Yesterday I continued working on covering the ailerons as well as ensuring a fit between the rudder and elevator.
Prior to fitting the elevator and rudder I needed to V the ruder and elevator so that when hinged to the tail of the fuselage side to side movement of the rudder would be possible as well as up and down movement of the elevator. To ensure the elevator has enough down movement I had to sand the top of the elevator at an angle slopping from leading to trailing edge, seen below.
I finished the night by covering the ailerons. This took a quite a bit of time. I was working on the aircraft for about 2.5 hrs this day.
I measured out enough covering to go around the entire aileron in one piece. In this case it worked out to 5″ wide. I started by ironing a strip down the one side of the aileron and wrapping it around the flat trailing edge, ironing it down as well. Then folding the covering around and pulling tight I ironed it to the one side of the aileron. I subsequently started pulling it around the leading formed edge tacking it down.
I then pulled it tight across the other side and tacked it down near the edges and used a heat gun to shrink the covering to the other side as using the iron in this case would not work and cause plenty of wrinkles and havoc! Once I did what I could with the heat gun I used the iron to shrink up any loose spots and ensure the covering was adhered to the surface of the aileron.
This process was repeated for the other aileron. Since the covering once it cools may slacken in places I haven’t cut the slots for the hinges yet and will have to inspect at the beginning of the next session.
That concluded another building session at Peters. Prior to heading home I visited for a while as its going to be Friday at the earliest that I get to head over again to continue working on the aircraft. Covering is a slow, but therapeutic, process to get it done at least somewhat decently I am hoping :). The therapy part is in it takes my mind off work and other things for that time, lol. Part of why I enjoy building, plus it keeps me in the hobby throughout the off season.
On Oct. 19th I did some more covering, as will be the case for many sessions to come :). This particular day I covered the trailing edge of the stabilizer in caution yellow, seen above, which will be the color of the top of of the stab and wing, as the plan is to match them.
Once the trailing edge was covered and found the hinge slots and cut them out. The next task was to finish covering the aileron tips, seen below. This time I folded the ends down first followed by the wider pieces along the side and folded over the edges. I think overall gave a better look even though it typically folded right around.
On Oct. 15th I started by covering the portion of the top of the wing around where the holes for the wing bolt down bolts are, seen above. For simplicity I ran the yellow right to the trailing edge of the wing. Once covered I cut out the fabric covering the holes.
After that I started covering the ailerons, specifically I just got a single tip of one of them done. This is a very meticulous task due to all the angles. On this one I folded the edges around to the flush surface, which I’m not please about so for the next 3 ends I plan to wrap the edges around and then fold down the bigger pieces onto the top and bottom of the aileron.
In order to do all the folding a lot of cuts are required for all the corners. You can count them in the image. Looking at making at least 5 cuts. Sometimes an additional cut or two are required if one or two are off or the covering is being obstinate.
On Aug 5th I did a fair bit of sanding touch ups on the wing, ailerons and fuselage. This included sanding paste where balsa blocks meet the fuselage, seen above. As well as some careful sanding of the paste on the trailing edge sheet and ailerons, seen below:
Yes, I know these last few posts have not been all that detailed; however, due to circumstances I am months behind on posts and am taking today to catch up so I at least have some sort of track record of when I did what. 🙂
Saturday I got over to Peter’s for another building session. We started by going over what Peter had done. In order to not ‘waste’ my time on some of the easy but tedious stuff Peter will do some of it for me when he has a chance so that those things don’t hold us up in the project. He then goes over how he did it so that I still gain some exposure to the task.
One of those things was attaching the hatch covers to the bottom of the wing, seen at the top and bottom of this post, and the other was running the leads from the servos out the two wholes in the top of the wing. He used the previously run string to pull the wires through, since covering is now applied. By tying the string around one end of the wire (ensuring you go along the connector and between two of the wires so the string doesn’t slip off while being pulled). You then slowly pull the string through, working the string and lead back and forth if it catches, until you are up and through the hole. Repeat for the other servo.
You can then connect the leads to a receiver to test the servos with your transmitter.
Hinges are used to connect control surfaces (i.e. ailerons, rudder, elevator) to a main part of the aircraft (i.e wing, fin, stabilizer). How I learned to do this is as follows and I will be using the context of installing the ailerons.
First I use a motorized hinge slotting tool (i.e. Great Planes Slot Machine, Fig. 1) to make the hinge slots into the trailing edge of the plane and ailerons. This was done, and matched up, prior to covering. Then once covered you can use the back of a scalpel to gently poke around about where the hinge slots should be. Once you’ve poked through and found the slot you cut along its length exposing the slot.
Saturday was another great building session. John stopped by for a visit to check out how things were coming along and contrary to the ‘hack’ job he voices I believe he thinks I’m doing a pretty decent job :).
Thanks to Peter for trimming off the excess of the top left covering I didn’t have a chance to finish last time as well as along the leading edge and sealing that down. Both Peter & I learned something new yesterday from John, which is how to cut a pretty straight/clean edge. After covering the top of the left panel, sealed all around the edges and using the blow drier to shrink of the center need to fold some over the leading edge to prevent wind from getting under and peeling it off.
Once adhered the time came for the trim trick demonstrated by John. Depending on where you want the line you allow the side of the blade to rest against the ‘natural’ curve at the desired angle and follow it along the length of the wing while you are making your cut. Ideally you want to do the entire cut from the same position as changing position can alter the cut reducing the visual straightness (for lack of a better word) of the line. This also ensure that it is cut to the same length throughout. Once cut you then use the iron to roll over the top of the leading edge onto what remains after the cut to adhere to to the wing.
The last part was cutting a piece for the center of the wing. Had to mark the wholes for the dowels, which I then cut out, and once fitting the covering over with the dowels through marked the two square wholes where the cables will come out. I then applied the covering to the sheeting on the wing keeping the iron level (sides to the bottom/top) and working from the center out to the left, followed by center out to the right and vise versa. Always want to start in the center so you work any air bubbles, wrinkles or other imperfections out to the edge in hopes they disappear :). Once done I found the two square holes, generally marked via the string previously pulled through the marking wholes. I made sure the covering was adhered firmly around the edge prior to cutting out the covering to expose the holes. We still have the string coming out, don’t want to loose it, as the string will act as our guide when running the wires for the servo in each wing panel.
I did my best to line up the bottom edge of the L panel yellow covering to look similar to the R as well as the center to be lined up with the L & R wing panel.
To wind up the evening you can see I started covering the ailerons, just the tips so far, which will be done fully in green. Before starting that next time I am going to go over the wing to make sure it’s done as best I can get it.
The aircraft is really starting to come together and will be starting to cover the tail soon and working on the fuselage. As a fun aside I need to find my pilot, which can be about 2-2.5″ tall with a fairly wide base as will want to glue and screw into place.