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Willy Nillies Barnstormer 250

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#1
I was super happy to find a new kit cutter starting up this year - https://willynillies.com/ - and with very reasonable priced kits sized for 1806 quad motors too! Lots of options, but my eye was caught by the Barnstormer 250 - in a shoulder mounted wing configuration it looks like a mini Ugly Stick :D

Here's a picture from their website so you can see what the end products can look like.


Order was placed and received in a little less than a week, and after a couple weeks of finishing up my last project to clear a space on the bench, it's time to start the build!

First, for anyone who is thinking about one of these kits, they follow the Flite Test model for instructions. I.E. there aren't any paper instructions in the kits - you follow along to the video of the build instead! And here are the three videos that show the whole assembly process (except covering & electronics installation)

Building the motor mount - do this first!

Building the fuselage...

Building the wing....

Stay tuned for some build pictures coming up!
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#3
Here's the kit opened up... very similar to a Flite Test kit - pushrods & hardware & wood instead of cut foam.

The only thing I've found missing in the kit so far was the 2mm motor mount screws. It had the washers and lock nuts, just no screws. Not a big deal - just pulled a couple out of the drawer.
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First build the motor mount - which I lost the picture of. The one thing I did differently is I had some 2mm brass t-nut type inserts I used so I can mount and remove the motor from the front.

Then after about 15 minutes the basic fuselage was assembled! Very quick, cut tolerances were great, and I only glued one finger to it with thin CA! :D

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After testing the motor to make sure it's spinning the right direction I glued on the firewall. I'm planning to make her a belly lander, which for me means using a 5" folding prop too. Just so much easier than fussing with the rubber band mounts, or breaking props or firewalls.


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Next I'm going to make a little balsa frame for the rudder / elevator servos - I'd rather not just trust the glue to holding the servos to the fuselage. Had a few planes tear the servos loose after a couple flights and lose elevator authority.

Oh yeah - and building the wing. That should take half an hour too! :D
 

Turbojoe

Active member
#4
Awesome! Really want the super sport 250... Let me know about the quality of the kit!
I just finished the Super Sport. It's an awesome kit. I'm a rabid Mountain Models fan and this kit is right up there with it for quality of wood, laser cutting and design. Can't beat the price either!

My advice is to build it as designed. I built mine using flight gear from a UMX Pitts S1. Haven't flown it yet but it looks like it'll work OK. The problem was installing that UMX gear. The linear servos were a constant headache requiring me to make multiple mounts at different angles so the pushrods wouldn't bind and could be connected. That nightmare went on and on. It came out at only 5 oz with a 2S 270 mah pack but I'll never do that again. I'm just waiting to see what design is coming from them next. I'll build it with all the recommended gear so I can finish it in hours rather than weeks.

Joe
 

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#5
I just finished the Super Sport. It's an awesome kit. I'm a rabid Mountain Models fan and this kit is right up there with it for quality of wood, laser cutting and design. Can't beat the price either!

My advice is to build it as designed. I built mine using flight gear from a UMX Pitts S1. Haven't flown it yet but it looks like it'll work OK. The problem was installing that UMX gear. The linear servos were a constant headache requiring me to make multiple mounts at different angles so the pushrods wouldn't bind and could be connected. That nightmare went on and on. It came out at only 5 oz with a 2S 270 mah pack but I'll never do that again. I'm just waiting to see what design is coming from them next. I'll build it with all the recommended gear so I can finish it in hours rather than weeks.

Joe
Perfect! I am in school and have a limited budget so I am saving up for one right now.
 

Turbojoe

Active member
#8
As Joe said - wood quality, design, laser cutting - all excellent! I haven't flow one yet (obviously) but at this point I give them an enthusiastic thumbs up - buy-buy-buy rating! :D
I have to second that. Willy Nillies kits are a must buy. I'm looking forward to buying more kits from them. Hard to believe it's so small yet builds into such a strong and light airframe!

Joe
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#9
Here's the little servo tray I came up with to mechanically lock the servos in place using some scrap from one of the sheets. Still enough room for the little FrSky 4 channel receiver but it will be snug inside. Going to run the ailerons on a Y cable on this one.
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Going for the shoulder wing setup here and ran into the only cutting issue I've seen - when the bottom of the fuselage become the top in this case, it's missing the tab for the vertical fin extension and the pushrod slot. Both very minor things to deal with and not a problem if built with the low wing configuration. Not gluing these parts in just yet - covering first.
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And slid together a wing panel in about 10 minutes. Seriously - it takes longer to pull the pieces out of the sheets and sand off the nubbies than to assemble the wing!

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Tomorrow I'll finish the other wing panel and then connect them together. Also going to add shear webbing between the first four inside ribs. I lost a plane this summer when the wings clapped because I didn't have webbing installed. Might not be necessary in this design but it will be a minimal weight penalty for piece of mind.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#10
Adding some shear webbing for extra strength. A plane this small probably doesn't need this, but it'll help it survive cartwheels better :D
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Adding sheeting at the center panels, and some wing tips made from scraps to add to that classic "Das Ugly Stick" look.
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Preparing some sheeting for the leading edge. The curve was a little too tight I felt for just bending the balsa around, so I squirted it with a little ammonia to soften it and clamped it to shape to dry.

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More sheeting and pulling the aileron servo wire through a hole that's in the wrong place. But I'll figure that out later.
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Adding the servo arm plate so the covering has something to attach to. Since I want it to follow the curve of the rib, I glued in the end at the spar first, and after that dried bent it over and glued it the rest of the way down.
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More sheer webbing on the other side of the wing... really love these clamps and wish I knew where to get more. I picked these up at a swap meet and haven't seen anything else like them. My philosophy is anytime I see a new clamp design, buy some immediately. :D
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Both panels ready to glue together!
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Can never had enough weird types of clamps :D
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Going with just a tiny bit of dihedral - will use the straight wing brackets.
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So once I glued the wing halves together I decided to put the Y joint for the servos under the sheeting on one side and out of the way. Of course I had the first servo wire coming out of the wrong place for this new plan. So I pulled it out and fished it back through using the control rod and a little tape.

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Soldered the two servo leads together to save the weight of a Y connector. Testing the servos before closing up the sheeting - full range of motion and going the right directions (opposite from each other)

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Thought I'd take a moment to plug a favorite piece of bench kit - the Laine's Planes Soldering Caddy. Very useful for holding all my soldering stuff and it hangs from a pair of cup hooks under a cabinet so it's out of the way.

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Yes, this isn't up to electrical building code (can't have a wire connection without an access panel - preferably in a junction box) but I accept that if I strip out a servo I'll need to cut a hole in the sheeting to repair it.

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I didn't get a picture of the process, but I put a wooden pin in the fuselage hole where the wing connects, and then put the wing bracket over the pin. Then I put the wing down on top of the bracket and tack glued it in place. Then pulled it off the place and finished gluing around the whole perimeter.
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Adding the stationary wing trailing edge extensions. Also a nice product placement shot for my favorite thin CA these days (it's really just holding the wing up straight while it dries :D )
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Now that I've added wing tips, the ailerons need some extensions too! Thanks to RetroRC's Bill's Thumbs clamps for the assist! :D
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Yep - that aileron profile looks much better!
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Everything sanded (including control surface bevels) and ready for the hardest part - deciding on the covering scheme! :D
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It's got to be a riff on the classic Ugly Stick covering scheme, so it'll be an easier one to figure out.

Just need to see what obnoxious colors of lightweight covering I have in stock :D
 
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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#11
Let the covering begin! Going in a classic Ugly Stick scheme with transparent green and white.

First let's do a flat surface to get a good feeling for the temperatures and tensions this Nelson Film likes. Ready for a tape hinge on this next.
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On the wings I'm trying a tip I read in the Model Aviation magazine of all places - first do the wing tips, then the bottom, then the top.
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I used to do the tips last but I think this will turn out better.
 

Ihichi Bolls

Well-known member
#12
hehe seeing all them lightening holes it reminds me of those coin collector books where you stick the coins in predetermined holes to match dates and mints. Maybe you can make wood quarters and wood burn the Rockyboy logo and fill one of those holes in your builds to show you did it.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#14
Thanks guys! I like the idea of laser burning logos under transparent covering - have been thinking I'll treat myself to a laser head for the Lowrider for the holidays - now I have more projects lined up for it! :D

I'm going to show my covering stages cause this is something that used to drive me crazy - figuring out how to cover when the couple YouTube videos just show these magnificent one piece of covering wings that were way beyond my skill starting out, and frankly are still a heck of a stretch.

Anyway, after the tips are on I did the bottom outer bays up to the rib where I'll switch to white. I'm making the transition happen on the rib because I don't hate myself. :D
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Next I got the bottom of the little trailing edge section. My second favorite covering cutting tool there - double edged razor blade. Very sharp and flexible - great for running along the edge of a balsa rib to clean up a covering edge. I should mention in most cases I leave an extra finger width of covering when I'm ironing it on and then slice it off aligned to the structure.

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And here's the center panel of the bottom done. I did a small doubled over seam at the trailing edge piece that should be about the same thickness as the doubled over seam I'll get all around the edge. I made a slit to go around the servo wire, slid the piece into place, and then ironed it from the bottom edge up. That let me make a little slit for the wing mount to go in as well.
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On the top I'm planning to do the center section as one longer piece, but on the bottom having to deal with servo wire and the wingmount I didn't want the extra covering flapping around on me. With this light weight covering, if it touches itself on the adhesive side it's pretty well stuck and ruined. Sprinkling talcum powder on the adhesive side can work great to keep it from sticking to itself and still allow the covering to stick down to balsa when ironed, but on a transparent covering it will look a little dusty inside and I didn't want that. So the bottom gets a multi-piece center with a thin seam and the top will get one longer clean piece of covering.
 

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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#15
And here's the final green on the bottom.
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Now is the time to cut the holes for the servo arms and get those installed with the safety screws.
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The covering isn't tightened up all the way now - need to get both sides covered and shrink it a bit on each side so it doesn't add a warp to the wings.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#17
All the green is on the wing now, and I went ahead and tightened it up.
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And since I switched the motor mounts around so the screws faced out, I took it off and did a layer of green across the firewall as the start of the fuselage covering.
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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#18
Half the fuselage done...
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And the rest of it!
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Couldn't resist sitting the parts together
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Sliced out the covering so the vertical stabilizer has balsa to balsa contact for gluing. I left a little bit of covering all the way around the lightning circles so the covering will be firm over the holes.
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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#20
From the way the tail cutouts are designed on this kit, I think the shoulder mount wing is the secondary option - the holes on the other side of the fuselage for a bottom mount wing are aligned to do this tail mounting easier.

But it's still not too difficult to do it this way - just needs a little forethought. :)