Wee Devil powered free flight build - RC Groups
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Nov 25, 2013, 11:25 PM
Gasbags & Gussets
jswain's Avatar
Build Log

Wee Devil powered free flight build

After building some catapult launch gliders and p-30's earlier this year i wanted to try powered free flight. The new E36 event interests me so i decided to go with an "introductory" electric powered kit. This kit is the smaller (29")of two offered by Retro-RC.com and the 36" version has proven it's mettle at the AMA FF nats the past year or two.

A couple of points about this kit and retro-rc.com products -
- i have built the whole model as if it was a jigsaw puzzle, every single piece has fit perfectly, assembled 'free-form' style, and the wing,stab, rudder have come out 100% square and true
- I built the fuselage per plan- that said because the parts fit is so exact i trimmed the interlocking tabs with a swipe of sanding block to prevent stress due to tightness bending of the fuse.
- I spent a lot of time making sure the fuse was straight and there wasn't any tightness in the parts causing the dreaded peremenant bend. Mine turned out 99% straight and true with only about 1/16" off center alignment at the stab- thats good enough.
- wing halfs are joined with 1/16 wing wires through a pylon, i waited until the fuse was done and wing 99% done to do final wire joiner tubes and joiner alignement and final glue down. Again the alignment of the wings was excellent with no washin or wash out.
- This kit has all the bits and pieces to complete it, tissue, tubing, wire, DT cord, etc..... - one only needs a cox peewee .020 or electric motor/time/lipo to make it ready to fly. I am really impressed by this kit makers products.

As of today all the building has finished and the tissue covering was started late this afternoon. So far i would estimate about 12 hours has gone into this build with another 2 hours remaining for covering and another 2 to setup and test the final phase - the electric portion of the build.

Hopefully i can at least hand toss it by Friday - more to follow, i promise, john s.
Last edited by jswain; Nov 25, 2013 at 11:35 PM.
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Nov 26, 2013, 03:35 PM
Registered User
Norm Furutani's Avatar
Hi John

Looks good! Did you decide what kind of power? Keep us posted .

Nov 27, 2013, 09:15 PM
Gasbags & Gussets
jswain's Avatar

WeeDevil powertain

Hi Norm.

Good to hear from you and thanks again for sponsoring the 'Ike' in February, that is part of the reason i am doing this build.
To answer the question it is an electric motor with a 10amp HK esc. The only gasser motor i have left is a Cox Texaco 1/2 engine that hid from me, probably fearing for its life
Progress so far -

- Monday the uncovered airframe weight was 53 grams.
- Tuesday the tissue was layed on and shrunk for all surfaces.
- Wednesday i put 2~3 coats of 50/50 Brodak nitrate on all the tissue and covered/doped weight is now 58 grams.
This is about the same wight gain for my p30's
- Wednesday the HK electric motor/esc/timer/servo weight is 35 grams but more is expected with the 2s lipo/prop/prop-hub assy.

* good news - 'he can be taught!!' - i figured out how to setup the timer and make it work. I had the bmjr.com StoneAge e-36 timer for awhile and was kind of dreading this part of the build.

As it turns out with most things if one reads the manual twice,hooks it up, tests each of the two functions one at a time = it all turns out good and works as advertised. Just press one button after battery power is applied and when that button (pb1)released the motor goes to 100%. .

I still need to get a small toggle switch so i can hook up the 2s lipo to the time and *then* turn on the timer. The power on time has now been adjusted for 4 seconds and dt for @ 8 seconds. Out of the box it is ready to go with settings of 15seconds full power and 2 minutes for DT server(servo when activated goes from neutral to 90 degrees back to neutral - enough to release the dt release arm.
The project is getting closer to hand glide, this StoneAge timer setup and test was 100% new to me and i am glad it worked.

More to follow

Pictures of powertrain testing tonight -
Last edited by jswain; Nov 27, 2013 at 09:23 PM.
Nov 30, 2013, 12:11 AM
Gasbags & Gussets
jswain's Avatar

pruning and soldering wires..

Today's work was installing the stoneage timer (in the best fitting position) on the left side so it was easily seen with a right handed launch.

Esc wires were trimmed and resoldered into shorter lengths and each step was retested so i didn't get to far along with botched solder joint or other misstep.

Its easier to take one step forward, test, and go back if needed....

I don't think i will make the pie-in-the-sky hand glide tests this weekend and thats ok. It slows down the build and decision making process so mistakes made at home don't result in a canceled flying test after driving all the way to the field..

All considered i only have to secure the esc, somehow secure the 2s 350mah lipo, decide to use fuse dt or make a small 'quick' DT viscous timer for testing( poor planning on my part has left me wondering how to mount the DT servo thus the fuse DT option is in play), and tissue cover some or all the fuse.

All up weight so far is 127grams so maybe the low 130's are possible......

Last edited by jswain; Nov 30, 2013 at 12:21 AM.
Dec 14, 2013, 08:25 PM
Balsa Flies Better!
That looks nice- been kicking around something like that for RC. Don't have a decent FF field anywhere close- and this is a more convenient size than the Goldberg Viking I've got lying around.


Dec 15, 2013, 12:18 AM
Gasbags & Gussets
jswain's Avatar

your correct

Originally Posted by Megowcoupe
That looks nice- been kicking around something like that for RC. Don't have a decent FF field anywhere close- and this is a more convenient size than the Goldberg Viking I've got lying around.Thanks,Sam
Hi Sam.
retro-rc sells this as either a freeflight or 3ch rc model.

Here is the web link to the rc kit and link to youtube video.

Today was the first time since Thanksgiving week to work on it and it is almost done.

best wishes, john s.
Dec 16, 2013, 04:59 PM
Registered User
John Cole's Avatar
It looks great! And beautiful workmanship as always.
This design reminds me of a Kerswap a bit. Good luck with trimming!!

Dec 16, 2013, 10:01 PM
Balsa Flies Better!
Hi John

Thanks for the link. As an FYI- I've already ordered some kits from this company- discovered that the Phantom Flash (the 15" version) is not really kid friendly- didn't come with full size plans. Figured I'd try some of his stuff for me...I like the aesthetics of this one.

Jan 31, 2014, 12:11 PM
Registered User
Sonsight's Avatar
My Wee-Devil is sitting in a box, about 75% done. I gotta figure out how to be more gentle with the wing. I keep breaking the spars!
Feb 01, 2014, 02:57 AM
Gasbags & Gussets
jswain's Avatar

that makes two of us :)

Originally Posted by Sonsight
My Wee-Devil is sitting in a box, about 75% done. I gotta figure out how to be more gentle with the wing. I keep breaking the spars!
Mine is completely done, a couple weeks ago in fact, but either high winds or work have conspired lately to keep the WeeDevil in its anti-hanger rash storage box too

Now its rain and breezy this weekend....

Keep at the build, john s.
Sep 10, 2014, 11:37 AM
Registered User
Did you get to fly it yet?
Sep 10, 2014, 02:19 PM
Gasbags & Gussets
jswain's Avatar

sad to say

Originally Posted by BrianRickman
Did you get to fly it yet?
sad to say but no.
I have done hand glides to ensure the trim allows safe flight but not the next steps which would have been powered flight.
Unfortunately after finishing the model i spent next 4 months trying to do two peoples work, failed, had to quit work due to illness, then surgery , blah blah blah.....
Model is still ready to go but i'm not

Sep 10, 2014, 02:40 PM
Registered User
Sorry to hear it. I hope things get better for you soon.

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