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.
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.