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Aug 03, 2013, 07:56 AM
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Build Log


Hello all,,
I was looking for a high wing plane that I can help my wife learn better on so she can fly at big bird fly ins, and of course one that I can put on high rates and have some fun with it,, I decided to go with the bigfoot because of its aerobatic capabilities and huge flaps for slow flying, I believe it is a much better flying plane than a decathalon and easily more than a cub when it comes to its limits. I am going to post up my build of my new 3dhs bigfoot, I plan on taking alot of pics, and describing what I Like and dont like about the plane, and including actual costs,,If you are interested keep reading I will try to cover everything completely. be patient because I work rotating shifts, and will work on it when I can, but I hope to have it done in around a month
I have built about 12 planes now, most arfs and two were complete rebuilds including structure repair, I dont proclaim to know everything, but I am very confident in my skills and abilities, I am an industrial maintenance mechanic by trade so you may see some Ideas that are a little different but they work,,so I will proceed.
Got the plane today, I pre-ordered it from 3dhs and got free shipping, it looks like it sold out on the presales,, dont think you can get one, I settled on the black one,
Arrived Double Boxed, and in good shape, opened the box to start the inspection, plane is packaged in very well, and secure, inspection revealed no damage to plane at all.
Hardware looks adequate, color scheme is terrific, plane comes with graphics, I dont believe I will be using any of the graphics, maybe a few of the small ones but none of the larger ones. Sturdy aluminum gear, carbon fiber wing tube, all seams on covering look good and the lines match up very well. The wings already have the hinges for the ailerons and flaps glued in, although it appears as though one of my flap hinges is broken, I will deal with this later, the hinges are like robarts, not dubro, and not junk CA hinges. However the door on the side is held on with CA hinges, since this is not a conrtrol surface and has no load, they will work great. The side door has the hinges, and magnets to keep it closed, the top hatch is also hinged, and has magnets, so getting to the wing bolts and plugging in the connections should be a breeze as there is plenty of room.
thats it for today, gotta get some sleep
current costs,, Plane $540 to my door
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Aug 03, 2013, 08:38 PM
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Got a little bit done before work,
Mounted the landing gear with supplied hardware, Using Blue Loctite, put wheels and collars on, with retaining pins, then put gear cover panel on, I used some very thin very sticky double sided tape that I have.
Then I got to removing covering , when built they cover the servo openings, horizontal stab hole, wing tube holes, windows, ETC..
You have the option to use a pull pul setup for electric power, or a rear mounted servo for gas,, I am using gas so I am using a rear mount,, I however did open the pull pull holes, why, because the plane arrived with the cables installed and the covering cut, I just opened it up and sealed it, no ones gonna notice.
There are several ways to remove the covering, some use exacto knives, razors, soldering irons, ETC.. The method I use is I take a map gas torch,,Like a propane torch for plumbing, I use a small straight PICK and heat it up with the torch, when its glowing I push it into the hole, go to the edges and just slide it along to remove the covering, I like doing it this way because it gives me clean lines, and the heat from the pick helps the edges of the covering seal back down on the edge of the opening. Always works great for me.
Thats as far as I got today, off to work
Aug 03, 2013, 08:43 PM
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I really only wanted one particular engine for this plane, THE DLE35-RA

another member was selling one and I was able to get it for a fair price, saved me some cash,, only 1 gallon thru it, Paid 270 shipped for the engine
Thanks DaaBears ,,

Total costs so far,
plane 540
engine 270
Aug 04, 2013, 02:05 AM
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kerwin50's Avatar
Great news. I seen this plane when it was a prototype and she does do some nice 3D flight.
keep up the good work
Aug 04, 2013, 11:41 PM
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Ok, today gonna install the rear vertical and horizontal stabilizers...
DISLIKE: the plane did not come with a manual,not too much of a problem, because I downloaded it on thier site, but if you are not into computers,, it can be a problem.

FIRST THINGS FIRST,, pre fit both stabs, and the wing tube, line them up and get behind the plane on a level surface and make sure they look even both up and across, if not do a little sanding to get them there,,, MINE looked perfect and needed nothing from what I seen

HORIZONTAL STABILIZER,, fairly straightforward, I installed it in its slot, And got it all lined up, THEN I DIDNT FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS AND DID IT MY WAY,, In the instructions it says not to remove any covering and then to get it into position, and then put thin ca thru the gaps because there is bare wood for it to wick into in the slot, I am not a fan of that idea, it may work fine, but it is not up to my standards of building. So what I did was slid it into place, lined it all up and then drilled 2 5/32 holes thru the fuselage into the stab and back into the bottom of the fuselage so I could install some 1/8 in dowels., I then made some marks on the edges, then pulled it out, removed some covering, put epoxy on the stab on both sides, in the holes I drilled and inside the fuse ( I taped the side that I slid into the fuse so no epoxy would get on it, I then slid it into the fuse, lined it up, Installed the dowels, removed the tape, and cleaned all excess epoxy. The dowels accomplish 2 things A: they help line the stab back up on final install B: it also ads plenty of strength when everything is dry.

Vertical stab, this was pretty simple, epoxy inside fuse where it goes, and epoxy on the stab, it sits in a slot that is nice and tight, ONCE again the instructions say you can use CA,, I chose not to, I use EPOXY One thing about the stab is on pre-install I noticed that it stuck out of the rear of the fuse a little bit, to me this is a problem and needs to be fixed, with that difference the rudder gap will not be able to be closed properly. Easy fix, used a razor, trimmed a little bit off of the leading edge of the stab, little bit of sanding and everything looked great, Epoxied it in and its done.
I epoxied the horizontal stab in place then immediately did the vertical, so they were done at the same time with the same batch of epoxy..
Thats if for today, still working 12 hour midnight shifts.....
Aug 06, 2013, 08:13 AM
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kerwin50's Avatar
I think 3DHS recommends ca'ing all their stab without removing any covering.
I bought a Midwest me 109 already built that way 23 year ago. On my 4th flight The stab came off in flight. what a heart break.
I do admit that I've been doing their suggestions on my little 41 inch Edge, But it's a little park flyer.
Aug 06, 2013, 09:58 AM
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I was surprised when I read that, I wouldnt ever leave the covering on the stab and just CA it in,, But maybe on smaller planes it may be ok,, I am in to big gassers so My thoughts on building are a littel more secure. Just Ca on the stab was not a risk I am willing to take, thats why I did it the way I am used to, Remove the covering let that epoxy have some good ole wood to bite into, and pin it just to be sure,, I bought the plane so my wife could fly something at the big birds,,figured it would be perfect, and after watching Joe Smith wring his out I knew I could have some fun with it too so Its gotta be strong!!!!
Aug 06, 2013, 10:58 AM
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kerwin50's Avatar
Yeah I seen Joe wring his out and I seen the protytpe fly. And even though Joe may get by with ca-ing but I'm like you. The thought of a gasser and ca-ing the covering just scares me.
Aug 07, 2013, 11:19 PM
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OK got a little more done, I got the elevators and rudder installed, hinges lined up fine, all the lines look great, and the hinge gaps are nice and tight.
DISLIKE;I do not like the setup on the tailfeathers, They are connected with a little composite flat bar, the bar itself is stout, Its already installed in one feather, so you epoxy that side in, then when you do the other side you have the three hinges to epoxy plus the flat bar. WHEN you do this you must clamp the elevators to the stabs so they stay parallel while the epoxy dries, or else they will not line up. I am not so sure about this setup, I will fly it this way and it may be more than enough only time will tell. I would much rather have a split elevator setup with a servo on each. If this setup does not work, I believe I could easily put the rudder servo in the fuse on a pull pull setup and just mount another servo back there for the other elevator halve, only adding a 2-3 Oz. Time will tell. The rudder went in very easily also, hinge gap nice and tight. I still need to remove the little bit of epoxy in the hinge lines,, I use Vaseline so it can not stick to anything, that shiny stuff in the pix is Vaseline.
Aug 07, 2013, 11:36 PM
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I had a little time so I went ahead and addressed the engine box,, IT is epoxied in pretty well, but I see no triangle stock for support on the outside or inside,, I imagine the reason why is there is not much room. Since I am building a gasser, I will not trust the engine box as built,,ONCE AGAIN, it may be fine,but not for my standards. There are a couple ways to strengthen it, angle aluminum, fiberglass, carbon fiber,ETC. I have pinned many engine boxes with 1/8 dowel rod,, I am starting to change my way of thought though,,, I am going to start using wood screws, I will tell you why,, when you pin one it does not really give any clamping force on the top plate, sure its strong, and I still trust it I am just going to give this a try though. Very simple draw a straight line right down the center to use for drilling (ALWAYS PRE-DRILL you want the screw to go in the hole and bite,not push the wood apart) Use a bit that is smaller than the screws you are using, Drill your holes, and put the screw in the hole,, THEN remove the screw, and put some thin CA in the hole, you may need to use a small bit or pin, to push the ca all the way in the hole. You always want to put CA in any hole you drill in wood and plan on using a screw, it makes the wood much harder and helps the screw get a good "BITE". Then put a washer on the screw, this helps spread the clamp, and put the screw in until its tight, I stop when I see the top plate start to indent, You will see the washer start to sink into the wood, I do this all the way around the engine box,, how many depends on how big the box is,, ON this model I used 3 on every side. Now its all done and I am confident in the strength,, The last thing I will do for the firewall/engine box is mix up some epoxy and cover all the wood, Using a heat gun to help it get into every nook and cranny, True that this model already has some kind of sealer on it, I will use my own method to be sure,, I do not do this until I have all my holes and access panels finished, It helps give a little more strength, and To fuel proof it all... That's it for now OFF To BED!!!
Aug 08, 2013, 10:18 AM
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kerwin50's Avatar
Your sure doing a nice job. I'm sure enjoying this thread.
Aug 09, 2013, 08:41 AM
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THANKS KERWIN,, If just one person likes this thread it is worth it..
Aug 09, 2013, 09:13 AM
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OK,, so today I started by cleaning up all the hinged surfaces,, the Vaseline kept the epoxy from sticking to anything, I just took a pick and popped it off in pieces, cleaned everything up with alcohol,, all done with that.
NOW ON TO THE REAR Tail wires,,,, What a pain in the a-- , all the holes in the plane line up great, the problem was with the brackets, they have two holes in them, one for mounting (be it screw or bolts) and the other for the quick link. The problem is all the holes were too small, I had to drill every hole out, none of the hardware would fit in either hole, and it was not because of the paint,,they were just too small. Once drilled out, I installed the brackets on the plane,, and started installing the wires, That's when I noticed that the brackets did not have enough bend in them to make the wires line up right, they were causing the quick link to be in a bind, instead of a straight line to the other connecting point, SO I had to bend some to make alignment right,, Once done I started running the wires, pretty straight forward here, screw the adjuster link into the quick link until you see the end of it coming thru the quick link, install the wire on one end (crimp it just like you would a pull pull ruder cable) and install on one end, then put a quick link on the other end, run the wire thru it, pull some tension and crimp it, not too bad, turn the adjuster link into the quick link until the wire is tightend up, you want some tension, BUT NOT guitar string tight!! Once all the wires are installed, take some thick CA and put it on the threads of the adjuster link where it meets the quick link, then spray it with kicker, that will stop the link from loosening, and can break loose should you need to adjust it later.
ONE THING I DID DIFFERENT,, I did not like the way the quick link lined up on the bottom of the fuselage, So I did not use it, instead I ran the cable directly into the bracket and crimped, TO adjust I had to remove the quick link from the other end, and turn then re-install until I was happy with the tension.
ANTOHER THING I DID DIFFERENT, I used small sections of tubing on the quick links to stop them from spreading and opening , THE PLANE DOES NOT COME WITH THE TUBING,, I had plenty laying around in my build box, so I used it. That's it for the tail wires

REAR TAIL WHEEL,, it goes in pretty easy, the main hole for the bracket is already in the fuselage, You jus push it in the hole, remove it, then put some thin CA in the hole,, then re-install it, straighten it up with the center of the fuse, then install the two clamp brackets with screws,, then remove the brackets and screws, and put some thin CA in the the holes, and re-install the brackets and screws. The T-Bar on the rudder, is the same way, put it in place, install it, then remove it and DEFINATELY PUT SOME THIN CA in the holes,, the wood where it mounts is thin and soft, you want the CA to get in there and harden everything up so the screw can bite into it. I am leaving the springs off until the model is done, Since I am moving it around a lot, I do not want to stretch them.

That's it for now...
Aug 09, 2013, 09:41 AM
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OK , I had a little bit of time So I decided to install the servo for the elevator and rudder in the tail of the plane,,
HERE is where I break from tradition,, I do not like using servo extensions, I have had them cause me many problems,, when I have a long run what I do is lengthen the wires, I buy bulk servo wire, and cut and solder what I need on it, Heat shrinking all the connections when done, this way has NEVER failed me.
Here is where you need to get ready to spend some more money,, I happen to have some good servos from other planes,here at the house, so they cost nothing on this build,, However I will include the price to the total, because the servos are not free..
here is what I am using
AILERON: HITEC 7955TG 333 oz. at 6v .15 sec 104$ each

Flaps : SOLAR D4772 368oz. at 6v .20 sec
these are cheapo servos but have proven them selves to me in another plane so I trust them to control the flaps,,,, 25$ each

Rudder :Hitec 5945MG 181 oz. at 6v .13 sec 85$

Elevator :HITEC 7954SH 333 oz. at 6v .15 sec 100$

Throttle :HITEC 5645mg 168 oz. at 6v .18 sec 50$

I lengthened the servo connections for the rudder and elevator, and installed them, using thin CA in the mounting holes..
plane 540
engine 270
servos 493
Aug 09, 2013, 09:46 AM
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FlyawayClyde's Avatar
Neat build, Subscribed.....

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