Build Log - STARFIRE! Mc Clain Wing Cores 48" Beta Build - RC Groups
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Feb 01, 2009, 08:27 PM
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Build Log

Build Log - STARFIRE! Mc Clain Wing Cores 48" Beta Build

Hello all,

Many of you have been following the original thread Alpha build of STARFIRE! Mc Clain Wing Cores 48" virgin foam and EPP thread over the past couple of months.

In the Alpha build, we set and formalized the center of gravity, thrust angle of the motor and proved the design workable. (maiden video - )

Overall, the reverse sweep worked well and renders a reasonably fast roll rate with the original ailerons, Pitch sensitivity is crisp with large directional changes possible in tight spaces . . . a great trait for those wishing to fly it as a slope bird.

The design has great wind penetration even at the incredibly light weight (15oz) that we worked with the water based poly / .56oz cloth over the foam.

There are several changes that are being incorporated into this beta build.

Plane one will have twin fins and a motor mid mounted.
Right now, I am tending toward the AXI 2212/20 Gold Outrunner
( )
turning an APC 8X7 racing prop
3s Rhino 2200mah 30C lipo
25A phoenix esc.
This plane will be covered with the waterbased poly and .75oz cloth.
paint will be the same old acrylic I have been using in all my builds...and the color is entirely up for grabs . . .but I did just pick up a bunch of really cool pearl colors!
Elevons will be increased in depth by 10% on plane one
Battery hatches will be recessed.


Plane two will have the fins mounted normally on tips with a single motor.
this time we are going to use:
Dons wicked 2700kv 450 motor
3s and 4s 2200 mah pack capability
60 amp esc with a separate BEC
Model will be covered with Henrys 183 cloth then monocoated
Elevons will be increased in depth by 10% on plane two
battery hatched will be recessed

The original Alpha build is still running as I am in the process of changing the set up to a twin motor config using two of the the Don's wicked Jr 2700 motors.

When we were still trying to get the CG on the money, I swapped out the 450 motor for one of these 350 class motors . . Amazingly, only one of these pushed the plane around well as a sport flyer. Two aught to make things a little more interesting.

I am all for answering questions and am always open to input from the group.

I have only one request . . . PLEASE post your questions and comments here as the input is there for everyone to discover.

On with the build!
Last edited by pval3; Apr 26, 2010 at 10:51 AM. Reason: henrys cloth not kellys
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Feb 01, 2009, 08:30 PM
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I am referencing the other threads for your edification.

24" building thread

Mcclain Wing Cores 24" virgin foam/EPP wing

36" wing building thread

Mcclain Wing Cores 36" virgin foam/EPP wing

48" wing building thread


Build Log - STARFIRE! Mc Clain Wing Cores 48" Beta Build

McClain Wing Cores STARFIRE maiden flight in 25kt winds!

wringing out the McClain Wing Cores Starfire Beta 1 - day 2 flight 1 -Outer Banks, NC

MAIDEN - McClain Wing Cores Starfire Beta 1 (mid motor design)

Here is a link to the maiden flight of the alpha kit:

Here is the link to the video of the Maiden of the Beta 1 kit (mid motor experiment)
Last edited by pval3; Aug 24, 2009 at 04:33 PM.
Feb 01, 2009, 08:45 PM
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what you see is what you get

Out of the box and onto the building board!

The plane comes out of the box with a set of beautifully set of cut cores and a great set of EPP leading edges.

Prep is minimal to start the build

In one of the pictures, you can see the Starfire planform next to the std 48" MCW wing.

They share a similar span and manufacture with the virgin foam back and the epp LE but everything else is different.

The glue in the picture is the same old stuff I have been using from UHU for a while. It is the best thing I have found to bond the epp to the foam. It remains flexible in all temperatures yet does not release on impact...great stuff available from you local Michaels.

The actual building of the plane is the same between the alpha build and these builds so check that out first if you have questions about my techniques or if I seem to have missed a step.
Feb 01, 2009, 08:47 PM
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lay the cores out

lay the cores out in the beds and test fit everything

check to make sure the leading edges match at the joint.

check to make sure that you have the right cores with the right leading edges and the left cores with the left leading edges.

use the straight edge as a guide to align the leading edge to the sides of the cores so they will but up against each other when joined.
Feb 01, 2009, 08:55 PM
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elevon changes/mods

take a straight edge (while the core is in the bed - this is very important to make sure that everything is straigh)

Mark back 3/8" from the trailing edge of the outer core and cut straight down so as to keep the trailing edge angle the same as the original edge.

Do the cutting with a very very sharp and fresh razor blade or exacto blade to keep it clean. A dirty blade will tear the foam and leave a messy edge.

Once you have cut the back clear, take the straight edge and move it out 1/8" over the area you just cut and bevel the edge going under.

You are basically shaving 1/8" off the bottom of the hinge line to allow some reflex. The throw needs to be at least 3/8 down to get the roll rate you really want
Feb 19, 2009, 08:48 PM
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Mount The Leading Edges

Mount The Leading Edges
Feb 19, 2009, 08:49 PM
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Here Are The Panels With The Leading Edges Mounted

Here Are The Panels With The Leading Edges Mounted
Feb 19, 2009, 08:51 PM
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Square Up The Ends

Square Up The Ends
Feb 19, 2009, 08:52 PM
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Wet N Glue

Wet N Glue


you all know how important it is to get the glue into the joint and the foam bead .. . use a damp foam brush and LIGHTLY dust the surface with the damp brush.

This gives just the right amount of moisture to get the poly glues to foam lightly. Any more and you have a foam overload like a over detergent laden washing machine.

Make sure your cores match up in the beds before you start to ensure alignment too, there is no going back once you start this process.

Make sure you have enough weight to hold the project down in place with the cores pressed tightly up against one another to get the best glue joint.

make sure you spreadthe glue evenly with your gloved finger to get the glue evenly placed for best results.
Last edited by pval3; Mar 09, 2009 at 01:59 PM.
Feb 19, 2009, 08:54 PM
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Weight On My Shoulders!

Weight On My Shoulders!

do the same for the tips. Make sure you have your work area nice and clean so that your wings sit IN the core beds and FLAT. . . it is imperative that you have the area as clean as can be to make sure the alignment is right.

Make sure you weigh the whole thing down to stop it from spreading apart once the glue starts to foam. . . it will push hard, do not let it seperate or you will have a mess on your hands..

light brush with the damp foam brush, spread the glue lightly and evenly on both sides and set it up.
Last edited by pval3; Mar 09, 2009 at 02:02 PM.
Feb 19, 2009, 08:56 PM
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A Little Slice Of Life

A Little Slice Of Life

One of my friends who is a craft wizz had a phenominial idea of using the fresh blades from box cutters to shave the excess foam from the joint.

As long as you do this within 6 hrs of the application, it will work. Be careful not to cut the wing.

The loose blades have quite a bit of flex to them which facilitates a nice "shaving" of the excess.

After about 6 hrs, the foam get too brittle to come off easily then sanding is needed to clean the joint.
Last edited by pval3; Mar 09, 2009 at 02:04 PM.
Feb 19, 2009, 08:58 PM
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Putting It All Together

Putting It All Together

To clear up a little confusion . . .
we are not joining the two halves of the wings together until after the layout and spar location are determined...we need to see and have access to the center of the wing to make these determinations and if you join the two halves together . . you will not be able to do this. at this point, you should have a left wing and a right wing complete . .)

Now that we have both wings halves joined together, the fun really starts as this is where the builds between beta 1 and 2 diverge.

The wings are light and strong as they are right now but the reality is that we are going to kick the crud out of these airplanes wringing them out and having a great time with them.

We are also going to push them far faster than they are phyiscally capable of handling as just straight foam without some form of reinforcement.

We will now try to find optimal placements for the spars and motor mounts as well as radio gear.

We also need to look at how we are going to finish them.

In the MCW building threads, I have presented all 3 of the most common methods of completing a modern wing:

strapping tape with monocoat
.75oz cloth with WBPU
Henry's 183 with spray 77 (or spray 90 if you are building the all epp version)
the two that I prefer will be applied here, cloth and WBPU for one and Henry's 183 for the other.

Radio gear and the like will follow but please remember that the other building threads are going to have far greater detail as this is meant as a quick review of changes between the alpha as well as to get the the meat of the project, whether these mods are the right stuff to bring out more performance from the original design.

Last edited by pval3; Apr 26, 2010 at 10:54 AM.
Feb 19, 2009, 08:59 PM
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Spar Locations

Spar Locations

Keeping it all in balance has two meanings where.

For one, we have to make sure that we place the spar deep enough to provide the greatest effect making the wing nice and stiff but we also have to be able to get all the radio gear in and still balance the bird.

This is the conundrum!

Take all your stuff and lay it on the top of the wing, place your finger on the CG and start moving the stuff around until you can get it to balance reasonably well.

Once you have done this (I like to put a small about of painters tape double folded on the back of each piece to stop it from sliding around) you can then start to figure out where that spar has to go.

Idealy, you want it in the thickest part of the wing and as close to the cg as you can. Remember that it is going to take some glue to hold it all together - - so it will change your cg if it is in front of or behind your target balance point.

Take time to study what it is going through or around realizing that those items must ba able to clear the servos, battery, esc and reciever. If you are using 2.4g you most definetly want to check with your radio mfg about placement of the antena any where around CF as it has been known to induce interference or signal blockage.

Now with all that .. .. ... . balance !
Last edited by pval3; Mar 09, 2009 at 02:20 PM.
Feb 19, 2009, 09:01 PM
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Balance And Gear

Balance And Gear
Feb 19, 2009, 09:06 PM
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Balance And Gear

balance and gear

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