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Stevens Aeromodel G-480 Groove

Old 03-03-2013, 03:09 AM
  #1  
Stevephoon
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Default Stevens Aeromodel G-480 Groove

I bet most of you have noticed that I like mid sized balsa kits.... Well here's one that the wife bought me for Christmas that I'm just getting around to building. (There were a lot of repairs needed this winter)



From what I have read, this plane flys great when it's built light. I'm planning on building per plans, but to stay light I plan to use CA sparingly, use light weight electronics and battery, and use Solite covering.



Here's the stats and suggested electronics from Stevens AeroModel
  • Wing Span (in.) 45
  • Wing Area (sq. in.) 400
  • Length (in.) 44
  • Flying Weight (oz.) 24
  • Loading (oz. / sq. ft.) 8.6
  • Wing Cube Loading 5.2
  • Power Rating (sug. motor) 250W (A30-28S)
  • Propeller APC 10x5 E
  • Speed Control (ESC) Castle Phoenix 25
  • Battery 1600 mAh (25C) 11.1V
http://www.stevensaero.com/StevensAe...2-p-17493.html

Also as usual, I've picked up the electronics from HeadsUpRc.com

Motor: E-Max GT2215/09 250 Watt
ESC: Sky Power 30A ESC with Switchmode BEC
Servos: Towerpro SG92R
Prop: 10x6 DFDL Wood (If it does not over amp the motor)

I have some parts already.. Spektrum AR6110 RX, Misc 1500-1800 3S Batteries and some rolls of Solite....

This plane has been around for a while and there are some huge threads over on RCGroups on this plane, so I am not planning a detailed build log. I do plan on posting questions and showing progress every so often. If anyone has any specific questions or comments I always love to hear them.

Steve
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:03 AM
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Default Off to a quick start

I built up the tail feathers and the main fuselage pieces yesterday and today. As usual with SA kits, the wood is really nice and the cutting is great. Everything fits like a glove. You just assemble dry, make sure everything is flat, then some thin CA and you're done.

The tail feathes have a carbon fiber strip covering all of the trailing edges and there is one embedded in horizontal stabilizer as well. Really light and should be stiff as well.

Steve
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:25 PM
  #3  
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That's a kit I have on my "one of these days" list. I'll be watching with interest.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:11 AM
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Thanks for checking in Ron... I see you are building a P-38. That's my favorite WWII bird. I wish there was a mid sized balsa kit of that plane somewhere. I may break down and scratch build one in a size I like at some point.


Groove build... First 2 pages of the fuselage build are now complete. Only 9 more to go. Most of these large parts are snapped together dry. SA's instructions says to tack glue, but I found that some of the balsa pieces didn't need any. It stayed together on it's own pretty well. After this much is assembled, you make sure that everything is square and then wick thin CA along the joints. All of this goes pretty fast. Since this much is glued together, I thought this would be a good place to call it a night. The one extra thing I may do is a thin fillet of titebond at the inside of the firewall to fuselage joint. This is the one place I want strong and I don't think titebond would add too much weight. Since this is a ply to balsa joint, I normally like something more since the thin CA may not wick into the ply.

Steve
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:28 AM
  #5  
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Looks great!
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:46 AM
  #6  
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Hey Steve,

Your build looks like fun! It also looks like a nicely laid out design.

Also digging your sailplane build too, I really like the transparent purple covering.... Two planes on the table at once. Nice, keep up the great work!

And, if you're looking for a P-38 kit, Mountain Models has a 38" wing span kit. Not sure if it is the size or detail that your looking for, but I've seen a few guys put this one together online. Here's the link:

http://www.mountainmodels.com/produc...roducts_id=408
i've built a couple of their other kits, and they do a nice job.... perhaps it's time for a 3rd plane on the table

Be well.

Peace

Forge
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:57 AM
  #7  
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Default More Fuselage work

Forge, I had to finish the Chrysalis before starting this one. (Well complete it as much as I can without being able to fly it yet.) I don't have the space for two builds going on at once... You are also correct that I was thinking of a P-38 a little bigger than the MM one. I'd like something with two 400 sized motors or around 350-400 Watts total that I can take to the club's grass field... That way I can use the 2200-2600 mAh 3S batteries I already have and not get run over by the slimers at the field.

Here are some pictures from the last two days of my very part time building. It's actually amazing how fast and easy this plane goes together. Yesterday was assembling the rear of the fuselage. Basically add parts, tack glue, add more parts, make sure everything is straight and then glue everything. Then add the stringers and sand the ends to shape.

Today was working in the top front of the fuselage. These are the parts that give the plane a nice rounded look. Again it's assembly the frame parts dry, make sure everything is tight and square, then glue. The sheeting is then glued on the one edge, then sprayed with windex and taped down into shape. When it is dry, it will get glued the rest of the way with the top sheeting pieces. It's really easy to build when every piece, including the sheeting, is laser cut and already the correct shape and that the pieces inter-lock together squarely by themselves. SA engineering is outstanding in helping you build your model correctly.

Steve
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:33 AM
  #8  
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subscribed for sure. looks like she'll be a light bird flying when finished. looks like your going fast with this one,ya must be wanting to burn a few holes in the sky this spring...
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:38 AM
  #9  
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you make it look easy
Let me ask you some questions?
do you have a plan for the cover yet?
does the kit have good instructions?
What kind of glue are you using?
Thats not a cheap kit, it reads like its got everythang is that better than a short kit ?
my wife got me socks for Christmas
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:28 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by BigO View Post
you make it look easy
Let me ask you some questions?
do you have a plan for the cover yet?
does the kit have good instructions?
What kind of glue are you using?
Thats not a cheap kit, it reads like its got everythang is that better than a short kit ?
my wife got me socks for Christmas
Hi BigO!

Covering - No detailed plan yet... I usually use MS Paint to try out different schemes. I have downloaded a bunch of pictures of planes that others have built for thought starters. My initial thought was to use White, Black and transparent Red SoLite becuase I already have it. We shall see.

Instructions: They are great and they are on Stevens Aeromodel site as well so you can read them too.
http://www.stevensaero.com/downloads...d=17493&dlid=1

Glue: The instructions just call for Thin CA and that's what I have used for the most part. I've also used some thick CA to attach the battery tray and some Titebond around the firewall.

This is a very complete kit. All needed balsa is already laser cut (including sheeting and stringers), hardware, wheels, cowl and canopy is included. Even the pushrods and landing gear wire is pre-bent. Short kits usually just contain the laser cut parts. You need to provide your own sheeting, stingers, common sized strip wood, all hardware......

You are correct, this is not a cheap kit. If you watch the SA site you can usually find kits at 15% off twice a year or so.... Or if you can catch them at a trade show, they usually sell kits at a discount there as well.

I am impressed with the quality of the balsa and ply as well. It is all very light and no knots or changes in density.... There are 23 sheets of balsa and ply included in the kit.

My wife has actually been encouraging me to keep involved in the RC world. She's a peach!

Steve
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:47 AM
  #11  
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Default Fuselage Complete!

I've now attached the rest of the sheeting and I have given the fuselage a quick rough sanding. It's looking pretty good. It's also really light. I have not weighed it yet but I will when the wing is complete. I also added the two magnets for the battery hatch and built the motor mount. I used thin and thick CA on the mount per the instructions. The mount is supposed to break first when something bad happens. SA does not recommend epoxy for the mount. It's also made out of thinner ply than some of my other similar sized planes. This plane is designed to be very light.

Hopefully tomorrow I can start on the wing!

Steve
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:13 AM
  #12  
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nice hatch for the battery compartment,should be real easy to load. the fuse has a great solid look.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:43 AM
  #13  
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You are right Stuart, the hatch and battery compartment are plenty big. You could easily fit batteries in 2200 mAh range. Should make for quick and easy battery swaps in the field.

I have made some real progress today on the wing. I am still amazed at how fast this plane is going together. SA warns that the fits will be tight when assembling the wing. There are notes on when and when to sand some of the parts. I found the small file I had just the right size for the spar and ribs. Some of the ribs were to tight to slip on, but a couple of passes in the slots with the file, then they fit perfect.

In general, the wood for this kit is very light and not really strong. You need to handle the parts with care before things are glued together. How do I know?? I broke two of the ribs trying to sand off the laser burn marks. I've actually trying to sand all of them off of all parts that maybe seen and/or have the covering attached to them. I just think that it looks better with out the dark edges.

You start the wing by gluing the spar and endcaps together. It's nice that the full sized plan can be used to lay the parts over to make sure they are straight. You then dry fit the ribs. Add the first leading and trailing edge pieces with only a drop of CA at each end. The center training edge pieces get glued in. Then the spar caps are glued on. All of this is the easy to do, but you must remember not to force parts together and make sure the parts are flush together before gluing.

It seems at the rate I am going that the balsa assembly maybe complete before the week is out.

Steve
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:28 AM
  #14  
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Default More progresss..

I've now added the center section to the wing and completed the remaining stringers. It's almost complete. The leading edge needs to be sanded and one final check to make sure everything is straight. Then I can cut off the extra stand-off pieces and sand everything.

I've completed the ailerons. They basically snap together and you add glue, then add the carbon fiber strip over the training edge. Simple. You do need to check the bends in the wire, it's pre bent, but some minor adjustment was needed.

The landing gear is just a sandwich to trap the wire legs. It gets inserted into the wing and should still be removable is needed.

The wheel pants are a stack of balsa glued together with a couple of pieces inserted to hold everything straight. The instructions called for thin CA, but I used titebond. The balsa wanted to warp, so I clamped the pieces together and then let them dry. Then a ton of sanding and now I have the rough shape I want.

All that's left with the balsa stage are some pieces for the tail wheel and then some sanding!

Steve
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:48 AM
  #15  
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Rough sanding and fitting complete! See picts!

I'm also starting on ideas for a covering scheme. 1st idea using the transparent red, white and black that I have.

Steve
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:00 AM
  #16  
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Transparent looks good, but if you get very far from it it's hard to tell what the plane is doing. I liked it a lot more when I was young.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:19 PM
  #17  
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That's looking really good, Steve. You're making faster progress than I am on my P-38, and it's a foamie near-ARF!

Last edited by rreid7; 03-18-2013 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:07 AM
  #18  
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Pulled out all of the SoLite type coverings I have...

I have:
White
Black (Full Roll)
Silver (Full Roll)
Red (Full Roll)
Transparent Red
Transparent Yellow
Transparent Blue
Green (Olive)
Brown

So know I'm thinking that using the silver might be good instead of the white...

I do need to get a little more creative... That's why I pulled out the all of the rolls... I'd prefer something I know I can do well... That means mostly straight lines and seaming on structure.

Steve
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:51 PM
  #19  
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I've started on the covering and I have finished the bottom of the wing. It still needs to be tightened, but that will happen after the coverig on the top of the wing is on to minimize any warping. This is the first time I have tried seaming two pieces of covering. So far so good!

I plan on installing the wing servos next, then covering the top.

Steve
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:43 PM
  #20  
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Wing is now completely covered. I just need to install and hood up the ailerons. I was planning on doing that after I finished covering everything else. I tried something new to me with the aileron servo extensions. I just soldered an extension wire in place like Nodd showed in one of his builds. Each wire is offset by about 1/2 in and then a long piece of shrink wrap goes over everything. It's a little time consuming, but I thought it will save me a little weight. I also held the wire back on the spar with a couple of pieces of Solite.

Steve
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:50 AM
  #21  
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Still slowly plugging away at covering. The tail feathers are now covered and the rear half of the fuselage is complete. Hopefully I'll have some time to keep working this weekend. There's not that much more to cover.

Steve
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:38 AM
  #22  
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That is a nice kit I bet your haven a ball putting it together
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:25 PM
  #23  
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Default Covering Complete!

I've finished covering the fuselage. So I guess I'm at the ARF stage now.

Still to do... Glue in the verticle and horizontal stabilizers, hinge up all of the control surfaces, install the control horns, paint the cowl and wheel pants, hook up the electronics, create the tail wheel wire and install the tail wheel......

Still a ways to go before she flys... But getting closer!

Steve
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:34 PM
  #24  
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Very nice job.

Regards
Jimmy
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:04 AM
  #25  
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A little more progress.... I created the tail wheel wire and attached to the underside vertical stab piece per the plans. I have attached the horizontal stab with thin CA per the instructions. It was just hard enough to get lined up nice, that a quick shot of CA really made it easy to attach. I also did a small fillet of titebond and then covered over the glue with a small piece of covering... The Elevator was attached with 4 (2 per side) CA hinges and then also with a covering hinge. I just like the look of the hinge point sealed, so I tend to do this. The Vertical stab pieces were attached with titebond and clamped.... The vertical stab was straight on it's own, so it was no trouble at all.

Also, I received an EMail from SA with a sale announcement... They are giving the Toledo show prices to all....

We are off to the 2013 Weak Signals Toledo Show and, as a result, orders placed after 04/02/2013 1pm MST will be processed but held for fulfillment on 04/09/13. Thank you for understanding that order fulfillment, this week, will take a bit longer than you are accustomed to. As such we want to extend all of the great Weak Signals show savings to our online customers. Use the coupon code WEAKSIG13 to receive show pricing, 15% off all Stevens AeroModel kits, now through 04/15/2013.


Steve
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