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Apr 02, 2018, 06:47 AM
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Repairing an old lady

Once again I needed myself a winter / spring project. This time I found an abused Electrify Ultimate 3D bipe. This is a quite small and old bird. Due to small size I felt it's quite fine practice project for both wood repair & covering job.

Covering on the bird was in really bad shape and the plane had seen some flight damage. Maybe stuck in tree or something like that. Cowl is a bit busted and both wings / ailerons have some damage. Also fuse has cracked wood here and there.

My plan is to strip all covering off, fix the structural faults and then cover the plane with a new scheme. The challenge here is mostly caused by the fact that top wing is glued and not easily removable, I'll need to do some heavy hacking to get it off. The cowl will also need some fiber glassing, spackling and painting. Fortunately the canopy is in good shape.

The plane came with motor and servos, but without ESC. Servos are Futaba S3114s while motor is Rimfire 35-30 1250kV. I plan to test the servos thoroughly and use them if they work. Maybe just switch a stronger & newer servo for elevator.

This will be a bit slow repair as I'm not in a hurry with it and have some other projects ongoing, too.

Old thread on this specific model @RCGroups.
Last edited by Late99; May 12, 2018 at 01:51 PM.
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Apr 02, 2018, 07:01 AM
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Covering off & top wing

Basically what I started with was removing the top wing covering. By using hot air gun the old covering came off relative well. Also some additional damage in the top wing was discovered. Finally to get the top wing off I had to use hacksaw to saw the middle section of. I had hoped to avoid this, but the repair attempt by the previous owner had left it with lot of epoxy glue and I just could get it off nicely.

I build a quick jig to repair the wing and used new balsa to fix it. After plenty of sanding I was ready to glue wing halfs together and trial fit the wing back in place.

Meanwhile I had removed most of the covering from the fuse.
Last edited by Late99; Apr 24, 2018 at 02:16 PM.
Apr 24, 2018, 02:13 PM
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Fuse repair

Fuselage had also some damage. Broken sections were cut off and replaced with new balsa. The elevator was crooked; more than on any other balsa plane I've seen so far. Had to remove it completely to be able to align it properly. Used some CA debonder on it and then cut with knife.

I also proceeded with removing the covering from rest of the parts and went through several sanding sessions of the fuselage.
May 10, 2018, 07:29 AM
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Almost wood ready...

Continued the repair with ailerons and finalizing the wing. Two ailerons were also damaged and one was fixed with simply CA and the other needed some more drastic wood replacement. Nevertheless, this was quite simple and quick job. The parts also went through several sanding sessions to ensure smoothness.
May 10, 2018, 07:43 AM
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Cowling, landing gear etc.

The original cowl was pretty ugly from the crash. I'm also planning to do completely different colour scheme so full repair of cowl was in place.
  • I started with rough sanding of the damaged cowl
  • CAd the worst cracks to ensure that it won't break completely
  • Added one layer of glass fiber inside the bottom of the cowl to strengthen it with lamination epoxy
  • Sanded more
  • Added some light filler, sanded more and added more filler and again more sanding
  • Sprayed some primer, added more filler, sanding and more primer - until satisfied with results
  • Sprayed white colour, water sanded with 2k sanding paper
  • Sprayed clear cote, water sanded with 2k sanding paper

Simultaneously I also sprayed landing gear, original red plastic spinner that came with the plane and top wing struts black.

Fixing cowl added about 10g to its weight. It's much sturdier than the original one, but I need watch overall weight as I really would like to keep this as light as possible.
May 12, 2018, 01:32 PM
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Covering 1st session

It seems that this starts to progress nicely as I've pretty much finished with wood work and painting.

Got tail surfaces etc. covered. This went pretty much as planned and no major hurdles...
May 12, 2018, 01:35 PM
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Covering 2nd session

And some progress with fuselage. Needed to cut templates from paper to get lines to align. Started from tail and progressed to nose. Once again no major pain points and I'm pretty satisfied with results. I think I'm slowly getting hang of covering these planes.
Last edited by Late99; May 12, 2018 at 01:52 PM.
May 12, 2018, 02:59 PM
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Very well done so far, keep up the good work. I have did a few restores and have enjoyed each on. You can look on my site and see some of my projects. Matter of fact I just picked up a old Hobbico 60 trainer that is no longer being produced. I will be posting the rebuild shortly.

May 13, 2018, 02:15 PM
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Thanks Ron. It's pretty nice to turn somebody else's garbage into something looking nearly like new. And it gives you also nice feeling of accomplishment to really see concrete progress happening.
May 20, 2018, 03:57 AM
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More covering...

Nearing completion of "ARF" kit status. Aileron and top wing bottom still without covering. Then it's assembly time!
May 25, 2018, 06:34 PM
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LOOKING very good, very good, indeed! What's the wingspan on this?
May 26, 2018, 12:23 PM
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This is a small bird, even a bit smaller than Precision Aerobatics Ultimate AMR. Wingspan 33.5" (850mm) and length 37" (935mm). I compare it in size to my 38" Skywing Edge. At least the powerline is comparable.

You can find a review & more discussion on this Ultimate on RCGroups.

I've got still ailerons to cover... Otherwise ready for assembly phase.
Last edited by Late99; Jun 02, 2018 at 03:19 PM.
May 27, 2018, 03:37 PM
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Ok, finally finished with covering job. Started to get exhausted with it a bit already. A biplane virtually has double the work amount...

Now I have an officially reborn ARF kit. I used soldering iron to open servo slots, air exhaust in the tail and elevator slot. Also glued control horns in place. The plane also stood on it's wheels first time in a long time.

Still plenty of work to do, but now it's very familiar assembly work.
Last edited by Late99; May 27, 2018 at 03:49 PM.
Jun 02, 2018, 03:11 PM
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Slow progress...

I took care of original crooked elevator installation by grinding the elevator hole true. Then glued elevator in place, just used thin CA. Also glued small balsa block to fill hole behind elevator and covered it. Then it was matter of attaching rudder with normal CA hinges and attaching new tail wheel.

Then it was time to weight the plane as it is now.

All fuse, wing etc. parts: 470g
Motor, prop, spinner and ESC: 146g
Servos, push rods, receiver: 52g
And battery: 85g - 175g (1000mAh - 2200mAh, depending on how I can hit the CG)
Which means AUW will end up between: 753g - 843g

I will try flying this with my existing 1000mAh if I just can find the required CG with them. I guess 1300mAh battery would be optimal for this, but I'm flying my Mini Edge with these 1000mAh batteries just fine and don't have any 1300mAh batteries at the moment.

From the original there seems to be no major weight change. I've gained some weight in at least cowl, but I guess the airframe itself is a bit lighter due to all sanding and removal of epoxy glue fixes of previous owner.

- Shims for aileron servos
- Servo installation
- Attaching top wing
- Installing push rods etc.
- Installing rest of the electronics and doing radio setup
Last edited by Late99; Jun 02, 2018 at 03:21 PM.
Jun 14, 2018, 03:25 PM
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I decided to install all the electronics and most of the push rods before attaching top wing. Top wing makes handling the plane a bit clumsy, so it's always easier to do the installations with something a bit more manageable.

The electronics are following:
- Original Rimfire 35-30 1250kV motor
- Turnigy Plush 30A ESC, I've found these dependable
- Used original Futaba S3114s servos for ailerons and elevator. For Rudder I went with new Emax ES08A servo. It has a bit better torque than S3114s.

I had a bit of fight with the aileron servo shims, but got them finally installed. Installing push rods & going through servo settings on the transmitter was quite uneventful, everything looked fine after a bit of tweaking. For tail surfaces I used all the deflections I could get from the servos with current linkages.
Last edited by Late99; Jun 14, 2018 at 03:44 PM.

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