There hasn’t been much lately on from-scratch scratch building going on. Time for an update?
Just finishing up building a balsa 1.6x version of Andy Clancy’s Ladybug. When I first joined the forum there was a building contest starting up and I thought entering would be a good intro. Built and flew the Ladybug, didn’t expect to win and did not. She flew OK, a bit fast for what she was and not much for aerobatics, but was fun to experiment with different motor and battery combos. I was looking for a smaller version of the Lazy Bee, and the Ladybug was not.
Fast forward to now, and I had the plans photo enlarged at an Alphagrapics to a 36” wingspan from the stock 22”. The plan has two different fuselages and tail designs and three wings, all very similar. I went with the second version this time, and chose the wingspan for efficient use of balsa. Note the apparent variations between the structures, the number of ribs in particular.
While straightforward, building for electric instead of nitro introduced some design changes. Note the nose in particular, the original had the firewall way too far back for an electric and I didn’t catch this early enough. Also had to introduce a battery platform and an access hatch. There is a bit of reinforcement to the structure where the original had rough landing damage.
Total weight at this stage is just over 19 oz. This is before sanding and covering but with all the electrics, motor, and battery. Rough estimate of the wing area is 430 sq inches,or 3 sq feet. Should come out around 7 oz per sq. foot. One issue I did not foresee was the weight of the landing gear. The scaled-up plan calls for 2.75” smooth balloon tires. DuBro wheels and the 5/32” axle account for 4.25 oz, way too much as a proportion of the total. Trexler wheels should be a lot lighter, but more expensive. Will see how she flies before considering replacing.
Will use nitrate dope and aerospan, which I prefer to use, and I’m thinking of painting her a gloss black on the fuselage and fin with aluminum on the wing and stab. Still undecided. I won’t be covering her for awhile as I’m committed to finish building all the planes that are sitting in their unfinished states. Will have a covering festival once all are completed.
Science has proven that six out of seven dwarves are not Happy.
Very nice! I've always wanted to build a Clancy bird but never got around to it. I have most of the plans so I should get off my butt and make it happen soon. Like you I have a backlog of unfinished projects that need to be done first.
I haven't been out to the C.B. in almost 10 years. Long drive for me but if the area I plan to fly over here doesn't work out I just might make the trek to see how many of the old gang are still out there.