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Author Topic: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'  (Read 1015 times)
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Starduster
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« on: July 17, 2012, 08:19:22 AM »

This build could have been in any one of several forums:

1) R/C Scale, as it is a scale project, but more towards the "Sport Scale" end of the spectrum.
2) R/C Electric, as it will be powered by an electric motor, with 3 functions, Rudder, Elevator and throttle.
3) R/C Stick and Tissue, as the basic structure is balsa stick, but I will be covering it with Ultracote Parklite.

So the subject is the American Eagle 'Eaglet'. This thread actually started in the "Looking for Plans" forum, but as I have now moved from the concept phase, through the design phase and now am in the fabrication phase, it is now officially a "Build".

The design work is about 85% finished. The wing and tail have been modeled in 3D CAD (NX7.5, if you are interested) the fuselage is 80% completed in 3D CAD, and should be done soon.

I have completed the construction of the wing, and I just need to sand the leading edge shape.

I am using a standard Clarke 'Y" airfoil. The wingspan is 60 inches.

Next, I start construction of the tail.

When the drawings are complete, I will upload them to the Plans Gallery.

The following pictures are of:

1) The full-size airplane.
2) The wing construction.
3) The 3-view I am using as a basis for the design (Thanks to Mark Braunlich).
4) The 3D CAD model of the wing.
5) The 3D CAD model of the Tail Group.
Attached files Thumbnail(s):
-Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
-Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
-Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
-Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
-Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
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Sundance12
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 01:47:28 PM »

Fine business Ice, nice project, will be looking forward to how you go on with this one. I am interested in your results with that Parklite covering. I have another project that could use the same stuff. Will await your results.

Cheers

Sundance12

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Starduster
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 02:10:48 PM »

I've used Parklite on several of my airplanes, and am very happy with the results. It's not dope and tissue, but I don't have anyplace to do that at home.

I should have mentioned that this is my first "soup-to-nuts" airplane for a very long time.
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Starduster
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2012, 01:19:59 PM »

The CAD 3d model is about 95% done. Just a couple more details, then it will be done (Tail Skid, H-Struts)

The drawing is about 2/3 completed. The wing and tail group drawing has been completed. I just have to do the fuselage drawing.

The wing construction is complete. The tail group laminations are done, so the tail should be completed by tomorrow evening.
Attached files Thumbnail(s):
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
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Starduster
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2012, 07:06:35 PM »

The actual wing and tail are complete.

The 3D CAD model is now complete, see attached.

The drawing will be done tomorrow and uploaded to the gallery soon thereafter.
Attached files Thumbnail(s):
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
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Starduster
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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2012, 08:18:57 PM »

The drawing is complete, and uploaded to the Plan Gallery. After being reviewed and approved by Ratz, please take a look, and if you have any suggestions, I would appreciate any and all comments.

I will start the fuselage build soon.
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2012, 08:44:33 AM »

A quick up-date:

The fuselage is about 85% framed up. The main construction is done, the landing gear is completed and attached and the installation of the electronics is almost done. I still need to carve the cowl, attach the (fake) cylinders (I am modifying three 1/8 scale Williams Brothers Le Rhone cylinders. I know they are not exactly correct, but they will, from a distance, anyway, look right). I also need to attach the tail, run the pushrods, and make the cabane struts and attach the cabane struts.

I have found a few items on the uploaded drawing need to be changed. Once the airplane is complete, test flown and sent to the production floor, I will make the changes to the drawing and update the revision. There are no show stoppers, but there are a few things I need to clarify:

1) I did not specify the amount of dihedral.

2) In order to access the battery for the electric motor, it will be impossible (unless you have very small hands) to reach through the cabane struts. On the prototype, I created a removable cowl, on the top, between C and D.

3) The tail looks very small to me. The drawing and the prototype is to scale. I am going to try to fly it with the scale outlines, but if the airplane is too squirrely, I will remove the tail, and make a larger one.

4) I need to clean up the depiction of the 3 cylinder radial engine. The cylinders as shown are too large.

I am attaching a few pictures (Yes, I could win a prize for the messiest workbench. I work like I cook, destroy the kitchen and clean up afterwards...):

1) The fuselage, upside down in the assembly fixture. I paste the top view of the fuselage onto a narrow board, then, using a drill press, drill (in this case, 3/8 inch) holes tangent to the outside profile. Then I insert hardwood dowels. The dowels hold the sides in place and ensure they are square.

2) The forward fuselage in the fixture.

2) A detail view of where the aft fuselage cross  section changes from quadrilateral to triangular.

Attached files Thumbnail(s):
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2012, 08:07:54 AM »

Time for an update:

Attached the tail to the fuselage, installed the electronics and ran the pushrods.Rudder/Elevator run smooth with no binding. I sew my hinges. I like the look of sewn hinges, and I think that they are much easier to align.

I do have one semi-major structural change to the fuselage: I was hoping to get away with diagonal braces only as far back in the fuselage as the triangular cross section. After attaching the tail, it was quite obvious that there was too much twisting moment. I added two more sets of diagonal braces, see picture #1. I will add this to the revised drawing.

The wing is now covered.

Basically, I have only a few more items to complete:

1) Bend and install the cabane struts and wing mount.

2) Carve the engine cowl and install the fake cylinders.

3) Cover the fuselage.

4) Fabricate and install the wing struts.

5) Install a few misc. fittings.

6) Add the trim (numbers, etc.) But I probably won't do that until after the Flight Test phase.




Attached files Thumbnail(s):
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2012, 10:37:17 AM »

I guess it's no longer a "Build"!

Flew the Eaglet for the first time at 6:30am EST this morning.

The airplane "flew off the board". I had planned on doing a few taxi tests, but during the first one, the airplane tracked straight and true, the tail lifted, and the main wheels left the ground in a level climb. No bad tendencies, the airplane just flys beautifully. No need to make any changes at all to the set up. I must have just got lucky...

The CG is set at just a little (maybe 1/4 inch) aft of the main spar. No tendency to stall or dive. Interestingly, I had no problem with it being tail-heavy. Airplane tracks nicely.

One comment, though: Because of the scale outline for the tail, you want to keep up the speed (More properly keep that angle of attack low) as you turn from base to final. My one "rough landing" was when I got a little slow on that last turn and stall/spun into the grass. The airplane is so light (I have not weighed it yet) that it really just bounced a little, no damage.

Sorry, no flight photos, but here are a few pictures. I have a little more work to do on the trim (Paint the cowl and struts, and the numbers and trim) but the airplane is pretty much done.

I used 1/8 scale Williams Brothers LeRhone cylinders, and Robart hinges (the ones with that snap together) to connect the struts.

I don't usually put "pilots' in my models, but with this one being an open cockpit, it really needed one.

Attached files Thumbnail(s):
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2012, 09:39:04 PM »

Just a few notes, after flying the model a few more times:

1) Though the airplane does turn fine using the rudder/elevator, if I were to build another, I would add ailerons. It definitely skids into each turn. You have to be very careful doing turns close to the ground. It will drop the inside wing before it establishes a bank. Try this too close to the ground, and you will bounce it.

2) I would probably also enlarge the tail area a bit.

3) The wing dihedral  seems to be ab out right, at 5 degrees each side.

4) The CG seems to be about right at about 25%, just a little aft of the main spar.

5) A Outrunner 400 is more than enough power. I nver get over abut 2/3 throttle.

6) The airplane has a rather narrow speed range. It will not fly very fast, and it stalls pretty easily. Keep it within the speed range, and it flys great.

Overall, I am very, very pleased with the airplane. It flys very realistically, which I like a lot. It does very nice touch and goes (circuits and bumps for you blokes over the pond)
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2012, 03:24:14 PM »

Final post for this project.

After more than a few test flights, I really am very happy with this whole project.

The thing I like most is how realistically the airplane flys. When it's flying overhead, straight and level, it looks like a real airplane.

Also, flying the pattern is fun.

The one thing, though, if you decide to build one, the rudder, and esp. the elevator is very, very sensitive. A little stick goes a long way.

Here are a few pictures of the completed airplane. If I can get someone to get up early enough with me, I'll post a video soon.

Attached files Thumbnail(s):
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
Re: -Build- American Eagle 'Eaglet'
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« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2012, 12:38:51 PM »

Nice work, Iceman!

I have two kits for the Eaglet, one an original Leisure kit, the other a re-issue from Spirit of Yesteryear.  I've started the SoY kit some years ago, but have been stalled while some "life events" run their course...  The size is similar to your design, by the way, and also are 3-channel designs.  It was my intent from the start to add ailerons, though the placement of servos has not yet been determined...

The 3-view drawing you posted at top appears to be the same as included in the kits, but you may have noticed the fuselage structure aft differs between from the museum example!  I'm pleased you decided to follow the original construction.  The kit version follows the drawing and is "square" along its length. I have taken a bunch of photos of that same Eaglet at WAAAM (the museum is only about an hour away), and will add as much detail to the model as I can while still retaining a reasonably simple build.  As mentioned, the build was started a few years ago, and a build thread on RCGroups exists (as far as it got...), though a bit buried, perhaps!  I plan to resume most of my stalled builds this Fall/Winter.

James
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« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2012, 08:00:35 PM »

Thanks, James, for the kind words.

Yes, after doing some research, as far as I can tell, there were no Eaglets built that had the fuselage rectangular cross section all the way to the tail.

This has been a fun and interesting project.

As I said, if I were to build another one, I would add ailerons, and after flying it more, I would also increase the Horizontal and vertical stabilizer area.
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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2012, 04:56:05 PM »

Hi Iceman1007

I know it is sometime after you finished your model but you may be interested in these links. The first has just been posted on Antique airfield:

http://www.antiqueairfield.com/articles/show/1431-apm-american-eaglet-november-2012-restoration-project-update

http://www.211.eaachapter.org/progressreport120121.htm

Enjoy

Paul
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« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2012, 08:24:19 AM »

Hi Iceman1007

I know it is sometime after you finished your model but you may be interested in these links. The first has just been posted on Antique airfield:

http://www.antiqueairfield.com/articles/show/1431-apm-american-eaglet-november-2012-restoration-project-update

http://www.211.eaachapter.org/progressreport120121.htm

Enjoy

Paul

Thanks, Paul

Yes, that is very interesting, and I will be bookmarking that page to keep up with the restoration. One of my goals is to make it to the Antique Airplane Association fly in. Haven;t made it yet, but maybe next year...

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« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2019, 11:34:25 AM »

Very nice build. I bet it flew well. I see exactly about the triangle shape from the cockpit back.
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