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.