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Pumpkin drop event

Gee Bee Dreamer Bipe

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#41
Found the incidence meter I picked up at the AMA East swap meet tables and got things bent and aligned right finally. Also thinking I'm going to take off this foam cowl plug and try another one with a different shape - the top is bugging me. Think I'll try going straight out at the same angle as the nose sheeting all the way and see how that looks. It's just a little bit of foam and pretty quick to try a different shape, so why not?

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The old roll of Stay Brite solder and flux worked OK, but my cheap old soldering station was barely up to the task. Need to get a 100 watt or bigger iron and reflow these joints
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Piotrsko

Well-known member
#42
Comment: 1/2 degree should be like a piece of 1/16 on the trailing edge. Use a heat gun /propane torch to reflow solder as it will make pretty joints. If you are doing the Cowl again how about EPP?
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#43
Comment: 1/2 degree should be like a piece of 1/16 on the trailing edge. Use a heat gun /propane torch to reflow solder as it will make pretty joints. If you are doing the Cowl again how about EPP?
Don't have any epp on hand but I'll make the final cowl with fiberglass once I settle on a shape with the foam.

On that note, I started gluing up another foam blank :)
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While that's drying I bent the cabane braces and wrapped them up for soldering. New solder gun should be arriving tomorrow but I like that torch idea for a final smoothing :)

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Next I started on making a servo tray.
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And getting the control rod sleeves installed. Still need to cut these to length and build in little mounting blocks to glue them in.
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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#44
Started on the new cowl plug last night - I don't think I'm going to be happy with any shape until I get the nose sheeting in place so I'll stop messing with this for now.

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I also installed the power pod latch last night - using a Dubro Hatch Latch with the arm sticking out of the fuselage side slightly and mounted to a plywood plate glued to the fuselage. I'll add some screws connecting the plywood plate to the fuselage as well so it's not just a glue connection keeping the power pod in.

Here's how it looks before the pod is locked in place.
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And here's a locked in pod.

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And here's the latch from the outside - after covering I'll put a little brass or 3d printed trim piece around it

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And I couldn't resist putting her mostly together for a beauty shot :D


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The list is getting shorter...
  • Solder up cabane bracing wires
  • Glue cabane mounting plywood piece into fuselage
  • Nose sheeting
  • Cockpit sides
  • Decide on vent holes in firewall or chin scoop for ESC cooling
  • Make fiberglass cowl
  • Add cowl screw brackets to motor pod
  • Finish install of control rod tubes for elevator and rudder
  • Hinge slot in fuselage tail for the bottom rudder hinge
  • Glue on horizontal and vertical stabilizer
  • Install sheeting over fuselage to vertical stabilizer transition
  • Sanding day!!
  • Install aileron servo extension wires
  • Covering
  • Design, cut, and install any vinyl graphics
  • Final assembly of parts
  • Connect all the electronics
  • Install and program receiver
  • Balancing
 
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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#45
Hooray my new 200 watt soldering gun did the trick on the cabanes!

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So after cleaning the flux off, shaving and filing the blobs down a bit smoother, I hit it all with a coat of black paint so it's spiffy looking.

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Time to epoxy it into the fuselage - I also dabbed the nuts / bolts on the bottom of the cabane brackets with a little epoxy too so they won't back out - ever! :D

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TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#46
The solder joints look great! 200 watt solder gun? That's a big'un. :) My old 100 watt Archer soldering gun isn't hot enough for landing gear wire so my favorite tool for those type of solder joints is a butane pencil torch. Here's a tip for getting more heat out of a soldering gun. Replace the tip with a short length of 14 gauge copper wire. Throwing it out there for those that have to use what they got.

 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#47
Great idea on the copper wire tips - will do that when the tip the new gun came with wears down :D

Time to prepare the nose sheeting - first sprayed with ammonia (water would work too) and wrapped to a round form to get the shape going.

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And adding a little blocking and bracing along the fuselage sides and at the nose to bring up the balsa level so the thin nose sheeting will install smoothly and be supported on all sides.

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While that's drying, I added the support wire between the two elevator halves - control rod wire bent at both ends to stick into the balsa over an inch and epoxied in place.

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Going off book a bit here. The instructions (such as they are) suggest building the entire plane and gluing in all the tail pieces before doing any covering. I'm covering a couple spots ahead of time to make it a bit easier to do the final covering - but it's tricky due to the sheeting that needs to blend together the turtledeck and vertical stabilizer. I think doing the bottom of the elevator first is pretty safe. First it took about an hour to clean off the glass plate on the work bench - first all the stuff stacked on top of it, and then scraping off all the glue and paint spray and gunk it has collected since the last time I did covering :oops:

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SlingShot

Maneuvering With Purpose
#48
Oh rusy! You got some splainin to doo!

Hey. How is it we have all heard the night mares of guys building balsa planes taking many months to years to build but our own triple threat team here knocks em out in a week or two to maybe 3 months tops.

Are the kits that much better or did the old timers hand shape every part or grow their own trees or somethin goofy like that.
A basic balsa kit doesn't take that long. I had rudimentary skills and knocked a .40 size sport model out in a week that I didn't have to work. A 100% Monokote covering --- no paint.

Fancy finishing, and more sophisticated models take longer. Scratch building? Fuhgetaboutit. That's a whole other thing and can take a really long time.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#49
One more step forward tonight. Covering finished on the bottom of the horizontal stabilizer, then spent a while getting things leveled and squared before applying epoxy and clamps for the permanent attachment.

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The balsa scrap under the side of the firewall offsets the slight bit of built in right thrust, which was a happy accident. :D I was planning to deal with right and down thrust with washers behind the motor mounts, but this is nice too.
 
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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#51
The second half of the nose sheeting doing the pin cushion thing

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Cut out the cockpit sides, sprayed with ammonia, and wrapped around a cup to dry into curves

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Here's a trick I saw some old-timers using - to keep the rudder hinges all perfectly aligned, and to give me a chance of servicing this in the future if I ever need to pull the rudder out to get to the elevator behind it, I pulled all the hinge pins and replaced them with a single long piece of wire that threads all the hinges together.

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Here's the elevator and rudder temporarily in place to get an eyeball on the control horn locations.

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The list is getting shorter....
  • Cockpit sides
  • Finish install of control rod tubes for elevator and rudder
  • Install sheeting over fuselage to vertical stabilizer transition
  • Decide on vent holes in firewall or chin scoop for ESC cooling
  • Finish shaping cowl plug
  • Make fiberglass cowl
  • Add cowl screw brackets to motor pod
  • Sanding day!!
  • Install aileron servo extension wires (since I didn't build the bottom wing, I need to retrofit some wiring tubes)
  • Covering
  • Design, cut, and install any vinyl graphics
  • Final assembly of parts (landing gear, wing holding dowels, control horns, etc)
  • Connect all the electronics
  • Balancing
 
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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#52
Added some blocking to help the cockpit sides stay aligned better.
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Then glued in the straight parts of the cockpit sides.

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And then glued the curved parts down and to each other.

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Also put in a little blocking and then the fuselage to stabilizer fairing on one side.

View attachment

And did a little more carving on the cowling plug - getting happier with the shape but still not quite done with it.

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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#53
Sanding day! Adding some filler on the gaps after the first rough sanding.

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Pretty happy with this shape now - covered it in 3M spackle to create a hard smooth surface (after more sanding and some polyurethane coats of course).

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Here's the updated and much shorter list...

  • Finish install of control rod tubes for elevator and rudder
  • Make fiberglass cowl
  • Add cowl screw brackets to motor pod
  • Install aileron servo extension wires (since I didn't build the bottom wing, I need to retrofit some wiring tubes)
  • Covering
  • Design, cut, and install any vinyl graphics
  • Final assembly of parts (landing gear, wing holding dowels, control horns, hinges, etc)
  • Connect all the electronics
  • Balancing
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#54
Plenty more spackle and sanding, and now time to glue the cowl plug to a backer board for the molding process. And since I'll be making a mold for this one, might as well do the other one for the FW-42 at the same time.

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Installing control horns and fuselage blocking for the control rod tubes.
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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#56
How many hours have you put into as of now?
Not enough - she's not ready to fly yet :D

I don't really keep track of the hours in the shop too closely 'cause it's my relaxation zone :D But generally speaking I've been spending about 15 hours a week in the shop I think since I started this - and I'm about 3 weeks in right now, with probably another week to go. So this maybe a 60 hour project all told? :unsure:

Error time!! o_O

This is the first time I've used the Sullivan cable control system, and I didn't leave anywhere near enough room for the coupler that gets soldered to the cable.

So on the tail end of the plane I'm going to try drilling out the inside of the tube to be large enough for the soldered on coupler to slide up inside. I tested this with a scrap of tube and I think it'll work if I am smooth enough on the soldering job.

On the servo end of things it's much easier to fix - just install new rails and servo tray moved way forward in the fuselage. I'll leave the old one in place as a reference for level until the rails are installed.


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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#57
No more pictures tonight, but I got the new servo tray mounted in a much better position so the control cables and full range of servo motion will be fine. I also drilled the landing gear for the axles and got some 2-3/4" balloon tires installed. And after a few more spots of filling and sanding to make sure everything is smooth tonight, I'm ready for covering next.

I've got a covering idea in mind now. Something like the "Rides" Stearman in this picture, but with green and white Ultracote and black pinstriping. I'll do the bottom of the wings and stabilizer as white with a single wide green stripe parallel to the fuselage.

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I can't really offer rides with a single seater :D So I'm going to do up a Cape May Brewery graphic on the side (a favorite place to visit when at the beach). Graphics ready for a test print and eventual vinyl cutting below - brewery logo on the fuselage sides, Gee Bee Dreamer logo on the nose, and penguins somewhere - vertical stab perhaps?

Dreamer_Test_Sheet.jpg

I also dug out a FrSky S6R receiver from the drawer for this build, and flashed it to the most current firmware. I'm not sure if I'll actually use the stabilizer function - I have one of these on my Ugly Stick but I almost never turn stabilization on cause it doesn't really seem to have much impact on how it behaves. But it might be nice to have for the biplane - and even without using the stabilizer function it's a solid receiver. :D

So yeah, I've almost got everything I can done before the covering goes on. Except maybe painting the cockpit black - that would be better before there is covering involved. So here's the updated list:

  • Paint cockpit interior
  • Install aileron servo extension wires (since I didn't build the bottom wing, I need to retrofit some wiring tubes)
  • Covering
  • Cut and install vinyl graphics
  • Make fiberglass cowl
  • Paint cowl - color match to green covering?
  • Add cowl screw brackets to motor pod
  • Final assembly of parts (landing gear, wing holding dowels, control horns, hinges, etc)
  • Connect all the electronics
  • Balancing
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#60
Progress on a couple things this evening. Did a final 320 sanding of the 4th layer of polyurethane on the cowl plugs so they are super smooth, and then the first coat of the mold release.

Cut the holes and strung a wire for the aileron servo extensions, painted the cockpit black, and finished covering the bottom of both wings in white. Very glad I started on the bottom of the wings cause those wingtips take some practice!

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I'm also very happy with my new little super fine grit honing stone on a stick - I've been giving the scalpel blade a couple passes after each covering cut, and it's still sharp as new! Usually by this point in a covering job I'd be on the 5th or 6th razor - but the sharpening is really working great. I highly recommend picking up a little sharpening stone like this - and never need to buy a second box of xacto blades :D

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