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Oct 23, 2017, 01:21 AM
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Build Log

Guppy 1.5m glider scratch build

I have recently bought a Bird of Time kit, but since it has been 30 years or so since I've built anything I thought I'd do something smaller first. The Guppy is also a 3 channel glider, so should make for a good airframe to get my flying skills back up to scratch.

The plans are here:

After tiling and printing the PDF, I printed additional pages of the rib profiles, cut them out and temporarily glued them onto balsa sheets. I used a hobby knife to cut them out, them sanded to shape. Once that was done I started the wing assembly. I could not find hard balsa for the main spars, so I used a 3mm carbon fibre strip glued to the underside of the spar. I'm pretty sure that makes it much stronger than the specified hard balsa.

I also did not have the correct trailing edge balsa, so I will have to sand it down later.
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Oct 24, 2017, 07:18 AM
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All wing panels are now assembled, and off the plan. Needs more sanding, then top sheeting and more sanding.
Oct 28, 2017, 02:44 AM
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The wingtips are now shaped and installed, and the wing top sheeting completed.
Oct 30, 2017, 06:11 AM
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I made a leading edge profile template out of a piece of scrap balsa, and used that to sand the leading edges.

The wings pieces were taped together back to back for final sanding, to ensure they are identical left and right.

The wing is now completely assembled, ready for fibreglass re-enforcing on the centre joint. The total weight of the wing before fibreglass came in at 76.2g.
Oct 31, 2017, 08:44 AM
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While waiting for the epoxy to cure on the wing reinforcement I started work on the tail feathers. I had a fibreglass arrow lying around, so decided to use that instead of an expensive carbon fibre tube. I hope that won't cause issues later on.

I want to try and use components I already have for this build to keep the cost to a minimum.
Nov 07, 2017, 02:04 AM
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Completed the wing. I used Ultracote Parklight black. The plan is to go for maximum visibility, and not necessarily good looks on the ground.

The total weight of the wing is 96.1g.
Nov 07, 2017, 02:11 AM
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Getting started on the fuselage. This will be widebody Guppy as I may want to add an autopilot later. I made it about 5mm wider than the plan says.
Nov 07, 2017, 02:20 AM
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The motor mount and cowling is built up from balsa layers, with a 3mm ply firewall. It will be sanded to shape once installed in the fuselage,
Nov 07, 2017, 04:27 AM
If it flies - I want one!
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That's coming along nicely - very tidy work!
Nov 16, 2017, 08:41 AM
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Very nice! I have all the parts cut out for this but it has been in storage for almost 2 years....
Following with interest!
Nov 17, 2017, 08:12 AM
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Thanks GixAsia. There is surprisingly little interest in this build, I guess not many people building from scratch with balsa anymore. Or is this just a boring model?

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