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Author Topic: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion  (Read 10647 times)
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Konrad
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« on: April 03, 2012, 11:42:56 PM »

Gentlemen, Ladies,
I have posted here for your consideration my conversion of the Dumas Walnut scale (17.5") Curtiss P6E Hawk.

Some background history, I had made a Sterling 16 inch free flight model powered by a Cox 0.010 while in high school (R.I.P.). After the short life of that model, one flight, I had always want to fly one as an R/C ship. The Dumas kit is very close to the same size so I’m giving it a try.

As with so many of my conversions I start out hoping to keep the modification to a minimum, with this P6E I think I have. I plan to set this ship up as a 3 channel model with control over the rudder, elevator and motor. For power I plan to use a 5 gram HK motor (HXM1400-2000) motor on a 2s 120 mAh battery driving a GWS 3x3 prop. The radio electronics are from Eflite’s Beast (2.4 Ghz)

Construction is very close to stock. I don’t think I have made any changes to the fuselage other than adding a front lower hatch in place of the plastic chin and radiator. This reminds me I have replaced all the plastic in the kit with balsa as I can’t seem to get my plastic parts to look right. I have changed the landing gear to attach to the top fuselage cross member. This is not one of my better engineering solutions but it was expedient. I normally use a horizontal torsion bar type landing gear. I did a high mount top hat style landing gear, so I would have a large area under the chin to change the batteries.

The tail feathers are built over the plans but with a part line to separate the articulated surfaces. The part line is made with 1/16 basswood to give support to the surfaces both the fixed and moving surfaces. I split the size of the stabilizer between the scale and rubber band free flight size.

All the best,
Konrad

P.S.
Note that I lowered the thrust line and changed the shape of the cowl a little bit.
Attached files Thumbnail(s):
Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 12:52:45 AM by Konrad » Logged

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Konrad
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2012, 01:11:24 PM »

The only major deviations from the plans are the wings and attachment points. The wings have ribs that support the wing struts slanted so as to allow the struts to make a lap joint. I didn’t like the butt joint pockets of the kit. I also raised the wing tips to meet the top of the wing rather than bring the top spar down to meet the wing tip. The top of the wing is flat (no dihedral other than thickness taper). I also changed the top spar to basswood to withstand my cartwheel type landings. This is also why I use basswood for my wing struts. When looking at the photos please note the wash out in the wings.

The Dumas fuselage is a standard ladder side frame built into a box with formers added to give shape. I used only Franklin Titebond glue on this model. I hate to use CA as it is heavy and hard. The hardness makes it very difficult to do a nice sanding job prior to covering. Also most hard glues are very brittle. This is a poor quality to have in a glue when gluing on such small surfaces.

Titebond glue allows for adjustment after it has dried by softening the glue joint with heat. With the way I build this is a major benefit over all other types of glue. Because of the small size I'm able to force dry most of my assemblies in the microwave oven. I also use the microwave oven to heat my glue joints allowing me to make adjustment as I find where I have misaligned the assembly.
Attached files Thumbnail(s):
Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
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wordguy
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2012, 05:49:35 PM »

I REALLY like the wing ass'y jig.  What material do you use, and how does the ass'y sequence go:

1.  Jig it, interplane struts, move assembled wings to fuselage for cabane struts, or...

2.  Ass'y bottom wing to fuse, jig top wing to bottom, add cabanes, add interplanes, or....

Huh
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— T. Baron Russell, 'A hundred Years Hence,' 1905
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2012, 06:57:53 PM »

Option #2

The jigs really are just templets that Dumas supplies with the kit. As I changed the dihedral I had to make a custom set to keep the relationship I wanted.
On this ship I set the lower wing as I wanted it. I raised the angle of incidence 0.5mm relative to the stock stab datum and let it dry. I then slid the templets on the wings. Once the top wing was in position I slid the cabane struts along the rib and into the sockets on the fuselage. Once this was dried I removed the templets and added the interplane struts much the same way as the cabane struts but as there are no pockets the interplane struts are lapped glued to the slanted ribs. The slant of the ribs was derived by graphic means using the plan's front view.
I will not make the interplane struts "N" struts until after the flight tests. "N" struts would make any minor twisting needed for flight trim difficult. After the proper trim is found I will lock the wings by adding the extra strut member needed to make the interplane struts "N" struts.
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2012, 08:16:41 AM »

Thank you, Konrad.  I particularly like the notion of not completing the "N" until trim is dialed-in.  I think there may be more bipes in my future.  I apologize for the inadvertent use of the icon at the end of my post; was not aware that hitting the question mark several times would result in a "Huh?"
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As it is not at all likely that any means of suspending the effect of air-resistance can ever be devised, a flying-machine must always be slow and cumbersome. . . . But as a means of amusement, the idea of aerial travel has great promise.

— T. Baron Russell, 'A hundred Years Hence,' 1905
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2012, 12:48:27 PM »

Not a problem. On the web I like to see the use of emoticons. I read it as you really wanted to know how it was done.


Like I said earlier I glued the bottom wing on at a little bit more of a positive incidence than what is shown on the plans +0.5mm (+0.020"). I did this to add some lift as I thought the ship would have a little bit higher wing loading than normal with the original 72 mHz radio guts. This should help keep the fuse looking more level than what would otherwise be the case (tail low trying to make the wing generate more lift). Even as light as it is I would leave this add incidence as I like the attitude of the fuselage even at an AUW of 62 grams.

You can see that I covered the wing surfaces that will face each other first, as it is a lot easier to cover these surfaces without the struts in the way. I'm using iron on film covering. I used Solite but if I was to do it again I would use R.A. µlite (R.A. microlite http://www.indoorflyer.co.uk/ra-microlite-248-p.asp  or http://www.homefly.com/products.asp?id=31 ). You might also see some bandages across the top wing. This is to counter the bottom covering from curling the the trailing edge of the top wing do to the tension of the shrunk covering. If I was to do this (film cover a biplane) again I would leave the shrinking of the covering until latter in the build.

I glued on all the cabane struts first using the Dumas supplied templates. When these cabane struts have dried, this will give me something to use as a datum (center of the wing between the cabane struts) when I set the wing washout. I will use the interplane struts to hold these settings as I find using the covering to hold washout rather problematic. Like I said earlier I don't make the interplane "N" struts until after flight test.
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PiperCub49
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2012, 10:08:19 AM »

Konrad,

I thought you had surely lost interest and disappeared.  It's a great sight to see the P6-E here!  Thanks for sharing.

-Kody
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Konrad
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2012, 10:54:35 AM »

Hello Kody,

I've been doing this since I was 8 years old, I'm now in my 50s. It is in my DNA, I'll be doing this until my dying days. I will say that my parents had hoped that I would have "lost interest" when I found cars and girls. 40 years later they have come to terms with the notion that their grown son plays with toy airplanes.

My distractors, particularly sales men, wish I'd disappear. But as you know I like to help anyone get the most from this fine hobby. The venue changes but I'm always around to help and learn. I have yet to build one of these models right the first time.

All the best,
Konrad
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2012, 11:19:27 AM »

I should have known. I hope that I can say the same thing when I'm older! I'm not sure anyone has built a perfect model right off the bench, at least not to your standards! Looking back on my Cessna build, all I can say is that you really are willing to help anyone and, well, sorry for those six months of misery! I really was a pest. That one build was my jumpstart on modeling and helped push me towards aero engineering, which I'll be attending college for next fall.

Anyway, thanks again for everything. Every post of your's yields some bit of knowledge to walk away with.

-Kody
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Konrad
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2012, 06:55:42 PM »

Kody.
It wasn't misery, it was a pleasure. I liked seeing your thought process change as the project came along. 

My standards are a lot lower than what I see here. But the goal is to have fun and to try to make the next ship better then the previous ship. And to that end I think we are both better modelers  today than we were yesterday.

All the best,
Konrad
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2012, 07:01:48 PM »

Amen to that!
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2012, 01:17:50 AM »

I'm shocked at how often the landing gears are over looked. Ether by the kit manufacture or during the conversion process. As I said earlier I wasn't too impressed with my top hat style (I prefer a true torsion bar type).

I have added some retention blocks to the lower part of the wire gear were it exits the fuselage. These blocks hold the gear in place and spread the fore and aft loads to the bottom front of the fuselage. But really don't offer any support against the gear splaying out and damaging the lower part of the fuselage. So far no damage, but again the gear set up isn't one of my better ideas. The top part of the top hat is wrapped to a crossmember with strong thread.

I like to laminate the block from which I will carve out the pant as the lamination lines make good reference lines while shaping the block. In an effort to make the pants light I will split them in half to hollow out the insides after the outside is shaped. I use a ball burr on my Dremel tool. To judge thickness I hold the part up to a bright light and were the light show through the balsa, the darker spots are thicker. I try to keep a uniform thickness of 1-mm (0.04). I do make reliefs on the side panels. I hope these reliefs allow any stones that get caught a place to go to allowing the wheels to keep spinning. After I have a uniform thickness on both halves I then re-glue the pant together.
You will note that there is a slot on the outside of the pant. This is there to help mount the pant to the wire gear.
I have to say I'm rather pleased with how the balsa wheel pants turned out.
Attached files Thumbnail(s):
Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2012, 02:17:21 AM »

Keeping with the subject of the landing gear I find there are a wide variety of ways to tackle that subject. I find that the biggest issue with keeping the pant in place is to not allow the wheel to touch the pant. For the 1.2mm (0.047") wire I used, I like to use the spray tube from a can of WD-40 (see red in drawing) as both wheel retainer and bumper stop. If the wheel never touches the pant it can't "torque off" the pant. I also like to fasten  both sides of the pant to the axle. This offers twice as many contact point as what we normally see. And last if your scale model allows it I like to add a vertical key (slot) to keep the pant from rotating when the inevitable piece of crap gets stuck  between the wheel and the pant. A side note I like to make the wheel opening tighter at the rear than the front. This acts like a scraper keeping the bigger boulders (crap) out of the wheel pant. I find this all helps a lot for those nice ROG flights. No sudden ground loops from a stuck wheel!
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Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2012, 09:25:38 AM »


It appears that my motor wants to mount in the same plane as the front formers. This is forcing me to inlay the firewall as the firewall has some dimension 0.7mm. As I want some down and right thrust I have installed the firewall at an angle.

I glued in the 1/32 (0.7 mm) plywood firewall. Luck would have it that I couldn't just glue it to the front former. In my case the firewall wanted to be "in" the same plane as the front former. This meant that the firewall was bonded to the airframe with a very weak butt joint. To cure this I used 60 minute epoxy and some scrap 1/64 plywood (0.4 mm) over the firewall to former joint. I also added a little corner filler to the back of the firewall. Don't use CA here as the mount is subject to a lot of abuse. CA is far too brittle for motor and landing gear mounts.

You can also see that I'm using fasteners to hold the motor mount to the firewall. I think these are "0" x 90 thread brass fitting from some model hobby ship vendor. I also epoxied the nuts to the back of the firewall in the hopes that this will make further servicing easier. Those with sharp eyes will have noticed that my firewall is in at an angle. I did this to make sure I had down and right thrust in the motor. As I wanted the motor shaft to come out in the center of my cowl as far as left to right goes I had to adjust the motor mount to the left on the firewall. It is best to guess the thrust angle now than do it latter with shims and pull the output shaft out of alignment (position). I may still need to make adjustment as the flight test dictate but the motor shaft will be closer to center than if I didn't start off with the motor mount offset. Well, as luck would have it flight testing has shown that the amount of trust offset is correct for a 3x3 GWS prop.
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Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
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« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2012, 09:11:24 PM »

Yes I'm attempting to do the Snow Owl color scheme of the 17th Pursuit Squadron.
BTW, I'm using the center article from the magazine Airplane volume 16 part 188 for my documentation.

I'm covering the model in Solite. As you know this is a rather translucent covering, as such anything that goes over black looks muddy. I'm trying to do the front white stuff as a negative of the black. That is I covered the nose in white and am now adding the black to make the tear drops. This make the white very bright. So far so good.

I just finished the tear drops and white pin stripe. That owl is concerning me as I really don't want to put white over a dark background, it usually comes out gray!. I was thinking use Solar Film white as it is much more opaque than the Nelson film (AKA Solite) I'm using on the rest of the model. I know the correct way to do it is to cut out the olive drab and insert the white panel. I have never done this on a covered model. I don't even know if it is a practical solution. (it worked just fine)

As you can see in the attachment I have one screaming chicken on the fuselage. I hate to say it but it took me 3 hours to get this far. While I do think she looks a lot better than the "owl" at the Air Force museum (she looks like all the vintage owls I see in photos of the 30's as she has her head down) but not as good as three hours would suggest.

This was the easy part now I have to make a copy and one that is left handed.

I forgot to mention that like the tear drops the Owl is done in reverse image. That is the black outline is placed over the white background. That is NOT a white owl on top of a black background

I did in fact remove the olive green under that black band so that the white Owl will be a brighter white. Other than a lot of small air pocket the covering looks good in the band area. I will be stabbing the air pockets and reapplying heat as I find the time. As there is no oil to penetrate the film I have no issue with popping these bubbles.

The claws on the wheel pants were rather troublesome as the film needed to be stretched. This distorted the claw more than I first thought. As shown the claw need to moved forward about 3mm.

 I was rather shocked at how many colors there are on this bird, Olive Drab, Black, Yellow, Red, White and Blue. I hope I haven't missed any other colors as this livery is getting expensive having to buy all those rolls of different colored film! I had to use red and blue covering as I find that the decals in the kit don't go around the leading edge of the rudder well. This forced me to make the rudder stripes (flag) out of film covering.

All the best,
Konrad
Attached files Thumbnail(s):
Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 09:24:09 PM by Konrad » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2012, 12:22:28 AM »

Here is a photo teaser as to what I alluded to in this thread.
http://www.hippocketaeronautics.com/hpa_forum/index.php/topic,11739.0.html

As luck would have it I dropped the model while changing out a battery. It landed as in knife edge on the wing tip. This broke the tip a bit but it has given me the excuse I needed to add ailerons to the wing. I've known from the second test flight that the model would need ether more dihedral or ailerons to turn like I wanted. I believe that adding ailerons will be easier with this biplane than adding more dihedral. I now know that I have more than enough power to do most aerobatic maneuvers.
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« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2012, 07:31:35 AM »

Way to go, Konrad! When life gives you lemons...

What servos do you plan to use and how will they be set up? I rememberer too fondly your old experiment with CF torque tubes (rods?).

Kody
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« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2012, 09:23:50 AM »

Kody,
"Fondly" is not the term I'd use when referring to that failed experiment.  Wink

I really don't know what I'm doing with the ailerons. Like I said the post was more of a teaser. I hope to use one aileron servo with a push pull cable and bowden tube. I also see where the use of dual servos could make things a lot easier (Ref. HanksGB's P6-E).

But first I'll need to see if I can make the ailerons without loosing the rig (warping) of the wing.
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« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2012, 12:15:45 PM »

I don't know where the word fondly came from.  That's definitely the wrong word.

I think that these (http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__17540__HK_5320_Ultra_Micro_Digital_Servo_1_7g_0_05sec_0_075kg.html) servos may be a good fit for the ailerons.  The actual weight is about 1.77g.  If you lay them down in the wing, they are 6.2mm thick.  Maybe you could squeeze them into that wing, maybe not.  If I remember correctly, you won't order anything from Hobby King, so that could be a problem.  Other than all of that, almost everybody loves these servos.  They center very well, have plenty of resolution, and are known for being extremely reliable if operated at or below 5V.  Preferably, you would want to drop the voltage down to about 4.2V with a diode.

As for dealing with warping, that is indeed the 'fun' part.  It was a challenge with my SR-10, and all I had to do was build an aileron to match the built-in washout.
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« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2012, 02:21:49 PM »

Kody,
I have nothing against HK. You might be remembering my rant against the economic policies of red China. This is more of a macro economic thing. It is about a level playing field from a monetary, regulatory and intellectual property perspective. It is because of these concerns that I avoid "Made In China" if I know of an alternative.

I'm thinking of the new linear type servos. I have a few Spektrum branded servos hanging around.
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« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2012, 02:54:53 PM »

Konrad,

Gotcha.  That makes sense to me.

I remember that you weren't a huge fan of my using linear servos on the old SR-10 (sorry to keep mentioning that) for several reasons, one of which being the "sliding pot".  The Spektrum ones are nice but, as you know, you can get some serious duds from HK.  The Spektrum linear servos would be perfect for this guy.  It's just the right size.  You said that you preferred rotary servos--as do I!--so I figured I'd throw that 1.7g rotary servo out there for thought.

Kody
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« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2012, 03:22:31 PM »

Kody,
You are correct in that I prefer the rotary output type servo. But i'm not averse to the linear type. I think my concern with your 30 inch ship and the small Spektrem type servo was their power for the weight and speed that I assumed your SR-10 might come in at.

BTW how did the SR-10 come out?
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« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2012, 09:17:54 PM »

I took a detour and that one got put aside while I messed around with foam.  Now it's back on the workbench.  I'm taking a look at my old thoughts with a fresh mind and doing some reengineering.
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« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2012, 12:25:44 AM »

This thread is now close to the point of the abandoned thread I had on another site.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=993498

I think it best that I thank those that helped me and gave me encouragement during my build of this Dumas P6-E Hawk. This is not an endorsement of that site or its management but just an acknowledgement and thanks to all those that contributed to making this ship a reality.
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« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2012, 01:09:28 AM »

Back to the core build. You should see that the 1mm carbon push rods cross in the fuselage. This helps a lot in allowing a more direct approach (straight line) from the servo to the control horn. The trick is that the surface control horns can't be of the same plane (Math talk) or else the rods will rub.  Now with the more restricted radios the horn  placement is critical as one often can't assign which servo controls which surface. This is why you see that unused horn mount on the elevator.  Sad

I like to use heat shrink tubing to attach my rod ends. But this means that I need  to heat the tubing while the rods are on the plane. I have found that a heat shield from some aluminum foil is very effective at protecting my film covering.
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Re: Dumas P6-E Hawk (17.5") conversion
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