After the wood is wrapped around the form and ready to dry, I nuke the whole thing, 15 seconds at a time until dry. You can't run longer, or the foam melts, so I run 15 seconds, let it cool and repeat. It usually only takes about 5 minutes to have a part ready to pull off the foam.
I made some good progress today. The fuselage is well under way. I have the fuselage partially framed out, and all the stringers on the top and I am ready to "crack" the fuselage to pull the nose together. It's always nerve racking to make those cuts and physically break something that took so long to build! I'll post some pictures tomorrow.
The sides being joined. This is the tricky part. The instructions say to pin the sides over the plan, but it's really hard to find the right reference, so it's basically free handed. Doing this step correctly is the difference between and aesthetically pleasing plane and a flying banana!
Sides all joined and few formers and stringers in place.
Longerons cracked and the front former added. Again, a critical alignment step. I used a laser to make sure I was as close as I could be. It would be nice to have some sort of fixture for this work, to ensure it's all really straight. I think mine turned out okay...
And now the requisite bench flight. The wing tubes are pretty tight and will need some sanding so the wings will go on and off easily. It's amazing it all lines up! The tolerances on the wing joiner tubes are really tight! I am frankly amazed it works!!
Still quite a ways to go, but this has been some good progress! I need to shape a few pieces for the tail fillets and get the electronics rolling, but the bulk of the framing is done. It's amazing how fast a laser cut kit goes together!!
This is a BIG plane! The fuselage is massive. I haven't weighed it yet, but it feels really light for it's size. It's definitely not a ply framed ARF!! My Phoenix Decathlon, about the same size, feels like a real lead sled compared to this 195!
Thanks! What’s crazy, the Decathlon has a .61 four stroke, this has a 450 size elelctric.... I am going to fly it with 1800 mAh 2S batteries. The Decathlon weighs 7 lbs, this will weigh about 26 oz.... such a step change in philosophy. However, the Decathlon will fly in the wind, this will fly away in the wind!
I have most of the file folder material on now, and have servos in the fuse (not shown in the pictures). I've worked on it a lot today, but I am at the point where a lot of work doesn't seem to go as far as you think it should. I have hinge slots in the stabilizers, and I am ready to run the controls to the tail. I've run short of a few supplies, so I need to go get some heavy thread for the pull-pull and some connectors for the battery. I am running low on thin CA as well. The cowling is just wedged on in these shots, so it's actually back a lot farther than it will be when it's mounted. It's spring break for the kids, so I took the week off. I didn't work on it continuously since we went and a did few things as well.
It does look scarily fragile in this state. Does this one get some balsa sheeting like other models in key places like leading edges of wings and tail or around parts of the cockpit to help support the wings like I where Joker just did the replacement on the one he is restoring?
The only area that gives me any concern is the rigidity of the upper cabin area, and I am actually not worried about it from a flight perspective. My main concern is with the insertion and removal of the wings. I have gone through and added 1/64" ply gussets at the cockpit and upper cabin joints. The rest of the fuselage is actually quite rigid. The trussed structure and the stringers make is quite strong. One thing to remember, the scale Tritle planes, are intended to fly in a scale manner, no snap rolls or other violent aerobatics. Plus, they fly very slowly. It's definitely not a plane for windy days either. Any of my Tritle planes are reserved for calm days and evenings. I have heavier planes for the wind, and/or wild aerobatics. The covering will add a bit of rigidity. The file folder material around the windows will also add some strength. I contemplated using 1/64" ply for the cabin windows instead of the folder material as well, but I think the file folder paper, hardened with CA, will do a pretty good job, especially in combination with the gussets I added.
One other thing to keep in mind, this plane will only weigh about 28 ounces. Just the low weight will help it survive. My Phoenix Decathlon, which is similarly sized weighs seven pounds, and this will weigh less than two pounds! It's a complete departure from the balsa and ply ARFs we are used to seeing, nor is it constructed like a SIG kit. The Tritle planes are basically large free flight rubber powered planes converted to electric RC.
Just as I thought, the file folder paper added quite a bit of stiffness to the upper cabin area. Today I got all the surfaces hinged, the electronics installed and did some more polishing in the wing tubes. I am amazed that the wing tubes line up as well as they do. There are parallel aluminum tubes in each wing, and then parallel aluminum tubes in the fuselage to accept the wing tubes. The tubes in the fuse are one piece, so they have to be the same width apart and parallel with both wings! I am amazed they all line up. The burning on this kit is pretty good. I really think the issue with the one wing was more of plans issue than burning. Since the wing servos essentially get built in, I tested and positioned them all prior to gluing them in place. In fact, the push rod for the flaps is an assemblage that needs to the servo portion installed when the servo is installed since it wouldn't be possible to get the z-bend in place after the servo is installed. The 9 gram servos look tiny in the giant fuselage!
Since I didn't want the thread dragging on the fuselage former, I actually put holes in one of them and used some micro push rod guide tube to route the thread for the pull-pull through. It think it's a pretty good solution. One former aft of here, the threads will just exit through a small hole in the covering, just forward of the second to last fuselage former.
Servos in the wing:
A shot of the fuselage from a little farther away.
I won't be able to work on it for the next couple of days, but it's essentially ready to cover, so maybe Friday/Saturday, I can get some covering on it! It's getting close!!
Some more progress. I have most of the covering on the fuselage. I haven't covered the front yet, but that won't take long. This light weight covering makes it very evident that I need to be a better builder!! Too many of my sins are evident..... I clearly should stick to more opaque colors :black_eyed: The accent color on this plane will be blue, and will be in a typical 195 scheme. Hopefully this week, I will get time to cover the wings. The bodywork has also started on the cowling. I did do a trial fit of the tail cone as well, and it's going to take a little work to make it right. After thinking about the putty work, I probably should have used white putty instead of the green, just to reduce the amount primer necessary to cover the putty.... Maybe I'll look for a scheme where the blue can cover most of the putty.
The 195 is my favorite Cessna. First one I ever saw was up in Long Lake, NY when I worked at a summer camp there. It was for sale at the time and I drooled every time we drove past.
Her scheme might just be the thing you're looking for.
A little more progress. All base covering is done! Now I need to sort out the trim scheme... The servos in the wing are definitely built in! You actually have to solder the flap pushrods after the bottom covering is in place. Every time I cover a plane I find all the places I wish I had sanded better! I am definitely going to pay a little more attention on the next Tritle build. I might use Titebond on the next one. I'll just have to be more patient when building. Each plane gets a little better. I have decided it's a little easier to make a heavier typical ply and balsa plane look good since there's so much meat for sanding and filler. These stick planes are finicky, and you can't fill or hide much of anything!! The translucent covering also reveals all my sins. I think on the Super Cub, Highlander, and Ag Cat I will use more opaque colors, and I'll sand more!!
I still need to build the door and get the landing gear trimmed out. The tail cone needs to be finished, but that has to have the elevator in place, so that can happen now. I also need to detail the dummy engine and get the body work and paint on the cowl finished. I also need to glue in all the windows. Fortunately, the blue will disguise the file folder paper on the nose and the door. I am 90% done with 90% to go!! Details, details, details!!
Getting closer! Unfortunately the weekend is over and progress will once again slow.... I work at a fairly remote site and the commute is just over an hour, combined with a 4-10 schedule it doesn't leave much time in the evening for plane building. All the evening time is pretty much dedicated to family time.
Windows are in. Putting in windows is my oldest modelling nemesis... I have been messing up windows since the mid seventies! Fortunately, the 560 canopy glue dries clear! In order to mount the windscreen, I had to start the blue on the nose. The blue will take a while since I have to make templates for each piece.
The plastic bits are fit and now need primer and sanding. I am also going to have to find some blue spray paint that matches the blue of the covering. I also need to detail the radial engine. I haven't detailed a plastic model in 20 years, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that the engine isn't going to look like it was done at the amateur hour.
The door was an interesting project, it's hinged with pin hinges, with the upper protruding more, so the door clears the wing when open. The plans show a pretty slick little latch for the door, and it even looks like a handle. The door opens quite a ways, so battery access isn't too bad.
I had to notch the hinges so they would close far enough. The standard hinge only closes to around 45-50 degrees. I had to trim out of the hinge area to get sub 30 degree so they hinges worked with the door design.
I threw it on a scale tonight and added a battery and a couple other bits. It looks like AUW is going to be a little higher than I wanted. I am going to come in around 30 ounces.... I was really hoping to be in the 28 range, but I probably used too much glue:black_eyed:
Some glam shots. The tape is to hold the windscreen while the canopy glue dries.
It's funny how different the color is under different light. the first two shots were in the front room with the sun coming in, and the last was in the kitchen after the sun was almost completely set.
edit: not sure what's up with the attached thumbnails... they just showed up at the end for some reason. Surely operator error....
Thumbnails usually show up if you attached a picture, then deleted the link for it from the text. Click on the "Manage Attachements" button when writing or editing a post to delete unwanted extra attachments.