My ALES eSupra Build (Red Merle ALES) - Page 8 - RC Groups
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Mar 21, 2012, 10:23 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar
When the pod is cured on the mold I cut the first one full length (split it) and then just removed it. It came off easily.

So on the second pod I thought, hmm, the first one came off so easily that if I cut if off around the center high point perhaps I could pull the front and aft section off separately and then just rejoin them and not have a seam down the length.

Well that didn't work! I even had PVA'd the mandrel and all the heat water etc I couldn't get it off. It was worth a try.

In the first photo you're looking down the inside of the pod and this is where I used three layers of 1.6oz fiberglass to reseam the pod. The pod laying on the bench has just been reseamed and has rubber bands around it holding the pod together while the epoxy cures.

The next photo is showing the second pod cut apart and the canopy cutout.

The third photo shows the two pods and then another layup of two carbon fiber pieces on the mandrel that's curing. The aft portion is for a band that will join the forward and aft pod sections.

I inserted the carbon in the two sections and allowed it to cure. Now this pod is whole again!

Next is finishing up the pod so it has a nice smooth ready to prime and paint. Then I'll make a lip for the canopy to sit on. That's what the second piece of carbon on the mandrel in the third photo is for. More later on that. Then I need to make the pylon for the wing and then the pod and boom can be joined.

It's going well, weights are good and I'm still confident of a 65ounce flying ALES eSupra!

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Mar 24, 2012, 11:26 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar
ALES Label
Mar 24, 2012, 11:32 AM
HerkS's Avatar
A rare triple pun Curtis, Congratulations --
Mar 25, 2012, 09:54 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Thanks Herk, but I really can't take credit for it. I believe our ALES founders came up with this. Well not the Red Merle part.

Mar 31, 2012, 09:06 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar


The Hatch lip is installed and the pylon is completed.

I took the piece of carbon I wrapped around the mandrel in post #106 and cut it into two pieces. One for each pod I'm making. I put the hatch onto the carbon and cutout around it leaving a 1/4" extra material. Then I glued this to the inside of the hatch area. I first blew up a balloon and put into the pod then inserted the carbon and allowed the epoxy to dry.

In the photo you can see the top pod has the carbon installed but can't see the balloon holding the carbon up against the inside of the pod. The second photo I cutout the the carbon that now leaves a small lip for the hatch to sit on. Since the hatch was cutout of the pod it's a perfect fit. Simple!

Mar 31, 2012, 09:10 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar


For the pylon I took a few layers of balsa and glued together and then took a 1/16" piece of plywood and made a top plate. I took a piece of triangle stock balsa and glued between the top plywood and the balsa sides as a fillet.

Then I glued this to the pod. Then I mixed up some epoxy and West Systems 410 Microlight filler and made a fillet where the balsa pylon sits on the pod. Sanded till I was happy.

Mar 31, 2012, 09:20 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar

Boom and Wing Install

The first photo shows a round ring that will align and secure the forward part of the boom inside the pod. I glued the ring using Gorilla Glue allowed it to dry. Then I applied more Gorilla Glue around the outside edge of the ring and pulled the boom till it was secure. Lastly I dripped a little superglue around the joint where the aft end of the pod and boom meet. A very simple accurate alignment. Well as long as the plywood ring is the same dimension all the way around.

It also shows the half moon wing mount bolt blocks that will go inside the fuselage. I embedded 10-32 nuts into these blocks. I taped the plywood mount to a stick, put the wing on and carefully inserted the stick/mount into the pod and screwed the wing on. Once the glue was dry I removed the stick and I now have the wing mounted.

The weight of the completed pod and boom is 215 grams or 7.58 ounces. Well the pod is only primed so it'll gain a little weight with the paint.

Apr 14, 2012, 09:43 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar

Motor Backplate

On the eSupra I scratch built last winter I have a back plate on the motor. Is that really necessary? I thought with the new model I'd just mount the motor to the front firewall and leave the back plate out.

Anyone have any experience? Pros/Cons?


PS It's getting closer to being finished. I'll get some more details posted soon.
Apr 26, 2012, 09:20 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar

She Flies!

She's done!

I'll get some photos later as I have a tad bit more detailing to do and am awaiting on a graphic to arrive. Maybe a video too.

Well I finished up the new ALES eSupra! Yesterday I test flew her for about 20 minutes. I forgot the wing bolts so I had to drive to Ace Hardware and pickup a couple as the store was closer than home. Gotta save gas with our new prices we are getting accustomed to.

The new one weighs: Drum roll…… 63.5 ounces! Yahoo! That's a wing loading of 9 oz sq/ft vs 10.8 for the original.

Here's some pros/cons or differences between the two models.
Weight 76.4oz vs 63.5oz
Wing Loading 9 oz sq/ft vs 10.8 oz sq/ft
I have wing servo covers on the new one.
I have 90 degree flap on the new one.
Different spar system.
14x7 prop (original) and 15x6 on the new one.
Full flying horizontal vs fixed stab/moveable elevator on the original.

I only flew her for about 20 minutes. The balance was neutral. I'll move the battery forward to give a little more stability.
The launch was near vertical. She wasn't fast during the climb but very vertical. I didn't climb up to 200m to see how long it took as I wanted to do some flight testing and it's hard to tell what's happening at that altitude. I'll have to do an ALES climb later to see if I've improved on the 27 seconds the original model takes to get to 200m.
I couldn't tell a difference in how she would penetrate from one side of the sky to the other. They both seem to penetrate well with minimal altitude loss.

The new one seems to really be able to turn on a dime in a thermal turn without feeling like I was on the edge of a stall. The new one has a fully flying stab and I'm not sure if it was this, the flight control setup or the lower weight, perhaps a combination of all three. Perhaps better said it seemed to require less pilot input in a tight thermal turn.

I landed twice and did a few approaches and in the 5kt winds she seemed to slow down better, perhaps since I have more flap deflection and of course the lighter weight helps too. I was able to land very slowly, close to helicopter slow. I took her up to 100m or so and then put in full flap/crow and pushed the nose over 70 degrees or so and she picked up a tad of speed then stayed in a nice slow very low nose down descent. Nice!

So that's my initial impression. I'll know more after our contest this Saturday that looks like will be postponed till next weekend due to weather. I also want to mount my small camera on the wing and see what is going on. I didn't do any high speed passes or loops. I doubt I'll ever do a high speed pass but I may do a large loop and see what flex I'm getting. I wanted to mount a camera on the wing for the first flight but couldn't get it to work. I've solved that issue and will get video of the wing the next time I fly her.

What would I change in this build?
Nothing. This was an easy build, I probably have $200 and a lot of time invested and she flies like a dream.

I'll review and update all the attachments on the first post later.

"Red Merle ALES"
Apr 26, 2012, 01:57 PM
Registered User
heliwill10's Avatar
Good work, very cool

Apr 27, 2012, 10:14 AM
Surf's up!!
sixty9mustang's Avatar
Congratulations Curtis!

Great job! Can't wait to see her fly. It is cool that there was a significant improvement over your original one in the flying aspect. Your original flies awesome! I will be completely happy if mine flies anywhere near your original one.

I still need to order the motor, ESC and 3 servos, but I should have enough pieces to really get started on the build portion. I am still deciding whether or not to put the elevator servo in the vertical or not. I have room either way. I think if I had the motor, I could try it out both ways to see where I get my best balance with minimal nose weight. Really don't want to overthink it though. Like you say, I just need to shoot the engineer and build it, LOL!

Hope to fly soon,
Apr 27, 2012, 11:06 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Originally Posted by sixty9mustang
I am still deciding whether or not to put the elevator servo in the vertical or not. I have room either way. I think if I had the motor, I could try it out both ways to see where I get my best balance with minimal nose weight. Really don't want to overthink it though. Like you say, I just need to shoot the engineer and build it, LOL!

Hope to fly soon,
Thanks for the kind words Chip.

You should have the weight of the motor/prop from the manufacturer and just make up some ballast with lead, sand, etc.. and tape that to the nose and you can get a close estimate to the weight and balance.

You're going to like it! It's mostly all in the wing anyway. The tail moment Vh/Vv changes will make some difference in handling i.e. pilot control but as far as her soaring ability it's mostly all about the main wing.

This certainly will be an interesting model and I'm sure you'll be amazed.

May 05, 2012, 09:57 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar


Red Merle ALES is what she's called.

She flies great at 63.5 ounces.

First contest is tomorrow so I'll have more to report later.

I'll also have some on board video to show wing flexing, not that there is much at all.

May 05, 2012, 11:28 AM
HerkS's Avatar
Great craftsmanship Curtis. That is really pretty work. Obviously a great design too.

I do think that you need to do something to keep Peaches from walking all over your paint job.

Better save the ale for after the flying session
May 05, 2012, 02:05 PM
Registered User
Fubar 123's Avatar
Good Luck for the contest !
Looks great

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