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Author Topic: A6 Foam  (Read 1673 times)
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Hepcat
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« on: March 11, 2012, 01:18:42 PM »

I know that this is not really an A6 but I thought it might be of interest, particularly to those who think the A6 ought to be a beginners’ class.  Actually my own view of beginners is on the lines of.’let ‘em rot in their own lack of committment’ but my friend John Taylor is more charitable; he is in a club with ex radio flyers who like to have a try at indoor but find it very difficult and so John tries to smooth the way.

John did a simple foam indoor model some years back, which was a good flyer, but others things intervened and it was put on the back burner.  Now John is reviving the idea, using the A6 rules but with the surfaces made from wallpaper foam and also allowing an Ikara ‘Butterfly’ propeller.  John brought a prototype to Clayton Green yesterday and I took a couple of photographs.  (No, I am not using up some old black and white film, my digital camera was in b/w mode and I could not find the correct buttons to press to get out of it!).  Just remembered, one 1/16 square balsa spar is allowed.

The model did a demonstration flight of about 2:50 without a lot of trimming or turns.  This really is the sort of model that can be put together in an evening, without the terror of tiny pieces of balsa and the trauma of tissue covering, and will give flights of a length that are satisfying and not embarrassing.

John   
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TimWescott
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2012, 01:50:50 PM »

Kewl.  That does say "beginner" to me far more than something built out of hand-selected super-light balsa purchased from specialty mail-order suppliers, glued together with hard-to-find glue thinned with volatile solvents dispensed out of expensive, hard-to-find containers, the covered with special super-light paper that is, once again, only obtainable from specialty mail-order suppliers.

What's "wallpaper foam"?  Is that a US term?  is it similar to 1mm Depron?
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Olbill
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 03:33:44 PM »

I like it! That's a very respectable time. A lot of people have a hard time getting that much out of a real A6.
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Nigel Monk
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2018, 04:04:59 PM »

What's "wallpaper foam"?  Is that a US term?  is it similar to 1mm Depron?
It's a lining foam used to prepare a wall for wallpaper if its cracked, damaged, a bit rough, etc. It is EPS - this one is 2mm https://www.gowallpaper.co.uk/saarpor-heatsaver-insulation-polystyrene-2mm.html   There are thicker versions that provide a modicum of heat insulation as well.  It is somewhat lumpy even though the thickness is uniform, I think it's sawn from block then rolled, but at the speed these fly, I don't think the air minds too much. NORWIND have a plan for a similar model  http://www.creativesweb.co.uk/norwind/images/a6-foamweb.jpg
hth
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Crossup
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2018, 08:42:37 AM »

First off, I'm all for helping the entry level person- one of the clubs I belong to is responsible for the National Building Museum  annual flyin where we have two sessions to have the kids build Wild Cats and fly them. I make a point of being one of the team leaders.

But the idea behind your post is the stuff of a drama queen. Even for an A6 build which is asking a LOT for most beginners none of your list is a real issue:

Michaels (a crafts) store, Hobby Lobby and local hobby shops all have balsa that will let you build light A6s, mY WART is under 1.4grams using Michaels woods.
 Duco is available at most hardware stores including Ace. Acetone to thin Duco is also common as dirt at Homedepot. The only reason not to use even more common super glue from your grocery store is trying to stay at the minimum weight which is not a requirement for your first build.
3M77 to attach covering is a stock item at all Homedepot stores I can checked.
Grocery store bags can be found light enough to cover a A6 and not go over 1.6 grams. Alternatively, you could forget being a gram wienie on your A6 and just use food wrap plastic.
For most beginners, the best approach is to forget weight and just build a Mather's original A6 if you have some skill or something more basic if you've never worked with balsa.
Your LHS will have 0.020 and thinner music wire, as will most guitar  shops.
For your one online order to finish your build go to Easy Built Models dot com and order 8 Nocal thrust bearings for $4.50 and 1/16"  rubber. Use only a single strand of rubber instead of a loop or if you have a local indoor guy, have him strip some 1/8" down for you...when I started everyone with a stripper offered to cut for me and one even was willing to part with some '99 batch.

Its great to get people into the sport but if they are not willing to put in some effort and deal with the realities of modern supply logistics, then its unlikely they will stay in the sport long in any case.

Kewl.  That does say "beginner" to me far more than something built out of hand-selected super-light balsa purchased from specialty mail-order suppliers, glued together with hard-to-find glue thinned with volatile solvents dispensed out of expensive, hard-to-find containers, the covered with special super-light paper that is, once again, only obtainable from specialty mail-order suppliers.

What's "wallpaper foam"?  Is that a US term?  is it similar to 1mm Depron?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 08:58:50 AM by Crossup » Logged
lincoln
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2018, 12:00:48 AM »

While A-6 is probably a good beginner's event, I think you're on a bit of a negativity trip. Limited (novice?) pennyplane isn't particularly hard to do, and ought to fly ok if it's a bit heavy. Maybe not QUITE as long, but long enough to be worthwhile.

The esoteric stuff you mention is nice, but not necessarily mandatory. I built a limited pennyplane using white glue, which was fine. I once built a 0.6 gram EZB. (At one time, that weight was competitive, but not when I built it.) Some of the best wood in it came from hobby stores. I selected it using a gram scale and a bit of testing at home. Perhaps the fancy glue bottle you refer to is very nice, but I find a plastic Luer Lock bottle with a tapered, fine pipette tip on it works nicely. The needle type are ok, too, as long as you never let the glue dry in the tube. You can also make a fairly thin nozzle by stretching a disposable pipette tip. These items will probably be mail order, but not expensive, and not necessarily from specialty suppliers either. For instance, you can get them from McMaster-Carr. However, for an A-6 or limited pennyplane I might just use a round toothpick and some Elmer's glue. The glue, if it's in the open, needs to be replaced every few minutes.

It was some time ago, but I weighed some of those plastic vegetable bags you find on rolls in the produce section of the supermarket. Weights varied, but the very lightest were much lighter than high quality Japanese tissue. I used some contact cement to apply it. The stuff is still FAR stronger than you need. On the other hand, something like Ultrafilm is much lighter and only about a dollar per square foot. Super Ultrafilm is even lighter, at about the same unit price. However, these two, and particularly Super Ultrafilm, are a bit finicky.

It's easy to make an A6 or a limited pennyplane at the nominal weight, though I'll admit I haven't tried one of the A-6 designs with the really long wings. I'm skeptical that they're really better, except possibly for high ceiling models that need to cope with a strong torque burst at the beginning.

The one item that I can't fake or by cheaply, that's very very useful for rubber models, is a rubber stripper. I haven't bothered to make my own, I suspect it would require a lot of fiddling, though I've seen some designs that are very simple. I bought a Harlan rubber stripper years ago. It's an elegant little machine, but I suppose it's only for the committed. (or the ready to be committed?)

If you want to be competitive in indoor events, the effort involved eclipses any building expenses. But the expenses are small compared to many other hobbies. They're also small compared to the travel and lodging required if you go to a bunch of contests.

BTW, I think wallpaper foam is a British or European item. I don't know how the weight compares, but you could use pieces cut from foam plates. There's even a contest for models made with them:
http://www.endlesslift.com/the-second-foam-plate-rubber-band-powered-airplane-contest-2017-2018/


Kewl.  That does say "beginner" to me far more than something built out of hand-selected super-light balsa purchased from specialty mail-order suppliers, glued together with hard-to-find glue thinned with volatile solvents dispensed out of expensive, hard-to-find containers, the covered with special super-light paper that is, once again, only obtainable from specialty mail-order suppliers.

What's "wallpaper foam"?  Is that a US term?  is it similar to 1mm Depron?
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