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Author Topic: One Night In Jail  (Read 928 times)
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kittyfritters
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« on: December 18, 2016, 11:58:15 PM »

Several years back, the O.F.F.C. was having a Legal Eagle contest so I drew one up.  This is probably the last plan I drew by hand.  My inspiration was some of the ultra-light airplane designs of the 1920s and 30s that had their landing gear right on the bottom of the fuselage.

I showed the drawing to Dave Gee and he said, "That looks like a One Night In Boston."  At the time, I had not seen a One Night In Boston, so I looked up the plans.  OK, it looks very similar, and although I had been planning to call it the Bail Jumper, I changed the name to One Night In Jail.

I didn't build it that year, but Legal Eagle came around in the contest schedule two years back and I started working on it.  After all, how long can it take to build one of these things? I got the wings and tail feathers built and started on the fuselage. I built one side fine, but kept breaking the other side.  When I finally got the other side built I broke it trying to assemble the fuselage.  Something else came up and I didn't finish it.

Well, Legal Eagle came up in the schedule again for the 28th of this month.  Now I have lots to do, like the production prototype and plans editing for the Wright Amount of Wrong, and making sure that the back splash tile is finished behind our new quartz kitchen counters before Christmas, but since my wife and a friend were doing some holiday baking this evening I took the time to drag out the box with the Legal Eagle bits in it to try again.

This time I used some leftover alignment jigs from my Bostillation development to make sure the second side of the fuselage is identical to the first one and used them to assemble the fuselage square.  I had the fuselage finished, except for the nose block and the deck, in about an hour and a half, all while keeping up the conversation with my wife and her BFF and giving critical appraisal of the holiday goodies.

Anyway, here's a photo of it on the bench (TV tray). You can tell it's one of my older designs because of the excess truss work in the fuselage.  My intention, gift wrapping and other issues permitting, is to finish it in time to test fly it at Wednesday's  O.F.F.C. meeting.  Let you know if it's any good.
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kittyfritters
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2016, 06:01:12 PM »

This morning I got it finished enough to test fly. (Still needs the windshield and head rest.) 

It flew right off the board with no trimming necessary except for a small drag tab to get the turn tight enough for the room.  It would fly nicely, hand launched, on 1/16" rubber, but would not ROG.  Moving up to 3/32" rubber got it off the ground nicely but it flies way too fast to be competitive.  A bit of fiddling around with propellers and rubber and I will probably get longer flights out of it but it will still be an also ran.  It can be a lot lighter (12 grams without rubber now.) and I want to change the airfoil.   Back to the drawing board!

Here's how it flies:

https://youtu.be/mAVNsfz0YlI
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DavidJP
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2016, 03:46:22 AM »

That is rather cute -= never thought about Legal Eagle although suppose I should given my past! 
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kittyfritters
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2017, 03:36:09 PM »

I added the windscreen and headrest, and went to a larger prop that weighed the same as the 5" Peck prop that I used for my first tests.  Boy, did that mess up the trim!  I could barely get it to fly.  That's what I get for not having time to test it again before the contest.  I managed to get some official flights in but the longest was about 30 seconds.

I did say, "Back to the drawing board!"

Looking at my 2017 O.F.F.C. calendar, I see that Legal Eagle doesn't come up again until June, so that gives me a while. I'm not giving up on this basic design since it's cute, different, and has shown some potential.  (Even if one of the other contestants asked, "Why are you flying that ugly little airplane?")

I will leave out the excess truss work in the fuselage and greatly lighten the wing tips and tail outlines.  If I can fit it on the drawing I will make the tail taller to compensate for the large side area at the front of the fuselage.  The cockpit will be moved off the wing, making the structure simpler and lighter and eliminating some aerodynamic problems that I think I created by putting the cockpit where it is.  Of course, the biggest change will be single covering the wing.  There's nothing wrong with the lift provided by that wing but it needs the drag to slow it down. 

As I said, it's an older design.  Now that I have some experience with flying in the class I think that I can make it competitive without losing it's charisma.
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2017, 10:23:21 AM »

Ok, a few comments. I haven't built a legal eagle before, but I've been privy to the building and trimming of some that were quite competitive (John Barker could get 3 minutes in St. Luke's).

1. Light weight is king. Strive for under 8 grams. You can get this right off by using light wood, attaching your preshrunk Jap tissue with 3M-77, and by locking the can of dope away so you won't be tempted to use it. You can further lighten by eliminating all of the sheet balsa in your flying surfaces. It's not needed and all it is doing is making the plane heavy.

2. Big props make a difference. Scrape a Peck 8" down to 1.5 - 2 grams if you must use plastic, but a balsa prop is much easier and lighter in the long run.

3. Stop trimming for left circles. If you want to blow off power on a fixed pitch prop in Cat I, you need to circle to the right. This is the same method people use to get 3 minutes on a Hangar Rat. Using right thrust, you can trim the model to hang on the prop at high torque without stalling, and as the power backs off, the nose will slowly drop and the model will continue a gentle climb to the ceiling.

Stay with it. Legal Eagle is now eligible for FAC kanones under the publicly released Pinkham Field rulebook and can be flown both indoors and out. Your One Night In Jail would be super competitive as an outdoor Legal Eagle and you should make it available in kit form under that specification because I for one would like to be able to point beginners to it as a possible option. I really need to keep your products in mind when recommending kits for beginners because you make some great stuff.
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kittyfritters
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2017, 02:38:11 PM »

Maxout,

Thank you for the interesting thought.  I am an FAC member, but I hadn't realized that Legal Eagle was being flown outdoors.   Kitting this one was not even a consideration. In fact, I didn't bother to make a set of drawings for my laser cutter.  This one was hand cut from my old drawing.  But, I will consider it.  With another Legal Eagle contest coming up in a few months I we'll see how my redesigned version performs and maybe I can squeeze it in.  The other things I already have on my "drawing board" should keep me busy for several years.

Howard
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kittyfritters
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2017, 02:40:29 PM »

Well, I thought I would skip building a new One Night In Jail by putting my first one on a diet.  I have rebuilt and modified larger models successfully but never anything built this lightly.  Boy, was that an error in judgement! Roll Eyes 

After discarding the pile of broken balsa I scanned my original, hand drawn, plans into my computer and proceeded to redesign the model a bit as well as make laser cut parts for it.  The contest is next Wednesday so this is going to be a tight building weekend,

More later...
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kittyfritters
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2017, 08:13:50 PM »

I didn't get it finished in time for the contest. Needing a hip replacement slows me down more than I would like to admit.  (Those of you in the UK and Europe will not understand or may find amusing the process I'm going through with my HMO in an effort to get it but, that's health care in the USA.)   That, and the fact that we're having a run of triple digit heat (Fahrenheit) and my garage has no air conditioning.  (My wife is not that appreciative of my working in the house except that she has my companionship while watching television.)  Anyway, I did get back to the parts in the box this weekend.

I said the I would take the cockpit off the wing to improve the aerodynamics and I did.  How I did it may look a bit weird Wink however, it does satisfy the rules.  Somehow, the fuselage did not look so alarmingly lizard like in the drawing.  It all came together smoothly and, by way of celebration, I treated my wife and myself to a home made root beer float.

At the O.F.F.C. meeting, this morning, the opinion of it was that it was so ugly it was cute.  It took a little trimming and adjusting of rubber size but it's flying characteristics are stable and slow.  (No ballast again!  Still can't believe I'm that good.  Cool)  Should be competitive with a longer motor and a re-pitched prop.  Videos next week.
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kittyfritters
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2017, 04:27:49 PM »

Put up a demo flight just to get a video of it in the air.  It was already over 90 degrees (F) outside and the air conditioning was on full blast.  This wasn't too much of a problem for my Bostonian, but you can see this sub 10 gram model fighting with it.  Most of the O.F.F.C. members were practicing for the Penny Plane contest at the end of the month so they really had a problem with the A/C.  Most gave up and the flying session ended about an hour early.

https://youtu.be/ueugpwWZXCE

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