Thoughts from the workbench of Radical RC. The online retailer of electronics and kits for radio control aircraft. Dave Thacker shares his thoughts and knowledge of electronics, batteries, kit design and overall enjoyment of the hobby.
Check out Kern Hanson’s Slow Stick Bipe creation. I can see parts from various models and he altered the wing mount system to hold the motor a bit higher than the stock setup would have been. The whole point with Slow Stick mods is to do it your way. Great Job Kern!
Dave here’s a few pictures of a Slow Stick Bi-Plane I built using a couple of your SS hop up parts. It’s very stable and fly’s nice and slow 🙂
Last two. Attempt to show Orville “flying”. Last photo is from pre-detailing to show rib and spar details. Done with a light brown Prismacolor marker available from craft stores like Michael’s. Put on the bare foam before over-painting with the High-Heat Almond paint. Gives a nice muted look as if real ribs and spars are underneath fabric covering. Looks great in the air.
Also thought I took a few shots of the launch dolly, but I guess not. It works well, both flights off the dolly. Will be sure to take some shots if the weather holds this weekend.
Dave, this has been a fun project to do, it let me do a lot of “adaptive” engineering that I so enjoy.
Love the Faux ribs and spars idea. It adds an extra dimension of scale detail and sounds really simple. I am thinking the next one I do will use your method. I might do the carbon rods and trailing edge as well??? Might be too much of a good thing if I did.
At the field. Note the “cross-country fuel tanks”. Each tank contains two A123 cells inline, housing made of 1/64 ply and card stock. The 4 cells and holders weigh about the same as a 4 amp-hr 3s LiPo pack, but produce a little higher voltage. I pull 32 amp at full throttle, but the two flights so have been a half throttle. 6-7 minutes consumes about 1 amp-hr out of the 2.2 amp-hr available.>
Keith, an astounding amount of detail. I love the fantasy tanks. You mention flying it. I’m going through the emails one at a time as I’m posting them in the schedule.
I have noticed that although this model should be very energy hungry, when cruising around at slow speeds, it seems almost magical how little energy is used. Think about all that weight, you have to be around 60 ounces, all those struts, two props, two motors and two no-load currents (something worth a whole blog post to explore), both those wings and your only using about 150mah a minute.
I’ve never seen a mah per minute chart based on weight or style or anything else for that mater. However it seems if there were such a guideline out there, something is wrong. This model in my mind should not fly as long as it does on so little energy and so little battery mass relative to machine weight.
A little quick math shows cruise current should be about 9 amps (150ma per minute x 60 minutes). However, when you deduct the no load current (not sure what it is for those motors) we’re talking maybe only 7 amps at cruise for the pair of motors. Figuring a at load depressed voltage of 3.3v x 7 amps _ only 23.1 watts. Further, it would imply that two 14 watt brushed IPS gearbox’s would be able to keep this machine aloft and still have an excess 4.9 watts for climb. It seems impossible, yet, I know it is true.
Thanks again for your great customer service I really appreciate it. Take a look at how I used your hangers to get a bunch of planes in a spot that wasn’t being used at all. Thanks for designing such a great product!
Feel free to share with others.
This is a photo of the finished setup hanging in un-used space over a stairwell. View from 2nd floor, the models are over the treads at the bottom of the stairway. what is the rope thingie in that photo?
Fastened to the header above the second floor stairwell entrance is a pulley and 2 common rope cleats. A simple way to raise and lower his fleet!
Here is a shot of the rack lowered to the first floor, ready to for another mission into enemy territory!
Thanks Dave for the photo’s of your setup. 7 Planes all stored in unused space and wherever they were is free’d up. Perfect.
We’re converting a Hobby Lobby Telemaster into a 1928 Fairchild FC-2W2 for a National Parks Service program. This aircraft was the first ever owned by NASA and later the first owned by the National Parks Service. Information link at bottom.
While making a complex former, I felt the method was simple, interesting and important to share. Having arrived at the shape, I used the following method to copy it onto the material I wished to cut it from. The simple technique could help you build any aircraft from your own or purchased drawings.
1. First we need a drawing. If your making “one off” parts as I am in this example, simply draw the part on standard 20 lb copier paper using pencil. I make lots of changes and mistakes as I go, so it’s important to have an eraser equipped pencil.
1B. Here is the front of the modified fuse where our soon to be made former will be installed.
1C. Holding up our drawing to imagine what it’s going to look like. Does it look correct?
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Albert Einstein
2. If your using an obtained drawing or you wish to preserve your drawing, use a copier or all in one printer to make a copy of the area containing the part you want to make. In this case, I made a copy of my pencil drawing just in case I discovered and error and wanted to alter the drawing before I finished.
3. Heavily pencil over the lines we wish to transfer to the wood. I used a standard #2 pencil.
4. Place the drawing, heavy pencil down against your material. You will notice the grain is running the wrong way in this former. However, it’s just a jig for building the nose, it’s not intended to provide any structure. The nose of this model has many facets of 1/4″ thick balsa. Although I’ll leave the former in the model, it could be removed if I wanted too. As this model has a short nose needing weight up front, I’ll be leaving it in.
5. Place two pins through the paper into the wood to prevent the drawing from moving. I choose top and bottom locations. Notice you can see the drawing through the paper. Makes me feel like Superman, you?
6. Find something curved and smooth like a coin, I choose a nickle to rub the pencil into the wood.
7. Because we created a way to register the drawing to the wood, we can lift the paper up and look at our results as we progress. No danger of losing our alignment.
8. Ahhh, thats what I’m talking about! The drawing has new been transferred to our material. It will be easy to cut it out now.
9. Doing what the band saw does best.
10. Drilling for the Scroll Saw
11. Installing on the Scroll Saw
12. Doing the inside, what the scroll saw does best.
13. How does it look against the print?
14. The former goes in about this position.
15. Former positioned and ready for addition of next nose sheeting segments. Since we are working with a model that is already built, we elected to jig the next two formers to the front of the fuse. when the 1/4″ thick balsa segments are added from the front of the fuse to this former, many facets will be formed representing the nose of this model. Using this method, we only need to make the 3 sides of each sheet accurate, they can be allowed to extend past the former. We can cut them off and sand them down against the former as we go. After all plates in position, we’ll snap out all the scrap sticks used to hold the former in place. The sanding bars are banded tightly to the fuse sides so I could measure and put the former in the center. They make a great straight edge.
I thought solving the problems of making and installing this former would be interesting to readers and hope you made it this far into a very long post.
You’ll notice a detail here. Keith modified the kit so he could remove the front frame and canard assembly for easier transport. Also notice the rib detail on the foam. Keith told me he purchased a marker intended for furniture finish repair. The marker was just a slight shade darker than the paint recommended to paint the wings. He carefully traced onto the foam all the rib locations and a spar. The idea being that when the wing was painted the marks would show through the pain enhancing the illusion of fabric over ribs. Great Idea! If I build another one, I’ll certainly copy this great idea. Dave
Photos of pilot and dummy engine mounted, along with vertical radiator. Note how easy it is to work on the plane with the “head” removed.
The dummy radiator is 3/32 ply with 1/8th balsa on both sides to make it look like a strut with rear-mounted radiator. Cooling tubes are cheap 16 gauge insulated wire. Additional benefit is that it helps stabilize the center ribs by keeping them from tilting sideways. Note also the 0.1″ carbon rod going between the top three center ribs. It serves several purposes, as it helps stabilize the center rib, gives a convenient CG locator (located 1/2″ behind the leading edge), and serves as a hard point for hanging that is not dependent on rubber bands or foam. I’ll later include a photo of the hanger in my living room, where the Wright now lives.
The removable head took some brainstorming, as I needed to come up with a way to do it so that I could take at least another big plane in my minivan to air shows. Once the head is off, the plane sits front down and occupies only as much space as a normal large plane fuselage. It is still tight, but I can fit my big Bearcat or Stomo or Bugatti or Goon or UT-1 in with the Wright. I’m sure another round of photos will be needed to show everything that had to be modified, but perhaps a Mark II of this kit will include this feature. There are total of eight 4-40 allen cap head bolts that are removed, but are screwed into blind T-nuts instead of the nylon inset capture nuts. I didn’t want to fiddle with a nut driver and the chance of dropping the nuts in the grass. The bottom four connect the sled frame members with a kind of a knuckle joint with the blind nut on the inside. The top four allow the various support struts for the front canard to be disconnected, again with blind nuts on the inside of the inner most strut. The two center vertical struts are kept in place with a short length of aluminum tube to act as a kind of bushing. The mounting holes for those struts and ribs need to be slightly drilled out to accommodate the 1/4 long pieces of tube. I lightly tacked the tubes and struts together with a dot of Loctite Stick N’ Seal, a flexible water-based product similar to RTV silicone rubber. Even though this all may sound complicated, I can remove or reinstall the head in less than 5 minutes. It does have the added bonus of making the plane MUCH easier to work on in my very small shop. All of my big giant scale electric planes that everyone has seen over the years have been built in my tiny 9′ x 9′ shop.
This series of posts created from email correspondence between Keith and I. He’s really done a lot of neat things to this kit. Expect a new report every Thursday for at least 5 weeks. Keith is in the AMA Hall of Fame. He is one of the fathers of modern day electric flight, a superb scale builder and solid modeler in many ways. Read more on the AMA website: Autobiography of KEITH SHAW
You can meet Keith every year at the Mid-America Flies electric fly in where he and Ken Myers of the EFO club host the longest running electric power meet in the country if not the world. Both are AMA Hall Of Fame members. Lots of scale modelers attend this event. Your sure to see many very nice hand built models here. The event is usually held in June and is always announced in the Ampeer Newsletter.
On to the first installment of Keith’s 1905 Wright Flyer Project:
First up is the dummy engine and magneto. Engine is made from foamboard, card stock, bits of lite-ply, dowel, and the chain is a section from a cheap necklace. Magneto is carved from pink foam.
Pilot is from Toys R Us, a “True Heros Fire Rescue, Robert Portman”. Very close to 1/7th scale. Had to use heat gun and some carving to pose him onto the necessary prone pilot position. Figure comes with boots and a bright yellow suit with day-go emergency strips. Fortunately the strips were sewed on, so easily removed. The uniform required some tailoring to make it look more like a 1900’s suit. The collar, tie and cuffs are all thin painted card stock. Toughest thing was trying to dye the bright yellow cloth to look right. The fabric is polyester and not easy to color. Tried RIT, then some aniline dyes without luck. Finally took a black magic marker apart, diluted the liquid, ad soaked the fabric overnight. It came out a black-green, and looks acceptable. I still have to make a cap for Orville, looking for better photos of that type of “Duster” cap he always wore.
I love all things interesting mechanically or engineering wise. Check out this engine project. Great engineering and thought whet into this. You can tell by how simple it is. Any dummy can engineer a solution with great complexity. Genius is in working out simple solutions. Notice carefully how few parts he made or modified. While not a new idea, it’s well executed.