Scratch Designed/Built Sailplane Fuselage - Page 7 - RC Groups
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Dec 30, 2012, 11:18 PM
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Nodd's Avatar
Thank you Elliott. Yeah I may have gone just a tad over the top with this one. I could have been flying her months ago but noooo, I had to go & build a whole new fuselage *grin* I have other planes I can fly so there's no hurry. Fingers crossed you get your parts soon so you can finish up your project, evil HobbyKing.

Originally Posted by Knoll53
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.

Awesome tip, thanks Kent.

The wires don't reach
I've never been one to use pre-made servo extensions as it's not that difficult to solder together a custom length of wire if need be. Here's a great tip I picked up watching Bruce from xjet & rcmodelreviews on YouTube.

First I cut off the servo plug & find myself a spare length of servo wire...

Next I stagger-cut the wires so the connections aren't all in the same spot...

Bare the ends...

Twist them together...

Add a smidgen of solder to each...

Bend em over...

Slip a length of heat-shrink over the whole thing...

And we're good to go. I like this technique, no need to fiddle about insulating each wire separately. Thanks Bruce...

Back to the covering
I added the black visibility panels...

Started work on the outboard panels...

That'll do for now, more soon...

Last edited by Nodd; Dec 30, 2012 at 11:53 PM.
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Jan 01, 2013, 11:10 PM
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Nodd's Avatar
Got-ya Covered!
Finally finished up the covering today...

I know you probably want to see how she looks assembled but I'm an evil bugger, you'll have to wait until she's complete. We're getting real close though :-)
Jan 02, 2013, 07:03 AM
Balsa builder and balsa basher
RC Trainer plane's Avatar
the plane looks sensational i like the blue streak on the wing especially !!!
Jan 05, 2013, 10:26 AM
scratch build everything
DudleyLeRoux's Avatar
What craftsmanship, well done.
Jan 10, 2013, 10:57 PM
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Nodd's Avatar
Spaghetti for Dinner
I picked up this nifty six pin connector to power the wing...

I wanted to avoid having four connectors, one for each of the wing's servos. The red positive wires connect to one pin, the brown ground wires connect to another pin. Then each of the four orange signal wires goes to its own pin...

I'm still deciding if I should glue this in solid or leaving it loose...

Here's the other end exiting the bottom of the wing...

Shockingly, everything seems to be working. That never happens! *grin*...

Now that the servos have power I can proceed with installing the flaps & aileron linkages.
Jan 11, 2013, 08:23 PM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Your 6pin harness is great. I recommend using a hot glue gun to pot the wires as strain relief as this will keep the wires from breaking at the solder joints in years to come. I don't use heat shrink either as the hot glue takes care of that as well.

Jan 11, 2013, 11:42 PM
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Nodd's Avatar
Yeah I wasn't really happy with the job I did on the connecters. I decided to start over & see if I could do a better job. I de-soldered everything & this time I tinned both the wire & the pins first. I still have a little more solder on there than I'd have liked but the connections look & feel much better...

One of my biggest concerns is stress on the connections, especially as I'm not planning to anchor these to the airframe, gonna leave em loose. So I took your advice there Curtis & instead of heat shrink, I used hot-glue to bond everything together in a nice static lump-o-glue...

I figure this both insulates & immobilizes. A little heat shrink finishes her off nicely...

Thanks a bunch for the hot-glue tip, very cool.
Jan 12, 2013, 12:58 AM
less is more
Knoll53's Avatar
I'm here to tell you that the re-work is worth the effort. I just stuffed my plank today due apparently to a wiring fault.

GOOP is also a very good insulator for this type of connector.

Jan 12, 2013, 04:25 AM
Registered User
mhodgson's Avatar
Another option for insulating connectors.
Jan 12, 2013, 08:22 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Perfect Mr Nodd!

Jan 14, 2013, 07:45 PM
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Nodd's Avatar
Yeah liquid tape is great stuff. I'm not sure it'd be ideal for this application however. It remains somewhat flexible which is great for insulating & water proofing, not so great for keeping connections from flexing. The hot glue, on the other hand, basically forms a lump of plastic once its cooled. Both have their uses though, thanks for the link.

Sorry to hear about your plane Kent. That's utterly lacking in fun when she just goes dead on ya. A horrible way to lose an aircraft, hate that helpless feeling. It's all part of the hobby though.

On with the build
I finished hooking up the control linkages...

WARNING: The following technique has the potential to go horribly wrong in all sorts of unexpected ways. If you try this take extreme care.

Although pretty close, I noticed the gap between the fuselage & spinner was pretty uneven...

Then I had an idea how to even that up. I slipped a piece of sandpaper onto the folder's hub...

Then I powered up the motor to around 10% & let the sandpaper do its thing...

That worked pretty well, nice even gap...

With the prop installed I stuck her up on the balance stands. Weirdest thing ever, she balanced perfectly, no extra weight needed. How often does that happen, especially on a scratch designed airframe?..

Jan 14, 2013, 07:46 PM
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Nodd's Avatar
And then I realized there was nothing further to do...


Seven months in the making, she's finally ready to fly, woohoo!

No matter what happens from here on out, that was a great build. I've learned so much, couldn't have done it with out you folks here online. A heart-felt thanks to everyone who contributed.
wingspan: 105" (2667mm)
weight: 69 oz (1956 g)
wing loading: 12 oz/sq.ft (38 g/
cubic loading: 5.21 oz/cubic.ft
stall speed: 17 mph (28 km/h)
I was hoping to maiden her this Wednesday but the forecast is for rain/snow. I'll keep you posted. And yes there will be video, flight reports & all that good stuff. Thanks again everyone.
Jan 14, 2013, 09:58 PM
Theoretical balsa dust maker
plane_tech's Avatar
Nodd, she looks gorgeous! Can't wait to see the maiden. And congrats on another excellent build
Jan 14, 2013, 10:12 PM
Registered User
doc993's Avatar
Congratulations! This was a very good thread, about a beauty full design,very high level of craftsman ship, and finishing it in under a year! Can't wait to see it fly.Be Proud.
O and thanks for the ski thread.
Jan 14, 2013, 11:13 PM
Registered User

Did you look at tomorrow's weather: Tue
Jan 15

Chance of rain:
NE at 8 mph

Well???? You call it!


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