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Old 11-20-2014, 01:56 AM   #1
Stevephoon
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Build Review 45" Waco YMF-5 from T&J Models, Designed by Jim Young, Build Log

I've been searching and researching for a mid/large biplane to build, that should fly well and let me start down the scale building path. Here's what I decided on:

45" Waco YMF-5 Complete Short Kit from T&J Models
http://www.tnjmodels.rchomepage.com/tnjwaco45.php


(Photo from tnjmodels.rchomepage.com)

Specifications
•Scale:1/8
•Wing Span: 45"
•Length: 33.5"
•Wing Area: 553 sq. in.
•Weight: 50-55 oz.
•Wing Loading: 13 oz./sq. ft.
•Recommended Motors: Scorpion 3020-16
•Recommended Battery: 3S 3300mAhr LiPo's
•Balsa and plywood construction


I received the Waco kit today. (After the USPS tried to deliver it to the wrong address yesterday...) This means lots of questions coming! As I just start planning, I'd thought of two questions...

1. This kit requires spruce spars and misc balsa sizes to complete. Where should I buy the needed wood? I was thinking National Balsa because they let you select grades and sell the needed spruce spars. Anyone else like National? What grade of balsa would you suggest? Light contest grade, or a mix as needed?

2. Motor question. If I stray from the recommended motor, is a slightly lighter or heaver motor best to look for. (ie, is any one adding weight to the nose or tail, or moving the battery one way or another) Probably no one here on WattFlyer has built one, but I thought I'd ask...

I plan on sending Jim Young, the designer, an email with these same questions and invite him here as well... Hopefully he'll join the conversation occasionally.

The build is still very much in the planning stages. I may not even have time to start until Christmas, but with as bad as the weather is, I may be able to start sooner.

Steve

ps. This build is Forge's fault for posting his gorgeous WWI biplane builds.

pps. I briefly talked to Jim at this year's Mid-America Electric Flies and saw him fly some of his planes including his new Mig-17. All of his planes are fantastic looking and fly well!

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Old 11-20-2014, 02:30 AM   #2
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Default

Nice looking plane needed to get my subscription in to follow along.

To bad you didn't post this a week ago. Hyperion was selling there old stock to make way for the new version of motors. They had one that would of been a drop in for you, but they are gone 61 dollar motor for 21 dollars.http://www.empirerc.com/hyperion-zs3...or-p-4368.html

Looking forward to seeing this come together.
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Old 11-20-2014, 03:15 AM   #3
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Hi Gramps.

What do you know... I ordered one of those and some of the Hyperion 45 amp S-BEC ESCs as well from ALLeRC. It should be here on Friday ... The recommended scorpion is lighter, but not a lot... I guess great minds think alike.

Not sure if I'm going to use it on the Waco.. It's overkill, but if it needs the weight anyway, why not...

Steve

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Old 11-20-2014, 09:43 PM   #4
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Default

I did hear back via RcGroups from Jim Young. Here's his thoughts on the questions I posed above.

To answer your questions:

1.) The Waco builds light, so there is no need for contest grade balsa. I would recommend a mix and select the best grain pattern for the purpose. The stringers should be pretty stiff stock, and you will need some soft balsa for laminating the curves.

2.) Mine, with the Scorpion motor, the 3s 3300 pack is about an inch behind the firewall for correct balance. There is plenty of room to move the battery back if you go with a heavier motor, or larger pack. balance has not been an issue with the other Waco's I've seen built and flown. The recommended power is more than enough, and most flying is at half throttle or less, and there is plenty of punch for a loop and a roll.
So an order for wood from National Balsa will be placed soon.

The Hyperion motor may work weight wise... According to what I've read about this model, 400 watts is really all you need to fly well. The 800 watt Hyperion motor would need to be propped way down so the wings stay on!

Steve

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Old 11-25-2014, 04:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Stevephoon View Post

ps. This build is Forge's fault for posting his gorgeous WWI biplane builds.

Steve,

I've been accused of a few missteps in my day, but never for inciting someone into building a bipe

The plane looks beautiful and I wish you the best of success with the build! I am subscribed!

…and taking some time to plan your build strategy is a good move. Planning is key.

Good luck!

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Old 11-25-2014, 01:39 PM   #6
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Welcome aboard Forge. I was hoping you'd find my build.

I have ordered some wood. The Hyperion motor that was mentioned above is too much. About 2 oz heavier than the suggested motor. So... Here are a few things that are in my head. I do not have any 3300 mAh 3S batteries, I do have some 4S 2600 mAh that do not have a home. These weigh about the same as 3300 mAh 3S batteries so it would be nice to use them. But finding a motor that light enough with a low kv so I can swing the needed 11 or 12 in prop at an appropriate power levels has been a challenge. Basically I'm looking for about 400 watts on 4S with an 11 in prop with a motor that weighs 160 gms or so that is a back mount. Here's the leading candidate so far.
EMax GT2826/06

HeadsUp is out of stock on them, but they are available from lots of places.

Also this Turnigy SK3 3548 may work as well.

Steve

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Old 12-20-2014, 05:35 PM   #7
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Default Getting Started

The Waco short kit comes with plans (2 sheets), instructions, two bundles of cut balsa and one bundle of cut ply. It all came carefully packed and without any issues. All of the wood is of a nice quality and there are no issues with the cutting.

I have now received my order for the rest of the needed wood from National Balsa. I ordered the wood because the kit requires some spruce spars and I was not sure where I could pick some up. I ended up ordering lots of other pieces… You never know when you may need something!

You start by creating laminated, curved pieces for the wing tips and tail feathers. These are made up from 4 pieces of 1/16 balsa so you end up with a ¼ in square piece. I first copied the needed templates from the plans using my little all in one printer. I cut out the needed shapes and glued them on some fan fold foam. I cut and sanded the foam to make some templates for shaping the pieces. I rough cut the balsa to the needed length and then soaked them in water for about 10-15 minutes. After they were easily bendable, I added a bead of Titebond in between four layers and bent them around the form. This is the first time I have laminated bends like this. It was easier to do than I thought it would be.

The tail feathers are built up from the laminated outlines, 3/32 stock and dowels. The rudder also uses 3 pieces of the kit’s laser cut balsa laminated together. One thing I found out is that the tail also requires 3/16 balsa, which is not on the list of required wood. I just laminated two pieces of the 3/32 stock together. My cut pieces are not perfect, but I think they will do.



Steve


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Old 12-20-2014, 05:58 PM   #8
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You do of course realise that now you are into building a Biplane ... you are doomed forever to Bipes ....

There is nothing quite like a Biplane for character and presence in the air.

Nigel

222kph PKJ,EDF Concorde, Mini4,Mig3,T45,PKJ twin,ME109,Edge540,Cessna182,Skymaster Biplane,F15,F16,Badius,Ultimate,SE5,Qbee10,450 Heli,V911,J3 Cub Founder 9x forum: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Flysky_RC_radio/
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Old 12-20-2014, 08:01 PM   #9
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looks sweet!!!i am subscribed to following along.. stu

narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 12-21-2014, 04:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
You do of course realise that now you are into building a Biplane ... you are doomed forever to Bipes ....

There is nothing quite like a Biplane for character and presence in the air.

Nigel
I already love bipes and drool over some the guys at the club have. All I have is my little Mountain Models EVA Bipe. It's a great plane, but something bigger is needed for the club field.

Originally Posted by tobydogs View Post
looks sweet!!!i am subscribed to following along.. stu
I almost went for a Smith Miniplane like yours, but I saw one of these earlier this year and fell for it. The designer only lives about 15-20 miles away, so I thought I should support some local talent as well.


Steve

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Old 12-28-2014, 01:28 AM   #11
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Default Weekly Update

Getting started on the lower wing.

You start with the center section flat on the plans. The center rib is three 1/16 ply pieces laminated together. The front of the middle piece has a cut out to make a socket for a dowel for mounting the wing. The bottom and top of the middle spar are spruce, with a ply shear web and balsa for the rear pieces and leading edge. This much gets sheeted.

Right lower wing... Again spruce for the bottom and top center spar. You shim up the center section with supplied ply shims so you can get the proper dihedral while building the right wing flat on the table. You start with the ribs that but up to the ply spar, then add the rest. You insert 1/16 balsa sheer webs out to where the upper wing attachment rib is. This rib is 3 layered pieces of ply with some "pockets" for the N wing attachment. The last three ribs get thinner and thinner and the bottom spar needs to bend up with them. I had some issues getting the spar to bend enough and it's ended up a little too low at the end. Some additional work will be needed on this later. The curved, laminated wing tip was a little hard to get into place as well. It starts on the build surface but angles up to meet the spar. I was not 100% sure how high up it should go. I went with keeping everything level at the top spar. This seems correct from the instruction manual. Added top spars, leading edge and trailing edge pieces. Then added the sheeting and top caps.

This was a week's worth of occasional building. I'm using mainly Titebond glue as well, so that slows me down some too. So far so good.




Steve


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Old 12-28-2014, 02:54 AM   #12
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Steve,

It is looking very fine. ... Nice work. Inspiring to do some building myself! I think I have to go crawl down in my cave now too and get to work.

Thanks for posting up the progress. Good luck and success with this one!!

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Old 01-10-2015, 02:18 AM   #13
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Default Bottom wing complete and on to top.

The mirror side was created and caps put on top and bottom. It still needs a good sanding. I've only shape sanded the wing tips so the cap strips can get glued on in the right places.



The top wing is the same build as the bottom, but just a little bigger. So I'll probably not post much until I get past it. Center section is ready for the sheeting.

Steve


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Old 01-10-2015, 04:53 PM   #14
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Steve,

Looking nice! ... keep going

It's freeeeeeezing here... may need to go down to the man cave later today to do some building myself. Thanks for the inspiration.

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Old 02-01-2015, 10:03 PM   #15
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Default Two Wings

I've got two wings now! The top builds pretty much just like the bottom. There are fewer 1/2 ribs so it actually builds up faster than the bottom wing. There has been only a couple of swipes of sandpaper so far. The minimum needed to keep building... The wing tips, leading edge and ailerons need a fair amount of shaping still. But the structure is complete!



I'm planning on starting on the fuselage next!

Steve


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Old 02-08-2015, 02:13 AM   #16
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Default Battery Tray / Firewall

You start the fuselage by assembling the battery tray first. The battery tray and firewall are made from 1/16 ply. The firewall is two pieces laminated together. The big nose is assembled by some 1/4 balsa and sheeting. The blisters were made from two pieces of aileron stock glued together. Then shaped to a wing like outline. Form a "wing tip" shape and cut that off. Repeat 14 times and you have enough!

It's been rough sanded. The blisters will need a little bit of filler as well, but overall it's looking good.



This whole assembly will be able to slide in and out of the fuselage. It's how you change the battery!


Steve


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Old 02-08-2015, 03:30 AM   #17
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Stevo,

That's looking beautiful… very nice very nice cowl design and workmanship. cool

…interesting, though I am not sure I like the idea of having to pull the prop and cowl off for every flight. I have a p47 that I have to do that with. not bad… but not my favorite battery setup.

…looking good.
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Old 02-08-2015, 01:54 PM   #18
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The entire assembly gets pinned into place. Remove the pins and slide the whole thing out. Here's a video of the prototype build showing it.

YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.

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Old 02-08-2015, 02:32 PM   #19
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Steve your build looks great, and you answered my question before I could ask it. Neat way to remove the power system to change the battery.
Kinda reminds me of the swappable line of planes that you can switch the power pod to other planes. Flitest planes comes to mind.
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:38 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Stevephoon View Post
The entire assembly gets pinned into place. Remove the pins and slide the whole thing out. Here's a video of the prototype build showing it.

YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.
Wow, very, very slick… I hope that pilot is very stiff and sturdy below the belt line… al lot of work and money is on the line with that setup… coo;
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:59 AM   #21
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Default Some progress on the fuselage

I've been very slowly building along when I have some free time. Getting a sinus infection didn't help either... But things are starting to progress along.

The fuselage is started with 1/16 ply pieces. You make the part needed to accept the nose assembly first. You first make sure everything fits with the front battery tray assembly and tack glue. Then remove the assembly and glue well.

Then you bend up the landing gear wire. It's 1/8 in wire. I had to borrow a fellow club member's wire bender to bend it. It was a K&S bender. It worked great. Mount the gear to the fuselage crutch, wrap some wire around where they join and then solder them together. It took me some time to get everything to line up, but it ended up pretty good. The gear is pitched forward a little more than what the plans call for, but I deemed it acceptable.

Then the real fun. Mounting the rear end. You build a temporary tray that slides into the crutch. These pieces are part of the laser cut parts, so they are the correct size and straight. You slide the next couple of formers on and add some 3/16 square balsa braces. Then the part I had the most concern about. Mounting the rudder assembly. It is assembled in free space. I first squared up the crutch on the gear and leveled it out. I weighted it down to make sure it wouldn't move. I tapped the ruder to a square and triangle at just the right height to meet with the crutch. Try and keep everything lined up and add some stringers on all sides. I let this much dry, then added rest of the stringers later. The stringers are 3/32 x 3/16 hard balsa. It seems to have come out rather straight and is much stronger than I would have thought.

It's beginning to look like something!

Steve



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Old 02-26-2015, 03:22 AM   #22
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Stevo,

Sweet!! The bird is looking great. …I know what you mean about "...slowly building along". It's hard to find time with all of the other things going on with life and work. I've been grinding away on my build here or there when I have time.

Thanks for posting up the pics, it's nice to see what you're working on, and how it goes together.

Really nice, it will be beautiful plane… you are motivating me to go back down into my cave to work.

Thanks, and keep up the good work!

Have a good night.

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Old 02-27-2015, 03:15 AM   #23
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Forge, Thanks for the kind words and the encouragement. This is my most ambitious build yet and so far I'm liking it!

I put on a couple more pieces tonight. The forward 1/2 formers, some 3/16 square balsa stringers to hang them on and the front balsa pieces. Next is some sanding at the nose and sheeting.

Steve



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Old 03-08-2015, 03:36 AM   #24
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Default More Fuselage Work!

Some more steps completed! The horizontal stab and elevator are mounted in brass tubes. I needed to enlarge the holes some and then epoxied them in. I inserted the horizontal stab while gluing up to make sure everything was straight. It came out pretty well. Some sheeting around the tail area is next. I soaked the sheeting in water first and then camped in place so the sheeting would conform to the needed shape. The next day it was glued on. It's still going to need some filling around the tubes and right at the vertical stab, but it will work.

I then created the wheel pants from some of the laser cut balsa. Glue them together, then lots of balsa dust. One of those remove balsa until it looks right type jobs.

Then sheeting around the front. I started with the top piece. I started with 3 pieces put together to the rough shape. Then windexed the outside and taped it in place. The next day it was trimmed to shaped, the cockpit cut out and glued in. Three bottom pieces and two for the side and it was done! With the big pieces, I first applied thick CA in the hidden structure and then put on the sheeting and tacked down the edges with this CA. Worked well in this case. The smaller pieces were attached with this CA.

This is one fat, round plane!



Steve


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Old 03-08-2015, 08:21 AM   #25
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A gorgeous subject and great building... looking forward to seeing it completed.
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