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g_kandylakis
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« on: May 19, 2022, 03:44:15 PM »

So, as I already posted on the "Show your newest creation" topic, I have just completed the main woodwork for two No-Cals, the first after over thirty years...

Beech Staggerwing after A.A. Lindberg's plan in Model Builder and Elias Aircoupe after own drawings.

Weight so far is 1,85 for the Staggerwing, 1,4 for the Aircoupe but will rise to 1,8-2,0 with the landing gear and the struts.

So, a few questions:

Motor stick suggestions, solid or hollow? Rolled tube? What dimensions?

Positioned on left side or right side?

Propeller, plastic or wooden? indoor flyers, wher a 6 gram min weight limit exists...

Thanks,

George
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2022, 06:56:33 AM »

George I’ve built a few no-cals but admittedly with no reference to whatever body of knowledge about them exists!!

That said, my approach works well. Very simple. Build as light as you can  This means the smallest cross section of rubber possible - aiming for under 1/16.  You can then get away with a light motor stick. I use a built up L section. 1/32 sheet will do it but use 1/20 if you think it needs it. Maybe experiment with different sizes off the model to see what it will take
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2022, 12:47:21 PM »

If you're patient enough, a 1/4" ID motorstick rolled up with 1/64" balsa works, and is light, but I found it a struggle to make. Maybe a very slightly larger one for a 6 gram model. Mine was 3 grams when it was new. I wonder if a hollow, square motor stick would weigh much more. You could rout out a groove in a stick, so you'd only have to glue on one side. You may want some internal reinforcement where you hold the motor stick.

I ended up using a carved balsa prop. Originally, I made a built up one, but it was too big. I imagine that the most competitive prop would probably be a miniature pennyplane prop.

Plastic props weigh a lot, although there are some made in 3 pieces that aren't quite as bad.

6 gram nocal should probably have a lot of wing area, which I think your models probably do. Don Sluszarnik (I hope I haven't mangled the spelling too much.) used to have a pretty good page about nocals on the Cleveland Clowns web site. If I'm not mistaken, those aren't there any more, but maybe the article is someplace on the web.

Take this all with a grain of salt. I've won a few times with it, but I've only ever built the one. As I recall, I managed to break 4 minutes under a 40 foot ceiling, for whatever that's worth.
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2022, 05:05:02 AM »

Thanks for the input, it all makes sense and I 'll try to see what works best...

I will try to find Don's page, thanks Lincoln.

The time and material investement is minimal anyway, just want to find some shortcuts.

A solid motorstick is easy, I do have some light C grain lying around somewhere.
Built up should be fun, reminds me of the Sikorsky S-39 tail booms I did 4 years ago, or maybe something less complicated as Mie suggests.
As for rolled, ages sins I tried it last... But worth the challenge.

My covered structures seem to have come out light at the moment, I doubt the Aircoupe will exceed 3 grams, perhaps the same for the staggerwing, so this leaves me another 3 for the stick and the propeller.

The Staggerwing has a long enough nose, so a wooden prop will fit nicely. The Aircoupe is short nosed so I might try a scrapped down plastic one, to see ho low I can get it.

As for the motor sticks, I will try all three options as test and see what seems to work best.

Started covering, which naturally goes pretty fast. Used Uhu blue glue stick for the first time, nice quick and odorfree, I do have some concern about the durability of the glueing...

Last two pics show the wing, temporarily attached to a cardboard piece, to stady it for covering. There is so little wood that it would be impossible to cover it square and straight otherwise, I guess.

George
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2022, 05:21:39 AM »

Even your simplest builds just ooze class, George! And I really like that cardboard idea to keep the wing flat when covering.
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Gary Dickens
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2022, 05:57:18 AM »

Richard Crossley used a triangular, built up motor stick that seemed to work fine.
I wouldn't worry about the longevity of glue stick. I use it all the time now and haven't had any lifting problems especially if you brush alcohol through the tissue and rub down with a finger. (Saliva does the same job butmay distort a light structure such as this.)
Are these for Nijmegen?

Gary
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2022, 06:26:17 AM »

I enjoyed making a few rolled balsa ones for my 6g model attempt.
Mine were a little sturdier than Lincoln describes as it was my first NoCal and not too worried about the weight. Ended up closer to 7g than 6g but will hopefully be a decent performer when sorted.
Alan Jux photo.
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2022, 06:34:42 AM »

My propeller was a 'standard' Paul Bradley design. I think my problems were from not setting the prop correctly on the shaft. I wish that for the recent Nats I had just put a Peck 6" prop for a start .... but with only six flights there is not much time for experimentation.
The pitch setting jig is one I made many years ago for bostonians ... and never used it.
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skycafe
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2022, 08:33:21 AM »

You could rout out a groove in a stick, so you'd only have to glue on one side. You may want some internal reinforcement where you hold the motor stick.


A triangular cross section suddenly came to mind as a possibility.
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2022, 08:37:39 AM »

I wish that for the recent Nats I had just put a Peck 6" prop for a start... but with only six flights there is not much time for experimentation.
I know yours was a brand new model, Russ, but one thing I like about NoCal is that you can potentially pre-trim the models at the other indoor meetings held in smaller halls; something that isn't so easy with larger, more detailed open models. Not that that plan worked in my case, but that was my own fault for starting with a Concorde! Being able to get away with a plastic prop and an L shaped motor stick is also a big incentive. I might have another go for Nijmegen.
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2022, 10:02:06 AM »

Pete,
Yes, very true ... the Peterborough meetings finished earlier than I expected this year. I wish I had got it ready for Impington. My 'biggest' excuse is that I was building two, each with a different setup .... until I realised that I had ran out of time.
I actually did my initial trimming in the living room! I had some nice 12 foot flights before I put it back in the box.
My 'middle sized' excuse was losing half of the trimming session discussing my judging duties.
'Failing badly' with flights of nearly a minute is quite a nice feeling though ... I hope to have another go next year  Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2022, 10:18:59 AM »

... another excuse! I had seen Chris Blanch trimming his NoCal at the last Peterborough meeting .... I knew that there was little point aiming at anything less than two minutes so I jumped straight up to a motor capable of at least that duration for my official flights! Smiley
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lincoln
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2022, 02:05:18 PM »

I'm guessing the Aircoupe may be able to handle a fairly large prop, which might end up being too heavy in plastic.

BTW, have you looked at Winning Indoor Designs 1987-1989, which you can find at free flight.org ? There are details on 3 winning nocal dedigns.  One of the props is 9 inches, one is, I think, 8 inches, and I couldn't figure out how large the other one is from the drawing. Maybe 7 inches? That prop looks like a miniature Cesar Banks LPP prop, which you can find in the same publication. There's a later Winning Indoor Designs at the Indoor News and Views Site, but it doesn't have any models. There are probably some elsewhere on the site, including in the old newsletters.
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2022, 07:14:23 PM »

Here is my original Nocal Tips

So you want to build a Contest Winning No-Cal?

          Know the rules:
             
I think most of us are aware of the No-Cal rules. The one thing you need to know is what weight rule No-cal
          are you building to. As far as I know there are three current No-cal weight classes, 6.2 grams and over, 5
          grams and over, and no weight restriction. (Of course there is WWII combat, but that falls into the same
          weight categories) Once you decide which event you are flying, then you can choose the model you are going to
          build.


          Choosing a subject (How big should the wing be?):
             
The model selection is based on the event weight class you are going to build. For 6.2 grams and over, you
          will need a model with a wing around 80 sq. inches. For 5 grams and over, a model with around 65 sq. inches will
          work just fine. Unlimited No-cal works quite well with models in the 50 sq. inches of wing area range. Why is
          this?
              Well, a 6.2  gram no-cal is actually a very heavy weight model. You can build a lot of structure for the weight
          your allowed. This is why this event is now flooded with racers. Most racers have low aspect ratio wings with
          long bodies. This type of model could not be built very light because there is so much structure needed due to
          the overall large size of the model.  But since you are allowed so much weight, a large fat chorded model can
          be build without any penalty.
             
Subject Examples: Bonzo, Chambermaid, Cassutt Racer
              5 gram No-cal is pretty much the same. Most people I know fly their 6.2 gram No-cal in this event because
          most of their models really weight just under 6 grams and they carry some ballast to bring them up to weight.
          However, I think that a separate model should be built for this class. A slightly smaller model than what is
          used in the 6.2 gram is ideal.
          Subject Examples: Fike, Lacey M10
             
Unlimited No-cal is the toughest one to decide on. A compromise has to be found between model size and
          final weight. If you pick a large long model, it may be too heavy to fly well (Chambermaid).  If the wing is too
          small, (Found Centennial or Pilatus Porter), the wing loading is too high even though the model may be light.
          A good compromised is a model with around 40 to 50 sq. inches, and around 16" inches on length. Another thing
          to consider is landing gear. Retract airplanes do not require landing gear, so weight is saved by the absence of
          the landing gear
          Subject Examples: Bede BD-4, Cessna Cardinal

          Choosing a subject (What about motor stick and nose length?):
              The nose and motorstick length of the No-cal subject is a major factor in determining the models final
          weight. For example, the first  model I built for 5 gram no-cal was a Farman Biplane. Each wing was about 3" in
          chord which yielded about 80 sq. inches. However, the model has a short nose. The model complete weighted 3
          grams. I added some nose weight to get it to glide and then reweighed the model. To my shock, the model was
          now 5.5 grams. This 3.0 gram model needed 2.5 grams of nose weight to make it glide.  Additional nose weight
          was needed to get the model to fly with a rubber motor. Because there was more motor behind the CG than in
          front of it, I needed to add additional weight to compensate for the motor. In this condition the model
          weighted 6.5 grams, 3.5 grams being nose weight. A quick calculation told me that for each .1 gram weight
          reduction in the tail, resulted in a .3 gram reduction in required nose weight. This meant if I made the tail .1
          gram lighter, I could remove .3 grams nose weight for a .4 gram total weight reduction. I removed some tail
          structure, .2 grams, and then removed .6 grams of nose weight and the model instantly dropped .8 grams, to
          5.7 grams from 6.5 grams.
              This is a good example of how choosing a subject can make or break your effort. If you are building any
          no-cal, a good rule of thumb is to make sure the  middle of the motorstick coincides with the  CG location. The
          motor stick should also be 10" to 12" in length (for 5 gram and 6.2 gram), and 8" to 10" for unlimited no-cals.
          Using this rule, you can determine if the nose length for the subject you have chosen is long enough. If it is not,
          the rules of no-cal allow you to stretch the models fuselage a little since the rules state the model must be a
          'recognizable' model. So if the nose needs to be a half inch longer, so be it, the rules allow it.
              The reason you want the motorstick 'balanced' is so that when the motor is added to the model, it will not
          move back the balance point. If it does, then more nose weight is needed to counteract the motor weight. In
          fact, on my real light no-cals, there is more motor in front of the CG than behind it. This allows the motor and
          motorstick to act as nose weight, which in turn lowers the total model weight. The BD-4 No-cal I have actually
          has .2 grams in tail weight because it was too nose heavy. My general rule of thumb is that an unlimited no-cal
          should have at least 60% of the motorstick located in front of the CG. Using this rule, no-cals can be built with
          the least amount of nose weight needed, in fact they may need any at all like my IL-2 WWII no-cal (1.8
          grams). This model has an 8" motorstick with about  6" of that being in front of the CG, the motor acts as the
          model's nose weight. The reason I could do this is that the IL-2 has a long nose. I could not make a Japanese Zero
          to this weight, because the nose is much shorter, it would need 1 gram in nose weight just to get the CG in the
          right location.
              My final example to drive this point home even further is about my Clipped wing Spitfire WWII no-cal I use
          to have. When I built it, it weighed 2.8 grams with a 11" motorstick. This model required .5 grams in nose
          ballast. A year later I decided to shorten the motorstick to 8". The reworked model no longer required the .5
          grams of nose weight, since more motor hung in front of the CG than previously. The lighter motorstick also
          resulted in a weight reduction, and the new model weighed in at 2.2 grams, a .6 gram reduction just because
          the motorstick was shortened 3". All of the structure remained the same, but just the way the motorstick was
          positioned reduced the weight drastically.

          Choosing the right wood:
              Wood selection is also a critical factor in building a good no-cal. This wood can be purchased from Indoor
          Model Supply, or any other good indoor supplier. Some of the wood I use is from a local hobby shop, most
          places do not care if you bring in a scale and quickly weigh the wood.
              5 gram and 6.2 gram:
                  fuselage outline: .050 x .050 5.0 to 5.5 pound A grain
                      (do not rely on outline to provide support)
                  wing spars: .065 x .080  6.0 pound A grain (may need to be .095 high)
                  wing ribs: .035 x .070  4.5 to 5.0 pound A grain
                  tail surfaces: .035 x .065  5 to 5.5 pound A grain
                  motorstick: .015 - .020  4.5 to 5.0 pound C grain  5/16" o.d.
                  tail boom: .012 - .015   4.5 to 5.0 pound C grain 1/4" o.d. to 1/8" o.d.
              Unlimited weight:
                  fuselage outline: .030 x .030 5.0 pound A grain
                  wing spars: .030 x .065 5.5 to 6.0 pound A grain
                  wing ribs: .030 x .060 4.0 to 5.0 pound A grain
                  tail surfaces: .025 x .050 5.0 to 5.5 pound A grain
                  motorstick: .010 to .012 4.0 to 5.0 pound C grain 1/4: o.d.
                  tailboom: .008 to .010 4.0 to 5.0 pound C grain  3/16 o.d. to 1/8 o.d.
          Choosing the right covering material:
                 
Covering material is based upon the weight class being flown. Unlimited no-cals should be covered with
          Gampi tissue to keep the weight down as low as possible. For the 5 gram and 6.2 gram events, Japanese tissue can
          be used without much of a problem. If you feel that you are more comfortable building a model out of heavier
          wood, then you can use Gampi tissue. Most Gampi is about 3/4 the weight of Japanese tissue, so the weight you save
          in covering can be turned into structure. This, by the way, is the method I prefer. I would rather have a
          stronger model with light covering than a weaker model with heavier covering.
          The propeller:
                  The propeller of a model many times is the most overlooked part of the airplane. Many people spend
          hours building a model, but do not give the propeller the time that it deserves. I am reminded of a story I was
          once told about a modeler who was having trouble trimming out a particular p-nut scale model. He got some
          help from a local p-nut guru during a flying session. The model was trimmed out and was flying quit well. About
          an hour later the guru saw this modeler launch his airplane, and it flew horrible. The guru went over and asked
          him what he had changed on the model, the modeler replied "Nothing, just the prop."
                  Care must be taken to ensure you have a well built, and well tracking prop. Heavy no-cals need to have
          prop blades made from .020 to .030 5.0 pound C grain wood. Light no-cals use .010 to .014 4.0 to 5.0 pound C
          grain. The prop spar needs to be rigid and stiff 8.0 to 9.0 pound A grain for heavy no-cals and should be about
          .095 round in the middle, tapering to .060 round at the ends. The lightweights are made from 6.0 to 6.5 pound
          A grain, and should be about .065 round to .045 round.
                  The  diameter of the props should be in the 10" to 12" range. The pitch should be about 1.2 to 1.5 times the
          diameter. The blades for all of my no-cals are formed on a 5" diameter can on about a 15 degree angle.
          Adhesives:
                   When building your no-cal, you should try to stay away from super glues, except for special areas. I use
          Duco Household Cement diluted with acetone (40% glue 60% acetone) for most of my gluing on all my models.
          It is quick drying, about 15 minutes, and is very light and strong. I only use super glue around the nose bearing,
          the rear hook, and for gluing the prop shaft to the spar. Super glue is quite heavy if used to build the entire
          aircraft. When covering the model, I quite often use 3M spray adhesive, or sometimes white glue and water
          (20% glue 80% water). However, under NO circumstance should clear dope be used for covering indoor
          no-cals! You might as well put a coat of lead on the model and throw it out.
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2022, 07:28:46 PM »

I should rewrite some aspects now that it is 15-20 years later :-)

Based on what you have built, and for 6.2 gram I would suggest the following.

The Beechcraft: I would look to have the motor "balanced" meaning about the same is in front as behind the CG. This allows motor changes of different weight but keep the trim the same. If more rubber behind the CG then as you go bigger in motor then more nose weight also needed. My latest two nocals (6.2 gram with 7" prop for mass launch) both have balanced "sticks".

The Aircoupe  It hss a very short nose. This will likely follow like my Farman example above. A balanced stick will be way too short. So more rubber has to go to the back but then will need nose weight to ballast. I would probably shoot for the rear hook to be around the third vertical left of the back of the fuselage and see how it goes.

For motor sticks on my 6.2 gr I have been using solid wood. I have a sheet of 1/4" 4.5# I found at a hobby shop. It makes great solid sticks. Actually under 6# will do. You cut the blank about 1/4" x 5/16" then taper the sides and shape it a bit. It will be very stiff and light. See the motor stick I made in the Volare Turbo Nocal Cessna thread.

As far as flying, I always fly nocal to the right, and the stick is on the right. Right rudder, right thrust, washout in outer wing. See the Turbo Cessna thread. It has all the stuff I do in it.

Don   
 
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2022, 03:07:53 AM »

Don, thanks very much for posting your comprehensive No-Cal tips article. (again)   I remember printing myself a hard copy back when it was on your old site.  Valuable tips indeed!

George, I built that Lidberg Staggerwing many moons ago.  I used a built up wood prop, but I also added the famous (bulbous) spinner outline forward of the nosebowl.  That allowed me to place the prop bearing at a more forward position, since the FAC rules allow the prop to be placed at the tip of the spinner.  I don't remember if I just scooted the motor stick forward, or if I actually added a little more length to the motorstick.  It also gives more clearance between the cowling and the spinning blades, especially if you need to tweak the thrustline. (especially adding downthrust)  
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2022, 03:39:35 AM »

Thanks for posting, Don ... a lot of good information in one place. I will bookmark George's thread for future reference   Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2022, 05:17:31 PM »

Gary,
yes, Nijmegen is the goal...

Lincoln,
thanks, I ll' search and look into those designs.

Don,
thanks for the very detailed information, both general and specific to my models. Plenty of interesting stuff. The right/right fiight pattern will be an interesting one for me, never done it, despite its' proven advantages.

Aircoupe covering done, landing gear next, then assembly of the model sans motor stick.

George
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« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2022, 09:09:40 AM »

So, with some delay, here is an update on my No-Cals...

Both nearly done.

The Aircoupe complete with a very lightened plastic prop, as Don suggested (thanks again !).

Weight 6,4 grams as is.

Not knowing what to expect, I did make an extra addition, I made the motor stick removable, both for safe winding away from the model, also for easy changing of stick-prop combinations... A bit extra weight maye, but I like the (hopefully expected) flexibility.

It is held in place with music wire pins, front and aft.
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« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2022, 09:13:54 AM »

and the Beech Staggerwing, almost finished. All that is missing is the propeller, work in progress.

Balsa blades soaked formed and glued to shape, some assembly needed.

I also took the nice advice of using a spiner, a nice way to add length.

Again, removable motor stick.

Weight should end up very close to the 6,0 gr limit, perfectly feasable depending how light I make the prop. As is, at 4,5 grams so far

George
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« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2022, 12:26:41 PM »

Very nice, George!

-Dave
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Indoorflyer
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« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2022, 01:14:30 PM »

Those are beautiful, George!



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Russ Lister
Free Flight Modeller .... sub 250g!
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« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2022, 03:41:26 AM »

Both lovely models, George  .... but I particularly like the Aircoupe  Smiley
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g_kandylakis
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« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2022, 05:09:03 AM »

Russ, you are not the only one...

I started out with the Aircoupe in mind, but because of the short nose I thought I should have a back-up that can at least fly properly, so the Staggerwing followed closely...

George
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scale free flight & micro RC
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