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Mar 27, 2019, 03:10 PM
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Build Log

Great Planes Spectra build log

Hello Everybody!

Some weeks ago I got my Great Spectra, I was looking a long time for this model, as I always flew a very similar one, here is a little backstory about that:
This glider is very special to me because the Spectra is the motorized version of the well-known Spirit 2m.
My brother has a Spirit and he has had it for around 20 years, I remember when I was a toddler, my family would bring me to the flying-field of my father best friend, (owner of a PT-17 Stearman too! ) and with his son, my brother would run across the field in the dirt-runway pulling a line to tow the gliders that is the back-story of my love for this glider.
Now I see that old Spirit 2m and ask my brother to rebuild it so we can fly together Spirit and Spectra. So I will waste no more time and start this log for once and for all!!

27th of March: So I open the box and no worries at all, the kit looks beautiful! Now this an early edition kit from the early 90s, so it is at least 25 years old. The wood quality is great (Great Planes has never let me down in quality of their products) so I take out the plan, I examine it an find it easy to read, then I open the instruction book and open the 2nd page, to check in the contents that every piece is in the box (all pieces are in, so I proceed to wax the plan) for those of you that are new in kit-building; Waxing is the process in which you cover with candle wax the plan sections in which you are going to build on top of, this is because the glue can get to the paper and when the piece is dry and you want to take it out it may ruin the plans paper, so you wax that section by gently rubbing a clear-candle over the paper and leaving behind a thin layer of wax, which will NOT stick to the glue and prevent damage to the blueprints
Now that I have all the plan protected, I start reading the instructions booklet, starting with tha tail surfaces is very easy and you just have to measure the balsa sticks to make the cuts and build the rudder, and elevator, also its the true fun of building,

Now that I have completed the tail surfaces, I will proceed to the wings.

30th of March: Now that I have taken out all the ribs for the left wing, I have placed the main spar in over the plan and hold it up with a pin. The pieces looks very good and i got all the ribs in place, now when i got to the part where you put the Leading edge and Trailing Edge, I required a bit of sanding in ribs S-2. That are actually from the Spirit 2m, because the Spectra and Spirit hav the same profile and wing, Great Planes made the same series of cut-out parts for both kits, so the Spectra includes this 4 ribs, 2 on each wing, S-2, that are made with a very small cut on the top, for locating Spoilers, I am an experienced builder and could have perfectly made spoilers for this kit, but I like to build it according to the instructions, so I carefully punched out the ribs and glued them in place. After theat, I placed all wing webs between the top and bottom spars, here some sanding with fine-grip sandpaper is required. Following the glueing of the webs, I take out the wing joiner pieces, and cut both pf them in halves. This way you have 2 pieces for each wing, to build the joiner-box. I used string-thread to wrap the joiner box together and applied thin CA to the thread to soak in (this way it adds strength to the joiner box) Later, I messure the balsa sheets, cut them, and locate the, in the wing, it is very important to have the balsa sheets to stick to the leading edge correctly, otherwise it may change the profile, or you may have to sand more than 2 mm of wood and that will make the inner section of the wing very weak!

The outer section of the wing is very easy to make, I recommend you to make a small cut in the leading edge to break it and make the form of the curve according to the plan, it may happ n that the leading edge break, but dont worry, do not sand it or touch the section that broke, just put it on place and then glue it in a way that the wood fiber stays strong. Now Im carving the wing tips, so soon I will post more

1st of April: I finished the wings, the balsa sheets are glued in place and the wing tips are done. The fuselage seems pretty easy to build, I start by punching out all the correspondent pieces and placing them on top of the plan, everything looks correct. I tak out the fuselage (left) side and glue the fuselage doublers in place. After I have glued the wing saddle triplers, I punch out both plywood and balsa fuselage bottoms, when gluing this two, you might need to sand a little bit for the fuselage bottom to stay straight, if not, there will be a curve to the right/left side. All formers are in place now and I put a thin drop of CA in them to stay in place, I close the fuselage sides together with the formers and with a pair of rubber bands they hold in place meanwhile the CA cures. I follow the instructions and formers F1A and F1B, I DO NOT take out the pieces that are in the center, instead, I glue the, with CA, I will be using a Brushless motor and if I take out those pieces there wouldnt be place to mount the motor. I carve the nose block at my desire but when building the cabin, I want to make a scale cockpit, so I set a 2mm balsa sheet to the canopy base and put a small triangle to the Ply Canopy Back so its more firm. I will continue when my Pilot Figure arrives
Last edited by Harald_Rc; Apr 11, 2019 at 07:45 PM.
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