Had a great building session with Peter last night making further progress on the wing and started the covering process.
In the picture above you can see how Peter cleaned up the sheeting so everything looks nice and smooth giving a better/easier finish. When gluing the fillers he mixed a special substance in with the glue that makes the glue easier to sand . I then marked and cut out the two wholes you see. This is where the wires for the servos in the wing come up through, connect to a y-harness and then connect that to the receiver; which, will be contained within the fuselage.
Once that was done we flipped the wing. Priot to sheeting the bottom we ran a piece of string through the tubes from the servo box up through the whole to allow us to run the wires when the time comes. Then going through a similar process as when we sheeted the top I measured out and sanded the two pieces you see pinned in the pic below. Once I got the desired fit I glued them into place.
Here’s where we did something a little different. You’ll notice the leading edge piece that needs to be shaped isn’t installed. Due to the fight we had with it last time we decided to soak it in warm water and then mould the piece around the wing at the end, held in place with elastics near the ribs for support, and let it dry so that the sheet is closely formed to what is required upon install. Once the sheet dries we should be able to more accurately figure out where the slots need to be cut and glue it into place with, hopefully, greater ease.
To end the day I learned the basics of covering. When covering surfaces (i.e. elevators & stabilizer seen below) it is best to do all the edges first and then take a break. The theory being you are taking the same actions with the iron in all cases instead of switching between edges and sheeting the main surface, which will come next.
I decided to do my control surfaces (minus rudder) in green so you can see the edges of my elevators completed. When covering you need to heat it up in the centre first and then work your way out to ensure you don’t get any bubbles. Then when going over the edge ensure you start flat on the top, roll over until the iron is flat on the side and then pull down. When rounding at the corners need to cut the covering in a straight line along the angle(s) to the ‘curve’ / change in direction of the wood surface.
I also did the back edge of the stabilizer, which in my design is orange.
In the picture below you can already start to see what the final look is going to be like with the contrast between the orange stabilizer and green elevator. This will be most noticeable on the ground as in the air green turns to black.
Todays session was a different one. Since the next couple steps were straight forward Peter placed the first layer of fibreglass over the wire/elevators. He also glued the fuselage bottom, which I’d already sanded, to the fuselage and clamped it since it was straight forward and keeps us moving forward. You can see the outcomes in the first and second pictures respectively.
We went over everything and while going over the fuselage I noticed one of the formers, near the nose, is still not sticking in place and needs to be glued again. This definitely enforces that you need to check over and recheck everything. Not sure why certain pieces are being so stubborn!
Since the next major thing we’ll be tackling is building the wing Peter thought it’d be good for me to see some wings in various stage of construction so we went to Marc’s. One was an LT40 wing, bare wood, and is close to what I’ll be building. It was great to chat, hear some stories (he engineered/designed plans for a warbird and built it himself!), see his collection, what he’s working on, and various other aspects of the hobby. He has planes he built and ARFs along with projects lined up to build. The sentiment seems to be if you find something you might use at a good price then get it. Especially kits as you never know when they might be discontinued (or might already be if it’s from another hobbyist).
Something that stuck out to me today that went something like if you’re only doing this because you like flying the planes then you’ll likely get board and not stick around in the hobby (winters are long and you’re not doing anything in the hobby) but if you enjoy building, modding, tinkering, and the like then it provides you with a stronger interest, or something like that. Apparently some people just buy ARFs, crash at some point, and then think the planes garbage so someone else takes it, rebuilds it and is flying it in no time. So far I’m really enjoying building. Can’t say for sure if it’s the building aspect, comradery with Peter or likely both, but I am really enjoying learning to build and how you see all this wood take shape and by your hands becoming a plane! I do agree with Marc though it is therapeutic… a great way to take your mind of things and just relax.
I got an idea as to how I might be able to organize to fit another plane in my apartment… and hopefully more as time goes! He uses metal verticals that you hook the shelf brackets too at the night you require and can adjust them as needed based on the plane being stored. Instead of resting shelves on them you use round protective foam over the brackets and then rest the plane body and wings on them. Not sure if my landlord would appreciate all the wholes/anchors in the wall so perhaps can build up shelving similarly and just anchor to the wall?
Today was another great building session and things are really starting to come together. Dare I say it, its the first day it’s really starting to look like a plane!
Taking the weights and supports off from last building session we see that the formers are now attached to the one side.
Worked on the elevators some more today. We angled the leading edge and sanded it. Doing it enough to give us approximately the range of motion our elevators will need. Once we get closer to finishing them we’ll ensure theirs enough movement as specified, I believe it’s an inch of throw. I marked the centre of the trailing edge for both and then Peter and I both rounded one of them. I then sanded the metal wire before we mixed glue and then glued the wire in to place (after ensuring its fit and be recessed below the leading edges.
After that we laid wax paper and folded it over the stabilizer. We placed pins around to ensure it couldn’t move on us along with some other things, as seen in the pick below, and then clamped the things so the elevators stay snugged up to the trailing edge of the stabilizer while the glue dries.
As seen in the pic above we placed a piece of wood between the wire and stabilizer to ensure it remains snug and doesn’t rise above the edge of the elevators as it should be recessed.
The last task for the day was to attach the left side of the fuselage to the formers. This turned out to be a tricky task. We startedwih a dry fit and discovered the firewall did not want to fit so Peter did a little sanding of the two ‘tabs’. We mixed glue similar to last time and applied it to the edges of the formers. We then lined of the side of the fuselage and fitted it into place. This side was stubborn and you could see it taking on the desired curged shape.
While we were wrapping up for the night Peter asked what colour I’d like to make the aircraft. I’m not sure yet and we might go take a look at Johns sometime. Right now I’m leaning towards yellow on orange. I digress as we’re not their yet!
After the side track we went back into the shop to check things and realized a couple things. First off the firewall wasn’t staying together properly and we missed the bottom clamp (yes I know that’s technically the top of the plane as it’s resting upside down). We rejigged some of our clamps, applied a little more glue in places, and added the missing clamp before being satisfied to call it a night.