Devin W.C. Ryan

Headrest, F4-T, F5-T Installed (Side View)

Building 4 Star 60 Day 9: Top Formers & Wing Beginnings

Yesterday was another great building session.  We started the day by continuing work on the fuselage.  Peter showed me where he did some sanding on the fuse bottom to give a smooth finish from where we curved and glued it into place the day before.

Building resumed with using balsa triangle stock for reinforcements for the wing-hold down blocks. I had to bevel the back edge to match the angle of the former F-3 and glue the triangle reinforcements to the top of the hold-down blocks (for the wings), the fuselage doublers and fuselage former.

I then cut two pieces of triangle stock to reinforce the firewall (F-1) and can be seen in the pic below being held by the clamp in place to dry.  For this you have to angle the bottom, using the sander to take more off on one end then the other to create the angle, to match the bottom of the fuselage where the triangle stock will be sitting/glued against, along with glue on the two sides.  Before gluing you need to notch out (not shown in the picture) two slots on each where the blind nuts are present to ensure the bolts holding your engine mount on can pass through.  I believe I will eventually have to sand the triangle stock to take on the same shape as the curve in F-1.

The last thing we did on the fuselage was do a trial fit of the headrest (HR), F4-T and F5-T which gives you the top back of the canopy.  Good thing as it appeared we had swapped the labeling of F4-T and F5-T.  We sanded the edges and then placed glue along the bottom edge as well as the sides of the tab that go down into the slot on the top.  We placed one of the stringers along the top and used an elastic near the bottom to hold everything in place.  Unfortunately we had the elastic to high at first and it broke F5-T so we had to glue it to the piece that remained in the slot and will have to glue wood reinforcements on each side of the top former.  Thank-fully this isn’t structural and more in holding the shape for covering to give the look going back beyond the canopy.

Headrest, F4-T, F5-T Installed
Headrest, F4-T, F5-T Installed

Lastly for the day we worked on the wing.  This process started by:

  • Clearing off the table
  • Making sure their was no glue remnants from steps past
  • Laying down the plan starting with the Left Wing Panel
  • Covering with wax paper and pinning it down
  • Finding the required pieces
  • Pinning the main spar and extra wide trailing edge sheet to the table

Once that was done I cut two of the six 1/4″x1/2″x36″ balsa sticks two make four spar doublers (top and bottom for both wings).  I measured based on the plans and not the book (as apparently they are done by two different people so they do not always jive, like in this case, and then you take the plan as the gospel).  Since they are 36″ long and they say to make four pieces (17.5″ long) I cut them in half making four 18″ long pieces (which if you measure on the plans is 18″, so they lost an inch in the writing it appears).

After those were cut I glued them to the main spar, measuring to leave space for the rib that they go up against.  Then pinned into place leaving space to weight it all down and leave dry until the next session.  Now the wing is officially started!  You can see the start below and I’d imagine at the start of next session 3 of the main spars will be removed and we’ll continue with building the left wing:

Starting the Wing (Spar doublers glued)
Starting the Wing (Spar doublers glued)

One last little fun thing that came out of the evening is that I need to think of a character I’d like to glue down in the cockpit for my pilot.  I’m going to use something with fixed hair so that it doesn’t come off and rattle around, what happened in Peters 4 Star 120.  One potential is a troll doll as their hair is fixed!  What do you think Stephanie, any suggestions? 🙂

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