Radical RC E-Hornet Build Thread~~~Now with video of the maiden! - RC Groups
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Jan 12, 2011, 01:12 PM
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Radical RC E-Hornet Build Thread~~~Now with video of the maiden!

This is a build thread of the Radical RC E-Hornet model. This copy from the Radical website...

The E-Hornet! Anything from 6V S-400 to Astro 020 direct. The Hornet was a great Sport Airplane that went out of production over 20 years ago. This re-think includes legal mods for the WORKS Model Airplane club racing rules and latest world leading laser cut design techniques. This is absolutely the most exotic laser cut kit I have designed to date. Everything the laser can do is done here. You can power it for extreme speed or make it a real pussy cat of a sport plane. I know you will enjoy this model. The E-Hornet with high power and the addition of a folding prop is very much like a Hot-Liner without the price tag. With a 6V S=400 or other sub 100 watt power system it's a nice sport plane. The wing area and airfoil produce an extremely wide speed envelope. Kit has over 110 laser cut parts. Very exotic for a 1/2A sized airplane.

Design Specs:
Wing Span: 37"
Wing Area: 224 in.sq.
Weight: 15-24oz.

I am building this model to be a fun, sport plane to fly at the local park or club. It has a nice modern styling with clean lines and control surfaces. This is a very nice flying plane with no nasty habits. It should have a solid top end and slow down to a nice manageable speed with no nasty stalls.

The plane was initially designed for a brushed speed 400 motor and to fly in that class. Those days are over. Now we enjoy a seemingly infinite amount of motor choices roughly in this class. A number of motors can be used. The generous fuselage can hold a wide variety of batteries but for now, we will use the 3s 2100 that everyone seems to have.

We will expect around 5-8 minutes per flight depending on your flying style.

I want to test this planes speed envelope so I am planning on using a GoBrushless 2505 2900 KV Brushless Outrunner found here...


I am anticipating speeds in the range of 50-85mph on roughly 300 watts. At this point I anticipate roughly slight vertical performance in the sense that at some point, it will "shake off" the vertical. I think the term "vertical performce" is overused in my opinion so take it for waht it's worth. (Est wt 24oz, est thrust 25oz). While I feel no need to cram the biggest, baddest motor and battery in this plane (you know who you are) when we are finished hopefully we will have a quick, snappy plane plenty fast for the average flyer.

The plane is laser cut balsa with some ply reinforcement of critical areas. The fuse is solid balsa side (with lightening holes) and the wing is built up balsa.

There is no landing gear although it would be fairly easy to add if you wanted to. This is a sleek model so we will leave the gear off to hopefully gain a few more mph.

The wing has a unique magnet latch system (forget the rubber bands) that makes removing the wing a snap. The plane breaks down easily for transportation.

The Hornet is another in a long line of laser cut kits offered by Radical RC. Dave Thacker has designed and produced these kits and are available through his website www.radicalrc.com.

Radical RC kits use the same top notch designing and laser cutting. If anyone has ever built a die cut kit will certainly appreciate the laser cutting in these kits. While this model assembles easily and quickly, this model is really not for the first timer. There are better choices available for that. Dave advertises the kit having 110 laser cut parts. While it might seem like a lot on the surface, once the building starts, the parts assemble quickly.

While the plane is durable and designed very well, this plane is really designed to fly more so than to prevent crash damage. To that end, some of the parts are delicate so be carefull when handling and removing the parts from the laser cut planks. Some of the planks have tape on the backside to retain them until you use them.

The first thing I do is read the instructions and seperate the parts. Its a good idea to match the parts up to the plan and label the parts. Radical RC's planes are fairly intuitive to build so read the instructions, look at the plans, look at the threads and the plane should go together easily.

The first step should be to remove the parts, seperate them according to fuse, wing, and tail.

A quick note about kit building and ARF's. While I own and fly a number of ARF's, nothing compares to kit building. I have seen (and own) a number of ARF's that are poorly designed, poorly built with weak glue joints held together only by the covering. While there is certainly nothing wrong with flying ARF's (and there ARE good ARF's out there), there is a satisfaction and confidence that comes with building a flying a plane from your own hands. You learn how to build it, how strong it is, how it should fly, etc. You certainly dont have this with ARF's. This is not really another salvo in the exhaustive kit vs ARF battle, merely my opinion about kits!

This kit was cut, purchased, built and currently available in the USA.

Alright, enough talk, let's build!
Last edited by Carnifax; Mar 26, 2011 at 02:42 AM.
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Jan 15, 2011, 02:17 AM
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The directions are nice in the fact that Dave explains a little history about the plane and what lead to the developement of this plane. This is a nicely laser cut kit and the parts slip right out of the balsa sheets.

To complete this build I will use both aliphatec glue (Titebond or Elmer's wood glue) as well as CA. One could probably use one or the other depending on preference. For the most part I will use Titebond in this build. You develope a feel for how much pretty quickly. The glue tacks up fairly quickly working with balsa. Since Im not in a race to finish, Im going to take my time and work at my own pace.

Im going to try and stay pretty close to the directions in terms of sequencing. With that said, let's start.
Last edited by Carnifax; Jan 15, 2011 at 02:52 AM.
Jan 15, 2011, 02:49 AM
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We will begin by building the fuselage. First gather the parts for the former f2. It is comprised of 5 parts. There are 2 balsa legs and 2 "caps", one balsa and one thick ply. All of these pieces interlock/dovetail together nicely. The last piece is a thin ply piece that faces the wing and works as a hard surface against which the wing will butt against. Also note, the wing latch point slides into the top slot of this former. Therefore all the laminations must line up perfectly before glueing.
Jan 15, 2011, 03:07 AM
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Now find the bottom sheet of the fuse and its doubler. Glue the bottom doubler to the fuse bottom as well as the bottom brace of the F2 former. Make sure the doubler is all the way forward and perfectly centered.
Jan 15, 2011, 03:12 AM
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Next glue in the ply former F3 to the fuse bottom.
Jan 15, 2011, 03:21 AM
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Now find the fuse sides. Its very important that you make a left and a right side. They ARE different. Now add the fuse doublers, wing doublers and aileron slot doublers. Also add the vertical segments of the ply former F3 to the sides of the fuse. The doublers will go to the inside once the model is finished. You did make a left and right, correct?
Jan 15, 2011, 05:44 PM
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In the last step we attached the side doublers to the fuse sides. Once the glue is dry, glue former F2 to one of the fuse sides. Also glue the individual legs of former F3 in at this time.
Last edited by Carnifax; Jan 17, 2011 at 09:32 AM.
Jan 15, 2011, 05:49 PM
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Now attach the 2 fuse sides to the fuse bottom. There are 2 pins per former leg that line up with corresponding holes on the fuselage. Trial fit without glue for now. Make sure it lines up nice and snug. Once you are satified with the fit, use CA and begin glueing the connections only between F2 and F3 at this point. Also, dont glue the legs of F3 together.
Last edited by Carnifax; Jan 17, 2011 at 09:33 AM.
Jan 15, 2011, 05:58 PM
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Next assemble the top sheet, its doubler and the top hatch. Note how the doubler creates a lip for the hatch to fit on. The laser cutting makes this a very nice fit. Once you are satisfied with the fit, find the hold down tongue and glue that in place too. Be careful not to use too much glue and glue the hatch in place. This is a good application for Titebond glue.
Last edited by Carnifax; Jan 15, 2011 at 06:07 PM.
Jan 16, 2011, 12:44 AM
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Next cut 2 pieces of the 1/4" triangle stock to 3/8" long. These will be used directly in front of former F2 at the top. This will beef up the former and spread the load of the wing into the fuse in the event of a less than stellar landing.

Be careful to take into account the depth of the fuse top and doubler/lip. If you were to glue these two braces flush with the fuse top, the fuse latch would not fit.

The instructions recommend to put the latch in place without glueing and then run a pencil on the bottom of the latch against the fuse side. This will give you an idea where you need to glue the braces. It takes longer to explain this, easier just to show.

Also note, once you ahve the spot determined for the braces, before you glue its a good idea to "load' the fuse by flexing into place with a rubberband. This way, when you do glue it all together there are no suprises and everything fits nicely.
Last edited by Carnifax; Jan 16, 2011 at 12:49 AM.
Jan 16, 2011, 12:56 AM
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Next, remove the rubber band from the fuse from the previous step and test fit the fuse hatch assembly (minus the hatch). Make sure everything is nice and tight and then glue in place. Make sure you line everything and snap the sides together (dont glue them). It goes together very easily.
Jan 16, 2011, 01:02 AM
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Next, work backwards from the ply former F3. Flex the bottom and into the sides. It should fit together easily. Glue together 2-3" at a time. Make sure the tabs are lined up and fitting snugly. Do both sides. It should be a nice, tight and strong fuse when you done.
Jan 16, 2011, 01:09 AM
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Now find the top rear fuse panel. Insert the rear latch hard point. Now add the magnetic tongue cross grain doubler. Insert onto the fuse and glue it in. Note how it tabs against the ply former F3.
Jan 16, 2011, 01:14 AM
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Now add some glue in between F3 and the fuse sides. You may need to squeeze the fuse sides together. Do your best to close the gap (if any at all).
Jan 16, 2011, 01:19 AM
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Next take your 3/8" triangle stock and cut into 4 lengths around 1 1/2" long each. Glue these into the fuse nose. The directions recommend to leave them around 1/32" protruding out of the front of the firewall. Once the glue is set (I used Titebond), sand the braces flush with the fuse front (face).

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