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Jul 07, 2019, 11:00 PM
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Rebuilding a 65" Cessna T-50


A fellow flier recently gave me the remnants of T-50 that had been sitting in his garage after an unsuccessful maiden (too tail heavy). I almost declined seeing the wreckage in the back of his truck but not wanting to be ungrateful I said I'd take it and packed it home. Damage is on the front including the fuselage nose and both nacelles.

After a few hours of looking at all the pieces parts and figuring out the nose was originally constructed I started in on the rebuild by tearing out most of the nose structure being careful to keep as much intact both as a construction guide and templates for cutting new parts. I also made a decision to build a hatch in the underside of the nose to load batteries further forward to achieve CG which is pretty far forward on this plane from what I've read.

The nose is complete now and just awaiting a final sanding after the putty dries. I'm pretty happy with the results. Next up is the nacelles. I just found plans for the plane here on RCG (after I build the nose of course) so I have somewhat of a guide to build new nacelles although there will need to be some significant mods to accommodate retracts. Fortunately there is a thread on this exact plane for those mods with lots of pics so I'm feeling pretty confident I can get that sorted.
Last edited by freddy_fo; Jul 08, 2019 at 09:47 AM.
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Jul 08, 2019, 10:12 AM
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Battery hatch mod
Jul 10, 2019, 04:40 PM
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I've removed the covering on the wings and started to assess the damage to the wing. The port side is going to require the most work including replacing 5 of the inboard ribs. I've got the plans to the printer after properly scaling them in photoshop so should have those in hand by the weekend to start that part of the rebuild.
Jul 12, 2019, 05:44 PM
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Fuselage is ready for covering. Servos installed with new control rods, body filled and sanded.
Jul 16, 2019, 10:49 AM
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One step forward... two steps back


Aargh! I've got the port side nacelle sub structure built and while waiting for the glue to dry I decide to start prepping the starboard wing which I saved for last because the nacelle was more intact for using as a guide but also thinking the damage was less that the work to get it prepped would be a walk in the park.

Couldn't have been more wrong. Initially I attempted cut away the skin just around the nacelle but I couldn't penetrate with the exacto blade at places due to copious amounts of epoxy on the inside so I had to go wider and wider exposing some pretty bad crash repairs from a time even earlier. Worst job I've ever seen with an amalgamation of epoxy and wood pieces just slathered over large gaps were wood had been pulverized from this even earlier crash. So now I'm left with repairing 4 ribs, one stringer making up the main spar and the leading edge of the wing almost all the way to the center. I'm wondering if I made the right decision repairing instead of starting from scratch.

As I mentioned earlier I built the sub-structure of the port nacelle and am really pleased with how it has turned out. I designed in such a way that it can be removed and fits snug. May not do that but I have the option and a while to think on it LOL.

Well time to fix up a makeshift jig so I can get back to wing repair
Last edited by freddy_fo; Jul 16, 2019 at 10:55 AM.
Jul 18, 2019, 03:06 PM
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Starboard wing with new ribs.
Jul 20, 2019, 09:44 PM
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Back on it's feet! Wings are skinned... just need a final sanding then time to start working on the nacelles.
Jul 22, 2019, 12:39 PM
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Spent sunday working on the first nacelle. Since this is all custom I figured I'd learn the mistakes on this one then copy the working result to the other. I'm going to make it so that the shells can be removed to access the retracts or even use as battery trays. On the latter it depends on where CG comes out but I have options to either place in the nacelles or in the nose of the plane.
Jul 25, 2019, 01:29 PM
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Nacelle formers all in and ready for planking.
Jul 27, 2019, 06:57 PM
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Nacelles complete! A few minor bits of balsa here and there then ready for covering.
Aug 06, 2019, 10:47 AM
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Started the covering process last weekend and had to stop after running out despite having 2-1/2 rolls LOL. Still lots of little things to do while waiting for some more covering so I'll keep hacking away.
Aug 14, 2019, 01:34 PM
There are some who call me....
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Just found your blog and am happy to see the covering is underway, I like the scheme. Looking forward to more pics!

Tim
Aug 14, 2019, 02:19 PM
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Thanks Tim! Just shot the cowls and waiting for those to dry. Have some simple graphics on order. Once that is all in place I'll get a pic or two up.
Aug 20, 2019, 09:56 AM
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Further progress. Just got back some decals I'd made up in photoshop from the printer, cowls painted with the white base coat and ESC motor leads extended so I can install them in the fuselage where the batteries will be going.

Going to do some more paint on the cowls, awaiting some electrical connectors for easy disassembly at the field, find and adjust the throws needed and a final CG check with everything installed.
Aug 20, 2019, 10:39 AM
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Absolutely outstanding repair and renovation. Best of luck with the maiden! I hope it flies as well as it looks.
Mark


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