Britkit build off (Senator) - RC Groups
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May 16, 2012, 04:50 PM
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Build Log

Britkit build off (Senator)

Have made a start on the Senator. Downloaded pdf of plan and scaled to correct size. It took a little fiddling to get it just right. I use Gimp plus adjustments in my printer. I don't entirely trust printed plans to be accurate. Some years ago I bought a plan of a well known model and found the tailplane to be assymetrical!
Since then I've always checked with rule and straightedge. I think a plan should be used as a guide and not necessarily regarded as totally accurate. For one thing, some measurements seem highly unlikely bearing in mind that the designer would almost certainly have used imperial units in 1949 when this model was drawn up.
So a little common sense has to be applied (IMHO).
Anyway, it's a start.
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May 16, 2012, 05:27 PM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
Couldn't agree more about checking plans Bob amongst other things it's amazing how many you find where the drawn ribs are either too long or too short when compared with the wing plan and the fuselage formers don't match the side or plan view. A bit of time checking before you cut can save a lot of grief later!

I've added this build log reference to the Build Off thread post #1, looking forward to following your progress.
May 17, 2012, 03:46 AM
Sticks, Tissue & old Diesels
brokenenglish's Avatar

Plan accuracy

If I could add an anecdote to this plan accuracy nonsense. The greatest problem is that digital storage (great) is very recent, and most of these plans have been stored in paper format for decades. Over a period of time, paper stretch/shrink distorts the plans, and this distortion isn't uniform in the two axes, i.e. paper distorts on a weft/weave principle, so that horizontal and vertical distortion can be very different...
The worst case I've seen was when I was in Aden (extreme temperatures and humidity), the model club had an Aeromodeller Westland Lysander plan, on which one wing is drawn horizontally and the other vertically. On checking the plan, prior to a build, one wing was found to be 2 inches longer than the other!

Hooray for the Senator, the first model I ever made that flew (around 1950), after 2 or 3 years of small flying scale failures.
May 17, 2012, 04:27 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
Yes Brian, you are right about the "climatic instability" of paper. This was also added to by the fact that pretty much all electrostatic copiers introduce distortions in one direction only, a fact I discovered to my cost when the first batch of copies of my Sundancer 74 plan were produced from my lovingly prepared DYELINE master on an electrostatic machine - nothing fitted! The plan had been fed through on one orientation and the separate parts sheet at 90 degrees. Good job I checked! I subsequently found one of the few outlets still offering dyeline copying in the Manchester area and used them until they too went electrostatic.

Sorry Bob, back to the Senator. I think perhaps more modellers can cite this model as their first successful rubber job than any other, certainly mine opened my eyes to the fact that rubber models could make flights of longer than 30 seconds!
May 17, 2012, 08:28 AM
Registered User
I've never built a Senator before! When I was young (whatever that is) I was mainly into gliders and built several of my own designs. Only rubber models were a KK Playboy, maximum flight time about 20 secs down hill! and a Talisman from an Aeromodeller plan. That flew well enough for me at the age of about 13 (me, not the model) until it lodged high in a tree. A "kind" older boy knocked it out for me and I never got round to repairing the damage. When I recall the standard of building I wince! But it flew. It did not "perform." So, I'm late in the day with the Senator but really starting to enjoy the project. More soon. Thanks for showing interest.
May 20, 2012, 02:17 PM
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Watching with interest
May 23, 2012, 12:25 PM
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As I usually start with the tailplane, here are a couple of pictures of getting it under way. Since it's a simple rectangular design ( apart from the tips ) I jig it up with a couple of squares and a straightedge.
May 23, 2012, 02:39 PM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
Glad to see it's underway Bob.
May 24, 2012, 02:37 AM
So I'M meant to be in control?
Colonel Blink's Avatar
Originally Posted by Raf_Bob
Since it's a simple rectangular design...I jig it up with a couple of squares and a straightedge.
A free flight model being built by a 'free space modelling' technique!!!

And why not? The bane of any lightweight build that I have done (too many years ago now - can't wait for the opportunity to do it again!) was the plan not laying taught & flat to the board, lifting ribs and any part that wasn't pinned or weighted down. No matter how many times I smoothed it out , pulled it & taped it, whenever I got it 'about right' as soon as the temp or humidity changed, so did the tautness!!!
May 24, 2012, 10:37 AM
Registered User
Tailplane progress to date. A few more ribs weighed down to set. I use pva almost exclusively, just a basic Evostick product. I do have some Titebond as well but find plain white glue perfectly satisfactory for small models like this. You may spot a bottle of cyano in the second picture and I do use it occasionally for tacking things but generally I avoid it. Waiting for things to set does slow down the build, of course, but when watered down a bit the pva is still fairly quick. I have until December! Even I should be able to meet that goal!
May 25, 2012, 12:22 PM
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Started the day badly by locking myself out of my shed and losing the key! Eventually, my grandson found it where I'd looked before and not seen it Anyway the tailplane is now almost finished, just needing a bit of sheet to the top c/s.
May 28, 2012, 12:38 PM
Registered User
Wing construction started following the same method as for tailplane.
May 28, 2012, 12:57 PM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
Progressing nicely Bob. Have you got the motor for it yet? If not I can recommend the little 50 watt 10 gram 9 quid motor from BRC Hobbies (D1811) that I have used in the Witch. With a 300 2S lipo it flies the model with authority on a 6 x 3 prop and I get 10-12 minutes of motor run. Just ordered another one for the Sportster.
May 28, 2012, 02:08 PM
Registered User
Hello George. Yes I have a motor but you have me worried! The one I've got is a 28/11 rated at 55 watts and advertised as weighing 19 grammes ( it actually weighs 21.3 grammes and that without connectors!). I think my Senator is going to be a bit of a porker. A well built free flight airframe would weigh around 60 grammes and with 30 grammes of rubber a total of about 90 grammes or three ounces. My model is going to exceed this by quite a bit I think. However, one thing about small models is they don't consume much in the way of materials or time, so I shall press on and see how it goes. Already I can see myself building another as, so far, I'm really enjoying this build. Have done a bit more on the wing where I've used hardwood for a couple of the spars in anticipation of the greater loads for using RC. Will post
more pics soon.
May 28, 2012, 03:27 PM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
I wouldn't worry TOO much about the weight Bob.I had originally hoped to get closer to the F/F rubber weight of 4 ounces for the Witch (it's a bit bigger than the Senator) and was disappointed when it finished up at 5.5 ounces. However, the way it flies I reckon it could be as much as seven ounces and still fly much the same. so if you can manage anything less than six I think your Senator will be fine.

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