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Feb 09, 2012, 06:57 PM
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Thread OP
Discussion

Possible Semi-Kit??


First my Bona Fides!
I'm a semi-retired USAF Tech Sergeant with a background in digital electronics and computer systems. I built my first U-control model around '65 or so, and my first RC system was a Kraft 4 channel single-stick in a Sterling Mambo Special with a Veco .19. I have been there.
I've always had a soft spot between my ears for the early X-Planes. I'm planning a Douglas D558-1 for a 70mm fan. It'll be about four feet long & less than three feet span. Material will be pink foam, and the outlines will be from NASA-Dryden drawings.
What I'd like to know is this: Does anybody out there think there would be a market for a semi-kit of this bird? It would contain foam wings, fuselage, and tail, but no hardware. (Everybody has their own favorite hinges, horns, wheels, retracts, etc...)
I'm asking the question because I've got to decide on tooling materials for cutting the foam.

What does anyone think?
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Feb 09, 2012, 08:07 PM
It wasn't me...
DanSavage's Avatar
There's only one way to find out. Build one.

As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting...
Feb 09, 2012, 10:38 PM
Registered User
I have a couple different set of plans for the 558 and plan on building one some day. Foam is not my thing but a good set of cores might sway me.
Feb 11, 2012, 12:27 PM
Need 4 Speed!
pdawg's Avatar
Rutaba,
I always liked this airframe!.
Last edited by pdawg; Feb 11, 2012 at 12:43 PM.
Feb 13, 2012, 07:27 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga
First my Bona Fides!
I'm a semi-retired USAF Tech Sergeant with a background in digital electronics and computer systems. I built my first U-control model around '65 or so, and my first RC system was a Kraft 4 channel single-stick in a Sterling Mambo Special with a Veco .19. I have been there.
I've always had a soft spot between my ears for the early X-Planes. I'm planning a Douglas D558-1 for a 70mm fan. It'll be about four feet long & less than three feet span. Material will be pink foam, and the outlines will be from NASA-Dryden drawings.
What I'd like to know is this: Does anybody out there think there would be a market for a semi-kit of this bird? It would contain foam wings, fuselage, and tail, but no hardware. (Everybody has their own favorite hinges, horns, wheels, retracts, etc...)
I'm asking the question because I've got to decide on tooling materials for cutting the foam.

What does anyone think?
Hi there,

I walked the shoes you're tring to put on, and I might be able give you some guidance.

I am sure you will find people interested in your kits, especially if done right, but there are a few things that you need to be very careful with:

- Do not invest too much in your tooling. Weather it's cnc or whatever. You'll never recup your investment
- Know and expect that your clients field is very narrow. Builders are a rare breed these days
- Go for rare models, that don't come by in kits
- Be as colaborative as possible with everybody on the forums
And the most important of all:
KEEP THINGS FUN! Don't expect anything from it, just enjoy your work, along with your future clients. It's very easy to get frustrated in time, and getting to hate what you once loved, and that is building models!

I'm a fellow who had to learn the hard way. I'm not saying this is the path that everybody else has walked. This was just my way with it.

Hope I was helpfull.
Wish you all the best with your builds.
Take care,
Mitzu
PS - go for the blue DOW foam. It's way better
Feb 14, 2012, 01:34 PM
Registered User
jhaywood's Avatar
I would be interested depending on final performance. I always wanted to do the XF-92. Even printed out a 70mm drawing and bought foam for plug carving...
one day
Feb 17, 2012, 01:13 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Hoo boy Podiumjets, when it comes to foam construction you're the tallest hog in the pigpen! That Sukhoi of yours sure knocked my hat in the creek, and no maybe's!

Not sure if we have access to the same products, but what I call pink foam is trademarked Owens-Corning Foamular. It comes in 1.5 lbs/cubic foot (Foamular 150) and 2 lbs/cubic foot (Duh- Foamular 200). The 150 is available (here) up to 3 inches thick, while the 200 goes up to four inches thick. Dow Styrofoam is blue, but I don't know anything else about it. Both pink and blue foam are fine-grained, unlike the white ice chest-style styrofoam. This makes them easier to sand and smooth, requiring much less filler for an acceptable finish.

I had to laugh (at me) when you spoke about tooling costs. I was worrying about whether to spend the extra money for durable material for my foam-cutting templates, or save a buck & use cheap cardboard!

JHaywood! I've had my eye on the XV-92 too. Why? Because you can turn the fuselage (or fuselage plug) on a lathe. In fact, the XF-92 was going to be my second project!

I'm a tool junkie; Gimme an e-mail and I'll give you a couple suggestions about how you might build a foam lathe out of 2x4s and an electric drill.
Last edited by Rutabaga; Feb 17, 2012 at 01:34 AM. Reason: not finished. I fergot a couple things.
Feb 17, 2012, 01:19 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Anyway, these are projects for the spring- this is is Oklahoma and it's colder'n a welldigger's belt buckle.
Feb 17, 2012, 12:55 PM
I want to fly everything!
Lance Nordby's Avatar
I would make it bigger than 4 feet long if it's going to have a 70mm fan and made out of foam. At 48 inches long it would be no bigger than all Chinese foamies that are available.

A 70mm fan can haul around a pretty good sized plane if you use a quality fan and good power equipment. My F-20 (all wood construction) weighs 5.5 pounds, is 57 inches long and has an exact scale wing planform and it has plenty of speed for a scale plane (mach 1.2 straight and level).

I think builders generally are looking for aircraft that are somewhat bigger. Especially scale builders. Batteries are so cheap now that it's not a limiting factor anymore.

It's good that you are picking a subject that is unusual. This is an important point for builders. It should have good fidelity so that it can be used to create a contest model.

Will it have retract capability?

Oh, and did I mention that it should be bigger?
Feb 18, 2012, 12:28 AM
Oh wow, good Nyborg.
bd5wingnut's Avatar
Well lets see, in '65 I was just a few months out of diapers... So you are prolly a few years my senior. But I do remember the old Kraft radios and had a four channel in a Taurus with a Fox .25 IIRC. I built a Heathkit six channel radio at age ten or eleven. Ah the memories.

Would love to see your progress on this platform... Subscribed.
Last edited by bd5wingnut; Feb 21, 2012 at 09:24 PM.
Feb 21, 2012, 02:02 PM
Registered User
jhaywood's Avatar
The XF-92 is not quite a perfect tube to use a lathe on. I had though the same thing, and while a sport scale version would probably fly A-OK, some people might complain. The rear half of the fuse kicks up just a tad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga
Hoo boy Podiumjets, when it comes to foam construction you're the tallest hog in the pigpen! That Sukhoi of yours sure knocked my hat in the creek, and no maybe's!

Not sure if we have access to the same products, but what I call pink foam is trademarked Owens-Corning Foamular. It comes in 1.5 lbs/cubic foot (Foamular 150) and 2 lbs/cubic foot (Duh- Foamular 200). The 150 is available (here) up to 3 inches thick, while the 200 goes up to four inches thick. Dow Styrofoam is blue, but I don't know anything else about it. Both pink and blue foam are fine-grained, unlike the white ice chest-style styrofoam. This makes them easier to sand and smooth, requiring much less filler for an acceptable finish.

I had to laugh (at me) when you spoke about tooling costs. I was worrying about whether to spend the extra money for durable material for my foam-cutting templates, or save a buck & use cheap cardboard!

JHaywood! I've had my eye on the XV-92 too. Why? Because you can turn the fuselage (or fuselage plug) on a lathe. In fact, the XF-92 was going to be my second project!

I'm a tool junkie; Gimme an e-mail and I'll give you a couple suggestions about how you might build a foam lathe out of 2x4s and an electric drill.


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