On July 8th did a test of the electronics system. This involved hooking up the receiver and connecting all the servors for the control surfaces into the receiver along with a battery into the auxilary input.
I had already bound my transmitter; however, this time around it appeared there was no bind, so ended up binding the transmitter to the receiver again for the ‘Seamaster’ model saved in my transmitter.
Going through all the controls (throttle, rudder, elevator & ailerons) I made sure they had full range and were moving in the intended direction with input from the transmitter. This was not always the case and required me to remove the linkage on the rudder servo to center the rudder to allow full range left and right. The other tweaks were on the transmitter reversing the servo where necessary… that is when applying left the control surface was going right and vise versa, which is not what you want, lol.
On June 17th, you can see where the silicone after drying was cleaned up around the wing ‘craddle’ in the fuselage in the featured image above.
In the image below you can see where the hatch, covered in yellow to match the top of color scheme of the aircraft, was screwed into place. This allows access to the nose where weights have been installed, if necessary.
I also installed the water rudder. This allows for better steering of the aircraft when taxing in the water. In the left image below you can see the ‘stopper’, screw with a piece of fuel line tubing covering, sticking out. This prevents the rudder, when in flight, from getting stuck in the up position or in a spot that would prevent the planes rudder from functioning properly. That way, once you get back in the water the water rudder will drop back down allowing you to steer while taxing again.
I cut the ‘water rudder’ out of a piece of metal after tracing a template using the table jigsaw and then using a metal filer to file off all the burs / rough edges providing a smoother finish. Want to make sure it can cut the covering, me, etc.
Wow, I’m now all caught up on my Seamaster Build posts! I’m not calling this build done yet, and has been a two year process as got started late on this one (Feb. 10, 2018) so perhaps 1.5 building seasons. 🙂
I will have to check into what all is left to do, beyond starting it up and seeing how everything moves along with the maiden voyage. Not sure where (or when) that is going to happen!
June 15th was about water-proofing the cradle in the fuselage for the wing. This involved using a cocking gun to apply silicone all along the top edge of the cradle in the fuselage (where the wing sits) and making sure to place lots up under the ‘water-deflector‘.
To prep for this job I wrapped some seran around the front center of the wing and taped it in place to prevent silicone from getting onto (and drying) to the covering of the wing. Teh wing is assembled on the fuselage during the drying process to make sure that the silicone forms properly to how the wing needs to fit and a tight seal is made.
Unfortunately during this process (we didn’t test the wing installment first as hasn’t been tested since installing the ‘water-deflector’) we realized the wing didn’t fit on the fuselage anymore and had to use the dremel tool to shorten the backside of the deflector, which will have to be covered again (since wood on the back edge is now exposed) , to get everything to fit correctly.
You can now really see the aircraft coming together in the image below:
Below you can see what it looks like from underneath. The seran taped into place and the wing sitting in the siliconed craddle.
June 8th I sanded the front of the previously installed ‘water deflector’ to make it more aerodynamic and not have such a flat leading edge, but rather conform more closely to curve of the piece it is attached to. I then covered the ‘water deflector’ in yellow to give it a cohesive look with the top of the aircraft and protect it (as everything exposed pretty much gets covered!)
After that I measured out and cut a slot into sponges for lead weights. I then placed the lead weights into the slots and sandwhiched them between the two sponges, wrapping elastic bands around to keep them firmly in place.
I then inserted the sponges into the nose of the aircraft through the former. You can see the yellow and pink sponges set into place in the image below… sorry this one is a bit blurry:
The other task for the day was cutting a piece of light balsa and sanding it to finish in a graded triangular shape and gluing the balsa to the switch plate (seen clamped in the feature image). This is to keep the wire controlling the switch, goes through the fuselage for access when the wing is on, at a better angle to get the required leverage.
June 3rd, I made a wooden plate that slides around the back of the pylon with a lip over the craddle for the wing. This is to deflect any water that splashes up over the front from getting inside the fuselage. I measured Peter’s version on his seamaster to get an idea of location and dimensions of the slot to be cut.
Once prepped I glued and clampped the piece in place, as seen in the featured image (above).
Next, I cut sponges to fit around the fuel tank to keep it snuggly in place as well as tubing for the fuel lines. Do not want the tank shifting while in flight. I then ensured the tank with the added padding and tubing connected fit appropriately.
After the trial fit I drilled a pilot hole into the firewall for one of the previously drilled holes in the fiber-glass enclosure. I then lightly screwed it in place an continued for the other holes in the fiber-glass as Peter manuvered and held the aircraft so I could get to the various pre-drilled holes in the fiber-glass and drill the pilot holes into the firewall.
Afterwords I screwed the fiber-glass enclosure onto the firewall.
We were having an issue with getting the tank to fit in the fiber-glass housing along with some foam for protection to prevent it from raddling around.
On May 11th I did a trial fit of the tank, with the foam stuffed in, now that the engine is mounted, painted, etc. to make sure things were coming together as expected.
I also started prepping the switch I sanded off the piece of plastic that protrudes over the actual switch as well as drilled a hole into the switch itself due to how I need to rig it up and then cut out a rectangular piece of wood that will fit into the fuselage where I need the switch to be. I then measured where the center of the switch needed to be and cut out a hole about the dimensions of the switch back, sanding to finish the fit. I then put the switch through, back plate on the back, and screwed the two pieces together to secure the switch in place.
May 8th I returned to sanding, in this case paint, as after painting the pylon I needed to do some sanding on the bottom portion in order for the pylon to fit back down into the slot on the fuselage. I sanded to the curve of the top of the fuselage to keep the better finish in visible areas.
You can see the plane coming together in the featured image at the top with the newly painted pylon fitted.
I also got the wing tip floats attached to the bottom of the wing. This invovled figuring out where the screws needed to go in order to match up to the previously installed balsa blocks in the wing to provide strentgh.
All together 3 screws were used. One to hold the front portion down, seen in the first pic below, and two to hold the back portion down.
April 28th, I painted the pylon and applied the base coat to the fiberglass cassing. I then went with yellow paint for the pylon to match the top color of the aircraft (wings and stab are yellow on top).
May 1st, I mixed up a batch of epoxy and attached the throttle servo assembly previously made to the pylon, using clamps to hold it in place while the glue set.
I then spray painted the fiberglass cassing it’s first coat of green paint. Prior to painting a piece of frog tape was wrapped around (darker green in the image below) so that after an appropriate amount of coats have been applied and the paint has dried the tape can be removed providing a white stripe to accentuate the piece.
The green was spray painted on so the encasing was placed over a ‘stick’ and clamped in a vise which was placed inside a cardboard box (with the one side cut out) to contain the paint. Rotating using the vise, periodically, to achieve an even finish… roughly 🙂
On March 31st I worked on getting the the holes drilled into the engine mounts for, you guessed it, mounting the engine. This involved figuring out the size of bolts I’d be using and finding the correct drill bit size. Next, I needed to figure out where the holes needed to be drilled that would allow enough room for the engine to fit comfortably (not to far back/forward) allowing everything to function properly.
Once done I bolted the engine on ensuring everything fit & looked good. The final product can be seen below:
April 1st I made the throttle servo mount, seen in the featured image at the top, using up some scrap pieces that work just perfectly for the job! Needed to make sure they were spaced accordingly on the back plate to allow me to screw the servo down.
Next, I created an ‘anchor line’ for the engine, which involved using some fishing lure wire and clasp as well as a metal holed enlit piece (my technical terms are eluding me today!). To do this I slipped the end of the wire through a clasp, then through the one eyelit of the metal piece and back through the clasp, pulling to ensure the correct size. I then bent the metal clasp so the one end can be bolted snugly to the bottom of the engine mount.
The wire serves the purpose of anchor the engine to the fuselage encase of a crash into the water to prevent the engine from sinking. Hopefully can get to the down aircraft before the fuselage does!
On March 23rd I worked on getting the firewall and pylon prepped to take the engine and the servo to control the throttle.
This involved gluing in a triangular piece for… as well as a rectangular light balsa block which is where the servo assembly is going to mount too. I took the measurements for the two pieces from Peter’s Seamaster, drew my measured lines on the wood, cut the pieces down to size using a table jigsaw and sanded where necessary.
On March 26th I continued getting the firewall ready by drilling holes in the firewall for the engine mounting brackets. Once the holes were drilled I installed the T-nuts. The steps to do this were:
Fill the center of the T-nuts with Vaseline
Apply glue inside the hole and on the back around the hole
Hammer in the T-nuts
Wipe away excess glue
Clamp and let dry
You can also see in the first picture below where added supports for the previously installed triangle piece was glued and is also now screwed into the firewall too.