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Beginner Scratchbuild...

Old 08-04-2010, 02:32 PM
  #1  
CPomeroy
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Question Beginner Scratchbuild...

Okay, so I'm new to RC.
yeah, you're already preparing the response of 'buy a trainer!'
I have had (and still do have) one aeroplane, which is a ParkZone spitfire. I CAN fly it, and (I would say) I am moderately O.K at landings (belly landings).
Trouble is, I'm close to finishing a scratchbuilt Niueport 11, from plans that I got free with a copy of 'Quiet and Electric Flight' magazine, and I don't know whether The covering has been done properly.

Recently, my spitfire crashed, as a result of signal loss (nothing to do with me!) and while i build up the courage to fly the repaired 'squarefire' I'm finishing the nieuport.

Anyway, just looking for pointers on covering with balsaloc and litespan for when I build the next plane!

If you want to see the spitfire in action:
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTPn_N9GG8Q[/media]

If you want to see the crash (and the subsequent stingy repair job):
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCDZEE63VB4[/media]

Suggestions, except those along the lines of: 'why did you buy a low wing as your first plane? Get a Cub!' are all welcome.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:46 PM
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Here are some Photos of the plane.

it's minus the top wings, obviously.
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:52 PM
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Nice job!!!!

This should give you a good bit of reading and you can pick up some good tips on covering.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=711624
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Old 08-05-2010, 04:24 PM
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Nice videos of the Spitfire! Let me know how the Nieuport works out. I see you're almost done by your photos. Did the Q&EFI article mention how the Nieuport flies? I seem to recall that WWI a/c can be dodgy. Is it 4 channel or rudder and elevator? I may have those plans myself somewhere in my collection. If it's rudder-elevator, there's a great thread in this section that may give you some pointers. It's sure helped me. the big thing is dihedral!

You'd mentioned that you're new to RC and that the Spitfire is your first plane. I'm relatively new to flight myself - up until now I haven't had much success in building up my fleet of aircraft because I keep destroying all but a Zagi that I fly. I very much prefer building from plans over RTFs and ARFs - but it's hard to take when I've spent 50 hours building a plane only to see it destroyed on its maiden flight. So I am continuing to build but expanding my skills by way of ARFs that can take a beating. I'd welcome your thoughts on this - it may be that your flying skills are better than mine. For me, maiden flights of a plan-built are intrinsically more squirrely than popular ARFs or RTFs.
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:16 PM
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info

the nieuport had been on hiatus for bout half a year!
recently, however, the company I had been waiting for parts from (202nd class postage, obviously) told me they were out of stock, and had cancelledmy order...
Needless to say I re-ordered and parts broke an burnt out until I ordered some really heavy duty electronics to stop it happening, so I have only really managed to get something done to it in the past few weeks!
it went from disassembled skeleton to finished plane (it's now finished) in about 7 days!
The Q&EFI article said that it was quite a stable flyer, with no vices (what's a vice, does anyone know?), and what's a/c? (I'm not very familiar with RC terminology)
The plane iself is the whole thing. That is, Rudder, Elevator, and ailerons.
I've never actually flown a plane with no ailerons, to tell the truth.
I'm not sure that I can muster up the courage to fly this plane anyway...

one more thing, about dihedral....
yeah...about that...
umm......
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:28 PM
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A "vice" is a bad habit. A/c might be short for aircraft. Not sure on that one.
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:51 PM
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Thanks!
I'll try myslf to not pick up any 'vices' along the way, such as crashing.

If anyone is interested in more pics of the plane (the uploader seems not t like me) here's a link:

(I think you need facebook to see them)

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...5632061&ref=mf

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Old 08-05-2010, 11:06 PM
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Hi, CPomeroy,

thank you for filling me in a little about the background on the Nieuport. She looks real good! I do indeed have to see if I have those plans. I am a diehard Francophile as well. You don't happen to know which issue the Nieuport is in, do you?
Sorry about my abbreviations - a friend of mine used to abbreviate aircraft as a/c and I got into the bad habit. I have no idea if it's 'normal' jargon. He is a pilot so I assumed it was.

That's too bad to hear about the electronics burning out on you - I'm still a newbie in that area too so I always talk with Kirk over at New Creations to get the motor system all squared away and check it out also on a cool program called motocalc.

Far be it from me to give advice, but if you can find someone to fly your new plane first to make sure it's trimmed out, it might save you some grief!
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:32 AM
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Yeah, I'm thinking of getting a friend (who is a lot more experianced at planes, albeit nitro ) to fly it first, but I also want to be the first to fly my homebuilt plane!
about the electronics... I'm not wholly surprised that they (speed control and transmitter) burnt out, since the 6ch transmitter and reciever I got for 15 off ebay, and the speed control was the cheapest I could find...Which meant I put 11.1V through something meant for 5V.
After stealing a transmitter of an old Esky Heli, and buying a new reciever, it was working, and with that, I installed and continued the build.
I didn't actually set out to build a nieuport, I just decided to build 'a plane' and I bought the first magazine that had a free plan that wasn't a foamie!
thankfully, it wasn't some kind of pylon racer or complicated build...
-and about which issue, I still have the magazine (I used it for instructions) and the issue number is 'march 2009', and it has a picture of (what looks like) a red arrows gnat on the front.

Currently, I'm repairing the Nieuport covering, it fell off a table yesterday and punctured a covering panel on the fuselage...It crashed before it flew, that's just my luck!

here are some pictures of the spitfire that crashed, after my [not wanting to spend any money] repair job. Renamed the Supermarine Squarefire MK IIB.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:49 PM
  #10  
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Thanks for the pics of the 'Squarefire' CPomeroy. It looks hefty, as if it will cut right through the Scottish winds. (by the way, how are the winds where you live?)
Sorry to keep asking questions, but what exactly did you cover the Nieuport 11 with? Tissue or a light sort of iron-on fabric? my apologies if you'd already told me and I didn't catch it.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:44 PM
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Uhh, the nieuport was covered with litespan, and balsaloc adhesive
the roundals and skull I cut from different coloured litespan and balsaloc'd and ironed on.
I have now added some rigging and i'm hopefully uploading a video of a walkaround to youtube soon.
As for the wind, the flying field where I am (basically a cut bit of grass in a sheep field, requiring sheep poo shovelled off it each flight) is at the bottom of a glen, so in windy weather, it gets VERY windy and gusty as the glen channels the wind down to it, but in calm weather it is a very calm spot, sheltered by the glen. basically, it's quite extreme both ways.
I took the spit out on a very windy day once...
didn't go well.
It didn't crash, it became very slow to fly into the wind, and insanely fast with it, and very up-and-down-y kind of jumping on level flight in gusts.
Not flown the spit with the new nose yet, I think it may be slightly nose heavy, but not a lot.
It's as they say;
A nose heavy plane flies badly, a tain heavy plane flies once.
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:51 AM
  #12  
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oh, here's a walkaround of the nieuport:

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJsRlXHuenw[/media]
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:15 AM
  #13  
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Finally got a chance to see the walkaround, CPomeroy! Great video. Wow, that's your first build, second RC ever? That's very nice. I should show you my latest build in progress - it's a Bristol Brownie. As soon as I get the hang of transferring pics and videos onto this site, I'll be sure to share. I've been building a/c now for about 40 years - but it's been so intermittent that I am still quite bad at it. You've got the rigging and all! Very nice. I like your bottom hatch idea too. And the scratch built machine gun! WOW!
I'm a scale nut pure and simple and I'd just seen in a Dave Platt video that says when you're building a scale a/c, you'll want to just get it done to the point where you need to test it on a maiden flight before spending too much time doing the finishing touches. It makes sense. After you know it's flight worthy, then you add the detail. I'm going to try that route with my Aeronca Sedan and see what happens.
One other thing I just learned from this forum last week or so, is that when you're maidening your plane, you will most likely want low throws for your ailerons and elevator. It helped me with the Aeronca, that's for sure. In the video it looked like you had big throws on the Ailerons and elevator - does your radio have dual rates so that you can halve the throws?
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:09 AM
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CPomeroy
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no, the radio is possibly the simplest one around: 2 sticks. 4 channels. On/Off switch. Batteries.

(And servo reverser switches)

I must say, the brownie looks like a nice plane, a bit like a Tiger Moth without the upper wing...

Before I fly it, I've bought a tiny film camera, which is going into the cockpit, so that whatever happens, it's on film. (I film all my flights with a camera anyway, just in case)

I did cheat a bit with the machine gun, I used a WWII machine gun from a 1/6 scale Action Man, I think, an added the extra bits, and painted it.
Also, I WILL add the prop-holding rubber band when it flies, not masking tape, as in the video!

I'm hoping to go onto building a plane with NO COVERING (do not want), instead using balsa sheets. I found a nice EP IL-2 Sturmovik kit,

http://www.tdmsoftware.com/majewski/...2/IL2plans.asp

which I'm thinking of building, except with landing gear, I'll just need to fit in some more time around my school stuff!

It seems TDM do quite a few small scale EP's.... You may want to check them out for some of their more unorthodox models, the kawasaki ki-61, for example.

although, if anyone sees a kit/plane for a EP fairey firefly/fulmar (1/6 or smaller scale) I'd probably prefer that to the sturmovik....
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:13 PM
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Squarefire crashed on launch.
Back to the balsa offcuts box...
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:39 PM
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Sorry to hear that news, CPomeroy. I was going to take my Aeronca out yesterday, but the winds just never died down enough for me to trust myself.
Why do you think it crashed? I crashed mine a couple of weeks ago when my brain got behind on the 'OODA loop' (observe, orient, decide, act) and overcontrolled it right into the earth.
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:39 PM
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well, it was probably a CG problem...
what happened was, I launched it, it went a bit, made a horrible noise and banked straight into the ground. This took about 3 seconds.
It broke the prop and a lot of the balsa structure
, although the fixing that holds the balsa to the plastic has survived.
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:12 PM
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I took the nieuport to a friend of mine, who is an experienced pilot, to get him to overview it. Good thing too, as the application of the struts had warped the wings, and had given them 'washout' I think it was, which would mean it wouldnae fly!
After some minor strut butchery (sawn through no less! I couldn't watch!) the problem was more or less fixed, although he says it may still be an 'iffy' flyer!
(the struts were as given on the plan)
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:44 PM
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That washout can cause flight patterns that are hard to diagnose - trimming out the controls doesn't seem to fix it. Did your friend mention the option of increasing the dihedral by about 4% or so? Now that your struts are cut, you could introduce a bit of stability on the Nieuport. (I would have hate to see the operation myself. I can't bear having to 're-engineer' my a/c when I discovered I'd misworked something....

With the Supermarine Squarefire, it made a horrible noise before crashing?? I wonder what that was about?
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:24 AM
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I think it might have been the prop splitting....
because i found half of the prop some distance away in the grass, and the plane wasnt going fast enough to throw it that far.

what he did, was cut the struts, and re-lengthed them, so that it countered the washout, and also re-shrunk the covering whilst bending the wing, so also help neutralise it.

I think hen I rebuild the squarefire, I'll put the CG back a bit from where it was, to where it should be. Anyone know where the CG on a spitfire is?
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:59 PM
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yeow! Prop splitting. Good thing it was in the air away from you.

I don't know where the CG on a spitfire might be. Perhaps something like 33% behind the LE? I'm guessing of course, but if you balanced it somewhere at that point perhaps you could then give it a hurl without power into a nice pile of bramble or hay to see if she glides level. If so, there you have it!
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