Wednesday, September 24, 2008

RC Ramblings

Ok so there are several new posts about RC scratchbuilding. They were from my other blog and boy were they a pain to get consolidated. they also don't show the correct date. The posts before now are over a 6 to 8 month period. Since I got the Yak 54, Fokker D VII and a SPAD I have not really been interested in building another plane. I have material to build templates from and that will be the next thing I do. just might take a while.

still waiting

Between work, family, and other projects this has been on the back burner for now. I still plan on getting started soon I just can't make a schedule. I bought a Fokker D VII parkflyer from Lanier and in the process of getting this airplane airborne as well as get some stuff together for the Yak 54 I was working on as well. Keep checking in from time to time to see where its going. The one thing I did was buy more servos and a motor and speed controller to power both airplanes. So maybe its not on total hold. I did buy some material I hope to use as template material for the shaped parts ie Wing ribs, fuselage formers and tail pre-shaped parts.

Balsa Purchase

Bought enough balsa hope to start on the kitting process where I cut the shaped parts. There will be alot of using a balsa stripper to rip sticks out of planks. I have a Yak 54 I am working towards getting airworthy so it may be a month or so before I can get started.

the next posting

Well a few weeks ago I looked into how much balsa it would take to build both planes and I plan on ordering balsa for both at the same time. I think I can get both built up rather quickly. Also I am still weighing my options for covering. Covering these lightweight planes is different than I am used to. My options are limited for color choices and types. I had thought it would be interesting to cover in a way that would allow me to give the look of fabric covering. I also looked into tissue coverings because they can be simple to apply. I may ask advice on some of the RC forums and see what I have available.

Lonestar Balsa

Around Thanksgiving Lonestar Balsa burnt to the ground. for scratchbuilders this is a tragedy. I hope they get back and running in the near future.

LoneStar Balsa


I missed something when i was looking over the plans there are some parts that are double the amount I originally stated. This is due to the fact that I wasn't paying attention to the fact that this model has two sides. Some parts I will need to go recalculate. Probably it will just mean I double quantities on certain stick parts. The plank pieces should be fine because they are one off parts.

1st step

Scoured over the plans for almost 2 hours on the floor last night to create a list of supplies I would need. In the way of balsa due to the size of this plane I am looking at possibly around seven dollars worth of materials. This is the most tedious part in my opinion so far. I think if I ever design my own plane either from scratch or by following a scale planes pattern I will try my best to consolidate the wood to a limited amount of sizes. The varied sizes I need were vast as many as twelve different sizes of balsa. The biggest expense of the project is in covering and plywood needed. There are three types of plywood being used. The hardwood used is a one eighth of an inch dowel to keep the elevator halves in sync. Later on I will try to calculate the amount of covering I need.

My list of Supplies;

1/16"x3/16"x 24"1
1/16" x3"x 24"4
3/16" sq x24"4
1/8" sq x24"3
1/8"x 1/4"x24"4
1/8"x 3/8"x24"3
1/8"x 1/2"x24" 2
1/4" sq x24"1
3/8" sq x24"1

my list of Balsa distributors I am looking into;
Lone Star
National Balsa
Balsa USA

As it stands now I may have enough balsa left over from other projects to complete my list of balsa without having to buy any. My plywood unfortunately I only have the 1/16 left from another project which really works out because the bulk of the plywood is in that size. Its also the downside because I still need to buy that plywood in the other sizes and only need a small amount of it.

piper cub electric

I will start with the Piper Cub. This plane is a classic and a great flying plane. I got the Opportunity to take a ride in a real Cub last year. If anything were to attract me to the full scale aircraft the Cub would be my choice. The plans seem easier and a easy project to get started with considering all I have built are kits so far. I haven't decided what covering to use because the current planes I fly I have used plastic shrink coverings but the standard type are too heavy for this small of a plane. There are coverings that are lighter for this type of plane but they make both fabric type and plastic shrink types. Usually the plastic types are easier to work with but are limited in selection in the lighter types. I will try to find out my options to try and duplicate a yellow close to Cub Yellow. I may deviate from the plans a bit on little things. I really would like a tail wheel instead of the wheel shaped tail skid. As I progress I will document those sections that I have adapted for my own uses. I have always wanted a cub and here is my chance.

Fuselage looks simple but will be challenging to build. It has solid formers with Balsa Stringers running the length. Landing gear look strong but lightweight. I might add little scale touches along the way. The real plane this is modelled after has a 4 cylinder opposed engine. Its one of the characteristic details of the cub. I plan on also making the landing gear have little non working shock absorbers like the cub uses as well. Since this plane needs to be so light I may leave out a pilot. I will definitely cover this plane in Yellow and add the characteristic lightening bolt in black down the side which are also characteristic touches to this plane which make you automatically think of the real plane.

The wing as I mentioned before is 46 inches long. The plans are really detailed and come with a section detailing the ribs so that you do not have to cut anything from the plans. It has two different ways of mounting the wing servo. Not sure how I would go about doing it yet. Most common way that the plan recommends is using a flexible control wire that is curved though the wing until it attaches to the aileron. I am glad this wing has no dihedral. All though it is suppose to make the plane more stable its slightly more difficult to build and makes trimming the plane difficult later when flying. It also adds weight because the plane has to either be built in two halves or needs more material to create the amount dihedral required for the plane. It has two hooks in the front of the wing and a single bolt in the back to attach to it to the plane.

Most of the balsa in this plane is of one eighth inch thickness with three sixteenth thick pieces in spots that require extra strength. This plane also requires Plywood in certain areas for strength. The guy who designs these has a neat way of securing struts in which he uses clothing snaps to get then to be put together with. This not only makes it so you can detach the struts easily but also makes it come off easily in a crash to minimize damage. Most models of the piper cub the struts are non functional. In the full scale Cub the struts add strength to the wing. In this model it is no different than other models in that the struts are merely for show.

These plans are wonderful and I am eager to get started but I estimate I will not start building until after the first of the year. But I am determined to continue to document the process here.

first post about my scratchbuild project

I have flown model air planes for sometime and built a couple of kits. I have also been intrigued with building these air planes by both kit and scratch from a set of plans. Over the space of the time I build an air plane from plans that I bought from I will document them here. My plans arrived in the mail. I am eager to build one of these but current projects and time will restrict me. It will take some time to get started on these. The first I will start on is the Piper Cub which has a 46 inch wing span and is only 16 oz in weight. The second plane is a WWI biplane called the Spad XIII. Spad's were build by the French and are neat aircraft. The plans for the Piper Cub look less daunting for a first scratchbuild

Silverlight revisited

OK so my first ramblings on silverlight came to pass. So far if you are on a Linux Machine using Firefox you really cant use a site that has silverlight. learned this through the Olympics with my wife. they had video and it was all presented through silverlight. Nothing I tried to get it to work was successful. Nice try but I think I see through Microsoft's trick to keep people locked into Windows.

Changed the Focus of my Blog

I have an RC airplane Blog where I was Documenting building an RC airplane from scratch and I have decided to combine my blogs. Shortly I shall add that as well as my woodworking hobby and from time to time talk about my family. I will still even talk about linux.