Beginners Guide to Composite Pod and Boom Fuselages DVD Review - RC Groups

Beginners Guide to Composite Pod and Boom Fuselages DVD Review

The second DVD set from Tailwindgliders.com is titled ďA Beginners Guide to Composite Pod and Boom FuselagesĒ. As the title states, this DVD set will teach you how to make pod and boom fuselages for DLGís and larger sailplanes. All of the information is directed at the beginner composite builder. As you will see, Curtis doesnít mind showing you how to deal with construction issues when things donít go exactly as planned.

Splash

Introduction

The name Curtis Suter may not be familiar but heís been around RC soaring for many years. This is Curtisís first foray into the instructional DVD market. His first 2 productions, ďA Beginners Guide to Cutting and Bagging Foam WingsĒ, and ďA Beginners Guide to Composite Pod and Boom FuselagesĒ are currently available.


Media:High Quality DVR
Format:DVD from Digital Master
Packaging:Standard DVD Case w/Color Artwork
Run Time:~ 2 Hour 39 minutes
Price:$29.95
Manufacturer:tailwindgliders.com
href=http://www.tailwindgliders.com>Tailwind Gliders
Available From:Tailwindgliders

A Beginners Guide to Composite Pod and Boom Fuselages

This DVD also starts with the necessary parts and expendables required to make pod and boom fuselages. The parts needed are common hobby items plus a few specialty items. The specialty items can be purchased from one of the companies listed in the ďsourceĒ portion of the DVD.

A discussion of carbon fiber and fiberglass characteristics comes next. Curtis spends a considerable amount of time explaining how to deal with the cloths, determining size of the cloth needed and getting the material wrapped around the golf shaft mandrel. For mandrel preparation, Curtis uses Vaseline and VCR tape as release agents for the boom. There is a certain sequence that needs to be followed when lapping the two different types of carbon fiber together and this is explained in detail. With the cloth cut and the mandrel prepped, we now get to see the installation of the materials onto the boom. Special attention is given to remove as much excess epoxy as possible and then the fabrics are joined to aid in their application onto the boom. Once the fabric is installed on the mandrel, another layer of VCR tape is wrapped around the boom. The tape serves two purposes. One is to give a shiny finish to the finished boom and the other is to compress the cloth and squeeze any excess epoxy out of the cloth.

The VCR tape on the outside comes off easily but the boom wouldnít come off the mandrel. Like I mentioned earlier, Curtis allows us to see how to deal with things when they donít go as planned. I wonít spoil the surprise of how he gets the boom free from the mandrel. Finally, a new, lighter layup is proposed and he was able to drop a few more grams which is important to DLG modelers.

Next up is a boom for a 3.5M electric model based on the Supra TD sailplane. The mandrel is a pool queue instead of a golf shaft, but the idea is the same. While not mentioned specifically, the booms will only be as straight as the mandrel. Curtis mentioned he couldnít find a wood queue straight enough and used a fiberglass queue instead, but I wanted to make sure the viewers know that the part will only be as good as the plug. The boom material he had on hand wasnít full length and the viewers are shown how to splice pieces of carbon together. However, once the epoxy is cured, the part will be as strong as a part made with a full length piece of carbon. Booms are made a little longer than the finished dimension needed. In this case, a 44Ē long boom was made to get a 42Ē finished boom. While the boom came out a little heavier than he planned, it came out stiff and certainly light enough to be useable for sport flying.

Now for a special feature: Curtis shows how to remove a cantankerous boom from the mandrel! I love it when things donít go well and the host shows how they deal with problems.

Next up is a carbon-sleeved boom. This is by far the easiest way to make a boom, but itís not the lightest. Carbon, fiberglass, Kevlar braided sleeves come in different diameters and different weights to meet different needs in the composite world. If you played with a Chinese finger trap (also known as Chinese finger puzzle) when you were a kid you understand the principle. When pulled apart, the sleeve gets smaller in diameter and when pushed together the sleeve gets bigger. This principle can be used to our advantage when making fuselage booms. While itís typically not as light as using unidirectional fabric, itís certainly suitable for sport models. Curtis shows how easy it is to use a carbon sleeve to make a boom. The process for prepping the mandrel is exactly the same as the other methods. Stretching the sleeve and aligning the fabric of the sleeve is the only thing different with this layup. 8.9 ounce sleeve material is used for a 40Ē sport DLG/light slope airframe. Due to the configuration of the material and the inability to wet out the carbon like we did with the fabric, the epoxy is applied by hand and in this case, more is better so we make sure the carbon is completely wetted out before removing as much excess epoxy as possible. As a parting feature for disk one, comparisons of some commercial booms and his home-build booms are in order. As you can see, the booms made for the DVD are comparable to commercially available booms and Iíd expect at a lower cost. Even if they cost a little more, the satisfaction of knowing you produced a quality product is worth something!

The second disk covers pod making for a DLG. Again, this process is quite easy and all the methods shown are easy to replicate. This disk starts with making a male plug that will be used to make the finished pod. This means we make an exact replica of the pod out of a hard wood and then seal and wax the plug in preparation for making the pod. Instead of using normal fabrics, carbon and Kevlar sleeve material are used to make the fuselage. Once the carbon and Kevlar have been wetted out they are installed on the plug. Instead of using VCR tape to press the fabric onto the plug, heat shrink tubing is used. This is a novel idea that works very well.

Once the epoxy has cured, the heat shrink tubing is cut off. Since the plug has a composite skin wrapped completely around it, you canít remove the finished pod from the plug without cutting it off. After trimming the excess material at the ends, and cutting a portion of the pod free, warm water is used to loosen up the PVA. Spark plugs feeler gauges are also used to aid in getting the finished fuselage off of the plug. It actually comes off pretty easily. Since we used a sleeve, there will be a hole in the nose. Once everything was sanded smooth, the remedy to enclose the hole is shown next. With the fuselage in two pieces, the boom can be installed from the inside of the fuselage. A simple patch is made off of the plug to be used to attach the nose to the back half of the pod. Since you are using a patch made off of the plug, the fit is perfect. It also provides a lip for the hatch.

The opening for the wing creates a weak spot in the fuselage so some carbon fabric is applied on the inside of the fuselage. It laps beyond the opening to give it the most strength. This could have been dealt with during the layup but cutting the opening would have been a little more difficult. However, it probably isnít enough to worry about though.

The basic procedures for lost foam fuselages are discussed next. The foam is typical ďblue foam.Ē This is the same #2 extruded foam used to make wing cores. The foam is shaped to look like the finished fuselage using common hand tools. The fuselage material is a combination of fabric and sleeve material, carbon, Kevlar and fiberglass and itís applied just like it was for the wood plug. Once the composite material has cured, the foam will be removed from the inside of the fuselage by digging out as much as possible and then using acetone to get the remainder of the foam out of the fuselage. Curtis uses the fuselage for the electric models boom previously built for demonstration purposes.

Finally, Curtis shows you how to strengthen a Gambler AGís balsa DLG pod using fiberglass, carbon and Polycrylic. Again, this is great information for the beginner and expert alike. I like the fact that he is conscious about weight and keeps the viewer informed of the weight of the finished procedures.

Donít turn off the DVD yet. The only thing left to make a flyable model is creating the tail pieces. This is done through a series of photos instead of live production. Again, the procedures are shown in detail and the steps are very easy. All of the information in this section is directed at a DLG tail set but the information can be modified to make tails for larger planes.

These photos are from a still video slideshow of how to make quick DLG tails by cutting foam and vacuum bagging fiberglass over epoxy.

Conclusion:

A Beginners Guide to Cutting and Bagging Foam Wings and A Beginners Guide to Composite Pod and Boom Fuselages DVD from Tailwind Gliders.com provide excellent information in teaching beginners how to make their own models using composite wings and fuselages. The majority of the information provided is well known and proven, and some new techniques are included too. With this DVD set, any beginner should be able to create pod a boom fuselage in their own shop. While most of the information is geared toward making 60Ē DLG gliders, the procedures can be used on larger planes with some modification. Curtis is more than happy to answer any questions and he can be reached at sales@tailwindgliders.com. Also there is much more information on his web site, Tailwindgliders.com

I found both productions to be of excellent quality, containing virtually all of the information a beginner would need to make his own composite sailplane. Iím sure there is information that even an expert can learn from. Nobody knows everything.

For a start in composite construction, I highly recommend this DVD set.

Comments between master wing builder Phil Barnes and Curtis:

Curtis:

I like to teach and learn, and by teaching I learn. So below are two quotes that Phil Barnes Posted on RCGroups. I have never seen Philís videos but I was surprised by the first quote that no one had a video that I knew of that shows how to enter the leading edge at the beginning of cutting a foam core. Iíve cut foam wings many years before and wanted to get back into making wings myself again, so that gave me the Inspiration to not only learn how to do it but to make a video to teach others. So Phil Barnes was my inspiration for A Beginnerís Guide to Cutting and Bagging Foam Wings, my first production.

Phil Barnes:

You can make your templates with the exact airfoil shape, as in your template style #1, and avoid having the cutting wire get stuck on the LE of the top template. You should not have excess foam blocked out ahead of the core LE. That way when you start the top cut, the cutting wire is resting on the LE of the top template. You simply rest the cutting wire on the template such that it is 1/32" or 1/16" above the first (bottom) cut. Therefore it will be high enough that it will follow the top template rather than getting stuck on the tip of the LE. The pull cord tension will hold the cutting wire in place while you check that the tension is equal on both pull cords and then turn the power on to the bow. I also will gently push up on each end of the cutting wire as it starts the cut. This is better shown in a video than with text....."somebody should do a video like that."

Curtis:

Then I wanted to make my own DLG pod/boom and saw this quote by Phil Barnes about using a Male Mold to make pods."

Barnes:

The Weston method was a stone age simple method that did not obsess about minimal epoxy content. It is far better to have a fuselage that you made yourself that weighs five grams more than the fuselage you never ended up making or had to buy from someone else.

Curtis:

So once again Phil was my inspiration to make a second instructional video. So as you can see I really respect Phil and took some comments he made and took them to heart to help others learn that working with composites isnít as intimidating as it first appears.

Last edited by Angela H; Jan 13, 2011 at 03:18 PM..
Thread Tools
Apr 04, 2011, 09:18 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Tailwind Gliders is celebrating Two Years in Business

So we're having a Sale through April 9th.

All the best from Montana.
Curtis
Apr 10, 2011, 11:07 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar
I'm extending the sale through the end of the month!

Curtis
www.TailwindGliders.com
Montana
Apr 10, 2011, 11:09 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Here's three fuselages I've built using the processes in the videos.

DLG:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...1#post17743097

Zipper Sloper:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...2#post16163040

Supra-E
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...5#post17319413

Curtis
Montana
Apr 27, 2011, 02:19 AM
DangerBoy
how do I get hold of one of these DVD's. would make life a lot easier knowing how to do it all properly.

cheers to you
Curtic Suter
Apr 27, 2011, 04:03 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar
www.TailwindGliders.com

Also, the sale I'm having in conjunction with the Month of Awesome here on RCGroups ends at the end of the month.

Curtis
Last edited by Curtis Suter; Apr 27, 2011 at 10:07 AM.
Jun 14, 2014, 06:51 AM
Registered User
I cannot find how to order the videos on the TailwindGliders.com website. Are these videos still available?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Suter
www.TailwindGliders.com

Also, the sale I'm having in conjunction with the Month of Awesome here on RCGroups ends at the end of the month.

Curtis
Jun 14, 2014, 07:29 AM
I don't want to "Switch Now"
pmackenzie's Avatar
Did you try sending him an email via the address in the contact page?
Jun 14, 2014, 07:40 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar
jbeanelliott,
Thanks for your interest and I'm sorry you're having problems finding the order page.

Here's a direct link http://www.tailwindgliders.com/Sales.html

This is what you should see. Select either Disks or Download.

If that doesn't work for you please contact me using the "Contact" page.

For other reading this I'm close, very close to another DVD release after two years of work!

Curtis
Jun 14, 2014, 07:40 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmackenzie
Did you try sending him an email via the address in the contact page?
No, but I will try that now. Thanks.
Jun 14, 2014, 07:48 AM
Registered User
dion9146's Avatar
http://www.tailwindgliders.com/Sales.html

(Woops, too late)
Jun 14, 2014, 09:18 AM
Registered User
Thanks Curtis and dion. I am not sure why I did not see that page before. I have ordered the fuselage DVD.
Jun 14, 2014, 10:42 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbeanelliott
Thanks Curtis and dion. I am not sure why I did not see that page before. I have ordered the fuselage DVD.
Glad we got it sorted out.

Thanks so much.
Curtis
www.TailwindGliders.com


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