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Jun 24, 2019, 07:09 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
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Build Log

EAR 2019 - Bluebird - with VIDEO


My project is a tribute to my father Phil, one of his first RC planes.

These are the plans I'll be working from (until I find things to fix).

Andy
Last edited by AndyKunz; Jul 29, 2019 at 06:54 PM. Reason: Moved revised plans to Post #67 after 162 downloads
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Jun 26, 2019, 04:44 AM
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rchopper56's Avatar
Nice cad file Andy. I assume that this model doesn't exist yet. As you build it, your likely to make some changes. If so, hopefully you will post them too.
Nice simple model, good luck with it.
Gene
Jun 26, 2019, 05:33 AM
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Absolutely, Gene. I always find things to improve. This CAD actually started almost a year ago, and I made a few changes after laser cutting the parts the other night before posting here. I'm sure I'll find more as I start to glue things together.

Andy
Jun 30, 2019, 04:08 PM
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OK, so I couldn't stand having nothing to glue together! Please forgive my impatience. I need to have this in the air for our Glow Plug Palooza in less than 3 weeks.

I started by laminating 4 layers of 3mm lite ply together to make a mounting block for the landing gear. This gives a bit more than 3/8" thickness. It's going to stick through the bottom covering even if I trim it. I could have done 3 layers plus one of 1/16" as well.

The fuselage frame is 1/4 x 3/8" balsa. I picked two pieces which weren't straight (I'll want those for the flying surfaces). These both had a slight bow in the right axis for the shape.

Because this is a commemorative model, the cabin/radio box is made out of walnut, just like Dad's was. Well, sort of. His was 1/4" thick. I used 5/32" because that's what my brother made for me. It's a good bit heavier than a ply box would be, but weight isn't a big issue for me.

I put a 3mm ply doubler at the wing root, using the rubber band holes for alignment.

Andy
Jul 01, 2019, 10:05 AM
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subscribed! Looking forward to seeing this at the glowplugpalooza!
Jul 01, 2019, 09:32 PM
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The horizontal and vertical stabs are framed up from 1/4" x 3/8" hard balsa for the outline. If you build both at the same time, you can use pieces that aren't quite big enough for one surface over on the other surface. The wings will also have some extra, so consider carefully what you're using and you can save at least one piece of wood.

The cross-braces are 1/4" sq, and the diagonals are 1/8" x 1/4". Don't forget to add fillets in the corners to strengthen them. Fillet grain goes diagonally.

The fuselage top sheet was attached to the wood frame. After it dried, I positioned the gear block so that there was a snug fit of the cabin box between it and the cross piece at the rear of that area and clamped it into place. Later on, I cut a hole in the bottom sheet for the gear block. I could also have made the block thinner (earlier) so it didn't protrude, but I was thinking doing it this way might help with screwing down the retainers later.

Tape over the hole keeps the glue from sneaking out.

Andy
Jul 03, 2019, 08:50 AM
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xplaneguy's Avatar
Looking good, Andy!

Wonderful tribute to your Dad!

Wish I could attend Glow Plug Palooza...sounds like fun!!
Jul 04, 2019, 10:20 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
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Continuing on fuselage-y things, the fuselage top sheeting is trimmed to provide a snug fit to the box. The box will be added at the very end, after the fuselage proper is covered. I'm going to have a few more walnut pieces, and I'd like them all to be visible. I love natural wood grain.

The servo mounts get 1/4" sq balsa added to the bottom side to give more glue area and to serve as spacers, since this height will put the pushrods exactly where I want them. (The pushrod exits were cut with the laser, so I use them as a fixed reference for locating the servos.)

Corner bracing is added to the box, and then (after it cures) the servo trays are mounted. All these things are necessary so that I can round the corners on the box without fear of the joints breaking.

Andy
Jul 04, 2019, 10:45 AM
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Meanwhile, back at the tailfeathers...


When building the horizontal stab, I had fitted a 1/4" spacer at the root so that I could plug in the fin. The bottom of the fin needs a notch for the stab LE to fit, so that gets marked and then cut out.

The fuse top has a hole to align the bottom of the fin LE.

The empennage is now ready for sanding, hinging, and covering. I'm going to hold off on the covering for a while because I want to get a shot of the plane fully assembled, uncovered.

Andy
Jul 04, 2019, 12:15 PM
I like thermals
Enjoying your tribute thread. Coming along nicely. I built a couple of lightweight "quicksticks" using the balsa USA wing kit back in 2003. They were fun flyers in any weather with a variety of motors.
Jul 04, 2019, 07:33 PM
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The wing construction is very straightforward and typical.

The 1/4 x 3/8 TE, 1/4" sq lower spar, and 1/8" sq lower turbulator spar are positioned on the plans, then the ribs are added. Because I pre-cut the webs, I added them at the same time. R1, then W1 and the dihedral gauge are placed, then R2, then W2, then R3, then W3, and so on right on out to R5.

Then the top spars and 1/4" sq LE are added. The second W1 goes on now. Note that the top side of W1 aligns with the top of the curve of the rib. It will be a backing support for the 1/16" center sheeting that goes on later.

After those dry, I cut and sand a slight bevel on the TE to let it continue to curve of the airfoil. After gluing that down, I figure I've got a enough done for the day.

I hope you all had a great holiday, remembering the sacrifice of countless men and women to secure our freedom as a country. Actually, it's one of those holidays that almost the whole world can celebrate, since it was the spark for government by consent for many peoples.

Andy
Jul 05, 2019, 09:07 PM
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A bit more on the fuselage


I drew two firewalls; one for glow, one for electric. I'm building the glow version, but except for the motor mount they're identical. My OS .10FP came with a motor mount in the box, so I'm using it. I drilled out the locations for the holes, then inserted blind nuts in the back. When I get to fuel-proofing things, they will be glued in with epoxy. For now we're just doing assembly.

I then turned my focus to the fuselage. First, I masked the area where the cabin/radio box goes using blue tape. This keeps me from sanding it. I then rounded the corners to about a 3/16" radius, just something to make it look like I invested a wee bit of time.

Since I'm using wheels on mine, I replaced the last few inches of fuselage bottom balsa with 3mm lite ply to hold the tail wheel bracket. I sanded this to almost-exact shape first, then glued and clamped it overnight. After removing the clamps, I was able to sand this a bit more to blend the edges better.

Back up front, a little trimming and fitting made so the motor mount plugged on to the fuselage side rails. The fuselage is built with a 2 degree right offset. To get 2 degrees down, I made stiffening brackets that plug into the fuselage and will eventually be glued to the rails. They are angled to set the downthrust.

I then turned my attention back to the radio box. Natural walnut looks better if you give it a coat of stain. The photo doesn't do it justice.

That's all for tonight.

Andy
Jul 08, 2019, 09:28 PM
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Finishing up wing construction


The next step on the wings is to cover the roots with 1/16" balsa. This keeps the rubber bands (yes, I'm using them - for nostalgia) from ruining the covering, plus it makes the bottom solid where it touches the top of the fuselage. Besides, this is the way we've always done it - that makes it right, right?

After that dries, I cut out R1 between the spars. The area between the W1 webs is now accessible. After test-fitting the spar joiner, I cut the ailerons to length as well as the root trailing edge (which is aileron stock).

And now a personal comment.

I have always hated hinging. I don't know exactly why, I just hated it. Last year a friend gave me a Great Planes Slot Machine. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! It's the right tool. I should have bought myself one years ago.

If anybody else out there dislikes hinging, see if you can find yourself one of these excellent tools. They aren't available new anymore, which is really sad, but I'm sure they'll turn up on ebay (there are 7 right now in the USA ebay) and at estate sales. GET ONE!

Tomorrow night I plan to start covering. The end is near!

Andy
Jul 08, 2019, 09:37 PM
Registered User
Looking good, Andy!
Jul 09, 2019, 03:08 AM
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rchopper56's Avatar
Andy, Are you sure that your not building a Sherman Tank? That wing will outlive us all. The fuselage box looks armor plated. The whole design looks like you have put a lot of experience into it. Enjoying the build.

Gene


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