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Dec 17, 2019, 04:28 PM
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Wingerbill's Avatar
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Build Log

Rebuilding a Dolphin


Listed under a 'help' topic, I was trying to find a wing kit or a plan to build a wing for this old Phoenix Dolphin (long before the newer 2.5 ghz ARF now available) that I acquired through a rummage sale awhile back. Answers on that discussion, as well as some research, has led me to believe since this was originally an ARF product there would be no such resources available. Therefore I am going to scratch build a wing, based on the profile in the fuselage and the wingspan given in the instruction manual that I was able to download. This will be my first time at a project like this, previous projects have been rebuilding when I had some original pieces. So I decided to do a build log, here is day one.

All I have is the fuselage and tail feathers pictured below. Using the profile in the fuselage, and counting the number of ribs in a similar sized wing, I tack glued 24 balsa pieces together so I could cut ribs that would all be the same. Pictured is the glued block before sawing the lightening hole in the ribs and separating them into individual ribs. The two smaller blocks are spar webs ready to be separated.
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Dec 19, 2019, 11:02 AM
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JimboPilotFL's Avatar
That's a good start. Personally I wouldn't bother with taking the wood out of the ribs other than drilling a couple of holes for wiring.
Dec 19, 2019, 02:34 PM
KC4JAJ
Jim Johns's Avatar
If you look at the photos of the Dolphin ARF on the Phoenix website, you'll see the the airfoil is semi-symmetrical, not flat bottomed. Lots of photos here - just click on the "Photos" tab.
http://www.phoenixmodel.com/Product.aspx?ProductId=15

Jim
Dec 19, 2019, 03:03 PM
N = R* fp ne fl fi f
Azoic's Avatar
Being a Phoenix model, it's not much more than a straight chord wing. look at some pictures online, the Scanner, Sonic and Tiger all have a VERY similar looking wing, all built by Phoenix, it looks like only the tips have been changed from one to the next, to make it look like another design. Even the Hustler wing would fit this fuselage. All I would do is find a wing plan of the correct chord, and build it to suit. Many types over many years have become hybrids. A few I have flown in the past few years, Kaos fuse, Curare wing. Sportster fuse, Astro Hog wing (didn't fly that good), ME109 and Spitfire wing (VERY BAD IDEA), but I have used a Hustler 1 wing on about 8 different fuselages, some high wing, some low, it still works, you just modify to suit the saddle. Some work some don't. A good wing should just fly.....pass a foam core left to right by hand in a sweeping motion after you cut it, it will soon show you if it's going to fly, you can feel the "lift" or lack of it.
Best suggestion I ever had told me about used and retasked bits of models......"Try it, you'll never know until you do..."
Dec 19, 2019, 04:14 PM
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Wingerbill's Avatar
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I did look at all the pictures, and it does look like it is not a flat bottom wing. Looking at the illustrations in the older instruction manual it was a little hard to tell. So it is a flat bottom wing now, I guess we will see how it works.

Pictures are the ribs cut and ready to assemble, gluing on the trailing edge, and the completed half, minus the sheeting. I created a thicker middle rib so that I could taper it to put between the two halves instead of just putting an angle on the first ribs to get dihedral. Also shown is the dihedral wing joiner and the thicker middle rib I made. It has approximately 2 degrees of dihedral, same as another trainer that I have.
Dec 22, 2019, 11:08 AM
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Wingerbill's Avatar
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Both wing halves are all ribbed and fit together with about a 2 degree dihedral. I have done some more research and found a site that still offers the nitro version of this Dolphin, but it is 'out of stock' and the page has a 2012 date on it. I also looked more at the wing, and it definitely is a semi-symmetrical wing, it even states this in the description. So I have decided to alter my original plan of a flat bottom wing, and I am cutting some curved balsa pieces that I will fit to the bottom of the existing ribs to give it a semi-symmetrical shape.

I also started on repairs to the fuselage. I haven't decided how much of the graphics I will try to restore, I do have a vinyl cutter that I am reasonably proficient on, so I may try to duplicate them on that.
Dec 22, 2019, 02:52 PM
N = R* fp ne fl fi f
Azoic's Avatar
Do the decals make her fly better ?? As I see it, it's a "new" model, so a new scheme wouldn't hurt. neither would a patch job, if it flies, who really cares what a sport model looks like ?? They are meant to be enjoyed and NOT be too big a loss if they go down......having said that, I bet if you turn up at the field with fresh vinyls and they match the originals, you'll get more ooh's and ahh's.......but, then the groups of grumble bums will start to form, and the dark mutterings about how they hate you for being better than them will start to flow........AHHH seething resentment, the REAL reason we are so keen on our little toys......
Dec 22, 2019, 09:08 PM
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Wingerbill's Avatar
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I agree with the 'do they make it fly better' statement. It's actually more of a 'can I do it' thing and a way to get better on my vinyl cutter. I have definitely done some and changed the color scheme, best evidence is my Four Star 60 that I restored (also missing a wing, but for that I was able to buy a wing kit). It's all pink, with some trim. I did put the Four Star logos on it, plus the breast cancer logos: they were done on my vinyl cutter. I have a rebuild post somewhere on this forum.
Last edited by Wingerbill; Jan 02, 2020 at 12:07 PM.
Jan 01, 2020, 10:26 PM
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Wingerbill's Avatar
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Wing is complete and has all of the sheeting it will have. Still some filling and finish sanding to do before covering it. It is now officially a semi symmetrical airfoil. The wing mounts have been created and the wing fits well on the fuselage. I also scrounged up some landing gear and wheels for it. I am also probably going to convert it to electric since I have a Four Star 60, a Flightstar 40, an Aerostar 40, a Superstar trainer and a Tower trainer 40, all nitro.
Jan 02, 2020, 07:42 AM
I just want to go fly!
walter3rd's Avatar
Always fun to see a wounded plane come back to life. Nice job
Jan 03, 2020, 10:22 AM
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Wingerbill's Avatar
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My original plan was to save as much of the existing covering as possible, and just patch the front. However as I worked with the fuselage, I found the covering was pretty loose and so old that when you pulled it off the wood it left the color behind, and then the color just flaked off. So I decided to at least recover the entire fuselage. After getting the covering off the fuselage I was glad I made that decision because I discovered some places that were damaged and hidden under the covering. Because of this hidden damage, I have decided to strip it all off, including the tail, to make sure there is no other damage, and redo the entire plane.
Jan 04, 2020, 02:10 PM
I just want to go fly!
walter3rd's Avatar
I would think recovering would be fun as you can customize it to your own flavor
Jan 05, 2020, 06:21 AM
UAS Pilot - FAA# *******HRK
CryHavoc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by walter3rd
I would think recovering would be fun as you can customize it to your own flavor
Hahaha... That's one way to look at it I guess. Mine's more on the "Merta Fecto! Ahhhhhrg!" side. At which point it sits in the corner for a year or more until I'm bored to tears and tired of moving it around.

Mike
Jan 09, 2020, 11:47 AM
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Wingerbill's Avatar
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The tail had apparently been re-covered in an orange in it's previous life. All of the monokote that I stripped off left a good portion of the color on the wood, but was so old that it would flake off quite easily. Once down to bare wood, it was pretty easy to smooth it up a bit to prepare for re-covering. The top of the horizontal and the vertical tail was in pretty good shape so I left it alone.

Last two pictures show the tail with the new monokote on the bottom, and the top cleaned up.
Jan 09, 2020, 07:13 PM
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Wingerbill's Avatar
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I got this Dolphin fuselage at an R/C swap meet, it came with the box and some miscellaneous balsa pieces (no wing). I saved the box lid for the pictures and info on it, and found it when I was looking for some other stuff. I had forgotten I saved it.

Fuselage is pretty much done, still needs the graphics and I haven't decided yet if I will try to cut them out of vinyl, Now on to finishing the wing.


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