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Author Topic: First Failure  (Read 469 times)
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CatMan
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« 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!
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TheLurker
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« Reply #1 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...  Cheesy

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. Smiley
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CatMan
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« Reply #2 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.
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Robmoff
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« Reply #3 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.
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Starduster
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« Reply #4 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  Grin )
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CatMan
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« Reply #5 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!
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CatMan
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« Reply #6 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  Grin )
Smiley Grin
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PB_guy
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« Reply #7 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
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TimWescott
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« Reply #8 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.
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #9 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.
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OZPAF
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« Reply #10 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
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Don McLellan
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« Reply #11 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
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flydean1
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« Reply #12 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.
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vintagemike
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2019, 04:30:51 AM »

And by the way, the only silly question is the one you DONT ask
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John Webster
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« Reply #14 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!

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A pilot starts out with a bag full of luck and an empty bag for experience. The object is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.
CatMan
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« Reply #15 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.
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CatMan
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« Reply #16 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?
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calgoddard
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« Reply #17 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. 



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dorme
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« Reply #18 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.
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