Building a Flite-Test Flyer Airplane from Speed-Build Kit and from Scratch - Page 3 - RC Groups
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Apr 22, 2018, 02:39 PM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
There are foam board cutters available ..... with depth control , 90 & 45 cuts , etc .
http://www.logangraphic.com/product/...-bevel-cutter/
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Apr 22, 2018, 03:20 PM
Nu2RC
BSquared18's Avatar
Thanks for the tip. I did see that item when doing my research. I'll keep it in mind if experience shows that I need it.

Bill
Apr 24, 2018, 01:54 PM
Nu2RC
BSquared18's Avatar

Preview of Coming Attractions


Hi,

I’m about ready to start building the FT Flyer from the speed-build kit. Because I’ve removed the (IMO, ugly) brown paper from the pieces, I added a narrow strip cut from a length of packing tape to attach the two wing sections at the root (fig. 1). For this and other uses, I chose Duck brand transparent standard packaging tape, 1.6 mils thick. I’m assuming because it is thinner than heavier-duty packing tapes and intended for light packing that it can be considered light weight. If anyone knows of a lighter packing tape, let me know.

My first build step, unless someone can give a reason not to, will be to apply the decals before beginning to assemble the parts. Ideally, I like to first lay everything out on a 3D model for sizing, positioning, and appearance. My 3D modeling program is SketchUp. Lo and behold, a to-scale model of the FT Flyer is located in SketchUp’s free, online warehouse. So, I downloaded the model and added various decals (figs. 2 and 3).

In addition to the Air Force roundels, “USAF” designations, and shark nose art, the tail is bright red, as is a stripe on the top of each wing section. The red tail and stripes are both for visibility and to distinguish this model from the one I’ll be building for my wife, so if we both fly at once, we will be able to distinguish whose model is whose. (Hers will have a green tail and stripes, with shamrocks in place of the Air Force roundels—she’s of Irish decent; need I say more?)

Naturally, the red stripes are to help ascertain whether the model is flying right-side-up or inverted. Some folks put this kind of marking on the bottom of the wing, some on the top. I chose the top because the stripes would add appeal when the model is on the ground (IMO).

At first I was going to paint the tail and the wing stripes. But after testing on foam the paint I have (see Post #30), I decided that decals would have more punch. So, unless there’s a strong argument against it, all the decorations on the model will be decals, using the method described in Post #30. I’m assuming that any weight difference will be negligible, especially since several coats of paint would be needed, I think, for the color to have anywhere near the punch of decals.

One other component, shown in fig. 2, is a 2mm carbon fiber rod glued to the top of each wing section. Balsa or Carbon suggested that I add these rods to regain the strength lost by removing the brown paper. I chose a 2mm diameter after reading in one forum thread that 2mm carbon-fiber rods are generally recommended for wing spars on light models.

As can be seen in fig. 2, the rods run along the tops of the wing sections. But I was wondering if anything is lost be positioning them on the bottoms of the wing sections instead, where they would not be visible when the model is on the ground. Anyone with any experience with these kinds of rods, please give me your opinion.

Looking forward to comments,
Bill
Last edited by BSquared18; Apr 24, 2018 at 02:00 PM.
Apr 24, 2018, 02:06 PM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
Should look good when it's done !
Apr 24, 2018, 03:52 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by BSquared18
One other component, shown in fig. 2, is a 2mm carbon fiber rod glued to the top of each wing section.

As can be seen in fig. 2, the rods run along the tops of the wing sections. But I was wondering if anything is lost be positioning them on the bottoms of the wing sections
Bill
To make the carbon fibre rods do something useful they should be on the bottom. As the wing is loaded the top surface will compress and the bottom will stretch... and stretch until it breaks. A carbon fibre rod, bamboo skewer etc. should stop the stretching and breaking.

That is if logic is applied.

I cut western red cedar to the thickness of the wing, square section and put it in the wing as a spar. Never broken a wing despite very vigorous flying.

I also suggest lengthening the nose, putting the motor further forward and the battery further back, inserting it from the underside when installed.
Apr 24, 2018, 04:33 PM
Nu2RC
BSquared18's Avatar
Thanks, Mac.

Bill
Apr 25, 2018, 01:33 AM
Registered User
I wouldn't recomend modify anything until u get a handle on everything. Too many people get all too into making things better and end up frustrated when it doesnt work.


The paper adds a lot of strength. It is a good weight saving though.
Apr 25, 2018, 05:02 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by bazsound
The paper adds a lot of strength. It is a good weight saving though.
Paper doubles the weight, doesn't save it at all. Spars, carbon or bamboo weigh very little.
Apr 25, 2018, 08:51 AM
Nu2RC
BSquared18's Avatar
Quote:
Too many people get all too into making things better and end up frustrated when it doesnt work.
I see what you're saying. Some people become easily frustrated. But looking at it from another angle, it's a hobby where you can try something and either succeed and give yourself a pat on the back or learn from your mistake and try again. So, I think it's hard to generalize about something like that. What was it that Edison said? "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration."

Bill
Apr 25, 2018, 02:51 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac50L
Paper doubles the weight, doesn't save it at all. Spars, carbon or bamboo weigh very little.
that will be my word dislexia, made total sense in my head. what i meant was that removing the paper and using tape is a good weight saving. ive tried it with heavy foamboard but its not as strong as with the paper.

I will add that saving some weight will give a better flying plane but maybe at the cost of durability.
Apr 25, 2018, 05:55 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by bazsound
I wouldn't recomend modify anything until u get a handle on everything.
You are a Scot? We modify everything and show the world how - don't we?

It is the Scratch Build section and we do that to learn - as long as we analyse the mistakes. Note - I didn't say "our" mistakes, all mistakes, hence the suggestion to lengthen the nose - for a reason, FliteTest's "mistake".
Apr 30, 2018, 04:27 PM
Nu2RC
BSquared18's Avatar

Details, Details


I decided to do the decal detailing and a few other small jobs before starting to assemble the parts for the power pod.

Before that, though, I used the kit’s parts to trace outlines onto pieces of Dollar-Tree Redi-Board foam board and set the boards aside for when I’ll be building the from-scratch model.

Fig. 1 shows a three-view illustration of the model copied from the SketchUp virtual model mentioned in an earlier post. On the actual model, almost all of the detailing was done with decals.

My first step was to add tape and beveling so that the rudder moves freely (Fig. 2). This was a necessary first step so that the decals to be added later to the vertical stabilizer and rudder would be separated and not inhibit the rudder’s movement.

Once a decal is applied using the method described in Post Nr. 30, it cannot be repositioned due to the strength of the adhesive. So, I used green Painter’s Mate masking tape to carefully mark off the places where decals would be added (Fig. 3). The SketchUp model was useful because measurements could be taken from it and then applied to the actual model.

It helped to pencil-in notes on the painter’s tapes and white decal-backings to help prevent mis-positioning a decal. A pencil was used instead of a pen to avoid smearing when the decal backings were dampened. When positioning a decal, the heavy paper stock of the decal backing butted up nicely against the painter’s-tape guide.

The broad red stripes on the upper surface of the wing sections were folded over the leading edge. Later, red-painted packing-tape strips were placed on the leading edge over the decals. This step was done to anchor the decals on the leading edge, hopefully helping to prevent any peeling away from wind stream action. Similar folding was done on the vertical fin’s decal covering.

Fig. 4 shows the decals completed on the wing’s upper surface. I chose decals instead of paint for the red stripes because the decals are much more vivid than paint. Time will tell how well they wear.

To position the roundel and “USAF” on the bottom of the wing, I made positioning guides by tracing off of the decals on the top of the wing (Fig. 5). That was a simple way of assuring that the decals would be positioned the same way on both sides of the wing. During this process, I avoided placing painter’s tape on top of an already-attached decal because of the danger of damaging a decal. Fig. 6 shows the wing’s underside with decals added.

The last step for the wing was adding two 3/4-inch strips of light-weight packing tape to the leading edge of each wing section. Using two layers created a cushioning effect.

The outer strip of packing tape on each wing section is painted red. Being new to foam-building, I’m sometimes making up how to do things as I go along. The red leading-edge strips are an example; I expect there are a dozen better ways to do it, but here’s what I did:

I anchored a two-inch-wide strip of light-weight packing tape on a cutting board face DOWN (so the tape wouldn’t become attached to the board). Then, I used a hobby-knife blade and straight edge to cut two 3/4-inch-wide strips and attached one to each leading edge.

For the red-colored, second layer of tape strips, I cut two packing-tape strips in the same manner as before. Then, I stretched them face UP on a large piece of cardboard. They were raised a bit so they wouldn’t become attached to the cardboard. Next, I spray-painted them with bright-red Tamiya Paint for Plastics (TS-49). When they dried, I attached to each leading edge a red strip over the first, transparent strip. I was pleasantly surprised with the result. The leading-edge protector is bright and shiny (Figs. 7 & 8).

Next I added decals to the power pod (Fig. 9). Again, painter’s tape and notes on the tape and decal backing were very helpful in preventing mistakes.

Two 1/2-inch strips of light-weight packing tape can be seen in Fig. 9. These needed to replace the brown paper which had been removed earlier for appearance sake and reduced weight.

Then for this detailing step, decals were added to both sides of the vertical stabilizer and rudder (Fig. 10). Where the stab and rudder meet, red Sharpie ink was used instead of decals to make sure the rudder’s movement would not be compromised by the decals.

One thing I’ll do differently in the future. Where the vertical stab’s starboard decal curls around and overlaps the port decal, a darker-red strip is created. Instead of having it overlap, I should have made it just wide enough to cover the leading edge.

Finally, I added a thin strip of packing tape to form the elevator hinge. I bent the elevator and beveled it as instructed in the Flite-Test Flyer SBK video, starting at 30 seconds in (Fig. 11). I had some red-painted packing tape left over from the wing, so I cut a strip down the middle and added some red trim to the stabilizer, both for appearance and protection.

Next step: Build the power pod.

Bill
Last edited by BSquared18; May 02, 2018 at 02:37 PM.
May 01, 2018, 03:22 PM
Registered User
Nice work. Seems like you have a really good handle on things. You'd do well going straight from plans could probabky batter out one in half a day. Takes me 3 days from plans
May 01, 2018, 04:51 PM
Nu2RC
BSquared18's Avatar
Quote:
You'd do well going straight from plans could probably batter out one in half a day.
Ah, would that I could spend all my time on my hobby. But now that the snow has melted here in the snow belt, there's lots to do outside that will steal time.

Also, there's lots to learn along the way, such as setting up the motor, servos, control rods, etc., which, the first time or two, will take longer than further down the road. I'm glad I have YouTube to help with that.

Bill
Last edited by BSquared18; May 02, 2018 at 08:59 AM.
May 02, 2018, 07:41 AM
Registered User
The electronics part is pretty easy, its all just electronic lego, plug the right servos into the right channels, and the esc into the right one.

Just make sure to leave the prop off incase of accidental spin ups.

the servos and control rods are pretty simple, get your servo horns as close to 90 as possible, it wont always be possible to get them 90, if 1 is out alot try different servo horns until you get a best match.

For control rods not sure what your using, having some adjustment is handy because you can trim the plane, and then use the rod adjustment to put the trim in so it can be removed from the radio. but its perfectly fine to just stick with the radio trim.

piano wire and ez connectors are good choises as youc an cut a length of piano wire, and then the ez connector goes on the servo horn and control horn and clamps down on the wire, unloose to adjust the control survace position and tighten back down.

You can do it with just piano wire by using z bends, but thtas a bit more of a 1 time method.

thers also using small pieces of piano wire that is attached to carbon rod using heatshrink tubing and super glue. quick and easy plus gives you room for adjustment


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