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Old 08-05-2012, 04:54 AM   #1
Bill G
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Default Heston Phoenix 36" span from Aeromodeller plans

Well I said I wouldn't start any new builds without getting some of these past builds in the air, but it looks like this place could use a few more build threads, so here it is:

The free plan can be found at and downloaded from outerzone.uk. The plan is not designed for retracts, which required a bit of effort to include. At this point the build is all downhill from here, with the retracts installed and working. The sub wing required to ply main spars to be fabricated, which support the landing gear frame pivot points. The plan has a former in the center of the sub wing which had to be omitted, to allow for the wheels to retract.

The retract installation was easier than I expected, with no problems incurred and works smoothy, which is not always the norm. The most difficult part is that you have to use every bit of useable space in the sub wing for a scale appearance, without increasing the thickness of the sub wing. Looking at the photos below, the servos were installed as deep into the fuse as possible, to the point where the pushrods run against the corner seam where the top edge of the inner sub wing former meets the fuse. The idea here is to increase the effective moment arm on the gear strut as much as possible in the retracted position, so that the pushrod will not jam when extending the gear. This is also necessary to gain as much mechanical advantage as possible to hold the doors closed, as the moment arm becomes minimal at this point.

Derek Martins build, which inspired me to build this ever since seeing it in Flying Scale a few years ago:


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ID:	161751 Gotta start somewhere. Looking carefully at the parts, one can see that I piece and glue together scrap balsa, recycling as much wood as possible.
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ID:	161752 Lot of notches to cut. The wealth of stringers will easily support 1/32" sheeting on the fuse.
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ID:	161753 Pretty much like a Guillows keel and former build. I'm debating whether to used the geared 3.1:1Himax 2015-4100 inrunner setup, which is ideal for an 8x4 prop.
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ID:	161754 This worked well: The wire frames make the complete landing gear strut from 1 piece of wire. The axles are all-thread, nutted to the long "U" bends at the bottom.
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ID:	161755 Cut away as much as possible from the sub-wing formers, to nearly fully recess the wheels in the fuse bottom.
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ID:	161756 Plastic tubing slit lengthwise and installed over the wire landing gear wire frame.
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ID:	161757 Landing gear doors added. The plastic tubing open ends are first glued to the inner wire, and then the doors are glued to the tubing.
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ID:	161758 Adjustable clevises used for pusrods. Clamps are used to properly located the servo mounting frame and test the retracts, before permanently gluing the mount to the frame.
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ID:	161759 Pushrod with "s" bend inserted in control horn. The control horn is cut from a servo arm, and glued into slot cut in the wheel bay door.
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ID:	161760 With the gear extended, there is nearly a 180 degree locking knee in the linkages, removing load from the servos and ensuring that the gear stays locked down.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:14 PM   #2
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Very nice Bill! Looking forward to updates.

Joe

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Old 08-11-2012, 05:05 AM   #3
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Thanks Joe

The wing construction is currently underway. It's always interesting to attempt to pre-cut an entire wing kit of parts for a modified design, and see if you can get every single notch correct. The wing is not exactly to plan, with the wingtips and ailerons being completely different from the plan. I also had an interesting time installing the tail wheel pushrod s-bend into the steering arm, using a pair of tweezers inserted through the stringers. Managed to flex the pushrod wire and get it in there, without breaking anything.


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ID:	161861 Full parts kit cut for wing assembly, with much of it custom. The fuse side windows will be oval in shape, with the diamond shaped inserts providing backing for the thin fuse sheeting.
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ID:	161862 This is as far as I can go, given the building board width. The plan will have to be shifted to complete the wingtip and aileron construction.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:39 AM   #4
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After getting far enough with the project to get a good idea of how this plane will balance, I decided to use a Heads Up Firepower 370 sport outrunner. The geared setup was heavier than necessary to balance the plane, as this plane has a long nose moment. This was all determined while taking into account the added weight of the 1/32" fuse sheeting that will be applied. It may have balanced with a 3s-1320 located behind the retract servos with the heavier geared setup, but I am trying to keep this plane as light as possible. With the lighter outrunner, it appears that the plane will still balance with the batt behind the retracts, although it may end up being more in the 900mah range. The lighter the better, as I've been satisfied with flight times using a 3s-900 in similar sized planes with similar motors. As for the battery location, it should work out well behind the retracts, as it will have a removable floor for tail servo access, and will eliminate the need for a curved door under the cowl area, and have a simple flat door instead.


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ID:	161904 Decided to use a lighter 370 outruner, versus the geared setup. The removable allen wrench is used to lock the prop shaft, while tightening the prop.
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ID:	161905 Tail servos and pushrods installed. The battery will mount below the servos.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:13 PM   #5
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I went against my tendency to sheet large areas and broke up the fuse into several sections. The inward curves on the rear fuse will buckle the sheeting, if sheeted across. Better to have a few seams, than a number of relief cuts and a ton of filler. Getting close to the covering stage now.


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ID:	161948 The split at the lower fuse in front of the sub-wing simulates the cowling overlap. Removable nose cap shaped to blend with cowling.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:28 PM   #6
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Subbed. Another interesting subject.

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:52 PM   #7
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Amazing model
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:14 PM   #8
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Very nice Bill! You do great work. What is your secret to cutting your wing spars identically? I can usually get about 75% of them to match and then keep trying and to get the rest to match.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Frank

PS and you are right about not enough build threads on here. But I am trying to fix that in our upcoming build clinic.

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Old 08-20-2012, 03:57 AM   #9
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Thanks for the comments all.

Originally Posted by Murocflyer View Post
Very nice Bill! You do great work. What is your secret to cutting your wing spars identically? I can usually get about 75% of them to match and then keep trying and to get the rest to match.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Frank

PS and you are right about not enough build threads on here. But I am trying to fix that in our upcoming build clinic.
Yes we need to do whatever we can to promote building. Seems to be declining everywhere. This is a good place to do that, since that other place has made it clear they are interested in ARF/RTF advertising money. Good to see you here. I think your thread should be here also, since people miss the other forum. One good thing here is that the title actually notes scratch and kit building. At RCU, they have a scratch building forum, but it seems to be used more for technique and general discussion versus building, as it is not as specific a title.

One thing I've been doing recently is to make a light cut first, and then a full cut, so that the blade does not follow grain paths but instead follows the guide. I have issues with patience, so I have to push myself to do that. The quality contest grades of wood obviously are obviously easier to cut. This plane varies however, as at least 30% of the parts are made from glued together scrap wood versus fresh sheet, which allowed me to build the plane from a very small quantity of sheets. As for the spars, I mark the height at a number of places with a very fine pencil, before aligning a metal ruler and cutting. The ribs are cut using a thin ply or hardwood template. The template edges are coated with CA, to further harden and prevent the blade from damaging the template.

The small partial ribs at the LE required a bit of effort. It is nearly impossible to cut the flat such that they align perfectly with the other ribs, when assembling. No matter what you do by hand, one cannot quite replicate the accuracy and consistency of laser cutting. What I ended up doing was to use thick CA to lightly glue about 1/3 of the flat surface of the rib to the spar. The rib would then be checked for alignment with the other ribs. If it was out of alignment, I would literally tear the still soft glue joint and reposition the rib until the alignment was good. Note that these are very minor adjustments. At that point the joint would be glued with thin CA, which runs down the joint while only touching the bottle to one spot and not disturbing the part.

The fuse is now being covered with Microlite, which will be painted in the blue color of VH-AJM. The wings will be covered in Parklite silver.


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ID:	162013 Battery door test fitted and hinged with GWS hinge material. There is a removable floor at the bottom of the tray, for tail servo access.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:58 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advice on cutting spars and that is a great idea of coating the template edges with CA.

Not to throw your build thread too far off topic, but I also have a clinic thread on WF as well. (see my sig line) There are 4 people signed up from here. But there are not many people on WF to begin with and very few people actually build anything anymore. We have 18 people on RCG signed up (not counting myself). Isn't that sad? On these two forums that have thousands and thousands of people, only 23 total people are willing to participate in the clinic. Of course I can certainly understand folks being in the middle of a build not participating though, but as you noted, there are not many of those.

I think I am going to try to do all I can to help with introducing folks into building model airplanes. It is just way too much fun not to build. Flying to me is only a very small part of this hobby/sport.

Frank

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Old 08-21-2012, 03:05 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Murocflyer View Post
Thanks for the advice on cutting spars and that is a great idea of coating the template edges with CA.

Not to throw your build thread too far off topic, but I also have a clinic thread on WF as well. (see my sig line) There are 4 people signed up from here. But there are not many people on WF to begin with and very few people actually build anything anymore. We have 18 people on RCG signed up (not counting myself). Isn't that sad? On these two forums that have thousands and thousands of people, only 23 total people are willing to participate in the clinic. Of course I can certainly understand folks being in the middle of a build not participating though, but as you noted, there are not many of those.

I think I am going to try to do all I can to help with introducing folks into building model airplanes. It is just way too much fun not to build. Flying to me is only a very small part of this hobby/sport.

Frank
Not a problem bringing the build clinic up here. Interesting that flying is only a small part of the hobby to me also. I finally got around to flying something the other day in the small field out back, for my nephew who was visiting. My brother-in-law took some good video of my Herr Pitts which I was fortunate to not destroy in the small area, but of course didn't work the camera correctly for the flight that was worth showing.

One thing that surprises me, but then again doesn't surprise me, is that given the massive membership of that other place, they only had 18 sign ups. Shows what's happening to building there too. The build-offs have been a good idea, but they also tend to only have a small finish ratio. Manzano used to send kits for free to be prototyped, and the volunteers would never build them. Now they send them at a low price, and they still volunteer but don't build them. Difficult to get any build commitments, given that it's something that we can easily all do at home with a bit of time here and there. Charlie of Manzano and Peter Rake have done a good deal to promote building there, and somehow the ad money hungry admin there have had the sense to not shake Manzano down, as they do to any ARF distributor. If that happened, we may see an exodus of people coming to this forum.

As for the Phoenix, I finished covering the fuse, and am onto the wings now.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:25 AM   #12
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I swiped a receiver with programming from my Eflite SeaFury, which has a similar retract setup. It would have taken me a while to figure out how to mix the opposite motion retract servos, without using the previous setup. There may be an easier way to do it, but it still took me a few minutes to remember that 3 of the 4 endpoints were adjusted using the Gear channel, but the 4th endpoint had to be set using the slaved Flap channel.

AUW and balance are looking good. As of now, it balances just a hair forward of the plan CG, but with added tail paint weight and aft wing weight, it should need a few grams of nose ballast. This is still much better than using the considerably heavier initial geared setup, and then needing a larger battery to balance. The AUW should be around 16.5oz with a 3s-900TP lipo. Wing loading will be around 12.8oz/sq-ft, with 186sq-in of wing area. I'll be more than happy with the roughly 8 minutes of flight time I get from similar setups, as wing loadings of 13oz/sq-ft are relaxing to fly and land on planes this size.

Short video of retracts in motion:
http://youtu.be/7gQUxUKVNCU


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Old 08-22-2012, 06:12 PM   #13
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Ready to assemble the wings, after painting the fuse. It's amazing how quickly room is eaten up with features such as retracts, even with a large cocpit area. The battery tray/receiver bay/servo access bay worked out well, although there's not much room to spare. With the partial battery tray floor installed, there is just enough room for the receiver to fit in the corner. At least with this design, I can pretty much get to everything in the future, if I have to.


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ID:	162059 Battery bay will also hold wider packs, without the foam shim. The receiver is in the corner, pushed into the cabin area to provide battery room.
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ID:	162060 The aileron servo leads will be routed inside the front window pillars, to hide from view. Window glass will be installed after tying off the harness
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:03 AM   #14
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Well it's BLUE!
The Monokote Sky Blue is a good match to the color used on the large scale model featured in Flying Scale.
Finally getting feeling back in my thumb and forefinger. The painting method used was to first paint the tail surfaces. Next, hold the prop shaft with your fingers, turning the fuse while painting, until it has a good coat. The Monokote paint is a good paint for using over covering. One drawback is that you have to be careful when using it for multi-tone paint jobs, as it can lift at the tape line. It's a bit rubbery until fully cured. This plane is a solid color however, and avoids that issue.


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ID:	162087 The missed wheel pant was painted right after taking this photo. Added the front side window pillars before painting, to avoid marking and having to touch up the fuse. Lines on fuse side are reflections from the wing.
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:11 AM   #15
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Another task out of the way, which is dry fitting the wings. The strut wing mount points were slightly repositioned from the drawing, due to adding ailerons where the rear strut mount would sit. They were moved about 10mm forward from the drawing location. The struts therefore had to be redrawn, to mount at the relocated spots. Fitting the struts required literally hundreds of small shaves and minor decking to the sub-wing mounting surface, for proper alignment. The same process was done to the strut ends, until the wing sat with desired dihedral. Another issue is the the struts have to be mounted first, and then the wing panels installed. The wing panels would not have ample support if only glued to the fuse header, and need the firmly glued struts to sit on, while installing. Lessons learned from mismatched incidences in the past is another concern. The inner wing ribs sit on a small ledge on the fuse, created by the sheeting. The ledge was trimmed to position the wing panels with matched incidences, when located on the ledge.


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Old 08-26-2012, 03:24 AM   #16
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Paint weighs. I had figured on using a bit of nose ballast after painting, but nearly an ounce is too much, so the battery has been relocated to where I had initially planned. The formers had been previously reinforced, anticipating the possible removal of the fuse keel for the front battery bay. New fuse keels were added between the formers, to restore most of the original strength. The old bay is still needed for servo/receiver access. The AUW now is 16oz using a TP 3s-910 with no ballast required, with a few more grams to be added when the window glass is installed.

The wings are now permanently installed, after some hours of fitting to match the dihedral and incidence of the panels.


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Old 08-26-2012, 04:43 AM   #17
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She is really looking good Bill! And you are doing a great job with explaining the process as your build progresses. You are very good at this.

Keep up the great work and I'm still following along.

Frank

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Old 08-26-2012, 02:40 PM   #18
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Thanks for the kind words Frank.

Getting close to complete now, with the window glass and a few details and decals remaining. I went through a few iterations, drawing templates for the registration letters, until I got the scale and appearance reasonably correct. I may have to look into some of the web font downloads for aircraft registration fonts, although I'm a bit leery of downloading anything.


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ID:	162131 Needs another coat of silver paint, to cover the woodgrain soakage. The upper and side front window pillars were cut from plastic square stock, with CF laminated to the unseen inside portion. The CF reinforcements were shaved down from scrap CF spars.
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ID:	162132 Next the window glass will be added, and aluminum window pillar/frame lines will be carefully painted on the glass and side window perimeters, which should hide any glue underneath.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:47 PM   #19
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Still have some small details remaining, along with the side windows. Finally got around to installing the top and front window glass, which was an easy task to put off. Thick CA was used sparingly with activator, to install the window panes. Fortunately, I didn't have any frosting issues, achieved by using very light glue application. The curved upper front corner windows are the most difficult, as they have to be formed around a dowel for a near perfect fit before gluing in place.


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ID:	162277 The lower templates were drawn and scanned. Printouts were glued to the back of silver covering material and cut out. The process works well with decal material also.
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ID:	162278 Front and top windows in place, with a very careful gluing process. The front windows should look good, after the aluminum frames are painted on.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:18 PM   #20
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Very nice job Bill.
Been watching, just haven't had much to say.
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:17 PM   #21
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Thanks PD1
The plane's finally finished, and I'm pretty optimistic about this one, with its good proportions and just over 16oz AUW at 36" span and 186sq-in of wing area.

My Heston Phoenix:


Derek Martin's model that inspired me:


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ID:	162320 Time to buy more lettering. I had just enough letters for the "BILLING" text, other than hand cutting one "L". I understand that Billing was a family name of the owner.
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ID:	162322 The registration letters were ironed on, which works well if you're careful to keep the flat tip of the iron only on the letters and off of the paint.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:58 AM   #22
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Default Heston Phoenix flies

Maidened the Phoenix today with the unusually good weather, and had an uneventful flight. The 370 outrunner had more than ample power, with most of the flight at part throttle. Now that I know the plane flies and lands well, I'll have to takeoff and land on pavement, with the functional retracts. I had two flights today, as the camera did not properly record the first flight. Both flights showed that the plane does not seem to drop a wing when stalled, and mushes well with the washout. This was pleasing, as I have similar planes such as my Guillows Cessna 172 that flies well, but will drop a wing if slowed too much at landing. The Eric Fearnley designed Heston Phoenix is a good building plan, for a no-frills off-the-board flyer.


You Tube Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYhYU...ature=youtu.be
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:23 PM   #23
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Congrats on the maiden. Beautiful model and another great build log, thanks!

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:28 PM   #24
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Glad to hear it flew well Bill.

What's next?

Paul
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:01 PM   #25
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Congratulations on a very successful maiden Bill.
A beautiful model, beautifully built.
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