Jim Young's Wedell-Williams Model 44 - RC Groups
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Aug 10, 2012, 04:16 PM
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Build Log

Jim Young's Wedell-Williams Model 44

I purchased Jim Young’s Wedell-Williams Model 44 short kit in May and thought I’d start share my trials and tribulations.

A little background on my building experience to set some context. I have built and flown one model from Stevens Aero, the FullHouse 500. You can see my build here

That was a great kit, all the laser cut parts and step by step instruction, it went together like a puzzle. I think it was a great starter to learn how CA behaves, some basic design, and then how to cover. SA really includes everything you need except the electronics and covering in their kits.

I wanted to try my hand at cutting my own sticks, so a short kit seemed the perfect fit. There are definitely going to be some challenges as I try to interpret the plans and Jim’s instructions due to my inexperience. I’m starting to get into some of the details now where I have some questions, so I’ll probably be asking all you seasoned builders for help as much as sharing my progress.

On to the build. I’m really happy with the kit and with Jim’s support. The plans appear very well annotated and the laser but pieces are cleanly done. I've made slow, steady progress since late May and have assembled the tail fins with control surfaces, both wings and ailerons. Basic pics are below and I’ll add some more detailed ones soon.

Hope you enjoy it!
Last edited by campbelltf; Aug 11, 2012 at 11:10 AM. Reason: typo
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Aug 10, 2012, 05:11 PM
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Subscribed. I'll be watching this one closely, as this plane is one I would definitely like to build down the road. I have a couple of other kits in mind to build first, a Super Cub, and Jim Young's 45" Waco, but after those this might make it's way onto my board. I'm also a fairly "new" kit builder myself, in the sense that I completed a Sig Astro Hog a decade+ ago, and just recently finished my second kit, a 35" Dumas Waco.
Aug 14, 2012, 07:34 PM
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On to the fuselage...

Started assembling the fuselage crutch. These are all laser cut pieces and so they fit together like a puzzle. The one tricky part is the wing joiner mechanism. It's a sliding plate with two 1/8" wire pins that slide into the joiner box and the matching holes on the wing joiners you can see in the first post pictures. Despite trial fitting several times, it's still sliding roughly so I'll have to try some minor adjustments.
Aug 14, 2012, 07:41 PM
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Hinge size choice

The leading edge of the ailerons taper out towards the wing tip. I had intended to use Robart 1/2A hinges for all the control surfaces, but when I compared them to the wider end of the aileron I'm thinking I made need to go up a size.

Is it ok to have 2 different size hinges on the same control surface?
Aug 14, 2012, 08:57 PM
Jim Young's Avatar
Subscribed, looking good so far.
I had mine out last week, and it is still going strong.
Aug 16, 2012, 11:47 PM
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On her feet!

Good progress the last two nights. I filled in the balsa structure in the rear part of the crutch last night. Tonight I bent the landing gear, soldered the pair together and stood her up on her gear!

I used pliers and a small bench vise to bend the 1/8" wire landing gear. The fist couple of bends were easy enough as they were all in the same plane (no pun intended). The last bend was tricky as it was at offset angle to rake the gear forward. I built a little balsa tower over the footprint on the plans to help line things up.

UPDATE 10/13/12: when it came time to sheet the bottom of the fuselage, I found the nylon strap holding down the LG on the left in the picture should have been angled the other way, i.e slanting in towards the middle from left to right. Reason being the strap edge and screw head were outside the curvature of the formers and so prevented the balsa skin from laying flat. I just unscrewed the top pointed rotated it toward the center line and reattached.
Last edited by campbelltf; Oct 13, 2012 at 07:23 PM. Reason: Update on nylon LG strap orientation
Aug 20, 2012, 11:18 AM
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First wing fitting

I plugged the wings in to see how they fit in the joiner box. The fit was satisfyingly snug with no binding or undue force required. There are a set of triangular wedges that are glued into the box to guide the wing joiners into place for the wing carriage pins to pass through them and to set the dihedral.
Aug 27, 2012, 09:51 PM
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Wheel installation question

I added the formers to the fuselage. There was one former that needed an enlarged notch to fit, but easily taken care of. I am waiting on a shipment of spruce I need to continue the fuselage, so I moved on to build up the wheel pants.

The wheel pants are built up from 6 layers of 3/8" balsa. There is a plywood support that gets layered in which supports the axle and wheel pant mount. I thought I'd put a mount on both ply supports, but I found the two mounts create a narrow point where the thickest part of the tire can't slide past. Is it ok to only have one side with a mount and let the plywood support the other end?

I am using a Dubro 3.5" wheel which takes a 5/16" axle. The LG are 1/8" wire resulting in the wheel being able to twist as well as slide side to side inside the pant. I was thinking I could use some 1/8" ID brass tubing to go over the LG wire to solve the twist issue. Then should I also put axle collars on either side of the wheel to keep it sliding side to side? Not sure if there is a simpler, lighter approach to keeping the wheel from moving around. Any ideas would be much appreciated.
Aug 28, 2012, 10:10 PM
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Hi Tim,

What you are describing is how I would do it. Use some brass tube on the L.G. wire to fit the wheels. Just use the wheel pant hardware on the inside of the pants, and use wheel collars to keep the wheels centered in the pants. It is a bit of a struggle to get everything in place, but I've found the balsa wheel pants to be quite tough and maintenance free.

Also, put an anti rotation pin from the wheel pants into the strut fairings. This will lock them in place and you won't have to worry about the mounting hardware loosening.

Aug 29, 2012, 01:22 AM
Registered User
Jim, what do you think about glassing the wheel pants? That's sort of what I've been thinking about doing when I build my Waco, and the construction looks basically the same as this plane.
Aug 30, 2012, 09:19 AM
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Hi Brian,

Glassing the wheel pants is definitely an option. Personally I'm better with monocote, and can't paint worth a darn, so that's what I lean towards. Right now, I'm flying (off of grass) my WW44, LTR-14, and Waco all with balsa wheel pants covered in monocote and they are all holding up very well.

If you do go with monocote, a couple of tips... First, it helps if you have heat resistant fingers or a high threshold for pain. I use a standard covering iron on high heat. Starting on the inside half of the wheel pant, I stretch and tack the covering to the front and back of the wheel pant. Then working from the center out, iron it down. As the covering starts to gather and bunch up, hold the covering off the wheel pant, apply heat until you feel the covering give a little, and then pull the covering down in contact with the wheel pant. Rinse and repeat until you have covered half of the pant. Go past the centerline and trim the excess covering. Resist the urge to touch up any wrinkles after you trim. If you apply heat to the trim line, the covering will start to pull away and you'll end up with a mess. Now do the outside half, and just be careful when you get to the center seam. When you get to the seam, make sure to keep the covering up off of the wheel pant, and inside covering, when you apply heat. Over lap the outside covering as much as possible. Finally, trim the outside half covering by holding a new blade tangent (not perpendicular) to the wheel pant. Otherwise, you may go through both laters of covering and the seam will pull apart over time.

Aug 30, 2012, 10:16 AM
There are some who call me....
campbelltf's Avatar
My intention is to use Monocote, I'll save the glassing lesson for another plane - I'm going to be challenged enough getting this one covered without adding another covering method AND painting tools/lessons/new expletive combinations.

I plan to use Monocote and go for the Miss Paterson black/red scheme. Covering my last plane with Solite went very well, but when I've looked for threads on covering with Monocote the results only seem to be seasoned builders discussing how difficult it is to work with.

I'll certainly refer back to your post, Jim, when I get to that step and may ask for some other tips to covering so many curves.
Aug 30, 2012, 11:40 AM
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Steve Merrill's Avatar

I have built 2 of Jim's designs, and they both flew great! (H-1 and the Comet)

Sadly, the Comet bit the dust and I sold the H-1 That was dumb of me.

Need to build another one I guess
Aug 30, 2012, 11:17 PM
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Cowl rings and stringers

Title says it all. I built up the cowl and sub-cowl and cut fuselage stringers tonight.

I am still waiting on a shipment with the 1/4" sq spruce stock to lay the bottom stringer of the fuselage, so while at the LHS tonight buying axle collars I picked up some 1/4" x 1/8" spruce and laminated my own 1/4" sq. I'll keep myself busy for a while sanding wheel pants to see if the shipment comes in, but if not it's either Franken-spruce or 1/4" sq basswood.
Sep 01, 2012, 08:45 PM
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trident58's Avatar
Looks real nice so far. I just ordered one yesterday. I'm most interested to see how your build goes.

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