Mountain Models ETana build thread
Congratulations to Doug Binder for winning the "Best New Product" award at SEFF 2005. As most of us already know Mountain Models has produced quite a range of parkflyers over the past years. Most notably the Switchback, Dust stick, Mini Flash, Cessna, Tantrum, to name a few.
So when I cornered Doug and Matt at SEFF on Thursday evening after he had pretty much just arrived i asked him about the top secrete plane.
He explained that, after seeing my Mini- Funtana, that I would just want to throw it away after seeing the "ETana".
He explained that his goal was to truly create a full fuse sport 3-D aircraft that was a little more scale in nature to the true Kitana, but not exactly the same.
When I saw the prototype early Friday a.m. I knew 4 things right away.
1) it ws not going to be difficult to build / assemble
2) it is big @ 44" wingspan
3) it will fly as designed (after all its a Mountain Models kit)
4) I had to get one
so without further ado..............
I opened the "box" (no bag this time) and shook out the kit.
Then came the fun part........
after gluing up the bottom and sides I couldn't help but note that Doug has manages to create 14" of surface joint in a 3" span of balsa to create the spliced two piece slabs. (Good job Doug, see me about a cabinet building project )
The directions that came with these preliminary SEFF kits were by Dougs own admittance a little rough in some spots, and he relocated the landing gear mount back one former space after creation of the directions.
set the blind eye screws in the Gear mount plate and set the plate in the bottom of the fuse prior to setting in bulheads 2 and 3...you'll thank me later for this one.
Then the Bulkheads are pushed into place. As always with Mountain Models kits, the laser cutting is so precise that any misalignment tends to make one think "oops I need the sandpaper here" but don't do it...just recheck your alignment and the parts lock right together.
Next your directed to fit the sides on, I would suggest you fit one side then install the bulkhead formers shown in the pictures for step 4,5,and 6 , then install side two. for me this was easier than trying to manipulate fragile balsa and my fat fingers between the two sides. Then pop in the plywood crutch, and the canopy magnet support.
Once all the formers and crutch are in place......and everything looks good.......when your really sure all is ready......Let the CA flow and make smoke!!
After the smoke clears install the wing spar supports making sure alignment is perfect (I did this with drill bits), then set the front fuselage former and glue into place....Epoxy is recommended, since I will be using an AXI 2820/ 12, I took this advice to heart ( Goog Lord 400 watts on a 200 watt design)
After the fron former is in i installed the tailwheel support and rear former at the same time (watch out not to twist he tail before you glue the 2 pieces in....its easy to do )
next its time to set up the turtledeck, sheating, rear turtledeck blocks . its then time to add, the only thing you can add to plane, that doesn't increase the overall weight.....yup....you guessed it......Sandpaper it took about 20 minutes to get her the way I wanted her.
Tip: If you have ever turned wood on a lathe you know you saw the corners off to get a more rounder chisel friendly shape, I did the same with the Turtle deck blocks using a #11 blade very carefully and proably saved about minutes of sanding.
and here is the fuse so far............
next post will be wings
Sadly I've only flown the early prototype Doug gave me at the Arizona Electric Festival one time. I didn't have the right power system on it and I was flying it without the cowling. Although those two things wreaked havoc on performance it still flew well. Doug assured me this plane was nothing like what the final release would be though. That's why I've kept my mouth shut about this plane until now. Knowing Doug won't sell anything until it's "right" the new plane should be nothing short of awesome. I just got a Himax 2812-850 outrunner that I plan to throw in mine. Hopefully it'll be better suited than the 2025 that was in it before. I also have the cowl for it now so that should clean it up quite a bit in the aerodynamics dept. I'll have to pick up one of the new kits soon though.
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