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.
On March 17th it was about push rods, control horns and linkages.
The first step was to get the push rods in place and attached to the servos (like you see in the featured image) all in there neutral position, the one isn’t… and may have lead to a correction being made later on if I’m not mistaken. In the image you can also see the hardwood glued into place to support the servos that have been screwed into it to keep them firmly in place during flight (so we hope). 🙂
When dealing with the push rod for the rudder, seen in the picture below, need to figure out where the control horn (the white piece attached to the rudder) needs to go to be in line with the rod coming out of the fuselage. Secondly you need to make sure it is in a place where it can be securely fastened, via screws, to the rudder. There is a back plate on the other side that the four screws pull in causing the front and back pieces making up the control horn to come together like a ‘clamp’ on the rudder.
Once the horn is in place, I then needed to figure out where to cut off the push rod, specifically the fixed outer casing (in black) and the inner yellow rod (actually moves) in order to have full motion of the control surface, which in this case means full left and full right on the rudder.
The control linkage (the metal part I screwed in earlier to the yellow push rod) then needs to be adjusted by screwing in/out so that it attaches to the control horn with the rudder in the neutral position. Don’t forget to ensure the servo arm (see top picture) is also in the neutral position as you want to have full range of motion for pushing and pulling the control surface.
Prior to attaching the elevator control surface the outer casing for the wire was attached to the ‘arch’ in the stab, but due to a design flaw (?) a wedge needed to be made and place under the casing since there was a requirement for it to be raised higher up off the stabilizer to connect properly to the elevator and be able to gain full motion.
Though a traditional push rod was not used, instead a piece of metal wire was fit through the tubing, a similar process was followed with figuring out where the control horn needed to be and making adjustments for proper attachment of the control linkage. This is seen in the pictures below and again ensuring the elevator and the servo are in the neutral position.
Lastly, due to an actual design flaw you will see two support wires that I attached from the bottom of the fuselage at the tail to the bottom outside edges (where there is balsa to screw into for support). Thanking to John V. for making the linkages for me… I believe it was out of fishing lure materials.
This is necessary as it was found that the tail of the aircraft, specifically the stabilizer would flex on the fin to much and not function as intended to provide stable flight.
On March 12th I completed the covering of the sides of the aircraft in white. This involved cutting some over-sized white covering for each side and ironing it on, again about a quarter inch over the exiting covering. Started with lining up the straight edge with the edge of the black paint on the nose to give a cleaner looking finish.
Once ironed, trimmed the excess to be flush with the top and bottom.
Since this is an aircraft for the water need to ensure anywhere water can get in is sealed. To facilitate this for the control wire that is going to work the elevator tubing was run from within the fuselage up the leading edge of the fin and towards the back of the stabilizer. This process has not been completed yet… stay tuned!
On February 26th the theme was black. I installed the ‘windshield’ and by that I mean I ironed on a piece of black covering trimmed to be flush with the side edges.
Afterwords I painted the nose of the fuselage, which is a solid balsa block I sanded into shape, matte black. You can see the result of these two things in the featured image above.
March 3rd was about covering the sides of the aircraft from the tail to the front of the ‘windshield’. The reason you start at the tail and work your way to the front is that each piece covers about a quarter inch of the previous piece. This allows the wind to flow over the covering, if you were to do it the other way the wind would slowly works its way under the edge of the covering pulling it back, undoing your hard work!
Just like my previous build I’m doing the fuselage white. I’ve basically settled on a color scheme that I like for my aircraft’s, which is:
Green for the control surfaces
Yellow for the top of the wing and stab
Orange for the bottom of the wing and stab
White for the fuselage
The only deviation from this I foresee in the future would be for scale builds where I want to keep the colors (exterior of the plane) modeled after the real deal. 🙂
On February 3rd Peter and I took a field trip to Mark Bayes place who generously let us use his massive workshop to paint the fiber-glass surfaces.
The first step was to prep the fuselage so I could paint the bottom. Using Frog Tape, another great tool of the trade, attached newspaper to the bottom edge of the fuselage on both sides to flop over and cover the sides (and top) of the fuselage to ensure no paint accidentally splatters on those surfaces. Also used wax paper to cover the tail area that is not being painted.
I then turned the fuselage onto its top and painted the entire bottom red. I worked the paint from front to back, ensuring no globs existed along the way to help ensure a smooth finish. The painted bottom can be seen in the featured image above.
The last task for the day was painting the floats, you guessed it red :). As I completed a floats paint job I hung it up to dry.
On January 16th I continued work on fiber-glassing the bottom of the fuselage. This day was focusing on applying fiber-glass all around the edge of the bottom of the fuselage as well as on the nose. This ensures the seams, spaces between where the bottom connects to the sides, are thoroughly covered.
Also fiber-glassing of the nose of the aircraft to help ensure water tightness there too, preventing the balsa from getting soaked since this will be in the water, partially, and leading the way.
On January 14th I continued with the fiber-glassing process. This time, seen above, I applied fiber-glass to the keel of the fuselage. The process was similar to before, this time cutting strips that would wrap over the keel and about equal parts on each side. This is done prior to the remainder of the bottom to ensure there is good coverage along the joints / corners where the keel is attached to the fuselage.
Afterwards I started wet sanding the wing tips. For this I used special sand paper that I dipped into a small bucket of warm water. This keeps the fine fiber-glass particles being sanded away from becoming airborne, you want to avoid breathing these in!
You can see the finished sanded product of one of the floats below: