I've only found one other thread on the Alien Aircraft Blinker and it's on RC Groups. Lots of views but very few posts so I think it's safe to say most on that site are biased toward bARF/foamie airplanes. I happen to like balsa.....
I had planned to take a long time to build this kit but it was too easy and mine is almost ready to cover after making a few mods. It pretty much fell together on its own and I'm almost ready to cover. Those that know me from RC Groups know that I'm a dyed in the wool Mountain Models man. I really should be sporting a Mountain Models tatoo.... This Blinker kit was pretty doggone close to the quality of a Mountain Models kit. Very good wood and very good laser cutting. Easy to build too.
A quick build for sure. There isn't much to building this kit really. 1/2 of a fuselage and a wing. Pretty doggone easy I'd say.
I'll be posting pictures of the mods I'm making soon. None of them are necessary at all. Just a matter of personalization really.
I'm sick as a dog right now so the picture post process may be slow for a while..........For now take a look at the .pdf build manual from Alien Aircraft. I think you'll like this bird! LINK
OK.... Here's the start of my mods. The kit is designed for a non steerable nose gear. I happen to like my planes to steer. Ed Lokken did a nice job designing his own on RC Groups but I decided to use the Dubro 1/8" steerable nose gear kit as I have several in stock. I also modified for a hatch in the front for battery access. These pictures show what I did.
Picture upload success! The onsite re-sizer is disabled so I had to size them down myself. No biggie. Now I know what I need to do thanks to Don Sims e-mailing me about it.
Keep in mind that the plane is not 100% completed so you will see most things still need sanding or lengths need adjusting. These are basically prototyping pictures.
This first picture shows the Dubro steerable nose gear installed as well as the side support rails for the battery access hatch. The second shows the magnet mount added to the fuse and the hatch assembled with a washer to hold at the magnet and tabs added. The hatch could be hinged but I prefer to have them removable. The third picture shows the hatch in place. I think it came out pretty clean.
Now this isn't really a mod but something that will make the build just a little easier. It is talked about in the instructions but sometimes a picture helps to make it more clear. You do need to look closely at the picture to see what I did.
Remember this is a swept wing so if you angle sand the slots in the ribs the spars and stringers will fit much easier.
I hate rubber bands so my wing will be bolt on. I haven't yet decided exactly what I'm going to do for the dowel (or dowels) in the leading edge but the trailing edge bolt mods for the wing are complete. I'll post pictures of what I end up doing though.
I don't like the idea of having a wing bolt tighten directly onto soft balsa so I used a plywood plate for the bolt contact area. It's sandwiched with aileron stock sanded to fit perfectly into the wing center section "fairing". I almost went with two bolts but this is a light bird so one should be fine. I also included a picture of where I added aileron stock into the wing center section trailing edge so there would be no chance of any crush when the wing bolt is tightened.
I still just don't feel good enough to do any more work on the bird today. It'll probably be next weekend before I make much in the way of progress. For now all I need to do is decide exactly how I want to do the leading edge wing dowel mounting. I also want to use a bigger prop so I think I'll bend up some longer gear out of slightly larger wire. If I had it to do all over I would have put a thicker center piece in the main gear mount sandwich so I could use .090 wire for the gear. As it is I'll probably sand it out for .077 wire.
You're off to a good start. (Or are you finished already?) I am not familiar with this kit. Looks like a cross between a flying wing and a normal high wing trainer. Cool... The hatch and nose wheel look good!
Well I finally feel good enough to go to work tonight so I decided to do at least a little work on the plane before I go. I finished up the bolt on wing setup. The fuse former doesn't cover enough of the leading edge to do a straight in drill for the dowels so I started stuffing balsa block in the forward rib bays just to get an idea of what I would use as a final part. It's ugly as sin but what the heck, it works so I left it. It's on the underside of the wing anyway so nobody will see it.
I added 1/8" plywood reinforcement plates to the dowel pin areas on the wing and fuse then let thin CA wick in to "harden" the areas. I added 3/4" balsa block to the rear of the fuse and used a 6-32 brass insert for the wing bolt.
This is all pretty standard wing bolt stuff but for what it's worth here is what I did on this particular plane. Now I need to get started on the filling and sanding then agonize over a covering scheme. I'm pretty sure I'll be going with a USAF Thunderbird theme. Being ex Navy you'd think I'd use Blue Angles but I think Thunderbirds look much better.
Hi joe. I built this plane also. Like you said a very easy plane to build.
I did the nose gear just like you did, except I didnt use the supplied landing gear wire that came with the Dubro mount. I bent some 3/32 wire instead. I also used the the rubber band mount.
My first flight was a nightmare caused by a slightly warped wing that I had not noticed, it was very slight. It was doing a very hard roll to the left that trim would not correct, had to hold alot of right while struggling to get it down with out damage which I managed to do. After fixing the warp it flys great, a night and day differance from the first flight.
One thing this plane does not like to do is rotate on take off. If the plane sits level its just an rc car cause it will cover alot of ground before it rotates. It really needs to sit with the nose pointing up a few degrees, Then it takes off great.
Its also fun just to take the wing off and haul up and down the street.
Thanks for the input on your build. I've had a few planes that really liked being on the ground so having a positive A.O.A. is definitely a planned preflight check.
I'm really kicking myself for not providing for larger main gear wire. It may or may not be needed but I like the extra insurance. I actually considered the mod while I was building but got distracted and never did it. I'm afraid the 1/16" gear wire may compress on landing and make life hard on props. I have to go with at least an 8" prop because of the low motor KV. I added an extra 1" length when I bent up the stock gear. I may tear out the gear block and make a new one so I can use 3/32" wire. We'll see. There is no hurry to finish the bird so I may come up with something completely different for gear in the mean time.
Here's the color scheme I'll probably go with if I have enough white left. Gotta dig through my covering box to see.....
This was one of those birds (SB28) that stayed stuck to the ground then popped off only with full up elevator and a lot of speed. Mine was the #3 prototype kit and the gear design gave it a negative A.O.A. I did some work to the mains and made it much better. A fast, fun plane to fly. Too bad it's no longer in production.
I made another small mod to my Blinker. I was a little concerned that the covering might pull away from the wing center so I decided to go ahead and sheet rib bay #1. Pretty easy stuff. It'll give a lot more area in the center for the covering to "grab" rather than just the top of a rib. If I were to build another one I'd just glue on the "fuselage top" after covering the wing instead. With the brutal summer heat fast approaching here in Phoenix a covering job really gets put to the test. You really have to make sure it's firmly anchored.
I took this picture before sanding and filling. I expected it to stiffen the wing a little but not as much as it did. It made a huge difference. I don't plan to sheet the bottom of the wing.
The fuse is all done and covered. The new gear I bent up works great with the 9" prop and the Himax 2808-980 motor. I ran it up on some new Gens Ace 800mah 3s packs and got 98 watts @ 8.3 amps. Tons of power and low amp draw. Should be a blast to fly. Of course I've already driven it around the house several times.
I probably won't get to work on it again for at least two more weeks but all I have to do is cover the wing and do some final touches. Hopefully a maiden soon......
Hmm, I forgot to post the "finished" pictures of the Blinker. I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out. I may add just a few more small decals. A.U.W. with the bigger 2808-980 motor and 3S 800mah LiPo is 13.4 oz. With the recommended smaller motor and 2S LiPo it would have been a lot lighter. I decided I didn't want to buy a new motor and used one I had on hand instead. At 100 watts I'll have more than enough power! I've been having some health issues lately so not sure when I'll get a chance to do the maiden. Hopefully soon as I'll bet this is going to be a really fun flyer.
The Blinker looks great! Please give some flight reports after you get a chance to fly it. Have I noticed a pattern to your covering schemes? I seem to remember a lot of Red, White and Blue "Thunder Bird" type schemes on some of your planes. Looks great!
Thanks Steve. Actually just the Blinker and the SB-28 have Thunderbird schemes but I do use white with red and blue accents on an awful lot of my planes. Being ex Navy you'd think I'd prefer Blue Angles scheme but I honestly don't care for the blue and gold. Because I have absolutely no creative skills the Thunderbird scheme looks cool and is easy enough for even me to produce.
I'd like to do the maiden next weekend. We'll see what the doc comes up with tomorrow.
I can't believe it took me 2 1/2 years to get around to maiden this thing but I went out this morning. It was WAY too windy but I did it anyway. I'm lucky to have brought it home in one piece. The video really doesn't show just how much I was fighting it. Weather Underground website showed winds in the area at 14 mph. It was at least that and very gusty. I love seeing people post that they like to fly in 20-30 mph winds. They're so full of crap I can smell them through the internet!
The video isn't great but at least I got something of the bird in the air. I'm looking forward to flying it in calmer conditions because if it wasn't a good flyer I definitely would have crashed!