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Oct 04, 2006, 08:47 AM
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Build Log

Windlord a RES/NOS Woody "wing"

HI all! I am Ken Bates and the designer of the Windlord. The Windlord was first published in Model Aviation on March 1978. My good friend Ray Hays of Sky Bench is producing a semi-kit of this sailplane and I am building one of the first kits. We felt it would be neat to do this thread to help promote interest in wooden sailplanes, and perhaps promote Sky Bench a bit too!

The Windlord is still one of the best light air reads I have flown and will out thermal most ships of its era at or below 60 oz. It’s not at its best in windy gusty conditions, for that you might prefer a higher aspect ratio. Over all you can expect Aquila like performance with better small thermal work.

There are several decisions that need to be made in the beginning. For Modern winches, in competitive events you may wish to add some carbon to the spar, increase the wing rod diameter, and a new tow attachment method. The original releasable hooks are pretty hard to find and maybe too weak. I am using the Sky Bench rod. The rudder counterbalance is not needed with modern servos, and was to large any way, for RES and Woody events it can be reduced to 20% by moving the split up 2” or eliminated altogether. I am eliminating it, and adding a sub-fin as a landing aid (used to be a piano wire skid, unfortunately not published). If you intend to fly the Windlord in RES competition, you will want the “Splaps” located on the upper surface as spoilers since RES rules (interpretations) probably won’t allow the split flaps on the bottom even though they work mostly like spoilers. For NOS events you will need to stick to the plans with the exception of the wing rod and spar re-enforcements and perhaps the tow options (rules interpretations again…. Why I don’t fly NOS)

Last edited by kenb; Oct 26, 2006 at 07:36 AM. Reason: Can'i splell worth a hoot
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Oct 04, 2006, 09:18 AM
agony sweetns the victory
atjurhs's Avatar
Hello Ken,

I am in the process of building a "big brother' to the WindLord that I am calling "Bagheera"

It is actually a re-vamp of the ZonZoecker that Roy Walton built, but it's heritage goes back to the WindLord, and I am using the WindLord's plans from RCM as the basic guide. I do plan to build the wing using all of the suggestions you've mentioned above.

My question for you is, where along the wing chord would you suggest placing the spoiler, and how big would you make it? Most suggestions I've recieved so far say at the 50% chord mark and at least 1 and 1/4 inches deep.
Oct 04, 2006, 10:03 AM
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I am going to use the same size and location, just on the upper surface.
Ps you are using windfreak plans

Well I'v lost an entire directory of photos somehow, gone like they were never there.... gads I love windows! so yes ~50% is what I use. your design is different so your results may vary
Last edited by kenb; Oct 04, 2006 at 10:43 AM.
Oct 04, 2006, 01:45 PM
B for Bruce
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Ken, or anyone else, any thoughts on electric power conversion?
Oct 04, 2006, 06:50 PM
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This build has specific targets as outlined above, however the Windlord shown in the photos is undergoing a CONVERSION to electric... more on that later after conversion and flight testing is complete. I have learned after a hundred or so flying wings not to assume that they will always behave as you expect.

(The process of conversion will be documented and presented. The starting point is quite faithfull to the plans)
Oct 04, 2006, 07:15 PM
Ivan MacKenzie
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My brother built one of these from the MA plans many years ago (I'm sure he'll chime in). Coincidentally, he pulled it out of the crawl space about a month ago intending to get it flying again.

I see from the pics that the kit still uses a rod through the fuse to control the "elevons". This always seemed to be an issue with my brother's Windlord, as there was always a fair amoun of play in the rod/elevon connection.

Given the small, high torque servos we have these days, what do you think about eliminating the rod and mounting servos in the wing for the elevons?
Oct 04, 2006, 08:24 PM
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Thats probably what I will do, along with spoiler direct, no more strings!
I do think perhaps the lazer cut slots in the elevator roots (they had no "aileron" function) may be more precise than my hand cut slots used to be, and less prone to slop.
Last edited by kenb; Oct 05, 2006 at 11:28 AM.
Oct 04, 2006, 09:42 PM
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Ken assembling his Windlord at Wood Crafters. Photo gives good perspective of Windlord size. enjoy

Ray Hayes
Home of Wood Crafters 07
Oct 05, 2006, 05:43 AM
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I'm going to install electric in my Windlord.
Oct 05, 2006, 11:07 AM
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Starting with the fin/rudder. I have taped the plans down to the hollow core door that I build on, and covered them with waxed paper..taped in place. You can see the absence of the aerodynamic ballance in this picture.The 1/8 caps will be just like normal, excepting the caps at the counter ballance which are now not used.
Oct 06, 2006, 10:44 PM
I don't want to "Switch Now"
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Here is my quite old, quite beat up Windlord.
It was flyable until about 15 years ago when the dog decided he wanted to look out the window it was sitting in front of, hence the holes in the wings.
It looks even worse from the bottom. Lots of patches in some kind of black "Mack-Tack" shelving paper or something. What was I thinking!
Maybe I was just too broke/cheap to spring for more Monokote. Either that or I was in a big hurry.

A few things I want to do ( on top of stripping it down, recovering and painting it)

- Remove the extra 8" span I built in 20 odd years ago.
It must have seemed like a good idea at the time to add an extra rib bay, but it moves it up from Standard to Open, and right out of Sport Sailplane.

- Seriously thinking of going electric. Then I can at least enter Sport Sailplane with a big enough plane to see after a 2 minute climb .
I am of two minds here. Part of me would like to put this thing up on a high start again too.
Perhaps I could build a new electric fuse, and share the wings. A lot of work in those big wing roots

- Put the elevator servos in the wing. As Ken points out, my hand cut slots for the elevator rods were never up to snuff.
I did a "fix" at the time with music wire rails, but the controls were never as smooth as I wanted them to be.

- With the elevator servos already there, put the spoiler ones out there as well.

Pat MacKenzie
Oct 07, 2006, 09:00 AM
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I have made another change, sorry Ray. This one has no real recomendation behind it , I just don't have a good piece of balsa block at the moment, and I don't want to mail order. This method extends the bulkheads out to the 1/8 ply cap rib which is glued to them. Then a "shelf" of balsa is added to the inside, smaller by the thickness of the intended fillet sheeting (clear as mud?) The inside shape, next to the fuse side will have to wait untill further assembly as I cant quite visualise it acuratly now. I have used this method on my scale ships and it will work, but its much more time consuming than block. again this is not a recomended mod, just me!
The fine razor saw cuts in the triangle stock are to help the fuse sides bent to match the top view profile. flex the sides over the plans and you get an arc, not exactly what the shape needs to be, a few cuts in the triangle renoves a bit of wood allowing an easier bend there. Make a few, then flex and check!

The template picture could be printed its 81/2 X11 at 75 DPI
Oct 07, 2006, 02:18 PM
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What's the deal with the Skybench part kit? Price and availability?
Oct 07, 2006, 04:46 PM
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Oct 08, 2006, 09:04 PM
Member: GSPL
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Subscribed. (have a set of windfreak plans sitting around - maybe I'll get inspired!)

Last edited by sloperut; Oct 09, 2006 at 01:58 AM.

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