Scratch Designed/Built Sailplane Fuselage - Page 6 - RC Groups
Shop our Airplanes Products Drone Products Sales
Thread Tools
Dec 16, 2012, 08:29 PM
Build something.
Nodd's Avatar
Thanks guys. This squirrel wasn't all that impressed though...

And then I carved a bloody great gash in the side
Apparently I spaced on the need to actually control my fancy Y-tail. Some push-rods would have been nice. Oh well, too late now. Time for some minor surgery...

Glued the push-rods in place...

Replaced the fiber-glass...

And then I cut bloody great holes in the side too
Yeap more carnage. She needs to breath so I added some cooling holes...

External push-rods
Again if I'd planned ahead a little better I could have run the push-rods down inside the tail-boom but space-case here was only thinking three or four steps ahead instead of 10. The push-rods will run externally, oh well...

I used cotton thread every few inches to secure the push-rods then added a little glue to lock it in place...


A few coats of glossy Krylon & she's looking good...

Wonky servos
You'll notice my servo tray here looks a little odd...

The V-tail servos are mounted diagonally to allow the control arms to be centered away from the narrow fuselage's sides...

I also managed to squeeze the motor, ESC, SBEC & receiver in there too...

Feels good to have the radio installed. Now I need to figure out how to squeeze a LiPo in there too.
Last edited by Nodd; Dec 16, 2012 at 08:36 PM.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Dec 16, 2012, 10:17 PM
Build something.
Nodd's Avatar
Dec 17, 2012, 08:12 AM
Cumulus Altimus
FASTBEN's Avatar
Dec 19, 2012, 01:16 PM
less is more
Knoll53's Avatar
Originally Posted by Nodd
Someone stole my design, went back in time & built a full-scale!
[/B]I swear I've never seen this airplane but it sure does look a lot like what I'm building here. I'm digging what they did with the tail, may have to copy that look. Especially like the way the v-stab protrudes down below the boom. As we figured out earlier in this build, some form of tail-skid maybe necessary to keep the fuselage level during landing. Its interesting they came up with more or less the same solution. I like it!
Hi Nodd. Just found your thread and am enjoying it.

Not sure if you are joking or not but the glider in your post #59 is Bowlus Baby Albatross. The Wings of History Museum, not far from here, has one and it is indeed a brilliant and cool design. Hawley Bowlus was a great designer/builder. The fully flying tail at the end of the boom is beautifully engineered to provide sensitive control at the center and massive up elevator when needed.

Dec 21, 2012, 10:50 PM
Build something.
Nodd's Avatar
The Bowlus Baby Albatross aye? Now that I know the name I Googled it, lots of cool photos. Thanks.

Covering Time
My Ultracote finally arrived so time to start covering these bare-bones...

The top of the V-tail is gray. For the ruddervators I'm using transparent white...

Before you all start worrying that gray & transparent white will make her hard to see at altitude, I'll be covering the underside with black...

The black contrasts well with both blue & white sky...

I'm liking the transparent white, looks great back lit. It shows off the structure nicely without being overly see-through...

The wings will follow the same gray & white, black on the bottom format. Sounds a bit dull? Fear not, I have some colored accent graphics in mind that'll spice things up a little. I'm hoping to get the wing covered this weekend.
Dec 22, 2012, 07:12 AM
Registered User
glidarflyar's Avatar
The color scheme sounds good enough. No worries about that.

But don't worry about white/gray/any color not showing up at altitude. They are fairly close when they are hard to see. After they get beyond where the eye's cones can see them, the eye's rods can. And rods can only report black/gray.

Eyes show us the grayscale value of any color as soon as the cones lose sight. Your picture must have been software simulated, right? Next time you've got any glider really high, consider what color you're seeing.

That black will help a lot when the glider is as high as maybe the lower 4-5 images. Then it'll start looking like the higher images in the right side of your 'proof' picture.

Kewl thread, btw.
Dec 22, 2012, 12:50 PM
Build something.
Nodd's Avatar
Yeah most of the glider folks I fly with all swear that dark colors or black on the underside of the wing is the way to go on a sailplane. You're correct, the eye has two sets of light collectors, low resolution cones that see color & high resolution rods that see in black-n-white. So once your plane starts to get way up there, colors start to fade as your eye's color-blind rods take over. I have one sailplane with bright orange on the wing's underside. It's really easy to see at close range but it blends with the sky at altitude. At extreme range its all about contrast, not color. Dark colors silhouette better against a bright sky Vs light colors. I made up this chart of Ultracote samples that illustrates how some colors appear darker at range...

The interesting thing about this is bright colors that are easy to see at close range are actually worse at long range.
Last edited by Nodd; Dec 22, 2012 at 01:31 PM.
Dec 22, 2012, 04:07 PM
Theoretical balsa dust maker
plane_tech's Avatar
Nodd, I like the color chart. Way back when, when I was just getting into building and covering this question came up. The best answer I got was to take what ever colors you are going to use and make a black and white copy of them. This is what they will look like next to each other at attitude. It is an old school way of doing what you did with the computer software.

To this day, I still do this before I cover a plane if I am trying out a new color.
Dec 22, 2012, 06:47 PM
Registered User
doc993's Avatar
Nice chart ! It's true dark colors on the bottom work best I also put reflective tape on the leading edges, they give off a very bright flash that is some times visible when the plane is really hard to see.Beautiful plane.
Dec 22, 2012, 10:12 PM
Build something.
Nodd's Avatar
I should add sparkly strips to all my sailplanes, have been meaning to do that. Good tip, thanks.

I like your black-n-white copier technique, old school but still a goody. As a graphic artist I have lots of fancy computer stuff but for those who don't, yeah that's an excellent idea.

Control Surfaces
I picked up a set of control horns today & got down to hooking up the V-tail...

I've tried all sorts of hinging techniques, not sure if I'm just getting lazy but to be honest, good old tape rules for simplicity & functionality. Zero friction, zero hinge gap, zero fuss...

Soldering the clevises to my push-rods. What's with the towel you ask?..

Here's why we need the towel. I've had solder burn right through my covering one too many times...

A big nine foot wingspan & yet I need to make tiny fiddly little stuff like this that I can barley even see...

These small hardwood spacers keep the push-rods from flapping around, important for slop free linkages...

Yay we have a functional tail!..

Programming the V-tail mix...

I'll probably add some differential to the tail but for now I'm starting out with everything even.

And with that the tail is done...

Dec 23, 2012, 09:25 AM
Cumulus Altimus
FASTBEN's Avatar
very nice.
Dec 23, 2012, 10:59 AM
Registered User
Dec 30, 2012, 01:06 AM
Build something.
Nodd's Avatar
Thank you.

Wrapping up the wing (again)
Apparently Untracote doesn't stick well to spackling. So I decided to re-mask the wing & paint the fiber-glassed center area...

Usual thing, took 20 minutes to mask her, 30 seconds to apply the paint...

Next I set about applying the covering...

Transparent white on the open structure, gray on the sheeted sections...

Love the way the light shines through the wing, that should look real nice overhead...

Well that's enough for today...

Dec 30, 2012, 10:31 AM
less is more
Knoll53's Avatar
Originally Posted by Nodd
Apparently Untracote doesn't stick well to spackling. So I decided to re-mask the wing & paint the fiber-glassed center area...
The paint looks good.

To get the covering to stick to any filler, spray a ligtht coat of 3M77 on the wing, let dry and cover.

Dec 30, 2012, 11:42 AM
Balsa builder and balsa basher
RC Trainer plane's Avatar
hey nodd i followed your previous sailplane builds and this design tops it ( i thought before it would be impossible). It looks amazing and i am sure it will fly that way too.

you make my day


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Build Log Scratch Designed/Built Sailplane Nodd Electric Sailplanes 198 Oct 08, 2012 10:30 PM
Build Log Designing for scratch-built FPV wing... PiperCub49 Flying Wings 15 Mar 09, 2012 10:15 PM
Slightly OT but i need help for a scratch built heli fuselage meatbomber Foamies (Kits) 4 Nov 04, 2004 11:53 AM
Spirit scratch built fuselage NW Boiler Thermal 3 May 26, 2004 08:56 PM
Scratch built fuselage erik1938 The Builders Workshop 3 May 17, 2004 10:52 PM