Britkit Build Off 2012 - Mercury Mars - Plans Published, see post #90 - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Jul 17, 2012, 09:44 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
Sorry Sparks. I drew the 2x plan up but then got sidetracked finishing up the "proper" plans of the Mamba and the Sportster for Kevin at Q&EFI. Back on it now though, I promise some progress this week. It is a very straightforward build compared with the Mamba or even the Tom Tit (no struts, no curves and I have just discovered that with the slightest of mods I can use the Tom Tit rib templates, which saves one job.
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Jul 17, 2012, 09:51 AM
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sparks59's Avatar
OK, no problem, I was just surprised to see dormancy on this one

I must look into overseas subs for Q&EFI. I used to get RCME but last renewal there was some problem apparently, so I didn't bother. Currently receiving RCMW, which is ok for some of the plans I guess, but like most of the publications, they are in existance as a business - which means the advertisers are calling the tune. I have no issues with that, but maybe QEFI would better suit. sparks
Jul 17, 2012, 10:35 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
On the subject of Q&EFI, I almost didn't renew my sub this year as it was becoming too much of an RTF review mag, and there was too much stuff on plastic EDFs, quadcopters and other "toys". However, there does seem to be a bit of a shift in emphasis lately, they are now aiming to have a full size plan in each issue - which is why I have been able to flog them some of mine! - and are starting to include "how to" items relating to proper building. No doubt there will still be plenty of RTF reviews, after all they have to keep the advertisers happy, but there seems to be some hope that we will get back closer to the way EFI used to be in the good old days of the late nineties under Steve Mettam's editorship (mind you, the avalanche of RTFs was less evident then and we were still all feeling our way with electrics, so if you wanted a decent model you pretty much HAD to build it yourself).

I am just steeling myself to gamble 40 (30+10 Europe P&P) on a sub for a year of the new bi-monthly Aeromodeller, bit of a pig in a poke at this stage, but if no-one commits themselves to it, then it won't work, and they will need all the support they can get, so I think it is worth a punt.
Jul 24, 2012, 02:33 PM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar

Action AT LAST!

Seems to have taken me ages to get going on this one. One of the reasons is that, having had to spend ages drawing up proper plans for the Tom Tit, Mamba and Sportster all of which are going/have gone for publication I decided to draw this one fully from the start rather than produce the usual "building" plan and have to re-draw it all later if it was to be published. Took a few days to do it right, but it should be a time saver in the end.

So, having produced the plan on two A1 sheets (this being the right format for "free plan" magazine publication) I finally managed to cut some wood.

The fuselage structure is a faithful twice size reproduction of the original using 3/16" square where the little one uses 3/32" square; when we come to the tail, which is all sheet in the original, I have used my usual criss-cross structure for strength and light weight, the tail surfaces are 3/16" thick, and for the wings I have settled for two 1/4" x 1/8" spars with webbing and riblets, very similar to the wing structure on the Tom Tit 2X which has proved to be very satisfactory.

Here are the fuselage sides, just lifted from the plan, I am currently working on the tail surfaces and cutting out the wing ribs whilst waiting for glue to dry. Now I have finally got going, it should be a fairly quick build, it is a very straightforward structure with just a few items such as radio and motor installation, hatches etc. to sort out as I go along. Time to order the motor and ESC I think!
Jul 24, 2012, 03:38 PM
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sparks59's Avatar
Great to see some progress George! A good start.
Jul 25, 2012, 04:59 PM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar

Over indulgence is bad for building progress!

Not as much progress as I had hoped today. Reason - it was Ali's birthday so we indulged in that good old French tradition the three hour lunch with wine at the local Auberge Gourmande. Needless to say, after that no modelling - or anything else - got done, so the progress is just the vertical tail surfaces I managed to build before lunch time!

These are basically my standard structure of 3/16" outlines with crossing 1/16" x 3/32" diagonals to produce a light but very rigid item.

Hopefully as there is no lunchtime wine consumption planned for tomorrow there may be more progress!
Jul 26, 2012, 12:13 AM
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sparks59's Avatar
I really like the way you do the criss crossing George. Just as well you didn't try to do any more after the Vino Callapso

Jul 27, 2012, 09:54 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
Keeping up my (very) steady pace on this one, the tail plane/elevator structure is now complete, and, as you can see from the photo, it all fits together nicely with the vertical tail.

Some people seem t have the impression that this type of construction is difficult and time consuming - nothing could be further from the truth, and to help prove the point I timed the tail plane/elevator construction carefully, it broke down as follows:

Trace and cut out 3/16" balsa parts - total of 8 bits - and strip 1/16" x 3/32" strips for diagonals - 10 minutes
Cut 3/16" square items to length, pin down and glue over plan together with 3/16" balsa parts - 8 minutes
Cut and fit bottom diagonals to one half, no gluing - 6 minutes
Ditto second half - 6 minutes
Glue diagonal joints with CA - 2 minutes
Cut and fit top diagonals, no glue - 10 minutes
Glue top diagonals and cross overs with CA - 3 minutes.
Carve and sand after everything dry - 15 minutes

Total - 1 hour

Hardly excessive. All that is left to do is to fit 1/32" ply caps to the ends of the elevators and a 1/32" ply insert for the control horn. The elevators will be joined with a wire in tube joiner, but not until after they are covered.

The key to doing a good job is the cutting and fitting of the diagonals. I cut these directly over the frame work to get the basic angle, then trim off to allow the next diagonal to butt up properly. Do it right and all the diagonals on one side can be fitted without any glue, just tension holding them in place, they are then easily glued up with a dab of CA, one of the very few jobs in a build that I find CA indispensible for.

The completed vertical and horizontal surfaces are extremely stiff, even without any covering and as photographed weigh 14 grams

Now, on with joining the fuselage sides and pinning down the bottom wing.
Jul 27, 2012, 01:18 PM
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sparks59's Avatar
Neat work SD!
Jul 27, 2012, 01:21 PM
Hatters gonna hat.
madbomber's Avatar
Very nice work, Sundancer. Every time I watch one of your builds I can't help but to marvel at the cleanliness of your structures.
Jul 29, 2012, 04:56 PM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
Thanks guys. Well, I am finally getting a bit of a head of steam up with this build, not before time.

The fuselage is now assembled, ready for fitting out with servos and control runs, making of hatches, undercarriage and fitting a couple of bits of infill sheeting, and of course the motor cowling. It is quite a sturdy unit; I did consider using 1/8" square and it would be entirely adequate but since, as always, my aim was a practical every day model, and the scale structural size was 3/16" square, I went with that. Two "rubber model style" built up formers are used to simplify fuselage joining which was easy using my jig. Weight of the fus as it stands is 42 grams.

Building the bottom wing, with no dihedral, felt a little strange, I almost felt like I was building either a big tail plane or a small control-liner wing! I have used the same structure as the Tom Tit 2x, in fact I was able, with a bit of trimming, to recycle the Tom Tit rib templates. The bottom wing, carved, sanded and completed except for the leading edge riblets, weighs 30 grams.

Just time before retiring for the night to assemble the top wing centre section so that I can get cracking on the outer panels tomorrow. 20 or 30 years ago I would have stayed up and built the whole wing, but I find I need my beauty sleep now!
Jul 29, 2012, 11:53 PM
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sparks59's Avatar
Well George, in the true Olympic spirit.....after a relatively calm preparation and set up, you are now out of the blocks like a shot and sprinting for the line.

Golden Glory awaits

Jul 31, 2012, 03:07 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
Well Sparks I hope I have more success than Team GB seem to be experiencing at the moment. I just hope their's is a case of "starting poorly and improving" rather than "starting poorly and tapering off" which is more often the case with me!

So, steady progress today.

Having cut out all the ribs for the top wing (using the 1/16" ply template fitted with pin points to grip the wood and a 1/4" square "handle" really is the best and quickest way to cut ribs for an untapered wing. It enables economic use to be made of the sheet and, if a nice sharp scalpal is used, the ribs are completely ready to use, no sanding is required) I assembled the centre section, but did not add the top sheeting.

The left wing panel was then built onto the centre section, the dihedral brace ensures that the dihedral will be right. If care is taken with the joints of the bottom sheeting, spar, trailing edge and leading edge joints, it is easy to produce a perfect job.

The right panel will follow today.
Jul 31, 2012, 03:32 AM
So I'M meant to be in control?
Colonel Blink's Avatar
Rockin' along nicely now George!

Who designed the Mars? That fuz profile looks remarkably KK Gipsyesque.....
Jul 31, 2012, 06:12 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
The first advert for the Starflite series said that they were designed by "Cyril Shaw and Ron Warring". I have no idea whether both had input to each of the five models in the series or if Shaw did some and Warring others. There is no designer quoted on the original plan, just "Copyright 1956 - Mercury Models", but if pushed to guess I would think the Mars is possibly more Warring than Shaw based on comparing bits of the structure with other Warring models such as his FAI Glider.

The other four models in the series would also make excellent 2x electric radio projects,the low wing Alpha and shoulder wing Sirius being particularly attractive.

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