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Nov 24, 2006, 10:23 AM
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vintage1's Avatar
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Build Log

"Aesop" - reverse engineering the Vic Smeed POPSIE

This is all Chas' fault really,, because he (unlike me) kept all those plans from the 60's and scanned this one for me.

I decided to give it the full treatment - redraw completely, update for 3 channel electric, and for Laser cutting.

Charlie Bice at assures me that the prototype will be dispatched next week early..he has the exclusive on laser cutting and if the darn thing works, will be in a position to supply a fairly full 'short' kit. Nearly all the sheet is precut - all you will need to do is buy spars dowels and the hardware.

I wanted to give it a name like POPSIE, and started with E-Popsie, then E-POPS then E-SOP and it mutated into Aesop, the Greek storytelling slave..

Anyway, PDF'S and some basic gifs here..Corel draw format on request, and if you want plans printed for UK/Europe PM me.

The old thing should be suitable for speed 400 or a 300 class outrunner, and its probably tough enough to take a payload and a 400 class brushless or 480 gear was valves in those days..

Now I have to clear the workshop...

Apart from wanting to re-create a rather lovely tubby old 60's design, I had in mind to make this a very well documented and simple build, so that anyone who wants to start his first scratch build, would have an easy 'kit' style starting point, and a very easy plane to build 'from the box', for use as a basic trainer, sport or photographic platform.

I hope other people will be encouraged to try this one - I spent a lot of time trying to make it fall together from the precut bits as easily as possible, so it should be a very fast build.

Time will tell..
Last edited by vintage1; Nov 24, 2006 at 10:32 AM.
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Nov 24, 2006, 12:40 PM
Gone Flyin'
Another grand old design.

I will follow this thread closely and please post details on the "short kit" when available.

Now, while an old Vic Smeed derived design like this for electric is fine, what I would do is put a small diesel in it. would a PAW 1.49 do the trick? I can't really judge the size based on your JPGs but your description of electric motor choice puts it in that ballpark,

cheers, Graham in Embrun near Ottawa Canada.
Nov 24, 2006, 01:38 PM
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Oh..I think it used to have a mills .75..I'll peep at the scan.

Yup. Side mounted mills .75.

But with 'up o 7.5oz of lightweight radio gear'

If you want I have the bitmap from the scans that Chas sent..

here ya go.

You might want to build it the way it was, rather than the way we do things now
Last edited by vintage1; Nov 24, 2006 at 01:45 PM.
Nov 24, 2006, 03:03 PM
TLAR Aviation
Harry D's Avatar
Would you have a .DWG or .DXF file of that, V1?

Popsie has been on my "very soon" list for a long time. I actually got about 80% through a redraw of my own, but just haven't had time to finish it off.

Looking forward to the build thread.

Nov 24, 2006, 06:55 PM
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I can produce a not particularly good export from Corel Draw..DXF...

It tends to lose the fine detail in circles and some splines, and mess up dotted lines a lot.

You are welcome to it - mail me an address and I'll do it.
Nov 25, 2006, 02:23 AM
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Mark Winstanley's Avatar
Vintage1; I guess you and I must have had the same kind of upbringing and likes in our youth. I remember I started to build this in my bedroom. I was quickly relegated to the garage when I doped the wing before going to bed one night and stinking out the whole house. I think I almost killed my younger brother with the fumes! Work in the garage was not that safe either as the fumes of a freshly doped wing would waft into the house through the ajoining door.

Bravo for reviving this design. I will have to build one just to complete the build from so many years ago.

Nov 25, 2006, 04:30 AM
Good Better Best quest.
olmod's Avatar
Just to give you incentive my 28'' wingspan one is hanging on my bedroom wall awaiting some radio problems to be sorted out ,it is fitted with a cdrom based custom built motor.
Nov 25, 2006, 05:46 AM
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Airboatflyingshp's Avatar
Sort of makes you want to pick it up and fly itagain..........the aeromodeling equivalent of a Bumblebee...
I have the plan time to watch and learn
Nov 25, 2006, 08:25 AM
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It is a cuddly little thing, too.. May need a good color scheme to bring out the lines.

Can't wait for the bits to arrive...
Nov 27, 2006, 05:30 PM
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Well the bits DID arrive..and I feel duty bound to say a "RA RA for Charlie", as they are spot on to the plans.

I'd already got most of the square stock I needed, some wheels and so on..and that's there in the first photo. Its like opening a Keil Kraft kit, except those lines aren't printed on..

The second shot shows the liteply parts which came in a separate bag..just had to dry assemble to check...

On to the rudder. The first photo shows making the laminated fin base, which has a slot in it for the rudder torque rod. The balsa here was a tad light for this, and split..might even make that 1/16" ply later..

Then the framing up was a doodle..precut notches in the top and bottom bits made the posts easy to cut, and then it was just fine work with a razor saw and the trusty permagrit to get the bits the right size.

A bit of a plane and sand and the fin was set aside to work on the rudder. That needs a 1/16" hole drilled in it for the torque rod, plus a little groove and the torque rod made up as shown.

I epoxied the torque rod in with 5 minute epoxy, and used a tiny piece of glass cloth over the join with the epoxy to lock it together. Its easiest to sand the high spots off this while the epoxy is still 'rubbery'.

Since I didn't fancy hingeing the thing after covering..very hard to get the torque rod through all the tailplane and out the side later..the hinges went in early..I used a poor copy of a Dremel to slot things, and it all went together well. At least I could sand everything even with the two parts firmly mated.

Right. Cup of coffee, and on to the tailplane.
Nov 27, 2006, 08:40 PM
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olmod's Avatar
That really does look a nice kit of parts,mmm maybe later ill go the same route they would make a good AP ship.
Nov 27, 2006, 08:50 PM
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portablevcb's Avatar

That looks pretty. Funny how the shape of a fin/rudder has such an impact on the overall look.

Thanks for the compliments too. It really is due to the quality of the drawings though. The Laser Master just picks the wood (and she does a good job of it too ). Our new supplier is BalsaUSA and they are doing a great job for us.

Nov 27, 2006, 09:43 PM
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Right..tailplane almost done..the 1/16" sheet is a bit 'splitty' all round...very string along the grain. not so across it. Oh well.

The model is a shape that this was an adaptation of a 60's design, as already I can see ways on which it could be so much MORE self aligning and less 'sand it all to shape afterwards'..

I had to do minor adjustment on the ribs where they meet the curved edges..I left them a little oversize..and its important to note that the two center ribs are SLIGHTLY smaller than the outer ones to allow for the 1/64" sheet..I added a little bit of 1/8" x 1/16" between the centre ribs to support the sheet front.

I used leading edge stock, but wished I hadn' was hopelessly the wrong shape and I might as well have used the razor plane to get the right profile anyway.

Steps are basically pin down the spars, notched trailing edge (3/16" sq) and add the tip pieces..these were so spot on its eerie..then add the ribs and then glue the leading edge on.

I then took a break and joined the two elevator halves with a bit of CF tube. Slight grooving of the elevator fronts to accommodate the tube made everything line up perfectly.

The better way then is to sand the elevator hinge line, and hinge the elevators BEFORE applying the sheeting..I left the rear end of the sheeting unglued and added the joined elevators to the rest later, and then stupidly used CA to glue the ends of the sheeting together..and it dribbled down and locked the CF tube to the sheet. The sheeting was a little oversize too..I 'guessed' at its dimensions as it curves..not easy to add just the right amount to the plan of it.

A better way to join the two sheets at the tail would have been to add a little bit of sheet to the inside, and sand it to the right profile, then add the top sheet. Or use a fillet of epoxy. As it is, right now its got PVA in it and its taking ages to dry.

The fin assembly fits easily to it all though, and will be glued on later when its all dry.

Whilst I was waiting for it to dry I made up the tailwheel wire and former..which took forever and shows I need new glasses.
Nov 27, 2006, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by olmod
That really does look a nice kit of parts,mmm maybe later ill go the same route they would make a good AP ship.
Its VERY boxy..huge in fact. space is not a problem, but its only a speed 400/480 weight is important.

The idea of the kit was partly to gear me up to do something more complex with laser cutting, and partly so that people with modest building skills could get a nice old fashioned model up in the air fairly easily and quickly.

No idea what prices Charlie is going to put on it, but the quality is way ahead of 'Bent Buckled' kits, and Vic Smeed's designs generally flew pretty well. I don't anticipate too many issues there.

Well its WAY past my bedtime, so whichever bit - wings or fuselage - comes next will have to wait till later today
Nov 28, 2006, 02:35 AM
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Dear Vintage1 !
Do you think is Aesop a good first model for pilot training ?

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