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May 09, 2019, 07:29 PM
A man with a plan
Balsaworkbench's Avatar
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Build Log

Miss Bikini from RCM magazine


The Miss Bikini is an old RCM plan by Chuck Cunningham, before he started building giant biplanes. I built one of these a long time ago when I lived in Kansas City and flew at a public field. Everybody who tried it said that it was the best flying plane they had ever flown.

I'm building this one for a friend, starting with a kit that I cut out on the laser cutter. Sharp eyed observers will notice that Bulkhead 2 and Bulkhead 3 are swapped in the photo. Don't worry, I won't glue them together that way.
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May 09, 2019, 07:31 PM
A man with a plan
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The first step is to laminate the 1/32 ply doublers onto the fuselage sides. I talked a lot in my Corkscrew build log about Ambroid, Fab-Tac, Sigment, etc. But when it came time to do it I used the thick CA glue that I found for cheap at Lowes. Good stuff. As you can see, the finished assembly is perfectly straight, and each side took about 30 seconds.
May 10, 2019, 01:32 PM
A man with a plan
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This took about half an hour. It's a pretty easy build. I made a lite ply cockpit floor as part of my kit. It fits between the fuselage sides and keeps the fuselage square.

I left out the 1/32 ply doublers in the tail section of the fuselage. They're in the kit, but I didn't bother with them because I think they're overkill. And the diagonal trusswork isn't needed either. I just put in a few vertical sticks to keep the fuselage sides from cratering under the sanding block.
May 10, 2019, 04:46 PM
Registered User
I love the look of that plane. It's like a baby astro-hog. Have to build one some day.

carl
May 10, 2019, 04:47 PM
Registered User
I love the look of that plane. It's like a baby astro-hog. Have to build one some day.

carl
May 10, 2019, 04:57 PM
A man with a plan
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It really is a good looking plane. When I built my first one I made balsa wheel pants for it, and it looked really sharp. But on the first outing my plane veered off the paved runway on the landing rollout and hit an egg-sized dirt clod and shattered one of them. So I ditched the wheel pants after that.

It does look like a little Astro Hog, but it has a fully symmetrical airfoil, more like a Super Sportster.
May 12, 2019, 11:10 PM
A man with a plan
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one of the benefits of owning a laser cutter


It's time to pull the tail together and add the bottom sheeting. It's easy to accidentally set the tailpost off center, so you need a center line on the table to keep everything straight. Or you could just glue a bunch of 3/32 sheeting together and draw a shape that looks like the bottom of the airplane, and cut it out on the laser cutter. Now I can mark a centerline on the trailing edge bulkhead, line up the bottom sheeting, and pull the fuselage sides in to the edges of the sheeting. Sometimes I think I'm really spoiled.
May 14, 2019, 12:36 AM
A man with a plan
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I put the bottom sheeting in place and glued the tail post. Then I added the sides of the rear deck and sanded the top down. I wanted to add the top, but first I want to install the front deck sheeting, which includes the cockpit sides. And I don't want to install that sheeting until I put the chin block in place and fuel proof the tank compartment, which is done with a brush inserted through the top. And I don't want to add the chin block until I drill through the wing dowel hole in Bulkhead 2 into the wing for the dowel. And I can't do that until I build the wing.

So it looks like the next step is building the wing!
May 14, 2019, 08:15 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Looks like pretty straight-forward construction.

Andy
May 15, 2019, 01:19 AM
Registered User
Reminds me of the larger Miss Gemini, one of my bucket list yet-to-be built scratch builds. I'll be watching!
May 17, 2019, 11:42 AM
What could possibly go wrong?
Just trying to get a handle on the scale of these pieces, what's the wingspan? If the doublers are 1/32" ply I guess it's not a real big model?
May 17, 2019, 02:00 PM
A man with a plan
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45" wing span. The fuselage in its current state is 34 inches long.
May 17, 2019, 02:12 PM
A man with too many toys
I have been looking at that airplane. What engine do you recommend?

.
May 17, 2019, 02:41 PM
A man with a plan
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I'm planning to put an OS 25 on it. The FP would fly it well, but the plane is being built as a gift for a friend who is more of a hot shot flier than I am, so I'll probably go with the SF. I had one that flew brilliantly with a 20 FP until the weather got hot and muggy. Then the plane wouldn't climb much beyond ground effect.
May 19, 2019, 09:44 PM
Registered User
Signed on for the watch. Are the plans available for download somewhere?


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