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Jun 04, 2011, 12:58 PM
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Building a Decathlon - part 1

Well, my plane had a gear [undercarriage] failure last weekend, and while it may be repairable, after 300+ flights, I thought it easier to semi-retire it for now, and build a new one - same effort to do. The wing is still fine, so it was used for this plane as well...

I will go over the sequences I use to build one of these planes from parts and how it is done, for those interested in doing the types of mods I use:

Step 1: time - 5 to 10 minutes

Dremel cut or remove the tail skid. I used a dremmel, and then smooth off the remaining sections (see attached pix) to permit Dubro micro tail wheel to be used as a steerable tail wheel. I also drill holes to match the "ring" to the rudder's hinge position.

Step 2: time - 10 to 20 minutes

Use CA to mold the wing mount on the fuselage (if needed) to maintain a proper surface to make wing mount square. Many of these fuselages have small variances and defects during manufacture, storage, and shipping. I like to make sure that the wing will mount square to the fuse when assembly is complete. Allow CA to cure well before moving on.

Step 3: time - 10 to 15 minutes, drying time 1-2h

I use weldbond white glue on the inside of the fuse under the wing, about 1/2 way down the fuselage sides (where the window decals would go, but inside the fuse). This stiffens the fuse, and minimizes flex. I also apply at this time with a Q-tip shaft glue to the wing rods on the outside where they meet the fuselage, and aply it brushed inside also on the rods in the interior. Stronger than stock, and holds the rods very well. I use ~35-40% diluted white glue for this step. Weldbond is my glue of choice.

Step 4: time - 10 minutes or less

Install the servos. I found it easier to put the servos in the plane earlier to avoid having to do this later when risking things getting crowded. The servos go into their positions well on the plastic "cage", but they can be tricky to seat fully.

We are then ready to assemble the tail!

Part 2 above... SkyCadet
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