

I choose the one on the right. It looks somewhat sturdier, and I do not need to drill 2 holes in the stick to fix it.

Test fit & measure.

That looks about right.

I cut the stick to size, and soaked the cut end with thin CA, so it won't split. (Don't know if it's necessary, but I prefer to do this. It's not mentioned in the manual)

Glued stick in place. The manual mentiones building up CA fillets on the motormount. I find it easiest to first glue the stick in place with medium CA, then add a few drops of thick CA and hit it with a shpritz of kicker

Some more test fitting. This time to see if I still have access to all the 4 bolts of the motormount after F8 and F9 are in place. I do...

Uptill now, the build has been logical, easy, and extremely well fitting. That's why I am realy surprised I'm stumped (temporarily). The bottom, front sheeting (F10) comes in 2 parts (F10a & F10b) that need to be glued together. No problem here. But then I need to wrap the sheet around the nose.
Now, whenever I have wrapped balsa sheeting, I have always wetted the sheet first, wrapped it around a glass or bottle (depending on size and circumference) let it dry, and when dry I had a curved sheet of balsa I could easily glue in place, with any bending.
Nothing like this is mentioned in the manual. As I decided that the designer probably knows better, I followed the instructions, and when trying to bend F10 to follow the curve of the fuse, it cracked.
So what I have done now, I put F10 back together again, and glued the first part with thick CA in place. When dry, I will spray some warm water on it, bend it to follow the fuse's curve and hold it with rubber bands.
When dry, I'll use medium CA.
Sep 22, 2010, 09:09 AM
The original Flying Pigs Sqd.
Up&Away's Avatar
Well, the fuse is done!

In the end, I found an even better way to wrap F10 along the fuse. While looking for an empty shpritz bottle under the kitchen sink, I saw the (shpritz)bottle of window cleaner. I remember reading somewhere on RCG that window cleaner was very good to use for bending wood. So I gave it a quick spray, and lo and behold, the balsa plate bended within seconds! I had to unbend it a bit, to put in some drops of (medium) CA!

Surpisingly enough, the only thing that didn't fit is the battery hatch. The tabs appear to be slightly too long. No biggy, I'll just send the down a bit.

The sanding I'll do before I start covering. There are a few rough spots, mainly the familiar "hairy" spots from the CA.

Hopefully, tomorrow evening I'll start on the wing!

So far I have netted about 2 1/2 hours of work.
Sep 22, 2010, 09:26 AM
Registered User
robs's Avatar
Your build is looking great. The Skybuggy with floats caught my eye as well while attending NEAT and I picked one up. I've just finished framing everything, I just need to sand and I'll be ready to cover as well.

I'm curious, have you thought about how to approach the windows?


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