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Sep 09, 2015, 08:14 PM
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Build Log

Peter Rake Micro Aeronca Defender


Greetings All

Recently Peter rake has been asking for people to built up prototypes of a number of micro designs he has been working on. Being a fan of all things Aeronca and having built his larger Defender a number of years ago, I put my name in the queue for the micro Defender and Peter said go ahead.

The plane is designed around the 3 or 4 channel brick systems that are used in many of the foam micro models that have become extremely popular today. The Defender will be powered using the Parkzone micro P-51 motor/gearbox unit and the 3 channel Parkzone brick. Single cell LiPo of 150 mah size give or take.

The plans and laser cut bits were ordered and delivered promptly from Charlie and Vicki at Manzano Laser. As modelers were are so fortunate to have people like Peter and Charlie/Vicki to supply us with out needs!!

Design is simple. Two sheets of 1/16" balsa parts and a sheet of 1/32" aircraft ply make up all the glue-able bits.

I started on the wings as that was the plan sheet that I picked up first. TE is stripped from a piece of 1/16" balsa, LE from some 1/8" balsa. Design calls for a spar made from 1/16" x 3/16" basswood which I did not have available so I made the spar from a piece of 1/16" x 1/8" bass and some 1/16" balsa glued and sanded together. Worked out fine.

Pinned the TE down, added and glued up the tip and pinned the spar in place using several of the ribs to space things properly. Added and glued all the ribs in place using the provided root rib gauge to set the root rib for the proper dihedral. The panel is sheeted between R1 and R2 using some 1/32" balsa. Glued the LE in place, popped the panel off the building board and sanded the LE and tip to shape. Probably took about 45 minutes to build while stripping pieces from balsa sheets and watching the ball game. Left panel is complete except for two dowel pins that get glued to R1 that index into holes in the fuselage side at the cabin.

Started on the second panel also but called it quits when my eyes started acting up. Time for bed.

Hope to have the Defender framed up quickly but this is my busy time at work so it may be a bit sporadic. Will try to get her nailed together as quickly as I can.

Couple of pictures follow.

Brian

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Sep 09, 2015, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Allen
Hope to have the Defender framed up quickly but this is my busy time at work so it may be a bit sporadic. Will try to get her nailed together as quickly as I can
Looking good Brian,
Dont use too many nails, they get heavy fast

Mat
Sep 10, 2015, 10:25 AM
Registered User
T pins are fairly Brutal implements to pierce a small models' fragile wood bits.
Sep 10, 2015, 02:40 PM
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Greetings All

Finished up the right wing panel this afternoon after I got home from work. man am I beat!!

Started working on the horizontal stab. Stripped up some 1/32" sheet to make the lamination's. I set a bunch of T pins on the inside contour and then wrap the lamination's around them. Too lazy to make up a bowing pattern from foam core board or whatever. Have been doing the T pin trick for years, works fine. I make the lamination's a bit wider than required to allow for some sanding. All glued up with Sigbond sandable glue. Letting things dry now, when dried will pop it off the board and finish sand. Then make the two elevators.

Brian

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I came I saw I flew
Last edited by Brian Allen; Jun 19, 2018 at 05:53 PM.
Sep 13, 2015, 07:08 PM
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Did a bit more work today. Got the stab all finished up and sanded and then built up the elevators. Used a piece of 1/16" carbon fiber rod I had laying around as the elevator joiner. Got the elevators sanded also. I then framed out the vertical fin and sanded that also.

Left the camera downstairs so I will post some pics tomorrow. Just too tired to go downstairs.

Put the two wing panels, stab and elevator and fin on the digital scale for C's and G's. 6 gms at this point, about .2 oz for us standard units people!!

Brian

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I came I saw I flew
Sep 14, 2015, 10:06 AM
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Greetings All

As promised a few pictures from yesterdays work.

One thing to note on the horizontal stab and elevators are a few extra diagonals. I add those on these small models as they help me when covering to avoid the dreaded pretzelitis. Just something I like to do. The framework as designed is fine for this type of model but my ham handedness gets in the way sometimes so I do this to help myself out!!

Brian

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I came I saw I flew
Sep 14, 2015, 09:01 PM
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Greetings All

Framed up and sanded the rudder today so the wings and tail feathers are done for the moment.

Started working on the right fuselage side. Got it all framed up. Used 1/16" sq basswood for the balsa pieces. I can break 1/16" sq by just looking at them and it annoys the daylights out of me when I have to repair broken pieces, particularly after the model is done and covered. So for the slight weight penalty I will go with the slightly more robust framing pieces. This is my modification based on my modeling ham handedness so for the rest of you with softer hands, good medium to hard balsa is fine. Particularly with the arthritic conditions in my fingers, it is difficult to hold things gently!!

I also added a few diagonals to stiffen the side frame up a bit. When I took it off the board to do some fine sanding it felt very wobbly to me. Once it is all tied together with the rest of the fuselage pieces it will be fine, just did not want to break it before that stage!!

Next step is to frame up the left side directly on top of the right side to make sure they are identical. Then we can start making a fuselage out of the bits and pieces!!!

Brian

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Sep 15, 2015, 01:12 AM
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Brian,
Coming along nicely mate. I'm a little concerned that the bass and extra pieces will push the weight up (it isn't the biggest wing on this model), but time will tell. As long as you end up below 2 ounces it should be okay - the further below the better.
I can sympathise with the hand thing. I have a trapped radial nerve in my left arm and the two last fingers on that hand are pretty numb. It was murder until I got used to it, either not hold tight enough and drop stuff, or risk crushing delicate parts. Just couldn't be sure how hard I was gripping the parts.

Pete
Sep 15, 2015, 02:13 PM
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Peter

Thanks for the note. Hope all is well over your side of the pond.

Finger issues get to be a real problem. Major issue I have is that I can only hold things for a short period of time before the thumb and adjacent fingers first start to cramp and then go numb. A real problem in that I sometimes can not tell how much pressure I am putting on something I am trying to hold. Makes fine sanding and similar very challenging at times!!!!!

As far as using bass vs balsa and adding the extra diagonals I am not too concerned about weight issues. At this point the two wing panels, the tail pieces and the fuselage side are less than 7 grams. Figure everything together will be in the 10 gram range so all is good. Making handling and covering a bit easier for these old hands makes my day brighter. Although I might sub out the covering job to my flying buddy Ron who is better at this than I am. We shall see.

Hope to get the second side framed up tonight so I can start assembling the fuselage tomorrow.

Then I need to find the drive unit and electronic brick in the tame black hole I call a workshop!!

Brian

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I came I saw I flew
Last edited by Brian Allen; Jun 19, 2018 at 05:54 PM.
Sep 15, 2015, 05:44 PM
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Ordered up a drive unit for the Defender today. Could not find the spare one I thought I had in the shop. Oh well, it should be here in a few days. Did find the brick so there is hope!!

Brian

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I came I saw I flew
Sep 15, 2015, 08:43 PM
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Worked on the fuselage tonight while watching the ball game.

Framed up the left side and got it sanded smooth. I then pinned the right side down to the plan and started adding the cabin area formers F3 to F5. They are all the same width so some CA and a small triangle had then glued to the right fuselage side in a few minutes. Then I glued the left side in place after checking with the triangle to make sure it was aligned properly with the right side. Popped the unit off the board, added the cross pieces at the rear and the tail mount and ran a straightedge down the centerline to check and make sure we did not have a case of the dreaded bananaitis. All looked good.

Spent a few minutes sanding and smoothing the frame out. Did a trial fit of the wings and it looked good. Put all the built up frames and the remaining parts not yet glued in place on the scale and we are at about 14 to 15 grams. So it looks good so far.

Need to bend up some landing gear and get the gear and the landing gear plate glued in place. Then I can get the nose former and motor mount and nose block in place and shaped etc.

Coming along.

Brian

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I came I saw I flew
Sep 16, 2015, 07:11 PM
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Greetings All

Fiddled a bit with the Defender while I did some repair work on another airframe. Added the upper cabin former F5/F5A which spans the upper cabin and the wing spar stubs glue up against which sets the wing dihedral. I also added a bit of velcro to the battery tray before I glue the landing gear and gear mount plate in place. Easier access at this time.

Need to scare up some appropriate music wire and bend up some landing gear. I am waiting for the motor/gearbox to arrive. Need that before I can get the motor mount plate and firewall in. far easier to do when the pieces are right in front of you instead of buried in an inch wide front end of a model!! Should arrive in a day or so. When I recieve it I will be able to get the front end all wrapped up.

Brian

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
Sep 17, 2015, 02:15 PM
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Greetings All

Did a bit of work on the Defender this afternoon. Have to wait for the motor/gearbox to arrive before I can do much more so there will a short hiatus while I wait for it. I also discovered that the brick I was going to use for this has been passed on to a friend for another project so I need to order a new one also. To the Internet!!

In any event, I bent up the main gear from some 1/32" music wire and soldered it together. I then glued it in place along with the 1/32" ply gear plate so that is all done up now. I also mounted the landing gear fairings to check their fit, etc. They won't be added permanently until the fuselage is covered.

Pinned the whole thing together for C's and G's. Weight at this point with all the remaining parts is about 16 grams.

Brian

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I came I saw I flew
Sep 18, 2015, 02:20 PM
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Ordered up a new brick today so when that and the motor/gearbox come in I will be able to get the fuselage completed. Need to start pondering covering and what to use. Any suggestions? For something this small I would think Solite etc wouldn't do, maybe tissue.

Brian

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I came I saw I flew
Sep 19, 2015, 03:54 AM
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Brian,
Lightweight tissue (Easaki) is what I use on this type of model. Other tissues work, of course, I just prefer to use something where I know what I'm getting and what results top expect.
Have a look at Tom's DH6 thread for other ideas. Some interesting stuff there.

Pete


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