Dumas Curtiss P-6E Conversion - RC Groups
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Nov 27, 2010, 10:24 AM
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ducatirdr's Avatar
Build Log

Dumas Curtiss P-6E Conversion

Here is a short build log of my Dumas Curtiss P-6E

I recently crashed my Ryan M-1 Mail Transport conversion in my driveway and totaled the poor thing. I clipped an arborvitae bush that lines the driveway on an approach to land that spun me into the pavement. The Ryan was my first attempt at building a rubber to RC conversion. That crash freed up my guts to build this much cooler looking plane Link to Ryan Build

I like to build these guys on a small building board on my kitchen table. The unheated basement tends to get too cold this time of year. I use good old Sig Bond glue to build these kits as its water soluble and orderless and builds a lightweight flexible bond if you are careful on the application.

I started with the tail surfaces and built an extra 1/16 square frame piece to support the hinge line. This requires a bit of trimming of abutting parts to keep the same overall size.

I then moved to the fuse and it was a standard build off the board x2 frame that you add bulkhead formers and then stringers. Before I added the stringers I decided to mount the AR6400 as far front as possible. I notice that these kits tend to need nose weight so if you can move everything forward it helps reduce total AUW by removing the need for nose weight. You can see in the photo's where I used some balsa stock to mount the AR6400 between the first and second bulkheads.

The motor mount I used off the Ryan. It was a piece of 1/16 ply that the P-51 motor mount is screwed into. Knowing how these brushed motors like to burn up every so often I try to make sure that I can service the motor. To do this I used magnets to hold on the cowl (see photo's). I can now get to the motor and replace it if it overheats and dies.

Next step is building the wings. I have the top wing on the board now drying and will build the bottom wing tonight.

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Nov 27, 2010, 10:29 AM
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ducatirdr's Avatar
I forgot to add the battery location. I drilled out and cut a slot to allow the Hyperion 1 cell 160mah to slide into the air scoop. The plastic cowl bottom has velcro on the inside to hold the cell in place. The section of batteries plastic end sticks out so you can grab it and pull it out.
Nov 27, 2010, 11:15 AM
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wgaba's Avatar


Nov 27, 2010, 11:16 AM
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I you have room for a 1S 250, you'd have a little more weight up front for ballast and much longer flight time. i use them in all three of my micros now.
Nov 27, 2010, 12:31 PM
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Nice subject. It was done before fairly recently, but I don't think anything became of it. The Spektrum gear really opens up the door for these tiny planes.
I hope you build lighter than I usually do. I wonder if the PKZ motor setup would ever power anything I've built. I opted to reprogram the AR6400 to run a bl controller for use with a 5gm HK bl outrunner, and used a diode to drop receiver voltage for 2s lipo use. Works well in a little Guillows biplane, and is always a good option if you need more power.
Nov 28, 2010, 03:57 PM
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ducatirdr's Avatar
I sat down last night and the next thing I knew I was ready to cover. I set up the control rods with "L" bend and a separate wire to hold the L on the servo board. I then fed the rod through the frame stringer to position and measure the length. I cut the carbon control rod and used the Z bend end on the flight surface using the normal shrink tube method without CA to hold the Z bend. Feeding the control rods into the fuse through the stringers I could get the L bend onto the servo and used a small flat head screw driver through the stringers to flip the wire retainer over to the other side of the servo rib/arm thingy.

I used Christmas bow ribbon for hinges. I used Paul Bradley's methods of installing the hinges first and then covering the surfaces. I use Crayola glue stick to stick the tissue to the frame. I then made up a couple 1/32 ply control arms and inserted them into the Z bends. I glued/mounted the tail surfaces on the fuse, then glued the control arms into the slots I made in the elevator/rudder. I then fine adjusted the control arm length and when It was straight I put a drop of CA on the shrink tube to hold the Z bend in place.

I finished cover the rest of the model today. The CG came out perfect with the Hyperion 160 in the spot I made. I took it outside in the 20mph gusts and waited for a lull. I put it on the driveway for a test hop. It lifted off the ground at 4 mph and acted like it was going stall. I stayed with it and let it lift off and then a foot over the lawn I chopped the power. One more lull and one more short hop showed that it does indeed fly very slow. I flew it about 30 yards off the driveway into the back yard where the wind started up and I let it land at -2mph. It seems like a winner. I hope to get a good test in when the winds die down.
Nov 29, 2010, 10:24 AM
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ducatirdr's Avatar

Flight this morning

I doped the plane early this morning and then put the decals on her. There wasn't a breath of wind outside so I threw a jacket on and in my PJ's I gave the it a quick test flight. These planes have a tendency to not respond right away to control input. You tend to see no response and then add more control throw. This is a bad idea. Just wait a second and it will respond. I have a hard time learning this with each maiden of these walnut conversions. I found out the hard way this morning with the planes reluctance to change direction. I fed it some more throw and it snapped over and spun in from about 5 feet up. Not bad over grass. I glued the LG pods back on and repaired the loose motor mount, (glad for the magnetic nose), and in a few dabs of thick CA she was good to go.

Back out to try again I brought my camera. Not a great video but its something. I'm uploading now to You Tube.
Nov 29, 2010, 10:54 AM
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ducatirdr's Avatar


Dumas Curtiss P-6E (0 min 47 sec)

Unfortunately the quality is low and you see the tailwind side of the flight. Into the breeze it floats like a feather.
Nov 29, 2010, 11:07 AM
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Prowler901's Avatar
Awesome work! And, looks like a great little flier. I didn't realize how small it was. Great Job

Nov 29, 2010, 11:31 AM
Weni, wedi, Java...
Brent Slensker's Avatar
Very Cool!
Nov 29, 2010, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ducatirdr

Unfortunately the quality is low and you see the tailwind side of the flight. Into the breeze it floats like a feather.
Well you see it flying well and that's what counts. Excellent!
I'd be the last guy to talk there either. You should see the video of my Dumas Peashooter flying.

I remember the last one of these here went 5,000 pages of discussing theories such as the low dihedral, etc, and never was finished or at least flying, as far as I know.
You knock one out in a few days, several posts, 100% straightforward, and it flies great.
Nov 29, 2010, 03:09 PM
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portablevcb's Avatar
What is the finished weight? I am looking for a candidate for my PZ P51 gear.

Nov 29, 2010, 04:07 PM
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ducatirdr's Avatar
1post - Any links to the Peashooter?

portablevcb - I don't have a working scale. I can honestly say that that careful attention to AUW is not a huge issue. I don't use the lightest glue, I brush on 50/50 dope/thinner, and I don't spend hours figuring out which carbon rod is the lightest to use out of all my stock for the control rods. Just build em and fly em.

There are masters at work here that make all kinds of improvements to design and get these to fly lighter on the wing. I find this to have the same speed as my Hobbyzone Champ without mods. That's fine for me.

Nov 29, 2010, 05:07 PM
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portablevcb's Avatar
Thanks. I may just go a bit bigger and use a small outrunner and 2s pack with the Mustang guts. The 28" WACO SRE is calling me
Nov 29, 2010, 05:20 PM
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P_J_Glor's Avatar
How do you think the Parkzone Playmate and 2.4 mhz radio setup and servos would work in the Walnut series? I have always loved the Curtiss Hawks.

Pete G.

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