First step in the plan is to take the supplied sheet and end-join it to make two sheets large enough to cover the top & bottom of the horizontal stabilizer. As previously mentioned, this stuff all had a pretty good curve to it, but by mixing & matching I was able to get all of them glued together without having to trim every edge. Once they're glued to the inner structure I can trim the edges flush all the way around. (the blue is painter's tape)
Here are the finished pieces ready for a quick face-sanding to even them all out. The final sanding will be done after they'er installed.
This is the inner stabilizer structure coming together, and being assembled directly on top of the original plans. Thanks to the magnets and wax paper there should (hopefully?) be no damage to the paper. It sounds like these plans are rare, so not damaging them is fairly important.
All done! When the glue is dry these pieces will be glued in between the two large sheets created earlier. The structure may look fairly lightly constructed, but when you combine this plus the two sheets it should be nice & strong.
This is going to be a monster. The horizontal stab has more area than most airplane wings I've built. Do the ailerons look kinda small in the old b/w photo? Could they be big enough to roll this airplane?
The tail certainly does have a lot of surface area! I agree with the ailerons looking a bit small. They're also a little different style - wide at the end and tapering to narrow as they move inboard. When I start the wings I'll take a good look and see if some modifications are needed. As it stands right now it certainly won't be a 3D plane, and with as big as those wings are it would really take some large ailerons to give it a fast roll rate. My flying style with this size plane isn't aggressive so they're probably fine as-is. We'll see soon!
The next step according to the directions is to sand the stabilizer and elevator to shape, however I'm going to skip that for now in an effort to better control the balsa dust this build is going to create. My "plan" is to build most (all?) of the structures and then come back and do as much rough and final sanding as possible outside or while using a dust collection fan. Otherwise I tend to get sinus infections from inhaling the dust.
With that said, I'm moving on to the wings. The instructions would have me build both wings and then join them together permanently, but a wing this size is darn near impossible to transport without a trailer, so I'm looking at modifying the plan to let me do a 2-piece wing. It shouldn't take too much work to design and the parts will then easily fit in my vehicle. All wing ribs and half-ribs were removed from their die-cut sheets, and I'm pleasantly surprised with the quality of the cutting as all of the pieces came out cleanly. They need a quick sanding to match them all and then construction can start.
On another note, I think I need an intervention... I was glancing through Craigs List Wednesday morning and saw a Bud Nosen Trainer for sale about 40 minutes from work. A couple e-mails were traded with the seller and I was able to pick it up yesterday after work. It's a big bird, with a 105" wingspan and a fuselage I could almost fit a basketball inside! It's fully built and in nice shape, needing only an engine, fuel tank, and receiver. It's not a scale design but should still be plenty of fun with a 23-26cc gas engine in it. This is a picture of my plane that I found from the previous owner trying to sell it this past winter. I like the fact that it doesn't really need any work, other than the engine, as it'll be a fairly quick project. And no, I'm not going electric with it...
Now *THAT* is the kind of intervention I can live with! Some day I need to start taking planes I don't fly anymore to the local swap meets to try and make some room, but then again, those planes don't take up that much room, it's all the BIG stuff I'm flying now that is causing the problem.
Yeah, 1/4 scale and above can start to take up some room, especially when you consider how big the wings are and the extra care needed to avoid damaging them. At last count I've got at least 6 planes in 1/4 to 1/3 scale that are built or at least framed up plus another 6+ as projects or as kits in boxes with at least 84" wingspan. Stacking the fuselages and wings horizontally on racks seems to be the best way for me to fit even MORE into the mix!
Picture time! To make sure all of the ribs were true I stacked them and put some scrap in the slots to keep them all aligned. A quick sanding was all that was needed since the quality of the cutting is quite good for a die-cut kit.
Actual construction will take a while as it has to be done in stages that will also allow glue to dry. Ribs are installed over the bottom spar, and when the glue dries I'll install the top spar. If I had enough tall 90* angles I could do it all in one shot, but this will work for now. When both spars are on and the glue cures I'll add the half-ribs and leading edge. Plans don't call for it but I may add some shear webbing between the ribs to stiffen up the wing. At this time I don't know if it'll need it or not, but there will never be an easier time to add it than now!
A bit more work this morning as the glue on the spars has cured overnight. Now I'm adding the trailing edges, starting with the bottom. The instructions jump around a bit on the wing construction, so since it's a fairly easy design I'm just going to build them in the order that makes sense to me. A run to the hardware store is coming up today as well to see if they have some 3/8" ply for me to make the pieces needed to do a 2-piece wing. The 3/8" will match the size of the redwood spars. Yes, redwood! I've never seen redwood as part of a kit before.
Once the top & bottom for the trailing edge are installed I can finish the aileron pocket and then move on to the half-ribs, leading edge, etc.
Here's a little trick some of you may find useful. I wanted to hold the leading edge in place while the glue on the half-ribs cures, but I don't have any hobby clamps long enough to reach from the leading edge to the spars. To provide the pressure I used rubber bands and some bungee cord, along with some spruce sticks. Simply put the spruce stick behind the spars and loop the rubber bands or bungee cord over as shown and now I've got simple pressure exactly where it's needed. When it comes time to glue the leading edge I'll simply re-use these pieces.
A small distraction from work on the Stick, there was a swap meet this morning on the grounds of the EAA in Oshkosh, so I felt it was my duty to go! This was certainly a record for my swap meet spending, as I only spent $27 which includes $5 admission. There were certainly some good deals and some planes I'd like to have played around with, but nothing really jumped out at me for once. However, I did buy one balsa kit for $10, a Ryan ST by Easy Built Models. This will likely not be built for flight, but as a small project for display that I can take on the road with me when I travel for work. It should easily fit in a small box with all the supplies to keep me busy when I'm sitting in a hotel.
Another guy was selling off a bunch of new props for $1 each, and I picked up all of the ones he had from 13" thru 16". Two new fuel tanks in odd sizes (you can never have enough options when scratch building) at $1 each rounded out my spree.
Back to the Stick, the second wing is about half-built and coming along nicely.
Hobby-size bar clamps are an item that is hard to do without when you're building. I grab these whenever I see them at swap meets, garage sales, etc as you can never have enough of them. Here I'm using them to hold a couple big blocks of balsa on for the wing tips. Most likely at least half of this material will be removed once I start shaping the pieces. Heck, I'll probably remove more total material than the EBM Ryan ST kit will use for the entire build! Now that this first side is installed I come to the late realization that I should have removed a lot of that excess BEFORE gluing them. Oh well, this side will just get more time with the balsa planer.
It was a marathon of construction today, but I'm finally done for the weekend. Both wings are mostly complete - stringers and dihedral brace are still needed for wing #2, and then I can really see how my ideas for making a 2-piece wing will work. I'm very impressed with the quality of the kit so far, and the only confusion surrounds how the wings are joined if following the instructions for a 1-piece wing. There is plenty of carving and sanding ahead, but that'll wait till later.
One way I judge the quality of the kit is by how the parts line up. Here you can see how straight it all turned out. Granted much of that is due to keeping it straight during construction and allowing the glue to cure, but the kit manufacturer gave me accurate parts to start with. You can also see a little damage I did to some of the ribs while sanding the redwood spar a bit. It's minimal and on the bottom of the wing, so at least it won't be super visible. Plus I'll go back and cap a few ribs so they can be sanded back to the original shape.
I tried for one of those "artsy" shots I've seen others do, but couldn't get the stupid iPhone to focus on ALL the ribs instead of just one. Either way you can still see how all the pushrod holes line up nicely. The kit calls for a servo mounted in the center of the wing, connected to the ailerons by pushrod and bellcrank. No thanks, I'll go ahead and create a servo tray in each wing. Tentatively I'll go with a short pushrod to control the aileron, but maybe a pull-pull setup would be good for a change...?