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Great Planes 2m Spirit Build

#1
For my second build, I'm gonna be doing something different, a Great Planes 2m Spirit sailplane. Having finished my first build over this last month, the hobby seems to be taking an unexpected direction. I actually enjoyed the hunt for bargains, vintage planes, and oddball things.

So rather than get more building experience by spending money a new kit, I'm just going to work on this sailplane that followed me home from an estate sale. I can build this without spending hardly any additional money. The key to vintage/bargain hunts seems to be time and patience(and cash on-hand). This kit will take me at least a month, and that means a month of bargain hunting. Just yesterday I almost nabbed a half-built Mountain Model for $10. At the estate sale I was mere seconds too late for a Kadet Senior kit.

I'll learn a lot too. When I opened the kit and unfurled a poster size plan, I was shocked. I'd never actually seen a plan before. The things you don't know when all you've done is ARF. This will be more challenging than my first build, but I got time. Think I'll be ok with careful study.

The extra savings to my monthly "fun money" budget means I can buy a few more tools like a watt meter, scale balance, latch magnets, and 123 blocks.

I'm going to be try nhk750's magnets and clear plastic method.....


SpiritStartDay1.jpg
 

Turbojoe

Active member
#2
Watching with interest. I bought this kit several years ago because the guy gave me a package deal on several kits and included this in the package. I need to finish some of the dozen or so other builds that have been in progress for way too long before starting on this. I don't have much interest in flying gliders but that doesn't mean I couldn't build it with a motor in the nose and landing gear. I did that to a Wanderer 99 a buddy gave me back in the early 80's. It flew pretty good with an O.S. .25.

Looking forward to watching your progress.

Joe
 
#4
I don't have much interest in flying gliders but that doesn't mean I couldn't build it with a motor in the nose and landing gear. I did that to a Wanderer 99 a buddy gave me back in the early 80's. It flew pretty good with an O.S. .25.
I'm going to add an electric motor. This RCG thread has some decent photos of how to do that. Stock build has you adding weight to the nose anyways, may as well do it with a motor. It's very convenient. The only reason I wouldn't want one is because I'd really like an excuse to build a piggyback.

Also going to make some of these improvement modifications, in particular, the tail surface area and sheeting the outer panel.

Work begins with the stabilizer...


SpiritStartStabilizer.jpg
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#5
I like the pic in your link to a Kadet Senior carrying a Bird of Time! Makes me want to do that with my Senior and the BoT I've had sitting on the shelf for a couple years (thanks Willsonman for picking it up at the auction for me!). A cradle or tow hook setup would also work great for the big "Nothin' Extra" I recently finished - that thing could probably tow a Toyota into the sky...!

Adding the motor and battery for ballast is a good idea and gives you the best of both worlds, I'm looking forward to seeing how it all comes together for you.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#6
Hooray! Another balsa build! :D

One place I find myself making modifications frequently is around battery access - make sure you like how to get the batts in and out on the plans, and if it seems like a pain in the rear, change it! :D
 
#7
I like the pic in your link to a Kadet Senior carrying a Bird of Time! Makes me want to do that with my Senior and the BoT I've had sitting on the shelf for a couple years (thanks Willsonman for picking it up at the auction for me!). A cradle or tow hook setup would also work great for the big "Nothin' Extra" I recently finished - that thing could probably tow a Toyota into the sky...!
It really is cool, isn't it? I think that's in my future. If only I had scored that Senior at the estate sale...
 
#8
When I unrolled the plans of the Spirit, it was my first time looking any plan. I had so many questions. It looked so busy and difficult that I rolled it right back up and thought, "Nope, going with a simple laser cut kit again". But I kept opening it up and looking at it. Little by little things started to get easier in my mind and so thought I'd try it.

Here's the first piece...



SpiritStabilizer.jpg
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#10
Eventually you'll feel like Neo in the Matrix when you look at plans, everything becomes clear, you'll find mistakes that weren't corrected (happens WAY more often than you'd expect), and can start seeing many steps ahead of what you're currently working on. It's a nice feeling as all the intimidation is gone.

Speaking of errors on plans, EXPECT them. If something doesn't make sense there is probably a reason. When I was building the vertical stabilizer on my 1/3 scale L-19 Bird Dog I made the mistake of running sheet material in the direction shown on the plans - horizontally. The problem is that the ribs for the stab also run horizontal, so the sheet was very flexible and weak between the ribs. I don't remember if I went back and changed it yet or not, but that would have been an easy thing to correct on the plans, or at least to include an addendum with the plans. But that's all left up to the builder to figure out. Yay... :rolleyes: And if you really want some "plans" that can drive you nuts build one of the cheap kits from Hobby King. They're the worst, but you also can learn the most from building one of those kits as they force you to think multiple steps ahead so you don't build yourself into a corner.
 
#11
No thanks! Hobby King might be less expensive, but I got this kit for only 12 bucks :cool:.

Thanks for the heads up on grain, that didn't even occur to me. In fact I was annoyed at it on the plans. Now I see it is part of the design, duh. The more you know...
 

thenated0g

Drinker of coffee, Maker of things
Mentor
#15
So glad i found this, i actually just snagged a spirit 2m from a guy on rcgroups shipped for $58. Been trying to find a good build thread before it gets here. This will be my first balsa build. You using CA glue? Im probably going with a wood glue. Also thinking about using clear iron on laminate instead of monokote. I am mainly a slope soarer so more weight is a plus (faster). I am considering ordering these spoilers to add in the wing instead of the ones they have you build:
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/glider-spoiler-servoless-left-and-right-side.html
1565123715565.png

***edit i see your using tightbond glue. Whats your experience with that so far for set time and "safe to handle" time.
 
#16
So glad i found this, i actually just snagged a spirit 2m from a guy on rcgroups shipped for $58. Been trying to find a good build thread before it gets here. This will be my first balsa build. You using CA glue? Im probably going with a wood glue. Also thinking about using clear iron on laminate instead of monokote. I am mainly a slope soarer so more weight is a plus (faster). I am considering ordering these spoilers to add in the wing instead of the ones they have you build

***edit i see your using tightbond glue. Whats your experience with that so far for set time and "safe to handle" time.
Great! I learned to fly RC by slope soaring a 2m foam Spirit (no motor). It was a great experience. I think though the polyhedral wing is really going to limit your speed. I'd probably look in to whether they can be straightened for performance?

I don't live close to the coast anymore, I'm in thermal country now so I'm going to try that. And even though I don't have easy access to the slopes, I still want to build a Sig Ninja someday.

Yea, I'm using Titebond III (everyone seems to use II). I follow what's written on the bottle and haven't had issue: safe to handle at 30 minutes but don't stress the joint for 24 hours. I like wood glue because it's non-toxic, gives me a lot of time to think, make mistakes, and correct them without issue.

I'm skipping the spoiler. I wanted to keep the build simple and I don't think I'm going to need it.

Back to the build... got the fin and rudder done. I'm deviating from the plan and making them larger. Accidentally under-calculated the fin size but that should be fine. Stock is fine even I'm sure. Still needs some trimming and sanding but I'll wait until the fuselage is complete.

SpiritFinRudder.jpg
 

thenated0g

Drinker of coffee, Maker of things
Mentor
#17
yeah this is more a balsa kit for me than a good slope plane but i think it will be a good trainer slope plane for friends. Where you at in norcal? im over in lake county. I fly mostly at tick point down by the golden gate bridge which is a really hard place to land so spoilers or full flaps are a must.
 
#18
yeah this is more a balsa kit for me than a good slope plane but i think it will be a good trainer slope plane for friends. Where you at in norcal? im over in lake county. I fly mostly at tick point down by the golden gate bridge which is a really hard place to land so spoilers or full flaps are a must.
Oh, we're neighbors. I live in Yolo County (yes folks, there really is a Yolo County). Used to fly in Pacifica. It's not impossible for me to get to Tick Point but I'd hate to make that drive and have the wind conditions change. That's not an easy drive for you either, is the wind there predictable?
 

thenated0g

Drinker of coffee, Maker of things
Mentor
#19
Wayne, the owner of alofthobbies, he describes it as a world class high lift site. Its always worth it to make the drive (2.5 hrs for me) on good day. Every time i have gone its been 16-25mph every time. This is the weather link i check and it has been accurate everytime so far:
https://www.windfinder.com/forecast/san_francisco_bar
https://www.google.com/maps/place/T...322546844f9b0!8m2!3d37.8667811!4d-122.5879333

Anything going kind of "east" is going to work. Only issues may be fog but that hasnt bit me yet. Definitely worth your time if you ever in the area.
 

thenated0g

Drinker of coffee, Maker of things
Mentor
#20
also be sure to keep an eye on the rcgroups slope soaring section. Every year we (BAMF ie bay area model flyers) has a big may 5th event down at sunset state beach. Slope soaring for 4 days on the beach.