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Mar 21, 2013, 10:48 PM
KC4JAJ
Jim Johns's Avatar
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Build Log

Bluejay Dirty Birdy 60 Build


Well, the R/C fairy has been good to me this week.

Picture 1 shows the boxes I've received this week.

Pic 2 shows the contents - a Bluejay Dirty Birdy 60 kit and three canopies from Park Flyer Plastics. The two in front at Birty Birdy canopies - one for this kit and one for my upcoming DB40 I'm getting from doxilia. The third one on top of the box is a generic 10" bubble canopy I hope to use on my New Era III. I really like the way PFP protects their canopies from getting scratched. It appears to be some sort of plastic cling wrap.

Pic 3 shows the planned power for my DB60 - Como 61 with muffler for SPA competition. I'll substitute a Macs header pipe for CPA and fun flying. This is the same setup I used on the Dirty Birdy that I flew in the early '80s. Well, technically that one was a Super Tigre S-61 ABC - same difference. Sorry about the diagonal shadows on the last picture. That's from the latticework on our screened-in back porch. It's one of my favorites parts of the house.

Pic 4 shows the retract choices I have on hand. I have a full set of green MK metal trikes (on the left) and a set of Dave Brown mains (on the right). I'd love to use the MKs, but the nosegear is a belly mount and I'm concerned that the structure needed to mount these is going to intrude into the tank compartment, not to mention the added weight. Of course I could just order a Dave Brown nose gear and call it good.

However, my first choice for landing gear would be a taildragger with retracts. Unfortunately, that would put the retracted main wheels right in the middle of the brottom wing spars. Not cool!! The cheapest, simplest, lightest choice would be a fixed gear taildragger which might actually be the best choice for the grass field I fly from if I reinforce it properly.

Any thoughts or suggestions??

Thanks,
Jim
Last edited by Jim Johns; Mar 28, 2013 at 07:26 PM. Reason: Change thread Type
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Mar 23, 2013, 09:13 AM
Lipoly Killer
Frank Hurd's Avatar

Retracts


Jim,
I love Dave Brown retracts(old Southern R/C). As a dear, departed friend would say, "Don't look right with it's nuts hanging down!".
Mar 27, 2013, 10:06 PM
KC4JAJ
Jim Johns's Avatar
Thread OP

Made up my mind - I think


Today was officially Day One of my DB60 build. The plan for this plane is to fly it in SPA competition plus some fun flying. Therefore, I decided two things - no retracts and using an OS 61 FSR ABC for power.

The no retracts part is for simplicity and to keep the weight down for maximum performance without a pipe. I'm still wrestling with trikes versus a tail dragger configuration. The reason for the engine change is so I can carry a spare engine to contests - I only have the one Como/Super Tigre but several OSs. Since SPA doesn't allow pipes, I wanted a good strong engine. I know this FSR is a powerhouse - it used to pull an 11 pound EU-1A very well - and it's as dependable as a stone. It was an easy choice.

Today's specfic project was to revive the engine after a 20+ year nap. I went through it a couple weeks ago, unlocked it and mounted it on my Trainer 60. The plan is to use the T-60 to make sure the engine is still dead reliable as well as getting some of the rust off my thumbs.

I finally located the box with my fueling gear today - the last piece of equipment needed to run engines. I fueled the T60 with 10% Omega, broke out the Kavan starter and went to work. Once the storage oil was expelled, the OS cackled to life with a familiar roar. Man, I'd forgotten how much I love the smell of nitro and 2-stroke oil! I spent the next 20 minutes tweaking the low speed needle to get a rock solid idle. The last plane this engine flew in was my piped EU-1A, circa 1990 or so. I'd forgotten how much differently the idle mixture has to be set with a muffler compared to a pipe.

All told, I burned about 1/2 tank of fuel and now have an engine that's ready for the air. Another couple hours work on the airframe and it'll be airworthy. I ordered new battery packs for the plane and transmitter today, so I will have to wait for their arrival before I can fly it.

I also took care of one more essential task before starting construction of the DB. The Bluejay plans do NOT show the wing and stab ribs, so I traced them and filed them away for future reference. Tomorrow my wife is going out of town, so if all goes well actual building should start then. If so, I'll try to post some pictures.

Jim
Last edited by Jim Johns; Mar 27, 2013 at 11:09 PM.
Mar 28, 2013, 02:38 PM
Why you type so loud?
Generic Member's Avatar
I built my all wood Dirty Birdy as a tail dragger, but with retracts. People warned me that it would nose over, but I didn't experience that problem. Mine was glassed and painted and ran a NovaRossi .60 with a pipe.
Awesome airplane!
Mar 28, 2013, 04:19 PM
KC4JAJ
Jim Johns's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Generic Member
I built my all wood Dirty Birdy as a tail dragger, but with retracts. People warned me that it would nose over, but I didn't experience that problem. Mine was glassed and painted and ran a NovaRossi .60 with a pipe.
Awesome airplane!
Thanks for the info, GM. How did you deal with the problem of the wheel wells being right where the spar should be? Do you fly off grass or pavement? What size and type of wheels did you use?

Thanks again.

Jim
Last edited by Jim Johns; Mar 28, 2013 at 06:28 PM.
Mar 28, 2013, 06:26 PM
KC4JAJ
Jim Johns's Avatar
Thread OP

In the Beginning


DISCLAIMER: I'm just a builder, not a craftsman like Jet_Flyer and R__G, so you may see some pictures in this build of things that aren't perfect. Such is life.


The weather was absolutely gorgeous here in northeastern Alabama today - sunny, 61° and no wind - so I decided to work on all of the mundane stuff that has to be done when starting a kit build out on the screened-in back porch.

First off, the wood in this kit is of excellent quality. It's quite light, except for the THREE LARGEST PIECES in the entire kit - the 3/8" thick top blocks. The rear top block is by far the heaviest. I'm trying to decide whether to replace it or try to do some strategic lightening. Some have said that this airplane builds nose heavy, so I may just leave it alone. What do you guys think?

The inventory took the better part of two hours. Part if the reason is that they use some rather "odd" names for parts. I scratched my head for a while over the "dowel supports" until I finally figured out they meant the false ribs that support the wing leading edge dowels. I did find one omission on the parts list - they don't mention the 1/4" ply rear wing hold down plates anywhere on the inventory list.

Next order of business was marking center lines, cutouts and hole locations. That's my #2 OS 61 FSR being used to mark the location of for the throttle cable. I decided to move the firewall back 1/4" to give a little room between the mount and the back of the engine.

I finally got all the center lines, cutouts, and hole locations drawn and decided to mockup them up just to see how they will look. That's all I had time to do as it was almost time for supper and b-ball.

To be continued ...

Jim
Last edited by Jim Johns; Mar 29, 2013 at 03:57 PM.
Mar 28, 2013, 08:32 PM
Registered User
VCscott's Avatar
Hi ReelDoc, I'm almost done with mine. It's been a real slow build (to many distractions). Been bogged down in the finishing stages for awhile. Anyway, this is what I did for conventional gear retracts. Just bent them forward a bit on the spring and fit a 2 1/4" wheel between the leading edge and the spar. I've had this setup before and they worked real well. It's also set up for fixed tricycle gear but I will probably never use them unless I have problems with the retract setup. Thanks for posting your build, I look forward to following your progress.
Scott
Mar 29, 2013, 07:53 AM
Registered User
Jet_Flyer's Avatar
Jim,

Looking forward to following your build. It is always neat to open a kit for the first time and sort out the parts.

The landing gear question is a tough one. Back in the day when I first started using retracts I made them tail draggers because the retract gears were not very well developed. My first set that really worked were CAS brand but they still required a lot of maintenance. Things progressed pretty fast and by my third retract aircraft I went with trike gear. It is very hard to beat the trike gear ground handling and the takeoff and landings are awesome. I like the way the main gear give off the little puffs of smoke at touch down and then the aircraft slowly rotates down on the nose gear!

If you are going to be involved in competition, the SPA and BPA rules make it even harder to decide on the gear. As you know SPA does not allow retracts to be used during competition, so the majority of the SPAers have fixed gear tail draggers with a monster four stroke crammed in the front. Not very authentic for the old historic classic airframes, but it is all about competition and not so much about the historical aspect of the airframes. Light weight, gobs of power and a huge prop. If you watch a typical SPA Daddy Rabbit’s flight characteristics at a SPA event you would not recognize it as a pre-76 vintage aircraft. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it is just how it progressed.

As you know BPA on the other hand have rules that let you duplicate everything the way it was done back in the day including pipes. So there is no easy solution unless you are focused on PBA.

Your MK and Dave Brown retracts are very good and are just as good as the Spring Air retracts I use. I fly on tarmac mostly but would have no problem flying on well-maintained grass.

Mike
Mar 29, 2013, 09:35 AM
KC4JAJ
Jim Johns's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks for the kind words, Mike. I enjoy all the build threads because I always learn something new or get a fresh outlook on a familiar topic.

Coincidentally, my first plane with retracts was a glass & foam Dirty Birdy. I originally built it with fixed trikes and a Super Tigre G60 Bluehead at 8 1/4#. It flew well but needless to say it was a slug for pattern competition. So I did a rebuild - I converted it to Rhom Air retracts, swapped in a Super Tigre S61 ABC with a pipe and repainted it. It came out at about 9# and had plenty of power for the Sportsman (or was it Novice) pattern I was flying at the time. I'll post some pictures if I can ever find them after this move we just completed.

I used Rhom Ait trikes on all of my ships until my LA-1, which was my last 60-size pattern plane. It was built as a taildragger with Dave Brown Southern Pro retracts. I changed over to Supras when I transitioned to 120 pattern planes, still built as taildraggers. Those long tailed birds were so graceful and easy to take off and land. That's a big part of my fondness for conventional gear, along with simplicity

This DB will be used strictly for SPA competition and fun flying, so I think I'll resist the urge to go to retracts on this bird. I'm trying to remember the KISS principle. I have to agree with you about the SPA. For all their fondness for older designs, they sure do allow a lot of leeway with those designs and definitely with the engines.

I have a ancient, heavy (11#!) but flyable YS 61AR powered Escape with Carl Goldberg retracts that I'll use for CPA meets this year, and a fiberglass & foam UFO that I bought at an auction for next year. The UFO is partially built but I'm going to tear is down and totally rebuild it next winter. The original "builder" - and I use the word loosely - got more wrong than he got right. The stab is on crooked, who knows what the incidences look like or if the wing and stab halves are even straight, and has fixed gear. He did get one thing right - it's set up for an OS 61. I plan cut out the stab, verify and fix any incidence problems in the wing and stab, install trike retracts, and fit it with a piped OS 61 SF-P. But that's another build thread altogether.

Jim
Last edited by Jim Johns; Mar 29, 2013 at 03:04 PM.
Mar 29, 2013, 08:37 PM
KC4JAJ
Jim Johns's Avatar
Thread OP
We had a busy day today - we met with the CPA to finish up our taxes, had lunch out and then took a little road trip with my wife just because it was a beautiful day and we've been unpacking "stuff" all week. It's a tough life when you're retired. All that simply means that I didn't make any progress on the DB today.

We just completed our long drawn out retirement move from Kansas to Alabama this month. The move started when we bought this house in 2005 and the very last of our possessions arrived here two weeks ago. All of my R/C stuff - airplanes, parts, tools, etc - was included in the final trip. I've been working out of boxes since then which has been a PITA!

Anyway, I decided that I really need to get my 4' x 8' building table set up out in the 24' x 40' man cave before I go any further. I also need to get all of my building equipment located and organized too. Once I decide where to put the table I'll be able to locate the band saw, drill press, scroll saw, vise and grinder properly. The bad news is that entails rearranging everything currently in the there including my boat, garden tractor, riding mower, fishing equipment, and assorted other junk. It will most likely take me a week or more to get it ready for building.

I guess I started this build thread prematurely, but I'm anxious to get back to flying after my 12 year layoff. Besides, the SPA season gets in full swing at the end of April and I need a plane to fly. Please bear with me while I get my ducks in a row.

Thanks,
Jim
Mar 30, 2013, 12:49 AM
Registered User
Hi Jim,
Here's my Dirty Birdy from the Bluejay kit. It was finished in 2011. I am using the same OS FSR you are but with an old Supre Tigre pipe and Rhom retracts . The FSR is my favorite engine , hands down. This one is 30 years old, has gone through many gallons of fuel and still runs like new. I never need to use a starter.

The wood in the kit was very good. It was better than actual Bridi kits I've built. It ended up weighing in at 7lbs 3oz with 3/4 oz glass cloth and paint on the fuselage and monokoted wing and stab.

I highly recommend taking a look at Dave's (dbacque) extensive build notes. He caught an error in the plan ( stab halves don't match) and has a lot of good information on this specific kit. It's on the other site :

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_9520759/tm.htm[/url]

There are some good things about wing incidence as well. I followed them and it flies great and trimmed out with very little trim adjustments. His was built to SPA style.

Good luck, I hope you are as happy with yours as I am with mine.

Chuck
Mar 30, 2013, 08:49 AM
KC4JAJ
Jim Johns's Avatar
Thread OP
Your DB is gorgeous, Chuck. What does the bottom of the wing look like?

I do have a question on the "survivor" glass DB - is that an OPS pipe he's running? I ask because that's what I ran on my FSRs "back in the day" and they were good for several hundred extra RPM over a Macs pipe.

I've read Dave's thread thoroughly, along with just about every other build thread on both sites. As a matter of fact, I printed out the PDF of Dave's instruction supplement and put it in a 3-ring binder along with the Bluejay instructions and a copy of the original RCM article. I'm referring to them all during my build, and I've already corrected the stab drawing error on my plans so I won't forget later.

I inferred from Dave's thread that somewhere between 1/2° and 3/4° positive was correct. What incidence setting did you use on your plane? It occurred to me that possibily setting the wing at 0° and taking out part of the downthrust might be a great combination. Any thoughts?

Today I hope to work in the shop. I got the layout finished late last night, so I know where everything needs to go. Thank goodness for CAD - it makes designing space so much faster and easier than doing it by hand. We're supposed to have rain for the next few days, so I need to get the big stuff rearranged before that starts. Guess I'd better get at it.
Mar 30, 2013, 09:52 AM
Registered User
Thanks for the kind words Jim,

I do believe that my friend Bud's pipe is an OPS pipe. He is running an old Webra Speed with the slide carburetor( Dynamix?). It has loads of power. He bought it at an auction complete with engine and radio for $125!!! naturally he replaced the old radio stuff but that and freeing up the engine put her in the air after who knows how many years.

The bottom of my wings look the same as the top except for the AMA number. I never have any trouble with orientation with this one because it flies so honestly. I do usually do something different on the bottom, though, and to be honest I couldn't tell you why I didn't on this one.

For the incidence, I ended up trying to split the 1/2 to 3/4 degree setting. As close as I can tell, I have about 7/10ths of a degree. I am pleased with up and down lines, inverted and knife edge, so I would do the same if I ever built another, including using the called for down thrust.

The only trouble I have had is with the main gear mounts in the wing. Our field is grass and when it is dry weather for extended periods , it gets pretty rough. The second season I flew it, the ribs cracked on one side during a relatively smooth landing, but one where the gear caught a clumpy spot in the grass. I ended up putting in some carbon fiber reinforcements to the ribs carrying the retracts along with a little bit more plywood. Something like that could be done more easily and with less weight during the build.

Chuck
Mar 30, 2013, 10:07 AM
KC4JAJ
Jim Johns's Avatar
Thread OP
Good to know, Chuck. I have always had orientation concerns so mine are always different.

It sounds like we are on the same page on the incidence. I need to handle that before I assemble the fuse. I have pretty much decided to beef up the main gear mounts on mine as well. I think I'll replace the small ply rib doublers with ones that tie into the leading edge and both spars when I build it. I might even increase the thickness of the ply slightly.

Jim
Mar 30, 2013, 04:38 PM
PhoenixFlyer
PhoenixFlyer's Avatar

Re-Arranging Things


What happens to us on retirement, what to keep, and what to throw away. When I was still traveling with the job, every time we would make a move, new location, new home, my wife would stay back, and sell the house, have a garage sale. I have had more stuff sold for pennys that will never come back. Good luck on your new shop, etc.
The Blue-jay DB is on my list, thanks all for the info on this kit.
Crank


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