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Old 03-27-2013, 11:02 PM   #1
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Default Dual Mini-Drake kit builds

Background: Tom (xmech2k) and I, at a club meeting, got to talking about the local club float fly. Tom had a copy of the AMA park flying magazine that had an article about Zeke's park scale models' Mini-Drake in it. We both decided to order one. Several weeks later and after several PM's we decided to start a build thread to share our trials and tribulations.

xmech2k- Real aircraft mechanic, model aircraft veteran, and power systems mentor.
Broncosquid- Model aircraft builder and RC rookie.

I'm either going to get good at flying em, or get good at fixin em!
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:29 PM   #2
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For My Drake I decided to go with 4 channels vice 3 by adding alerions. I have an 8 channel radio and dang it I'm gonna use them!
Refrencing several other sets of model plans, I decided on the alerion width and length. I wanted to keep the wing ribs at the alerion ends for strength.
I modified the wing by adding a strip of balsa the same width as the "main spar" and then cutting the original trailing edge. I had to modify the ribs a little to accept the new balsa pice. I also added some 1/16 sheet for covering attachment.
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Using alerions I decided to cut the dihedral in half. I drew out the two main spar pices, used a compass to bisect the angle. Cut the spars, pinned the halfs down, glued and reinforced with a little 1/64 ply.
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The completed wing. I still need to figure out servo placement and linkage.
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Tail feathers complete and ready for covering.
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I'm either going to get good at flying em, or get good at fixin em!
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:50 PM   #3
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Cool plane! I'll be following this thread.

Tom
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:19 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BroncoSquid View Post
xmech2k- Real aircraft mechanic, model aircraft veteran, and power systems mentor.
Broncosquid- Model aircraft builder and RC rookie.
LOL! Thanks for the intro, but I'm not sure that I'd classify myself as a veteran, just experienced, and I'm only a power system mentor in that I buy motors for this plane, find out they aren't right and buy another, etc... I'm on my 3rd one now! It's from Zeke's Park Scale Models so it should be the right one this time! The first time I tried to re-power an ARF I got it right on only the 2nd try. Being my first build, it's a learning process. Despite being an A&P, this isn't exactly like shooting rivets or doing a brake change on a 727!

I'll get some pics together tonight, but I think I'm about as far along as BroncoSquid now, minus the ailerons. I don't dare try to freelance at this point! But here's some specs for the plane:


Wingspan 23.8" (60.5cm)
Length 17.7" (45cm)
Wing Area ~117 in² (754 cm²)
Flying Weight ~4.1oz (116g)
Controls Rudder, Elevator and Throttle
Recommended Power System 10g brushless outrunner w/5x4.3 prop and a 6A esc

And here's a link to Zeke's Park Scale Models so you can see what else he makes. Being your average RC'er, I'm already looking at more planes even though this one's still being assembled. And I like the line of Cessna's he has that you don't normally see at the field. I'll just see how much the Mini-Drake hurts first!
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:52 AM   #5
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OK, I put everything in one picture to keep it simple! Yes, that's my mobile work area. Thanks to the economy, we have been downsized, and my work area is intermittently the kitchen.

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One of the main reasons I decided to build this, was in the AMA Parkflyer article, it said kits don't get much easier than this, so I figured even I should be able to do it! The biggest problem for me is tools, supplies, and such. I now have 2 rolls of Ultracote, 2 motors, and 3 batteries that don't work on this plane... I should have gotten Ultracote Parklite. One motor may be OK, but it doesn't swing the recommended 5x4.3 prop, only a 4x4, but the watts seemed to be OK per 'the formula' of watts per pound. Guess I'm just being anal about that 5x4.3 prop. The kit calls for a 2s 360mah battery, but in the Parkflyer magazine, the author said he was using a 750mah, so I thought it would be safe to order some 500's. At this point, it looks like they'd be too big to fit under the fwd hatch. Maybe they'll go under the wing. Just have to wait and see for CG. The motor pylon is still waiting on the right motor, since if I have to use that first motor, I'll have to do some kind of mods to make it fit. Should I have glued the carbon cross member to the elevators before covering?

I still need some balsa filler to fix some divots where I learned how quickly and well that glue sticks to cardboard, and get out the wax paper, amongst other things.

The wing and tail have gone together easily so far. The fuselage got me a little frustrated, as you just have to dry fit the formers in one side, then put the other side on, then glue. Plus it is not clear in the instructions, but the servo tray is tapered a bit, and it doesn't say if the narrow part should go fwd or aft. Still have to determine that.

Finally got a sock for my iron, so I may start covering the tail bits and wing soon.

Edit: On a sad note, the motor I thought would be perfect was from HeadsUp RC. Their site said 2.5A on 2S with 5x4.3 prop. I measured 5.9A! It was even over-amping with a 4x4. I now have a motor coming straight from Zeke's and it should be the one!


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Old 03-28-2013, 03:00 PM   #6
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I save old backing plastic from iron-on film covering to put over plans while building.

Just about nothing sticks to that plastic.

I do almost all of my building with common yellow wood glue. Used right its fast enough and far stronger than the wood. its cheaper than CA and you don't have to deal with becoming allergic to CA as quickly. (everyone WILL become allergic if they use enough CA)
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by xmech2k View Post
The fuselage got me a little frustrated, as you just have to dry fit the formers in one side, then put the other side on, then glue. Plus it is not clear in the instructions, but the servo tray is tapered a bit, and it doesn't say if the narrow part should go fwd or aft. Still have to determine that.
Tom, using the fuse side as a location guide, I had to lay ST against F5 in both directions to determine that ST tapers aft. Also, I think you need to dry fit the fuse, take it apart, then glue it together in the order described. I dont think just adding glue to the outside of the joints will be enough strength. Thin CA may be an exception. I am using Titebond II. (waterproof) Wood glue sands like wood, ca sands like a rock. Down side, I have to hold some parts together much longer with wood glue. Upside, I havn't glued my fingers together yet.

I'm either going to get good at flying em, or get good at fixin em!
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:24 PM   #8
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Another advantage of the yellow glues... if you put it together wrong you can get it apart with heat.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:14 PM   #9
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Titebond? Isn't that a denture adhesive?!? I've read about the poor sanding qualities of CA, but I figured this being my first kit, I just wanted to get a feel for things. As far as glueing the formers in the fuselage, it's so open in the belly, I think I can reach everything through there. I'll make sure not to get gobs of it out the sides through the slots of the formers.

And this is where I'll have to do some experimenting for the waterproofing anyway. I noticed somewhere someone mentioned a Minwax product in a rattle can for waterproofing? I already tried this Spar Urethane spray on some scrap and it made it warp quite a bit, and didn't seem waterproof after 2 or 3 applications anyway. (More unnecessary junk!) I think I'll try epoxy thinned with alcohol, as I also read somewhere. Just have to practice on some scrap first. Won't that be heavy? I guess that's what the alcohol is for? Thin it out so you just get a thin coat? And then the question is, do I waterproof the whole fuselage, just the bottom areas, or everything? (Even wings & tail feathers?)
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:18 PM   #10
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Epoxy coating will waterproof every time... but its HEAVY.

Some people say to spray the whole model with waterproofing before covering and to get ALL of the wood coated.

Eventually a plane that flies from or over water is going to end up landing in the water other than on the floats/hull.
The forward 1/3 of the wing (maybe back to 60% on the top of the tips with that high mount motor), front of the fuselage, motor pod and maybe the tailplanes on your plane are the parts that will be wet when it ends up inverted on the water.
You should at least spray the parts most likely to get wet with a couple of coats of clear lacquer. (model aircraft "Dope" is a lacquer based paint) "Lusterkote" will also work.
This is far lighter than epoxy if applied in light coats so you don't soak it deeply into the wood.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:49 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info. Where do I find some of these products? I didn't know they had a spray model dope. I wonder if it's even legal in California, where despite what they tell you, there is 'no fun allowed'! What about Lusterkote? I searched and found Lustrekote, a Monokote product. Is that it? I'll have to see if the LHS carries it, but once again, there is that evil CA 'no-fun' thing that may make it unavailable here.

Edit: OK, been to the hobby shop already! (Driving by on other business.) They had Lustrekote! Not much though. Got a can of flat clear.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by xmech2k View Post
I still need some balsa filler to fix some divots where I learned how quickly and well that glue sticks to cardboard, and get out the wax paper, amongst other things.
HomeDepot sells lightweight spackling compound which is cheap, works well. and is light, if you think the container is empty you got the right stuff.

Most dings in balsa can be removed by dipping your finger tip into water then touching the ding. I use a iron on it then and the ding disappears.

Beautiful plane BTW.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:07 PM   #13
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Balsa filler very light
It can be a bit hard to make stick. Thin with water and it sticks better. Also add just a few drops of Elmer's School Glue or carpenter's glue to the whole container and it sticks MUCH better. It will still sand easily.

For "structural filling" use Bondo Ultimate, Bondo lightweight or microballoons and epoxy.
Using microballoons is an art form...
Mix with 30 min or LONGER cure time epoxy.
Reserve a little of the epoxy you mix up with no microballoons in it.
Mix the stuff very thick. You want it balling up on the stir stick and not flowing.
Carefully paint a thin coat of epoxy onthe area and scrape it off with a credit card or similar. You just want the wood "wetted" (and it takes practice to see just how much is right)
then immediately apply the microballoons.
Microballoons done right is best for wing fillets and other formed shapes that need to put up with handling. It can be very lightweight.
DO NOT USE epoxy + microballons to fill a gap holding a firewall or landing gear plate in. (I've seen it done... it won't hold up)
You can use it to replace balsa triangle stock fillet/support for a rudder in some cases... but not all.

We used top be able to get Pactra Aerogloss dope in spray cans. I haven't seen it in years.
Lusterkote is still available and has always been in a spray can.
You can get Sig Dope, thin it and use an airbrush. Do it outdoors.... the fumes are a bit extreme.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:18 PM   #14
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Thanks for the tips, guys. I can use Soarrich's tip for the little fingernail dings, and the filler will be for stuff like the former slots on the fuselage sides and that chunk out of the h-stab left behind on my cardboard!
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by soarrich View Post
HomeDepot sells lightweight spackling compound which is cheap, works well. and is light, if you think the container is empty you got the right stuff.

Most dings in balsa can be removed by dipping your finger tip into water then touching the ding. I use a iron on it then and the ding disappears.

Beautiful plane BTW.
If you have a small ding in balsa and you dont realy want to use filler place a wet handy wipe over the ding and then touch your covering iron on it for a couple scounds. It will swell the wood and be back to normal or it might swell it a little higher so then you will have to sand it down a bit. joe
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:53 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by BroncoSquid View Post
Background: Tom (xmech2k) and I, at a club meeting, got to talking about the local club float fly. Tom had a copy of the AMA park flying magazine that had an article about Zeke's park scale models' Mini-Drake in it. We both decided to order one. Several weeks later and after several PM's we decided to start a build thread to share our trials and tribulations.

xmech2k- Real aircraft mechanic, model aircraft veteran, and power systems mentor.
Broncosquid- Model aircraft builder and RC rookie.
They made its big brother in the 70's and it was called a sea cruiser made by hanger desighns . It has a 60 inch wingspan and ailirons ,they called for a 40 to 60 size nitro but i used a strong ringed OS 60 . I have one built and bought another kit cause it flys so dam well. lol Kits are hard to find and go for good money when and if they come up but if they do they dont last long and are gone very fast.


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Old 03-30-2013, 09:16 PM   #17
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Thanks, RoadKing. I saved that PDF, just in case I get hooked!

And I made a test sample with the Lustrekote, and it seems to work great! Didn't leave a thick coat on the balsa, and I did a side by side test, with a drop of water on the treated piece and untreated piece of balsa. The untreated piece soaked it right in, the water bead just sat on top of the treated piece. Progress!
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:02 PM   #18
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If you want to try i nice foam seaplane the plans and videos are here plus birdofplay is cutting foam kits for sale if you dont feel like cutting your own . Iam using dollar tree foam on mine. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1839491
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:04 AM   #19
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Making me want to finish up my Seawind.

Forgot what motor I bolted in. Just need to finish setting up the retractable landing gear and CG check it.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:37 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
Making me want to finish up my Seawind.

Forgot what motor I bolted in. Just need to finish setting up the retractable landing gear and CG check it.
From what i have heard a larger seawind is hard to get on step and keep it tracking straight. I have the smaller electrict seawind and it flys well.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:39 PM   #21
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OK, time for a little update. Didn't do any filling yet, but assembled the fuselage frame and sanded down most of the protruding formers. (Need some grittier sandpaper for the plywood former!) I got the new motor in the mail yesterday. Still have to solder on the connector and see how she performs! sanded the rest of the parts a bit to smooth and get rid of high spots, rounded the edges of the flying surfaces.

One minor issue I had, was the back of the motor pylon. The little tab in the back that goes into the wing just snapped off while nothing while sanding. Glued it back on no problem. It's a very small piece of wood holding that tab. I think it would be a better design to have the tab a little further forward than at the thinnest part of the pylon, but it should survive, just have to be gentle.

Oh, and that 500 mah battery fits! Just... Have to wait and see about the CG.

Here's a couple of pics of her just fitted together. Nothing glued together yet.

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Old 04-03-2013, 09:30 PM   #22
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sub'd....XMech, Looks very good!

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Old 04-04-2013, 04:55 AM   #23
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LOL, I have been out of the loop for a couple of days. Mine is at the same stage as xmech, except glued. Pics soon. I did have one minor set back. I glued one of the 2 magnets for the battery cover in backwards, so when I put the battery cover on they repeled each other. DOH!

I'm either going to get good at flying em, or get good at fixin em!
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:00 AM   #24
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Bummer on the magnet thing. Did you get your motor yet? I may get a wild hair and solder mine and test it tonight. I can't wait to see if this is 'the one'.

I better get in gear to be ready for our float fly later this month!
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:45 AM   #25
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For magnetic hatches... I glue the magnets into the plane then civer them with saran wrap or scrap monokote backing then stick the other magnets on and epoxy the magnets into the hatch with it clamped or taped in place.

You never get them backward this way.
The hatch closes completely and the magnets will make contact with each other giving maximum hold power.
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