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Author Topic: FF Newb builds an Ikara Butterfly...  (Read 3686 times)
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« on: July 03, 2013, 10:46:23 PM »

I finally get chance to contribute to HPA. It's not much and I am certainly not bringing or showing anything that isn't already here. But I at least get to share my first build along with my goofs that I am sure will come.
I also get a chance to take a shot at FF and stick & tissue building. My first plane is going to be a Butterfly kit from Ikara.
I haven't seen a build thread on this guy so why not make my first attempt at stick & tissue a build thread...

I have to give a shout out to Mandy, aka Cosmic flyer from Flitehook. I got the kit from her Ebay store and shipped from across the pond. I have to say... huge KUDOs to her and her company. It was a great price, super fast shipping and the shipping cost was like 60 cents! From way over there to here even. Thanks again Mandy!
So real life for me is way too busy with very little free time so this thread may be somewhat vague and also long in the making as I may go a while in-between posts.

With the pic limit at 5 I'll just show off the awesome Kit and the materials.
Ikara Butterfly kit with every material you need to make 1 plane accept glue.
Duco from Family Dollar
Acetone for thinning... this from Sally's Beauty Supply. Turns out they use it for removing fake nails. Pure acetone in a 8 oz bottle for less than 2 bucks.
Glue stick for the covering
Painters tape to stick plan and wax paper to the cork board.
Cork board... 4 tiles together in an art kit from Michaels. $5.00 Yes small building area but I will do mostly small builds and I can put them together for a bigger area if needed.
Pins.
Plastic straw from kids drink to dab acetone to glue in small amounts. (no I won't be giving it back to the kid)  Wink
That's pretty much it for materials.

Next post will be my actual start at the build.

Oh, and thanks for looking and God bless!
Jimmy
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2013, 10:51:54 PM »

I went for the small pieces first since this is my first time. Was afraid to try the wing first in case I didn't do it right.

cut the 1mm balsa pieces, cut angles where nec to make for a tighter fit. I then made a small amount of glue thinned a lot and dipped the ends in it and wiped extra off, then set pieces to dry a minute. Read about presoaking from another thread on Hip Pocket. Figured whay not try it to ensure a stronger joint. May not be needed on a plane this small but did it anyways.
Just put a needle sized dab on the ends to glue and went in a circle slowly pinning all pieces together.

WOW, the thinned Duco dries faster than I thought it would. I only made small amounts at a time.(in a plastic water bottle cap) Probably would have been better off making bigger amounts. I would have enough to put together maybe 3 pieces before it dried. I hope my joints aren't to heavy, towards the end the glue sure gets thick fast. Easy clean up, just peel the dried up glue out of the cap, roll up the glue booger and throw it at your kids!  Grin
 
So after less than 10 minutes my pieces were dry and ready to take off the wax paper. Wow, compared to what I am used to, it feels totally weightless! I can't believe how light weight this kind of building is.
Next up, covering them
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2013, 10:55:02 PM »

Now I like to jibber jabber so at times my text may seem long. I ask everyone's forgiveness for my long ramblings.  Roll Eyes

Any advice/help/smack for doing something stupid will be greatly appreciated.

So next up, getting the stabs covered, then onto the wing. ooooh I can't wait!  Grin
 
Last couple pics of my current progress...
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Lancioamano
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2013, 12:35:41 AM »

Go JimmyJFlyer  follow you job with pleasure. Luigi
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2013, 09:27:40 AM »

Thanks for the encouragement Luigi!  Smiley
I am home today for holiday but will be with kids/family most of the day so probably no building yet. Hope to do more this weekend.
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2013, 08:35:55 PM »

Jimmy,
That is a great start to a thread, good pictures and interesting chat.  I was glad to see your kind words for 'Flitehook'.  We regard it very highly over here and as Mandy has only recently taken over control from her parents it is good to know it is still in capable hands.

I think the easiest way to deal with thinned Ambroid is with a glue dispenser with a very fine nozzle and if anyone can recommend where to get one please say because I have lost mine and need a new one!

I have one building tip that might be of use.  I don't like using lots of pins, particularly on thin frameworks like the 'Butterfly'.  I would use some strips about 1/16 x 1/4 and pin them to the outside lines of the framework with just a couple of pins. Next place the actual framework piece inside the strip and hold it in place with, perhaps, only two pins.  Don't put these pins directly against the framework but put them through little 'pads' of scrap wood, about 1/4 square pushed up against the framework.  I will send a picture if that is not clear.

John
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2013, 09:46:04 PM »

Hey John! Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words!  Smiley

I have been reading through different older threads and also through House of Frogs site and have noticed Flighthook being mentioned often. I was pleased to see I used a known and well liked company.

Also, thanks a bunch for the framing tip. I can see what you are explaining at first with regards to building like a picture frame around the shape and then just using that as the outside wall to push the pieces against. But you lost me when you mentioned holding the individual pieces with just 2 pins but not against the piece but "through" the outside frame work?  Seems like this is holding the piece on the outside, but then how would you do the pins on the inside?

Now I have to admit, this question will be for future reference as I don't have any other wood then what is in my kit. I am also living seriously on a budget  so even tho balsa is cheap, I won't be getting any for a bit. So I am using just what is in the kit. Now truth be told, I am having a blast building this way as it is totally new to me so it's actually fun for me doing all the pins. It's like a novelty. So I don't mind all the pins.
Now I am sure that will change once I have a few builds under my belt and the newness wears off.  Wink
But if you get a free moment, I would love to see a pic. Always helps learning something new and a better way to do things.

Kinda of bummed as there is no available build time tonight so I am hoping to do some tomorrow night and will take more pics and keep the build thread going. I enjoy that part too. I used to love doing build threads of my foamy scratch build designs over at RCG.

Thanks again for the help!
Jimmy
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2013, 04:42:53 AM »

i'm also enjoying your build sesson and hope you find a bit more building time. You're doing very well so far.
John
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2013, 11:05:14 AM »

Oh that's cool John. I am glad you are enjoying it. I am actually surprised folks are seeing this thread. It seemed like this sub-forum really didn't get much attention over the last few months.

I am really glad you are enjoying my build. I hope to cover the tail feathers and start the wing build tonight and maybe get it posted by end of night tomorrow.

It's a pretty active weekend with the family and activities with Church so might be a few. I hope folks can be patient with me and keep watching for the next posts. 

Thanks for the encouragement!  Cheesy

Hope everyone has a blessed weekend!  Grin

Jimmy
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Dave Andreski
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2013, 11:49:00 AM »

Hi Jimmy,
I've been watching your build thread and it's going very well so far.
About 12 years ago I bought my Wife an RTF (ready to fly) version and it has been a real blast just flying it in the house.
Tried it outdoors once on a calm evening after dark using an .050" motor ( we have a rubber stripper) and the aircraft went up, up, and away 'till we could no longer see it.
We went inside to get a couple of flashlights and risking complaints from neighbors we searched backyards, frontyards, trees, decks, porches, roofs etc., until we finally located the little Butterfly about 1/8 mile from the launch point.
It sat undamaged on a narrow parcel of turf between a heavily travelled roadway and a pedestrian walkway. I'll never understand how it made it through the heavy tree canopy only to 'arrive' undamaged.
Great little design.

Dave
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2013, 03:06:17 PM »

Hi Dave,
Thanks for the kind words. So it is good to hear that this guy will actually go well inside a living room. I just hope my living room isn't too small. About what size room did you fly it in? I am interested to know where you got your RTF version, just incase my build doesn't turn out I know what to ask for on my birthday.  Grin
 I am dying to actually fly inside the house. I usually go out in the frt to fly the foamies.

So what was the auw of the RTF?
That's really cool to see you found yours after all that. Surprised it made it! lol
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2013, 07:08:24 PM »

Hi Jimmy,
The room it flew in was about 9 X 12 feet with many obstacles, ceiling fan, furniture etc., so couldn't manage many circuits.
I got my RTF Butterfly at Orange Blossom Hobbies in Miami, FL for $22.00. Quite a lot of money but it was a gift for Annie, my wife, so no expense was spared Wink I'm not sure the RTF version is still available here in the U.S.A.
It weighs in at 2.38 grams w/o Rubber.
I'll have to do some minor repairs and try flying it again as we have moved and have a larger space in which to fly. A 12 X 12 foot room with NO obstructions would be ideal.

Dave
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2013, 09:28:58 PM »

OK so that's good to hear. Our living room is like 15x20 with vaulted ceiling that goes to almost 12', no obstructions other than ceiling fan at top. which of course would NOT be running.  Wink It's by far the biggest room in the house. Our bedrooms are like closets. lol
So as long as I don't mess up the build, it should do fine.
Bummed as it looks like no build time tonight. Just too much going on atm. Actually taking a break from to-do's to poke around here.   Smiley
Sparing no expense for the wifes happiness... good move!  Grin
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2013, 10:24:28 AM »

Finally found an hour of build time last night. Took pics and will post some time later today hopefully. Lots of to-do' s on the the list for today. Might be tomorrow. Stay tuned.  Wink
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2013, 01:46:50 PM »

Finally wrangled some free time!
Since time was short, I decided instead of trying to do both covering the tail feathers AND building the wing, I would just go straight for the wing.
I started with just laying out the pieces, then decided to presoak again. Before I did tried top cut the spar ends to match the shape of the outer rib. Worked pretty good. Did just one, will do the rest after the wing is together.
 Dipped the edges that would be glued in and wiped the excess off & let them dry. The ribs were easy, just dipped them in the glue & whiped them off. I took note of where the ribs went on the spars and dabbed over-diluted glue on them and wiped them too. Now all spots that were going to take glue were presoaked.
The LE & TE spars went straight down on the plans (pinned down) and then I tried to fit the inside 3 ribs in and they had to compress quite a bit to fit. I was afraid the super fragile pieces would break under pressure so I trimmed a little under a mm off each.
Then I just dabbed a bit of glue on the ends and laid them in between the spars. The spars alone with the glue was enough to hold them in place but I still used pins to lean them up perpindicular to the spars to keep everything straight. The outer 2 ribs are shortened (even airfoil so you can cut either end) and laid flat instead of *up*. This way when lifted for the dihedral, they will be standing upright like the center ribs matching the airfoil.

***NOTE OF CAUTION*** The 5 ribs were the only *issue* I had with the Ikara kit. They were held nicely together with a small piece of tape so as to keep them safely together. The only problem was that the tape did not want to come off. Pulling it was a very dangerous feat as it would easily break apart the fragile ribs. 1mm soft balsa breaks sooooo easy. Held and supported the ribs with 2 fingers and used a pair of tweasers to slowly peel the tape up bit by bit.

to be continued...
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2013, 01:49:26 PM »

continued...
Then it was time to bend the TE spar up to the shortened ribs. This was made easy by taking just the very tip of my exacto blade and cutting less than half way through the lower face of the spar so that when I "lifted" it up to meet the shortened rib, it just went easy and did not have to bend. (no stress) For glueing this I just dabbed a bit of glue with a pin on the end of the rib and pinned the spar in place.
***I definitely need to get me a glue applicator needle but yet I only mix itty bitty dabs at a time so not sure how I would use it with this application.***
So that's it. For this session. Wife came home from her first Tupperware Party and the jibber jabber session has begun. Time to clean up. Thought I would get it totally built but not enough time. Next up, cut spars and lift ends up, then cover everything.

Couple more pics on the next post...
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2013, 01:50:10 PM »

Thanks for looking!  Cheesy Will be back soon Lord willing!  Wink

Jimmy
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« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2013, 06:55:40 PM »

You're obviously enjoying this Jim - nice work. Its very  relaxing watching your progress
happy building
John
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2013, 10:57:56 PM »

Wow John, never thought of this being relaxing for someone else. lol
I am very pleased this can offer others this kind of enjoyment.
Thanks so much for the kind words.
I used to look at pics of this sort of progress back when I would just glue up like 3 or 4 pieces of foam for a plane and think that glueing and pinning little toothpics was nuts!!! Now yeah, I am really enjoying this sort of building and yes, relaxing it is.

Ooooh! I just realized something... Next weekend grandma is taking the kids all weekend so the wife and I can be hubby & wife for a weekend to celebrate my birthday. Maybe I'll get some good time and actually finish the build.  Grin

We'll see...
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« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2013, 08:54:02 AM »

Good luck - hope you find time Grin
John
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2013, 09:52:01 AM »

So I actually found time on 2 nights this past week. It's harder finding time to post actually.  Roll Eyes

Had a couple free minutes Wednesday night. Couldn't resist trying to get a bit done on the wing. Figured I would give it a shot at doing the dihedral on both sides. Oooh I was scared to try it for fear of breaking the wings apart. Now I am not sure if I did the right thing here with how I did it. I actually did not follow the directions to a tee and I am worried I should have.

Now days later, I know I should have done it the way the directions said. Instructions said to just cut through the spars at the bends. I figured I would get cute and just partially cut through the top and actually take a small wedge out, put glue in the divot and lift it up. BAD IDEA. That left a small amount of unbroken wood in the joint that broke the very first time I put pressure on it. I have since broken the joint twice just handling the wing. I now see that cutting all the way through and glueing it solid would have been better. No biggie.

I measured & cut a 20mm piece of cardboard and pinned it standing up next to the wing. Then dabbed glue in the joints and lifted the end up and just rotated the cardboard and let the wing tip rest on it. 10 minutes later, unpinned everything and did the other side. Turned out nice. Still so super light I can't believe it. So that was it for that night. I only had a couple minutes before going to bed so I just couldn't resist.

I'll post more in a few, stay tuned...
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2013, 10:02:38 AM »

Couple more pics doing the dihedral tips... the on to covering. (hated that part!!!)  Wink
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2013, 10:38:38 AM »

Now this pasty Friday night I had more time. I am going to try not to jibber jabber too much as I need to move on to other things today.
Basically I DID NOT LIKE THIS PART!
I'm a perfectionist and I have to have it perfect. This part... not so perfect.

I have to stop complaining here... it actually worked out fine and was tuff as I didn't foresee the issues transitioning to the different surfaces going from the center to the tips. Doing this on a flat wing would have been easy peasy. But with the airfoil the Butterfly has, it was a bit challenging.

Center section... simple, glue stick the frt spar and lay the piece on. I left it overlapping per instructions. (goof here, trimmed one side thinking I would get a perfect edge going from blue to white and less extra material on the underside. BAD IDEA #2.)
Then just glue stick the rest, CAREFUL ON THE RIBS as they will flatten out and break. and lay the tissue down. I did the center rib first and then the others, then TE spar in the interest of keeping it flat and unwrinkled. Then trimmed the overlap from LE & TE. Trimmed the right (looking in direction of flight) overlap right to the rib. Yup, as earlier mentioned that was a bad idea.

Sides in white... I then put the tip covering  over the blue covered outside rib and tried to lay it on the rest of the wing end. With the rib having the airfoil and the rest being flat the tissue just got all wrinkled up. Would not work with end covering *over* the outside rib. So I just laid it flat and pushed it down to the outside rib as best I could. Oh yeah, before all this I glue sticked all the balsa and the top of the outside rib over the blue covering. (again, the way I planned the tissue over the outside rib and on top of the blue was not going to work)

Now had I left the overhanging blue on the edge of the outer center section rib, I would have had something to push the white tissue to. It still worked out OK. The left side went much better since I had the extra covering there to gluye to. Initially this all left an open area at the transition from blue center to white side but then I just pushed the white up to the rib & covering and just dabbed some glue (duco) in there to hold it.
WING DONE!!!

The tail feathers were simple since they are flat. Just glue sticked them and laid them down on the covering, wait a couple minutes and trim the edge with a new blade. Has to be sharp. The tissue is not the easiest to cut, especially when you need to be careful not to break balsa.
So that's it for now. I need to buy some CA for the next step so we'll maybe return to this next weekend.

Thanks again for looking!!!
Jimmy
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2013, 10:40:05 AM »

More pics...
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« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2013, 10:42:02 AM »

Close-ups showing how I did the gaps in-between the blue to white covering at the ribs. Good enough.

Thx again for looking!
Jimmy
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