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Everything posted by JShumate

  1. When it comes to WW II bombers, the B-17 Flying Fortress is the recognized icon for all heavy bombers This video shows off the giant scale RC “Aluminum Overcast” B-17, piloted by Peter Pfeffer “Peda” Maßstab. The 1/5.6-scale Flying Fortress has a 19 foot wingspan, is 14 feet long and took four years to build. Over 41 inches tall at the top of the vertical fin, the impressive bomber is built using traditional balsa and plywood construction techniques, has scale retractable landing gear and flaps and weighs in at 187 pounds. Powered by four 42cc gas engines, the radio gear is from Weatronic. Video courtesy of RC Scale Aircraft. The post New for Premium Members — 19ft. B-17 Flying Fortress Takes Flight appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  2. The 345th Bomber Group (BG) was first acti­vated at Columbia Army Air Base, South Carolina, in November 1942 and was christened the “Air Apaches.” As a B-25 bomber group, it was broken into four squadrons: the 498th, known as the “Falcons”; the 499th, “Bats Outa Hell”; the 500th, “Rough Raiders”; and the 501st, the “Black Panthers.” The 345th BG was sent to the Southwest Pacific Theater in 1943 and began flying missions from Port Moresby, New Guinea, and earned the recognition of the first Air Force Combat Group sent to the Pacific in World War II. To read this article and other exclusive online content, Click Here and subscribe to the Model Airplane News Premium website. The post New for Premium Members — The Story of the 345th Bomber Group appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  3. JShumate

    Scratch-Build a Radial Cowl

    The method of making a round cowling involves laminating a cylinder from 1/64-inch plywood and capping it with a balsa ring for the leading edge. In the photos that are featured in this article, I show two cowlings that I made this way; one was for an original design and the other was for a stand-off scale model of a Vickers Wellesley single-engine bomber. The two pieces of 1/4 inch plywood that will form the mandrel are nailed together in the scrap. A compass is used to draw a circle of the desired diameter on the top piece. To make the cylinder part of the cowling, a length of plywood is soaked in water to make it flexible and then wrapped around a mandrel. When the plywood is dry and the mandrel has been removed, the edges are dressed and the balsa ring is glued to one edge. After final shaping, the cowling can be primed and painted to suit. Step one of the building process is to determine the inside diameter of the plywood cylinder for the desired cowling. I like to laminate four layers of plywood which gives a wall thickness of 1/16 of an inch. Therefore, the I.D. of the cylinder is simply the O.D. of the cowling minus 1/8 of an inch. This dimension will be the O. D. of the mandrel. Before the mandrel discs are sawn out, a 1/4-inch diameter center hole and five randomly spaced 3/8-inch diameter holes are drilled through the plywood. The mandrel consists of two discs, made from 1/4-inch plywood, spaced on a 1/4-inch bolt. Cut out two plywood squares, about an inch or so oversize, and nail them together in the scrap. Use a compass to draw a circle of the proper diameter on the top piece of plywood. Drill a 1/4-inch hole in the center for the bolt and several 3/8-inch holes randomly spaced in the circle.These holes will be used to knock out the discs after the cylinder has dried. The plywood will shrink as it dries and then tightly grip the discs. This is the reason for using 1/4-inch plywood for the discs. The small surface area of the disc being in contact with the inside of the cylinder allows it to be knocked out fairly easily. After the bolt is removed, a dowel or screwdriver threaded through the holes in one disc can be used to tap out the other disc. A band saw works well to cut out the discs. The two mandrel discs along with the 1/4-inch center bolt and spacer washers. The assembled mandrel. The mandrel discs are spaced so that about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch of the cowling cylinder projects out beyond the discs on each end. If you remember your high school geometry, the circumference of a circle is π times the diameter of the circle, so the length of the 1/64 plywood strip is π times the diameter times four (the number of plies). For example, the I.D. of the cowling for the original airplane design is 2-5/8 inches, so the length of the plywood strip is 3.14 x 2.625 x 4. This works out to approximately 33 inches. However, this could result in the ends coming out one on top of the other, which might create a bump, so I reduced the length to 31-1/2 inches. The inside length dimension of the cowling is 1-1/2 inches, so the final size of the plywood strip is 1-1/2 inches by 31-1/2 inches. A soaking basin can be made from four lengths of 2 x 4 and a garbage bag. Arrange the 2 x 4s in a rectangle and press the garbage bag down inside the 2 x 4s to form the basin. Fill with warm water. Place the plywood strip in the water and weight it down with something non-metallic. Let soak about 10 minutes and then turn over. Soak about another 10 minutes. The 1/64-inch ply strip that will be rolled up to form the cowling. A pair of scissors works well to cut the 1/64-inch plywood. Prepare the mandrel and glue while the plywood is soaking. Space the discs on the 1/4-inch bolt so that about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch of the cylinder projects out beyond the plywood discs on each end. Flat washers work well as spacers because you can add or subtract washers to achieve the desired spacing. Pour a little Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue into a container and select a medium soft brush for applying the glue to the plywood. While the plywood is soaking, periodically check its flexibility by bending with your fingers. When you feel it is flexible enough to form around the mandrel, remove and pat dry on both sides. Calculate the length [π x d] of plywood that will be in contact with the mandrel discs, and mark on the plywood strip. Brush the glue on the inside of the rest. Start rolling from the non-glue end. Try to roll the cylinder as tightly and as straight as possible. Tightly bind the rolled cylinder with a couple of bands of masking tape. You may wish to recruit an extra pair of hands to help with this. A large garbage bag is pressed down inside the 2 x 4s to form the soaking basin. The soaking basin is filled with warm water. The plywood strip is placed in the basin and held down with something non-metallic. Soaking time is about 15 to 20 minutes. Mandrel, glue, tape and drying towel are ready to go. Use a damp rag to wipe off any excess glue that squeezes out between the plies. The masking tape won’t stick to the damp plywood, so make a couple of loops around the cylinder and stick the masking tape to itself. Allow to dry thoroughly, preferably overnight. After drying, remove the tape and bolt and tap out the plywood discs. Use a sanding block to dress the edges and to smooth out the exterior joint. Saw out the balsa nose ring and glue it to one edge width full strength Elmer’s. Rough carve to shape with a sharp #11 blade, and finish with a sanding block and sandpaper. Remove the ply strip from the water and pat dry. Brush the glue on the inside of the plywood. Carefully calculate the starting point for the glue so as not to glue the mandrel to the cylinder. Roll the cylinder as straight and tight as possible. Wrap with masking tape and set aside to dry. The Wellesley cowling is a little different in that the exterior is shaped, r ather than flat like the cowling for the original design plane. I glued a layer of 3/16-inch balsa to the outside of the plywood cylinder with the wood grain running across the cylinder. The balsa pieces were formed by soaking in water and taping to a cardboard tube of about the right diameter. After drying, the pieces were trimmed to fit and glued to the cowling with Elmer’s. The final shape was turned on a lathe. This method of construction would also work for a Townend ring, without the balsa nosepiece, such as on the Boeing P-26. It could also be used for bell-shaped cowlings, like the beautifully tapered cowling on the Hughes H-1. Part of designing a cowling is working out how the cowling will be mounted to the fuselage. On the original design plane, the fuselage extends forward to the backside of the balsa nose ring. The fuselage and cowling were sized so that the cowling is a nice slip-fit over the front portion of the fuselage. One small wood screw near the bottom rear of the cowling anchors it to the fuselage. Because of the marked taper on the front of the Wellesley fuselage, a different mounting method had to be designed. A wheel-shaped former, made from 1/8 inch lite-ply with the O.D. the same as the I.D. of the plywood cylinder, is glued to the front of the fuselage. Four small magnets are epoxied to the front of the former. A plywood ring is glued to the inside of the cowling, and the four washers corresponding to the four magnets are epoxied to this ring. The ring is positioned so that the rear edge of the cowling projects 1/16-inch beyond the back of the former. The former also provides the mounting points for the electric motor. Cowlings made using this method are low in weight and amazingly strong. If you are into building light, a cylinder rolled from two or fewer plies would still have adequate strength with less weight. I used a sanding block to dress one end of the cylinder flat. To be certain the cylinder stayed round, I glued on the balsa nose ring before removing the mandrel. Poking out the mandrel discs with a screw driver. A sharp #11 blade, a sanding block and sandpaper were used to shape the cowling. The cowling ready for paint. The finished cowling is a slip fit over the front of the fuselage. The cowling in place on the front of the fuselage. The battery hatch slips under the rear of the cowling and is held in place with a magnet at the rear of the hatch. The finished plane ready for its first flight. The mandrel pieces for the Wellesley cowling. The assembled mandrel for the Wellesley cowling. The plywood strip and mandrel for the Wellesley cowling. Soaking the ply strip for the Wellesley cowling. Rolling the Wellesley cowling. The balsa nose ring and the 3/16 inch-thick balsa pieces that will form the outside of the Wellesley cowling. The three balsa pieces were soaked in water and taped to a cardboard tube to form the curved shape. To be certain the cowling held its round shape, the nose ring and 3/16 inch balsa pieces were glued on before the mandrel was removed. The cowling was shaped on a lathe using different grades of sandpaper. The nose of the Wellesley fuselage and the cowling showing the magnet mounting system. The unfinished Wellesley fuselage with the cowling in place. Text & photos by Rodney Helgeland The post Scratch-Build a Radial Cowl appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  4. A great way to add excitement to your RC flights is to add a smoke system. Do a loop or a roll and then add a dense, long-hanging smoke trail and you have an airshow! You can save some bucks by modifying your stock muffler instead of buying a commercial one. Then you can take that money and apply it to the cost of the smoke pump and required hardware. Here’s how I did it with my Zenoah G-20-powered Hangar 9 1/4-scale J-3 Piper Cub. Before you can make smoke with your new smoke-muffler, you need good quality smoke fluid. Robart Manufacturing’s Liquid Sky oil is available in 5- and 1-gallon qualities and it provides excellent, long-lasting smoke. Liquid Sky is used by pros and Joes for turbine as well as piston engine-equipped aircraft and is foam safe. Liquid Sky makes very dense smoke and there is also a subtle Root Beer scent to help mask that automotive gasoline smell you get from a great day at the flying field! (www.robart.com) Step 1: Here’s the stock muffler removed from the engine and cleaned up with some MEK solvent to really degrease it. I used a new single-edged razor blade to remove the old exhaust gasket. Here you can see the new one I will add after the muffler has been modified.Step 2: The plumbing needed is a mix of Tygon gasoline fuel line and heat-resistant silicon tubing that holds up well to the heat of the muffler. To modify the muffler all we need is a large brass tube that fits into the main exhaust pipe to be used as a baffle tube, and a thin brass or copper for the oil preheat and injection tube. I use Du-Bro and K&S tools to cleanly bend the tubing. For the smoke oil tank, I use a sullivan 10-ounce tank set up with a standard two-tube setup. Be sure to use tie wraps to secure your tubing.Step 3: The first thing to do is to cut, bend and prepare the end of the Injector tube. To make a fine atomized spray of oil into the muffler, I use a cutter to snip the end of the copper tube. This seals the end and shapes it so it resembles a fish tail. I then use a thin cut-off disk with my Dremel to nick the middle of the fish tail. This produces an opening about half the area of the stock tubing end. The tube is then bent so it’s long enough to enter the side of the muffler, pass through to the other side, and then bend 180 degrees to re-enter the muffler.Step 4: Drill three holes in the side of the muffler. Depending on your muffler and engine installation, these holes have to be custom laid out. On mine, the single entry hole is on the muffler’s aft side, and the two others are on the front side. Drill the holes slightly larger than your injection tube’s diameter. For my oil-injection tube I drilled three holes then used a rat-tail file to enlarge the holes slightly. Now use a drum-grinding bit with your Dremel and grind away the black finish on the muffler. This will provide a clean surface for the metal epoxy to stick to.Step 5: Here you see the injection tube installed and ready to be sealed with JB Weld metal epoxy. Be sure to clean the injection tube as well as the surface of the muffler. Build up fillets around the tubes/holes areas. Smooth the fillets with a wet finger and then set aside for 24 hours to fully cure.Step 6: To provide a baffle tube, a large brass tube is slipped in to fit into the muffler and the fit should be snug. The tube is longer than the internal tube already in the muffler. Slip it into place, bottom it out and then mark the length. Use a K&S Tubing cutter and cut it to length.Step 7: To get the length of the internal tube, I used a bent piece of wire or welding rod. Slide it into the muffler, slip it over the end of the internal tube and with your thumbnail, use the wire as a depth gauge and transfer the length to the brass tube. The area at the end of the brass tube will be the baffle section and will need to have several holes drilled into it! Drill several holes in the end and then sand smooth. Slip the baffle tube into the muffler until it bottoms out and is flush with the exhaust pipe. Drill a hole and secure the brass tube in place with a pan-head sheet metal screw. Step 8: To route your smoke lines into the cabin area, drill a hole in the firewall and slide a stiff wire into the hole. Guide the wire until it enters the cabin and then attach your smoke line to the wire and pull it into place. At the end of the smoke line, install a 1-inch-long piece of glow fuel silicon tubing with a short length of aluminum tube. Silicon holds up to heat much better than Tygon gas tubing. Connect the silicon tubing to the oil injection tube and bolt the muffler back into place on the engine. Reinstall the engine cowl. Notice that I had to grind away a little bit of the cowl to clear the injection tube.Step 9: Now it’s time to install the plumbing, tank, pump and a way to meter the smoke oil flow. I made a removable tray to secure all the hardware. Velcro holds the tray in place, double-sided tape attaches the tank to the tray, and some foam padding protects the pump and motor from vibration.Step 10: I use a fuel filters for a clean oil flow, a check valve to prevent muffler pressure from pushing oil back into the pump tubing, and most importantly, a remote needle valve assembly to regulate the oil flow. If you don’t meter the flow properly, the oil can cool off the muffler and reduce the amount of smoke it generates. This is much better than using a clamp on the oil tubing. I used a needle-valve assembly from an old O.S. .61 engine. It works great!Step 11: Smoke oil pumps are available from several sources. Two that I have used are the TME (requires 12V battery) and the Don Harris pump, which can be powered simply by plugging it into the receiver. There are others as well from Sullivan and from Slimline Products. A bit of advice here is before you install the pumps and attach the plumbing, be sure to check which pump fitting is the “IN” and which is the “OUT.” This will save a lot of grief if you were to go ahead and install everything and then find out something is hooked up backwards.Step 12: Here’s the finished installation in my Hangar 9 Piper Cub. Notice that I use a lot of cable ties to keep the plumbing neat and prevent it from moving around. I used a T-fitting to fill and empty the smoke tank and placed it between the pump and the tank. Note the positions of the needle valve assembly and the check valve. Be sure to place the needle valve in a convenient place to make it easy to adjust. In this installation, I run the vent tube out along the filler line. This automatically allows the overflow to spill out away from the model while filling the tank. For tighter installation, use separate Fuel Dots to fill and empty your smoke system.Step 13: Check out the smoke density! This is what it looks like with the oil flow almost completely shut down (only one turn open). This setting gives a lot of “smoke-on time” and the 10-ounce tank lasts more than 10 minutes. The system works great and when you switch the smoke off, it takes about 5 to 7 seconds for the smoke to stop completely. SMOKE ON! THE THREE STEPS FOR GOOD SMOKE ARE: Heat equals smoke! Whenever possible, preheat your smoke fluid before it is injected into your muffler. Using a simple pressure fitting to inject the fluid is not a good setup. Regulate your smoke fluid flow. Too much smoke oil is worse than too little. Excessive oil cools the muffler, which reduces the amount of smoke it generates and shortens smoke-on time by burning up the fluid faster than is needed. Do not switch the smoke pump on when you engine is at low throttle or at idle. You can cause the engine to drown on the unburned oil which increases back pressure. A good idea is to mix the smoke switch with your throttle channel and set the on position to anything over half throttle. The post SMOKE ON! — Make a Cheap & Easy Smoke Muffler appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  5. JShumate

    Easy Aileron Servo Installation

    Here’s a common, very popular way to install aileron servos. To make field maintenance more convenient, install your servos with hatches built into the wing so they are flush with the wing’s underside.. The first thing I do to get the aileron servo hatch properly aligned is to install the aileron control horn and then attach the linkage. I then use the linkage as a guide for the placement of the servo arm slot I cut into the hatch. The linkage should be straight and 90 degrees to the aileron hinge line. Once I have the slot location figured out, I draw a rough sketch on the inside of the hatch cover centered on the servo spline. Here I am using ProTek RC T330 digital, metal spline servos from A-Main Hobbies. To support the hatch cover, I use lite-ply to line the servo compartment opening. Here you see some balsa strip material glued to the lite-ply cross piece to form the opening. It is about 3/8 inch wide to give plenty of support to the fabric covering. Once this is all done, I place the hatch cover (also made of Lite-ply), in position and I trace the clearance around the opening. This is to determine the placement of the servo and its supports. I use hardwood blocks for the servo mounts and I support them with 1/16-inch plywood gussets. All is glued with Thick Zap CA Glue. Here I am making sure the servo arm is centered on the slot guideline which lines up with the aileron control linkage. A Heavy Duty Du-Bro servo arm is being used. A slot about 1/4 inch wide is best for most servo installations. I use a Moto-Tool and a round bit to cut two holes at either end of the slot. I then use a hobby knife to cut the slot between the two holes. A little sandpaper makes the slot neat and clean. Here the hatch and servo have been installed and screwed into place. You will need to determine the length of the slot by using your transmitter to move the servo arm back and forth. You can see I had to make a little clearance in the lite-ply support cross piece to clear the servo arm. To complete the control linkage, I use a scrap of wood and a couple cloth pins to center the aileron. The servo hatch is now screwed into place with cap head sheet metal screws. You can also used flush fitting counter sunk wood screws if you like. it’s your choice. Since this is my 1/3-scale Triplane with a 94 inch span and a 80cc engine, I secured the hatch with six screws. For smaller airplanes, four screws (one in each corner) will be enough. Also here you see the clevis at the servo has been soldered to the 4-40 control linkage wire. I use Stay-Brite high silver content solder for all my control linkage soldering. That’s it. Give it a try, it looks much neater than just having the servos sticking out of the wing. The post Easy Aileron Servo Installation appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  6. We just received the new Rotorball Sweeper quadcopter from Graupner USA. This fun and unusual rotordrone is very rugged and crash proof with its built-in dome like cage. Ideal for the beginner as well as experienced drone pilots, the Sweeper is about the size of a basketball. Watch for a product review in MAN coming soon. Equipped with LEDS, this quadcopter is great for day and night flights. The 6-blade propellers are protected within the built-in safety cage. The Graupner Droneball Sweeper comes with everything needed. Including a custom fit backpack and propeller installation tool. Indoor airborne soccer is a definite possibility. The post Graupner Rotorball Sweeper — New in Office appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  7. A very popular Air Racing pilot in the Red Bull Series is Race #99 Mick Goulian, and he has been burning up the race course for several years. Back in the early 1990s, Mike was a top level competition aerobatic pilot flying his beautiful red and white Staudacher GS-300. The same characteristics that made his aircraft so popular at the time, translate nicely into a sport scale aerobatic RC model, and editor Gerry Yarrish designed and built a .60-size version which appeared in the February 2007 issue of MAN. If you are looking for a retro semi-scale aerobat to build, this might be what you are looking for. Here are some photos and details to show how simple the design really is. Gerry designed and built the first prototype model using CAD and he included the pilot friendly Kaos airfoil in the wing design. Everything is very easy to build and all the balsa and plywood parts are easy to make using basic hobby tools and equipment. Once the first one was assembled, Gerry made a kit of model parts and gave it to MAN contributor and flying buddy George Leu, who built a second model, which after test flying the original model, made minor tweaks to the design to improve performance. These changes were made to the plans sold in the Air Age Store plans library. If you want to buy a set of construction plans for the “Lap Map” Staudacher, CLICK HERE. All the parts of the model are very basic and easy to make. Balsa, Lite-ply and birch plywood is used throughout. The tail surfaces are as simple as can be and are made using 1/4-inch balsa stock. The firewall, engine box and the forward wing support former are all made of plywood for strength. They also support the main landing gear attachment plate. The engine cowling is made from a combination of balsa, plywood and blue insulation foam. Once carved and sanded to shape, the cowling receives a few layers of fiberglass cloth and resin. Be sure to check out the upcoming March 2019 issue of MAN for a How To article showing in detail how Gerry built this “One Off” engine cowling! There’s plenty of room in the fuselage for any RC gear you plan to use. There receiver and battery pack are covered over in this photo above with some white Sig Mfg. foam rubber padding. There are several scale tailwheel assemblies available but for simplicity, the original model used a Du-Bro tailwheel bracket and tiller arm arrangement. Not the dowel elevator joiner and Robart control horns. Here is the original exposed servo arrangement for the ailerons. In George’s Beta model, flush fitting servo hatches were used. The wing’s center leading edge is recessed to fit into the fuselage around and above the landing gear attachment area. Fairings at the front and back of the wing are built in place with the wing bolted on place. Note that all of the hinging for the model was done with Robart Hingepoints. By recessing the leading edge slightly at each hinge it closes up the hinge gap for a neater scale-like appearance. Here’s George posing with the prototype “Lap Map” version of the Staudacher. All the markings and the pilot figure were from Cajun RC (no longer around). Mike Goulian and his amazing full-size “Lap Map” Staudacher. Gerry has been toying around with the idea of enlarging the Staudacher into the 80-inch wingspan range for gas power. Back in 20004 Gerry’s Staudacher won second place in the Designer Class at the WRAM Show in White Plains, NY. This set of 3-views were drawn by Gerry and approved by Mike Goulian. They have also been published in MAN. The post MAN Plans Highlight — Staudacher GS-300 appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  8. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that the response of your airplane relies a lot on the hinges you install. Weak hinges allow your control surfaces to flex which minimizes control crispness. This is especially true with high performance and fun fly airplanes. When it comes to installing hinges, I use Du-Bro Products’ pinned hinges and the tools required to do the job. Here’s the basic technique that every RC builder/modeler should know. Show here is my Florio Flyer 60, a retro aerobatic sport fun fly design. With its enlarged control surfaces and powered by an O.S. .72 engine… so it needs strong hinging. Many ARFs and several basic kits today use easy to install CA cloth hinges. But with fun fly planes having extra power, something more sturdy to stand up to the wear and tear (and vibration,) especailly in the tail is needed. For this I rely on the pinned hinges from Du-Bro Products. To install them you have to cut hinge slots in the edges of the control and flight surfaces and the easiest way to do this is with Du-Bro’s Hinge slot cutter tools. These are very easy to use and you can cut all the slots and insert all the hinges in an entire plane in less than 30 minutes. Here’s some of the details for the process. You need few tools and supplies. The Du-Bro hinges and Hing Slot Cutting tools are available at most hobby shops. The glue shown here, called “Hinge Glue” from Pacer Zap Glue is no longer available, but Zap Canopy Glue works equally as well, being the same formula but just drying clear. A long skinny applicator tip makes getting the adhesive deep into the slots a piece of cake. But this is done of course, after the model has been covered. First things first, use a marking pen or pencil and find the centerline of the control surfaces and determine the locations of the hinges. Use your finger tips and strike a centerline along the edge of the surface and then flip the surface around and check to make sure your line is centered. For a glow powered sport plane, I always uses at least 3 hinges per surface and most often 4. Two hinges is not enough as if one fails, you will lose the entire surface in flight. Use the forked tool that’s the width for the hinges you are using (here the 1/2-inch hinge tool) and insert into the edge of the surface at your marked location. Use a rocking motion and slowly push the tool into the surface about 3/4 inch deep. Make sure to center the tool and keep it parallel to the surface. If it is angles, the ends will protrude out the side of the surface. Clean out the waste material from the middle of the hinge slot with the clean out tool. This picks the material cleanly out with a sweeping motion and the width of the tool blade makes the slot perfect for the hinge to be glued into it. Here you see the freshly cut slot and the leading edge slightly recessed (about 1/16 inch) with a hobby knife. This helps minimize the hinge gap between the mating surfaces. Here you see the difference between the recessed hinge slots in the rudder (left) and the yet to be recessed hinge slots in the elevator (right). Having neat, tight fitting hingelines and slots both looks better and helps minimizes the chances of control surface flutter during high speed flight. The same tools are used for the ailerons. Shown here is the hinge inserted and you can see that it protrudes through the leading edge strip. This is fine as there’s plenty of gluing surface covered to properly support the hinge. In larger planes where less than half of the hinge leaf is covered with balsa, you have to glue in additional material to form a deeper hinge slot pocket. For hinges to operate smoothly and not bind, it is important to install all the hinges so they all fall in line with each other. This hinge alignment is especially important for longer surfaces like the ailerons on this fun fly airplane. With the model all covered and finished, the final step is to insert the hinges and glued them into the movable surfaces. Let the glue dry and then apply more glue to the fixed surfaces and insert the hinges into place. Being water based adhesive, you can wipe away any glue that seeps out with a damp paper towel. Make sure the hinges all line up properly and set the surfaces aside to dry over night. When that’s done, go ahead and install all your control linkages and you’re done! Until next time…. Build Something! The post Tips for Installing Strong Hinges appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  9. One of North America’s most accomplished aerobatic pilot Michael Goulian is a recognized aviation professional with a 30-year-plus career of excellence in the air. Now a prominent competitor in the Red Bull Air Racing series, Mike took time out if his hectic schedule to answer some questions about his time in the cockpit. Model Airplane News editor Gerry Yarrish has worked with and communicated with Mike over several years for various articles involving full-size aerobatic aircraft, and as able to chat with him to get his back story that is the subject of this interview. If you would like to read this amazing interview, and see his exciting video, Click Here to subscribe to the Model Airplane News Premium website, filled with exclusive online content. The post New for Premium Members — Red Bull Pilot Mike Goulian Interview appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  10. JShumate

    19-Foot Convair B-36 Peacemaker

    In the early years of the Cold War, one strategic bomber, the Convair B-36 Peacemaker was at the forefront of the USAF’s efforts to blunt Soviet aggression. Entering service in 1948, the B-36 was the primary nuclear weapons delivery vehicle of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) until it was replaced by the jet-powered Boeing B-47 and B-52 bombers in the mid 1950s. One of the most impressive RC versions of this 6-engined behemoth is Carl Bachhuber’s scratch built 19 foot monster scale bomber. Carl’s B-36 is built to 1/12-scale and has an amazing 230 inch wingspan. It weighs in at approximately 98 pounds and is powered by six Zenoah G-26 gas engines. Built using traditional balsa and plywood construction, the B-36 uses custom made retractable landing gear built by Robart’s Bob Walker. After years of operation, the B-36 has flown hundreds of flights at dozens of RC events. The post 19-Foot Convair B-36 Peacemaker appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  11. JShumate

    New Electric Jet Rally

    The Imperial RC Club, is getting ready to host their first annual Florida E-Jet Fest at the club’s local RC field. The date for this new Jet-In is February 8 thru 10, 2019. If you need even more of an excuse to enjoy the weather in Florida, the event will also have three events you can compete for. These include: Best Scale Jet (combined static and flight score) Best Static Jet Best Scale Flight So mark your calendars, like everything else the Imperial RC Club is involved in, this is going to be a great RC event to attend. The post New Electric Jet Rally appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  12. JShumate

    VQ Warbirds DHC-6 Twin Otter

    This new DHC-6 Twin Otter has great scale looks and features fiberglass cowls, functional opening doors and scale details printed into the covering. A large battery hatch makes changing packs easy. It is fun a fun airplane that’s easy to assemble and it has easy flying characteristics. Optional factory VQ Warbirds’ floats will be available. Specifications: DHC-6 Twin Otter 25-size EP Wingspan: 73.6 in. Length: 53.9 in. Weight: Approx 7.5 lbs. Radio : 6 channels with 6 servos (4x Micro 19grams – 2x Standard servo ) Power: 2x Boost 25 Motor with 4500mAh 11,1v (3s) LiPo Battery Street Price $269.95 The post VQ Warbirds DHC-6 Twin Otter appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  13. JShumate

    Plane with no Moving Parts

    MIT engineers have built and flown the first-ever plane with no moving parts. Instead of propellers or turbines, the light aircraft is powered by an “ionic wind” — a silent but mighty flow of ions that is produced aboard the plane, and that generates enough thrust to propel the plane over a sustained, steady flight. Since the first airplane took flight over 100 years ago, virtually every aircraft in the sky has flown with the help of moving parts such as propellers, turbine blades, or fans that produce a persistent, whining buzz. We may be seeing the beginning of the end of that. Unlike turbine-powered planes, the aircraft does not depend on fossil fuels to fly. And unlike propeller-driven drones, the new design is completely silent. “This is the first-ever sustained flight of a plane with no moving parts in the propulsion system,” says Steven Barrett, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. “This has potentially opened new and unexplored possibilities for aircraft which are quieter, mechanically simpler, and do not emit combustion emissions.” He expects that in the near-term, such ion wind propulsion systems could be used to fly less noisy drones. Further out, he envisions ion propulsion paired with more conventional combustion systems to create more fuel-efficient, hybrid passenger planes and other large aircraft. Barrett and his team at MIT have published their results today in the journal Nature. Hobby crafts Barrett says the inspiration for the team’s ion plane comes partly from the movie and television series, “Star Trek,” which he watched avidly as a kid. He was particularly drawn to the futuristic shuttle crafts that effortlessly skimmed through the air, with seemingly no moving parts and hardly any noise or exhaust. “This made me think, in the long-term future, planes shouldn’t have propellers and turbines,” Barrett says. “They should be more like the shuttles in ‘Star Trek,’ that have just a blue glow and silently glide.” About nine years ago, Barrett started looking for ways to design a propulsion system for planes with no moving parts. He eventually came upon “ionic wind,” also known as electroa-erodynamic thrust — a physical principle that was first identified in the 1920s and describes a wind, or thrust, that can be produced when a current is passed between a thin and a thick electrode. If enough voltage is applied, the air in between the electrodes can produce enough thrust to propel a small aircraft. For years, electro-aerodynamic thrust has mostly been a hobbyist’s project, and designs have for the most part been limited to small, desktop “lifters” tethered to large voltage supplies that create just enough wind for a small craft to hover briefly in the air. It was largely assumed that it would be impossible to produce enough ionic wind to propel a larger aircraft over a sustained flight. “It was a sleepless night in a hotel when I was jet-lagged, and I was thinking about this and started searching for ways it could be done,” he recalls. “I did some back-of-the-envelope calculations and found that, yes, it might become a viable propulsion system,” Barrett says. “And it turned out it needed many years of work to get from that to a first test flight.” The post Plane with no Moving Parts appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  14. JShumate

    A New SE5a Scout is Born

    One of the more popular aircraft to come out of the Great War was the SE5 and SE5a Scout built by the Royal Aircraft Factory (RAF). No surprise that the SE5 Scout is also a very popular choice for scale RC modelers. We caught up with our good buddy and Top Gun Static Scale Judge Bob Curry to learn more about his newest project. (Photos courtesy of Sean Curry). Bob Curry: I’ve been working on this 1/4 scale S.E.5a kit , on and off, since last November. It is a Balsa USA kit and It’s now just about ready for covering with “Antique” Solartex. (Yes, I had bought several large rolls just before the covering became “Extinct”. My Scout is powered with a Zenoah G-38 equipped with a B&B Specialties spring started and muffler. I am using Futaba radio gear and servos. The airborne system is powered by two 2200mAh LiFe battery packs connected in parallel through a redundant Smart–Fly “Bat Share” device. I can’t say enough about the quality and value of Balsa USA WW1 kits. This is my fourth Balsa USA kit build (1/4 Nieuport, 1/4 Fokker Dr.1, and 1/3 Fokker D.VII), and with the exception of a small scale outline modification to the top wing center section cut-out, it is built exactly as designed. The fun part for me now is picking off all the various “Fiddly Bits” not included in the basic kit but are unique to the full scale aircraft: Wire Rigging, Lewis Gun, Telescopic Gunsight, Windscreen & fairing, Landing Gear bungee fairings, Lower Cowl extensions, Cockpit detail and Pilot Figure (Aces of Iron). I’ve not yet decided on my final choice for Color and Markings but I’m now down to a short list of just three WW1 British Aircraft. Finish will be brushed “Baer” Latex paint custom mixed at Home Depot. I’ll prep the Solartex with about six thinned (50/50) coats of Sig Mfg. Butyrate over Nitrate dope. In my experience, it seems to keep the Solartex from bubbling or sagging over time. All markings will also be masked and hand painted. (Just like the original) My plan is to fly it at the Rhinebeck WWI RC Jamboree next September. The post A New SE5a Scout is Born appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  15. JShumate

    VQ Warbirds F6F Hellcat

    The new 60-inch span F6F Hellcat from VQ Warbirds is a great looking .46 EP/GP ARF with awesome looks and performance. The Hellcat features working flaps, a painted pilot, machine guns, antenna and lots of other scale details to make this warbird really stand out on the flightline! With a generously sized battery hatch, you can easily use either electric or glow power. Optional factory electric VQ rotating retracts and VQ/Robart Hellcat gear struts are also available. Specifications: Wingspan: 60.4 in. Length 44.5 in. Weight (ready to fly): 3,5 kg (vary with equipment in use) Engine: .46 (2 stroke) – .70 (4 stroke) Radio: 8-chanels with 9 servos . (5x standard servos and 4x Mini servo (7grams) for flaps) Electric Motor: Boost 50 motor or similar size Glow Power.46 – 2 stroke engine Battery: Lipo 14,8V 4500 mAh Street Price $239.95 www.vqwarbirds.com The post VQ Warbirds F6F Hellcat appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  16. JShumate

    Museum Modeling at its Best

    Master model builder and Model Airplane News contributor Ron Peterka, checked in with us recently to bring us up to date on an interesting project. Ron, who recently received his 25 year pin from the San Diego Air & Space Museum and the model shop just finished its most recent assignment of a 12-foot wingspan WW II Boeing B-17G bomber which now hangs on display in the WW II exhibit at the main museum building. The model was built from Don Smith plans and is about 1:9 scale. A laser cut kit was purchased to reduce the time required for construction since the model shop is only open for about three days a week. Hence, the long build time by the three or four volunteer modelers working on the B-17. Don and the rest of the builders took great pride in modeling the “Outhouse Mouse”, a real life bomber that flew 125 missions over Europe, with 10 missions over Berlin, (shown in red on the mission markings). The model is unusual in that is displayed in-flight with its bomb bay doors open and three 500 lb. bombs being dropped. The completed model weighs 45 pounds and is painted with custom mixed latex house paint thinned with windshield washer fluid. The custom made aircraft markings are from Callies Graphics. Model Builders are: Ron Peterka, David Weeks, Gayle Boddy & William Simmons. Ron Peterka has volunteered at the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s model shop for more than 20 years and has contributed to a variety of projects at the Museum. His modeling interests have also been applied to almost every form of aircraft modeling since WWII. Ron turned 81 years old this year. The model shop is currently working on a Beech Turbo-prop model of a plane that was flown around the world by former library volunteer Dennis Stewart. At the age of 60, Stewart flew around the world with Robert Weiss in an A36 Beechcraft Bonanza. His story is told in the book, Bonanza Around the World, published by Wind Canyon Publishing, Inc. in 1998. (Above) Ron shows his beautiful USSMA award. Ron belongs to the U.S. Scalemasters Association (USSMA). This year’s Championships were held at Monaville, Texas, near Houston. Ron’s pilot, Curtis Kitteringham, and he have been competing as a Team for close to 15 years. This year Ron and Curtis won First Place in the Team Scale Class, which came with a huge trophy, which is now displayed at the model shop at the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex. Ron’s 1:5 scale model of a Stinson SR-5 Reliant and had the second highest static judging score at the contest of 97.25. The San Diego Air & Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex is located at 335 Kenney Street, El Cajon, CA 92020. The Annex is free and open to the public, but donations are welcome. The Annex is open from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. http://sandiegoairandspace.org The post Museum Modeling at its Best appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  17. JShumate

    Workshop Tips: Smooth Sheeting

    One of the important tasks you need to do correctly while building a giant scale airplane is to produce a smooth and flowing outer surface to apply your finish and paint too. There’s an old saying that a fair paint job applied to a superior surface will look much better than a great paint job applied to an inferior surface. So, with that said, here’s how I apply balsa sheeting to a built-up fuselage. First, you have to build your airframe straight and true . Take your time assembling the framework and install all the stringers and longerons so they fit flush in their slots. Work on both sides of the fuselage, adding one or two to the right side and then one or two to the left. This way you avoid building in stresses that can force the structure out of true. Then give them a light sanding with a sanding bar so you eliminate any glue globs or high points. I also find it easier to install all the servos and the control linkages and pushrods before completing the fuselage sheeting. This way you can reach between formers and stringers and get to the hardware and install reinforcements in the proper areas. I find that the Titebond II wood glue sands easily and dries quickly and I use it for most of my sheeting. I also use thick and medium Zap glue and Zip Kicker for fast application of sheeting in some of the tighter and smaller areas. Also it is great for filling gaps under the sheeting. For sandpaper, I use cheap hardware store grade in 150, 220 and 320 grits. Also, I find Great Planes sanding bars very useful I have both 1 foot and 2 foot lengths and use 150 and 220 grits. For filler, I use Dap Vinyl Spackling often referred to as Sheetrock mud. I prefer to start at the front around the cockpit area. Measure the distance between formers so the sheeting pieces can he glued in place supported at their ends by the formers. After they are cut to length, use a mixture of water and ammonia, (I use a pump bottle of Windex), and spritz the outside of the sheeting lightly. Use some masking tape to hold the sheeting tightly in place until it is dry. This will form the wood to the compound-curved shape of the structure. Apply some Titebond glue to the underlying structure then tape and pin the sheeting in place. The glue will dry in a couple of hours. Once the first piece is done, add the next piece of sheeting, applying glue to the matching edges. Make sure to form a tight seam between the sections of sheeting. If you have to, trim the edges so they fit nicely together, then pin the new sheeting into place. On either side of the cockpit opening, I install lite-ply doublers to support the sheeting edges. These need to be flush with the formers the sheeting is glued to. Work slowly and sand glue joints smooth and flush. While the sheeting on the front of the fuselage is pinned in place and drying, you can move to the tail. The Skyraider’s vertical fin is built into the fuselage structure, so it is relatively easy to add the single left- and right-side sheeting pieces. I cut the sheeting to shape, glued, pinned, clamp and taped it in place. It is relatively flat so the balsa does not have to be wet before application. I cut the piece slightly over size and used clothespins to clamp it in place against the leading edge. Once the glue dries, trim the leading edge and glue on the other side. Notice also the lower edge is glued to an angled former to support the sheeting and help blend it into the rest of the fuselage shape Here the next piece of sheeting has been glued into place (see above). Again it is cut to shape and glued to the formers at either end. The grain runs parallel to the F-13 keel piece. The next section is the most severely curved part of the sheeting. To do this section, I used two layers of 1/16-inch balsa sheeting. The first layer is applied in two sections (left and right), with the seam running along the top stringer. The second layer however is applied in three wedged shaped pieces. The center piece has its pointed end at the rear and its wide end butting against the top forward sheeting. This eliminates extremely sharp bends in the sheeting. The two side pieces are then glued in place as shown completing the overall section. As the tail section sheeting is drying, go back to the front of the fuselage and continue sheeting the sides. Start at the second former as the sheeting forward of the former tapers and is applied with separate pieces. Again use pins, tape and clothes pins to hold the sheeting in place as the Titebond dries. Continue adding the various pieces of sheeting and use tape, clothes pins and pins to hold the pieces in place until the glue has dried. Notice that my T-pins are angled to hold the edges of the sheeting together at about the same level. While doing this, the edges sometimes float up or down and so I try to keep them relatively flush with each other to minimize sanding after the glue dries. Here’s the last section of sheeting which I fitted into place. Work carefully and keep all the seams straight and tight, but do not glue it in place yet. Using the plans as a guide, I then cut open the horizontal stabilizer saddle area as show above. This is easily cut away using an X-Acto knife, starting in the center area and working your way outward. Be sure to take measurements from the plans to get the placement correct. The bottom half is definded by a light-ply doubler under the sheeting. Once I was happy with the shape of the opening and the fit of the sheeting piece, I applied some glue to the substructure and pinned the piece into place. I also used clothes pins to clamp the part to the lite-ply doubler. Here’s the sheeting part glued into place. It has been sanded flush with the rest of the sheeting. Filling the Seams Before applying filler, I use a moist sponge to dampen the wood where I want to fill. I then use some scrap balsa sheeting to spread the DAP Vinyl spackling along all the seams between the sections of sheeting. I like to apply it at an angle to the seam and press it down so it flows into the recesses. Once a section is filled and repeat going down the length of the seam, and then I scrap the access off to minimize sanding after it dries. The spackling takes about an hour or so to dry. Here you see the filler applied and drying. It looks like a mess at first but after it dries and you hit it with a sanding bar or sanding block, almost all of the filler material with sand away leaving only the sub-surface recesses filled. Once it all dries it’s time to sand. When using a sanding bar I sand it at an angle to the sheeting grain and edge directions. Being stiff and straight, the sanding bar knocks off the high points and produces a smooth wave-free surface. So before doing any filling of seams or dings, smooth all the surfaces with the sanding bar, then wipe the whole fuselage down to remove all the dust. I use an automotive tack cloth. Here you see the first application of filler sanded smooth. It usually takes two or three applications to get everything nice and smooth. Once the fuselage has been sanded with the 150 grit, switch to the 220 grit paper and now, you can use sheets of sandpaper folded into thirds and sand the surface by hand. You will be able to feel if there is a sharp seam or bump which you can address again with the sanding bar. Here is the nose of the fuselage with the sheeting around former F-1. The firewall will eventually be glued against this former. Also note that the bottom chin section is left un-sheeted for now. This is so we can fit the wing into place and install the big alignment dowel through Former F-3 and into the leading edge of the wing. Apply more filler along any seams in this area, let dry and then use a long, narrow sanding block to dress out the corners. Don’t rush, take your time and apply as much filler as needed to end up with a blemish free fuselage. We’ll come back to the fuselage when we setup our engine installation and firewall details, but for now most of the sheeting is done. Once you happy with the smoothness of the sheeting, wipe it down and set aside so you don’t add more dents that will need filling. After the firewall is attached and the lower sheeting has been applied and sanded smooth, the fuselage will be ready for glassing using Z-Poxy Finishing Resin and .75 oz. fiberglass cloth. Also, be sure to use maintenance stand to keep the fuselage up and off of the workbench. The post Workshop Tips: Smooth Sheeting appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  18. This Thanksgiving weekend we wish all of our dear readers the blessings of family and friends, good food and health, and fair skies and smooth landings. We are incredibly grateful for you and this wonderful hobby we share. The post Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  19. JShumate

    RC Space Shuttle Gets a Lift

    You have to see it to believe it: in this terrific video, an RC Buran space shuttle flies from the back of an 11.5-foot-span RC Antonov An-225! Hans Bühr designed and built both of these electric models (and the An-225 has been flying since the mid ’90s!). Thanks to RCHeliJet for the amazing video he captured at the Hausen a. Albis Flightday in Switzerland this fall. The post RC Space Shuttle Gets a Lift appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  20. JShumate

    RC Airplane Lights

    Why not customize your aircraft so that night flying will be as simple to do as flying during the day? (That is, for those of you who find it easy to fly during the day!) I decided to give night flying a try and I have outlined here how I went about installing lights on my planes. Photo by Erica MeskerScale lights Up until a few years ago, the only lights we would add were scale detail lights that match the full-size counterparts. Many of these lights are available from RAm Electronic Devices (ramrcandramtrack.com). They include flashing navigation lights, strobes, rotation beacons, and landing lights. Scale lights make it possible to fly at night but they mainly make our scale aircraft look good at early dawn and after sunset, or during the day at a scale contest. Scale lights are more of a scale detail that adds to your aircraft, rather than something that allows you to see your aircraft better at night. LED lights When LED lights were first introduced, they were not bright enough to use as a light source for our night-flying planes. But the new breeds of LED lights are plenty bright enough to make flying at night a breeze and they consume a low amount of power. This allows the lights to be powered by the same battery as the motor. Basically, LED lights are the choice for anyone wanting to get into nighttime flying. I am using LED lights from Common Sense RC (commonsenserc.com) and DW Foamies (dwfoamies.com). One of the biggest issues for flying at night is plane orientation and these bright lights come in many different colors, which make plane orientating at night possible and easy to do. Installation could not be easier because of the availability of adhesive backed LED lights strips in different lengths, which can be cut for a custom fit. Installing lights To install the lights, the first step I took was to plan out where they would plug in; from there, I just laid out the lights so they would radiate out from that point. This center spot was where the battery connects to the speed control, which was from where I started webbing out the lights. I laid out a pattern from the tip of the wing to my starting point, cut the light strips to length and then soldered on the connectors. 1 First, I have to measure out the strips of lights and lay them over a design or pattern on the plane. I then plan out my route back to the connection point at the battery. I am going to use different color lights for the top and bottom of the wings and different ones running down the top of the fuselage. Three different colors will be used. The top and bottom wing will have a different light layout to aid on the orientation of the plane at night. 2 The light strip starts at the battery plug and works out along the wing creating my top design. Any point that requires me to make a sharp angle with the light strip will require jumper wires to be soldered onto the ends of the light strips. 3 On the bottom of the wings, I have a different color light strip with less of a design incorporated. This will make it easy to distinguish the top and bottom of the plane. The LED strips have a peel-and-stick surface on the bottom so installation is easy. If there is any area that is not sealing down, I just use some tape or a quick drop of hot glue to hold it in place. 4 This strip running along the top edge of the fuselage will light up the canopy outline and give me a good reference point to keep the plane orientated in the air. This strip of lights could be ran completely around the plane but I kept them off the bottom just in case I cannot pull the plane out of the air during a hover and it has to land on its belly. 5 To prevent any possibility of the lights shorting out (don’t forget they are attached to a LiPo battery), I use a good sized drop of hot glue at all solder joints. This will insolate the connectors and prevent any possibility of the wires touching each other or the joints from pulling loose. 6 These high-intensity LED lights are used to light up the side of the plane. They are mounted above and below the wing so that the light will shine on the side of the fuselage. This creates a spotlight effect on the plane regardless of its attitude. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to fly a plane at night with this type of lighting on it. 7 Here are the two planes after the lights are all installed, hooked up, and ready for some night flying. As you can see, these planes are very easy to see in the dark and the lights are simple to install and use. Last thoughts Customizing my plane for night flying was a simple and straightforward project that makes it easy for anyone to add lights to their plane. I would recommend trying nighttime flying for the first time just after the sun goes down because this will give you a little more light with which to begin your journey. Another thing you can do is to fly during a full moon; you will be surprised at how much the moon can light up the flying field! It’s also a good idea to fly in an area where the ground is very flat and there are few obstacles on the ground to run into. Even though the lights do brighten up the ground when the plane gets close, things will sneak up on you in the dark before you have time to react. Trust me on this — enjoy! The post RC Airplane Lights appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  21. Now that many flying fields parts of the country are covered in snow, it’s the perfect time to add skis to your favorite flier! This classic how-to from our good friend Roy Vaillancourt provides a great project that will not only use up some of those leftover pieces of wood in your workshop and but also let you enjoy some winter flying. Enjoy! While reading through an old issue of Model Airplane News, I came across an article about float-flying off water. It started me thinking about how much fun it would be to fly off snow with skis. First on my agenda was to pick some suitable subjects to modify for ski installation. That was the easy part, because my Stinson L-5 Sentinel and Cessna L-19 Bird Dog were just begging to get out of winter storage and be drafted back into service. They are both 1/4-scale tail-draggers and are very suitable for trudging through snow. After working out a few logistics, I cleared a spot on the drafting table and got started. My intent was to come up with a ski design that was simple, easy to build and would use up some of that “leftover” material we all seem to have lying around the shop. SKI DESIGN To get a better feel for the design requirements for skis, I took a quick look through some full-size aviation magazines for possible articles on winter flying. I came across an issue of the EAA magazine Sport Aviation. This particular issue had a short article about winter flying with skis. The article contained some neat color photos of two Piper J-3 Cubs on a snow-covered runway at a grass field. The J-3 is probably the most common aircraft that’s outfitted with different brands of skis, and this supplied me with a few ideas on designing a simple, yet effective, set of skis for my own 1/4-scale models. After measuring the skis and fuselages of the Cubs in the photos, I calculated their comparative lengths, and used these figures to plan the dimensions of my skis. I then generated a rough draft of the full-size drawings for the 1/4-scale skis following the tried-and-true “That looks-about-right” formula (here’s to good old eyeball engineering!). The length of the skis would be approximately 50 percent of the fuselage length, and the axle pivot point would be at 30 to 40 percent of the ski length aft of the ski nose. For the width, I just picked a number that felt right. MATERIALS The materials I used for the skis are well-known by all modelers and, depending on the weight of your model, the skis can be made of 1/18, 3/16 or 1/4-inch-thick lite-ply or luane (the plywood material used to skin interior household doors). For models that weigh up to about 15 pounds, use 1/8-inch thick material. For models of 25 pounds or more, I recommend 1/4-inch-thick material (both the L-5 and L-19 are in the lower 20s, so I chose to use 1/4-inch thick lite-ply). I’ve found that metal skis generally mean trouble because snow really likes to stick to cold metal. Wooden skis seem to work better; but just be sure you sand the bottoms silky smooth, seal them well with polyester resin, polyurethane, or epoxy and then apply a good grade of wax. We’ve successfully used beeswax, as well as high-grade automotive paste wax. The wax will prevent the snow from sticking and also will allow the model to really slide across the snow. Lay out the patterns on a flat piece of material and cut the outlines to shape. To get the nose of the ski to bend up and match the curve of the stiffener, a series of cuts is made across the skis top surface. These cuts are only 1/2 the material thickness deep and are only required in the nose area that needs to bend. This process is called “kerbing‚” and I simply used a utility knife to score these cuts. Just prior to bending this kerbed area, I also fill the cuts with glue so that when all the glue sets, this area will be nice and strong. The center stiffener and the two axle mounts are made of various types of plywood. For 1/4-scale models, the center stiffener is 1/2-inch thick, exterior grade, house-construction plywood, and the two axle mounts are 1/4-inch thick, aircraft plywood. I also like to add spacers to each side of the axle supports so that the final thickness is the same as the wheels that I use on that model. This makes the process of switching from wheels to skis and back again, very easy and fast. The entire assembly is glued together with 20-minute epoxy and clamped in place to cure. After curing, all the areas are sanded and then coated with epoxy and sanded again. Next, they are painted with a couple of coats of paint and topped off with some clear polyurethane or epoxy. FUSELAGE CONSIDERATIONS One of the neatest things about this design is the ease with which you can switch from wheels to skis. This is very important when you get that unexpected snowfall and last-minute calls from your flying buddies to meet them at the field. It will take only a few minutes to change from wheels to skis. There is only one modification needed for the fuselage; two pairs of eyehooks need to be installed to act as attachment points for the cables. Install two in front of the landing gear, one on each side. Attach the skis, nose bungee and safety cable (more on these later) to these eyehooks ahead of the landing gear. The other two eyehooks go aft of the landing gear, (again, one on each side of the fuselage), the rear-extension limiting cables will be attached to these. To make these attachments sturdy, I simply epoxy some hardwood blocks inside the fuselage and permanently screw the eyehooks into place (see photos). I leave these in place all year long, so I do not have to make any changes when the weather makes an unexpected turn. I painted these eyehooks to match the fuselage and this way, they just get camouflaged and disappear very nicely. SKI SETUP To set up your skis properly, there are two basic, yet very important alignments to maintain. Toe-in: The skis must be parallel to each other, as well as to the fuselage centerline (a function of the landing gear-axle toe-in adjustment). Angle of attack: The skis’ angle of attack must be approximately 10 degrees positive while the aircraft is in flight (a function of the bungee and aft limiting-cable adjustments). The nose bungee is big rubber bands that lift the tips of the skis. To limit how high the ski noses rise, you have to adjust the lengths of the rear-limiting cables. I like to make these adjustments on the workbench with the skis mounted on the axles (held in place with wheel collars) and the airplane’s tail propped up. To get the required 10 degrees of ski nose-up attitude, I keep the skis flat on the bench and then raise the tails that the plane’s nose is set at a flight attitude of negative 10 degrees. A stack of paint cans works very well here! If you’ve set everything up properly, when you lift the model off the bench, the bungee cords will lift the noses of the skis and make the aft limiting cable taut. When the model is placed on the ground, the aft cables should slacken and the skis should lie flat. It’s important that they also be able to pivot freely on the axles. As an added safety measure, I suggest you run a safety cable alongside the nose bungee. This cable is adjusted when the model is sitting on the ground in the normal “at rest” attitude. The safety cable is attached at the same spots as the bungee, yet at this attitude, this cable should be taut. The idea here is that in the event of a bungee failing, you do not want the ski to turn nose-down on you in flight as it makes for a very messy landing. To make it easy to attach the bungee cords and cables, I install line connectors or some other form of “quick-disconnect” device at the fuselage attachment points. Old control-line connectors work well and you might also find similar connectors in a fishing-tackle store. To make it easier to remove the wheels from my models, I replace the usual wheel collars with cotter pins that go into small holes drilled through the end of the axles. TIPS ON SNOW FLYING With all the shop work finished, now it’s time to head to the field. The toughest part is waiting for the snow and then having it arrive at just the right time, like on a Friday night so that Saturday can be a day at the field with nice fresh snow. I live on Long Island, NY, and we don’t usually get much snow, but last winter we had so much snow that it was difficult to get to the field! Regardless of how much snow we get, when we get an opportunity like this, the “Snow Bird Squadron” gets together and makes it to the field for some really great, off-ski flights. When flying off snow, remember these tips: You’ll need to apply slightly more power to taxi. If you have no ski attached to the tail wheel, the rudder will also need a blast of power for turning. You’ll need more power for takeoff, and the skis will have to “plane” on the snow before you’ll be able to build up air speed. To overcome torque, apply the throttle gradually and smoothly and feed in the rudder as required (just as if you were flying off a green runway). You may need a bit more elevator to prevent the model from attempting to nose over, but once the speed builds up and the skis are “on plane” you’ll be able to release the elevator. When it’s equipped with skis, your model will not fly as fast because skis increase drag. When flying with wheels, don’t expect to pull up as steeply. Increase power during landings and use a slightly nose-high, three-point, or wheel-landing approach to keep the tips of the skis up. For short-field operations with my L-5, I particularly like the “I have arrived, three-point, plop-type” of landing. The fun part for me is just shooting touch-and-go’s one after another. Using scale-snow skis is a really easy way to extend your flying season. Before heading out, make sure all your radio gear is up to snuff. Cold weather wreaks havoc with batteries, as well as people. Just dress warmly, you don’t want frostbitten ears, toes or flying thumbs and be sure to take along some hot coffee or hot chocolate. Oh yes, and sunglasses are definitely in order. Enjoy! Here are all the wooden parts cut out for one set of skis (see text for details). Closeup view of the kerf cuts and how they help to bend the nose up to match the curve of the center support. All the parts glued and clamped in place to cure. Lead bars and clamps (and anything else that is heavy) aid the process. Another means of “clamping” the assembly is to use anything from around the shop that is heavy such as a can of Bondo or old car parts. Close up of the axle attachment area with filler pieces between the uprights and on the outsides to make the attachment area the same width as the wheel originally used. Note the cotter pin and washer. Very easy installation. With fuselage propped up so the nose is slightly down you can see the rear attachment cable is taught and the front bungee stretched. Same as photo 6 but fuselage attachment points can also be seen. Roy Vaillancourt designed and built this 1/4-scale Stinson L-5. It weighs 21 pounds and is powered by a US-41 engine. Latex paint (but of course). Roy Vaillancourt designed and built this 1/4-scale Stinson L-5. It weighs 21 pounds and is powered by a US-41 engine. Latex paint (but of course). The post Easy Scratch-built Skis (fly off that snow!) appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  22. JShumate

    Wintertime Flying with Skis!

    Oh yes! Winter RC flying will soon be upon us! For some rugged souls there’s nothing better than getting out of the house in the Winter and getting into the fresh crisp air with deep blue sky’s and plenty of sunshine. When the white stuff is on the ground all the skis come out. Here are some great photos form last year winter flying season. The sharp contrast of snow, blue sky’s and colorful airplanes made for fantastic photo shoot. We usually have about 10 guys come out during the sunny days and everyone has a good time. With moderate temps and light winds the conditions can be ideal. And it is a great time to share cups of hot chocolate Winter Flying – Just get out and do it! Just one of two Big Stik 60’sGerry Pronovost flying 1950’s Brigadier 32 Satio 4 stroke With the long dark nights and shorter day times it seems for many RCers winter flying is becoming very popular. (Above) Doug Culham flew this electric powered SIG RASCAL So please share your winter flying experiences in the coming year, we’d love to hear from you. The post Wintertime Flying with Skis! appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  23. While searching for cool stuff at the recent Warbirds over the Rockies event, MAN contributor Rich Uravitch found something extraordinary. Here’s what his report revealed. Since the theme of the event was Warbirds, the models entered were scale replicas, some of them in the “sport” scale, fly-it-every-day category, while others were clearly competition-capable. They had all the correct paint schemes, an abundance of artistically applied surface detail, full cockpits, perfect weathering and exhaust staining; truly miniature replicas. With the level of detail always increasing, one wonders what can be the next “eye candy” to be added? Well, Dave Morales and Jimmy Cowman may have just moved the bar up a little. Dave’s P-40B model from Jerry Bates plans featured “battle damage” detail which included an aileron with the underlying structure (like ribs and stringers) clearly visible. It made a great visual effect and didn’t seem to influence the flying qualities at all! Taking a cue from plastic modelers, Dave also made diorama elements with which to surround the model when it was on static display! Vehicles, stands, tools all added to the illusion! Along the same lines but requiring different techniques was Jimmy’s big B-17 Flying Fortress which replicated the flak damage seen on many bombers returning from missions over Europe. The aluminum skin was first duplicated, then penetrated and peeled away from the hole to simulate the torn metal. Very convincing illusion and one we may see more of in the search for greater realism on our models. Here’s a tip though…..try a practice piece first! The post RC Scale Flak Damage — Weathering Gone Wild? appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  24. JShumate

    Wing-to-Fuselage Fillets

    Advice from expert scale designer and builder Nick Ziroli: Instead of adding the fillet after the wing and fuselage are built, I make the shape of the fillet areas as part of the fuselage formers themselves. This requires having at least the wing center section built and attached to the fuselage, but to make sure the wing is properly aligned with the fuselage, I build the entire wing and measure from the wingtips to the tail. The fillets start with a 1/32-inch plywood saddle that forms the top-view outline of the fillets. This is placed between the formers and the wing, and then it is glued to the formers, making a perfect fit. Then I epoxy some carbon fiber roving just inside the outer edges and laminate it between the plywood and the first strip of balsa planking. This produces a very strong and ding-resistant outline that can be sanded to a very fine edge. Once the epoxy cures, I start planking the fairing section with 1/4-inch-wide strips of 1/16-inch-thick balsa, alternating the strips as I go–one along the wing and then along the fuselage. Fit each strip into place to make the seams and joints tight. Use a rounded sanding block to smooth the planking, and then fill any gaps or seams with a hobby filler. Once they are sanded smooth, cover the fillet area with fiberglass cloth and resin while you are finishing the fuselage.¶ Nick Ziroli poses with his Spitfire. Wing fillets are an important part of its scale look. The post Wing-to-Fuselage Fillets appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  25. JShumate

    VQ Warbirds BeechT-42 Cochise

    With great scale looks and a 69 inch wingspan, the new Beechcraft T-42 COCHISE is a twin engine EP/GP ARF. It features fiberglass cowls, working flaps, painted pilot and a detailed cockpit. Optional VQ electric retracts with oleo strut will be available. With a generous sized battery hatch, you can easily set up the T-42 for either Electric or Nitro power. Features include: all balsa and lite-ply construction, fully covered in weathered detail, fiberglass cowling, control surfaces pre-hinged and installed, and 2-piece wing with aluminium wing joiner. Included are: instructions with photos, wheels and wheel covers, plastic antenna, ply wood motor mount, decals and all hardware Specifications: Wingspan: 69.2in Lenght: 47.6in Electric Motor: 800 Watt Brushless Motor (x2) Glow Engine: .40 – .50 (x2) Weight: 9.5lbs Radio: 6 Channels / 7-8 Servos Price: $274.95 VQwarbirds.com The post VQ Warbirds BeechT-42 Cochise appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article