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Outdoor Free Flight Forum => General Discussion => Topic started by: CatMan on July 10, 2019, 12:23:30 PM



Title: First Failure
Post by: CatMan on July 10, 2019, 12:23:30 PM
Around 24 years ago I hung up the hobby of model cars (styrene), but before I did I picked up a balsa free flight Warhawk model and assembled it. I have no idea where that went now. Here I am now and losing interest in antique bicycles so I thought I'd see if I had any interest in this Free Flight hobby. Yes, it's most enjoyable! However I have much to learn. My first plane, a Guillows DHC-2 Beaver, has challenged me! I doubt that it will ever fly. It has.....3 or 4 coats of spray paint on it now. I didn't know anything about Dihedral and the wings are flat as can be across. Maybe it's my OCD? I couldn't get the part numbers to disappear through the paint. How do you do that? I think I'll paint the next one by brush, perhaps? Still can't decide on the best way. I understand that weight is an issue. Is the rubber motor that comes with the kit too long? It seems like it would be, but maybe not?
  Anyway.....I'm making notes, going to build a better work table, get a more comfortable office chair and select one of the 5 models I've recently hoarded to try again. I think this will be a most helpful board!


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: TheLurker on July 10, 2019, 03:03:03 PM
The first one never* flies, but you get hooked trying work out why.  It's aeromodelling's dirty little secret, but now you're an initiate we can let you in on it.  My name is Lurk and I am an aeromodeller...  :D

Dive in, cut some more balsa and you will get better at building and have fun into the bargain and they will fly.  Honest.

Oh and ask as many questions as you need.  This place is stuffed to the rafters with experts with decades of experience (alas, not me) who'll be  only too pleased to help. Nor is there any such thing as a stupid question.

Cheers,
Lurk


*That's not quite true, but for a first order approximation it'll do. :)


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: CatMan on July 10, 2019, 03:51:05 PM
Well that is encouraging. I don't golf, but it sounds a lot like the game. You're always trying to improve yourself.


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: Robmoff on July 10, 2019, 04:03:26 PM
If the numbers are going to show through, sand the buggers off. More than one way to skin a cat.


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: Starduster on July 10, 2019, 04:09:26 PM
but now you're an initiate

The first time I read that, I thought it said "Inmate", (which, thinking about it, may be a more accurate description  ;D )


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: CatMan on July 10, 2019, 04:40:40 PM
If the numbers are going to show through, sand the buggers off. More than one way to skin a cat.
Yep, so many things I just didn't think about. So many things. I will do better!


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: CatMan on July 10, 2019, 04:41:56 PM
but now you're an initiate

The first time I read that, I thought it said "Inmate", (which, thinking about it, may be a more accurate description  ;D )
:) ;D


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: PB_guy on July 10, 2019, 04:44:40 PM
Guillows kits will look OK, but flying is not their purpose it seems. And if it does work, it is either entirely accidental, or an expert knows how to trim the dead weight off, leaving a lightweight skeleton in its place. There are lots of plans in the plans gallery and there are some good kits by other manufacturers. So, don't tar them all by the Beaver.

ian


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: TimWescott on July 10, 2019, 05:28:52 PM
Two kit manufacturers I recommend are EasyBuilt or Sig.  Hopefully someone else has other favorites.  Comet kits are good if you leave the wood aside and replace all the pieces with contest grade (I wish I'd done that when I was a kid -- I wish even more that I'd saved all those plans I trashed when I was done building!).  Build something simple -- if you can stand to, build something that's not scale.  If you must build scale, build something simple, like a Piper Cub.

You want to cover with tissue, and then just one or two coats of dope for outdoor, and no color dope.  Use colored tissue (get colored Esaki tissue from EasyBuilt), or ask here how to do it.  Paint = weight, and weight holds you to the ground.  Remember that a gram of rubber can store something like 1/50th the energy of a gram of gasoline, and it takes energy to climb.

Figure that for your second plane, a 30 second flight is good.


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: Pete Fardell on July 10, 2019, 06:15:00 PM
Some Guillow kits are heavy and tricky to trim, but I think the Beaver is alright isn't it? I've certainly seen Mike Sanderson's fly very nicely. Maybe try again with a bit of dihedral as per plan, no paint (or at least only a light spraying) and some advice on the right rubber and nose block set-up.


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: OZPAF on July 10, 2019, 08:46:50 PM
I agree with Peter - build another one lighter. Use the advice from Tim and also sand the printed sheet before removing the parts - removing the numbers and lightening the build. Removing weight towards the tail can help.

John


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: Don McLellan on July 10, 2019, 10:06:55 PM
Hi Catman,

One other thing you should have a quick look at is the kit rubber (motor).  If the kit is old, maybe 10 years or so, the rubber supplied could be past it's best before date, depending on how it was stored.  Suggest giving the kit rubber a stretch test: give it a pull to say 1.5 times it's relaxed length and check for surface cracking.  If it is cracked, throw it away because it most likely will fail when you wind, and damage your model.  There are after market suppliers for rubber motors.

Cheers,

Don


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: flydean1 on July 10, 2019, 10:18:27 PM
Welcome home Catman.

Where do you live?  There may be other experienced modelers/flyers that can ease your learning curve.


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: vintagemike on July 11, 2019, 04:30:51 AM
And by the way, the only silly question is the one you DONT ask


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: John Webster on July 11, 2019, 04:39:46 AM
Toss your Beaver.

Remove the prop, prop button and rubber. Add modelling clay to the front of the recessed part of the nose cowling until it balances on your fingertips when they are placed about 1/3 of the way back from the leading edge of the wing to the trailing edge of the wing.

Toss it like you would a simple paper airplane. You are looking for a straight ahead descent to the ground with no pitchups and no dive. Add or remove clay to get that result. If it turns add clay to the wingtip it turns away from.

When you get consistent straight ahead glides, mark where it balances.

Put the rubber, prop button and prop assembly in and remove or add clay to get the model to balance on your marks.

Wind it to 150 turns and give it a toss. Add more turns and try again.

This should provide some entertaining flights and satisfaction at the flyability of your first effort.

Eventually you will find out that you need to be able to add down and right thrust to the nose button which means a new and larger nose button with a brass tube and a support structure for it glued to the balsa former at the back of the plastic cowl. Moving the rear rubber peg forward a couple of formers will also help.

Have fun!



Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: CatMan on July 11, 2019, 08:06:22 AM
Welcome home Catman.

Where do you live?  There may be other experienced modelers/flyers that can ease your learning curve.
I live in Pella, Iowa.


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: CatMan on July 11, 2019, 08:09:09 AM
Thanks for all the advice and encouragement. I can do this! I do need to set up a better work area soon. That's next before I take on another project. The Peanut Scale looks interesting. How hard is it to cut all the parts out from scratch?


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: calgoddard on July 11, 2019, 09:41:31 AM
CatMan -

Peanut models are very small and difficult to build light enough to fly reasonably well.  They can also be difficult to trim. Flights of Peanut models can also be flighty and skittish, i.e. not as realistic.

If you are building an indoor model and you want something that looks like a real airplane, try building a Mooney 14-gram minimum weight Bostonian, such as the Boston Found.  The plans for at least a half dozen Mooney Bostonian models should be available on the Internet. 

Stick with a high wing model if you are building scale or semi-scale.  Shy away from a bi-plane or a WWII fighter. Those are for more accomplished builders and fliers.

Scratch building a stick and tissue model airplane involves lots of tedious effort such as gluing prints of the ribs and formers to sheet balsa, and then cutting, sanding and notching the same.  It can triple your build time to go this route and the model will not be nearly as accurate as that built from a good laser-cut kit.

You will find most of the tools and supplies you need at www.volareproducts.com.

If you would like to try outdoor free flight, start out with a basic P-30 sport model such as the HOT BOX or the SQUARE EAGLE.  In general, the bigger the model, the easier it is to trim and the better it flies. 





Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: dorme on July 11, 2019, 09:54:02 AM
In addition to others comments and suggestions, I would add that the Prairie Bird from Peck Polymers is an easy to build and outstanding performer indoors or out.  Try some of the simple models from Easy Built or Volare'.  No-cals are quick to build and easy to trim.  Your hardest problem will be to build light.  Do not fillet glue joints with glue.  If the joint takes a drop of glue to joint then a second drop is a waste and adds weight.  The rest you'll learn with time and building.  Have fun or take up knitting.


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: stovebolt on October 30, 2019, 01:43:36 AM
catman
if you’re still around
or anyone else interested in FF
Howard Littman has some planes for beginners ( 3 I think) or old folks with clumsy fingers (my category)  that go to  completion  easily and fly. Then all you need to study is trimming for glide and flight. Helped me a lot.
 http://hjlmodels.com/simo.html
Pat


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: lincoln on October 30, 2019, 03:18:48 AM
Long ago, I built a Guillow Javelin, which was fairly easy and flew fairly well. I used a larger prop and left off the landing gear. Dick Baxter's Pussycat is really easy but hard to find. My guess is that his Big Pussycat ought to fly better anyway. If you're,willing to stoop as low as a Sig Thermal Dart, they are really easy and quick to build, and fly quite well. A friend and I built one with success without anyone else's help (that I remember, anyway). Recently, I helped a kid with one. He built it with his dad. If the motor stick from the kit had been cut from stronger wood, they probably wouldn't have needed help at all.

I've heard people praise the Pacific Ace as a good beginners model.

If you wanted to build from scratch, maybe one of Walt Mooney's Bostonians would work well.

It probably helps to think of rubber powered, stick and tissue scale models as flying watercolors. Don't try to make anything opaque, at least not with paint. Use Esaki tissue. It's much lighter and easy to use.

Lots of parts in kits, like ribs, are often too thick, so sanding off the numbers makes sense. For parts you don't want to sand, maybe a dab of White Out could cover up the numbers. I think you can get it in "buff", which I'm guessing would show less on balsa than white would. This is just a guess, though.


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: lincoln on October 30, 2019, 03:27:23 AM
BTW, my first stick and tissue model was a Comet Curtiss Robin of modest size. The,wood was heavy, there was too much of it, it came with a tiny propeller, and I tried to make it opaque by using way too much white Aerogloss. As I recall, it came out pretty heavy.  With a little advice and a better kit of the Robin, it might have flown ok.  I built a Sterling peanut Monocoupe years later that would do 20 or 30 seconds, even though it probably weighed 3 or 4 times as much as it should have.


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: CatMan on November 11, 2019, 04:15:59 PM
Good suggestions. I haven't been on here much lately as we are in the midst of moving, so all my plane hobby is packed up.  :( In a couple weeks I can get to setting up shop in our new home and get back to it for a long winter's hobby!


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: mick66 on November 13, 2019, 12:42:27 PM
Hi

You learn nothing from the things that go right!

Good luck

Mike


Title: Re: First Failure
Post by: TimWescott on November 13, 2019, 05:27:34 PM
I live in Pella, Iowa.

You are a 40 minute drive from Mecca -- uh, I mean Sig Mfg.  If they still give factory tours (they certainly did in 1978!) it's worth a stop.  If you head out to the northeast, drop in.  They certainly had a well stocked hobby shop when I was there, but it was a while ago...

No one got back to you on your location.  You ought to be in Free Flight Heaven, but I say this as a resident of the citified, mountainous part of Oregon, where we just look at all the pretty tall trees and sigh...  Check with the AMA for free flight clubs, or, if no one notices this post and chimes in, start a thread with the title "Free flight near Pella, IA".