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Author Topic: Predator Drone..... Build Blog.....  (Read 2080 times)
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Saint Alfonzo
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.. Wight Air Wrecks..



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« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2014, 09:59:53 AM »

Hi All..... Been about a week since I posted any updates on here, so thought I better do something.. Finally started on the wings.. Firstly built both stub wing roots then cut out ribs for both wings. Started construction of port wing first, no particular reason other than this was the one I had drawn at the bottom of the plan sheet, so thought I'd start there and work upwards!.. Top of root stubs will be sheeted in once they are finally fitted to the fuselage sides..
Wing is ( will be) fully sheeted and then covered in heavyweight tissue. Wing will be secured to root by one carbon rod joiner and one bullet connector, which will double as a fastener and an incidence pin..  This should be nice and secure; if I have any doubts I may have to figure out some sort of work-around a bit later.. ( hopefully BEFORE a wing falls off in flight!!)
 A few photos attached below showing wing build progress so far.. all pretty self explanatory.. that wing does look mighty tapered!!.. Roll Eyes

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Saint Alfonzo
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« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2014, 06:20:36 AM »

Hi....
Made a little progress since the last post.. Got the Port wing built up and skinned, couple of coats of sealer on it, ready for tissue covering..
Trial fitted the root stub to the fuselage and popped the wing on for a 'look see'.. Not got it all finally sorted yet with regards to firm fixings and incidence pin, so just slid it on and secured it with a couple of bits of masking tape to hold it all together for the camera..
Now I've actually got a wing built and 'in place', they don't look so small.. I was beginning to think that the huge fuselage was going to dwarf the wings, but the seem in proportion now.. well, at least to me they do!...  Starboard wing is about half built now, so by the end of this week I should have both wings trialed, and hopefully the root stubs finally fixed and top sheeted.. After that, I just have to figure out a secure method of mounting the V tails and  the major build work is complete and then onto the fit out..

Pics below.. General views plus a close up of the turret control set up.. ( the last one I posted wasn't very well lit)..

let me know if I'm boring you yet!!  Roll Eyes
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Saint Alfonzo
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« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2014, 10:14:41 AM »

 Cheesy   Hi....
Well;;; the home decorating took longer than anticipated and coupled with getting 'roped into' helping to fit and wire a new kitchen for my daughter, added to actually spending time flying and indulging in my other hobbies, it's been well over a month since I updated the build blog! So.. for those of you with insomnia here's the catch up!!!!!!!

Got both wing stub roots built and trial fitted at first to the fuselage sides, then when happy epoxied them in place, added a final extra beefing up to each and fitted the top skins and did some preliminary filling to them.  Got the second wing built and skinned, with a little filling done to it and tissue covered the first wing.. Put on a couple of coats of sanding sealer to the first wing.. Drilled out for the incidence pegs on each wing and fitted them.. For the pins I used bullet connectors, seems to have worked well, they just need a little tweaking and fiddling with to get them sitting 100% right.

 Made up a jig and epoxied the 'V' tails in situ, then made up and fitted some fillets around the joint, and also made similar fillets to tidy up and strengthen the wing root joints.

 tentatively put it all together for a photo shoot, had to do that outdoors though, as it's just a bit too big to position nicely in the workshop!  I'll have to spread the pics over two posts..

pics.. first pic.. wing root in place before final fixing.
        second pic. V tail jigged for fixing
        next 3 pics, general views on bench
        last pic.. assembled view.

More pics in next posting..  Roll Eyes
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Saint Alfonzo
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« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2014, 10:27:09 AM »

Next lot of pics.. all various views/angles of the assembled aircraft, note the Mobius camera in the turret in one of them..Added a photo of the model being held by my 'Glamorous Assistant' so you can get an impression of the size...  All the top decking and 'cockpit' pieces are just loosely placed in position as final fitting and fettling of these bits has yet to be done...

Hope the 'catch up' has been worth the wait!! 

Progress may slow again for a little while, as my favourite 'hack' glider  did the famous mid air '''hand clap''' routine last time out, so I need to get something built quickly to fly so I don't miss all the 'good weather'.. lol..
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dosco
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« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2014, 07:47:44 AM »

It just occurred to me ... you're building a Reaper (MQ-9) and not a Predator (RQ-1).

Looking good, nonetheless.

Regards-
Dave

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Saint Alfonzo
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« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2014, 09:54:47 AM »

 Grin  Ah.. Ok Dave...... I googled Predator and that's where all the 3 views and photos came from, so I figured it was a predator.. I stand corrected.. Cheesy..  I guess there's not too much difference, and in this country we tend to refer to pretty much all fixed wing drones as ''Predators'' , sort of like calling a vacuum cleaner a HOOVER! lol..
I'll keep on referring to the plane as a predator I think, so that I at least don't get confused..Tongue

 Been building over the last couple of days, but, in truth it's only tissue covering, finishing off the bottom of the camera turret and filling and sanding sealering, so nothing much of interest really.. I am trying to  keep the posts to more major bits, i'm sure no one wants to see pics and descriptions of tissue going on.......

Plus.... this morning I started a parallel build of a new motor glider to replace the one that  met a sorry, but not unexpected, end a couple of weeks ago, so the build on the drone will slow a little now, plus I'm almost at fit out stage now, so have to start spending some serious cash on a big ESC and some reasonable size servos etc..

Hopefully the people that have been following the build will stick with it until completion and first flight.. My club has a ' Stand off Scale' competition in august, I'm hoping to get it all done by then, even if it's not quite ready to fly, I'll probably take it along to the field for a show off!..

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Saint Alfonzo
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« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2014, 02:44:13 PM »

 Cool   Just a quick 'update' on the drone build.. As I mentioned in the last posting, I have had to start a parallel build of a glider, which is coming along nicely ( I'll post a pic or two of it on this build when it's done just to show you all) , plus now, following last nights flying session I also have another major repair job also running concurrently!

Not much happened on the drone, filling and primer coating mainly, not very interesting anyway.. Away for this week end, but hopefully back on the drone soon, with pics too!..

Hope you are all still interested..  Smiley
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OZPAF
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« Reply #32 on: July 25, 2014, 08:17:57 PM »

Still interested Grin Good luck with the glider.
John
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Saint Alfonzo
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« Reply #33 on: July 30, 2014, 07:45:35 AM »

 Cool

Thought I would just pop a few quick pics on here to show better why the build has slowed ( well, actually stopped to be more precise!!).  The good news is that with both the other projects nearing completion now all I have to contend with is a house guest for the next week, then back to drone building!! 
I am actually going out to track down some spray cans this afternoon hopefully, all the car shop ones which are the 'right' shade of grey are also metallic, which is not the look i am after obviously!

Anyway, enough waffling, here's some slightly off topic pics.. first couple show before and after on my trainer/sports model after a loss of signal crash. next few show the build so far on the replacement glider.. The glider is '' RED EAGLE'' from the free plan in a recent RCM&E magazine, using a 'short' kit from RBC.


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Saint Alfonzo
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« Reply #34 on: August 12, 2014, 02:38:49 PM »

Got the fuselage decorated over the last few days.. Gone for US Customs and Border scheme..  Grey satin finish and deep blue from Rattle cans, red and white done with Pro-Film.
A few pics below.. Smiley
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OZPAF
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« Reply #35 on: August 12, 2014, 08:10:34 PM »

Its looking close now SA. That seems like a lot of dihedral - is it a rudder/elevator model ?

John
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Saint Alfonzo
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« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2014, 08:31:32 AM »

Hi Oz.....

Thanks for the comment..
MM the dihedral does look a little steep, it was drawn up and built as per the 3 views though, unless I've made a horrible gaff somewhere. Maybe it just looks worse than it is due to the high aspect ratio??

The control set up as intended is elevator and aileron, although the elevators are separate and could be linked to separate servos to give taileron control if needed.

Andy..

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« Reply #37 on: August 13, 2014, 02:57:32 PM »

A little info-nugget about the Predator...

The original prototype was done by a former hang gliding designer (and all around areo-genius). He had it in his garage, wingspan about 7 feet or so. It was a DoD contract and he didn't talk about what it might be used for, but he had blueprints and sketches all over the place and when I saw it, he was nearly finished. The exterior was almost identical to the Predator we see these days, but the interior was built up like an RC as his job was the aerodynamic part of things. Someone else was handling the structural engineering and yet another guy was working propulsion. Until it all got sent to whatever super-secret government group that ordered it, there was no one person who knew the whole machine.

And the upper surface camber and dihedral of that version were flat enough to put your beer on while you played darts without it sliding off.
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OZPAF
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« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2014, 08:39:54 PM »

I think I would reduce it to around 3 deg dihedral per panel SA for aileron/elevator. With longish wings you may find a rudder necessary to help with adverse yaw on aileron. i would suggest setiing it up with coupled aileron/rudder.
John

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dosco
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« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2014, 09:34:54 PM »


Not much dihedral in this picture.
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Saint Alfonzo
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« Reply #40 on: September 07, 2014, 04:28:06 AM »

Wow Dosco.. That is a great picture... Wish I'd found that one when I was doing my 'research'.. The wing certainly looks really flat there, it may 'bend' a little in flight..
Hopefully the dihedral I've built in won't be a problem, it would certainly be a bit of a pain to alter it at this stage of the build.
The progress on the project has slowed somewhat due to other essential builds and house jobs and other pastime commitments.. Given the changing seasons now the maiden flight is probably some way off yet.. Have done some bits and bobs though recently on the drone so will get a few more pics posted up soon..  Smiley
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