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Feb 17, 2016, 09:10 AM
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Stevens Aeromodel micro S-Pou!


Surprised myself just now realizing I hadn't created a thread for my micro S-Pou! model. This is the first Stevens Aeromodel kit I ever built and was purchased by Dad at the Toledo RC show in 2010. It was chosen for the unique look to the original design. Why share now? Because during January 2016 I completed a refresh of my S-Pou! And after 5 and one half years of use (and survival) it was entitled

Unfortunately the flying stabilizer of the original design results is a very pitch sensitive (unstable) aircraft. Flown too fast or in a bit of wind and it would porpoise dramatically. I also found my S-Pou! to turn poorly to the right, with a resistance to the rudder command. It would start the turn just fine, then partway along would rock hard to the left and then resume turning to the right.

I adjusted what could be trimmed with the airplane from summer of 2010 to 2012 and was to the point of either retiring the design out of frustration, or cutting into the aircraft and making drastic changes to the design in hopes of a fine flyer. As seen in the photos I reworked it! Glad I did as it is a very pleasing flyer now.

Summary of my redesigning:
a) Added plywood to the wing support tower to reposition the pivot point toward the tail. This provided a more forward CG and greater pitch stability. This is the first thing I tried to help control the porpoising. Helped a little but not nearly enough.

b) Replaced lifting (under cambered) stabilizer with flat foam. I used the original rudder shape as a reference pattern for this.

c) Greatly enlarged the fin and rudder. They needed to be taller, and not longer, to tame the wing rocking during turns. I spent much time over the summer of 2012 doing trial and error with different shapes and sizes.

d) Increased the throw to the 'elevator' control by repositioning the control rod at the wing support. Nice to be able to loop it now after a shallow dive, or simply turn tighter with a bank-n-yank.

e) Covered the open-fuselage bottom with foam. This was strictly done to lessen drag in flight. The foam piece over the battery and brick compartment is hinged with tape and held closed with a magnet and metal nail. Goal achieved as several flights of 20 minutes have happened during sunny days with light thermals!

f) Covered the wing fully with Aerolite. This just happened for the January 2016 refresh. Before that the wing was painted black on top and had a fabric covering in red glued to the balsa covering the ribs. Looked OK at the time for my first attempt. Since that effort I discovered the lightweight shrink coverings. So I cut that fabric covering off, sanded off the glue residue, and let the red Aerolite try to hide the original black paint. I guess it looks better now. Changing the wing from under cambered to flat bottom didn't hurt the flying at all. I have found this same truth with other Stevens Aeromodel kits too; such as my Micro-Max 100 and Rockette 100.

g) Added a few stickers to the sides for the heck of it. It is a build refresh afterall

- Curt
Last edited by CorvetteC5; Feb 17, 2016 at 10:51 AM.
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Feb 17, 2016, 11:16 AM
Way to much free time!
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Dug up several images of my micro S-Pou! on RCGroups from June 2010 to July 2012 that are from before my latest refreshing. Gives one an idea of how far it has come over the years and the journey it took!

This thread is where I shared them originally on pages 1 and 2:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=1202725

There is also quite a bit of text there that goes along with them.

- Curt
Last edited by CorvetteC5; Feb 19, 2016 at 12:16 PM.
Apr 16, 2019, 05:01 AM
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Flying Video!


Flown on December 16, 2018 at the St. Francis School in Traverse City, Michigan.

Stevens Aeromodel micro S-Pou! RC airplane (4 min 4 sec)


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