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Aerodrome RC Stearman Military Trainer

Old 09-25-2007, 04:08 AM
  #1  
Franny
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Thumbs up Aerodrome RC Stearman Military Trainer

Hi All,

I just finished (mostly) Kurt's Military trainer and I thought I would share some photos. It really is a fun airplane to build and can host a wide range of detail. It is a big enough model to feel "substantial", but small enough to fin in my Beetle in one piece. I chose an AXI 2826 to spin the propeller and will be powering that with a 4000mAh 4S Lipo. I still need to get the speed control, BEC and RX, but we are just about to move and I needed to get this off the building board. I built it pretty closely the plans except for the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, to which I added a bit of thickness and sanded in a symmetrical airfoil. I also added a big battery hatch with six cooling holes for those 90+ deg flying days.

I’ll start with a few pictures I used for reference…

Franny
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:10 AM
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Default Top Wing

I started on the top wing and worked down to the bottom wings. I have not built with the ply trailing edges or scale ribs, but it really works well. They are built from the outsides in creating a frame and then adding the interior parts. The wing tips are build as a unit and then attached. I built the top wing in on piece for a bit of added strength. Kurt has a great way of building in strut attachment points with metal landing gear straps. It works great and really helps with the alignment of all three wings.
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:13 AM
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Default Bottom Wing

The bottom wing is built as two halves which actually attach to the fuselage sides instead of a one piece wing mounted on the bottom of the fuselage. This is really a neat way to go because of its scale appearance and because it leaves the center bay open and accessible with the bottom win halves attached. There are large alignment pins and the wings are attached with nylon bolts incase of a more “gymnastic” landing.
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:16 AM
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Default Tail Feathers

For the tail feathers, I decided to add a little thickness to look a bit more scale and to, hopefully, improve low speed stalling. Not that it needs it, but I do prefer a symmetrical airfoil cross-section to a flat plate. I guess those diagrams from my engineering classes still haunt me a bit… Anyway, I also notched the trailing edge of the surfaces to add a little more strength. I built the frame first and then added “ribs” that were about 1/16” to tall top and bottom so I could sand them to contour later. After all the surfaces were complete, I hinged them and sanded them to get a symmetrical shape. Afterwards, I added the additional necessary pieces to attach the covering along the mated surfaces.
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:20 AM
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Default Fuselage

The Fuselage construction was pretty straightforward following the plans and text. I did add some soft ply strips to strengthen the firewall a bit. This may not be necessary, but since these radial/rotary engine airplanes always turn out a bit tail heavy for me, I thought a little beefing up forward of the CG isn’t a bad idea. Additionally. I also wrapped the cabane mount boxed with floss and soaked them in thin CA to help in one of my less than stellar landings. For the landing gear fairings, I built the majority out of balsa and filled the rest in with that super light spackling. It sands well and is even a bit flexible. Bending the piano wire for the gear and cabanes is always fun. I learned really fast that and bends past about 45 degrees need to be heated first or the metal will begin to fail. With Kurt’s great outboard strut design and wing mounting, you can tell pretty quickly if you are off with your bends. I went ahead and made the bottom hatch a large as possible and cut six large holes for cooling.
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:24 AM
  #6  
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Default Dummy Engine

I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I opted for the nine cylinder radial. that meant I had to construct nine cylinders and the crankcase. That is well over 100 pieces right there! But, it all paid off because Kurt's design is great and you end up with a fabulous engine which also doubles as the AXI 2826 motor mount. Very slick. He even includs extra parts "just in case..."
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:28 AM
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Default In her scivies!

Here are some photos before covering. She is quite the looker.... Scale ribs and look at all those stringers!
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:28 AM
  #8  
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Very nice work Franny.
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:29 AM
  #9  
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Thanks Tom!
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:29 AM
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Yes indeed! Very Very Nice!
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:33 AM
  #11  
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Default Final Photos

I went with the gray fuselage just to be a little different. I love that blue rudder so I had to do that too. I added a little cockpit detail and a pair of windshields made from basswood and a clear plastic container. The wheels are Robarts and the prop is a Master Airscrew electric wood that is now discontinued. The covering is UltraCote. Great stuff! I used polished steel piano wire for the tail struts and stretchy fine shock cord for the flying rigging. Her final weight is 3.5 lbs minus the 12oz. battery. I can't wait to see her in the air!

I have a gazillon photos if you want to download them here => http://frannybrodigan.com/Smaller.zip
and I'd be happy to answer any questions or comments.

This is an Awesome kit!!! Highly recommended!!

Thanks!

Franny
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:34 AM
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Thanks Bill!

I hope to get flight photos soon...

Franny
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:35 AM
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I guess I should have waited till the end to post. OMG Franny, that is beautiful. How big is it? What is the AUW? Details details please.
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:42 AM
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Hi Tom,

It is 48" wing span and should be just under 4.5lbs. Not exactly a park flyer, but not too huge either... I haven't spun up the prop, but it should pull a solid 400-450W with that AXI2826. It has four servos and the wings are actually removable believe it or not. The Aerodrome RC kits are really nice and for a "short" kit you get the dummy engine, wheels, three rolled plans, and wheel kits! I didn't use the wheels because I found those Robarts and had to have them. I can't wait to see it in the air... I also think it would make a good two meter sailplane tow plane. Wouldn't it look cool pulling up a scale sailplane? It really was a fun kit to build. You can check out their site here => http://www.aerodromerc.com

Franny
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:35 PM
  #15  
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Hi Franny,
The plane looks great. You did a wonderful job.

When are you testing it?
Did you have to add any weight to the front to balance?

Paul
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Old 09-25-2007, 05:49 PM
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Fantastic woodwork and for sure beautiful plane!!

Jukka
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Old 09-25-2007, 06:12 PM
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Thanks Paul and jukka,

Well, I haven't balanced it just yet, but I might have to a put a smidgen in front. The original has this super heavy hunk of steel mounted on the end of the firewall and when we build our models, we usually build that part out of light balsa. It always causes me grief! I hope to get it in the air before too long. We are moving across town so things are a little nutty now... But, I will be much closer to the airplane park!

I'll post flight pictures in a bit. Paul, I still have to maiden that Shoestring if you can believe that...

Franny
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:41 PM
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I've been salivating over this kit. Unfortunately it's just a little to large for me. It's weight pushes it over the edge into more expensive equipment, and pinches me on places to fly.

If they ever release a 36" or so version of this model, I'm on it in a heartbeat.

You've done a stunning job on yours. I can't wait to see some video. You should submit your pictures to aerodromerc. They've only got one example of this model in their gallery.
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Old 09-25-2007, 08:32 PM
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Thanks Gnascher,

I have submitted all of my documentation to Kurt. Sorry it is too big for you; thats a bummer. I have a mix of this size and the "400" size and I do fly the 400s more. They are much easier to transport and the equipment is easier to work with. That said, I really like this size best from a shear model stand point. I have a 400 size Dare Fokker DRI and it is fun to fly, but would do better if it was this size. My Little Gasser (.049 size) is great fun and so easy to fly and control. It depends on the model for me. Most of my larger ones are scale and the smaller ones are sport or vintage.

You might want to shoot Kurt an email... It can't be too hard to scale this guy down to, say, 36"?

Franny
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Old 09-25-2007, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Franny View Post
You might want to shoot Kurt an email... It can't be too hard to scale this guy down to, say, 36"?

Franny
I did try to go this route. He said that the way the plans are drawn wouldn't lend itself well to reduction using a copier or scanner and that it'd take him at least a week of work to resize the plans in his CAD software. He said it's possible that he'll release a scaled-down version but it wouldn't be for at least a year. So I wait.

If I should end up finding a flying site that I could confidently fly that model in then maybe. But even still that's an investment in pricier batteries, ESC and motor too. I wouldn't be able to utilize my existing collection of Lipos, etc... Keeping 'Wife Approval Factor' requires keeping my budget under control!
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:30 PM
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I totally understand... I usually get a small bonus at the end of the year and I have to make that stretch throughout the entire year. It is all but gone now. So, now I build what I have and rely on my small allowance and leave them "Almost Ready to Fly" so to speak...

Franny
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Old 09-26-2007, 01:35 AM
  #22  
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Default Great Job!!!!

Hi Franny, Fantastic work on the Stearman! Wow, those glow flyers are going to go nuts when they see that baby!
Kurt should be pleased with your build, now we're all waiting for the flight report!
See you soon,
Ron
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:23 AM
  #23  
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Thanks Ron,

I won't fly it without you, buddy!

Franny
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Old 09-26-2007, 09:46 PM
  #24  
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Default Very Convincing Model

Looks very scale-like. I was wondering about the landing gear legs though. Are they "stiff legged" i.e. with no shock absorbing action. If so, I wonder if some sort of flexible joint near the fuselage could be formed with silicone or a flexible "cuff fairing" made with some of the thin flexible plastic stuff I bought at at craft store in the kid's craft section and used for the gear legs on Tritles' Cessna 140. I'm going to take a closer look at Kurt's kit.
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Old 09-26-2007, 10:14 PM
  #25  
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Default Landing Gear

Hi E,

The gear is comprised of two bent piano wires; one forward and one aft a tad. I don't expect the gear to flex for and aft much, but maybe in and out a little. The wire size is 1/8", so pretty substantial. I am wondering about the fairing as well... Kurt called for blue foam or something similar. I opted for that super light flexible spackling which won't flex as much as the foam I bet. It seems pretty strong... The forward wire is attached to one of the formers and the rear wire is inserted into a copper tube blocked in and running the width of the fuse. Time will tell I suppose.

I think Kurt's are some of the most scale kits in this size range. Just the scale number of ribs makes a huge difference. He is a very meticulous designer.

Thanks,

Franny
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