On Nov. 6th I finished covering the bottom of the wing by cutting two pieces to fit down the center, seen below. The first wraps around the leading edge of the wing and goes down to the edge protrusion and the other goes from bottom of the protrusion to the trailing edge where it was trimmed off to be flush with the edge. This completed covering of the bottom of the wing.
After that, I started work on the top of the wing by doing the piece going down the center, seen below. I also got the covering for each wing panel cut this day as well.
The next time, Nov 7th, I spent a couple hours covering the top left panel of the wing, seen at the top of this post. In order to do this I followed a very similar process to what I did for the bottom. The only difference comes to when wrapping around the wing tip I cannot fold it over onto the wood. Instead I did cuts accordingly and ironed it to the very thing wing tip outer edge. I then did my best to cut the covering along the edge as neatly as possible.
My one concern is how everything is wiring up as I have run nothing prior to covering and am taking Peters word that it is going according to plan since I have had nothing ‘official’ to look at and follow along the way. My best guess is that the servo is going to mount into the bottom of the wing somehow and the push rods are going to go along the outside of the wing for controlling the ailerons. Perhaps this is to help ensure no water gets in and a better seal between the wing and fuselage?
On Oct. 27th I continued work on the wing and it took me 2 hrs to get the covering of one panel done, seen below and I completed the other half on the 28th seen in the image above.
The first steps are to get the piece of covering sealed all around the edges. This includes rolled around the leading edge a bit to prevent wind from getting underneath and pulling it back along with tacking it along the trailing edge and to the center sheeting. This wing provides an additional challenge due to the wing tip design.
When cutting I need to ensure I had a good additional 5 inches past the outer edge to both hold as well as to fold over the wing tip. After tacking the covering to the outer rib it was pulled around the edge of the wing tip and cuts were made to allow the covering to fold around the edge with the least amount of wrinkling and ironed to the edge. The folded pieces were ironed to the other side of the wing tip, seen below, to provide additional strength for the covering in hopes it will not peel off in the wind!
Once that was done it was time for the heat gun. Started by shrinking some of the covering in the open space of the wing tip (between outer rib and the ‘fold over’. I then worked my way around the main wing panel ensuring the heat gun is always pointed toward the center of the wing panel as I work my way around. This is because you do not want to hit the holding edges with direct heat causing the covering to let go as then you’ll have problems and need to start over.
Essentially at this point I keep working my way around and around, ensuring I do not stay in any one place to long at the risk of burning a hole through the covering. I keep checking from various angles so I can see where there are ripples/slack in the covering that still needs to be shrunk with the heat gun. This process was repeated on Nov. 4th to do the bottom wing panel on the other side.
Yesterday started with seeing what Peter had down, which was installed the hinges for the ailerons onto the trailing edge of the wing. This involved making a two toothpick sized wholes per hinge as well as drilling a hole for the toothpick into the hinge itself. Then the hinges were glued inside the slot with the toothpicks pushed through the pre-drilled holes. This was done to provide greater strength to the hinges to help prevent them from disengaging from the trailing edge of the wing during flight. Upon my arrival to complete the process I cut off the excess toothpick ends and then sanded the ends to be flush with the trailing edge sheet.
This day involved the most sanding I’ve done in a while as I touched up spots on the fuselage in the fin areas and then in rounding the leading edge of the stabilizer, seen in the image at the top of the post.
The fuselage of my aircraft is going to be white, like on my previous build. Essentially I am trying to standardise my colour scheme so no matter which aircraft I am flying top and bottom colours will be the same (exception to this may be when I get into real world models, i.e. Thunderbolt or P51 Mustang, and want to be true to the aircraft. That is why, seen below, I did the trailing edge of the fin in white and then slit the covering where it covers the 3 hinge slots. For simplicity due to the stab/tail design I ran the white right up and over the top. This pieces still requires some touch up before proceeding with covering the tail end.
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 Oct. 14th I continued covering the wing. This included covering the wing tip, seen below. This involved curving the covering around the outer curve of the tip and then trimming the excess at the top as well as along the straight edges (inside of the tip) to get a cleaner finish. I did my best to line the bottom of the green with the bottom of the green on the trailing edge of the wing.
In order to prep the wing for covering the bigger surface areas I had to do some smaller covering jobs to help ensure a seal is made to help protect against wind peeling back the covering or fuel/debris getting into joints. These were done in orange since the bottom of the wing is going to be orange like my previous build.
In the featured image you can see where I covered around the wing dowels. This involved cutting a rectangular piece, puncturing a whole for one of the dowels and then putting it in place to measure where the next hole was needed. Once the holes were made the covering was placed over and ironing down started in the centre (rolling over) and worked my way out to the edges.
Below is a close-up of the covering around where the wires will come out of the bottom of the wing for the control surfaces. Need to make cuts at the corners to all the covering to fold over, sealing the corners, and iron down properly. The covering was cut out out to expose the openings where electronics will pass through.
I had another hiatus from building and finally got back to it again on Sept. 28th which debuted covering of the aircraft! That’s right I have finally got to the point where I can start covering. I am planning on following a similar color scheme as my previous aircraft.
This session saw the start of covering the wing, specifically the trailing edge in green, seen above. This involved measuring and cutting a few pieces of covering and ironing it on to the trailing edge with some excess to fold over each edge. In the middle where the metal wire is for the aileron controls required some extra ‘fiddling’ to get the covering to fit right as needed to make a hole in the covering, slide the wire through and then figure out where the other hole needed to be made. Then once done slip the wire through holes made in the covering and iron it to the wing.
On each end of the wing where the covering is folded over additional cuts were required to get a better look.
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. 🙂
On May 27th I saw some of the work Peter had done on the aircraft and put in some of my own work. Peter had the keel glued to bottom of fuselage, seen above as well as the balsa blocks for the engine mount in place and formed with paste applied to fill the gaps. I just had to do some more sanding of the touch up paste applied to give a smoother transition.
I worked on making a template for where the servo cables for controlling the ailerons are going to come out of the wing, join and then connect within the fuselage.
On May 4th I worked on the wing and tail of the aircraft.
Seen above I worked on sanding the leading edge, specifically the wing tip corners to get the desired taper.
The fin of the aircraft is composed of two pieces, front and back. I started by sanding off the ‘burnt’ finish from the laser cutting and then glued the two pieces together, pinned them to the board and placed weights on top to hold everything in place while the glue dried. This is seen below, the wax paper is to ensure nothing gets stuck to any glue that oozes out that shouldn’t.
On May 2nd we did a fitting of the wing into the fuselage and figured out where the wing hold down bolt holes needed to be drilled. My first drill was a little off, which is why we do some test drills with a tiny bit to see where it lines up with the wing bolt down blocks glued into the fuselage.
Once happy with the angle and how everything will fit I drilled the hole with using a bigger bit right into the wing hold down blocks. The final result can be seen in the picture above with the bolts started in the corresponding wholes to ensure they line up and will work.