Balsa USA Smoothie Build Thread - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Jan 08, 2013, 09:30 PM
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I got my Slo Zap, and finished the Starboard top sheeting and top center section on the wing today. I also cut some string and taped it inside the wing to pull the servo wires into the center section, out through holes I cut in the top of the wing, and into the fuselage. I just have to do the bottom center sheeting, then I can start on the wing tips. John
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Jan 09, 2013, 08:30 PM
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I finished sheeting the wing today and laminated the 1/8" rear tips with epoxy making the tips 1/4". The center sheeting runs from rib to rib cross grain without splitting at the center rib. The wing is very strong but I still may use some fiberglass to cover the joint on the front and rear sheeting. Am getting ready to do the tips. John
Last edited by jbrooks01; Jan 10, 2013 at 12:34 AM.
Jan 10, 2013, 09:02 PM
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I glued the wing tips on today. I glued a partial rib perpendicular to the outer rib (using a square) flush with the aft side of the spars. The next step was to glue the L E wing tip block to the outer rib and the perpendicular rib, everything lined up perfectly. I then glued the laminated aft wingtips in place, and tied it all in with another short spar from the block to the trailing edge. It looks like I will be doing some sanding tomorrow. John
Jan 11, 2013, 02:06 PM
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I sanded one wing tip block this morning. The first step was to draw a line, using tape to define the L E. Next I taped adjacent to the block I would be sanding to prevent damage to surrounding balsa. Using my sanding block and 120 grit sandpaper I sculpted the wing tip block into something presentable. One tip is finished, one to go. Here's a picture. John
Last edited by jbrooks01; Jan 11, 2013 at 02:14 PM.
Jan 12, 2013, 09:41 PM
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Today I finished the other wing tip and sanded the bevel on the leading edge and tips. Used thin C A and put some 1/2 oz fiberglass on the leading edge and trailing edge center joints. The wing is done and ready to set aside until the fuselage is ready for it. Weight of wing as pictured is 10 5/8 oz, I may make my 4 lb target. I have to solve some engineering problems on the fuselage and then I am ready to start on it. John
Last edited by jbrooks01; Jan 13, 2013 at 12:14 AM.
Jan 13, 2013, 06:10 PM
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I bit the bullet and taped the fuselage plans to the building board today. Made some changes. I drew a thrust line and moved the firewall foreword to accommodate the AXI 2820/12 and a spacer. The 1/8" lite ply doubler will have to be discarded and I will have to make a new doubler out of 1/16 Birch ply to accommodate my new design which involves making a square bottom fuselage from the wing saddle to the elongated firewall. This change will enable me to have the L/G axles pretty much even with the leading edge of the wing (1/4" forward), in addition I will have an ESC area beneath the battery tray (which will be removable). Bulkhead #2 will have to be notched out and reinforced to accommodate the elongated battery tray. A picture is worth a thousand words. John
Jan 14, 2013, 09:09 PM
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Didn't get much done today, just cut out the new doublers. Will probably work on the fuselage sides tomorrow. John
Jan 15, 2013, 07:52 PM
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I pined the fuselage sides to the plans today and marked the firewall and formers. I also cut the tail square per the plans, and removed the fuse sides forward of the firewall. I found some 1/2" balsa in my stash so when I am ready for the cowl I will glue the sides and top to the firewall. Will be doing some more work on the fuselage sides tomorrow. John
Jan 16, 2013, 08:37 PM
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I extended the front of the fuselage sides down to make a straight bottom, and epoxyed the doublers to the inside of the fuse sides with 30 min Epoxy. Enough for today. John
Jan 17, 2013, 09:42 PM
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Today I did the firewall and it took longer than I thought it would with all the measuring and checking. I cut the new piece out of 1/4" birch ply, got the sides square, and the size as close to perfect as I could get it. I measured and drew the vertical center line, then using the plans I marked the horizontal thrust line, then marked 1/16" left of the vertical center to get the center of the motor mount. Using the motor mount as a guide, I marked and drilled four 5/32" holes for the 3-32 blind nuts (T Nuts) used to mount the motor. Using a 3/4" Spade Bit I drilled a hole toward the bottom of the firewall to feed the motor wires into the fuselage. I assembled the motor to the firewall using four 1 1/2" 6-32 socket head bolts (I am going th have to replenish my supply from RTL Fasteners), four #6 1" Nylon Stand Offs (HURC), one washer each on the top and left side of the motor mount (for right and down thrust) and did a mock up against the plans tightening down the bolts and drawing the blind nuts into the back of the firewall. A drop of thin C A on the blind nuts (make sure you don't get any on the threads) and the firewall is ready. The firewall is probably the most critical step of the fuselage build. John
Last edited by jbrooks01; Jan 17, 2013 at 09:48 PM.
Jan 18, 2013, 08:12 AM
ARFs Are Me
TomCrump's Avatar
You're doing a great job, and making good progress.

I've had my eye on this kit. Thanks for showing me how it goes together.
Jan 18, 2013, 11:09 PM
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Spent a few hours doing some small, time consuming stuff on the fuselage sides. I put the sides on the plans to determined where I wanted the Golden Rod to exit the fuselage in order to line up with the control horns on the elevator and rudder, I slotted the sides, and used a round file to chamfer the inside allowing the outer sheath to exit at an angle, keeping the control rods close to the fuselage side. When the epoxy holding the outer sheath cures, any weakness in that area will be gone. I drew outlines for the servos in the proper positions against the fuse sides, and C A d on some 1/8 " square stock which will be used to mount the servo rails at a later time. For bulkhead #2 I drilled a 3/4" hole with a spade bit centered on the cut line, and cut the bulkhead about 1/2 way up from the bottom. The battery tray will rest on top of the bulkhead and then screwed into rails glued to the sides, making the tray removable allowing access to the speed controller. Hopefully that will be all the additional weigh (other than the 1/16" ply for the battery tray itself) that I will have to add to the fuselage. I put everything I have done so far on the scales and the weight came out to 5 5/8 oz, OUCH!, I will have to keep the weight of the covered fuselage with landing gear (less motor, battery, S C, and servos) to 1 1/2 lb or less to hit my 4 lb goal. Tom, thanks for the kind words. I don't think I screwed up yet, I just hope I can keep my weight at my goal. The kit was designed for 5 to 5 1/2 lbs, but if I go much over 4 lbs I will have to go with a larger motor and a 4 cell battery, adding more weight. John
Jan 21, 2013, 11:23 AM
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I finally got the fuselage sides ready to join. The 3/16" square Longerons which run from the Main Bulkhead (aft of the wing saddle) to the rear of the fuselage on the bottom, and to the front of the horizontal stabilizer on the top, were glued onto each side. The plans don't call for it but I put a 3/16" strip aligned with the Horizontal Stabilizer cut out. This should give a larger glue area for the stab. At the front of the fuse sides I glued 1/4" X 1/2" spruce strips to screw the battery tray onto. Ready for the next step. John
Last edited by jbrooks01; Feb 19, 2013 at 01:21 AM.
Jan 21, 2013, 05:10 PM
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For a little inspiration I am sending these photos. I built this in the early 80s, still have it! One of the best flying models I ever built! This is the way it was original kitted, the wire gear and inverted engine, and I think it looks much better. I have a Super Tiger .40 (one of the Italian) ones. It is fast and when you hear it unload in a full power dive is great. Hope you are happy with the 25e. Sorry I don't know why I can not add a photo.
Jan 21, 2013, 05:23 PM
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I would like to see your picture. The way I upload is to Go Advanced, scroll down to Manage Attachments, Browse, find the picture you want to upload and select it, save changes, and you should have your picture. John

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