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Life of the Simple Scout...

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#1
This thread is about documenting the life of my Simple Scout. I have gone through a whack load of planes just trying to get anything to fly for more the 30 seconds under my control as opposed to the plane doing what is perceived as having a mind of it's own. In the beginning I knew to some point that they would be sacrificial planes till I honed up enough skill to make it work, and if I really liked a plane that I have beat up I can take a day and build a new one with little cost. Given that these planes that have gone to the graveyard didn't last long I didn't see any reason to really document anything or even take video of the maidens to look back on and learn from. Then I got on this forum and realized how useful it can be to show others the build process and the flights to get constructive feedback to help improve the builds, improve my flying skills, and to help others in need vicariously through my struggles. As so many people I have never met have helped me I feel like I can pay it forward to others as well. I really appreciate all the comments, criticisms, feedback, banter, suggestions, and collaborations that have come from this forum and I hope I have done the same, and will continue to contribute to this hobby.

That being said, here is the beginning of my Scouts story. I chose the Scout out of my strike of good luck with the Mini Scout, (actually 2 of them). My first MS was my first real flight where I burned through a couple batteries without tearing the airframe apart with sudden interactions with the ground. Not to say I didn't crash, but it took the abuse for the most part and I was able to see a controlled pattern of flight translated from what i saw in the air, to my thumbs, and the plane reacted. Now I did build 2 because I did fold the wing on the first due in part to a quick save in the up elevator to keep it from hitting a building, but I was so impressed with it that I built a second. The second was just as loyal to my progress as the first so it deserves just as much credit. Here are my babies:
20190711_102947.jpg MS #1 20190807_111734.jpg MS #2
Kept the red and white theme going as a rabbits foot of sorts. Not superstitious whatsoever ;)

Build Process Pt. 1

Since there has been such a good run going with the Scouts, and seeing how much others liked the standard size Scout as well it just seemed like a natural progression. Why mess with a good thing? The problem I had though was that my larger power set up was almost twice the size and power then the Scout was designed for. So out of necessity is the mother of all invention. The battery I have to use is to big to fit in the Scouts designed power pod and the motor is to big to use the straight off (no thrust angle) firewall. How was i gonna make this work? In the building phase of many planes I got used to doing modifications to suit my needs, DTFB lends such adaptability with ease of construction and the Ft designs have endless possibilities. If you think of it you can create it. Here is my conundrum:
20190808_100839.jpg
Originally the battery is supposed to Velcro under the power pod but my battery is physically to large to make it fit. I have been of the philosophy of keeping my battery inside the regular power pod for safety, it tends to be a bullet upon the event of a crash damaging other electronic parts or itself. Having it in its own compartment I found is the best place for it. Solution:
20190808_100854.jpg
With solutions always come more problems to solve, gotta love life's little tricks. After some thinking I figured that I haven't yet had a plane that had a removable top hatch in the nose to contain the battery yet, its always been the standard power pod. And with the power pod in some of the planes it has been a hassle to just change the battery, electronics placement getting in the way or being hooked up in or around the pod makes it a puzzle. So there was my battery sitting on the plans running into the leading edge of the wing by a couple inches. I have the opportunity to modify that now as well. The fun just begins but I think i have formulated a plan in my head and hopefully it works out on the bench. I need enough room in the battery compartment to not only house the battery but to be able to move it back and forth to get proper CG, and keep it from smashing into the motor shaft in case of a nose dive. Gotta cut away the LE of the wing inside the fuse to achieve this, which means I lose lateral stiffness of the wing, but if i build up the spar I may gain that strength back. Plan in play:
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Found a length of 3/4x1/2 inch balsa to relatively fit with some sanding of coarse, into the FB box spar. Cut 9" length, cut in half at 4.5" per side for the dihedral angle allowances and viola, stiffened up spar and into the wing it goes: 20190808_170530.jpg 20190808_170406.jpg
You can see the balsa down the spar, fit so nice like it wasn't even there.

Next was to build the fuse, anyone who has built the Scout before, or any other FT planes will find this part rudimentary stuff so I won't bore you with the basics. Literally all I did was extend the cavity cut in the doublers meant for the original pod a couple inches back to make room for the new extended compartment. Once the fuse was folded up I cut the reliefs for the wing out and slid it through the fuse. It did take a few tries to get the shape of the reliefs with some sanding here and there to get it to slide in without putting undue stress on the fuse walls. Once in it was centered and squared then glued solid, I like to glue my wings in solid because I have tried the floating wing trick on a couple planes and found that when the wing takes a hit it will tear the fuse apart from the TE back. 20190809_132752.jpg
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As you can see here I did cut the section of the LE that resides inside the fuse and replaced it with a extended pod/battery compartment that is a permanent fixture glued to the inside of the LE and the rest of the nose, effectively continuing the doubling strength from top to bottom. The front of the compartment was also designed with down and right thrust to compensate for the larger motor. You can also see the spar from inside the wing and the space below where the battery wires feed down to the intended space for the ESC. Separate compartments and room for the battery, airflow for the ESC, and ease of battery changes achieved. Looks like this is coming together as planned

(to be continued)
 
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BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#2
Build Process Pt. 2

At this point tin the build things went just as expected as per the build video. The tail feathers were cut and sealed the edges with HG, (I really want to get an iron to finish the edges rounded or tampered but this dose the trick for now). The bevels for the control surfaces are going a lot smoother since the beginning of my hobby career, I cut the bevel then flip the stabilizer over to the top side and run clear tape down the length of the hinge for durability and open up the hinge to apply the hot glue seal on the exposed edges. Using a carpenters square I line up the Vstab "perpendicular" to the Hstab and glue them together over the edge of the table to let the bottom of the Vstab hang below the table top, smear and squeegee the remaining glue and let it cool. Dry fitting is so important at this point to get the tail feathers to sit square on the fuse then glued that in accordingly. Because I already had the main wing in place it makes it easy to measure from the TE tip of the main wing to the tip of the Hstab on both sides to make sure those 2 measurements are the same and let it set. Flip the fuse over and reinforce and seal the joints with the same HG squeegee method.

The turtle deck was a little of a custom fit as well. I fit the formers in the center around the cockpit and colored the open area with a black sharpie and moved on to the rear turtle deck section. Because the front section is part of the removable hatch I cut that out separate from the center and rear section and extended the rear turtle deck back to the tail feathers. This was done by taking a measurement of the width of the fuse where the tail Hstab joined in and added a 1/4" to both sides for the overlap that hangs down the side of the fuse.
20190810_170627.jpg
In the front I cut out a lid to fit flat over the hatch adding a former from the same piece of FB to A fold up the back of the hatch lid to match the former directly behind it in the front of the cockpit. I didn't use the nose former here, I like how the poster board forms from flat to round as it profiles back, and for the abuse and handling it's gonna take I also cut a stringer out of FB to carry the taper from the cockpit to the nose. I incorporated earth magnets to hold the hatch secure, (first time I did that with magnets, impressive trick). Painted the poster board yellow and centered and glued it down. Simple stuff:
20190810_170704.jpg
(battery looks a little puffy huh)

Like i said in the Pt. 1 about the thrust angles from the firewall are noticeable here:
20190810_170529.jpg 20190810_170557.jpg
And the gorilla glue used to fill in and strengthen the bond between the firewall and the fuse:
20190810_171702.jpg
The underside was a bit of a custom operation as well. I am a big fan of placing the ESC under the pod for airflow so this continued with this plane as well. The motor wires are run under the pod to meet up with the ESC and the battery lead comes up to the battery compartment for easy battery changes. Plan is coming together without many hiccups:
20190810_170737.jpg
Its all laid out nice and neat. The second opening at mid fuse is to access the battery XT60 plug and the ESC itself. the third rear opening houses the Rx and is a perfect place for all the signal wires to meet. Velcro holds the Rx in place and everyone is happy happy. As you may have noticed at this point the Scout is a RET 3 channel with the servos mounted just under the Hstab, no servo extensions to reach the Rx. I chose this as a good place to mount them for a shorter control rod run and to offset some of the added nose weight from the larger motor set up, easy to access for any reason as well. Now to balance...
20190810_171123.jpg
Set up on the balance jig perfect... I never would have guessed it would have worked out that easy. Final product:
20190810_170504.jpg
Clean, pristine, mean flying machine. At this point I wasn't into putting landing gear or ailerons yet. I want to fly it first and see how I could glide slope and speed factor this monster before any changes... Nothing left to do but fly :cool:(y)

(to be continued)
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#6
And we come to the next chapter of the Scouts history and I has gotten off to a smashing start... literally lol. In this post I should be showing you an obligatory You Tube vid of a glorious maiden flight that was as good or even better then my maiden of the Spit. Alas I have been hit by the luck I know only to well. I swear if I didn't have bad luck I would have no luck at all.

Get out to the ball diamond, the usual digs for my flying, and got the Scout ready for the maiden. 2 batteries fully charged, new batteries in the Tx, plane is lookin good (of coarse it does, I haven't flown it yet lol). At this point of looking at it I had a wave of pride come over me knowing that I built this and I get to take it up, my first standard size pane to fly and it's the same design that I have had so much success with already. Not that I can say I was fully optimistic about it, I was a little nervous to say the least, but the excitement was building somewhat. Calm down and go through the check list. Tx on, Rx wired and installed, battery plugs in, beeps 3 cell, armed, check CG, slightly nose heavy, check control surfaces, up is down, down is up, left and right (remember 3 channel RET), run up some throttle, no shimmy or noises out of the norm... GOOD TO GO.

Get out to the middle of the field and check the wind, none. Give the flagpole a glance, no wind upstairs either. Its later in the evening when the weather is usually calm here anyway. I am the only one there as well, no one to witness this success or fail. Might be a good thing. A quick run up to half throttle, a quick wiggle on the sticks, an overhand toss up to the treeline in the distance and she is flying. Nudge up the throttle and a little up stick to gain altitude, not a click of trim needed. The excitement is rising, you could not slap the smile from my face. A little right turn to get this party started. Still in a easy but steady climb she banks right and turns right, no issue here. Let's come back to the left and see how balanced she is in the roll axis for responsiveness... NO LEFT. Stick back to center and try again, still no left, and in the meantime i keeps tipping further right tip down and gets into a tip stall. 25' off the ground and she dives out of the air like it was filled with lead. Hits wing tip first, cartwheels hard, lands directly on the tail feathers, rips those right off the fuse, ejects a servo and finally settles in what looks like a yard sale at a trailer park. 15 of the purest seconds of glory stolen by the flight gremlin that has plagued me before. What was the cause? LOS? Maybe but the throttle was still functioning gaining speed. Stuck servo? Possible. Who knows and I so wish I had video. Gonna hafta get a head cam so I don't need anyone around to film.

Got back home with this:
20190812_213542.jpg
Pretty clean dissection isn't it. They say that it's better to cut your finger off with a sharp knife as opposed to a dull one because it is easier to sew it back on. So true are these words. I was kinda pissed over this ordeal so once the glue gun was warmed up I had smashed these two pieces together and left it for the next day.

The Fix (first of many I am sure)

Actually it took a few days to get back to this, but that's another story for another thread, but upon looking at what I glued together it actually turned out straight and square. Now I am inspired to do this for a second time. Lets really assess the damage and try to improve on this unfortunate state of affairs.
20190819_211528.jpg 20190819_211538.jpg Wing tip damage which has become the norm round these parts, I should patent the new wing tip landing gear I have discovered lol. Easily fixed and strengthened:
20190819_211505.jpg
Laminated poster board to the under camber of the wing tips, added bonus, capped off the open ends of the airfoil.
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Smoothed out and sealed off exposed foam from the tail break. Cycle tested the servos and reinstalled them with stronger servo arms.
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Added ailerons, stepped it up to a 4 channel, (maybe if I had ailerons to start with I could have avoided the crash... maybe). The servos are mounted to the fuse because it was easier then mounting to the underside of the wing and fishing wires down the front of the spar, (spar is reinforced with blocks of balsa so inside the spar is out of the question). I didn't have enough control rod wire for both runs to the ailerons so I wrapped thread around the wire and the bbq skewer and locked it all together by soaking it down with thin CA. Took some liberties to get a little fancy with 2 different colors of thread. Pop sticks act as a skid plate for this still belly lander and I have been playing with aluminum tape lately, underside of ailerons, why not?
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20190819_211557.jpg 20190819_211107.jpg
Back to normal again, actually even better then before and hopefully she flies responsibly the next flight. The re-maiden will be posted at some point in time. Thanks for reading, any comments or suggestions are appreciated.

(to be continued)
 
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The Hangar

Well-known member
#8
Try to get the re-maiden on video! I flew my scout today. Friction turned out to be friend in those flights. My landing gear was a friction fit, and it folded after several landings. After one failed take-off attempt, I discovered that my prop nut had fallen off. What did I do? Nothing! I flew for a couple minutes then landed. It flew because of the friction holding the prop th the prop shaft pulling the plane😂. I handed the controls to my buddy and attempted to launch, but the prop went flying off into “space”. (We found it). Lol, we flew all our planes until we either had used up all our batteries or crashed, even having a mid - air collision which claimed one cub... I even got creative and flew a 2200 3 cell in my mini guinea - a battery that would typically fly the full size guinea pig which is twice the size. It flew awesome, and the extra weight meant only meant more run time and that you had to fly faster😉. My spitfire finly broke in two after many failed (and a few successful) inverted rudder and wingtip touch and go’s for lack of better word. Most “successful” touches didn’t go on to complete the go part😂. But hey - it was a fun time with friends, and it’ll only take a little bit of hot glue to get everything in working condition again! Have fun!
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#10
Try to get the re-maiden on video! I flew my scout today. Friction turned out to be friend in those flights. My landing gear was a friction fit, and it folded after several landings. After one failed take-off attempt, I discovered that my prop nut had fallen off. What did I do? Nothing! I flew for a couple minutes then landed. It flew because of the friction holding the prop th the prop shaft pulling the plane😂. I handed the controls to my buddy and attempted to launch, but the prop went flying off into “space”. (We found it). Lol, we flew all our planes until we either had used up all our batteries or crashed, even having a mid - air collision which claimed one cub... I even got creative and flew a 2200 3 cell in my mini guinea - a battery that would typically fly the full size guinea pig which is twice the size. It flew awesome, and the extra weight meant only meant more run time and that you had to fly faster😉. My spitfire finly broke in two after many failed (and a few successful) inverted rudder and wingtip touch and go’s for lack of better word. Most “successful” touches didn’t go on to complete the go part😂. But hey - it was a fun time with friends, and it’ll only take a little bit of hot glue to get everything in working condition again! Have fun!
The re-maiden will def be on video. I might get the opportunity to have a Lets Fly with @Headbang at his home airfield. I think I will re-maiden it there. Actually I might take the Spit as well to get video of that one too. As it turns out we live less the a hour from each other and he is a flight instructor. He also offered to maiden my Baby Blender for me, (just so I don't kill it the first time out). Plus with his experience, his feedback on the mods I did to it will be invaluable. And I get to step up my flying game with someone like him around to tutor me on the sticks.

It's gotta be so fun to fly with someone else. I haven't experienced that yet. Are you gonna build another Spit?

I wanna try a Master Series build at some point, there are so many good ones out there now not just from FT but more so in this forum. Some of the Minis from @MiniacRC are getting my attention, same with the Spit from the Overstreets, and now they have a Mustang coming out too. Have you built any formed planes yet?
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#11
@BATTLEAXE - looking forward to the M2 run - with the tail sheared off it reminds me why I like to fold the box rather than glue a box section (experimental airlines style) - I think it is stronger! :D
What's the difference? Do you mean a 4 sided folded box with one corner edge glued...?

Once I looked closer at the sheared off tail I realized that I didn't drop a bead of glue between the Hstab and the top panel of the fuse, just missed it I guess. Plus cutting in the servo holes right under the same location of the Hstab that I didn't glue made the whole structure weaker yet. And when the wing tip initially hit the ground it stored and released enough energy, like a spring, to do almost a complete 360 right on the tail laterally from the side on it's way back down to the ground, I can almost see it in slow motion in my head right now lol. Like anything else it was a compilation of mistakes that created this result. It's fixed now so I am not worried about it anymore.

When does you Spit take to the air? I see @buzzbomb is taking the lead, any pressure? lol
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#12
Yeah, it’s loads of fun to fly with others, but I don’t get to do it near enough... after watching my buddy flying so awesomely inverted, I felt like a better pilot when I flew after only watching him! I’m sure I could learn tons from @Headbang but alas, I don’t live close by... I did learn a lot and have tons of fun at Flitefest though! I have not done any master series yet, but I did build a sea angel which uses quite a bit of forming. I really want the Corsair or p-47 though!😄. Good luck on the maidens - I’m sure Headbang will do awesome! I’ll just fix the spit. I actually already cracked the feuselage already on the other side, so it must just be a weak spot...
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#14
What's the difference? Do you mean a 4 sided folded box with one corner edge glued...?

Once I looked closer at the sheared off tail I realized that I didn't drop a bead of glue between the Hstab and the top panel of the fuse, just missed it I guess. Plus cutting in the servo holes right under the same location of the Hstab that I didn't glue made the whole structure weaker yet. And when the wing tip initially hit the ground it stored and released enough energy, like a spring, to do almost a complete 360 right on the tail laterally from the side on it's way back down to the ground, I can almost see it in slow motion in my head right now lol. Like anything else it was a compilation of mistakes that created this result. It's fixed now so I am not worried about it anymore.

When does you Spit take to the air? I see @buzzbomb is taking the lead, any pressure? lol
You’re right - there are a lot of awesome designs on the forums that I’m discovering! I’ve decided to take on a T-28 Trojan project pretty soon so I keep your eyes out. I’m sure I’ll get tons of feedback from many knowledgeable comunitity members like you...
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#15
Do you have any pics of it? I would like to see where and how it failed just to get an idea of how it will be over time... I only have one flight on mine
Yup!
 

Attachments

The Hangar

Well-known member
#17
The only SBK I've got (excluding the float kit) is the sea angel. I just traced out the parts and built a DTFB version to fly off the land since I wasn't too comfortable at flying when I got it and didn't want to ruin the SBK :) What about you?
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#18
I am all scratch build man. I like looking at the plans, formulating any changes I want to make. Especially being on this forum like I said these guys are pulling off way cooler planes and the support of ideas from other who have possibly made similar changes or mods. I get the feeling the SBK's limit your choices on the mod side of things. Don't get me wrong, FT designs are great planes, and I have built over a dozen of them, 3 of them twice. What I would like to do is get a case of the FT FB and do some water planes like the Sea Duck. I gotta try a multi prop at some point. Most of my experience in the air now is in the Minis but I need to get confident enough to cruise with the standard size units.

I would like to put floats on the Scout as well, seen others do it with great success. I have flown in a lot of single and twin engine planes with my grandfather when I was a kid so I am completely infected with the aviation bug. Been in a handful of float planes and helis as well. Any chance I get i would rather be in the air. This hobby is the next best thing
 

kilroy07

Well-known member
#19
Great thread/posts, keep them coming!

I really like the Simple Scout, it was the first plane I really had success with (after the FT flyer.)

Floats sound like a great idea, I came home with a box of the waterproof foam from FF and a sea angle kit, I might put floats on my current scout, it's currently helping me learn how to set up a hobby eagle a3 pro gyro (which had killed a couple planes before, but now I think I know what I was doing wrong...)

Hoping you might be interested in joining us for a group build when the Mustang gets released...
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#20
Great thread/posts, keep them coming!

I really like the Simple Scout, it was the first plane I really had success with (after the FT flyer.)

Floats sound like a great idea, I came home with a box of the waterproof foam from FF and a sea angle kit, I might put floats on my current scout, it's currently helping me learn how to set up a hobby eagle a3 pro gyro (which had killed a couple planes before, but now I think I know what I was doing wrong...)

Hoping you might be interested in joining us for a group build when the Mustang gets released...
Hell yea I'll do up a Mustang for a first master series build. Thx for the invite.

My apprehension in building the floats is I don't have access to the water resistant FB, just the regular DTFB, any tips on water proofing? From what I have seen anyone who is using floats on the Scout, it looks like the floats from the Cub fit directly over to the Scout. It would be awesome for the snow in the winter too.

Do you still have the Scout now or is it retired?