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Old 03-28-2008, 09:49 PM   #1
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Build Review B-2 Spirit Scratch Build (foamy)

Hi all,

I'm still new to the RC scene in the sense that I haven't done a TON of flying, since I got into it late last summer and the winter in Ottawa was long and snowy. Nevertheless, I still managed to do two scratchbuilts: a NASTY (http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25303) , and an Infineon i3d biplane (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=606425). I'm still waiting for the snow disappear, so I haven't flown either of these, but the builds have taught me a lot. My time spent on the sim has given me confidence that I will be able to fly these planes (not full 3D yet though of course).

My mission:
Now after completing two builds from plans, I'd like to try building a plane on my own. Of course, as a typical newbie, I always have to get ahead of myself and go for a difficult plane, but I like a challenge and it should get my brain working. So the B-2 Spirit it is. It's going to be a slow build, but I'll post my progress as I go. Basically, this first post is to find out about any problems that I should expect to run into from anyone with some B-2 experience, or just building experience in general. As I understand, flying wing-type planes are very touchy when it comes to pitch stability and finding the correct CG. If anyone has some information on this, it would be appreciated. As well, the elevons won't have pitch authority due to the short moment arm, so I may make them a little bigger than scale if I have to.

I plan on using primarily Elmers foam board with the paper removed. I know, not the best material to use, but I can't find FFF and I'm too cheap to buy Depron. I'm a student on a budget, so I have to make things cheap. Wood dowels/skewers will be used for reinforcing (maybe CF if I make it out to the LHS).

What I've done do far:
I looked on the net for some 3-views and pictures of the B-2 with a few, but not many, results. I took one picture that had all three views (top, front, side) in the same scale, then blew them up 500% and printed it off. This will serve as my "plan". The wingspan works out to be about 32" I think. Should be a good size.

I didn't want it to be a flat plate, and I want it to be as scale as possible. I'm thinking I'll use a basswood strip vertically as a main spar and bend two piece of foam board around it to get an airfoil shape. I'll use a dowel for further stiffeneing closer to the trailing edge if required. I also want to uses a few ribs to help keep the airfoil shape. The canopy and "engine" areas will have a removable cover to access the seros/rx and install the battery.

For controls, I'll use elevons, with two control surfaces on each side. The outer elevons will be controlled using a torque rod connected to a servo placed near the "inlets" would be. This will keep the weight inboard, and forward. The inboard elevons will be connected to the outboard elevons somehow so that move in sync with the outer ones. Therefore, I'll be using only two servos, each controlling two elevons on each side.

I'm hoping to keep the weight to under 14oz if possible. I'll probably use a Towerpro BL motor (budget) and mount it in a pusher config at about 3/4 main chord, therefore I'll have to make a prop slot in the body. I plan on running a 3/8" basswood stick down the centre of the plane for reinforcement and to mount the motor. I think the wing loading worked out to be something like 14 or 15 oz/sqft. I don't know how that applied to flying-wing/delta type planes, so I'm not sure how it will fly. Probably wont glide all that well, but I don't think it will drop like a brick....

Basically, I want a fairly scale, full fuselage B-2...with the exception of the prop slot and mid-mount motor. Since its a very "curvy" plane, I want to sand the contours and leading edges round and have it as sleek looking as I can get it. In the end it will probably look like cr*p and fly like a brick, but hopefully I'll have learned something along the way. I welcome any comments or suggestions, and don't expect anything soon; I'm going to take my time on this one I think....
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Old 03-29-2008, 03:39 PM   #2
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Aero K:
Go over to RCGroups in the Scratch Foamy area and GPW has a long B2 thread. Said to be a good flyer. They even have a printed paper overlay to make it even better looking! Should give you some info on the design and set-up, or could just use his plans. Also a guy named JASTA used to or maybe still does have a foam kit of the plane, he used this plan I believe.

Happy Flying
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Old 03-29-2008, 08:40 PM   #3
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Thanks Bob. I have found a couple B-2 build threads over at RCG that should be helpful. I'm not sure how well bending the foam board into an airfoil is going to work. I should probably just start witha solid chunk of BluCor or something and shape the airfoil from that, but thats a lot of work, and I would still have to find some BluCor or other insulation foam somewhere.
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by aero_k View Post
Thanks Bob. I have found a couple B-2 build threads over at RCG that should be helpful. I'm not sure how well bending the foam board into an airfoil is going to work. I should probably just start witha solid chunk of BluCor or something and shape the airfoil from that, but thats a lot of work, and I would still have to find some BluCor or other insulation foam somewhere.
Hi Aero K Maybe my Dr1 Fokker build might give you some ideas on how to make a airfoil with the foam board, Hope that helps, Chellie

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15024

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Old 03-29-2008, 11:05 PM   #5
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Thanks Chellie, thats exactly what I was thinking of doing. It might get a little complicated since its not just a simple rectangular wing, but more of a delta shape. It will be fun to try and solve all the problems I'm bound to run into with this build. In the end I just want it to be sleek, like the real thing. I'm thinking that the canopy and engine area is going to be the most complicated to get to look how I want it. I may just take a block of insulation foam (BluCor,FFF) and sand it down to shape.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:59 PM   #6
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So here's my plan a-la-MS Paint. It's not to scale, but you get the idea. Hopefully by keeping everything forward the CG will work out. I'm moving next month so I'm going to hold off on construction until then I think. Then I'll have a lot more room to work than I do now. Until then, more planning, and possibly an order to Hobby City...


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Old 04-02-2008, 07:57 PM   #7
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I've built 2 of GPWs B-2s the little one flies like a dream .So good I made that big one as a test bed for the scale one .I haven't maidened the big one or the scale one yet.It's 98" w s 40" body cord it weighs 3 lbs. 7 oz. and powered with a E-Flight power 25 on a 2250m.a.4 cell bat.Another guy at R/C Groups made a built up foam one outta Depron it hasn't flown yet but it's a 10' w s his name is Hepdog.That large scale one weighs 4 lbs. and is carved outta Insulfoam and Dow Square Edge blue foam sheets that are laminated with Elmers wood glue


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THE B-2 Worlds most expensive airplane.
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:22 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info Alpea. I know you are interested in this bird and figured you would post eventually. It was actually the pictures of your B-2 that inspired be to build one. I'm keeping this one small. I'm moving into an apartment soon and space is pretty limited. Under 40" WS most likely, and hopefully not much more than 1lb, if not less. Were is your CG with respect to the main body chord for the one that flies?
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Old 04-03-2008, 01:53 AM   #9
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45% of body cord is just fine.This big one has C of G at 47.5 % of body cord (from L.E.) I just went out and tested the glide on the 98 incher and was pleasantly surprised .It had no bad habits and responded to controls nicely.At 1/2 throttle it flew out nice and level and glided in real smooth when I cut power here it is in maiden form now to paint it.


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Old 04-03-2008, 05:56 PM   #10
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Was so jazzed with favorable test flight of monster I quick built this little one in 2 hours.It's to replace the other small one that had a head on with a light pole.


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Old 04-05-2008, 06:39 AM   #11
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Here it is painted .It flew great this afternoon in a 15 mph breeze . Hope to get a video tomorrow and try some rolls and loops in still morning air.


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Old 04-05-2008, 07:17 AM   #12
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Nice build, Always glad to hear of a fine first flight.

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Old 04-06-2008, 04:16 AM   #13
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And here's some video Minni Steve shot of it flying today. He flys Slingers and said he likes it.It's solidly steady and instills confidence in the pilot.In other woods my thumbs don't shake (AS BAD)

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Old 04-06-2008, 11:22 PM   #14
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Here's Some of the Video From this morning of Al's Combat wings...midair Included (1.38)...LOL
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:15 AM   #15
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Good flying Steve and good video Daniel.I had forgotten how much fun it was till I watched the replay.Next week I won't be playing sitting duck decoy tho.I want revenge.Anybody seeing that video should know that I have over 25 flights on that wing and Steve has 3 and you all saw who got who.LOL Yeah I was flying the yellow one.This should be some fun with 3 or 4 in the air at once.

THE B-2 Worlds most expensive airplane.
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:05 PM   #16
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Hi again,

After taking some time to move into my new apartment, I'm back to thinking about my B-2 build. Will I need some thrust angle (either up/down or left/right or both)? As I mentioned before, I'm planning on a pusher config with the motor mounted just aft of the middle to keep the weight forward, so it will be behind the CG. I still haven't gotten my head around the thrust angle theory.

If I have the motor pointed down (technically, this would be up-thrust?), I'll get a nose down moment about the CG since its a pusher and its behind the cg. This is a good thing, right?
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:26 PM   #17
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A flying wing needs "reflexive airfoil" = up elevators basically.And most often it also needs reflexive thrust which is motor shaft pointed up at the rear.This pushes nose up as you add throttle.If you have nose down thrust line it makes launching a disaster.I E they go right into the ground. Get on this B-2 I'll be following it. Hepdog at R/C groups tried to maiden his 10' W.S. B-2 this weekend here's the link http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showa...mentid=1864592

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Old 05-14-2008, 01:44 AM   #18
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Conrats on your tough build and subsequent success with it. Just to pick a nit though (you did state you were into accuracy), the outer two control surfaces on the B-2 are not elevons, these are "clamshells" (they split open like their namesake) and are used for yaw control in lew of the absent vertical stab and rudder.

Just thought you'ld like to know

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Old 05-14-2008, 06:20 PM   #19
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Ouch..I guess thats the kind of maiden I might be in for, but I'm not planning on going that big. For "Accuracy" I just want it to look good aesthetically. The "clam shell" spoilerudders I think will be a little too complex for my level of skill. I'm just going to put elevons and go with that. Okay, maybe I shouldn't be too concernd with scale accurcy, I just want the darn thing to fly. But its a bonus if I can have it look pretty close to the real thing and not need vertical stabs...but we'll see.

Thanks for the tip on the thrust angle. I know it will need some reflex, but I wasn't sure about thrust angle.

If I can figure out a simple way to make the "clam shells", I might give it a try. I may need some yaw control without v-stabs.
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:09 AM   #20
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here's a pic. of a simple to do clamshell ruddervator or yaw inducing air brake. I built it as a mod then there were so many other "ISSUES" with the 8' flying wing I never used them befor I removed them.The servo wheel has an extra arm that lifts the upper surface when the lower surface is lowered.In the pic that has my hand in it I'm holding the top surface forward


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Old 05-18-2008, 02:55 AM   #21
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Hmm, good idea. So, the little brake goes up when the elevon goes down? If I was doing a larger scale, I would consider the "clamshells" more, but for the size I'm planning on building, I dont think I can afford the weight of additional servos or complex control surfaces.
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:04 PM   #22
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Default Here we go...

Ok, after finishing up some other projects, I've finally started on my B-2. This is my first scratchbuild without any plans I'm going completely from a 3-view drawing. Keep in mind this is my first build thread, so we'll see how it goes...

First I found a 3-view online, enlarged it, printed it, and taped all the pages together. The total wing span is 44 inches.
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Next I cut out half of the top view to use as a template.
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I'm using Elmers foam board with the paper removed. To remove the paper, I put a few pieces into a garbage bag and added rubbing alcohol and water. I'd say a ratio of maybe 4 parts water to 1 part alcohol. I sloshed it around and let it sit for a few hours, turning the bag once in a while. I then removed the foam and let it dry completely for a day. The paper came of very easily using this method. Using the template, I just out two halves and glued them together with hot glue. I then marked a line for some spars 1" from the leading edge.
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Using hot glue, I glued in 1/4"x1/16" basswood strips for spars. This will act as a spacer to create an airfoil shape when the top skin is added.
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3/16" square balsa was glued in to also act as a spacer near the center of the wing where the airfoil is thicker. The center section of the aircraft will be a solid piece of either blue or pink foam (haven't decided yet) that will be cut and sanded to shape. That is why I will not be covering the center section with foam, but only the outer wing.
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To make the top skin, I cut out a piece of foam large enough to cover the top of the wing. I then scored the foam with a pencil to allow the foam to bend easier. On the other side, I covered the foam with packing tape to prevent the foam from cracking.
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Aligning the leading edges, I applied hot glue to the inside seam along the leading edge. This allows the top skin to be folded down and keeps the glue on the inside so that the leading edge can be sanded to shape later. Once the top skin is glued down, I'll cut off the excess. By folding the top skin down, it creates an airfoil shape with a flat bottom. In no way is this based on a specific airfoil, I just figured it might be better than a flat plate...
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After attaching the skin on the left side, I realized I should install the torque rods for my control surfaces before gluing the skin down. At the moment, I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to use. I'm going to try to find some plastic straws and maybe some wooden dowel that will fit inside. Carbon and metal rod is hard to acquire. Hopefully wood will do the trick, but I'm not sure if it will carry the torque without twisting too much.

So far this build is full of challenges, but I like that. Its hard to figure out what I should do next, and how I should do it so it doesn't interfere with things down the road. Its a learning experience, thats for sure...



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Old 06-23-2008, 06:39 PM   #23
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I've ditched to torque rod plan and I'm going to go back to a pushrod system for the elevons. I was hoping to not need control horns for rods sticking out and have a nice clean surface, but I was lacking proper materials, build skills, and patience to do torque rods properly, so I'll revert to my original sketch. I'd rather have something that works than something that doesn't work but looks better.
Attachment 61260

I've glued both top skins on and I think they look pretty good. I also added a piece of balsa ply to the nose to give it some strength for the expected nose dives into solid ground. I've also started carving and sanding the "canopy" section from a block of blue insulation foam (1.5" thick I think). I wish I had a wire cutter, but I don't want to stink up my apartment. Sand paper it is...


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Old 06-24-2008, 02:00 AM   #24
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It's probably too late aero k but Here's a post that shows a simple torque rod system http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=890

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Old 06-24-2008, 02:19 AM   #25
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And here's a link to another but it's just the picture http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/attac...mentid=1540088 This thread is huge about 70 pages but P M me and I might be able to help you with questions with answers from this thread. Right now I'm looking for a picture of a way to glue the elevon to the servo arm with no push rods at all.

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