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Old 07-19-2009, 05:32 PM   #1
Huffy01
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Build Review Great Planes Spirit Elite -Kit version

I bought this kit last week for $190. I had seen it sitting there for sometime so when I had some spare cash I bought it.
I have been working on it for about 4 day's during daylight hours because where I'm building has no electricity.
So far I have completed the fuselage up to the sanding stage.
All the parts went together well with very little sanding.
I did have some problem with the rudder and elevator pushrod tubes clearing the rear wing mount but a tiny round file helped.
I have partially done the wings both inner and outer panel.
I am doing the wing joiner at the moment. I have glued the wing joiner now I have to sand it so it will fit in the wings.
I haven't followed the plan exactly word for word .
No photo's yet . I did take some but they where to big to upload so tomorrow I hope to take some more and post them.
I'm building it as the "full house" version with flat wings and flap's.
Colour's ,I'm thinking most red with either white or light grey inserts.
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Old 07-20-2009, 04:26 PM   #2
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Thumbs up Build update

Okay , I was finaly able to upload these photo's I took today.
I had few problem gluing the fuselage together. There a little bit of sand required but the biggest headache was when I turned the side together to make sure they were the same.
It all looked perfect when lined up with the plan but when I put them together there were parts that were different .
I will either need to buy or borrow the use of an incidence meter to check the angle's.
The use of rubber band to hold the fuselage while glueing the frames in was almost useless. In the end I had the rear of the fuselage wrap in 6-7 rubber band's and used hand pressure to squease the nose together and glue with the kicker.
Amazing stuff that kicker, last time I used model glue it came in one tube and took 5-10 minutes to set.
Other than the pushrod tubes it went together with little sanding.
The wing has been fairly easy upto this point.
Most of the constrution is meant to be done on a flat top and one which you can stick pins in to hold the wing in place.
I had to use a piece of cardboard which isn't quite up to the job but the main spar and rib's can be all put together without the use of pin's.
I all slotted in place and I glued it with just finger pressure.
The wing joiner box is meant to be glued with 30 minute epoxy .While this is setting you spray alcohol on the wing joiner and push it in and out to make it fit properly.
Instead of this I glued 3 side of the wing joiner box and sanded the wing joiner too fit.


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Old 07-20-2009, 04:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Huffy01 View Post
Okay , I was finaly able to upload these photo's I took today.
I had few problem gluing the fuselage together. There a little bit of sand required but the biggest headache was when I turned the side together to make sure they were the same.
It all looked perfect when lined up with the plan but when I put them together there were parts that were different .
I will either need to buy or borrow the use of an incidence meter to check the angle's.
...
Hi!
You mean that plan is incorrect or parts are of wrong size?
Thanks

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Old 07-20-2009, 05:21 PM   #4
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Hello salat, There's nothing wrong with the plans or instruction's. One thing I should have bought was a "plans protector" or some waxed paper.
There are 5 large pieces to each side of the fuselage. First you lay down the outside of the fuselage ,2 pieces, make sure they line up with the plan then glue them end to end. Another piece fits over this join so instead of doing it like that I glued the piece on the back first and so on.
I want to check that both sides of the fuselage where the same and to clean up the edges. It is a die cut kit so the edges are a little rough.
For some reason the tail piece didn't line up together and one was on an angle so I had to remove some wood to get them both the same.
You can download a copy of the plans, this is the link to the main page of the Spirit Elite. www.greatplanes.com/airplanes/gpma0535.html
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:27 AM   #5
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I see manual with part templates only. What you think, is it possible to build it without plan? Just having parts and manual?
Thanks

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Old 07-21-2009, 07:38 AM   #6
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The online manual is almost the same ,it is only missing the plans. I'm not sure if you could make the Elite with just the manual. I think you need the plans to build the tail section.
I already have made some mistakes because the manual isn't accurate and I'm not an experienced builder.
I cut and mounted the spar the wrong way, not a big mistake. Yeasterday I cut the trailing edge marked the rib placement ,placed pins to attach it to the rib's and glued them in place. I have big hands and found it easier to do this with the wing in my hand rather than on the plans.
I had put the trailing edge on backward's and the ends didn't line up. So I removed it and re-glued the right way around to find the ribs where bent.
I hope by wetting the ribs and applying some pressure it has bent them back into place. I will check soon!
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:28 AM   #7
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I'm afraid bending is not good idea...

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Old 07-21-2009, 03:16 PM   #8
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I checked the wing panel a few hours ago and it seems to have worked but I will have a better look at it tomorrow.
What the reason "not" too bend balsa?
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:06 PM   #9
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I think it could introduce wing warping later. (Just a thougt, I'm beginner).

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Old 07-21-2009, 04:07 PM   #10
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Did you think about making it motor powered?

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Old 07-21-2009, 04:35 PM   #11
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My only plan is to use it on a high start. It was one of the first question's the owner of the hobby store said and the warning's he gave where the shape of the fuselage(square) so it might not look very nice .
I have read a thread on RCGroups that there isn't alot of room inside to put in a motor .
I wanted to get away from motor's and charging batteries. I have a Parkzone Radian ,my longest flight with one charge of a battery is just over a hour then back inside for 40 minutes to charge the battery.
I live on 90 acre's so I have a lot of room to set-up a high start.
So if I get a good day ,I should ,or hoping I should be able to charge a battery and stay out all day on one set of batteries.
As for the wing and bending it. The wing wasn't twisted ,the ribs were out of line.
The rib's aren't glued into the spar yet only glued at the lead and trailing edges.
I have to put more balsa on the wing mostly covering the wing panel.
We had a fairly good day today and it has been drying for 24 hours.
I'll get back too it tomorrow so I will know if it has worked.
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:54 PM   #12
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Thumbs up Build update

Today I finished the structural part of the inner wing panel ,left and right sides.
The only problem I had was when I tried to remove a piece of waste wood from a rib and broke it in half. I just put some thin CA and left it to dry.
Tomorrow I will be put the balsa sheet on the wing's.
There is some sanding to do so it fit's over the fiberglass strap.
I wish I sanded a notch in the wing joiner box so I don't have to sand so much out of the balsa sheet but I only thought of this after I had glued the fiberglass.
I got the digital vernier calipers out and check the fuselage and found that most of my messurement where within 1mm of each other.
Also when I built the canopy frame I found it didn't fit properly.
The piece C1 was to long and at its further point from the nose it was too narrow.
When I glued the doubler on the front I just stuck it on with out thinking about it .When I tried fitting it to the fuselage it didn't fit .I had to remove about 5mm and chamfer the doubler.


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Old 07-23-2009, 07:02 PM   #13
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I got a few hours done today.
I put the bottom of both wing panels covered with balsa sheet.
When I was putting this on ,I found that the balsa sheet supplied with my kit doesn't cover the whole wing so I was left a gap .
I just used a piece of sheet that I had to cut off which wasn't much of a problem but it makes me think about the quality of the kit.
When I bought it I was told it was a quality kit and all the part's should go together very easily and quickly.
I jumped ahead a little and wrapped the fiberglass strap's completely around the wing joiner box. I think it should have been done when it is first mentioned in the manual.
Glueing one side at a time during the build makes it more difficult. Glue soaks into the fiberglass that is not in contact with the wood .When I went to glue it too the other side I found it a problem not fitting closer to the wood.
I got the flap servo rail's in place and I have just started cutting out the balsa sheet to cover this area.
I think it might be idea to get the extention wire soon before I fill in the top of the wing. I could just put some kind of thread in there but it just means more fiddly work later.
I got a price for the servo's just a rough figure. $270 for the 6 I need.
When I go back to the LHS, I'll get more information.


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Old 07-23-2009, 09:58 PM   #14
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UMMMM I may be wrong but ,the spirit and the spirit elite are open bay sheeted structures .If you look at the plan the sheeting is L/edge and T/edge only on the centre section ,and the middle section of it only goes out as far as the flap servo well . The rest of the wing is just L/edge and T/edge sheeted
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:29 AM   #15
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Your are right StephenW. I have yet to cut the shape out and the balsa wasn't glued on . Sorry the photo is misleading.
When I started on that piece of sheet ,cutting out for the servo hatch and putting in a groove for the fiberglass strenghtening on the wing joiner box.
I thought it might be easier if I finished glueing the fiberglass on the wing joiner box.
In the manual, this step is a few step's away when I turn the wing over and start on the top of the wing.
If I did now I would not need to put my fingers in little spaces.
When glueing the fiberglass down I was told to use medium CA and rub it in until it dried.
I didn't do anything else today .I had thing's to do !
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:16 PM   #16
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Finally ,I have saved enough money to get servo and extension leads.
The LHS didn't have all the servo's in stock so I have to wait for R/E servo's.
I have 2 INO-LAB digital, 1.5kg servo's for the ailerons and 2 E_sky digital, 1kg servo's for the flaps.
I went for cheaper servo's for the flap incase of damage while landing .I only need $20 for a servo instead of $40 plus for the INO-LAB's.
600mm extensions for the ailerons and 300mm extensions for the flaps.
There has been gale force winds for the last 2 days so I haven't taken the wings down to the work shop but I hope to get there soon.
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:53 PM   #17
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Got two INO-LAB HG-650HB servos and some glue I have been out of CA for close to two weeks.
The weather is awful for flight so I hope to get the Elite built soon.
I have a few more things to buy before I complete, coverings ,Rx ,flight battery and a hi-start.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:45 PM   #18
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I found out today that the standard size HG-650HB servo will not fit in the Spirit Elite.
So I did the 45min drive to get smaller servos, I purchased INO-LAB HG-D260MGs, a mini servo with metal gear.
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:51 PM   #19
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Please post pictures!

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Old 09-24-2009, 05:05 PM   #20
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I should be able to take some photo's soon, I haven't done much since the last photo's.
I have almost completed the outer wing panel. I did put one of the ribs on upside down, I only noticed it when I put the balsa sheet on so most of today I spent cutting out a new rib ,removing the old one .I'm really lucky that it was on the tip ,the last one on the end, it has put a little bend in the leading edge.
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Old 09-25-2009, 04:04 PM   #21
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Default photos

Took these photos today, the wings are almost finished just servo hatches to finish before the inner and outer half can be joined and I need to complete the wing mounts as well.


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Old 10-17-2009, 01:30 PM   #22
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Default Build update

Over the last couple of days I have gotten a chance to do some more building.
Yesterday I made the horizontal stabilizer and the elevator and started on the rudder.
I did have some problems with the alignment of the vertical stabilizer and the ruuder so I had to start again.
I have given them a little sand to get the dried glue off where the coverings stick to the wood.
I will continue shaping when I make a sanding board, it will make it a little easier because I only have a sanding block for hand use.
I also continued with the wing fitting around the wing joiner.
The alignment dowels in the wing ,when together would not fitting in the holes in the fuselage.
I almost sanded off one ply on the wing so I glabbed some little round files and widened the holes in the fuselage until they fit.
I will continue on the wing over the next few day's.
Almost time to stick the inner and outer panels together.


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Old 10-23-2009, 11:16 AM   #23
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Build Review Build update

I've had some more time to continue on the Spirit Elite during the week.
It's gets better when you can see the kit becomes more of a plane.
The wing scame together very well with only a little gap between the 2 panels.
I had to swap some of the leading edge balsa with some I have recently bought because it was too small for some reason.
I found that the replacement balsa was noticeable softer than what came with the kit.
I finished shaping one of the wing tip block, I hope to finish the other soon but some book work will get in between .
Sorry about some of the close up photo's they are out of focus.


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Old 03-07-2010, 03:18 PM   #24
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I must apologise ,I have ran into some large debt at the moment and it will take sometime to get back into the "red".
I have been working on the Spirit Elite mostly sanding and fitting the wing's and canopy.
I have been having troubles fitting the T'nut's on the tow hook.
I followed the instructions for there installation but the hole was too small and the drill chuck did some damage to the rudder/elevator pushrods but it seems to be only cosmetic.
The T'nut's won't fit between the pushrods so they have to go between the fuselage and pushrod. I'm hoping I can find a punch thin and long enough to get between the pushrods.
So it will at least 6-8 weeks before I can get more glue and order some covering.
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:08 AM   #25
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Build Review build update

I should be getting iron-on covering soon. The Hobby store said that the covering should be here in the next couple of days.
The colours I have ordered are black, bright purple, bright silver and white.
I have completed most of the woodwork, I think I only have the ailerons and flaps to build, the rest should be sanding and and fitting.
I'm using a Spektrum AR7000 receiver which is sitting in my parts draw.
I only have some servo extension's and a flight battery to buy.
So hopefully sometime this week I will be able to start covering ,mounting the rudder and elevator servo's and the pushrod connection's.
The weight of the model so far is 735 grams.


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