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Author Topic: Sterling Citabria Completed  (Read 2036 times)
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MKelly
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« on: July 12, 2016, 09:35:13 PM »

Finished building the Sterling peanut scale Citabria today.  A buddy had this kit when I was a kid in the '70s - he built the Monocoupe but I always wanted the Citabria.  After 30+ years of life getting in the way of modeling I picked the kit up on eBay last fall and went at it.  I built up and carved a noseblock in place of the plastic cowl, revised the wingtips to more closely match photos of the plane, and picked colors and markings from an internet photo I liked.

I wanted to try some new techniques, so this was my first attempt at splicing tissue.  I'm not unhappy with how it turned out, but next project I will use less overlap between the colors. I also need to work on getting the tissue to shrink more evenly (there's a little cellulite here and there...)  Tissue was attached dry using white glue and water (mostly).  I did experiment with glue stick on a few sections, and used glue stick to attach the markings.  Tissue for the tail was pre-shrunk on a frame before attaching.

The Sterling kits were never light (the Stearman I built back in high school looked good but was a complete brick), but this one isn't too bad at 9.37g including the motor (8.05 without).  If the wind will ever settle down here in Texas I'll start trimming and see what it'll do.

Mike
Attached files Thumbnail(s):
Sterling Citabria Completed
Sterling Citabria Completed
Sterling Citabria Completed
Sterling Citabria Completed
Sterling Citabria Completed
Sterling Citabria Completed
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flyinryans
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2016, 11:31:41 PM »

Wow that is such a good looking airplane. I hope it flies good. I want to see it in flight. I have to build one.
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Don McLellan
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2016, 12:05:42 AM »

Outstanding work Mike!  Your tissue looks perfect.
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OZPAF
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2016, 04:26:09 AM »

Very nice effort - I agree with Don. I hope you get some good weather for its maiden soon.

John

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ZK-AUD
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2016, 05:08:28 AM »

Very nice effort Mike and the colours do it justice.  What did you mean by splicing the tissue?  Are we to understand that the red and white were pre-joined before applying the whole to the airframe?  Very neat if so.  You're right about the weight of Sterling kits, even if you took off a reasonable amount for the oak they put in them they were still very over-engineered IMHO.  That said they are also quite accurate and make a nice model with good wood and suitably gutted and re-engineered.  There's a 34" Sterling Citabria plan on Outerzone which would be a nice model, subject to all of the aforementioned qualifications.
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Pit
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2016, 09:13:24 AM »

Actually, your AUW is pretty da*n good, especially with all of the added detail!  A very nicely done example!
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MKelly
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2016, 09:40:09 AM »

ZK-AUD,

Correct - the tissue is cut flat, doped at the overlaps, then applied to the model (see pictures).  For the horizontal stab covered the bottom side (all red), spliced the top side tissue, attached the spliced tissue to a frame and shrunk it, glued the horizontal stab to the tissue while still on the frame, then cut it out oversize and trimmed/sealed the edges.

Pit,

The e-bay kit I bought was an open-box item - the Monocoupe parts were cut out and the strip stock had been replaced with some fairly light strip cut from sheet.  I used the strip stock that came in the box, which surely helped keep the weight in check.  I still have a Sterling SE-5/D8 kit I bought around 1980 and the strip stock in that kit is heavier than what I used here.

All,

Thanks for the compliments - careful picture selection lets me hide the worst of the warts...

Mike
Attached files Thumbnail(s):
Re: Sterling Citabria Completed
Re: Sterling Citabria Completed
Re: Sterling Citabria Completed
Re: Sterling Citabria Completed
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Hillsboro Bob
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2016, 10:59:14 AM »

Very nice work Mike.............
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Bob
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2016, 08:00:12 PM »

Great looking plane and I love the spliced tissue!!  Really sharp.

I'm also amazing at how you can build a plane to be under 10 grams!!  My current build is looking to be about 14-15 grams (half the weight of my builds before it) which I thought was great, but you've set a tough weight to beat  Smiley

Nice work.
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MKelly
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2016, 05:07:03 PM »

I took the Citabria up to the Texas Scale Champs in Gainesville this weekend - it placed second in Peanut.  Flights weren't particularly noteworthy, but they were consistent and it did well in static judging.  As in other events I was the beneficiary of other's misfortunes.  There was a spectacular Chambermaid that suffered an unfortunate catastrophic motor burst - otherwise it would have easily bested the Citabria.

In the course of trimming the model I had to go up to a 4.75" prop, which made the already nose-heavy condition even worse.  Ready to fly it now weighs 10.3 grams including a blob of clay on the tailwheel.  It does OK in dead-calm air but the slightest breath of a gust is enough to induce some nauseating aerobatics.  It did look pretty when flying stable.

Cheers,

Mike
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OZPAF
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2016, 08:19:35 PM »

Congratulations.
John
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MKelly
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2016, 10:12:54 PM »

Correction - it wasn't the Chambermaid that had the blowout, it was a different model.

Mike
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MKelly
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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2016, 02:07:33 PM »

I took the Citabria out yesterday to try flights with 1/16" square motors.  I used a single 11" loop, and I've finally been able to coax out a stubborn warp in the stab.  Glide tests showed I could get rid of some of the ballast I had on the tailwheel, getting the model weight back down to 9.8 grams with the 4.75" prop.

This model really likes the skinnier motor!  The torque effects that hampered earlier flights have disappeared, with a nice gentle climbout and a very steady cruise.  I packed in up to 1400 turns on the motor and got some nice flights.  It was a bit windy out for such a small model, so the plane tended to weathervane either upwind or downwind and got tossed around a bit, but it always recovered nicely.  Upwind weathervaning was OK, but I had to run after the model on one downwind flight in fear that it would leave the field and land in the road!  Luckily it touched down safely about 10 feet from the road.

I didn't time the flights, but several easily exceeded my flights at the Texas Scale Champs.  I'm really looking forward to a dead-calm morning so I can fine-tune the climb and glide circles.

Cheers,

Mike
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faif2d
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2016, 04:19:40 PM »

That is simply an outstanding job!  The weight is also quite good giving the kit engineering.  I have never tried the tissue splicing but yours sure looks good.
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MKelly
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2016, 04:25:33 PM »

Thanks!  I love these old Sterling kits, if for nothing more than the nostalgia factor.  I'm going to have to build the Corsair and Zero again...
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