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Old Jun 03, 2012, 12:36 AM
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Build Log

PCA-3 Autogiro Build (formerly PCA-2 build)


The first Pitcairn Autogiro I saw was the PA-18 on a youtube video. I had to find more info about this cool aircraft and ran across safelandings 1936 themed video of his PCA-2 rc model. Once I found out a short kit was available from Whirlybird Aviation I knew what my summer project would be. I started in the middle of last week.

I know it's been said before, but these guys did a great job putting this kit together. The parts fit perfectly and the quality of the wood and laser cutting is excellent. Anyway, here's a few pictures to catch up to where I'm am in the build process.

I built the fuse frame and tail feathers, mounter the engine, servos and control horns. Next up is the center section of the wing, once I mount that to the fuse I can add all the formers and stringers on the fuse.
Last edited by smithcreek; Jun 14, 2012 at 11:01 PM.
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Old Jun 03, 2012, 09:40 AM
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Looks great! You're doing everything right! Get all you linkages done while you have access to the inside.

Keep up the good work!
Joe

P.S. Nice pull - pull on the rudder! Like it!
Old Jun 03, 2012, 10:18 PM
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Hey Joe, thanks. I did the elevator and throttle linkages, I'll do the pull pull exit after the formers are done. Made the center wing section and mounted it on the fuse, started putting formers on and called it a day when I realized I need to sand and shape the tail feathers and glue them in place before putting the top stringers on.
Old Jun 04, 2012, 01:08 AM
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Good looking build......
Old Jun 06, 2012, 12:40 PM
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Thanks! Couple pictures to update.
Old Jun 06, 2012, 01:55 PM
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You are trucking right along! Love those tail feathers......ahhhhhh, memories! I've built two so far and love them both! Flew them at the 17th Annual autogyro fun fly and they did really well!
Joe
Old Jun 06, 2012, 08:49 PM
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Nice to see someone that knows how to build. [far to little of it these day's'
Chris..............
Old Jun 13, 2012, 12:45 AM
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Thanks Chris. There's no lack of good build threads on this model. A couple guys really went all out with nice detail work. I'm keeping it simple, sticking with the plans for the most part. The wing is done, ailerons also they just aren't in the pictures. The wing was more work than I thought it would be.
Old Jun 13, 2012, 06:27 PM
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Landing gear mostly done. You guys designing this came up with a great idea on the faux struts. They look great. As much as I would have like to have done functional ones, keeping it simple never looked so good. The only thing I did was use 3/16" wire for the front legs instead of the 5/32 on the plan.
Old Jun 13, 2012, 10:31 PM
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Looks great man! Yes....keep it simple. I've been using pull-pull wire to strand the two together and that has been working. There are times it breaks on hard landings and I just replace it....and try a softer landing next time. You want the pressure to be in the center section, not the wing......we just want it to look like the real thing, not necessarily act like the real thing. Glad you are following the plans.....you'll do well!
Joe
Old Jun 13, 2012, 10:57 PM
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Hey Joe, thanks. I saw that you had broke your wire in between the two sides, so I took a 4-40 wire and hammered the end flat, then drilled through it. It should work. Just finished all the middle stuff and finally drilled my wing bolts. Next up, mast, then I'm going to do the underside of the fuse.
Old Jun 13, 2012, 11:35 PM
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OMG! You've done more in under 2 weeks than it took me to do in a year! At this rate, you should be flying by the 4th of July!

Great job SmithCreek.... If that is your real name

Don
Old Jun 14, 2012, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithcreek View Post
Hey Joe, thanks. I saw that you had broke your wire in between the two sides, so I took a 4-40 wire and hammered the end flat, then drilled through it. It should work. Just finished all the middle stuff and finally drilled my wing bolts. Next up, mast, then I'm going to do the underside of the fuse.
Very smart! I'll have to consider doing that with mine!

Joe
Old Jun 14, 2012, 09:19 AM
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Hey Don, it might have taken me a bit longer to get where I am if I a) made a plug and fiberglass cowl, b) pre-rotator system, c) scale landing gear d) scale rib stitching e) etc......... I'm looking forward to seeing your build progress, it's a wonderful job you are doing on it. By the way, I go by Dave.

For the past five summers I've done a summer build and one of the basic rules is keep it simple. I still do fabric and paint on all of them, but I keep the time sucking modifications to a minimum. The only thing I am still considering is buying some finishing tapes from pink-it, but then of course I would have to do stitching and now you are talking about a few days of work. On a long build with no deadline those decisions are easy, YES! On a summer build I have to resist the urge , but that one may be worth it. My goal is to have it finished early August, we'll see how that goes.

Joe, I'm pretty sure I'm going to change that setup. Not 100% sure on the flattened part of the wire, if it will hold up long term. I'm going to use a piece of scrap 4-40 with steel landing gear strap at each end. Bend the wire, put it through one hole, tap it down with a hammer and solder. That should hold up to abuse.
Last edited by smithcreek; Jun 14, 2012 at 09:26 AM.
Old Jun 14, 2012, 11:23 AM
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Here's another way to go about this build (which safelandings did).....build it with little modifications, fly it.....and then add details. Autogyros are not easy to set-up, and you want to get things worked out before you start adding weight and "top gun" details. Keep it simple man.
Joe


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