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First Airplane - Laser Cut FT Storch

bpw823

Junior Mastermind
#1
Over the past few months, I've been held down by end of school study, FIRST Robotics, and other commitments, but I've finally been able to complete my first 'scratch' build. Using the laser cutter provided by a Design Studio at a local vocational technology school, I was able to CAD trace the Storch plans, and cut them out on DTFB.

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I had no knowledge of electronics at the time, so I had just built the airframe, figuring I'd put electronics in it later, when I had a better understanding of the subject.

Now that I've got all the time in the world, I pulled out the electronics and I got to work.

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After getting the power pod situated, I found that the ESC wires were not long enough to reach around the back to the battery, as its placement is too far forward to reach at proper CG. So, I ended up cutting a hole through the bottom for the connector to pass through. It works, and it does not compromise the integrity of the pod.

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After getting the servos installed, I decided to deck the plane out in some sort of sporty livery, in wing tape. I did not want to risk the plane's weight and possible paper delamination (as what happened to a Mustang airframe of mine). I already had a black foam board wing, so I decided to create a White/Yellow/Black stripe scheme.

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After this, I realized the yellow tape was so thin, it dulled the color on the ailerons, so I will cut out new white ones with tape, and use those instead. That should make it a bit more appealing to the eye.

I hadn't ordered the actual Storch cockpit decals, so I designed my own scheme, and trimmed it out of black wing tape.

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Now, during the maiden of a family member's FT Mustang, we noticed how hard it is to taxi around the runway (our club has a mat strip) so I modified the rudder with some spare push rod wire to create a steerable tail wheel. After weight testing, I realized I'm going to have to reinforce it with wood, as the actual rudder likes to bend in that spot, but I can deal with that.

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After a very painful time bending wire, the landing gear were completed. Definitely need the proper tools (a vise would have been preferable). I used 2.5" foam tires I bought from Hobbytown in nearby Londonderry, and attached those for a better looking and longer lasting set of legs.

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Using Photoshop on my laptop, I was able to create some good graphics for the airplane, dubbed 'Lady Lorrey', and after working past 12:30 one night, I finished applying the decals to her for some extra pizazz.

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She's bound and ready for maiden on Tuesday, and hopefully I can get some awesome nose art from her namesake.

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If all goes well, she'll be seeing everyone at Flite Fest in a couple weeks! Thanks for reading, and keep flying!
 
#4
Nice job. I love the color scheme. It'll be easy to see no matter where you're flying and you can also tell its orientation pretty easily. Might have to try one of these Storch builds myself. Good luck on the maiden!
 

bpw823

Junior Mastermind
#5
Thanks all! We took her out last night and she flew fantastic! Second flight, the takeoff took her into the sun, and popped off her landing gear on landing. She survived it pretty good, just had to hand launch and belly land her for the rest of the night. Going to be reinforcing many parts with 1/8" plywood to keep her lasting, and replacing her ailerons with white foam and tape for the correct color. She'll be ready for Flite Fest, and if you're heading there, we'll look forward to seeing you! :)
 

Gryf

Active member
#6
That's a really nice-looking build! I maidened my own Storch at Flite Fest last year, and am planning to bring it back for this year's event.

Hope to see yours there,

Gryf