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Hobby King Red Swan Heavily Modified as German HE-162 Salamander Build Thread

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#1
Wait, I'm building ANOTHER Red Swan?? How much abuse can one guy take? Turns out, a LOT! I've built it stock and also as a lightweight version (well, as light as I could make it), but there is more room for creativity in the HK Red Swan.

A while back I was looking at the EDF planes on the HK website and noticed the German HE-162 Salamander. Overall a pretty damn ugly plane, but still a technological marvel for the era. The more I looked at it the more interested I got in the plane. Not the one HK sells, as buying something that crazy without extra parts availability is really rolling the dice - I'm sure most of us have run into that problem in the past. But while looking at the 162 one day I noticed that the basic outline of the fuselage isn't far from that of the Red Swan. Yeah, you need to squint your eyes really hard to see it, but there's a Salamander hiding inside the Red Swan!


He%20162--.jpg

So I decided to buy yet another Red Swan, and this time modify the hell out of it and make my version of the Salamander, from here to be known as the "Red Salamander".

I've never done an EDF plane so that will be new to me, and I'm sure I'll have a lot of questions as I get going on this project. How big should the EDF be? 3S or 4S? 3ch or 4ch? I'm hoping for help on those questions.


he162tamiyacw_4.jpg

A list has been made of some of the changes the stock kit will need:
Fuselage: landing gear with steerable nose wheel, rounded nosecone, possibly a different canopy design, airflow for the ESC and 4S (?) battery, modified tail to accept new tail configuration, tail skid, modification of fuselage servo tray, and better ability to place battery where needed for CoG.

Wing: slight dihedral in wing, drooping wing-tips, CF leading edge and possibly at spar, shortened wing, possibly tapered wing over entire length, no taper to LE of wing, stronger bolt-on method, easily removable at field, possibly no rudder control, dihedral in horizontal stab, dual vertical stab/rudder layout.

So this isn't going to be a scale build by any stretch of the imagination. Instead it's simply me taking a basic balsa kit, sprinkling pixie dust on it, and hoping it ends up looking like something else.

The kit has been ordered and should be here in a few days. I looked at my calendar for December and just noticed I only work 11 days with 20 days off (creative scheduling and saving my days off all year!) so hopefully a lot of the construction can be done before the end of the year. The plan is to start with the fuselage and work out from there.

This should be interesting...! :)

HE162.jpg
 

rcspaceflight

creator of virtual planes
#4
Once at an air show I saw a glider with a jet engine on the back. He could either be towed up and use the jet engine to extend his flight time, or use the jet engine to take off, but then he didn't have much fuel for flying. I am talking about a real craft, not RC.

When I first heard your idea that came to mind. My point is that you may not have to alter the Red Swan as much as you'd think to get a working EDF plane out of it.

It just seems weird to me to modify it THAT much. Mostly it seems like a bad idea to make the wings that short.
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#5
The RS wings are designed for work as a glider, but this version isn't going to be a glider so shorter wings aren't an issue.

The basic RS wouldn't need a lot of modification to work with an EDF, but I'm not planning on simply making a RS with EDF.
 
#6
It does raise the question - why start with a Red Swan kit?

Would it not be simpler to build a He 162 from scratch but using the same building techniques as those employed by the Red Swan?
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#8
I have a suggestion, based on how short the wings are going to be. I would scrap the landing gear idea for a hand launch/belly lander for some weight reduction and simplicity. It's a radical design change making a red swan into a red salamander and while I feel you will have no problem making it happen, gear will make it unnecessarily more complex and could actually create more problems than they will solve...
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#9
Wing length has yet to be determined - let's call it a game time decision. Shorter than the RS stock wing but not as short as a scale wing would be. Wing loading should remain reasonable.

Landing gear is a must for me. I appreciate the simplicity of a belly lander but this bits is getting some wheels. Not retracts, just simple fixed gear and a generic steerable nose wheel.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#10
Wing length has yet to be determined - let's call it a game time decision. Shorter than the RS stock wing but not as short as a scale wing would be. Wing loading should remain reasonable.

Landing gear is a must for me. I appreciate the simplicity of a belly lander but this bits is getting some wheels. Not retracts, just simple fixed gear and a generic steerable nose wheel.
Oh, for some reason I thought retracts. Fixed gear should be easy and light enough...
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#12
The latest Red Swan kit arrived a few days ago and has been patiently waiting for me to finish up with the Sun Bird. That plane is now on hold waiting for the last parts to arrive, so time to get started on the Red Salamander!

A nice change from my previous RS kits, this one came in a box labeled and marked as a RS kit. Previous kits were just sent in a plastic bag and were prone to damage. Hopefully this is the new standard for their kits...? Also, of the four HK kits I've had this one has the best laser cutting so far. I'd like to think they're stepping up their game, but have to assume it's just dumb luck. Some pieces are perfectly cut but some still need a little extra cutting to remove. If all their kits were cut like this I'd have no complaints.

IMG_2517.JPG


For the fuselage on the Red Salamander I'm using the RS pieces as templates since the original pieces will be used for another build. There are some design changes I'm doing from the original, including shortening the fuselage by 3-1/2". Shortening is for appearance and to compensate for the heavier tail that will be installed. Internal plywood components from the kit still fit but will get modified as the plan right now is to go 3 channel on this plane instead of 4 (bank & yank).

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Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#14
Time to get the fuselage constructed. As mentioned, I'm using most of the original fuselage parts for yet another RS build, so almost all of the Red Salamander's fuselage is scratch-built from stock. The fuselage is balsa, but the internal bulkheads and servo tray is light plywood. I considered for a very short time making these pieces from balsa but that just wouldn't provide the strength I want/need. To make the plywood pieces I started by photocopying the original plywood pieces, making sure they copied at exactly 100% in size. The copies were attached to plywood with spray adhesive and carefully cut out on a scroll saw. A little sanding afterwards to square up the pieces and clean 'em up and I was all set to test them out. You'll notice that the servo tray was made smaller since it only needs to hold one servo instead of two. This will free up some internal space to give me more flexibility in battery size and placement.

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With the bulkheads cut I installed the pieces and started gluing. This fuselage is going together much faster than the previous builds, which makes sense since I've done this a few times now! Once the main fuselage structure is complete I'll start on the tail and wing.

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Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#15
Turning some attention to the tail, my plan is to re-purpose the stock horizontal stabilizer & elevator for this plane. I won't need it for the other variant of the RS I'll be starting soon, so no patterns were made from it.

The first picture is the basic structure as called for on a stock RS.

IMG_2534.JPG


Here is the basic idea for what I'm doing for the Red Salamander. The elevator will be cut into two pieces and shortened to fit as needed. The stabilizer is modified to have a straight leading edge. A little extra strength will be needed in the center and the two sides of the stab will be joined to give the piece a little dihedral. These pieces aren't being built to any specific scale, it's more a case of building it to what I think looks "right" for the plane. The elevator might be made slightly smaller than it currently is - that'll be a game-time decision.

IMG_2536.JPG
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#16
A little extra cross-bracing and the basic structure is done. Next up is adding hinge slots and sanding the pieces to shape. Horizontal stabilizers will be added at each end. The elevator is angled at the end to make it look like the rudder would move - just a detail to keep me happy. :)

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Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#17
Not a ton accomplished over the past few days due to other obligations and working on RS#4, but the tail is coming along nicely. Construction on the horizontal stabilizer/elevators is complete and the pieces are waiting for the vertical surfaces. Usually the elevators would be connected with a hardwood dowel or piece of steel, but since there is some dihedral involved here I'll just leave them disconnected and will connect each side to the elevator pushrod.

IMG_2540.JPG
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#18
The rough work on the tail is finished for now that the vertical stabilizers are installed. As mentioned previously this will be a 3-channel bird so no rudder movement is used. After I cut the vertical pieces I decided they would simply look too big as a single piece. I'm not able to create decent panel lines yet so I went with "Plan B" which is detached fixed rudders. I'll use a couple small wires as posts to hold each rudder in place, and it will look like they are movable control surfaces. The horizontal surfaces are glued in with a slight dihedral similar to the original HE-162.

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IMG_2549.JPG
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#20
Thanks! The hard part is coming up next, designing the wing. I think I know how I'm going to do it but need to check out the stock RS wing components to see if I can use any of 'em or if I need to make it all from scratch.