This is my first laser cut design RC plane, and it will be electric. I have designed a couple of planes back in the day with a ruler, pencil, calculator and drafting curves and that was pretty labor intensive. Also building a plane from scratch took some time and special tools such as a scroll saw and major carving skills. Now with computers and laser cutting services, it is much faster and easier. There are a lot of short kits still out there and most fit my needs. I like the sturdy builds and plastic formed parts done for me so I don't have to mess with it. I have never owned an ARF and probably never will, but I like a lot of the designs out there. Electrifly produces some WWI electriflyers that would make great kits since the construction is straight forward and the designs are sturdy, the problem is they only come as ARF's. I contacted Electrifly asking about buying the plans and balsa parts, but they say that is not an option. I really wish these ARF companies would produce no thrills short kits for us builders. There are some great WWI designs out there that are light in structure and scale in appearance such as Tritle, Aerodromerc and Rake designs, excellent designs. BlueSkyRc has an excellent Fokker Dr.1 that fits my needs, but he currently has no kits available so I designed my own. I tried to keep the design as simple as possible and also be able to use plastic parts from the Electrifly replacement parts list. I downloaded a set of three views and traced them in Coreldraw. Then I enlarged the plans to a wing span of 29.5 inches and added the structures. I sent the design over to National Balsa and they cut the parts for me. They did a great job but I still need a few more pieces to complete my build. I am also designing a Nieuport II, SE5 and Sopwith Camel. The parts fit perfect and only took about an hour to get this far and that's using white glue. As yo can see from the picture, my design looks like the Electrilfy Fokker.....Hope they don't get upset. Also here is a picture of the Guillows Laser Cut Fokker Dr.1 I built for rubber power.
Wings are pretty much done, just need to add a couple small pieces and finish sanding. I designed struts for this, but yes the Electrifly struts will work and this probably what I am going to use. Next is the tail surfaces and landing gear. Hopefully my last sheet of parts will arrive in the next few days so I can finish the fuselage. I sent my Nieuport II plans off to the cutters and that will be my next build.
Built the Stab, rudder and landing gear wing this morning and will sand everything when dry. As you can see from the close up, the parts fit tight but they are a little smaller than what is show on the plans. I find this to be the norm when building laser cut kits and also the burnt wood makes a mess. Still the fit is much better and more accurate than the die cut method.
... As you can see from the close up, the parts fit tight but they are a little smaller than what is show on the plans. I find this to be the norm when building laser cut kits and also the burnt wood makes a mess. Still the fit is much better and more accurate than the die cut method.
How much smaller are they coming out? Could it be the lazer cuting width (X2- for one side and then the other)?
I was able to work on the fuselage today and almost have this bird ready to cover. I still have to add some parts here and there, but otherwise I am getting close. This is a fast easy build, the longest part is writing notes and correcting any changes I need to make on the plans or parts. For the cowlings I would normally use paper patterns, but this time I decided to draw the parts in Coreldraw and have them laser cut, man that sure saves time. I was real lucky and the cowling barely fit, so I will enlarge them on the parts sheet. To make the cowlings, I brush on 50/50 water/alcohol to the non glued side, this causes the part to begin curving in the right direction on its own. Then I simply glue the cowling to the plane and hold in place with tape and clamps. The plastic cowl and Battery door will be held in place with earth magnets, these little suckers are strong. So far the Great Planes parts fit perfect, that also saves some time. The balsa parts weigh 5.9 oz and the Great Planes parts weigh 2.4 for a total of 8.3 oz.
I just maidened my Steve Shumate depron DR.1 this morning. This was maiden-round 2 actually, as I had tried yesterday and had to put it down hard and cracked it up a bit, but after repairs, I thought I'd try her again today. It was a bit breezy this morning, but I went for it anyway.
After yesterday's try, I could tell it seemed a bit tail heavy still, so I added a little more weight to the nose. It flew much better today, but was still a little bit of a handfull in the gusty wind. I got her down in one piece this time, with the typical nose over DR.1 landing in the grass, so I'll call it a successful maiden. Too much wind to try a landing on the narrow "runway" today. I'll try to have some video as soon as I can get a cameraman out there with me.
I have most of the build complete with some minor adjustments and final sanding. I will also go back and make the necessary adjustments and measurements to the plans and parts. The Great Planes parts fit well and you can see from the pictures my complicated wing jig, duct tape and clamps.