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Second (sort of) balsa build: Stevens Aero SkyBoy 600

Old 01-11-2016, 03:44 AM
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mclarkson
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Default Second (sort of) balsa build: Stevens Aero SkyBoy 600

I've nearly given up on waiting for my wife to finish our joint project, which was my first ever balsa build.

I've bitten the bullet and ordered another balsa plane, this one is the Stevens Aero SkyBoy (600), a plane I've been in love with since I first got into the sport ('way back in 2010) but couldn't bring myself to spend the big dollahs on.

Thanks to some winnings at my semi-monthly poker game, I'm in a position to finance a new project and this one is it.



My planned setup is:
  • Emax BL2815/09 1000kv Outrunner Motor (3.9 oz – 450 watt)
  • Sky Power 45A ESC with Linear BEC
  • 2200mAh 3-cell – 2700mAh 4-cell LiPos
  • (2x) Power Up AS315MG 17g metal gear servos (rudder / elevator)
  • (2x) Hobbyking 15178 10g servos (ailerons)
  • I’m planning on a color scheme of ivory and maroon.

Last edited by mclarkson; 01-11-2016 at 04:16 AM.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:03 AM
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Here’s the stack of (mostly) balsa wood as it comes from Stevens:



The electronics, plugged in and tested. I suspect I’ll have to lengthen the leads on the aileron servos. We’ll see.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:05 AM
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The H-stab was the first bit put together.


The elevator is built in two halves, so I’m making sure they are square while I glue them together.


Here's the whole horizontal plane.


Next up is the rudder…


… and the tiny vertical stabilizer.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:08 AM
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Assembling the fuselage ‘crutch.’


Gluing the right fuselage doubler in place.


Building the fuselage side.


Right fuselage side glued to the doubler.




Now, I repeat the process with the left doubler and the left side.


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Old 01-11-2016, 04:10 AM
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Beginning assembly of the back, top of the fuselage – the ‘turtle deck’ area.




Stringers to give the turtle deck its shape.


Skinning the top of the fuselage.


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Old 01-11-2016, 04:11 AM
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Building and installing the battery hatch magnets.



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Old 01-11-2016, 04:12 AM
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Building up the top of the nose, step-by-step, to be sanded into shape later.





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Old 01-11-2016, 04:13 AM
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The landing gear wire will go through here:



The bottom ‘grill’ is in place. The plane is on its back in this photo; these slots will be beneath the motor.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:14 AM
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The progress so far.


I can't say enough good things about Stevens Aero's balsa kits. I am a clumsy, fat-fingered man with no manual skills and I can still build these guys. Everything is labeled. Everything fits. They're just great.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:49 AM
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Looks to be coming along very nicely. I like the style. Stevens makes amazing kits.
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:39 PM
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Wow Mark, you are going fast! The SA kits always go pretty fast anyway, but gooooooooo.

I love my SA kits, but as you say they are now getting rather expensive. It also seems that you buy a lot of your electronics from HeadsUpHobby like I do as well.... I really like the SkyPower ECSs and the PowerUp metal gear servovs in your pictures. No issues with those in any of my planes so far.

I'll be watching!

Steve
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:56 PM
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Thanks guys. I think I'm trying to make up for my other build, which is tending toward 2 years and still not finished.
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:59 PM
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Building the battery hatch:







I wet the skin thoroughly and left it to dry in shape. SA recommends using tape but I found tape to be rather uninterested in sticking to wet balsa.




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Old 01-11-2016, 10:00 PM
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Sanding the nose into shape.



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Old 01-11-2016, 10:01 PM
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With the placement of the pushrod guides, the fuselage is done.



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Old 01-11-2016, 10:04 PM
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Time for the first major snag of the build. The motor mount holes are way off to the port side. The X-mount for my motor won't fit in there, so it was time for a little hack and slash.





I made a pencil rubbing of the firewall to get the position of all the holes, etc. I used a little thin CA to bond it to the X-mount and drilled in new holes to match.


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Old 01-12-2016, 05:29 AM
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Let's build a wing.













Does it fit? It seems to.


The more-or-less-complete center wing section.
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:30 AM
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I took some time out from wing building to paint the engine compartment black.



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Old 01-13-2016, 01:42 AM
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I’ve determined that this plane must light up at night. I’ve gotta get everything in place before the covering goes on. Time to break out the LED strips and old wire.





Light-up test:




I draped some of my covering film over the fuselage to get a rough idea how it’ll look when finished.
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Old 01-13-2016, 03:27 AM
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Very Cool! Adding lights to a plane is on my todo list. What's the plan for providing power while flying? I always thought just plugging into the balance lead would be a good way to go.

Steve
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Old 01-13-2016, 03:41 AM
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Da Drone....Da Drone..... lol
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:55 AM
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Steve, as a rule, I power them from the balance tap. (You have to tap the first and last lead - usually read and black.) I use these plugs I bought somewhere, with the middle two wires pulled. When I want to fly at night, I plug them in.

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Old 01-13-2016, 10:09 AM
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Back to building the wing. I wanted to get the wiring started before moving to the next step. I ran some wire from the center section through the first set of ribs via two tiny holes drilled with my X-Acto knife.





I wanted to get my wiring run before this next step covered over the center of the wing, blocking my access.




The center of the wing is finished, so time to start the starboard wingtip.
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Old 01-13-2016, 12:05 PM
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Mark, could you take another look at the firewall placement vs. the manual and/or plans?
It looks to me like the firewall has been rotated about 90deg from where it should be. The large hole for the back of the motor shaft should be on the centerline of the fuselage (vertically), I would think. I have never seen a motor mounted that off center. I know you are on to the rest of the build (which I have been following), but you might take another look at the firewall.

(also a) Mark

I stand corrected! Your firewall is correct! I was a bit surprised at the placement. But it matches another build on RCG:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=128
Good luck with the rest of the build.

Last edited by buzzltyr; 01-13-2016 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:26 PM
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Thanks. I was concerned about the firewall myself but I checked and rechecked and that seems to be correct.
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