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Modifications you have made to 'out of box' planes

Old 02-18-2011, 01:53 AM
  #1  
solentlife
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Default Modifications you have made to 'out of box' planes

I'm interested in what modifications to airframe have been made by people ... most have at some time have upgraded motors / ESC / batterys and we have many posts about those. But very litttle is posted about construction mods.

I have a few that made to my Foam Lanyu Me109 :

1. As I am a bit of a 'hard flyer' I kept losing the canopy as the magnet was unable to hold canopy ... flights with the canopy fluttering down were common. I tried a bolt down through and threaded plate in fuselage - but it was awkward and not a good mod. Final answer was a small oval of plastic with a small screw glued into fuselage top next to canopy to fuselage joint. Canopy has a forward tongue to lock into place .. so once in place - the oval plastic is turned to press down on back of canopy and holds it perfectly. Cost near sero ! Success - 100% !

2. The wing holding bolt is poorly supported at underside of wing so I glued a plastic doubling plate across the underside rear centre part ... this spreads the bolt load and resists tearing bolt through in those 'sudden arrivals'.

3. Wing holding bolt threads into a nut held in a plastic holder in fuselage. This nut is smaller than the holder and unless careful - turns when used. I removed the holder and used a broken prop hub that has moulded slot for the nut ... The prop hub is trimmed to fit and glued inside fuselage with nut superglued in. Once glued in place - I use epoxy ... I then fitted a thin plastic plate across fuselage locking prop hub in place. the plate is also threaded - so it also helps to hold wing bolt.

4. Battery size ... foam models have purpose moulded battery compartments designed for original size packs. These are often sub 10min size for motors fitted and when you upgrade are insufficient for power / time ....
I cut of the fuselage top level with battery compartment base. With intended battery pack - I then marked size needed to cater for it. With soldering iron I then melted out the required foam to expand the space. use of soldering iron is advised as then you heat and meld the foam together making a strong skin, it doesn't take out weight. Once space is made ... the fueslage top is pinned and glued back ...

So anyone else out there care to share their modification ideas ?
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:11 AM
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MaxAdventure
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I modified a DHC-2, here is the build thread: http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52062

Does it count if I put an Eagle 63 wing on a scratch foam fuselage?

I took an electric free-flight, added rudder and elevator and put a wing from one of those $5 48" foam gliders and put on it, does that count?

I cut a battery hatch in the fuel compartment of an Kyosho IC ARF spitfire when I converted it to e power, used tape to keep it shut then later converted to a magnet catch. I think I'm converting that back to IC though for a YS .91AC I picked up.

I modified an Audacity Pantera for e-power. Now he has his own retro kit.

I added a stabilizer fin on my wowwee dragonfly. It did help with pitch.

I took an eagle 63 an mirrored the clark-y airfoil on the bottom with foam to make it a fully symmetric airfoil (albeit extremely thick!)

I added root flow stabilizers to the fuse of a Sig Kougar to encourage a laminar flow over the wing at low speeds.

I'm guessing scratch planes don't count, it's just one big 'mod'.

I added a bell crank to my bird of time tail so I could move the elevator servo to the front, changed out the steel rods on it for carbon.

I put in a push/pull cable on my DG1000 so I could move the elevator servo to the front.

I guess I don't do much, most of my planes have been pretty much as the instructions stated.
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:50 AM
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HZ AeroBird-3:
Added carbon fiber spar to main wing.
Nylon reinforced packing tape to LE.
Hinged canopy withCA hinge and velcro to prevent midair battery ejection.

MP Easy Star (ARF "kit"):
Added NR packing tape to LE of main wing.
Nylon screws through spar to hold wing halves together.
Velcro straps to hold canopy on.
velcro on battery pack to hold in nose of cockpit.
CF tubes to guide control wires and reinforce fuse.
Replaced inadequate rudder with longer balsa model.
Replaced 4.5" x 4.5" prop with 6" x 3" (from AreoBird).
Possible future mods:
Replace brushed 400 motor with brushless inrunner.
More secure mounting system for canopy and video camera mount.

AC Miss Stik Sr. (under consrtruction):
changed mounting position for AXI 2212/34 motor from cowling to firewall.
CF tubes instead of balsa strips for control wires.
Changed (outside) rubber band wing mounting for (inside) velcro strips.

Were just never satisfied, are we?
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:12 PM
  #4  
tarheal63
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HZ SuperCub LP
3 wire servos
upgraded brushed ESC
2200 mah Lipo

PZ Spitfire
CF reinforce wings
3536 1100KV Brushless with CNC motor mount
30A ESC
2200 mah Lipo

Dynam EZ Hawk
25 A ESC
2409-12T motor
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:34 PM
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Okay, would have posted photos and will come back later - seems my connection is bogged down or something.

It started as an E Flite Ugly Stik clone - they call it the Ultra Stik 25e. Wife bought me it - I'd bought her something small and shiny for her birthday, so she insisted on buying me something big and shiny for mine. We were standing in the LHS, it was the biggest, shiniest box in there.

It was basically, how can I be polite - garbage. Almost impossible to get rid of being nose-heavy. Bolt-on tailplane rotated a half inch or so at tips. Battery access was poor. Flying - it's a high winger with no dihedral. Not a trainer, not an aerobatic ride. Just barely tolerable.

So I made a few alterations.

Converted it to a low winger, added two degrees of dihedral per side.
Put the aileron servos in the wing, not hanging out in the slipstream.
Made up a vertical stab like the real Ugly Stik's - scanned an outline off an old mag article, fudged it to fit.
Glued the tailplane on so it stays put, not wanders around.
Arranged matters for a good battery hatch over a battery and RC gear bay that put the CG where it should be.
Lost the over-tall steel UC for a slightly lower fibreglass one, saved four ounces.
Recovered it in pink Monokote, using my wife's favourite coffee sweetener 'Sweet'n'Lo' as inspiration for the new finish.
Lost the heavy steel tail surface pushrods in favour of my favourite 'Goldenrods' to save another ounce or so.
Tossed the rudder mounted tailwheel - just what rudder servos love - for a solidly mounted tailskid,

Result? It doesn't look like the others, it flies way better and hasn't got all the irritations of the stock BARF.

Others have found the BARF Ultra Stik to be absolutely and utterly perfect in all respects, so maybe I got a Monday Morning model ?

Photos when the system allows!
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:45 PM
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historically I've been a scratch builder but lately i have done a could of ARF's Funny that there seems to be some common thread running through the problems found in these models. For instance the Hobbyking Pitts Model 12 I've just finished had the dodgy magnetic canopy retention and poor wing bolt strength problems that were reported in the OP. I added a sliding catch to retain the canopy and put in a ply plate to stiffen up the TE where the bolt attaches.

I also did some mods to get the battery further forward and so avoid nose weight and I beefed up the flimsy biplane cabane strut mountings. These looked and felt far too weak and I've since learned others have had them fail in flight so looks like I did the right thing.

Probably the biggest change I did on this one was to add new mounting points for the struts that join the top and bottom ailerons, this means stripping and re-covering the ailerons as well as modifying the structure of the ailerons a bit.. not much to show for it now it's covered but it wouldn't have worked at all as the kit had it designed.
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:45 PM
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Finally thought I'd talked Wattflyer into downloading some images of my 'Ever So Slightly Altered UltraStik'.

I hadn't - please ignore this post, sorry.

D
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:48 PM
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Okay, my third attempt today to inflict some photos on you, poor Wattflyers.

This is the barely non-stock Ultra Stik I described in a post a few up above, earlier today. Sorry for the confustications.

D
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:03 AM
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balsa kits all modified for elec....oversized the control surfaces on 3 tower hobby uproars. added ailerons to 2 minisports from herr that were called breezy day park flyer's,they have reduced dihedrial..
installed lights and retracts on a house of balsa v-tail bonanza[build thread lost at rchangout forumdue to server upgrade wiping out past threads].
put ailerons on the areocraft skimmer.

a few pictures of these different planes,
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:14 AM
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solentlife
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Ok ... reference my OP .... here are a few photos to show the mods ....

Canopy catch - piece of plastic with simple screw glued into the foam - no need for fancy thread etc.



(Note this is before I repainted model ....)

Wing holding bolt re-inforcement plate -



That area is thin and seriously weak due to the aileron cu-out slots and the plastic plate provides a bridge for the stress.

Here is the wing holding nut inside fuselage that you can see has already had to be repaired .... I use epoxy for stressed areas for it's strength .... the nut holder is simply held in the foam ! ...



I replaced with the prop hub and plastic plate ...

Ok onto battery pack - original model had slot designed for a 9.6v NiMh 650mAh pack of 2 rows of 4 cells ... I upgraded to a 3S 1000mAh LiPo and Brushless which battery pack fitted the slot OK. I had measured max dimensions and was acreful to buy only that which fitted.

The black pack is the 1000mAh and white the larger 2800mAh ... (note the clear-tape and thread 'pull tie' I have so I can pull it out of battery slot without using leads !



Pack doesn't fit !



Cut away fuselage top ...



mark and melt away excess to fit pack ...



including canopy ..







This is better ... now it fits ..





Ready to do battle again (note I'm also part way through new paint scheme ...)





I know I could have done a better job of it - but the model has a lot of battle scars and hangar rash - and is my knock-about return to RC flying hack .... so looks are not so important for me - the flight is !!
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:53 PM
  #11  
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lots of rehashing looks very authentic lol nice brasses on the fireplace as well.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:12 PM
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solentlife
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Originally Posted by touche View Post
lots of rehashing looks very authentic lol nice brasses on the fireplace as well.
I wanted to do a bit more like real WW2 version than the out of box toy-like look. In the end I stayed of complete scale authentic as the decals are self-adhesive and I have no access locally to replacements. I thought about painting them ..... but then thought well - as long as it looks near enough, it will be ok. I'm reasonably pleased with it. It certainly looks the part in the air.

The Brasses ..... as a Brit - I have tried to have my little bit of UK at my home .... the Brasses are part of that. A number of them are actually presentation for my services at Catherington Shows over years ... my Ex UK Wife and I ran various Scout things at the shows ... my expertise was putting up and maintaining the aerial ropeway .....

Anyway - back to the ME109 .... yes - quite pleased with it. But lets be honest with Foam - it's so much easier to revamp etc.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:17 PM
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I'm new to the hobby - DW gave me a Hobby Zone Super Club LP for Christmas, but I haven't flown it yet.

I was surfing youtube and came across a series of videos by neCubFlyer that address some of the weaknesses in the design.

I've started on the battery box mod and will follow up with the wing saddle mod. I'm going to follow that with the landing gear mods, including the larger tires.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:42 PM
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Kinda out of the box I guess. I bought all the parts to build a Trojan airframe and then went wild.

Mega 600/30/7 motor, Suppo 50 amp esc and can run two power set ups.
#1 for general flying is a single 3S3700 and spins a MAS 11x8x3 prop
#2 for stupid, is a pair of 3S2200's in series, with an APC 9x10

Added E-Flite electric retracts, larger wheels, front strut and main gear covers. Split flaps instead of regular versions. Added a servo arm canopy latch to make sure it stays on. And additional CF bracing to the wing.

HobbyKing Spektrum $8.00 clone rx, with added capacitor for those brown out possibilities.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:31 AM
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Big Johnny
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Heck, I'm one of those fellas that don't feel right unless I make some sort of modification the minute I pull the plane out of the box. Being a Heavy Equipment Mechanic for 30 years, make me suspicious of all engineers. Some of them dudes need there Slide Rule, Computer, and drawing material trashed, because they come up with some stupid ideas.
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:02 AM
  #16  
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JD - out of the box, the HZ S Cub is the shizle! I LOOOOVE this airplane, and you will too! I hope you have some experience with another a/c, if not have a "buddy" for the 1st go!
Regards,
Don
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:11 AM
  #17  
FlyWheel
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Originally Posted by stuart View Post
balsa kits all modified for elec....oversized the control surfaces on 3 tower hobby uproars. added ailerons to 2 minisports from herr that were called breezy day park flyer's,they have reduced dihedrial..
installed lights and retracts on a house of balsa v-tail bonanza[build thread lost at rchangout forumdue to server upgrade wiping out past threads].
put ailerons on the areocraft skimmer.

a few pictures of these different planes,
How much did you reduce the dihedral to on the Skimmer to add the ailerons (assuming you didn't take it out completely)?

Posted via Mobile Device
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:36 AM
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CHELLIE
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Originally Posted by Dereck View Post
Okay, my third attempt today to inflict some photos on you, poor Wattflyers.

This is the barely non-stock Ultra Stik I described in a post a few up above, earlier today. Sorry for the confustications.

D
The Perfect Color for a RC Plane

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Old 03-01-2011, 12:54 PM
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Chellie: You look so good in pink, what are you doing later?? Drinks, maybe a movie.
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:27 PM
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CHELLIE
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Originally Posted by big johnny View Post
chellie: You look so good in pink, what are you doing later?? Drinks, maybe a movie.
LoL
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:31 PM
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flywheel,i know you have a skimmer 400 waitting on the shelf...lol...so i checked the skimmer build thread and on page 2 i wound up with many helpful tips from experienced builder/pilots.

if i had left one wing half flat on the board the other tip would have been lifted 8".....i only lifted it to 3" and it flys great.
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:40 AM
  #22  
dkrhardy
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"The Perfect Color for a RC Plane"

Not the color for me, even though I am secure in my masculinity! BUT, the name is AWESOME!
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:20 AM
  #23  
TLyttle
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Really, in 60+ years of building models, I don't think I have ever built exactly according to plan. Example is my GWS P51, where I sanded all those trenches out of the wing/fuse and covered them in Japanese tissue (strength of the wing went up about 300%), and Canadian markings from the early 50s. I used my own initials for the aircraft ID. Chaged the landing gear, added venting to the fuse, on and on and on...
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:42 AM
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Capt Easy
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Default Cmp spitfire 50-54

This originally was a CMP Spitfire 50-54 purchased from Notropalnes. It was converted it to electric and I've been modifying and adding scale details to it since late Spring a year ago. It should be completed soon, if I quite adding to it that is.

The build is intended to represent Spitfire Mk.Vb, 133 Sqn (Eagle) flown by Don Blakeslee.
Some of the scale details have the option of being removed for flight as a weight consideration. So far weight is just over 7 lbs.

Specs

Motor: Turnigy SK5055-580
ESC: Turnigy 80A Plush
Battery: 4s 5000 - 5s 4400
Prop: APC 13x10 - 14x10
Turnigy servo reducer for stock retracts and add on split flaps
AUW: 7lbs 2.2oz less seat and pilot (1.2oz)
CG: 4" LE measured at wing root
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Last edited by Capt Easy; 03-02-2011 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:00 PM
  #25  
Dereck
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Originally Posted by CHELLIE View Post
The Perfect Color for a RC Plane

Hi Chellie
Inspiration was two rolls of pink SomethingKote from a dark corner and my Better Half's favourite coffee sweetener. The starboard wing 'this way up' clue was done by scanning a 'S & L' packet, converting to CAD, blowing it up and making from a mix of hand cut sticky trim - the clef and ' Sweet'n'Lo - and hand drawn around a card template for the wiggly lines.

Not my first pink model by any means, though the others tend to purple or red trim. I hate to have to figure out which is mine in the pits when its time to go home I did draw the line at pink and purple 'Cow-moo-flage', which I leave y'all to figure out for yourselves

BTW - don't knock it. Have done a couple in cream with light purple - Monokote colours - that combo even impressed my beloved, who. possibly, rightly thinks I have less colour sense than our neighbour's dog.

D
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