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Apr 22, 2019, 10:58 AM
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Got the the rest of the motor mount built up and started testing the gear position.

I need to figure out how to make the mount removable. there's no way to get tools in there to remove the gear hardware otherwise. I'm thinking some blocks of hardwood and screws through the firewall are a good option but I'm still thinking about how it's going to work. Another option is to just cut make the entire nose section ahead of bulkhead 2 removable. Hopefully there's not much reason to get back in there, but I don't own a plane I haven't had to repair at some point, so being able to work on it seems like a good idea.

The original spruce beams lengthwise of the motor could certainly work as well, I've just got to fiddle with fit.
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May 03, 2019, 12:10 PM
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I'm pretty happy with where the motor mount and the landing gear are at. I may shift the motor assembly back a bit more--when I built it I didn't take the extra length to the propeller that the collet gives it--I went off the axle shaft location.

On the original plans the...let's call it a cowl for want of a better term? on the valkyrie only covered the lower half. I may go back to that, but I really liked Franny's fully enclosed, so I'm torn. I guess if I wanted to compete it shouldn't have a fully enclosed engine bay. OH! I can have it both ways if I want, just make the top half of the cowl removable for those competition flights. I hand shaped the cone, it's got imperfections I'm not completely happy with yet anyway, so redoing that part seems natural. More stuff to work out I guess...

None of that gear/motor assembly is glued in yet until I'm 100% sure things are where I want them. I'm about 97%, with just a bit of fiddling to go.

After this, it's time to turn to the tail<>fuselage interface. Once all that's done then I can finish the wing joint and pylon and figure out where the wing needs to be located. Goldberg in his wisdom allowed for you set the location of the wing to help you balance the plane rather than tell you exactly where the wing belonged (Thanks Mr. Goldberg!).
May 21, 2019, 12:30 PM
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Took some time off to attend a SAM competition I'd hoped to have the Valkyrie ready for, (to support family and SAM, I don't compete) and get some air time on my Lanzo Record Breaker. I finally caught some decent lift with it and kept it aloft for about 10 minutes--only the second time I've ever had one of my planes in lift like that, it's quite gratifying.

Back to the Valkyrie, I turned my attention to the tail assembly.

Cut out the top half of the stringers to the aft tip of the fuselage so I can fit the tail assembly.
Got some reinforcement in place to handle the stress of the extra tail weight of the servos and stress of RC control.
Cut a plywood mount for the fuse side of the joint with the tail assembly and reinforced the back of that where the carbon fiber alignment rods go through.
Made a slot for the rear tab on the tail assembly to fit into.
Checked alignment with a laser level from the prop axle to the vertical tail.
Sheeted the lower fuselage section under the tail--I misted the outside of the sheet with water and wrapped it around the frame and let it dry overnight.
Cut the tip off and fitted that with balsa to hold a carbon fiber rod. Fitted the rod and got it epoxied in.
Sheeted the upper vertical tail bits
Jun 03, 2019, 01:18 PM
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Progress report:

Reed inlaid in lower fin, sheeted, and attached to fuselage. tail/rear fuselage is pretty much done until I pick up the sanding block. WOO!

Circling back to the wing, I got the carbon fiber tubes set in place and realized I had some terrible issues with rib 1 on both wing panels not being straight or mating up together. Angled rib surfaces are something I struggle with--no matter how carefully I think I've got them set, I have these same problems.

I ended up cutting the spar/truss material and 'splinting' on two sides of each cut at the correct length. It's all going to be hidden underneath 1/16 sheeting and should be plenty strong, but I added some triangle bracing to be sure.

I now have a pretty nice fit between the two panels. I'm going to add some rare earth magnets at the leading and trailing edges to keep things snug I need to get some kevlar thread and epoxy on the carbon fiber joiners to make sure they stay put. That plus plywood tabs below the wing root that will be tied into the pylon with carbon fiber rod(s) I should have a nice stable wing. It's pretty darn stable just with the carbon fiber joiner tubes right now.

Standing the assembled wing on end in front of my front door shows just how big this beast really is. I start to involuntarily chuckle when I get 'stand back and admire' moments like this: I no longer have to see things in my mind, and the physical manifestation is completely worth the effort.

I feel a momentum change coming on--I'm going to try like crazy to finish this thing up this month (June). Lots of work to go, but the list of things to do has an end in sight! Only one more "how am I going to make this work" thing yet to do--wrap up the pylon and get it set. In the original article, it was stated you should set this last, and move it as needed to help CG location, but I have to get all the other bits on the plane before I can think about CG so it's been a long road to the pylon.
Jun 07, 2019, 06:24 AM
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That’s looking great!! Unfortunately for me the warm sunny weather is here so I’m spending more time outside rather than working on my Valkyrie. Thunderstorms are coming soon.
Jun 07, 2019, 12:31 PM
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Thanks RC-Archer!

Got my plywood retaining tabs laid out, cut, fitted and glued in place.

In test fitting I found I need to 'cap' the outer ends of the joiner tubes or the inner tubes can push out the ends and damage interior wing structures behind them, so I got that taken care of as well.

Next I need to get final fitting of the retaining tabs to the 1/4" x 1 central 'spine' of the pylon. That's going to be a pretty quick adjustment though. I'm holding off on the holes in the tabs carbon fiber retaining rods will go through so I can drill the wing tabs and pylon bits all at once for best alignment. I'm not nearly precise enough in design or build fit to have that all laid out in a plan and have any hope of alignment in the final fit, but post-assembly drilling is acceptable as long as everything is in exactly the right place when the shavings start to fly in my opinion.

Then it's time for some kevlar thread wrap and epoxy and I can finally put the sheeting on the wing and start fitting the pylon saddle to the underside. I've already cut out the 20 1/8 x 2 x 4" sheets called for in the original article but the sheeting at the wing panel root needs to be in place before I can actually get the saddle contoured to the underside of the wing properly.


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