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Old 05-30-2011, 11:43 PM   #1
Stevephoon
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Build Review Mountain Models Firestorm – Build Log

I bought a Firestorm Kit from Brian of Mountain Models at the Weak Signal Show this spring an it’s time to get started. I don't plan on a real fast build, but I want to be flying this season with it. Here are some specs on the Firestorm from Mountain Model’s web site:
http://www.mountainmodels.com/forums...roducts_id=620



Specifications:
• Wingspan: 47.1 in
• Length: 46.3 in
• Wing Area: 425 sq in
• Flying Weight: 32 to 36 oz
• Wing Loding: 10.8 to 12.2 oz/sq ft
• Controls: 4 to 5 (Rudder, Elevator, Ailerons (2 servos), Throttle, optional retracts
• Power: Scorpion 3008- (137 Watts/Pound) or Scorpion 3014 (222 watts/pound)
• Battery: 3S-2200 LiPo (or 4S, depending on motor and prop)


I have the following components to fill her up with:
Motor: 3542-10 from HeadsUpRc.com http://www.headsuprc.com/servlet/the...lectric/Detail
ESC: EMax 40 Amp from HeadsUpRc.com http://www.headsuprc.com/servlet/the...Amp-ESC/Detail
Servos: EMax ES08MD http://www.headsuprc.com/servlet/the...2g-EMAX/Detail
Retract Servo: Hitec HS-82MG http://www.headsuprc.com/servlet/the...g-Hitec/Detail
RX: Spektrum AR600 http://www.bigskyhobby.com/Radio-Sys...rum-p4228.html
Retracts: HobbyKing Mechanical http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbycity/s...idProduct=8001 or HobbyKing Electronic - http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbycity/s...dProduct=11301


The motor was originally in my Daddy-O, so I know it will run nice. I still can’t quite make my mind up on whether or not to do retracts. I am worried about the small tire size needed and flying off the clubs grass field. I’d really like to try the retracts, so I was thinking about doing both the retracts with the included 2in wheels and fixed with a larger wheel (2.5 in). The electronic retracts seem heavy to me, so I’ll probably start with the mechanical ones.

My wife thinks I’m infected with an R/C plane building disease. I think she’s right! I don’t have anywhere to put this plane after it’s built, so I either need to crash and destroy a plane or build another hanger. (I think another 5 plane hanger sounds about right!)

Wish Me Luck, but these nice laser cut kits all but build themselves. Hopefully no luck is needed.

Steve


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Old 06-01-2011, 11:53 PM   #2
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Glad to see another build going on steve iam sighned up for it . I will only watch if your work building space is as messy as mine. lol I flew pattern for many years when i was alot younger and your new plane shure looks like some of my old pattern planes. joe
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:31 AM   #3
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Good luck on it Steve, it is a nice build. I am going to try to finally get mine in the air Friday morning. Been tough to find time to get out and get the rust off this spring
I did mine fixed gear and it ended up tending towards the tail heavy side, having the retract mechanism might help with that.
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:37 AM   #4
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dumo01,

I've been wondering if you got yours in the air yet. Good luck on the maiden and please check in with and pointers along the way!

Did you settle on a prop yet? I liked the 11x7 props on this motor when it was on my Daddy-O. That's what I was planning to start with, then maybe a 10x10 for some real zoom-zoom!

Steve

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Old 06-02-2011, 03:39 AM   #5
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Build Review Build Day -3

Getting Started!

I started the build by laying out the parts and taking some pictures. I went thru all of the parts and I noticed that the small Basswood piece needed for the fixed landing gear was missing. I emailed Brian at Mountain Models just for the dimensions of the pieces thinking I’d just make my own. Brian got right back to me and said he was sorry that the wood was missing and that he’d mailed the missing piece to me. He did all of this without me asking. He even knew the address to send it to without me giving it to him again. (My previous orders must be on file!) A couple of days later a small package arrives with the needed parts! What service!! Thanks Brian!

Steve


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Old 06-02-2011, 03:43 AM   #6
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Build Review Build Day 1

The instructions start with the fuselage, so that’s where I started. You start by gluing together the fuselage sides and bottom with thin CA. Everything fits perfect. Piece of cake so far! Next is driving in the 4-40 T-Nuts into the firewall and the wing hold-down plywood pieces. You then assembly the fuselage “crutch” (Center area that holds the battery… ) first by fitting all of the pieces together, then finally gluing when you have everything seated and aligned. The instructions said to use thin CA, so I did! But I must admit I also used a bead of medium CA afterwards around the firewall. You then add the right side of the fuselage with either thick CA or “white glue.” I used my old wood glue that I have been using for a while and set a weed-whacker battery on it to hold it together. I then called it a night after an easy hour or so of building. The 1st two pages of the instructions are now complete.

Steve


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Old 06-02-2011, 03:45 AM   #7
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Build Review Build Day 2

I glued the other side of the fuselage and set batteries on it to hold it down. (Using wood glue again) I then went to work. (To make enough money to buy my next kit!) When I got home I proceeded on and dry-fit the rear formers on the bottom piece. Then dry fit all of this into the existing fuselage assembly. Once fully seated and aligned, thin CA is used to bond everything together. I noticed an error in step 13 in the instructions at this point and became a little confused. It says to use parts F18 and F11, but it should be parts F17 and F11. This was actually confirmed by Brian in the main Firestorm thread over on RCGroups. Next some front fuselage piece and then the rear stringers. All secured with thin CA, then I called it a night. Two more pages in the instructions are complete.

Steve


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Old 06-02-2011, 03:47 AM   #8
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Build Review Build Day 3

A small number of rear tail pieces get glued in. Be sure to use a scrap piece of 3/16 balsa as a spacer (as instructed!) to make sure the tail feathers will actually fit! A couple of bottom pieces get attached to the front of the fuselage and some cowling attachment pieces and the fuselage is complete! The wood for the canopy is built next on the existing fuselage. Make sure you use saran wrap or old SoLite backing plastic like I did so you don’t glue the canopy to the fuselage while making sure the angles are correct. Two more pages of the instructions are done and the fuselage is complete! This is going by quick!! It helps that it’s been windy and rainy, so no flying or real yard work…..

The wood cutting is excellent, the instructions are good, the fits are great! This is a great kit so far!

Steve


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Old 06-02-2011, 03:56 AM   #9
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I have never tried a lazer cut kit but they look great as far as interlocking parts and fast building. Keep up the good work Steve . joe
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Stevephoon View Post
dumo01,

I've been wondering if you got yours in the air yet. Good luck on the maiden and please check in with and pointers along the way!

Did you settle on a prop yet? I liked the 11x7 props on this motor when it was on my Daddy-O. That's what I was planning to start with, then maybe a 10x10 for some real zoom-zoom!

Steve
used the same motor as you and the APC 11 x 7
One thing I will be looking at very closely is cooling airflow through the fuse. The fuse is pretty narrow and packed full of battery and electronics compared to most of my planes. I think there will be plenty of airflow to keep the motor cool but the ESC and battery may need a little help. Will check as soon as I bring it down and may go back to add a couple air scoops to both sides of the fuse behind the firewall. Flew some on Tues. air temps high 80 to low 90. I had forgotten from last summer how much the battery can warm up when it is hot outside.

Looks like your build is going great
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:38 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by dumo01 View Post
....
One thing I will be looking at very closely is cooling airflow through the fuse.
....

Yes I was thinking about this earlier as well. Did you leave an air exit hole anywhere? There's really no mention of this in the plans. I was thinking of adding a small wood piece to split the last rear bottom open structure area to allow for air flow out the back but not be as big as the whole opening. I just went thru the entire thread on the Firestorm over on RC Groups and I don't see anyone adding any. Seems odd to me.

Joe,

Welcome aboard. I missed your first post. I really like building these Laser Cut Kits. They are just 3D jigsaw puzzels that fly. The good ones come out much lighter than ARFs and so they fly much better as well. I really like understanding the entire plane so when those oopses happen I know what to do. It's also nice to know it's easy to buy parts as well.

Steve

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Old 06-03-2011, 02:47 AM   #12
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I have been scratch building so long it would be a treat to have parts cut and even fit good. You are thinking ahead and thats the sighn of a good builder even if the kit does not have it in the directions. You still are to neat at your work bench.lol joe
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:01 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by road king 97 View Post
I have been scratch building so long it would be a treat to have parts cut and even fit good. You are thinking ahead and thats the sighn of a good builder even if the kit does not have it in the directions. You still are to neat at your work bench.lol joe
1/2 on my bench is a mess! I just never show all of it! (or around it!) My workbench is in the "Mechanicals" room in the basement and the entire room is maybe 10x20 with the furnace, water heater, water softener, and washer and dryer in there as well. I'll never win a neatness award, but I've had just enough "accidents" that I try to keep my actual building area clutter free.

Steve

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Old 06-03-2011, 04:24 AM   #14
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Yes I was thinking about this earlier as well. Did you leave an air exit hole anywhere? There's really no mention of this in the plans. I was thinking of adding a small wood piece to split the last rear bottom open structure area to allow for air flow out the back but not be as big as the whole opening. I just went thru the entire thread on the Firestorm over on RC Groups and I don't see anyone adding any. Seems odd to me.

I opened the second from the last opening in the bottom of the fuse, thought about using the last opening but it seemed too small. Kind of spoils the look of the bottom a bit, but unless I flip it over on landing as usual, you would not see it anyhow.
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:21 PM   #15
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Default Firestorm maiden- not

Had some family issues come up so did not get out first thing this morning, but that resolved and headed for the field around noon. Flew a couple other plans and then got the Firestorm set up to go and found the rudder channel had decided at some pnt to go south on me. Will have to spend some time to see what that is about. At least it was before it got in the air
Hoping for next week
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:49 AM   #16
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dumo01,

Smart to double check and wait. I can't wait to hear how it goes. Good luck!

Steve

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Old 06-10-2011, 03:41 AM   #17
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Default Build Day 4

I rough sanded the fuselage and started on the wing. The instructions said to build the tail feathers next, but I'm afraid of damaging them while building the wing, so they will be last.

The wing starts as a a big 3D jigsaw puzzle. I kept building until I could finally glue things togther then called it a night! The wing is about 60-70% complete when you finally get to start gluing it together. I actually had to put the wing on the ground to make sure everything was straight before glueing because the wing is too big for my little building mat and work table. No problems so far. Almost all of this work is with the wing upside down.

Steve


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Old 06-10-2011, 09:09 AM   #18
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Wow, Very nice Plane Steve Subscribed, for sure for sure Don't forget that I get to do the Maiden Flight on it when your Done Ok, Just kidding, Take care and have fun, Chellie

I may be getting Older, But I Refuse to grow Up I am Having to much Fun to Grow Up LOL
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Old 06-10-2011, 03:29 PM   #19
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I like the tabs to hold every thing up off the work bench .I have a friend who scratch builds giant scale planes and he marks the center line of his ribs then makes stilts to hold it the same way off his lines.. Looks good steve. joe
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:42 AM   #20
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Finally, a tiny bit more progress and now I'm stuck on what type of landing gear to install. I've added the bottom sheeting and just dry fit the landing gear supports. The electronic retracts are just a little too wide, but they are way too long. I'd have to redesign the ribs to get them to fit, so I'm thinking those are out. The mechanical retracts are a little too narrow and the stress relief circle of wire runs into the wood supports. I could drill a couple more holes in the plastic so I can screw it in to the supports, but I'd also need to cut a notch out so the wire clears... I could reinforce the back of the notched piece with another piece of wood and some epoxy... I still want the fixed gear to be able to be used just in case the retracts don't work out.

So, time to stop and play around until I make my mind up to use retracts or just use the fixed gear.

This is going to be a busy weekend with a Wedding to goto and hopefully some flying. So I have time to think.

Steve


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Old 06-17-2011, 04:55 AM   #21
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Steve, I have a Firestorm all built up. I bought a pair of the cheap Changesun electric retracts, and decided against them, for the same reason you did -- they would require some major surgery on the wing. I did use a pair of the GP.10 size mechanical retracts Brian recommends. The retract mounting beam underneath the loop needs to be sanded down to allow the retract to go all the way down. Not a big deal, really. I will tell you that getting the linkages to function properly took some time. I think I probably spent as much time getting the retracts to function smoothly as I did building the rest of the plane. But once done, they do seem to function nice and smoothly. If you've got the mechanical retracts already, I'd try installing them, if you can invest the time to get the linkages right.

I've got to get back to mine. It's all sanded. It just needs to be covered and the equipment installed.

Mark
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:23 AM   #22
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Mark,

I have just about decided to try the mechanical retracts. Do you have any picts of yours that you can post? The area around the retract servo is what I'd like to see some detail of.

Steve

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Old 06-25-2011, 01:46 AM   #23
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Default Build day 6

Build day six, but 23 days later! I didn’t think this would be a fast build. (This was actually completed last Tue, but I’m finally getting around to post now)


I finished the wing. Added stringers to the bottom and epoxied the landing gear supports in. Fishing off the top of the wing is next. The center of the wing has some “joiners” glued in with thick CA then a ply par doubler is epoxied over those. The center of the wing will not be a problem! Some more sheeting in the center, some spar caps and a few stringers and it’s done!

A nice simple build that now seems really strong. The main spare is an I-Beam and the end of the wing is a U beam. Light and strong. Nice!

Steve


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Old 06-25-2011, 01:54 AM   #24
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Default Build Day 7

Built the ailerons and the tail feathers today. Simple 2D/3D puzzle building. Everything was glued together with thin CA.

That’s all of the major wood parts! So I’ve also taken some picts of a naked plane! Looks nice!

Next is retract work! I hope I’m up for it!

Steve

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Growing the fleet!
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:51 AM   #25
buzzltyr
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Originally Posted by Stevephoon View Post
Mark,

I have just about decided to try the mechanical retracts. Do you have any picts of yours that you can post? The area around the retract servo is what I'd like to see some detail of.

Steve
Hi Steve,
Give me a day or two and I'll get some taken and posted up. I will warn you in advance that the area around the servo is not pretty. I had to hack some of the sheeting to get it all to work. Won't matter, as it's inside the fuselage anyway. Just not very pretty to look at.

Mark
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