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Jun 03, 2009, 08:44 PM
Registered User
Put a surprise in the nose, maybe it will get caught in a huge thermal and create a crater lake in the middle of North Korea.

Sky Bench Woodys forever
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Jun 04, 2009, 02:15 AM
Unshaven yokel
sparkysko's Avatar
Only Oregon can have a crater lake otherwise no one would know where we are. (Then again, that might be a good thing... hmm.)

Wing joined, sheeted, leading edges and tips installed and roughly sanded.

Fuse assembled, feathers haven't been added yet, nor has it been shaped.

Still debating glassing the feathers. I could just polyurethane them, but all I have is water based polyurethane, which has a high likelihood of warping the feathers. I could just dabble some epoxy on them for waterproofing, but then I might as well add some glass . Really don't want to add a plastic covering.

Fuse is 6 ounces so far. Feathers will add another ounce. 7 fuse + 10 wing + 2 electronics = 19 ounces AUW (WBPU should add negligible weight, and I'm going to lose weight from sanding the noseblock).

I think this is the first time I've ever built UNDER the projected weight.
Jun 04, 2009, 05:18 PM
Unshaven yokel
sparkysko's Avatar
Okay, I'll suck it up and put clear film over the tail. The CG is up in the air if I end up glassing the tail. I'll clear film the fuse too. Unsure how to do film on noses, maybe cutting a bunch of darts in it?

Only a few more hours of sanding to go. Hopefully will finish it today and maiden tomorrow. Unsure how I'm going to add the servos.
Last edited by sparkysko; Jun 04, 2009 at 05:26 PM.
Jun 04, 2009, 08:03 PM
Suspended Account
You work fast sparky, I'll grant you that! Looking nice there with the wing and shaping work, you going to get it done in time for your comp?

Most regular films will wrap around the nose with a bit of heat and wrking by hand, a lot of us will make it easy on ourselves and do a bottom strip from nose to tail, then sides, the cap it off with as wide a strip of film as we can handle across the top of the nose. I've not used clear laminating film on balsa before, so please let us know how it goes, i know there are a number of different thicknesses of laminating film out there.

Don, nice rocket collection! I'm afraid I need to go back to rocket school folks, NK is safe, Oregon is safe, the only unsafe place to be was the launch zone!
Just like the early space race days though, we will soldier on through failures and rocket destruction with some more learning. Houston sure as heck had problems yesterday, but two of my pals and I had a hoot of a time.
Jun 04, 2009, 10:27 PM
Unshaven yokel
sparkysko's Avatar
Laminating film works awesome on balsa. Requires the higher end of the heat settings on your covering iron. Mid for tack and full heat for shrink. It's like 10-30$ for a 500 foot roll. I'm using the mid thickness, which weighs 2 grams per square foot. This is a little bit heavier than solite, or whatever the light stuff the hobby shop sells, but only by 10-20%. It's considerably lighter than monokote, etc.

It's all I use. Here are my quick flicks with doculam on the wing.
Jun 05, 2009, 01:40 AM
Unshaven yokel
sparkysko's Avatar
Managed to do the fuse with 1 piece of doculam, multiple pieces for the nose. Definitely not smooth on the nose, but good enough for now, it's smooth everywhere else.

Second coat of water based polyurethane is drying on the wing. I'm aiming for a hi gloss finish. This wing is going to sit in my passenger seat of the truck and it needs the armor for hanger rash. I'll have to weigh how much it adds when I do the other side of the wing. I glassed the fuse on my hand launch above with 2 ounce cloth and WBPU and it only added 8 grams, 3 or 4 grams were for the cloth (About 1/2 - 1/3 square foot).

I love WBPU. I'm only doing the top of the wing right now, but by the time I got from one wingtip to the other, it was dry on the other wingtip (Dry enough to touch, but not enough to sand).
Jun 05, 2009, 07:04 PM
Unshaven yokel
sparkysko's Avatar
3 coats of WBPU top and bottom of the wing, weigh in is at 9.9 ounces. No more fingernail gouges in the wood now.

I sucked it up and doculamd the tail pieces. Going to use old floppy disks for the hinge. Out for a smoke, and then I'll glue those buggers on.

Which leaves.... Servo install and hatch mechanism.

I didn't see any ply pieces for servo tray, so I think I'm going to just glue some blocks in and screw down onto that. I was hoping to be able to balance out with 4 AA nimhs, but it doesn't seem likely. My 150mah is too light, so I think I'll stick a 2S 900 mah lipo in with a BEC. Although I do like nimh's because I can add a simple switchjack to the side and hobby city sells a cheap 'fuel gauge' LED panel so you can tell your battery health at a glance.

Of course I guess I could always get Paul Daniels lipo BEC that has a voltage readout and switchjack.
Jun 06, 2009, 12:29 AM
Still hanging on the Mt. wave
GDbot's Avatar

Hinging on a woodie, my two cents worth

While pursuing the ideal of a gapless hinge, I have only encountered three methods. Silicone, interlaced covering material, and Harley Michaelis' strip rubber hinging method which I have not tried yet. Silicone only works with thin mating surfaces and wipers to cover the bevel. I chose interlaced for my OLY but I was wondering if anyone wanted to contribute their two cents worth.
Jun 06, 2009, 01:44 AM
Unshaven yokel
sparkysko's Avatar
Hinge it with a normal CA hinge, then flexible CA or tape some strips of cut up condom across the hinge gap.
Jun 06, 2009, 01:56 AM
I need some building time in t
scaflock's Avatar
LOL Let me guess... you use the condoms for "Safe Thermaling"? Sorry guys but I couldn't resist that one.
Jun 06, 2009, 04:29 AM
Unshaven yokel
sparkysko's Avatar

Made a mistake. I shimmed up my servo mounting plates by 1/4" to avoid blocking an access hole. By raising this 1/4", it also raised the pushrods, which would no longer mount onto the ez-connectors. Luckily I managed to bend z-bends and avoid using the ez-connectors.

While gluing I managed to glue the pushrods onto the fuse side and caused major binding. Working it for an hour I managed to mostly loosen it up. The servos buzz at idle, but at least I have full throws now.

Fuse is complete, and in a flyable state, except for the hatch which is rough cut, but unfinished. I made a switch jack, but need to find a place to put it where it won't weaken the fuse, touch a pushrod or be too close to the ground to get dirt caught in it.

Soldered together 4xAA's for a temporary battery pack. 4 ounces, eek. Pushed all the way back in the fuse. My 1.2 ounce battery is slightly too light, so I really need some AAA's. AUW is 22 ounces right now, I can push that down to 19-20 with different battery.

Wing needs final sanding to knock down WBPU bubbles and covering. About an hour. Finish is nice and shiny, except for the rough bubbles. By the time I knock down the bubbles with 4 or 600 grit, it's a matte finish. Not sure if I need to work my way up to 1500 grit or try using a different brush, or use this can of spray WBPU I have.

Apparently WBPU can have delamination problems with heat, since it's a thin layer mostly on the top of the wood. I notice delamination while sanding on spots that had CA on it. Hopefully it won't all peel off when I apply doculam.

Forecast is rain, so I'm not going to bother with the contest.
Jun 06, 2009, 07:19 PM
Hot Dawg Glider Pilot
schrederman's Avatar
Got a new Houston Hawk... FINALLY... in the covering stages. I'll post a pic on that thread when she's ready to maiden...


Looks like the winds came up just in time for Amarillo's Glider Sunday...
Jun 06, 2009, 11:36 PM
Unshaven yokel
sparkysko's Avatar
Apparently WBPU melts and sticks to your covering iron when applying covering. Scuffed the finish in alot of places, although I didn't let the WBPU cure for the 24-72 hours recommended, which might have attributed to the scuffing. The casual observer will never know, muahhahaha.

Maidened my Lil Bird 2M today, all I have is a hand launch hi-start. 25 feet of tubing with 50 feet of cord. A few hand tosses at the park. I was able to do a circle around the park. Got about 60-70 feet launch from the mini-start. Able to cruise for about a minute. Overcast, so no lift. Can't wait to get a full size hi-start tomorrow. About a 5-10 mph wind, and I was able to mostly ignore it. The mini-start was grossly underpower, or I have no idea what I'm doing. It'd re-stretch the line, and then it'd pull the plane down sometimes, luckily I never stayed stuck on the line.
Jun 08, 2009, 12:55 AM
Unshaven yokel
sparkysko's Avatar
Finally got a real hi-start.

Couple minutes dead air from 2-300 feet. Porpoising at high speeds, so my 4xAA pack is definitely too heavy, even shoved all the way back. Only clear area to fly was a future housing track, Clovers/dirt/gravel abounds. Film covering isn't too good for gravel landings. Chewed up the nose a bit. Finally added a couple layers of glass to the nose and tail skid.

I'm sure glad this thing has as much polyhedral as it does. It just barely fits, sideways at an angle in my rear seat in my pickup, with an inch to spare.

4xAA Battery pack is 130 grams, all the way back (against the servos), which would mean that 80 grams would balance at the same point all the way forward. Ordered a 5xAAA battery, which should weigh ~50-60 grams so I'll be able to slide the CG around to get things dialed in.

Added switchjack and battery life meter. Drilled some tiny view holes, so I can see the 'fuel gauge'. Gives me some peace of mind, since I can't accurately gauge battery life with buzzing servos. Just put a piece of paper over it. Rubbed a pencil over that to get an outline of where the lights are, and used a 1/32" drill bit.

Last edited by sparkysko; Jun 08, 2009 at 01:02 AM.
Jun 08, 2009, 02:34 AM
Suspended Account
Sparky, that indicator instillation is neat. How much do those units weigh? It doesn't look like much by the size. I've never needed one with my home made eneloop 4xAAA packs but I'm thinking they could be usefull for a lipo powered project i have on the go.

4xAAA is all I've needed for a full days flying with any of my gliders with up to 6 servo's. The extra weight for balancing, if needed, is better off invested in lead further forward in the nose of the glider.

With the porpoising, to what degree and conditions does this happen, I'm assuming your CG is set at plan even with the large 4xAA pack? it should not do that. How is your angle of incidence, and wash with the wings.

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