Converting the Baby Birdie to electric
Look what appeared under the pile of old model airplanes up in my parents' attic! A well preserved Baby Birdie! It's just begging to be electrified.
Besides I crashed the Blade Dancer EPP plane and broke the fuselage in half. It's an easy fix, but I'm sort of fed up with it for now.
A small storage damadge is to my advantage: the rudder is broken off. I'm going to make it into a 4 channel control anyway, it's possible with the new micro R/C gear.
The NewPower Booster 10 outrunner from the Blade Dancer should be perfect for the Baby Birdie. Out comes the old fuel tank and the Tee Dee. The Tee Dee is like a regular, front induction engine with side mounting pads and a separate fuel tank, not a one piece, rear induction unit like the famous Baby Bee. It's mounted on a tiny nylon engine mount. The Tee Dee came off easily, but the engine mount is glued and attached to the firewall with 4 M3 bolts. It was definitely not made to come off again. I'll have to think about that for a while. The Booster 10 motor has a rear mount, but is considerably shorter than the Tee Dee. It's perhaps easiest to make a new firewall in front of the original one.
The wing and fuselage are held together in the usual method in those days; transverse dowels through the fuselage and rubber bands. That is something I'm not going to change. I think I'll have to remove the wing to change the battery because there is no fuel tank cover. I think it would weaken the structure too much if I make a battery cover.
The rudder is visible in the upper, left hand corner in the photo of the radio compartment. The shape was given by the grain direction of the original design; the vertical stab and rudder having vertical grain except the top, which has horizontal grain. A genious way to stiffen an otherwise thin and flimsy vertical stab.
28September2008: Removed the old engine mount today. Had to drill the bolt heads off. For easier access I cut off the foremost bulkhead. I might leave it off to get more cooling air to the outrunner. That's more important to me than a stream lined look with a spinner and so on. The ESC fits in the space between the original firewall and the new one. The former tank compartment can hold a big battery, plenty of room there. The CG looks about right, too. Will fine tune it while installing the elevator and rudder servos. To keep the weight low I'll initially use a Graupner 3S/800mAh battery. There is room for a Samsung 3S/1300mAh if I change the configuration from side-by-side to triangular. The Samsung battery is twice as heavy as the Graupner one, it might be wise to install the battery close to the CG to avoid that the choice of battery affects the position of the CG.
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Last edited by Biplan; Sep 29, 2008 at 04:24 PM. Reason: continued the post
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