Fly Model 50cc Slick 540 with Carbon Fiber Upgrades - Build from A to Z - RC Groups
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Aug 08, 2014, 12:09 AM
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Build Log

Fly Model 50cc Slick 540 with Carbon Fiber Upgrades - Build from A to Z


My new 50cc plane arrived via FedEx around 8:00pm last night in the middle of a thunderstorm.

Nestled inside the rain speckled shipping container was my new Yellow/Black scheme Fly Model Slick 540.

This thread will chronicle my build.





Specifications:
  • Wing span: 88 in / 2235mm
  • Wing area: 1465 sq in / 94.5 sq dm
  • Flying weight: 16-17lb/7200-7700g
  • Fuselage length: 82 in / 2080 mm
  • Engine Required: Gas 50-55cc
  • Radio Required: 6 channels, 5-6 servos
Features:
  • Removable stab
  • Ringed cowl
  • Adjustable push rods
  • Canister tunnel
  • Aluminum wing tubes and anodized aluminum landing gear
  • Anodized aluminum servo arm extensions
  • Pre-drilled hinges
  • Complete hardware package
I also got the following OPTIONAL upgrades with my plane:
  • Carbon Fiber Main Wing Tube
  • Carbon Fiber Main Landing Gear
  • 3.5" Carbon Fiber Spinner
  • 3.75" Aluminum Hub PU Rubber Main Wheels
So let's get to "What's in the box" by taking a look inside. And now, the unboxing...

JC

ps - I will edit and update this post and thread as the build progresses. Don't forget to subscribe.
Last edited by JC Spohr; Dec 08, 2015 at 07:39 PM.
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Aug 08, 2014, 12:15 AM
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Component Specs


Component Specs - see attachments:

Plane Components 1
Total airframe weight and individual airframe component weights in grams and ounces. Weights provided for ARF as received and with optional upgraded parts I am using for my build.

Plane Components 2
Total weight of airframe based on various engine choices with servo and other components as a constant.

Engine choice - DLE-55RA with DLE header & canister

Prop choice - Xoar 23x8 Carbon Fiber


I plan to use the following components:
  • Digital Servos - five (5) XQ-4020D on flight surfaces and one (1) BMS-621DMG+HS for throttle
  • Batteries - RedwingRC LiFe 2S 6.6v 2 x 2100mah
  • Power Distribution - RCCSKJ Power Expander and Soft Switch
  • Fuel Access - McFueler Fuel Dot
  • Servo Accessories - RedwingRC Aluminum Servo Circle Arms w/ Carbon Fiber servo arm extensions
My component selections should put me around 15 pounds AUW dry weight.



JC
Last edited by JC Spohr; Aug 08, 2014 at 11:52 PM.
Aug 08, 2014, 12:15 AM
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Build Photos


The photo descriptions provide commentary for that photo & step of the build.

I will update this post in sections as the build progresses.


Stay tuned for more...

JC



Air Flow - Engine Mount - Cowl Cutting - Canister Mount

I started my build doing the hardest and most time consuming part of this project - mounting the engine and cutting the cowl. To begin, I opened the bottom of the canister tunnel to provide hot air exits. Then I mounted the motor and cut the cowling for clearance. Last part of this step was to install the canister mount.


Main Wing Trailing Edge Pieces

The wing halves come with the inboard area adjacent to the ailerons removed so that the wings are narrower at the root and the shipping container is more compact. These trailing edge pieces are tabbed and keyed for a good mechanical joint when they are glued to the wing halves. I used Titebond II to glue the pieces to the wing halves. I applied enough glue that it would squeeze out all the way around the joint and required wiping the excess ooze. This provides for maximum contact and gap filling.


Canister Tunnel Finished - Covering Gone Over - Ready For Hinging

Finished up the canister tunnel by locating and making a hole in front of the landing gear plate and behind the cowl. After making the hole, I doubled it up on the inside by adding a 1/32" piece of plywood. I dressed the edges of the cut hole with a black sharpie to hide the bare wood edges and then sealed it all with a couple coats of polyurethane for fuel proofing. Then I went over every inch of the aircraft with my covering iron to make sure there were no loose covering areas. I'm pleased to say that the factory covering job was excellent. I was only able to tighten the covering in a couple places on the wings in the aileron counterbalance pockets and slightly at the wing roots. Next up in the build... hinging the control surfaces.


Hinging Complete - Wings/Ailerons - Horizontal Stabs/Elevators - Vertical Stab/Rudder - Control Horns Installed

I installed the flight surfaces (ailerons, elevators, rudder) to their respective mates (wings, horz stabs, vertical stab). To do this, I first roughed up the hinge points with coarse sand paper, then I soaked them in alcohol for a few minutes before a final cleaning with soap and water. Next I test fit each surface with its mate. Everything fit as it should so I removed all of the hinge points and applied a drop of ultra-light oil to the hinge pin of each hinge and worked the oil in for a few seconds. Then I dabbed off any excess oil. I then glued the surfaces to their mates using Titebond II (a waterproof Aliphatic) glue. I let each piece set for 30 minutes and then checked for binding. I checked every 30 minutes or so for a couple hours just to be safe.

Next I took a ball link and screw to help align the control horns while gluing them into the control surfaces using Titebond II glue. Next I took the two yellow and two black pieces of covering material that was included in the hardware pack and ironed it on over the top and bottom joints where the wing trailing edge pieces were glued to the wings in an earlier step. This really hides the mating gap between the wing and the trailing edge pieces. There was a small square of covering material trimmed off from each of the trailing edge joints and I applied those last pieces on the top of the ailerons and elevators where the factory had cut the control horn slots thru the top of the control surfaces. Like the wing/trailing edge pieces, this hides the top slots very nicely. See photos added below.

Note on control horns - I first sanded all of the control horns on both sides. Then soaked in an alcohol bath to removed any mold release agent. Next, I used a sharpie marker to black them out. They now look like carbon fiber. I prefer black control horns over the natural yellow/tan color of the fiberglass control horns.


Servos Installed on Flight Surfaces

All servos and control rods have been installed on the ailerons, elevators and rudder. The supplied turnbuckles are 40mm in length. I replaced them with 55mm x 4-40 turnbuckles as I like a little more rod threaded into the ball links.


Power Box Pro, Receiver, Throttle Servo Location, and Carbon Fiber Tail Wheel Assembly Installed

I installed the Power Box Pro behind the wing tube. The I mounted my Spektrum AR9020 receiver and connected it to the corresponding channels leads on the Power Box Pro. All tested good. The CDI remote control and OLED display on the Power Box Pro are very nice features.

I relocated the throttle servo to the side of the original location in the floor of the motor box. This was done because I am running the rear exhaust DLE-55RA engine and the bottom of the throttle servo would have been 1/2" away from the hot header. I plan to add a small angled heat shield between the header pipe and the servo's new location for a little extra protection from direct heat.

Finally, I installed a carbon fiber tail wheel assembly instead of the stock metal assembly. Weight savings of more than 30 grams (1+ oz) over the stock tail wheel assembly.


Power (on/off) Switch, CDI Ignition, Ignition LED, Fuel Tank and McFueler Fuel Dot Installed

I installed the Fourtitude 16 oz fuel tank, routed and connected the fuel, fill, and vent lines. I chose a McFueler fuel dot because IMHO, they are the best on the market. Very light weight, screws in without need for a tool or dime and the swivel keeps the line from twisting. Did I mention it holds the fill line securely but it's easy to insert/remove the fuel line.

Next I mounted the CDI ignition on a small block of foam using nylon ties. Cable wrap and a rubber grommet passes the wiring into the motor box while protecting them from abrasion.

Next I located the on/off switch at the rear trailing edge of the right wing. Fly Model has provided four (4) possible mounting locations for both small and large switches. The pre-cut locations are at the front and rear of each wing root. Use a sharp X-Acto knife to remove the covering where you want your switch. See photos below.

Last, I added some wood at the front left wing root on the fuselage, drilled a hole, and installed an LED to indicate when the CDI ignition is armed.


Batteries Mounted, Wiring Clean Up, Recheck CG, and Final Check

I mounted the two LiFe batteries on top of the engine box just in front of the main firewall. They're Velcro'ed and strapped to keep them securely in place. I had to make two 12" XT60 power extensions to connect the Power Box and batteries. I tie wrapped and the wiring to keep the wire tidy and flop free. Rechecked the CG and it is dead on 5 7/8". The only thing I didn't do is check the maximum throws on the flight surfaces. I'll do that at the field before the maiden flight. Also, I did run up the engine and burn half a tank of fresh pre-mix thru it. Engine hasn't been run in about a year. Idle set around 1600 rpm and full throttle was right at 7000 rpm with the Xoar CF 23x8. Check out the last seven pics below.
Last edited by JC Spohr; Sep 13, 2014 at 09:57 PM.
Aug 08, 2014, 12:16 AM
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Flight Report


--- Flight Report ---

Maiden flight completed!

CG set to 5 7/8" and control surface throws set per the instruction manual recommendations except for ailerons which were dialed down from 45* to 37*.

The maiden flight itself was intentionally dull and uneventful. Several people asked me if I was going to behave or "fly it like a foamie". I thought it prudent to take it easy and just trim it out before doing anything gutsy. Anyway, a few clicks of trim here and there and it flew just fine. That was the extent of the maiden - no 3D - just a few rolls to check responsiveness.

1st pass for landing showed that it was a floater so I went around. 2nd pass was slower and longer approach. Landed run in front of me (1/2 field) and roll out was long due to a high idle. She kept going, and going, and going... toward the corn... I was thinking too fast to turn - not yet - wait - then it happened... my brain said turn now and the corn jumped out and grabbed the plane as it rolled along the ground.

Bottomline - broken left wheel pant and dinged up right wing leading edge.

So I need to ditch the right wheel pant and go sans wheel pants or get another. I have decided it is time to call Yong at rcjetsworld.com and see if I can get a spare set.

Last item is to open the covering and perform some surgery to the right wing to fix the leading edge.

As they say... stuff happens!

Overall, I am very pleased with the plane and can't wait to get it back in the air to see how it 3D's.

Unfortunately a busy work and family schedule for the next 2 weeks is going to delay it.
Last edited by JC Spohr; Sep 15, 2014 at 10:32 PM.
Aug 08, 2014, 11:55 PM
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Post #2 - Component Specs has been updated with data.

See attached photos.

PM me if you'd like the spreadsheet for your own use.

JC
Aug 12, 2014, 07:06 PM
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Jetpainter's Avatar
Is it done yet, is it done yet, is it done yet?

It sure sounds like that thing is going to be lite. The 55 should throw it around with authority.

I've got three digital scales I can bring out to the field to weigh the finished product when your done. If it comes in at your expected weight that would make it 2.5 pounds lighter than my Edge.

Doug
Aug 13, 2014, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetpainter
Is it done yet, is it done yet, is it done yet?

It sure sounds like that thing is going to be lite. The 55 should throw it around with authority.

I've got three digital scales I can bring out to the field to weigh the finished product when your done. If it comes in at your expected weight that would make it 2.5 pounds lighter than my Edge.

Doug
It's good to have friends that encourage your build... for some reason I am having flash backs to family road trips with 3 kids in the car... are we there yet?

I have a feeling it will gain 4-8 ounces during the build but I will still be very pleased. My Sbach 342 came in around 17 pounds. If this comes in at 15.5 then I am still 1.5 pounds lighter. I will be very pleased if it does... and I think I will.
Aug 13, 2014, 12:33 AM
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Build Photos - Post #3 updated.

Add photos and commentary for Air Flow - Engine Mount - Cowl Cutting - Canister Mount

I am really liking the way this build is progressing.

Subscribe and stay tuned...

JC
Aug 13, 2014, 07:13 AM
*It Ain't Lookin Good*
olezippi's Avatar
Can you show pics of the trailing edge of the wing at the root. I'd like to see just how it looks after that piece is attached? Also, can you show pics of the top of the control surfaces where the holes go all the way through? Thanks.
Aug 13, 2014, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olezippi
Can you show pics of the trailing edge of the wing at the root. I'd like to see just how it looks after that piece is attached? Also, can you show pics of the top of the control surfaces where the holes go all the way through? Thanks.
Sure thing.

I'll be starting on control surfaces soon - maybe this evening.

JC
Aug 13, 2014, 10:54 PM
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Build Photos - Post #3 updated.

Added photos and commentary for Wing Trailing Edge Pieces

Subscribe and stay tuned...

JC
Aug 15, 2014, 12:54 AM
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Build Photos - Post #3 updated.

Added photos and commentary for Canister Tunnel Finished - Covering Gone Over - Ready For Hinging

If you are subscribed and following this thread, drop a "sub'ed" post in here so I know you're out there.

Hinging is next up...

JC
Aug 15, 2014, 01:55 AM
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Looking good Chris the Reverend will be pleased
Aug 16, 2014, 11:24 PM
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Build Photos - Post #3 updated.

Added photos and commentary for Hinging Complete - Wings/Ailerons - Horizontal Stabs/Elevators - Vertical Stab/Rudder - Control Horns Installed

Electronics installation is next up...

JC
Aug 17, 2014, 06:12 PM
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tailskid2's Avatar
Question JC, did you get servo arms (metal) included with your kit? I got them on mine and I'm not quite sure how they want them mounted....so this is what I came up with:


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