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Old 12-06-2009, 05:11 AM   #1
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Talking 8' Unionville DHC-2 Turbo Beaver kit bash

Background:
Firstly, while I have always enjoyed a build, my most recent planes have been scratch foam, given to me, or ARFs. It been close to 20 years since I opened a new box to build a plane. I started in R/C when ARFs were a new concept and managed to build two basic trainers, one stand off scale cessna, a couple of ace 1/2A kits, a Kougar and a biplane. (and a few assorted small projects) I feel it's long past time to try and glue my fingers to a spar again....

Why the Beaver:
I've had a fascination with bush planes and pilots for decades. This is how I ended up with my L4 on floats from a great planes 1/6th cub kit in '89. When I started getting serious on electrics a few years ago I thought of an e powered Beaver counterpart to my glow Cub. I shrugged off the idea as I pursued other projects until I was looking to scale up my current 1300W tow plane. The current rage seems to be 1/4 scale PC-6 Porters, however I hate to follow a crowd and I just can't handle the cost of a 1/4 scale arf. I ended up full circle in considering the Beaver when the Unionville 1/6 kit offered me a pretty good compromise on my ideal. I had to do the turbo to show up the PC-6 crowd! Well, when I finally decided this was the kit, and this was the time (putting off a couple of other builds) I found it out of stock at the few places you can find it. GreatHobbies has always been a favorite of mine, and I patiently waited until they said they expected back in stock. Several weeks later I dug up Unionvilles contact information to inquire when I could order it from GreatHobbies, however by the time I was off the phone, I had a kit on the way!

Manufacture Specifications:
Span - 96"
Weight - 9Ĺ to 10 lbs
Motor - 2cycle .60 -.90, 4cycle .90 - 1.20
Control - 5ch, 5servo (box says four, but it does have flaps)

My Build Specifications:
Span - (same)
Weight - 14.5lbs
Motor - TGY AerodriveXp SK Series 63-74 240Kv on 12S 5Ah
Control - 6ch, 7servo (flight systems)

I've gone back and forth on how much scale detail. For a while I thought I was going 100%, not that the Unionville kits are known for their scale lines. The Mr Aerodesign is the kit for that, just more cost than I could handle. Well, I think I've settled on 'let's get close, but forget panel lines and rivets!' With that, I'll be deviating from the plans in several areas.

First Impressions:
The kit has some good comments on a few threads, and seems popular as a starting point to work it into the kind of kit that you want it to be. There are three rolled sheets and as a bonus included the plans for floats, although not the wood. There is one 8x14 instruction packet, an update sheet for splicing wood (due to smaller packaging to reduce shipping), and one Unionville catalog. The one thing I noticed right away was some pretty amazing balsa. Never going far down the FF path I'd heard of but not held 'contest grade' balsa before. While not perfectly consistent, there is quite a bit of very straight, very light balsa in this kit! Even the denser pieces seem a grade or two above what you can find at the local hobby/craft store. The main spars and other structural pieces were good and solid. No glossy label on the box, no fancy bound manual with photos, but some of the best balsa I can remember ever holding in 30 years! Moving further, there are a lot of pre-cut pieces including the tail assembly, support blocks, and the wing webbing. The hardware package I would rate as 'standard', with nylon molded hinges, nylon clevises, nylon bell cranks etc. My first dissapointment was the fiberglass cowling. It was built with a thick layer of mat rather than cloth that has been loosely molded allowing quite a bit of resin. The weight is substantial and while I think it would hold up fairly well in a nose-over, I fear it will be brittle with the resin. The kit does include one lexan window set, although I haven't quite pictured how that one piece becomes all the turbo windows - I'll save a closer look for when I'm finishing the fuse.


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Old 12-06-2009, 05:17 AM   #2
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Default Starting with the wings

My goal is to get the deep Frise hinge of the real beaver:

So rather than follow a pretty standard wedge gap hinge, I've elected to add some balsa to the wing trailing edge for an overhang and to the control surface top and bottom right behind the (now vertacle) leading spar. This allows me to round the control surface and build a matching convex pocket for it on the wing trailing edge. The next hurdle is the hinges, which I haven't found any control horns that reach far enough back so I'm attempting to build them from carbon fiber. Here's the start of the wings:


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Old 12-07-2009, 04:20 PM   #3
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So, I've started in on the hinges. I'm posting a pic of the plan so you can see how much I'm deviating from what Unionville intended. I picked up a couple of different sizes of Carbon Fiber (lets just say CF from now on) and I think I can use some small stuff and have enough strength, and a more scale look. The problem is when I drill them - I found a diamond coated 1/16 sharp grinding tip works best - it only leaves a very little material to keep the hinge pin from tearing out with heavy loads. I haven't done destructive testing yet, but I will before final assembly. My solution was to put an even dozen wraps of Kevlar thread bonded with thin cyanoacrylate (let's just say CA from now on). You can see in the photo three more or less done on the left, one currently curing, and two waiting for Kevlar on the right. These are the three hinges for the right flap. My hinge pins are 2mm bolts - also being used to hold my washer 'former' in place for the thread wrap. Also, I've started the servo mount plates. I decided to make the large enough for standard servos even though I'd like to use mini - I haven't actually committed on servo selection yet. I really like the idea of mounting the servo on the 'door' to the servo compartment. I'll be minimizing the linkages and running wire extensions to the servos. This seems to work well for my larger sailplanes and should minimize linkage slop. I plan on getting the right flap functioning before I commit the time to the other three wing surfaces. I also need to get the landing lights mounted before I sheet the leading edge. You can see where I'm cutting down a small spot light to mount in the wing. Hopefully I can stay on schedule, however I'll be taking a break today (took the day off) to finish another project


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Old 12-07-2009, 09:01 PM   #4
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Subscribed! It looks great so far!

Hanger: GWS Slow Stick; Nutball
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:30 PM   #5
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Subscribed.
I am in the process of building a Stinson Voyager and will be really excited to see your progress on the Beaver.

David in Naples

My Hangar:
GWS SlowStick (AP) / GWS Formosa II
F27 Stryker / Eflite Mini Ultra Stick
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:34 PM   #6
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Love my eFlite Beaver - looking good!

Mike
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:02 AM   #7
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Max, I think you will enjoy both the build, and the flying qualities of your Turbo Beaver. About 10 years ago, I chose the Unionville electric 1/8 DH 2 Beaver as my 3rd kit build, and really enjoyed the build process. As you say, not really scale, but obviously a Beaver, nontheless. Mine became my favorite flyer, for over 5 years, and probably 500 flights, before it succumbed to dumb thumbs and gravity. The flaps are definitely worth including, as they add an extra dimension of realism, and fun, to this model. Here's a shot of my old favorite:


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Old 12-17-2009, 04:39 PM   #8
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Well, I haven't been working very hard on the Beaver. I had an easy trainer design I'd been kicking around in my head I had to build as well as a lot of holiday preparation. I did manage to do an initial test of the power system and it doesn't look good. On 12S I only managed 1700 watts with a 18X12 three blade. My batteries were quite cold so they may have really dropped voltage, but I doubt it would be enough to take me where I want. I'll try again with warm batteries and actually log the whole test rather than just check peak watts. I'm currently considering rewinding the motor to a higher KV, it would be my first motor 'build'. I'm also somewhat waiting on some servos, I still have six on order for the Beaver/general need but I may use some other second hand ones I just picked up I can use to finish the flap and aileron test. Once I get past that, with some more holiday time off, I should start flying again. I doubt I'll make my 1Jan2010 maiden date, but hopefully I can make some good progress in the next seven days.

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Old 12-18-2009, 02:47 AM   #9
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Looking good so far! Like the modifications. Subscribed

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Old 12-18-2009, 04:32 AM   #10
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Hi the frise type hing can be made with robart hing pins you may already know of them but they do come in several sizes . I have used them on a canadian water bomber and a few other projects I have a icon north west beaver While it is IC I have thought of converting it will be interested in what you come up with for power Les
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:39 AM   #11
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Max, are you really concerned that you'll have "ONLY" 1700W of power in a 10lb. model? Holy Cow, you should be able to torque roll out of a hover with 170W/lb.! My 6' Beaver weighed 5.5lbs, on wheels, 6.5lbs. on floats, and had about 500W, so a little less than 90W/lb., and would do things that the full scale never could! With 1700W on tap, your model should cruise at 25-30% throttle easily, and take off in a few feet, into a near vertical climb. We're talking about a flying delivery truck here, not a fighter.
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Old 12-20-2009, 05:35 PM   #12
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Default Power-power everywhere!!

Hello maxadventure: Glad to hear your progressing with your Turbo Beaver!
I have just recently finished my 96" Unionville Turbo Beaver, It will be right on 15 lbs RTF!!
Attention: If you deviate even a little (which you have already done), from the original plans, there is NO way this plane comes out at 10 lbs.
I have added 4 servos in the wing (ailerons, flaps) movable front suspension and scale tail wheel, a 9 light system, onboard BEC/battery. i also extended the nose 2 5/8" to achieve scale.
My power system is a Scorpion 4020-16, on 6S/5000mah 20C, spinning a 16/8/3blade MAS prop. I will produce 1833watts max,260 oz thrust,at 82 amps.
Your system making 1700 watts with a bigger prop (more thrust) should still be more than adequate, I think.
What kind of amps is your 12S system pulling with the 18/12/3blade, you may be able to go up in pitch (if available) to get the most from the motor. Is this motor rated for 12S?
When I scaled out the prop sizes, I came up with 15" as scale for the 96" plane, ended up with a 16" to achieve my desired power level. I would prefer a 15/9 or 15/10 three blade, but no-one makes these sizes. I may cut the prop to 15.5 to achieve a slightly lower amp draw (2.3 over max at the moment).


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Old 01-02-2010, 05:50 AM   #13
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Update time!

To answer a few questions/comments:

Originally Posted by BradT View Post
About 10 years ago, I chose the Unionville electric 1/8 DH 2 Beaver as my 3rd kit build,... Here's a shot of my old favorite:
As us Beaver lovers, love to say; " Nice beaver!"

Originally Posted by balsa1 View Post
Hi the frise type hing can be made with robart hing pins you may already know of them but they do come in several sizes .....
I have seen a thread with a Unionville modified with Robart hinge pins and I thought it was brilliant. I didn't feel I could get the same scale motion though, and chose to build these from scratch.

Originally Posted by BradT View Post
Max, are you really concerned that you'll have "ONLY" 1700W of power in a 10lb. model?... We're talking about a flying delivery truck here, not a fighter.
Brad.
Two points - as flying-barely indicates, this model will be well past 10lbs. Secondly, the primary purpose I'm building it for is a glider tug. I want the ability to take a 1/4 scale glider to altitude in a few minutes. This is no scale contest entry. 1700 Watts won't be enough for 30+ pounds of glider plus tug - I was planning on at least 3KW and I'll have to rewind the motor to get it.

Originally Posted by flying-barely View Post
Hello maxadventure: Glad to hear your progressing with your Turbo Beaver!
I have just recently finished my 96" Unionville Turbo Beaver, It will be right on 15 lbs RTF!!
Attention: If you deviate even a little (which you have already done), from the original plans, there is NO way this plane comes out at 10 lbs.
I have added 4 servos in the wing (ailerons, flaps) movable front suspension and scale tail wheel, a 9 light system, onboard BEC/battery. i also extended the nose 2 5/8" to achieve scale.
My power system is a Scorpion 4020-16, on 6S/5000mah 20C, spinning a 16/8/3blade MAS prop. I will produce 1833watts max,260 oz thrust,at 82 amps.
Your system making 1700 watts with a bigger prop (more thrust) should still be more than adequate, I think.
What kind of amps is your 12S system pulling with the 18/12/3blade, you may be able to go up in pitch (if available) to get the most from the motor. Is this motor rated for 12S?
When I scaled out the prop sizes, I came up with 15" as scale for the 96" plane, ended up with a 16" to achieve my desired power level. I would prefer a 15/9 or 15/10 three blade, but no-one makes these sizes. I may cut the prop to 15.5 to achieve a slightly lower amp draw (2.3 over max at the moment).
I've been testing an 18"X12" three blade and I just ordered a 20"X12" three blade. I may put this motor in an aerobatic plane at find a higher KV motor to run a smaller prop for the Beaver. No, the motor isn't rated at 12S, however I've read of others running at 12, and so far testing is ok. Worse case scenario I'll just rebuild. I do love the scorpion motors and I'm planning on those for the next project, my Canso. I don't think I'll do scale struts, but I still debating. If I don't, I can save a little weight there. By the way, thanks for all the inspiration on RCCanada and contributing to my thread here!

Okay, the holidays really took away my building time plus I had two new builds/maidens, an MS Swift II (sweet maiden today!) and my trainer concept, in the last couple of weeks so all I managed to do was my stress test of my flap hinges. I set the angles and fiber-glassed them to the ribs. It passed with flying colors so I'll try to cut the rest of the carbon and start gluing the two ailerons and other flap this coming week. Oh, AND had to take advantage of days off with some nice flying weather! Here's the latest photo and one of my last minute Christmas projects:


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Old 01-02-2010, 04:35 PM   #14
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Default Progress:

Hello Maxadventure: Nice to know your keeping yourself busy!!
Happy to hear the hinges worked out, 3KW eh, in am 8 foot Beaver!! You have taken on quite a challenge.
Best of luck, please keep us informed on your progress, lots of people will be interested in your build.

I am kit bashing a 6ft Radial into a Turbo Beaver, Scorpion powered of course. Fuselage is framed up, cowl plug made yesterday. So far it looks like it will work out OK.


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Old 01-04-2010, 02:53 PM   #15
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Subscribed! looking great!

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Old 01-05-2010, 04:11 AM   #16
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I built the icon northwest 1\4 scale but it was for IC and while at the time we wern't as conserned about weight on floats it came out at 23# and it flys well on a supertiger 2500 that is not a strong motor by any means and have pulled up gliders in the 100 in range looking good Les
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:23 PM   #17
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Default Quick update

Okay, so what have a accomplished in the last month? Getting pretty good at cutting foam wings. What have I accomplished on the Beaver? not too much, but I did finalize the aileron hinges. I really want to be sure I had geometry right before I glassed them in. I wanted to ensure at a minimum I could have the same throws as the full scale:
below are the DHC-2 Beaver rigging angles:

CONTROL ANGLE TOLERANCE REFERENCE
SURFACE (degrees) (degrees) POINT

AILERONS
Up 18 +-2 outboard end
Down 11 +-2
Droop 15 +-1.5
(flaps
fully down)
........
WING FLAPS
Cruise 0 Inboard wing
flap hinge
Climb -15 +-1
Takeoff -35 +-1
Landing -50 +-2
Full Flap -58 +-2

If I read this right, with the following:
The ailerons also droop as flap is manually pumped down to a
ratio of 1 : 3 and a max. deflection of 15 deg.

This should be true for aileron range at a given flap setting:
Flaps D .... Aileron D ........... Aileron U
0 .............. -11 ..................... 18
-30 ............ - 21 ..................... 8
-58 ........... - 26 ..................... -1


-SO- I finished the control surfaces on the right wing and spent a LOT of time with the programming, to play with the settings. I've started shaping the LE of the left wing control surfaces and corresponding pockets. I'm using the right as a guide, and I hope this week to finish the hinge pieces (they're all cut - just applying the kevlar wrap), mount the servos, finish installing the shear webbing, mount the hinges and by this weekend get the sheeting on both wings.

THEN I can finally start the fuselage and it will look like a plane rather than a pile of balsa! I have a few more photos and I will take some more progress shots this week. I'll try to get a photo update posted before the weekend is through. I'm almost hoping for crappy weather so I'm forced to keep building!

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Old 02-01-2010, 08:02 PM   #18
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Default aileron droops

hi Maxadventure: Long time no hear!!

I have included about 10% droop into the ailerons on both my 6 foot and 8 foot Turbo Beavers! Not sure until tested if they'll be used, but they look pretty scale.
I will have to mix flaps to ailerons to make them fully functional, right now, I've left the aileron droop on the flap switch.
It seems the Beavers are the only airplane of their type that have this flap/aileron function from Dehavilland!
please keep us all informed of your progress! flying-barely

I;ll include a picture of the 6 footer, complete except for main wing covering. Awaiting materials!


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Old 02-03-2010, 04:25 PM   #19
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Flying-barely, looking good! have any photos of the 6' next to the 8'?


so, here's a photo update:


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There is ALWAYS room for some levity in your brevity!
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:38 PM   #20
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I think I'm still on track to get the sheeting done this weekend. I forget how time consuming making the hinges are. In cutting CF I have found the following:

-Cuts great with a Dremel cut-off wheel, cut in front of a running air filter to capture the dust ( I used a shop vac with a dirty filter for finer trapping)
-Grind the ends round with a basic bench grinder, grind with the air filter/vacuum
- diamond bits drill holes best
-file CF over a wet paper towel to capture the dust

to recap the steps for the hinges:

  1. cut the stock to length
  2. grind the ends round
  3. drill the hinge pin holes with the drill jig
  4. bolt on two washers coated in paraffin as Kevlar formers
  5. file a groove for the thread along the top, and across each side under the washer for better adhesion
  6. 12 wraps of Kevlar alternating side (tedious)
  7. apply thin CA to the Kevlar wraps
  8. pull the washer formers
  9. compress the 'over wraps' of Kevlar in wax paper and a clamp - CA again
  10. punch 2mm polypropylene washers to cushion the hinge pivots
  11. measure and cut openings for the control surfaces
  12. cut cap strips on the wing
  13. assemble hinges and clamp in place
  14. measure hinge location and align
  15. measure
  16. align
  17. measure
  18. align
  19. when the hinge line is ready, tack in place with CA
  20. test hinges
  21. fiberglass in the hinges
The right wing is done/ready for sheeting, I'm currently working on the hinge manufacturing and hope to start hinge alignment on the left wing today depending on how busy work / family gets.

There is ALWAYS room for some levity in your brevity!
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:20 PM   #21
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Hi Maxadventure: Glad to see you are progressing with the build, it all looks great.
I have t o agree, also, with the wonder at how long some of these builds take, especially the little parts.
I believe I have something close to 300 hours into the 8 footer, and over 200 in the 6 ft.
I will get some pictures of the two Turbo's and one Radial together, when the weather co-operates, in other words Spring!
Right now, the 6 footer needs the main wing covered to complete, material should be here by Friday. The 8 footer is awaiting finishing paint.
Neither are spec'd out like yours is to be, but I'm happy with them, for my first two builds since 1981.
Please continue to show us all your progress, I for one am looking forward to seeing your build completed.
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:13 PM   #22
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Well, it's Friday afternoon and nap time is over, so build time stops while the 3yo is awake.

The last of the hinge component manufacturing is curing. Thanks to some brilliant Canadian help, (thanks!) the strut reinforcement is curing - still need to do the pins.

I've lost some time with a band saw blade break and a last minute change/add to the strut mounts, so it will be tricky to get the sheeting finished this weekend. I have a lot of family stuff planned so not too much RC.

Flying-barley, the more I see your photos, the more I'm worried I won't be able to get as nice a finish, I really like how yours are turning out!

There is ALWAYS room for some levity in your brevity!
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:37 AM   #23
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Hi Maxadventure: If Colorado weather is anything like Ontario, you have plenty of time for a spring completion.
Thanks for the compliment on the finish, still needs some skill level improvements, but a smooth surface for covering is the trick from my view. All the vertical stringers aft of the plane centre are recessed on the 6 footer, just like the 8 ft build, to give the appearance of solid aluminum sheet. I have used Ultracote, and really like its qualities of stretch and shrink. It also happens to be lighter than Monocote, so may be a little more fragile. Saving 3-4 ozs on the 6 footer or 10+ozs on the 8ft seems worth it to me!
Keep the build going when you can, I'll check in often. flying-barely


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Old 02-08-2010, 06:23 PM   #24
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Well, with everything else going on I did manage to get some progress on the wings over the weekend. I didn't get the sheeting on like I planned last weekend when I forgot it was my mom's birthday and we invited her over yesterday... DOH!

I'm basically ready to sheet - I went back to radio programming to ensure I did all the hinges correctly and everything looks good.

I really didn't think it all through - which I'd have to say is the norm for me. In Jan I just put together a full house sailplane and used my JR X9303 for that programming with all the fancy camber control (yet to maiden). Well, I took the same approach on the beaver. That means I installed on flap servo backward if I want them on a 'Y' cable, and I'll have to pick up an in-line servo reverser if I don't want to use a channel. Even if I do that, to mix the correct aileron droop as the flaps are lowered (and that's just so cool on the full size, how could I not? and I'm NOT going to try to replicate scale mechanical linkage and end up with more slop than movement!) - I WILL have to put them on separate channels to get them to move opposite on aileron, but in unison on the droop. So, one little thing I want (but haven't brought up) is I intend to put disk brakes on for short field landing, beside I need something interesting mechanically when it doesn't have retracts. SO, there's at least three channels on the wing, plus the rud/ele/thr for another three. Tow release is one, I'm up to 7 and I haven't even added breaks or my other 'suprise', skydiver release. Okay, that's not so important, but I plan on having a lot of fun with this plane, and that means dropping candy and R/C skydivers as well as the sailplane tug, floats and my brake idea.

Well, I also want to run this on my Futaba 9C because I use my 9303 on my non-powered sailplanes, (so I'll be flying a sailplane and someone can tow me with the beaver at the same time) and the only 72mHz RX I own that I trust with this is my Berg 7P - so now I need to source an R149DP. Besides my berg is in my Spit, and I like that one ready to fly. Amazing how easy it is to use up 9 channels. Someday we'll have radios that connect to PCs with USB or bluetooth, run Linux, and have full telemetry with the models. Then I'll upgrade to a 12/14 channel radio for sure! Till then..... I guess I'd better limit my build requirements to 9!

So, the hinging is looking great even though the mixing is all wonky. I'll have to start again with my 9C on the programming. I might just skip ahead and start the fuselage to work through my radio frustration.

Wonder if this will teach me to think ahead on the next build? probably not....
(let's see, PBY has linked ailerons, no flaps, ele, rud, retracts, add the brakes - differential steering so twin throttle. simple, only 7 channels needed! oh, I was going to put on torpedo drops... *sigh*, I'll need a new R921 for that too.

There is ALWAYS room for some levity in your brevity!
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:01 PM   #25
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Default Channels!!!

Hello Maxadventure: I didn't try to mix the aileron droop with the flaps! I use the regular flap switch (with flaperons) set to give about 12% droop.
I mounted the flap servos laying the same direction, one is against the outside of the rib,the other against the inside rib, so no reversing required on Y connector. The flaps operate off a 3 position rocker switch on my JR 6102, thats right, 6 channels!! Flaps are mixed with elevator down for stabilization upon deployment. You might be able to see the servo mounting in the second pic.
There may be a way of mixing the aileron flap function with the real flaps,I still have 2 mixes available. My flaps are run off the GEAR channel.
Used a Berg7, to get the extra plug for my 8 amp Bec/2S/2400 mah battery.
BRAKES!! I don't need 'em! I hope!!I'm already surprised at how much I was able to do with the 6102, a friend brought over his 9303 to set up a heli the other day,all I can say I believe you could program this thing to wipe your nose while flying--hehe!!
Both the 8 ft and 6 ft are set up exactly the same way in my radio, they seem to function perfectly, but will likely require fine tuning in the air!

Just have to wait for spring to arrive (a ways off yet).


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