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Balsa Build Along 2017/18 - SA Pacemaker

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#22
Thanks guys! It's got so much dihedral I'm really curious how it's going to behave. All the electronics do come in from the bottom on this one but I haven't figured out the mounting yet.

I like the diamonds on the stock scheme, but I might go for a different base color. Need to look through the covering stack and see what jumps out.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#24
It's starting to look a lot like the picture on the package :) There are some little wrinkles on the sharp curves that I'm not entirely happy with, but overall I think it passes a 2 foot test.

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I've got a file ready to run on the vinyl cutter to make the rest of the graphics.

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And at this point in the build is when I realize I've got the wrong motor for the mount. So a new motor has been ordered and will be here later this week.
 
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nhk750

Aviation Enthusiast
#25
Looks great from here! A couple of thousand miles away. Lol. I wish I could have red airplanes, but I cant see the red against the trees and that is bad.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#26
Yeah, not seeing plane against the trees is bad. Very bad. I have been OK with red, but blue isn't my friend for that.

But I'm planning this one to be a strictly indoor airplane, so it's the color of the bleachers that I need to watch out for. :)
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#27
Not much hobby time in the last week but I did get the graphics sliced on the vinyl cutter. Just need to apply them and then start final assembly of tail components and control horns.

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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#28
It's starting to look a lot like the picture on the package!

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I followed the graphic layout on the plans, which has the Pacemaker side decal placed further back than the one in the marketing photos. I think I like it like this. :)

I'm going to add a wider white curve at the nose and then call it finished on the covering and trim work.

Control rods are all hooked up and tested, so the last thing is building landing gear.

There is an indoor fly-in this Sunday where she'll get her maiden flight :)
 
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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#30
Thanks! I've been using the Greenstar Outdoor Vinyl and Oracal 651 Outdoor Vinyl and find they are pretty darn permanently stuck to the covering once they get a little pressure. If I start to get crooked with the decal, and I'm very lucky, I can pull it back up a little bit and adjust the angle - but once a couple inches of the material make contact with the vinyl, it's not going anywhere. I haven't tried wet application with this stuff yet, but that's supposed to work just fine and give a little more working time without messing with long term adhesion.

http://www.uscutter.com/GreenStar-6-Color-24-Sheet-Packs-1212
http://www.uscutter.com/Oracal-651-12x12-inch-Sign-Vinyl-12-Pack-Sheet-Kit

And I'm doing the cutting on this little 14" desktop beauty by MH

mh365-vmc-amzn.jpg

http://www.uscutter.com/14-inch-MH-Craft-Vinyl-Cutter

It's pretty affordable as far as this type of tool goes - cheaper than the Cricuts and doesn't lock you into their cutting mats and blades and software.
 

nhk750

Aviation Enthusiast
#31
I should have asked for this as a Xmas present. I found the Cricut stuff not wanting to stay stuck all that well, maybe this is better.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#32
You can probably use these vinyl sheets just fine with the Cricut cutter - just might need to trim the overall sheet size down to fit the Cricut cutting mat.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#33
And we're done!! All ready for maiden flight :)

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I'm very happy with how this one turned out! There is a little bunching of the curved white vinyl I added to the nose, but at a couple feet back it looks great.
 
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Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#34
That's a nice looking plane! The wing design is really odd and it reminds me of a dragon fly's wing. Narrow at the body, wide towards the end.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#36
Thanks guys!

Lessons on this one have been reminders that CA doesn't sand well, slow down and use titebond or superphatic on all outer surface joins, vinyl decals don't stretch around curves like iron on covering can, and that Steven's Aeromodel makes a really excellent kit :)
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#37
Vinyl decals can stretch a bit, and the heat makes them bend easier - but too much heat will lead to disaster quickly! The transfer tape is the bigger issue, as that doesn't handle curves well. One thing with the vinyl decals I haven't tried yet is applying them over a soapy water mix, which should allow you to move the decal around for final placement before squeegeeing out the excess water and letting it dry.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#38
I had good luck with the windex method for lining up solite covering and trim shapes, but I haven't tried it with the vinyl yet. I suspect it'll work great...
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#40
Flight report: no video unfortunately, but I was able to get her up for maiden flights during an indoor fly in at the National Building Museum in DC yesterday. Beautiful place to fly! Every year we modelers are able to take it over for a day, and split the 4 story vaulted ceiling area into an area for micr-RC, free flight, and family building activities. Anyway, back to the flight report.

She took off well - no ground looping challenges on taxi. I had the CG right where it is on the instructions and she lifted off and handled very gracefully! Made a couple circuits, and then got in trouble near the "downdraft corner" where the air movement seemed to fight my left rudder input and I chopped throttle and watched it nose into an arch way at about 10' up. Did the walk of shame, and was surprised to find the only thing that happened was the wing popped out of it's slot! With a quick rubber band adjustment I was back in the air for another flight - this time avoiding that corner for several succesfull circuits and a smooth landing. :applause:

Then I got greedy and went up one more time and wouldn't you know - that darn corner sucked me back in and she lost altitude like a brick coming around that corner and refused to bank over enough to make the turn properly. Hit the same darn column, but only about 4' off the ground this time. No damage again, so I put her away before I did anything really stupid.

I think she's really going to be a great flyer in either calm outdoor mornings or a slightly longer indoor space like a triple court double gym.

And next time she's out I'll remember to get some video :)