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Feb 11, 2002, 05:51 PM
Registered User

Clancy Turbo Bee

Just wanted everyone to know the Turbo Bee from Clancy is here and will be shippable tomorrow.

I know many people have been interested in this plane and we just wanted you all to know it is here.

check out clancy's website for Clancy Aircraft Info.


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Feb 11, 2002, 07:16 PM
Registered User
tekochip's Avatar
I've been waitin' for this one, now I have to spend some money.
Feb 11, 2002, 07:48 PM
Senior Member
Paul Penney's Avatar
jeez wheres that classic "school bus" bee look were all used too
Feb 18, 2002, 11:00 AM
Ahhgh! Not ANOTHER new plane!
SoCalBobS's Avatar
Picked up a Turbo Bee kit at the San Diego Mid-Winter Electrics. (Clancy was there, I got him to autograph the canopy.)

This is not a beginner's kit. it goes together logically if you have built before, but the instructions are minimal. Assembly uses a lot of paper and cardboard.

No motor, no altered prop.

If anyone's watching this thread and wants more detail, let me know.
Feb 18, 2002, 02:57 PM
Ahhgh! Not ANOTHER new plane!
SoCalBobS's Avatar
I was asked how to make the cut down prop:

I talked to Andy Clancy about this. He says make a rough cut on the propellor, then place it on your motor. Put the motor in a vise, connect up a battery and spin the prop. Take a file and hold it at the right distance, and you will get an even cut-down. There is a wood disk in the kit, used to position the motor inside the tube, that you can use as guide.

I tried it on a spare propellor, just for practice. It works fine.

I'm going to cover mine in Oracover Aluminum on top, white on the bottom, and put USA Stars & Bars military insignia on it...
Feb 18, 2002, 08:52 PM
Ahhgh! Not ANOTHER new plane!
SoCalBobS's Avatar
Ok, the next step; the motor mount:

Instructions have you wrap the motor in brown grocery bag paper to make a tube, then glue three pieces of scrap balsa connecting the motor tube with the tunnel walls.

Clancy told me to glue the motor to the motor tube.

That's pretty lame, so I wrapped the motor in 1/64th plywood sheeting to make a tube, then put a plywood disk at the end of the tube to keep the motor from sliding out.

I used the balsa scraps as directed. there is no template, so one has to measure by hand. It came out ok, thanks to a couple of drafting triangles I use.

The assembly is meant to be glued in the tunnel. If one does this, the motor cannot come out, as one has to put on the prop adapter before installing the assembly in the tunnel. One couldn't replace the motor, either.

Instead, I will make three little plates with slots in them, on the tunnel wall, that the balsa braces can slide into from the rear. That way, the assembly can be pulled out backwards, but can't go forwards. The actual placement will be almost the last step in construction, because teh motor placement is variable, and I will use it to set the CG correctly.

My next problem will be to figure out how to configure the motor leads so I can connect and disconnect the motor while it is in the tunnel.

By the way, the 6V Speed 400 with the cut down prop pulls around 13 amps at max off an 8 cell 500 mah battery, so a 15 amp ESC is needed. This isn't mentioned in the instructions.

Mike Greenshields:

Are you monitoring this thread? It may be valuable when these kits become more common, or when you ARF it.


Let me know if this helps you at all...
Last edited by SoCalBobS; Feb 18, 2002 at 11:44 PM.
Feb 18, 2002, 08:59 PM
Registered User
I'm watching in fascination. Most people just do not get the kits built so soon after purchasing them. I'm still cleaning off my planes from the dust/rain storms of sat and sun at MWE and you've already 1/2 finished the plane!

Anyway, looks like there will be a simple addendum thrown into the box to address some of the issues you've raised. As for ARF, we'll address all that stuff. Of course, alignment won't be a problem since the factory will do it.

Feb 18, 2002, 10:50 PM
Registered User
Don Sims's Avatar
How about some picts if you have the chance to show us some of the things you are talking about?? Thanks!!
Feb 18, 2002, 11:42 PM
Ahhgh! Not ANOTHER new plane!
SoCalBobS's Avatar

Were you at the MWE HP booth? Or a participant? I finally left on Sunday when it began to rain.

The TB is a very simply designed kit, and goes together well, notwithstanding the crude instructions. I did test-run the motor-stator assembly in the tube and got a lot of good air out the back! I'm sure it will fly.

I would definitely mention Andy's tip on how to make the fan propellor. Without it, I would have probably ruined a couple of props and still not gotten a good result. I have about 1/8" or less clearance between the prop tips and the tunnel wall. Andy said the closer the better, but he had even more space on his at the show.

Another thing; I found the interior diameter of the last fuselage former ring to be tighter than the other rings. I had to sand it to get it on, which I didn't have to do for the other 3. Since this is laser cut, there might be a measurement error. I'd recommend checking another kit to see if it shows up there. It was like the ID of the former was the same ID as the tunnel tube, not the OD as it should be.


Wish I had a digital camera. I see them used a lot on this forum. Maybe I'll have to get one.

My building will slow down tomorrow - work, y'know! Just one more item:

The drop-off landing gear looks like it oughta work, but I see a tip I can pass along there too. The key feature of the LG is to be able to drop off cleanly as the plane rises. The slightest bind will keep it from falling off, and therefore stopping any ROG. As I fly ALL my planes ROG, I want to make sure this works.

(ROG is essential for test flights. If it doesn't have enough power to lift off the ground, it's not gonna fly real well. Also, any control glitches - mixed up controls, bad trim, are less fatal at 0 feet than at 6 feet from a throw launch.)

Anyway, the LG has two wire pins that point straight up, fitting into guide slots in the fuselage. However, as the plane starts to rise, the wires can jam in the holes. A teeny tiny backward curve in these pins makes the LG fall out clean.

Lastly, the instructions recommend locking the wheels onto the axle, so they don't roll independently. This is supposed to keep it rolling straight during ROG. I don't know if this is critical or not, since the rudder is active on the plane, and it controls a steerable tail skid. That's something for me to think about in the future.

That's all for now..
Feb 19, 2002, 09:29 AM
Senior Member
cbosch_us's Avatar
I got a TurboBee pre-release kit from Andy several weeks ago. Got it framed up and then lost interest and haven't worked on it for awhile. Andy says he had a specially made paper tube made for the Bee by one of the rocket companies. It's nicely made, but he suggested that I could save about 1/2 oz by making a tube out of 1/32 inch balsa. I didn't think the tube was that heavy until I weighed it! The paper tube was nearly 1.5 oz! So... I wrapped the paper tube with saran wrap and layed up a carbon fiber/aramid hybrid fabric overlay using epoxy resin and removed all excess resin with toilet paper. After it cured, it was slightly over 1/2 oz, so I saved nearly 1 oz in the process.

As for the motor mount, since my tube was slightly larger now, I mounted the motor using the recommended method, but glued it into a short piece of the original paper tube. Now I can slip the paper tube motor assy inside the composite fuselage tube. This works nice and I recommend it. Perhaps those who will be using the stock paper fuselage tube can find or make a similar ring to snuggly fit inside the fuselage for use as a motor mount.

The plans on this plane are pretty sketchy. Mine was a bit difficult to assemble since it was a pre-release kit and the laser cut pieces were not marked. Trying to figure out which fuselage longerons and formers when where was tricky and I even botched it and had to go see Andy for an extra former. This shouldn't be a problem with the released kit since the parts are supposed to be laser marked so one can identify them with the drawings, which are pretty poor sketches.

The wings build fast as other Clancy designs I've built.

Since my kit didn't have a canopy, I am planning to vacuum form my own using something similar to a GeeBee. That's about where my assy got stalled. I will also need to make an inlet cowling since the vacuum formed parts were not included in my pre-release kit. Another reason for holding up the assy.

Question: the kit recommends installing the electric motor as a pusher. Why? If a gas motor is used, it's installed as a tractor. I am wondering why the pusher configuration was specified. Seems that most ducted fans are mounted in tractor configuation and it just looks better to me that way. Opinions?

Feb 19, 2002, 11:25 AM
Registered User
Andy will be in this week so I will ask him some of these questions.

As to the wheels, as Andy explained it the plane was pretty hard to take off until he made the axle live and the wheels locked on the axle.

When Andy flew it this last weekend, it seemed that the plane took off with no problem and the wheels dropped away without any difficulty. Seemed ok.

Yes, I was there Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Spent most of the time in booth because I didn't want to fly and take a turn away from others who had come a long way to fly in the event.

Feb 19, 2002, 12:51 PM
Senior Member
cbosch_us's Avatar
I think you will find that without using a live axle arrangement, the plane will ground loop pretty bad. It's very short coupled and there is no airflow over the rudder from the prop. Andy mentioned that is was easier to keep straight with the solid axle.

Feb 19, 2002, 08:03 PM
Ahhgh! Not ANOTHER new plane!
SoCalBobS's Avatar
Cool - some activity on this thread!

Y'all are probably right about the live axle - guess I'll make it that way.

Regarding the backward motor - Andy had his facing back - I asked him why and he said he thought it looked better. A consideration; if the motor is "timed", facing it backward would make it less efficient. Mine's probably gonna face forwards, unless someone comes up with a good reason why not. Cooling airflow would be better in a front facing motor.

I think I will use the Jeti 140C ESC. It can handle the load the motor will generate, and it is a bolt on extension of the motor cylinder - sorta elegant, n'est ce pas?

I couldn't find a mention of how the wing rubber band system works in the instructions - any comments?

Ok, a motor question: both the Speed 400 6v and the 400 7.2v fit in the plane. The instructions recommend the 6v. Which would be better, given the same battery pack? I'm going to use an 8 cell 500 mah pack (the Zagi battery). What advantage would the 7.2 give me? Higher peak power but less runtime, or what?

Mike - maybe you sold me the Turbo Bee - I was in the yellow cap and yellow fleece windbreaker...
Feb 19, 2002, 08:55 PM
Registered User
could have been me. I was the short guy covered in dust from all the cars driving by!

I think 6V is a better choice for this application. You need RPM and the 6v on 8 cells will rev higher.

I'm not sure about the rubberband thing either. Something else to ask Andy about...

Feb 20, 2002, 12:49 AM
Registered User
Gerry Markgraf's Avatar
Here is a picture of the Master himself adjusting his Turbo Bee. I bought the first Turbo Bee off Hobby People at the show. I stood there and pestered them until they found a cash box to put my money in. Alas, the job of cleaning accumulated grime off my Lazy Bees and Speedy Bee has kept me from starting the kit. The tips on building are very valuable. Thanks guys.

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