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Jan 20, 2013, 04:11 AM
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Build Log

FMS T28 Part 1 fundamental cosmetic changes


Part 1: fundamental cosmetic changes

Summer 2012 a stock reduction took place at the Austrian Schweichofer dealer and an FMS 140mm PNP T28 for less than 200 Euro Lipo included, was irresistible to me. An attractive full size T28 had been teasing my mind this season by operating during the weekends less than 100ft from our r/c club parking. Because I had in mind to decorate my model as the real one I choose to order the white navy version, figuring it would be the easiest one to adapt.

When the box arrived it looked like it had been exposed to the sun for too long, a wing was more yellowish as white, and the cockpit interior looked very faded. Everything was still packed in the original plastic and the box carton sealed as usual. I just could make up that this kit was an early production and had been stocked for a long time. Even not exposed to sunlight the foam and decoration just faded by age. I took everything out and assembled it in my garden for pictures of the standard original product. It was obvious the cockpit was a disaster. It didn’t fit well and protruded above the front fuselage. The interior was anything but representative of the real thing, both in shape as for decoration, and the dashboard stickers with 10 times landing mentioned on the checklist placards were just too gross to stay in there.

I had seen many T28 models fly in the various stock deliveries and knew it was a honest stable flier. I thus started reading the RCGroups thread concerning this (Version 1) model to find out what other pilots had done to improve the out of the box model. Much had been written on the more than 350 pages but when I took notes and got everything sorted out it all seemed straightforward, and I made up a plan to follow most recommendations.

A 65Amp FMS ESC was ordered to replace the original 50Amp, and a CC 10 Amp Bec to feed all the servo’s and lights. Civilian pilot figures were ordered to replace the awful Goofer in the cockpit, and pictures of the real aircraft were sent to Callie of Callie-graphics.com to produce an accurate decoration set. With the space available being adequate I also ordered a MrRCsound system with 3 speakers. A variety of other bits and pieces were ordered and awaiting all those deliveries I started to clean up the airframe of all stickers and paint.

The factory stickers came off very easily and could even be reused if needed on other aircraft. Removing the red paint was necessary because my model would be mainly gloss white, and whatever option I tested, the red area somewhere showed through. How I wish FMS would sell naked white versions besides their decorated ones, as Fly Fly does, it certainly makes life easier for people opting to make particular decorations. I found out the only way to remove the paint without damaging the foam (too much) was to use wide brown packing tape rolls to stick on the painted parts and pulling everything away (after 4 or 5 passes over the same area). It was a tedious work which left me with a waste bag full of sticky paper, brown on one side, red at the other.

For the basic finish layer I considered various options. So far I often had sprayed paint over the foam, but most paints did not adhere sufficiently well to use masking tape for the other colors to be sprayed on. Often it made touching up necessary and that would be very obvious on a white high gloss large airframe. Another option was to use glass cloth to reinforce the complete airframe and provide a solid base for the paint. Given the overall size of this model the 25gr glass cloth, resin etc would be rather expensive and sanding (plus smell) inside my apartment during winter did not look like a good prospect. On various RCGroups I had been reading about the quality and clean application of thin vinyl which I had in mind for my Windrider Boeing737 airliner I will start working on as soon as I collect all the necessary bits and pieces (to modify and personalize of course). I thus played with the idea of using the T28 as a testcase and proficiency builder for working with that kind of material.

I first went to various local shops producing vinyl lettering or even complete decorations for vans, busses or racing cars. I showed them a foam aircraft part with its complex shapes of convex and concave curves, and things like a round tapered wingtip. I walked out with 4 meters of vinyl in 3 colors, 60cm wide and supposingly thin enough to form around the complex shapes without wrinkles, but sufficiently strong and opaque to produce a nice gloss finish over various undergrounds like virgin foam, foam that shows alligator skin type (after removing decals or paint, or being carved with knife or sand paper) and plastic such as the molded nose and gear doors.

Back home I experimented applying areas of vinyl (with and without hot air dryer) over the very complex shapes of an old crashed Spitfire nose and wing joint. After a while I built up dexterity and started feeling how to stretch and shape the vinyl around increasingly more difficult shapes. I soon felt confident to have a go at relatively simple surfaces (I cheaply could replace if ruined) and in this case the separate tail area was chosen. I first cut the rudder and elevator free, making them easier to cover separately, later to be reassembled using proper hinges. On the rudder I noted overlapping vinyl strokes would be visible, but applying the strips (of various colors) side by side proved feasible. When I positioned the finished rudder behind the vertical stabilizer I got the unpleasant surprise nothing was lined up. The strip angles were not correct and the overall color delimitation didn’t match the pictures at all. Separation of red and white had to start below the up curve of the vertical stabilizer, and end above the twin taillights. Lowering the taillights would alter the proportions of red versus white area, so I decided to raise the fuselage/tail fairing (from too flat till too steep) but that will help in flying stability and spin prevention of the model.

I stripped the rudder from its vinyl and started all over after the new insert had been smoothed into the tail. At least there now will be sufficient space to apply the US airforce and tail number on the white part as it should be. Vinyl was reapplied to both parts when lined up in a dry fitting way.

The result looked very pleasing for both the vertical and horizontal tail assemblies, but after gluing the hinges I wasn’t so happy about the obvious gaps. This was barely acceptable for the tail feathers, but would be horrible for aerodynamics if applied to the flaps and ailerons, but more about that in the wing section of this build log. The crease line in the white top part of the tail was much too obvious so these will be filled on the rest of the model before covering.
On the other end of the fuselage I removed the heavy plastic cowling and drilled additional cooling holes in the outside between the twin paired cylinders. The dummy engine was then painted according pictures of the real aircraft during maintenance.


A long large channel was also drilled from the port lower oil cooler intake to channel it to the fuselage part where the ESC will be installed.

Another hole was drilled between the top air intake further back to cool the battery under the cockpit.


Click here to continue reading part two of the T28 build log
Last edited by BAF23; Jan 25, 2013 at 04:02 AM.
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Jan 20, 2013, 07:07 AM
Right Rudder
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Quote:
A 65Amp FMS ESC was ordered to replace the original 50Amp, and a CC 10 Amp Bec to feed all the servo’s and lights.
I believe the above quote is the best and most important change you could ever make. I am seeing just too many "New' models that are coming with JUNK ESC's and without any Programming Instructions so, don't feel bad on this Older dated model as it looks great and you are doing a very good job in making it even better.

Congrats!


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