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Old 03-09-2016, 04:06 AM   #1
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Default Balsa USA Smoothie

Well, the bench is far too clean for me to be comfortable with. I stumbled across the Balsa USA Smoothie and realized I really like the looks and styling of this old favorite and I see plenty of nose for a generous battery hatch. Will figure out the power system over time. Anyone here have any experiences or tips with these beauties?


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Old 03-14-2016, 10:20 PM   #2
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Step 1 Fuselage: Lay motor on plans....

Waiting on the Motrolfly DM2820-950 which I ordered late so kind of at a stop.
Main wing comes in at 9.5oz sans servo boxes (which I ordered late) but it does have a nice fat symmetrical airfoil.
Everything fore of the CG will be basically left as drawn except for a fiberglass cowl I will build when I get to that point. Everything aft of CG will be lightened to some extent (adding a wire elevator joiner however) in an attempt to balance with only battery placement.

After building primarily laser cut kits, I am starting to see why this is called the Smoothie. The sanding. It's because of all the sanding.


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Old 03-14-2016, 10:23 PM   #3
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Actually its based on how its supposed to fly...

Kits of that time all looked like boxes of sticks with a big folded or rolled paper plan set.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:25 PM   #4
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Honestly I'm enjoying it. I think I need to start considering dust collection. Maybe a simple box fan with a pleated furnace filter taped to it. Forgot to mention but at this point, my favorite tool has been the razor plane.

Photo reminded me. Almost forgot to glass the wing joint.

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Rob
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:46 PM   #5
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Dust collection is always problematic.

Dust in the air can be reduced with your box fan idea, but you'll go through a lot of filters. Maybe use a washable one.
Not finding a link to the green cut to fit washable CHEAP filters that I have seen at WalMart and Lowes... Kind of like a coarse oversize green scrubbie pad.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:34 PM   #6
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I sand large stuff on my closed in porch or outside if its nice out on a table in my back yard . Keeps the balsa clouds down in the shop. Nice build ! joe
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:44 AM   #7
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I'm glad you're doing this build. This is a plane I've had my eye on as well, but I could never find out much about it. Looks like a perfect plane to convert to electric. Keep up the good work.

Steve

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Old 03-16-2016, 01:10 AM   #8
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Thanks guys. It's going well. I have no doubts this will come together well. Any changes from drawing I will list here. Still no deliveries. More lightening, bevels, tapped LG block for aluminum landing gear, tapered hinge blocks for main wing TE and hinges. Box fan helps quite a bit with containment as well as vigilant use of the vacuum. While using spur drill bits, It is best to set a stop before the drill goes completely through the work, flip the piece over and pick up on the center point from the spur.

I don't have a short temper. I just have a quick reaction to B.S.
Rob
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:12 AM   #9
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Motor and tail servos arrived. Motrolfly 2820-950 and Hitec 5245MG's for the tail.

Supplied doublers were going to require 1.5 inches of standoffs. Not my style on a build, nor is a simple butt joint.
Had no desire to drive 60 miles round trip for lite-ply either. Decided to extend the existing doublers with a 1" strip of 1/32 birch ply crossgrained at 40 degrees. Appears to have let me hit the structural points and allowed for some fancy lightening...

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Old 03-17-2016, 12:31 AM   #10
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Heck, I may just make this entire nose out of balsa and forget about the fiberglass.

I don't have a short temper. I just have a quick reaction to B.S.
Rob
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Old 03-18-2016, 01:08 AM   #11
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Added braces from the firewall to the bulkhead behind the cockpit. These anchor to the motor mount, support the bulkhead that was hacked above the landing gear mount, support the servo rails, widen the wing saddle contact points a bit and create a shelf to screw the battery tray to which will also have the Castle 90 mounted below. Bulkhead above landing gear plate also needed to be further hacked for airflow and to route the power and rx leads. The "chin" block will also be cleared to add an additional air intake.

Decided to build 2 degrees directly into the nose.

Trying to square everything I can off of the surface plate using the front of the wing saddles to square the two fuse side. Will most likely set on the plans when it is time to set the tapering of the fuse.

The rear fuse is essentially a hollow box. I decided to hold off on lightening and see where the balance point lands before cutting anything out there.



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Rob
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Old 03-18-2016, 08:48 PM   #12
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Main wing pin hole went in with no problems. I was a little concerned in what influence the dihedral (1") would have on the location of the hole located per instructions. It actually gave a wing some positive pressure against the saddles. Fits nicely.

The instructions state to drill and tap 1/4-20 threads into the rear mount block. 10-24 nylon bolts were supplied with the kit. Luckily I checked. I am ok with the smaller bolts. I can always open them up later.

I like to stake a pin in a central location on the tail (or nose for h stab) for wing squaring. A small mark on the string is far easier than fumbling with a tape measure.

Hopefully (scheduled) receive control rods, wing servos and tail wheel assy. today.

It's starting to turn into an airplane...




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Rob
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Old 03-19-2016, 03:16 AM   #13
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Preliminary CG Mock Up.

Have the vast majority of components installed or placed. First is a 5000mAh 4s and second is 4400mAh 3s2p. Very pleased with the amount of wiggle room this model provides. Did quite a bit of lightening on the tail feathers and covering should move the battery forward a bit but none the less, this is shaping up nicely.




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Rob
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:10 PM   #14
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Balsa nose is completely doable with supplied balsa, as drawn. Dropping the motor mounting screws in will be a piece of cake. I was somewhat concerned with the tapering due to moving the square firewall forward but does not appear to be creating an issue.

This is a 2 3/8" spinner, while I wait for the 2 1/2" to arrive. Long story but I had purchased multiple auctions from a seller. I am now the proud owner of a spare 1 1/2" spinner.

You can barely make out the upper fillet blocks. Generous air scoop underneath. Rough razor planed from rear cockpit to nose, about 20 minutes. Nice little tool.


I don't have a short temper. I just have a quick reaction to B.S.
Rob
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:43 AM   #15
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Started hitting epoxy on the top corner of the motor mount. Move the firewall 1.5" forward of the plan and this is about as far as you will get without other adjustments

Massive battery bay tongued in front and magnets in the rear. Will require a cross brace on the top edge of compartment that will be sorted out after battery is in final location. I pretty sure the lightening inside the hatch will have me being accused of flying Chinese ARF. Oh well. Fuse comes in at 11oz.

Last step with the wood will be rounding turtle deck and pinning tail group corner blocks in for rounding. I hope to have this done tomorrow.

Any thoughts/experience in detailing Ultracote with Coverite Microlite? Planning to cover completely solid then add some details. I'm hoping that the difference in working temps will help to relieve some of the frustration.




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Rob
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Old 03-20-2016, 03:58 AM   #16
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Made a precision jig to locate the tail blocks from tail lightening scrap. Blocks were tack glued at front surface and there is about 3/4" of contact on the fuse side. Pulled jig back a little and flowed those joints solid then slid it back in place. I will leave the jig in place until covering. This basically wraps up the wood work for this one aside from contouring nose.

All together it is 23.4oz wood and glue.






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Old 03-20-2016, 08:34 PM   #17
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Really liking the Ultracote. It may be my new go-to when structure permits. Building panels of Ultracote detailed with Coverite Microlite is working well. At about 230-240 degrees the microlite really bonds (delaminating bond) to the Coverite finish (cream). Shrink seems to be relatively similar.

Maybe some good old fashioned polka dots for the bottom...


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Rob
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Old 03-25-2016, 01:55 AM   #18
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Getting much closer. I think I was at 28oz of just wood and covering. Not sure if main landing gear was on or not now that I think about it. Will edit later if the aftermarket gear was on. Finally time to install electronics and put some life into this thing....


I don't have a short temper. I just have a quick reaction to B.S.
Rob
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:10 AM   #19
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Looks like a professional job.
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:26 AM   #20
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Thanks! It still needs a little here and there (I'm looking at you aileron tips). Back to work so not alot of free time anymore. If I stay under 4.25 pounds I'll be thrilled. All together pleased with the build style and design. It's pretty easy to keep it square and straight. Ultracote is amazing. I forgot how annoying Microlite is.
I like the fact that it is mine. I can't stress enough how enjoyable it is to fly your own build.

I don't have a short temper. I just have a quick reaction to B.S.
Rob
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Old 03-25-2016, 01:19 PM   #21
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Really nice build and an excellent covering job.

On another note, I still remember flying my 1st RC airplane - a kit-built glider (Gentle Lady) 20+ years ago, and it was an amazing experience. And every kit built airplane since is almost the same!
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Old 03-26-2016, 12:20 AM   #22
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That was fast! It looks really good. I hope it flies well for you too!

Steve

Growing the fleet!
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Old 03-26-2016, 12:34 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Stevephoon View Post
That was fast! It looks really good. I hope it flies well for you too!

Steve
lol yeah. Things like that happen when you walk out of a job and have 3 weeks before your next start date. Thanks.

New shop has an independent hobby shop on the alternate route too! Win win! Earn the money, blow the money.
Kinda eyeballing the Somethin' Extra he has in the window. It's a shame nobody builds anymore.

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Rob
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Old 03-26-2016, 06:48 PM   #24
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No bad at all. 3.175 pounds dry weight. 4.02 pounds 4400mAh 3s2p and 4.34 pounds 4s 5000mAh.

So, the brochure specs the plane at 5 to 5.5 pounds with a 22/25 oz/sq ft wing loading.
With my heaviest battery I come in with a 19 oz/sq ft loading. I believe it will fly well!

Still have to tidy things up a bit, balance and run some wattage numbers....




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Rob
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Old 03-26-2016, 11:55 PM   #25
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Well, that's a wrap until the moment of truth.

Everything seems to be where I want it and amazingly, NO LEAD!!!!

Castle Talon90 tucked in under the battery deck. I was going to mount it to the landing gear plate but decided that if I scrape the gear off, I don't want to pull out motor wires. Tail servos are located under canopy block. Sullivan S503 Flex Gold-n-rod tail rods. 6 1/2" long battery deck covers both battery weights.

So, with the amount of lightening seen above on the tail feathers, a 6 1/4oz outrunner and 3oz ESC, you are left with plenty of room to balance the aircraft with battery placement.

The covering wrap on the wing saddle bears testament to how badly the Microlite was frustrating me.

780 watts 12x6apcE and 980 watts 12x8apcE from a storage charged 4 cell. I'm inclined to not even bother with the 3 cell having come in at this weight. Shes gonna haul butt.

Hopefully this will give some of you the inspiration to build one of these beauties.



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