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Jun 28, 2011, 11:25 AM
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Build Log

Experimental Project 1710 (Nato Code "Beluga")

Hi all,

it's been a long time since I started an another thread with this project. Anyways, today I want to start a building log of our Beluga class submarine from the beginning 2005 till its maiden voyage in 2009. This project is not finished yet because of personal reasons. Also the partner for the second sub has changed.

I think it makes sense if I post some pictures of the beginning. If someone has questions I will answer it. I also change the language on my homepage from German to English, just to reach more interessted people world wide. But please be patient, translating is not an easy job at all.

Here a few information about this noncombatant, experimental submarine:

Scale: 1/32
Length: 216cm
Beam: 29cm
Weight: 59,5kg
Compressed Air System: 7 bar, 2 compressors
Main Balast System: 5.7 liter
Trim: 2 piston tanks with 470ml each
Scopes: Snorkel, Periscope, Radar, Radio Antenna (all air driven)
Power supply: 24V (6x 12V Gel Lead Batteries)

This is a scratch build model which is completely drawn in CAD.

Lets start this build log with the master hull. I just post the pictures without description. If you find something weird, just feel free and ask.

Master: End of File

more to come...
Last edited by Beermacht; Jun 28, 2011 at 11:32 AM.
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Jun 28, 2011, 11:38 AM
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The Mold

The mold was made out of fiber glas. Then we cut the mold in three segments: Bow, middle section and Stern.

Here the pictures:

Mold: End of file

more to come...
Jun 28, 2011, 01:27 PM
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profesorul's Avatar
Beautiful work and very well don.

P.S.= why did cut the mold in 3 pieces?
Jun 28, 2011, 01:45 PM
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thanks for the nice words. Well, we cut the mold in 3 pieces because otherwise we are not able to laminate the hull. When it's closed, then you can not reach the inside.

Regards Beermacht
Jun 29, 2011, 12:31 PM
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profesorul's Avatar
You have perfectly right.
Do You think is possible to repeat the procedure (to make a new mold) after my plans ???,with MONEY of course.
Jun 29, 2011, 01:52 PM
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Well, sure would this be possible if I had enough time. Unfortunately I don't have any. I wanted to finish the Beluga first and a plan for a new sub is already prepared. Inbetween I'm thinking about a really difficult submarine which is planned as long term project.

Anyways, I continue this build log.

The Hulls

Early 2006 we've laminated two hulls. Normally we just build each original submarine once. In this case we've made an exception to limit the costs. Nevertheless, it will be still a very rare model!

Hull: End of File

more to come...
Jul 01, 2011, 02:52 PM
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Hi folks,

now it's getting a little bit complicated. A lot of processes was performed simultanusly. Therefore it's possible that you see pictures of things which has not been posted before. Don't worry, I will post everything from past to present.

Today I will show you pictures of the servo modul. I planned this module to realize the posibility for an X-Rudder configuration. As someone of you know, the Beluga was the russian version of the USS Albacore. The russians planned to convert the rudders into X-position. But they never did, it seems that it was not necessary.

Anyway, here are the pictures of the servo modul which provide very short levers for the rudders.

Servo Module: End of file

more to come...
Jul 02, 2011, 03:55 AM
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In this episode I will show you how we fabricate the rudders. Well, we have a few concerns about the stability but that's not the point right now.

We've discussed how we will do the rudders. It's quiet big and very massive. We thought about 3D milling which would be a lot of work for my small mill. We thought about building it up in layers of fiber class and sand them into shape. But this work would be a pain in the ***. And we thought about a mold to cast them. We stick into the last idea.

The molds were made out of silicone. We use resin for the rudders and thicked epoxy for the stabilizers.

I show you before that I cut the stern in half. The last section of the two pieces is the rudder module. This module contains the servo module and all rudders, including the ball bearing and the seal for the drive shaft.

Here I should mention that it is possible to spin the rudder module every 45°. So it was possilbe to attach a new rudder (actually the stabilizer) always on the top position. So gravity will not bend it down if I wanted to attach the dive plane stabilizers.

As I mentioned before in the previous posting, this shows a x-rudder configuration. Unfortunately, we never tried the sub with this config, but I'm pretty sure that I will try this this year.

Rudders: End of file

more to come...
Jul 02, 2011, 11:51 AM
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Main Ballast Tank

Now I will show you the main ballast tank. The system is equal to real submarines. There are flood holes on the bottom and valves at the top of the tank. When the valves open, water flows in through the bottom holes into the tank. The air leaves the tank through the valves. To emerge, the valves close and compressed air is blown into the tank. The water leaves the ballast tank through the flood holes at the bottom.

The material we use for the tank is PVC. The pressure hull is an ordinary sewage tube.
Just keep in mind that the box is not the ballast tank. This is the box for the scopes, it stays always dry (hopefully). The water is between the bulkheads and outside the box.

Here are the pictures. I will explain when it’s needed.

Two ballast tanks for two subs. Remember, the water is not in the box. It’s located between the bulkheads and outside the box. Total volume is 5.4 liters.

The top plate of the main ballast tank must be aligned to the inner tube diameter. I tried this for the first time with the lathe. It worked, although it was not without risk to damage the whole tank.

We’re in need into strong power lines to connect the batteries in front and stern. And they must be connectable very easily just by assembling bow and stern with the middle section. Reliable are 4mm brass rods which are leaded through the ballast tank. The disadvantage is that they must be isolated carefully.

Here you can see the valve. They must be machined first.

The positions for the valves are on top of the bulkheads (dry side). You can see here the drain for the air (white L) which also levels the water of both sides because the air can flow here. There are two valves in the front and one at the end of the ballast tank.

Well, this is the most awful work by far. Sealing the tank with Sikaflex 262. This stuff is very very viscous. After I clued two tanks together, my hand hurt as hell! But it’s great stuff too, it seals everything really reliable.

As I mentioned before, the power lines must be isolated very carefully!

The completed sealed tank. Not as nice as before without Sikaflex. But no one will see this mess again.

The marriage of tank and pressure hull. After the tank is in location, Sikaflex will pressed in every hole. After then, every hole is fixed with a bold.

Also the top plate is fixed with bolds

Tank from bow view.

Well, this is really a hard job. You must be carefully because it's not possible to disassemble the pressure hull again. A lot of parts must be fabricated and sealing the tank is also a pain in the ***. I did this job alone and twice. Never ever without help of my building partner!

Main Ballast Tank: End of file

more to come...
Jul 03, 2011, 09:36 AM
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profesorul's Avatar
UAUUUUUUU,it looks more like a space shuttle components then an RC submarine.It's complicated!!!.
Jul 04, 2011, 03:22 AM
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Well, it's not that complicated than it looks like. The major components are quite the same on Beluga, A212 and Tijgerhaai (of Wehrbeer). This system was developed by Lothar Ments a lot of years ago. It works fantastic and the result is normally near perfect.

Jul 04, 2011, 04:07 AM
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Trim Tanks

Today I will start to show the technics. First the piston tank for trimming. Unfortunately, I don't have much pictures of this process.

As I said before, we use the main ballast tank for diving. The piston tanks, lets say trim tanks, are just to control the correct buoyancy. It's possible to bring the sub to periscope depth very easily. One the sub is trimmed, diving and surfacing is done only by the compressed air system.

Main Ballast Tank: 5,4 Liter
Trim Tank (each): 0,47 Liter

Trim Tanks: End of File

more to come...
Jul 04, 2011, 11:12 AM
Submarines, etc.
tsenecal's Avatar
the combined volume of your trim tanks is the same volume as the main tank on either my type II or my Alvin...

that is one big boat.
Jul 04, 2011, 01:56 PM
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Well, it is. And the size has its own problems. But who cares. It has to be done anyway

In this episode I will show you the technology rack.

Everthing was planned before fabricating the bulkheads. This is the original plan which was drawn to scale by Lothar Mentz (aka Kaiser). I only drawn the outer shape and the scopes (not the one on this plan). Well, I changed to 3D CAD and draw the whole sub new.

These are the closing rings which are clued onto bow and stern. The diameter and the o-ring are adjusted to the sewage tube.

Stern, Main Ballast Tank and Bow segments

Stern technology. On top the new Multichannel Switch (MKS) which has 22 Output ports, 5 Input ports and are fully programmable with PC. Also a cool logic is implemented, so it's possible to control ports by others output, input ports and or switch positions on the remote control. Below is the power supply controller with BEC and magnet switch. I will do an extra episode on the MKS.

Stern technology. On top there is the speed controller.

The small electronic device is the level/depth controller from Nils Canditt. In front the MKS which was also build by Nils.

Four 12 Volts 7A lead gel batteries in the stern section. The bow section contains furthermore two batteries. Total voltage: 24 Volts, 21A.

The small device on the left is the new piston tank controller made by Christian Feldmann. Small and very reliable.

Technology: End of file

more to come...
Jul 05, 2011, 04:55 AM
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Hi Folks,

today I show you the propulsion system. But first I have to say that we actually change the whole system in the next weeks. But this one was already been build and I'm pretty sure it's worth to show it here.
We planned to use two 24V Dunker motors because of the huge hull surface. But first we wanted to try one of them because it worked very well in other subs. Sascha’s Tijgerhaai, in size very similar like the Beluga, was driven with two Dunkers on his maiden voyage (builder and owner at this time was Lothar Mentz). Well, it turns out that the two motor configuration was a little bit inefficient because the power consumption was higher than increase of speed.

It was hard to find out the shape of propeller. Several month of research in the former Soviet region turns out that more than one propeller were tested. All pictures on the net shows a more conventional propeller. It was easy to measure that it has 7 Blades. But there was also a quite modern sickle tested. We stick into the modern 7-Blade sickle propeller. Also, a counter rotating propeller was planned but, so far I know, never build. For the future, I will realize this on the model.

Explanatory note: These pictures shows the present state of the propulsion system. Currently we fabricate new propellers for the two models. It’s the propeller which was on the Beluga on her last days. Also a brushless motor was ordered. But I will show this at a later time.

I fabricate a plate which was able to attach several motor configurations. Because we were in a testing phase, I wanted to be prepared for future changes.

On the left the 24V Dunker motor.

Belt drive and speed controller attached.

Turning the hub.

Rough hub and attenuator

The attenuator is also turned with angles.

One to go!

The crossing blades on the attenuator was milled

The propeller is ready for brazing. Everything is mounted onto a soldering caliper.

Soldered, polished and mouted. Diameter: 125mm (bigger than a compact disk)

Propulsion: End of File

more to come...
Last edited by Beermacht; Jul 05, 2011 at 05:16 AM.

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