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S-POU! 2.4 by Stevens AeroModel

Old 03-05-2013, 02:47 PM
  #1  
soarrich
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Default S-POU! 2.4 by Stevens AeroModel

I had seen this in a English magazine a couple of months back and thought "That's cute.", but then I thought another plane you won't see on this side of the pond. I was then shocked to find it was made in USA, so I looked it up on the internet, wow sticker shock! $40 for a 1.4 oz. plane, that's a lot for a tiny little airplane, so I kind of forgot about it, but not quite. Last month I went to the WRAMS show and Stevens AeroModel was there, and there was the Flea with their other planes, they are little works of art! So I bought a Flea at the show special price of $35, then got a advanced order form for their Archaeopteryx flying wing. I figured I would just go to their website and place the order for it, but it's not on the website, so I had to send the order in by snail mail. While I was on their website I saw they have a Micro Builder Program where they send you a new kit every 3 months, cool I buy that. Now I look and they have a larger version of the Flea call the S-POU! 300 so I buy that! I better start building!

What do you get in the kit? You get 3 sheets of balsa, a small sheet of aircraft ply, some hardware, and two sheets of plans. I want to take some pictures of the build so I get my camera out and start building. I find I'm really getting ticked off! I'm basically a scratch-builder and really dislike ARF's due to the lack of input into them, now I'm building a kit and the parts are too perfect! I don't get to make anything fit or tweak the parts in any way. When I start gluing the part together I start to feel better because it's harder than it looks. the parts are so tiny, and the CA wicks through the wood I'm getting stuck to the plane every couple of minutes, life is good. This builds fast, time spent is about 50/50 on building and unsticking myself from the plane, there's a learning curve to this. The last time I built a kit that jigged together so well was when I built a Andrews "H" Ray, it had 3/8" thick routed sides, ply plates, and heavy Maple motor mounts that all interlocked. I had dry assembled it to see how it was done before I started using glue and I found myself with a fuse about 90% done in my hands. Hot Stuff, (CA to the kids), had just come out and I used it for the first time, the world had just changed, a days work in 15 minutes!

This builds so fast I forgot to take pictures in the beginning, so the rear wing and 90% of the main wing are done before I take a picture. I can't get over how well the parts fit, I thought I would at least get to sand the bevel in where the outer panels of the wing meet the center panel, nope, another perfect fit, I could get used to this.

The fuse is a little confusing at first, a small isometric perspective drawing might ease builders minds, but I got through it OK so far. I've got to stop and do "Honey Do's" now.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:36 AM
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I covered the wings with silkspan and doped them, then started working on the power system. I'm not using the recommended power system, or radio setup, I'm using stuff I had laying around. The motor HobbyKing says is the smallest they've seen, it weighs 5g. I removed the aluminum "X" mount and replaced it with a 5/16 dowel. I using a 6 amp speed controller, a BP hobbies 200 mah 2 cell lipo.

The lower edges of the back fuse pinch in so I added spacers to keep the sides vertical. I hacked up the front of the plane so I made a new front.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:14 PM
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CrimzonRider
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I kinda like it! & lol @ "thats cute!" Now thats a tiny motor! on a 5/16" dowel no less!

cr
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:32 PM
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The wood dowel lays in the motor mount and gives the motor the correct right and down thrust.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by soarrich View Post
The wood dowel lays in the motor mount and gives the motor the correct right and down thrust.
Good idea! I like that.

cr
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:46 PM
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That plane has tempted me many times. I LOVE the looks of it. I've never heard anything bad about Stevens AeroModel or their kits, ever, so I'm not surprised that you found it to be "too perfect."

Show us more!
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:01 PM
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Years ago I built Randy Wrisley's 1/4 scale Pou,powered by an OS 26 4-stroke.Loved it.
I have a plan for an electric version which came in an english mag,so that may be the one you referred to.
It's on my list!
The S-pou is cute,but I have no indoor facility near me,so i'll probably have to go with the bigger version.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:41 AM
  #8  
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I "fixed" the F9 bulkhead.

I put normal servo ends on the funny little servos.

I glued the rear wing on with the vertical fin.

The main wing weighs 10g, rear wing 4g, fuse 11g so that's about 1 oz. so far.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:07 AM
  #9  
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I added the landing gear, I used a heavier wire, the wheels I'm using have too big of a hole for the axles for the stock wire.

I glued the two funny servos onto a piece of wood, I will then glue the piece of wood into the plane.

I put the equipment on the plane to see how it balances. It looks like will balance OK. I also cut the antenna wire and soldiered on a loading antenna I had laying around.

I hate putting radios in planes, so it was slow going today.

I think the plane is going to be baby blue with dark blue scallops.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:50 PM
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I just used the same servos for a tail setup. They're loud but they seem to work well. I also managed to work the stock connectors onto a JST-XH connector, even though they are spaced/sized a hair differently. Of course I just got a bag of the correct connectors in the mail yesterday, so that I won't be fussing together slightly mismatched connectors again. The shorter throw of the servos seemed to work well with custom made control horns, with the holes about 6mm from the base. Your mounting board brought back memories of a few weeks ago. I only had 2 screws, so I added a slotted hard balsa spar in the center. Both servo pcb board corners simply insert into the slot, only requiring one screw on the opposite side of each servo to hold them down.

If you're using 2s lipo, you may want to add a diode inline, on the BEC power supply lead. I may have damaged a linear servo once, by accidentally bench testing at 5V. I'm not sure, but I had to replace one of the servos in that plane, and being in the wing it was not thrilling. The .6-.7V drop in voltage will bring the 5V BEC voltage down to just above that of a fully charged single cell lipo. I haven't had any problems with the single cell servos, using the inline diode mod on a 5V BEC on 2s lipo.

The AP05 is a good motor for the price. I had to take the bell off of mine, remove the loose motor shaft, carefully crimp the bell bushing where the shaft is pressed in, and then re-press the shaft in place. For 5 bucks I can't complain though, as it has plenty of power to haul around a 24" biplane.

Your screen name always reminds me of a guy named Rich, years ago in auto tech. He was always asking guys for quarters for the coffee machine and cigarettes. They called him Poorrich. BTW, I have a pom, and my flying buddy does also.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:19 PM
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Bill G

Are you the guy I sold a Red Sailaire to 7~10 years ago, and flew in the Woody contest?

I never thought about the voltage on the servos, I guess they are made for one cell, I'll have to put the diode in there.

I think I'm going to use another Rx, I thought about it and I don't think I'm gaining anything with the antenna booster. I can hide the antenna in a slightly bigger plane but not this one. I'll just wind the original antenna up, it'll cut down on the range, but I can't see me flying this very faraway anyway.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by soarrich View Post
Bill G

Are you the guy I sold a Red Sailaire to 7~10 years ago, and flew in the Woody contest?

I never thought about the voltage on the servos, I guess they are made for one cell, I'll have to put the diode in there.

I think I'm going to use another Rx, I thought about it and I don't think I'm gaining anything with the antenna booster. I can hide the antenna in a slightly bigger plane but not this one. I'll just wind the original antenna up, it'll cut down on the range, but I can't see me flying this very faraway anyway.
Not me, but I know there is another Bill G on the forums however.

The voltage is one of this marginal issues, but they can fail on 5V from reports. One thing to check also is to verify that the ESC is not a 6V BEC, although I would assume that most all 6A ESCs are only 5V BECs. Some folks have even ran 2 diodes in line, to put the voltage fully within limits, as the diode drops it to 5.3-5.4V. I haven't had any failures using one diode however. Similar to this is all the folks using 3s lipo on transmitters that are designed for around 11.1V max. I cringe at the notion of doing that, without a diode inline, that is also properly rated for the current. I just used up my last diode on a project this past week, but have already pirated another from a dead rc device that I had laying around. They're pretty easy to come by, if you save old dead electronic devices.

The folks building micros recently are really fortunate to have all this plug-and-play stuff. I've built a number of micros the same way that you are, using separate components. My Guillows Rumpler has the old brushed brick, that was first reprogrammed to operate a brushless controller for the same motor that you are using. Then I had to add the diode mod for the BEC voltage. Not wanting to buy two individual Spektrum linear servos at the time, (which they may have not yet released back then either) I mounted a BA2.5 in the radiator and used a custom bent .015" music wire pushrod for an aileron cable type setup.

As for receivers, I wish I had bought a few more of the 2.4gm 4ch ZX Tech 72MHz receivers that BP had. I've pushed them pretty far with no glitching. They have JST-ZH connectors that save weight over S-connectors. I just made a set of extensions last night to convert the JST-XH plugs to the larger standard S-type, as I pirated the receiver from the plane that uses JSTs. The plane I pirated the receiver from is large enough to use a heavier receiver. I imagine you may be one of those old school types like me, that still uses 72MHz, partly due to not wanting to have to use a memory slot on our 2.4G transmitter. I also love my red JST battery connectors, and refuse to use any of those new types. 2s lipo also provides a lot more opportunity than being limited to 1s with the bricks. I've ran the AP05 on 2s with no problem.

Are you planning on using a different receiver that has the smaller JST-XH connectors? I got tired of paying several bucks each plus shipping from BP, so I ordered a pack of the connectors from China so I can fabricate extensions. The manufactured extension vendors don't twist the wire strands before crimping the pins or soldering onto the female connector block, so you can make more robust ones yourself.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:52 AM
  #13  
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I put a new Rx in with the stock antenna just wound-up, the covered the bottom of the back fuse, and made a hatch for the radio compartment. One coat of base coat paint.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:40 AM
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I added some trim paint to the little plane, it's a metallic blue. Since the pictures I've shot a coat of clear with retarder on to it.
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:24 AM
  #15  
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I pinstriped the plane today, it's harder than it looks. I also hinged the rudder and bottom hatch using Beacon Foam-Tac glue, good stuff.

I'll work on the main wing control tomorrow. I'm still waiting on the proper props, they seem to be on a slow boat from China.
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:57 PM
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Full scale "Pou de Ceil" ("flying flea") had a problem you should be aware of... the tandem wings interact with each other in a dive causing the plane to pitch down as airspeed increases.
(as airspeed increases the tail lifts more)

Elevator was limited to try to make the plane "idiot proof" from pulling too hard. With limited elevator it had a very mild and predictable stall.

The result was the planes could get in a dive and just tucked the nose down with no recovery possible.

CAA outlawed lifting tails in the US for a while because of this plane.

Avoid dives unless it has a lot more elevator throw than the full scale had.
Maybe the e-power system's windmilling prop could control airspeed to maintain ability to pull out... maybe not.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:27 PM
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"CAA outlawed lifting tails in the US for a while because of this plane."

The CAA is a UK authority....how is it they outlawed lifting tails (in the US) and not the Federal government doing the same here...?...or did they...?

Please explain "lifting tails"....thank you.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
"CAA outlawed lifting tails in the US for a while because of this plane."

The CAA is a UK authority....how is it they outlawed lifting tails (in the US) and not the Federal government doing the same here...?...or did they...?

Please explain "lifting tails"....thank you.
CAA ( Civil Aeronautics Administration) was the predecessor to the FAA in the US.

Lifting tails... the tail provides pitch stability in level flight by lifting. It is more common for "conventional configured" aircraft to have the tail surface provide stability by opposing the wing's lift.

A tandem wing plane such as this one has a lifting tail and its a delicate balancing act to maintain pitch stability.
With the forward wing directing air onto the top of the rear wing you get an enhancement of the rear wing's "Bernoulli effect" component of lift with increased speed.

In essence... the two wings are too close to each other.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:40 PM
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Thank you fhhuber....I got it now. The CAA was initially called the Civil Aeronautics Authority (not originally a UK authority).....turned into the FAA in 1958.

I can see now why the The "flying flee" has a "lifting tail" with the lower wing not also having "transferable horizontal" air surface control.

Looks like a hand-full to fly...even as a scaled down version RC......very interesting.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:08 PM
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I built a 1/4 scale version years ago,and it certainly wasn't "a handful to fly".
In fact,it was very docile .The only critical thing is the initial wing incidence setting at neutral.
It was nicer to fly in calm weather,but I did fly in high winds.It's a bit squirrely in windy conditions,but you have to expect that with such a short tail moment.It won't roll,but a loop is entirely possible.Mind you,that's not a scale aircraft's purpose.
Of course,being so small,this version will no doubt be more difficult,but let's face it,a beginner wouldn't build this.
I still have the RCM plans,so i may still build a new one.
The old one was sold to an antique shop owner,and he had it hanging outside his shop for years.

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Old 03-15-2013, 03:02 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by soarrich View Post
I pinstriped the plane today, it's harder than it looks. I also hinged the rudder and bottom hatch using Beacon Foam-Tac glue, good stuff.

I'll work on the main wing control tomorrow. I'm still waiting on the proper props, they seem to be on a slow boat from China.

Looks Real Good! ..like that Blue too .

cr
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:46 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by CrimzonRider View Post
Looks Real Good! ..like that Blue too .

cr
Thanks. The baby blue is just some of the dark blue mixed with white, I thought it needed something to make the colors pop more so I did the silver stripe.

I finished it tonight, I finally got to see where the wing would be. It balances dead on, but it weighs 3.2 ounces RTF. The plans say the AUW is 1.4, I don't know if that's just the plane or RTF.

The controls have more slop than I would like, the control rods are much smaller than the holes in the servo or the bell-crank so I put some of the Foam-Tac glue on the holes, it seems to have helped some. I'd rather he supplied larger rods or made the crank out of ply with little holes.

I'm thinking of using magnets to hold the main wing on, I don't like rubber bands.

I'll post pictures of the finished plane tomorrow.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:16 PM
  #23  
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Thumbs up

These are the pictures of it finished. The proper props came today, but so did the snow, so the maiden flight will have to wait.

A very nice kit, and a easy build. Two thumbs up!
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:55 PM
  #24  
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Looks really sweet. Looking forward to some video of it in the air.

Slightly off-topic: Does that count as an under-cambered wing? Or ...?

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Old 03-17-2013, 04:09 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by mclarkson View Post
Does that count as an under-cambered wing? Or ...?

I think it would be considered the ultimate under-cambered airfoil.
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