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Feb 10, 2020, 08:28 AM
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crossup's Avatar
Wow, Don that is going to be a beautiful build with the printed graphics. I wish Scott could offer a printing service but its too late for me anyway.

Is that the 37" version?

You really went to town on bracing, I presume you are going with very light minimal sized wood. That would probably be the best way to build one if you were going to use the heavy gear you mentioned.

Cant wait to see it.
Last edited by crossup; Feb 10, 2020 at 08:38 AM.
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Feb 10, 2020, 08:33 AM
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Even better, I wish Scott would consider offering a "carbon" version of the Expedition!
Feb 10, 2020, 09:04 AM
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crossup's Avatar
While one could complicate life by making curves where sharp corner are in the design, as drawn, the plans only need two pieces of formed carbon rod. The rest is off the shelf Composite Store DPP rod/tube so a kit would be kind of overkill. Making the curved bits requires almost zero skill so again its not much of a reason for a kit.

That said, if Scott did the curved bits, supplied the correct rods, ball joints and printed mylar, motor mounting and proper glue at $350 he could likely make some money. Maybe if there was a show of enough hands that could happen.

As an aside, I seem to be the only guy(certainly on RCG) who has both a balsa and carbon Expedition(and a depron/CF plane too) so I think I'm qualified to say this:

I love having a carbon plane for how tough it is to take rough handling etc. but its painfully obvious that balsa builds a much more rigid plane with a lot less effort and a tiny fraction of the expense. Trust me, it pains me in a way to think of low tech wood being superior but facts is facts- Joseph/Don's use of balsa produces a plane inherently suited to F3P at super competitive weights. I believe if someone built one out of true contest quality wood from Greenman(THE source for such wood) you could easily build a mid 30's gram plane. That would be really tough to do in carbon if its even possible- keep in mind the 37" Expedition is a huge plane, not to be compared with smaller planes.
So in short balsa has all the advantages with only one downside- they are fragile when it comes to crashes and rough handling which is somewhat offset by super fast and easy repairs.

Originally Posted by TN Walker
Even better, I wish Scott would consider offering a "carbon" version of the Expedition!
Feb 10, 2020, 10:10 AM
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Well said! Thanks.....
Feb 10, 2020, 04:45 PM
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BeyondParallax's Avatar
Hi, guys! Don, the plane looks fantastic so far
Crossup - congrats on the CF version! looks fantastic and appears to fly extremely well also, a potent combo.

Regarding printed film, I can definitely do printed film for people, but the prices as they currently stand are not super attractive, and most peoples projects I've been approached about or have completed required a bit of attention in Illustrator to get them to a usable condition. The printing is being done by the business I work for and my jobs with them are handled like any other customer; most times I have to wait roughly a week for completion and if I relied on them for performing the Illustrator work on the designs it would be billed @ $50 an hr
Current pricing on the printed film is $12 per square foot, $15 if it includes any white ink, which adds up fast when combined with the cost of the mylar.

Pricing being what it is, footing the cost for an entire production run of kits is too much for me to cover, and I suspect the resulting price of the kits would turn many people off as well. That being the case, I've decided to just concentrate on custom jobs for a while until I find a more economic means of production at scale, possibly involving some overseas production.

I've been working on competition freestyle planes for our guys this season in the meantime as well as some other stuff - a CF Ariel mk2 is being produced currently, although I'm still fighting some materials issues with the curved rod production. I believe I have the correct stuff now and will be digging back into it this week, hopefully I'll have some nice pics of some formed CF parts to post later this week.

Scott Brownewell
Feb 10, 2020, 05:33 PM
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crossup's Avatar
Thanks for the update and info especially on the printing. Its lower cost than I figured but still I have to agree, close to prohibitive for most folk. Certainly defeats the purpose of a home built balsa plane for farting around. That said, I am really glad to see joseph and Don with printed planes, they both have the talent that makes flying a plane with a regular paint job a mismatch with their flying.
Feb 16, 2020, 04:25 PM
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So I got the Expedition finished up last night and test flown today. Wow- I really have to say Joseph put together a really nice design. If flies fantastic.

The airplane is built primarily with 1/16 square strips 4 to 6 lb what I would call medium density wood. The strips have a bit of spring to them and are light, but not brittle. Total cost of materials for balsa frame was about $2. Total actual construction time was about 100 hours- ranging from as little as 15 minutes to 2 hours per evening, depending on time available. I work slowly but am starting to get the hang of building these types of models. They really are a pleasure to build. The only CF is the landing gear struts, servo arms, control horns and elevator pushrod. The fuselage horizontal left and right outside edge, aileron pushrods, bottom struts and top forward upper and lower piece are 1/16 balsa reinforced with .004 boron. I really did not intend this to be an extra lightweight model and added extra bracing since this is my first F3P plane I'll be planning to fly in competition. I also used a larger (Spektrum 2020) servo on the aileron, 2010 servo on elevator, Spektrum Rx and 1.5 gram speed controller that was laying around.

I must say that Joseph did a really good job with framing up the fuselage and wings last Spring while at college but ran out of time before he could get it done for the Worlds. Very nice construction Joe! I told him focus on his grades which he did and for reward I gave him the plane I was building for myself last winter which is what he flew at the worlds.

So back to this model- I agree the graphics look really nice. For those contemplating purchasing pre-printed covering- its really a spectacular product that Scott provides. I strongly endorse it. I plan to have the plane up in MD Friday night for some practice.

Final weight? 47 grams without battery. The plane is definitely nose heavy with the Rx and speed control up front, and I added an allen wrench to the tail.
But that, coupled with the smaller 120 maH battery up front put the balance point just perfect for me. I found that the lighter 120 maH 1s battery is perfectly fine for the sequence and plenty of power. I have the throttle curve limited to 65%. With the larger battery the plane would pull to the canopy in knife edge. But with the tail weight added and 120 battery, knife edge is perfectly straight in pitch. The GG is about 1/4 inch or so in front of the hing line (as balanced lifting just lifting the plane from the top of the fuselage and eye balling this). This CG location requires a bit of down elevator to hold inverted and a bit of top rudder to hold knife edge- just like my F3A plane.
Feb 16, 2020, 04:33 PM
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Pictures below. It goes without saying that its a whole lot easier putting the servos and electronics in before putting on the fuselage top. Also, for the rudder bracing see the pieces that support the vertical fin just in front of the rudder control arm. It keeps everything stiff with the pull-pull setup. I built the bracing on one side first to keep the rudder straight, then put the bracing on the other side. Rudder is very stiff.

I did choose to redo the bottom rudder diagonal as it was banging into the elevator after about half elevator deflection. I moved the lower brace up to be parallel with the rudder lower cross diagonal member. That gave a bit more elevator clearance to reduce the up elevator plus full deflection rudder interference. I figured I would not need to worry about that- since there are no spins or snaps- but realize coming into the rolling loop segments there may be some stuff going on. All tested fine on the flights this morning.
Feb 16, 2020, 09:23 PM
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crossup's Avatar
Very nice Don, look forward to seeing it Friday. You saved a lot of weight with the printed graphics and large amount of clear area, so it came out lighter than I figured from what you were telling me. I flew my balsa version with a 2S power the first season at a couple grams more than your weight and it flew great, just a bit faster. I think your extra bracing was more than offset by the printed graphics. A large part of my plane being lighter is due to using cellulose model glue(like Duco) vs CA, that was verified by my carbon build where the components were lighter yet ended up at the same weight, the difference being the glue.
Feb 17, 2020, 02:06 AM
JosephSzczur101's Avatar
Thread OP
Tis the season for building! This new one should be done within the next month, excited to show more pictures once it's closer to being finished.

Can't wait to see video of the Exp's (yours and my dads) on Friday, happy to see my dad was able to finish up the plane for himself.

All the best,
Feb 22, 2020, 10:07 PM
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crossup's Avatar

A Rare Sight

Here are two 2019 Expeditions in one picture. Don and some old guy.
Feb 22, 2020, 11:42 PM
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This looks like a "high school" picture of you two......Seriously, this picture reveals both the balsa and carbon rod versions of the Expedition. Both of you did a GREAT job!
Feb 23, 2020, 07:42 AM
Registered User
Both look great
Feb 23, 2020, 07:32 PM
in pursuit of low wing loading
Gordon Johnson's Avatar
It's also nice to see the people behind the planes. Nice Expeditions.
Feb 24, 2020, 10:52 PM
Registered User
Shall we fly them at Cobourg?

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