GWS Zero conversion - Page 4 - RC Groups
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Mar 03, 2006, 11:27 AM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar
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Mar 03, 2006, 06:16 PM
Team Me!
P-38J-Lightning's Avatar its kinda dead maybe if someone wants ill pick it up
Mar 03, 2006, 10:26 PM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar

This thread would have died alot of times, but I keep posting my progress, no matter how mundane. For example, tonight I was putting in the servo's. Had to scratch my head a bit, but I've pretty much got it figured out. Spent 30 minutes trying to get the z-bend prebent on the gws pushrod to go into the pushrod hole on the motor without having to remove the motor, without success. Just going to have to take it off... I needed to poly the screws, anyways. Still annoying.

Also, fixed the gears in the pico I burned up a couple years ago. All those times I just bought new ones, could have fixed it in 5 minutes for a dollar. Life lesson.
Mar 04, 2006, 03:26 AM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar
Took some pictures. Got the engine deal worked out, didn't have to remove the motor. I just kinda hamfisted it in there, bending stuff then bending it back once everything was fit. All the servo's attached and functional now, throttle good. I decided to go with a switch, put it in the top canopy with the battery. I did this because with the battery in the front you would have to remove the fuel tank to get the battery out. No thank you. You'll notice in the belly picture that the fuel tank is removed, that way you can see where the battery and switch will go (the battery will actually be further forward). The fuel tank will go in the gaping hole. Was hard to find a good place for the throttle servo. Initially I was going to put it in the canopy but since the motor was upside down it was difficult to get an angle that was pretty free from friction, especially with the fuel tank in the way. Stuck it next to the other servos instead, it works nice. When I made the pilot holes for the motor mounting screws, I came from the bottom to the top so the hole goes all the way through. Instead of coating the screws in glue and gluing them in to prevent them from coming out, I put some CA into the holes at the bottom. It's my hope that the thin CA will wick into the screws threads and wood not only preventing the screws from vibrating out but also from oil from seeping into the wood.

The muffler I had forgotten to account for, so I had to remove some foam. It was getting to the point of dig hole, measure, dig out some more... so I just dug deep (which actually fits well). Then I had to decide where I wanted my exhaust tube to connect, straight down. To move the muffler without unattaching it, I removed foam from the cowl so I could rotate the muffler exhaust nipple, then removed some more for where the tube will run out of the cowl. Perhaps if I'm lucky any exhaust that leaks into the cowl will go out of the large holes I cut. I had some plumbers tape for the muffler leaking, but it was too difficult to fit the muffler onto the engine without the tape coming off, so I just removed it. I didn't have any JB weld and didn't much want to drill a hole in my muffler, so I took some fireline superstring and tied the two nipples together very tightly to prevent the two halves from seperating. Dunno if the string can handle the heat, will find out when my fuel tubing gets here and I do a static run.

All the controls work fine, so if the engine performs it should be a flyer. I'll get the cg tomorrow, after I have the final tubing in place. I think I'm going to run the filler tube up to the canopy so I can refuel easily.

I will try to get the cg at 45-55mm, even if I have to add clay (I have like ten bars of the stuff laying around...). I would rather have a heavier warbird with a correct cg than a lighter warbird with an aft cg, particularly on maiden!
Mar 04, 2006, 07:02 PM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar
Was going to write about how much the shipping department at Tower was horrible 'cause my fuel tubing didn't arrive today (in an envelope, no less). After all, I ordered from both Tower and BalsaUSA at the same time, Busa is farther away, why can't they get here around the same time? B-USA's package, in a box, arrived Wed. And boy did I want to get my plane worked out today

Then I heard mom ask dad if he'd checked the mail today, which he hadn't. Tubing was there! yay!

So I setup the fuel tank and all that jazz, it's much better than the setup I had before. Ran it for about a minute with dad holding onto the fuse at first, upside down so the motor was right side up. Started it, adjusted the throttle (throttle channel reversed), and took the fuse from dad. Turned it right side up and it started to sputter, so turned it back around and adjusted the needle until it would run the right way. Everything held together, the muffler did good (most of the stuff flying out was coming from the prop hub area!), and it ran upside down. I call this a success.

Since everything is connected and working well I hope to maiden tomorrow if weather allows. No video camera, so... you'll just have to take my word for it if I write a report
Mar 04, 2006, 08:16 PM
Team Me!
P-38J-Lightning's Avatar
awsome! i am going to go get pics of my corsair now b4 i forget!
Mar 05, 2006, 03:50 PM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar
I maidened the zero today. Balanced it at about 55mm, used less than half a stick of the clay in the nose (which was ok, I used it to block holes into the fuse, kinda like fuelproofing). Without fuel it weighs 13.6oz, don't know how much it weighs with fuel. I have a 2oz sullivan tank, and I know alcohol weighs less than water, so 1.7oz maybe? That's a guess, I don't know how much alcohol weighs.

The maiden can be summed up in three words: Oh my god. Un freaking believable. In freeking sane. Too dang fast. Should be illegal.

Everything was 10 times better than I thought it COULD be, much less would be. It's hard to describe how well this plane flew. I guess I'll just tell it descriptive story style.

So, we (dad wanted to go, I told him "good, I'll need help picking up the pieces) get to my flying spot, and get everything setup. Checked all the channels, throws, etc. Filled the tank up, started the motor (this motor starts right up, every time!), tried to find idle and killed the motor so had to start it again. Got idle pretty well nailed down, and put it in the road (I had set the needle before getting in the car). It started rolling down the road slowly, so I got it lined up and accelerated. It had plenty of power, I can say that. I picked up speedy quickly then jumped off the ground. I had adjusted the incidence but apparently it wasn't enough. A little down elevator and it flew level, so no problem. I was worried about overusing the ailerons right after take off 'cause that's a good way to stall the 109 (when you're not going full throttle, anyways) but I found that wasn't an issue 'cause by the time I got the plane flying level it was already hauling butt and the ailerons were already effective. I flew around for about six or seven minutes, the performance was scary. A full throttle pass sounds like an F1 racer going past, and at those speeds it would would rocket vertical like a rocket gaining altitude at an alarming rate. I don't think it would hover, I didn't try. The rolls were like if you were rolling the plane with an iron bar running through the fuse. I don't know how to describe it, it just spun and didn't fly off in any direction like a barrel roll. Outside loops were possible, this plane will do any aerobatic maneuver you want it to (not 3D, so no hovers/knife edges/etc). After wringing it out for about 6 minutes total flying time brought it down to check the fuel level, still had about half a tank! Filled it back up and sent it off again with a clock running. I didn't watch the throttle, all I know is I was having alot of fun, and it lasted 10 minutes. 10 minutes per tank, re"charging" time of about 1 minute. It would fly with about 1/4 throttle, which is dangerously close to idle. I generally left it at half throttle and it would do whatever I asked it to do. I flew it without a cowl, don't know if that will affect flight performance or not.

The motor? I couldn't be happier. It started right up every time, setting the needle was a piece of cake. The APC 6x3 prop was a perfect choice. The firewire around the muffler nipples worked like a charm, still tight together and not coming apart and the firewire didn't break or melt. I didn't want to weld it or drill a hole in it, so I'm glad it worked so well. Exhaust had a decent connection with the cylinder, most of the exhaust definitely went out the muffler (and into a tube and out of the cowl area). The motor was whisper quiet, it really surprised me how quiet it was. It was just bliss on tap. By the way, mounting the motor to a custom mount lined up with the stock mounting stick worked great. The thrust angle is dead on, and flies the same at any throttle setting. I guess the CA from the other side of the wood worked because the screws and motor are still very tight.

I noticed that most of the exhaust oil was on the left wing (the side the muffler is on) on the top and bottom of the wing in a 2in wide area that starts about 2 inches from the fuselage. There was also a considerable amount of oil on the front of the fuselage. Maybe flying with the cowl will direct the fuel to go out where I cut the big gaping holes.

I was worried about the cg, it was at about 55mm and not 45, but with unpowered glides it a) still flew fast, b) floated in during flare like it was using a parachute. From what I've seen today, I think it would make a great glider. It flies *beautifully*.

I know I sound excited, but it's the best flying aircraft I've ever seen. Only one improvement: I think I'm going to sand down the rear wing saddle to change the incidence more so I don't have to hold down elevator. I'll also check the elevator and see how much it actually needed to fly level. Might just adjust the linkage and leave it at that. Something tells me that since it rolled so well in a straight line that the elevator must have been right. Thoughts?

btw, I had my little pencam and told dad to shoot some video. Was going to upload it to see how well it came out when I remembered that I had removed the batteries to save their juice. This is ok with pictures, but removing power causes the video memory to wipe
Mar 05, 2006, 07:25 PM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar
Of course, I had to fly it again. Only got one flight in before dark, and I think the high G's I was pulling made the fuel tank come loose, but everything still flew 140%. Guys, I just can't put into words how awesome this plane is. Had motor die on me mid tank, it had rained before I came out and I assume the motor died because of one of two things: 1) the change in humidity, addition of water vapor, changed the fual/air mixture and cut out after going full throttle then quickly half throttle, 2) I dove for a long time which starved the motor of fuel (since the clunk kinda stays at the rear of the tank, it would have been out of the fuel). Neither a big problem, just restarted and off she went. Flew with the cowl on this time, now all the oil is at the bottom of the plane (where it should be!) and not on the wings or anywhere else. It does a good job of directing the exhaust, no matter where it comes from, out of the cowl in the right spot.

I can't wait to get some video so I can show you guys, it's unbelievable how much fun this plane is.

Leads me to something I was thinking, why don't they make more foamy glow planes? The foam is obviously strong enough, and if you precover it as an arf the glow wipes right off. In fact, glow I would say is MORE glow fuel resistant than balsa, it doesn't absorb much at all (You still have to cover balsa, anyways). Would make quick and easy arf's, no doubt. And cheaper.
Mar 05, 2006, 07:50 PM
the journey is the reward
Hammer Head's Avatar
Cool conversion, I look forward to the vid.

Mar 06, 2006, 08:00 AM
McClintock on rcu
jaeder's Avatar
That is a great flight report! It's great to hear how fast it was, yet controllable.
How did the oil clean up? Did the polycrylic loose it's sheen? Were you just real careful to not get raw fuel on the plane when fueling? I think I read that the polycrylic is not able to stand up to raw fuel, but the exaust oil is fine.

I have a foam Graupner piper, and I'm thinking of putting a cox pee wee .020 in there, but I'm still not sure what to treat the foam with. There's no way to be real careful with fueling the pee wee, as every time it gets fuel it has to sqirt some out to let you know the tank is full. Oh and the priming. Maybe epoxy in that area would be better for me.

Cox used to market a few foamies for glow engines for many years.. I think the better ones were made for them by Kyosho. Pretty planes, and with the heavy old radios in there, some were quite fast.. Their Cessna sportavia if found today is usually in never flown condition or flown once and cracked up..
Mar 06, 2006, 10:03 AM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar
I didn't take any extra precaution to not get raw fuel on the plane. I didn't notice any loss of shiny, but I did notice the white plane picks up grease/dirt/grime. I don't mean as in dirt sticks to it, but if your hands are dirty the plane will get dirty. So whatever you do, paint the foam some color other than white

The oil came off easily, just wiped it off. I would say it didn't come completely off, because it's oil and that crap gets everywhere no matter what you do I'm going to have to figure out something, after fueling and starting I had small amounts of oil on my hands which got on my transmitter. Basically everything I touched has a microscopic oil film on it, and you just can't rub hard enough to get it off. I'll check the polyurethane coating when I get to the house (I'm at school right now).

As mentioned, foam doesn't soak up fuel like balsa. It's doubtful it would get in very deep, but you could just cover it with a bit of epoxy or something and not have to worry about it. Well, I say that, but I'll tell you for sure a few months from now of flying mine The thing about the methanol, it evaporates so fast I don't think it would have much time to ruin the poly.

I have my sisters camcorder. Its battery doesn't work, but I have a DC->110vAC adapter for my car that I can use her ac adapter with. Problem is there also is no tape, so I have to go find and buy one of those. Don't know when I'll get around to it, money's kinda tight and I think they're like $20? Then I have to have time off that meets up with Dad, since he's the designated camera man.

It was *very* maneuverable. Even at speed. We'll just have to wait for the video to show just how maneuverable, but it can make a tight turn I don't know how fast it's going, but it's fast to me. Makes my 18.5oz 109 look like a Pico Tigermoth Landings are fun. It comes in fast, I don't know why it doesn't slow down faster, but it also looks like it's floating down. I mean, without fuel it's at 13.5oz, pretty light. Gotta make sure to bleed the speed before touchdown
Mar 06, 2006, 06:52 PM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar
Just checked poly, no damage that I can see.
Mar 07, 2006, 01:05 AM
Registered User
E-Challenged's Avatar
Hmmmmmmm. I love my brushless powered Zero and am not surprised your glow Zero flies great. My Zero flies a lot like my old Dynaflite .40 glow funscale warbird models. You might want to take a look at Sureflite foam .40 size warbirds, guys are converting them to large brushless electric power but nothing wrong with glow. I might want to try glow powering a GWS model if we ever get a glow flying site again here in Orange County Cal again.
Mar 12, 2006, 02:03 AM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar
Would just like to add that the motor died the second time I flew it because the throttle servo came loose! The tape was still sticky, and the throw on the servo is more than on the motor (so it's possible to bind at 3/4 throttle!), so I'm guessing I wasn't paying attention and gave it full throttle which unattached the servo. I'm not taking any chances, I epoxied the servo back in place (with covering around the servo).

Was going to get video today (well, technically it was yesterday). I had loaded up the GMC Jimmy, all my flight equipment and plane was in there along with the video camera. Came in the house to get dad (the camera man!) but he was taking a nap, so I decided to let him sleep and wait for him to wake up. He woke up half an hour later and we go out to film it but notice the Jimmy is gone! Mom went shopping, took my plane with her

Tomorrow (today!), if the wind isn't 20mph like it was this afternoon.
Mar 13, 2006, 02:37 AM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar
I tried to get some video today, out of four minutes only the takeoff was useable (and in 15-20mph winds, it looks unspectacular) because it was a cloudy day but bright so the white Zero is literally invisible on tape except for sometimes you can spot the black cowl. No sound. Horrible winds. My sister really needs a new camcorder

The title is aptly named considering the day I was having. Aside from all the bad things listed in the pervious post, I had glued the servo in at the wrong place so that the minimum throttle wasn't enough to kill the motor. Since I couldn't shut it off, I just flew it like it was. I would add that I had set the needle (it was at minimum throttle) to too lean, so when it was in the air in leaned out more and limited it to between zero and 1/4 throttle. I don't know how little power I was getting, but I was completely unable to do an outside loop (which I could do with ease the last time I flew it), and considering it was at as little throttle setting as possible in flight, it was just a bad day for video. Either way, as you can see, in the high winds it still had plenty of speed (wind speed 10-20mph) despite almost no throttle.

I think I'm going to have to paint it green so you can see it on tape =/

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