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Dec 19, 2018, 10:32 PM
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Build Log

FX-706/707 Cheapy Glider Mod #3: The Epic Journey!


While passing through Carlsbad on the Pacific Coast Highway in August, I saw some people slope RC'ing off the side of the road, overlooking the walking path & beaches. I soon learned the spot is called 'Dave's Beach'.

One guy had a really neat & simple, bare bones configuration foam glider of about 48 - 50" span. He told me he had just received it mail order for ~$19 bux off eBay...had stuck some old, basic servo gear inside it and was testing it that very day...the first time he'd slope'd in a few years time.

He saw it marketed as an extruded foam chuck glider for park tossing, but that it was proportioned & airfoil'd to be a proper HLG or sloper. It was nice shaped & balanced than an AirHogs Titan and flew extremely well.

So I verified its type/brand name & sourcing from him and mulled ordering one as I drove south to San Diego. After watching fliers at Torrey Pines a weekend later, I decided I must have one too.

A bit of search & wrongly entered keywords/specifics gave me 'FX-707', 1.2 metre EPO gliders; some perspective photos, dimensions and 'clip-art'-grade pics of a happy child throwing one...not much else. I also failed to 'see' Google links of anyone else posting pics or experiences with these, not on RCGroups or other forums.

They were now more expensive than the price he quoted too(..$31 - $45..)

By Monday, I saw them advertised for $21, plus a slightly different variant called the FX-706, with arc'd 'swifts wing' planform. I ordered two.

3 weeks later they arrived, a bit beat up for the boxes, but intact & complete inside. They were really nice! Sturdy, simple designs & good molding.

Foam was a bit, 'pool noodle'-spongy, versus as stiff as, say an Dreamflight 'Ahi'....ohh--wait a minute?!

While the wings had zero marks, chips or digs...and the fuselage surfaces were dent-free, BOTH fuselages had a pretty severe 'banana' towards the tail.

Was this on purpose? 'Cause they'd be flying 'left-hand' circles forever!

Okay, I can deal with this...even if I was still living/working out of my fully cargo-laden SUV. A few days of sketch/drawing time later, I decided I'd not only straighten these out, but improve their overall function, appearance and flight envelope.

As with all my projects: on the cheap, with simple & 2nd-hand materials, but an eye towards finish as well. I hate building anything that shouts 'shoddy-in-appearance/trustworthiness', DIY/homemade LOUDER than it conveys '..form/function, skilled & aesthetic..'-craftsmanship!

These also had to fit inside my stuffed Honda plus leave room for my erstwhile cat, Ehrlah; so I cut the fuses down at the wing saddle to install a 'break' & modified an appliance box into a carry-case to fit everything.

Between my contract gigs, I've been making one of them into a 1.6m thermal sloper w/'T'-tail; it has been a challenging & exceptionally rewarding project. Despite limited time, daylight, tools & annoying setbacks[..my 1st alignment jig flying loose from the roof of my vehicle & lost on the highway!..] I just reached the 1/2-way point to completion.
Last edited by Spaaro; Dec 20, 2018 at 10:24 PM. Reason: Title Category
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Dec 20, 2018, 03:41 PM
Damage is expected
Spaaro,

You've got great skill and I'm impressed! Love the proportions on the model and your eye for function and creativity.
Dec 20, 2018, 07:40 PM
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Thanks Warnekid!
You must have killer flying ranges in that end of Oregon?

I've learned so much on RCGroups over the years--my only regret was never having had good time/circumstance to build & focus, or directly connect with many other flyers & clubs.

I've only joined AMA this last year and now the FAA is threatening to "..Take The Sky Away From Us.." w/the 400 ft. limit for gliders, exclusive airspace 'Classes' & registration/testing-hoops to jump thru, etc...
Dec 20, 2018, 08:50 PM
Damage is expected
Spaaro,

We have surprisingly few "easy access" and epic slopes to fly up here. There is either no easy way to get there, it is all trees or rocks, or is a protected area.

That being said, there are some truly amazing places to fly and be all alone most of the day on a beautiful weekend.

I'm not worried about sloping or gliders vs. the FAA. I fly respectfully so that I'm not bothering anyone and people seem to not have a problem with me. We are also still uncrowded here. If anybody seems concerned with my flying, I pack up and try another location or day. It's not worth the hassle.

I think the biggest issue is being visible, approachable, and keep a positive attitude at every interaction. If folks are not interested in me being around with my planes I just say "No problem! I understand and respect your concerns" and I leave. Eventually those folks will find its not a big deal, or they may die off before I do...

I haven't met many folks from RCGroups except for a few locals here in my town. I also joined a local flying club but as usual for me, I've not really made "friends" with anyone. I have a good time while I'm there, but it is super-platonic and I don't really feel much a vital part of the club other than to be a semi-regular flier.

Happy holidays and I hope you and your kitty are warm and comfortable!
Dec 20, 2018, 10:04 PM
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Critical paradigm & goal behind my scratch model building:

Avoid purchasing & relying upon 'specialty' hobby construction materials & accessories as much as possible. No contest balsa...no brand-name film coverings...minimal use of wire-cut foam & DTFB(..I think thats cheating! LOL..)...carbon & select-weight glass cloth as sparingly as possible.

If I have to spend cash, it will be on quality electronic components, motors & batteries...and of course, my favorite adhesives & solvents. After my property & moving, taxes & travel/auto expenses....and cat food/vet visits, I cannot justify 're-purchasing' hobby items I had to leave back in storage.

The wood I've used for this project all comes from:
-Starbuck's wood stirrer sticks
-Bamboo skewers
-Chopsticks
-Bamboo reed dinner placemats and mini-'roll up' blinds
-Fruit boxes, decorative ply veneer & novelty wood craft items I've found in thrift shops.

The fabrics are nylon, polyester, cotton linen & silk veil cloth, as well as Tyvek envelope, tissue and brown kraft package paper.

Thrift stores & salvage yards are thaa' BOMB!

The most 'fun' experiment I've pursued so far was my control line runs for the tail rudder & elevator. I couldn't think of a random & ready source of small plastic tubing or light wire to help actuate those controls.

I had to choose between: control rods/piano wire...flexible cable, like Dubro 'goldenrods'...or 'Pull-pull' braided fishing line, with DLG-type return springs.

Initially I chose 'pull-pull' as kevlar line was readily available, but kept my eyes peeled for sources of discarded, stiff wire for control pushrods & light plastic tubing that might act as control wire guide.
The only hobby shop was 14 miles away[..the last one in the greater San Diego area: 'Discount Hobbies'..] and I imagined OTC cost for a line kit might top $20 bucks.

First I found thin, plumbing tubing for ice makers at a salvage yard--it likely would have done the job, but was still a bit 'heavy/biggish' in circumference for wire travel without 'slop'.
Then I thought about plastic drinking straws...as well the smaller, narrower plastic coffee stir straws, after grabbing some with a hot beverage @7-11.

Okay, they would work but they're waaaay too short. Howsabout connecting them, end-to-end?
Yeah--but 'How' then, would I do it--LDPE/'low density polyethylene', like HDPE doesn't glue or stick well to anything?

This now became a challenge of figuring out how to repurpose a common, ubiquitous...cheap/'free'...much maligned, 'dolphin, sea bird & turtle'-choking disposable 8 inch plastic item-->into smooth, continuous control wire guides at least 26 - 30 inches long.

Squeezing their ends slightly & forcing them to 'telescope' into each other wouldn't work; their circumference was too uniform to nest within each other, before they buckled, creased & collapsed. I tried many....from different restaurants & service stations--and never found a 'perfect set' for mating I.D. & O.D.s

So, how about 'coupler' segments--either slightly 'bigger' around or slightly smaller for inside?

Found them!
One brand/type of coffee stir straw just barely squeaked inside of another....by a few millimeters. I ended up creasing, bending & ruining more straws attempting to link them together than actually succeeding so I needed to modify some aspect.

I tried 'stretching' the larger straw segments over slightly bigger diam. steel shafts, hoping they'd give just enough to accept the narrower straws. Naaawww....not wurk'in.

Then...I placed a 1-1/2 length segment of the smaller 'inside' straw on a shaft in my rotary tool & spun it down against sand paper, shaving off some microns of material. I generated a fair bit of polyethylene 'dust'.

I already expected to scuff & sand the plastic straws, just to get adhesives to fasten them into the glider, so this was a natural progression.

Success!
For just a wee bit of time & effort--turning down segments of some 'brown stir straws' against fine sandpaper, I could get them to very snugly 'nest' inside the larger, common red coffee stir straws. Giving ~1 inch insertion & a couple drops of CyA permanently fixed these 'joiner tubes' into the red straw tubes.

About 5 or 6 linked together provided me 'slop free', resilient & slick--CHEAP--cable guide tubes!

To beef them up against kinking or creasing...and help them adhere to the inside of the glider's hollowed foam tunnels, I slid segments of slightly larger circumference plastic straws OVER the butted joints. I prepped these for gluing by scuff-sanding the outer straw surfaces, then poking many tiny holes in the 'over-sleeve' straw segments with a sewing pin; this would allow the Gorilla glue to 'mushroom' up thru the straw plastic, like tiny rivet heads.
Creating a mechanical grip uniformly around the joins, but NOT interfering with the inner straw's open centers.

The wire I choose for actuating my control surfaces ended up being bicycle brake wire & derailleur cable(..cheap & available!..) With a swipe of 'White Lightning' bike chain teflon lube, these cables slid 'friction-&-corrosion'-free thru the straw cable guides.

Many might say this is a ridiculous amount of work, "..reinventing the wheel..". Yet, ONLY 'choosing' the correct straw combinations for the task was difficult; cutting, sanding & assembly into complete control wire guide tubes as described only took me 40 mins.

I also do this as a means of showing other, novice R/C'ers & scratch builders that YOU DON'T need to break your limited budget to figure out 'Hombrew' alternatives to common sub-assemblies & accessories need in this hobby. Save it for good ESCs, servos, batteries & related components.

It also don't have to "..look/work like @$$.."!

I am now planning on using a variation of this method to create the torque tube control runs for this glider's ailerons, with bamboo skewers as torque rods and sleeved-together straws as the bearing tubes.
Dec 27, 2018, 06:52 PM
Old newb
I saw my first Fly Bear FX-706 / FX-707 flying about a month ago at Dave's beach.

I was very impressed because they flew about like Ahi do.

I was there on a nice 8mph Saturday and my Alula was challenged a bit and my Ka-8 got a little boring......

BTW: There are scant few YouTube videos about the Fly Bear gliders actually.

I ordered some 707s for me and a friend. Somehow the got lost in transit. Now I await some 706s......AGONY!

Mine cost less than $19 shipped, you just have to shop hard is all to find them.

We'll see what I end up getting.....

Keep having fun!
Dec 27, 2018, 08:31 PM
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AWWWWW, MAN!?!

Sorry about your lost shipment; I hope they turn up eventually, or at least did you get refund?

'Agree' on your observation: they fly a bit like an Ahi, which caught my imagination. I remember the debut videos when the Ahi was unveiled a couple years back--and was blown away. Decided I needed to learn sloping.

Just beware the dreaded 'banana' molding of the fuselages when yours arrive....they definitely need longeron stiffeners: carbon inserts, skewers or something to point 'straight' & keep from flopping around in wind.
You could probably get away with either a single 'arrow shaft' carbon tube or hardwood dowel down its very center--or 2, opposing flats or rods of CF. Since I used thin wood sticks, I chose 4 for balanced stiffness on all axis, as well I intended to break down my fuse . I might have gotten away with just 3, spaced 120 deg. apart.

I look forward to your builds, as you'll likely be airborne before me.
Dec 27, 2018, 08:51 PM
Old newb
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaaro
AWWWWW, MAN!?!

Sorry about your lost shipment; I hope they turn up eventually, or at least did you get refund?
The message stated the shipping company informed them the shipment was lost.

I was offered a refund but I asked to have 706s sent instead as they are out of 707s.

We'll see.....

It seems a bit weird, really but I have nearly 5 months to go for a refund!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaaro
I look forward to your builds, as you'll likely be airborne before me.
Don't hold your breath! I have projects stacked up like cord wood.....

You coming down this way again anytime???
Dec 31, 2018, 12:11 AM
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@ r39o:

Quote:
I was offered a refund but I asked to have 706s sent instead as they are out of 707s...It seems a bit weird, really but I have nearly 5 months to go for a refund!
I took about 3 weeks + 3 days for my 706's to arrive after ordering, back in Sept. Keeping in mind--A LOT of 'Tariff War' accusations & nonsense has taken place since that time, plus holiday/'End-of-Year' congestion, so it could be playing a role in any further delays.

5 mos. for a refund?! GTFOH!

Quote:
Don't hold your breath! I have projects stacked up like cord wood....
Yeah...I know that feeling.--the daylight being super short sure doesn't help.

Quote:
You coming down this way again anytime???
I'll be in & out a couple times each week; I always camp out near one of the bases or Mission Bay park system, for the peace & quiet. I'm hoping to head up to Santa Cruz within a month or so, which will about signal the end of my time in SoCal.

I've begun reading the Slope Forum regularly to learn as much as I can & I try to visit the flying spots I've heard of--like TPG...Sunset Cliffs...and even Black Mt. Ranch Park above Torrey Highlands.

A bit hard not having a sloper or large, wind penetrating plane yet.
Jan 16, 2019, 01:03 PM
Old newb
My 707s arrived. Too busy to do anything with them. But, two buddies now got some to play with. I will look at theirs later.


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