• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Airtronics Olympic II electric sailplane build

#1
Well its about time for me to start building this kit now. It was gifted to me by another member of my local flying field a few months ago, and I am determined to make it the best sailplane I have ever built and have it do excellent in competition. I have not done an inventory yet on parts.
Here it is

My experience for building balsa sailplanes is perhaps novice, as I only have built a gentle lady and a many free flight gliders, but I feel I have sufficient confidence, as the OLY II is designed to be rather simple build. This is not only going to be a build log, but a questions/suggestions source to make this the best sailplane I have ever built. I hope to start building by next week.

Here's why the title says hybrid electric, I'm planning on making the motor easily removable, and in its place screws in a nose block so that it can be a pure glider. The motor bay then becomes the battery bay, whereas with the motor installed, the battery bay will be under the wing.

Why? You may ask, well, I want the ability to easily launch it without setting up a winch or hi-start, but also want to hold on to the classic look, and keep it genuine (and lighter) even though that means using a winch launch.

That being said, I shall now contradict my claim of keeping it classic and genuine by taking off the forward part of the original rudder. Don't worry though, the cool looking wingtips will stay (gotta have those) and spoilers will be included as well as the original color scheme depicted on the box.

I hope to get this done before spring, but at the same time, want to take my time to get it perfect. I hope you all enjoy this thread. I put it here also (you can also follow it on RC Groups, hopefully this won't become too confusing for me) because I thought you guys shouldn't miss out on the fun, and probably have some good advice as well. And also I hope that this will create more interest in sailplanes among the younger side of Radio Control enthusiasts. OLY II kits are no longer made by Airtronics, but by Skybench Aerotech.
 

speedbirdted

Legendary member
#2
Why make the motor removable from the fuselage? I would just stick it in a pod sorta like this but held on non-permanently with the wing rubber bands or something. It'd be less work to remove it and it wouldn't require any fuselage mods. I was going to do this with my gentle lady, but didn't feel like fuelproofing the fuselage so I didn't bother. This is using an old TD 020 I think but doing the same idea with electric would be perfectly feasable.

1605683840221.png


I'm looking forward to this build. I'm tempted to sell off my current gentle lady and build another one incorporating some ideas I've had bouncing around in my head. Soaring season doesn't really start here until mid-May so it would be a good, relaxing winter build, knowing the deadline is so far off :p
 
#3
Why make the motor removable from the fuselage? I would just stick it in a pod sorta like this but held on non-permanently with the wing rubber bands or something. It'd be less work to remove it and it wouldn't require any fuselage mods. I was going to do this with my gentle lady, but didn't feel like fuelproofing the fuselage so I didn't bother. This is using an old TD 020 I think but doing the same idea with electric would be perfectly feasable.

View attachment 183556
Naw, to draggy for me. Besides, for the sake of invention, I want to try somthing new. I tried making one of those out of foamboard to pull my gentle lady with a radian motor
FoamboardPowerPod.JPG
Never flew it unfortunately, since I didn't have long enough wires for the battery. I ended up putting it in the nose of a simple soarer. I did fly that, and how!
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#4
Wohoo! More balsa! :)

Maybe it's just me, but I've done custom pods on two builds so far, and they were both a real pain to get flying right. They need a deceptively large amount of up-thrust to avoid driving the nose into the ground on launch. (ask me how I know....)
 
#6
Well, I think that to do a good job on this build, I need better tools. Such as a razor saw, a razor drill bits, larger sanding blocks, etc. So far all I have done is laminate the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer, and I have learned that a razor blade does not cut through 1/4" balsa like it does foamboard. I will use Elmer's wood glue because I'm tired of gluing my fingers together all the time. Getting new tools will hold up the build process, I will probably find some place in town to buy them so that I am not waiting on shipping.
Happy Thanksgiving
 
#7
I have officially started the build. I got a razor saw last week and am amazed! I used instant glue on the ribs, but everything else was done with wood glue.
IMG_7026.jpg
IMG_7025.jpg
I forgot how much fun a balsa build can be.
Meanwhile, I still have so many other foamboard projects that are calling me, its tempting because my edf has arrived but I still need to buy servos for it and all funds must be put in this project.
 
#9
Looking great! Love my razor saw too - found by accident they come in different teeth grades too, and the fine tooth one is so smooth!
ooh I like the sound of that. Too bad the one I bought is non-removable. I think a collection would do great things with building accuracy. Next up I will be getting a little micro drill set what do you guys think of this one? It looks like a pretty good deal to me.
 
#13
It has been a while, but this weekend, I wanted to get some more done while I still can. I began the fin
OLY fin.jpg

and made a sanding bar. By the way, the drill set came, and looks nice, except the smallest bit, which seems like it does not have a sharp tip at all. It still drills, but takes a longer time.
Anyways, as you can see, I still put in the balsa pieces for a counterbalance, but only for decoration.
I am planning on adding a little more rudder area by extending the trailing edge to account for the lost counterbalance.
So far, I am really satisfied with my work. I hope the whole build can go this easy
 
#17
By the way, the drill set came, and looks nice, except the smallest bit, which seems like it does not have a sharp tip at all.
Those tiny pin drill bits can be sharpened. I have a head strap magnifier, plastic but the type used by watch makers. With the magnifier and a diamond file the tip can be sharpened. Look at a bit that drills good and copy the angles on the dull one. The good pin drills are in an index and the loose ones are in a tiny plastic bottle. I like the tic-tac box idea too. I'll have to buy some for the box.
 
#18
IMG_20201214_163504[1].jpg

IMG_20201214_163519[1].jpg

I finished the rudder, and taped the pieces together to see how it looks. I never noticed how big it will be until now:whistle:
Now that that's done, I can get started on the fuse.
But first, I wanted to ask, The instructions don't say anything about rounding the leading edges of the stabilizers. Is there a reason for this? I'm gonna do it, but I thought I'd ask first.
(maybe it will say in a future step, like assembly, so maybe I should check that)
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#19
Tail is looking great! Usual practice for small scale stabilizers like this is to gently round the front edge, and leave the back edges square. I'm sure the free flight guys can explain the aerodynamics of why this works best for control surfaces at this size, but it's beyond me. :)

I have a magnet screwed to a cabinet in my workshop and stick all the pin drills on it. Works great as long as I stay in my workshop. :)
 

speedbirdted

Legendary member
#20
This is looking really great! As for smoothing of the edges of control surfaces, it actually has very little aerodynamic effect at the Reynolds numbers that models fly at. After all boxy things like KF airfoils work just fine. I do it because it makes it very easy to completely cover a whole stabilizer with just two pieces of covering film, one top and one bottom. If you cut it slightly oversize you can then slowly roll the iron over the curved edges, and the film will shrink as it sticks down, resulting in very smooth and wrinkle-free edges. With completely square edges this becomes very hard to do and most of the time an extra strip is required to cover the leading and side edges of the control surface.

I ended up paying a friend my Gentle Lady for his help repainting the inside of a lot of my house and I want to build a sailplane to fill the void... I just recently was given a set of plans for a Borne Free 130" and have had a set for a Sinbad 2 meter around for a while. But I'm conflicted on which to build first. :p