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Jul 27, 2011, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by P. Tritle
Ag, Good to see you step in. Please feel free to post up pics of your build here too....

Meanwhile, the cowl plug is on it's way to Sparky, and the drawings are about done for the canopy frame. The windows are all flat plates, so the frame for it is really not a complicated assembly at all. Will get started building it real soon.

PAT
Appreciate this thread Pat. Finished my wing last night, and will carve the wing tips tonight. Just sent you a couple of pictures of the wing tips. Please share your thoughts. Will try to figure out how to get pictures of my "build" up on here soon.
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Jul 27, 2011, 12:46 PM
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Wonderful! Love those ag planes. Built one from DBlum's plans a few years ago. I think this will be even better. I assume a kit will be available?
Jul 27, 2011, 12:58 PM
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Framing the Canopy


Got the drawings done and the canopy parts cut. The top was glued up using a simple jig to get the proper angle. Then the rear former and support were assembled and hlued to the top. That assembly was taped to the fuselage and the front supports added. Then the rear fairing block was glued in place to complete the basic assembly.

The next step will be to cover the fuselage top, then glue the assembly in place and work out the doors, windows, rear fairing panels and windshield.
Jul 27, 2011, 01:00 PM
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Adding the Battery Access Opening


It appears that the battery will end up very near the CG, so the battery hatch opening was added where the chemical hopper is located on the fukll scale Airtractor. The hatch will be made up from balsa and .010 styrene plastic.

PAT
Jul 27, 2011, 04:36 PM
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Thanks for the new pics of the canopy and the placement of the battery hatch as we had discussed. (Now I KNOW that I will re-work my canopy.) I am used to flying by the seat of my pants from time to time, but your approach is much better. Please enclude a picture of that styrene hatch cover construction when Ya do it.
Jul 27, 2011, 05:42 PM
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Nice job as usual Pat! Love the 502. Is your going to be traditional yellow with blue trim?
Jul 31, 2011, 12:23 AM
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Good evening Pat. Anything new on your little AT? Started coving mine today. I think I may have to modify the "hopper hatch" back toward the canopy a little more. Trying to balance the plane on the main spar, but she is too nose heavy. It appears that the battery will have to be placed behind that spar. What are you finding with your build? Have you worked out the CG yet?
Aug 04, 2011, 10:48 AM
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Adding the Canopy Fairings


Got the canopy frame glued in place after the fuselage top section was covered, then worked up the aft fairings glued in place. Then made up the windshield and side door patterns and made the doors from file folder. Then glued the top foam block in place.
Aug 04, 2011, 10:49 AM
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Fitting the Plastic Cowl


Got the cowl late last week and cut it to fit the front end. Beass wood mount rails were glued in place on the fuselage and the cowl mounted.
Aug 04, 2011, 10:51 AM
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Covering the Airtractor


Microlite yellow was used to cover the frames, and will add the blue trim today....
Aug 04, 2011, 10:54 AM
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Making the Battery Hatch


The battery hatch was made up from .010 Styrene and 1/16 X 1/4 balsa. The hach clips under the stringers to retain making removal easy -- and no tools are needed.

At this point we're down to hooking up the controls and setting up the CG. Hopefully I can get it finished this week and maybe get the maiden in this weekend -- providing sokker doesn't run us off again.....

PAT
Aug 04, 2011, 09:16 PM
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Adding the Trim and Fitting the Canopy Panels


Got the trim on using stock vynil sheets from Callie-Grapgics, then went inside and hooked up the rudder and elevator controls. Once all that was done, I fitted and glued in the windshield, side windows and door frames in place. Then the ailerons were hooked up and the Rx installed and all the controls were set up.
Aug 04, 2011, 09:24 PM
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The Last of the Finishing Touches


The last detail was to carve the wingtips from blue foam, glue them in place and paint them yellow. While the paint was drying the C.G was set up and the final inspection done. The battery mounted on the front side of the landing gear mount to get the balance point right where I think it needs to be. In the end, using the 430 mah 2S Lipo the model finished at 7.3 oz.

And with that, she's ready to go. At that weight, the wing loading is right at 5.5 oz. / sq. ft, so I'm guessing she'll be a real gentle flyer. If all goes well, she'll fly first thing in the morning, and will report back as soon as it happens, so stay tuned for the flight report.

PAT
Aug 05, 2011, 05:08 PM
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The Airtractor has flown!!!

Got out this morning and got in a terrific maiden flight on the Airtractor between the squals. It was breezy with occational rain early, but after an hour or so we got a break in the action, so commited the new model to flight.

In a word, the Airtractor flies GREAT! It needed a bit of up trim, but otherwise flew straight and true. The take-off was completely uneventful, and once trimmed, found the model to be very stable and though has a light feel about it was a really docile flyer. There was no adverse yaw to speak of, so no rudder input was needed in the turns.

The E-Flight 250 on 2 cells with a 7-3.5 prop turned out to perfect power. At full throttle the climb is real spunky, and cruises nicely at just over half. The Airtractor does beautiful stall turns, and in a typical "roll in for a low pass" kind of turn it never gave any indication that it wanted to tuck into the turn or head for the ground.

Landings are the fun part. I shot a half dozen touch and go's a couple full stop landings and found those to be completely uneventfull too, and ground handling proved to be easy to deal with as well since the rudder is effective, but real predictable. And once in ground effect would float on nicely both in wheel landing and 3 point.

In all, I'd call the Airtractor a grand success, and it truly has no vices. The controls are crisp, but not overly sensative. It handled the somewhat turbulent conditions extremely well, and is nothing short of a blast to fly!!!

The flight lasted a full 10 minutes, and after recharging the 430 mah battery found that it had consumed 380 MA, so it looks like it'll deliver a solid 10 minutes with a bit of reserve. Can't wait to try it out in good air, should be a real jewel.

Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures in flight, but will definitely grab a few the next time out.

PAT
Aug 05, 2011, 08:17 PM
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Just as a reference, Pat even let me fly this one on the maiden!

A really sweet flying airplane!! Flies kinda like a little warbird, but, slows down like a cub.

Keep it light and it's a real winner! Made me remember how much fun I used to have with a bunch of 35"-40" wingspan planes.

charlie


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