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Laines Planes 26" Balsa Cuda Build Thread

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#1
I picked up a 26" Cuda kit from Laines Planes a while back, and as he said "You send us money and we'll send you a box of sticks cut special to build a 26" speed demon." And he did. :) Later I got a 26" EPP Cuda kit as well to be an FPV companion to this one.

Future me says "Here's what this plane will eventually look like"

2017-08-05 16.35.38.jpg

However mine looks a lot like this now

2017-06-13 22.27.47.jpg

Laine was very helpful and pointed me towards a 2300kv 6x4 3s setup for a 'moderately fast' setup - maybe 40-50 mph on 3s - I don't think I'm ready for a 120mph wing with his monster motor and 6s setup. :cool:

So let's start gluing things together. Laine has a handy instruction manual that I try to look at every once in a while.

First glue the motor mount pieces that need to be doubled together - I'm using classic Titebond I for this

2017-06-13 22.56.41.jpg

Then glue up the balsa and plywood fuselage sides together and assemble the motor mount

2017-06-16 21.30.53.jpg

Now time to have a beverage and work on something else while this dries. :)
 
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Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#3
I had problems getting the CoG right on mine, resulting in nose damage. Once figured out it flew great for one flight before I lost orientation and did a full speed nose dive! Be careful on your design to give you good ability to tell top from bottom! I should buy and build this kit again, it really does build nicely!
 

nhk750

Aviation Enthusiast
#5
I picked up a 26" Cuda kit from Laines Planes a while back, and as he said "You send us money and we'll send you a box of sticks cut special to build a 26" speed demon." And he did. :) Later I got a 26" EPP Cuda kit as well to be an FPV companion to this one.

So here's what one can look like (pic from Laine's site) - mine is going to be more orange and white I think.

View attachment 89360

However mine looks a lot like this now

View attachment 89361

Laine was very helpful and pointed me towards a 2300kv 6x4 3s setup for a 'moderately fast' setup - maybe 40-50 mph on 3s - I don't think I'm ready for a 120mph wing with his monster motor and 6s setup. :cool:

So let's start gluing things together. Laine has a handy instruction manual that I try to look at every once in a while.

First glue the motor mount pieces that need to be doubled together - I'm using classic Titebond I for this

View attachment 89362

Then glue up the balsa and plywood fuselage sides together and assemble the motor mount

View attachment 89363

Now time to have a beverage and work on something else while this dries. :)

O yes, magnets, I love magnets and balsa!
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#7
Thanks for the tip! Do you remember what the secret was on the balance?
Sorry, I don't. But I did learn a trick with it that seemed to work well for the last two launches. I programmed a "launch" mode in the transmitter. In the mode both elevens were up a bit helping keep the nose up. As soon as I had control, altitude, and some speed I flipped the switch to take me out of that mode and into regular flight. I still do that with my Fun Fighters.
 
#8
That looks more like a cruise middle than a plane! The life expectancy for one of those under my control would be in the single digits on flights, lol.
 

Turbojoe

Active member
#9
I had been thinking about getting one of the Cuda kits. The price is good. ALL R/C purchases are on hold for the foreseeable future though. :(

The forward swept wings really are great flyers. As Joker said it's the launch regime that makes or breaks them. CG is beyond critical. If it's wrong you'll be picking up the pieces unfortunately. They're not very forgiving of improper CG. Once past the launch and flying "on the wing" they're a true joy. Even slow flight right up to the stall they're amazingly stable. Just don't stall it though! It won't be pretty. My MiniBOP would flat spin all the way to the crash site. I learned my lesson and never stalled the SB28.

Justin Ammon from Edge R/C was a local flyer and knew how much of a balsa snob I was. He talked me into one of the very earliest Mini Bird of Prey kits years ago. Good thing it was made from EPP. My first 10 launch attempts were crashes. Once I had someone run with it and throw it she flew great! Gotta have flying speed to fly! Biggest problem was likely from using a 14 turn Astro 010 motor. good enough once in the air. Just not enough oomph for hand launch. I still have that old bird. It needs a little work though. It's long out of production but Justin cut and sent me another kit just before he passed away last year. It's still in the box.

I also have one of the early BlueSky R/C Strange Bird 28's. From yet another local boy. Qrome on RC Groups. Again long out of production. Landing gear on this one. Aside from the early plans showing the rear gear too long and causing a negative AOA it's an amazing flyer. NO bad flying traits. David spent a ton of time working the CG out before releasing any kits. Ground launching gets it closer to flying speed than hand launching as well. I hate hand launching ANYTHING! Some guys are really good at it. I suck at it beyond comprehension. I'll bet I could hand launch a Slow Stick wrong.......

With the Cuda being a hand launched balsa bird I would make my first launch attempts over tall grass until you know you have the CG EXACTLY where needed. After that it's just a matter of setting the low and high rates and having a blast!

Oh yeah, make DAMNED sure you use a highly visible color scheme! Roll rate and speed are way beyond most planes of this size. Use lots of throttle management until comfortable. :)

Joe
 

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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#10
Thanks guys! At the current rate of growth, the 'rough' area of the field should have grass about 4 feet tall when she's ready to fly :)

And I'm planning almost all white on the top, and almost all orange on the bottom for the coloring scheme to help with visibility. When asked about the roll rate on this design Laine said it was "all of 'em" - and from viewing some videos I believe him :)
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#14
Thanks!

Although, for anyone interested in this kit - it can completely be built on a kitchen table covered with some newspaper. Just use masking tape and rubber bands to hold parts together if using old school wood glue, or just hold it for a minute if using CA. No need for fancy tools on this - I'm just using them cause I like to play with my toys. :p
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#16
Yeah - I think someone who pushed back from breakfast a little faster than me could stand on this fuselage just fine. :p

Here are some more pics from last night's building session...

2017-06-18 23.28.54.jpg 2017-06-19 16.55.50.jpg 2017-06-19 17.04.32.jpg 2017-06-19 17.18.39.jpg 2017-06-19 19.26.45.jpg 2017-06-19 19.55.15.jpg

All that's left is to glue in and shape the nose blocks, and finish wing assembly (which is about 1/3 of the way done).

This is a really fast design to build up!
 
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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#17
2017-06-20 21.46.14.jpg 2017-06-20 22.11.33.jpg 2017-06-20 22.33.39.jpg 2017-06-20 22.51.49.jpg 2017-06-20 22.57.48.jpg 2017-06-21 20.35.42.jpg 2017-06-21 21.11.42.jpg 2017-06-21 21.21.33.jpg 2017-06-21 21.21.48.jpg

Just using weights to bend the sheeting over the bottom of the leading edge worked great on one wing - but on the second one I needed to tape it down.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#20
The wings look more than strong enough for retracts. ;)

Joe
Yeah - they are pretty crazy overbuilt for general park flying, but still pretty lightweight. Lots of smart design choices - close spaced ribs, diagonal stringer top and bottom, sheeting round the full perimeter, two big full length carbon tubes - I can certainly see how the wings stand up to people pushing 120mph out of this airframe.