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Hobby-Lobby F-18 Blue Angel?

Old 03-11-2008, 10:44 PM
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Angler-Hi
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Default Hobby-Lobby F-18 Blue Angel?

Well, the weather was finally right and I went out to maiden my F-18 Blue Angel from Hobby Lobby. I did all my checks (range check, control surfaces, battery power, clevises and CG). As I started on take off, the front landing gear gave out!! It never gained enough speed for take off and slid off the road. I looked at it and it appears to have nothing but an aluminum ring that, My guess, is supposed to be secured into the fuselage. Now the landing gear needs to be readjusted and the ring epoxied in place. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.

Mike
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:03 PM
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Bummer I was hoping you had a good maiden. I'll send you some pics of my plane and maybe it can help you get your gear back in place.
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:14 PM
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Hope the pics help you get things sorted out.


Last edited by newjak; 03-12-2008 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:41 PM
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Thanks a million Newjak!! That helps me more than you know. Where the landing gear is touching the battery bay is where the damage is and I never even noticed it. It's missing a piece of the Battery bay, like a small triangle shaped piece has broken off. No worries though, I plan on fixing her up.

Instead I just settled for flying my Cessna 206 AKA, "The Green Monster" LOL. It's made by Famous, and I got her from Banana Hobby. I will definitely buy another plane from them!! I got a cool video. Anyway, thanks for those pics man, you really helped there!!!!

Mike
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:50 PM
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The nose gear shaft fits between the 2 walls of the front battery bay. I'll try to get a pic of the hardware inside of the fuse,but its gonna be kinda hard now that it is assembled.
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:01 AM
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Mike,

I tried real hard to get a pic of the inside linkage ,but the pics dont come out good enough to post here. I will keep trying. One more thing I forgot to mention in the other F-18 thread... The nose cone is EXTREMELY FRAGILE!!!
I put a few wrikles in mine today
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:06 AM
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Yeah..... where's your pics Newjak? You might want to post that funny story in the crash forum. I got a good laugh from it!
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:26 AM
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It wasn't really a crash

Anyway back to why we're here. Hows it going Mike?
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:55 AM
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Thanks Newjak. I glued the canopy on her, so I'd have to literally cut it off just to get down inside. It also looks like the linkage that controls the steering of the front landing gear is REALLY loose. I should have checked that BEFORE putting her together...D*** IT!!!!!! Now it looks like the only way to fly this thing is to order another fuselage. That's gonna be a real pain because I would have to strip down the old one and throw all the electronics into the new one. That's alot of time and energy for a front landing gear...but if I want to ever fly this thing, I've got no choice. I'm really disappointed in myself for over-looking that!
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:22 AM
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Take off the gear and hand launch it.
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:23 AM
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Is your nose gear still attached to the plane? I think you might be able to install it the right way. You might have to remove the canopy to get to the linkage. There HAS to be a way to get it done without buying another fuse. I willl help you as much as I can.

After studying the way mine is attached it looks like there is a guide that the nose gear is supposed to be inserted into. The guide is between the 2 wall of the front battery bay towards the front of the plane. Study the pics I posted
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Old 03-12-2008, 02:20 AM
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I took off the gear from mine and plan on hand launching it, for what it's worth. Had to bend the top of the nosegear steering arm straight to get it out (and cut off the little plastic sleeve it's sitting inside), but it pulled out the bottom pretty easily after that.

You don't need to buy a whole new fuse. Just take a really sharp hobby knife and cut the foam out from around the canopy. Cut with straight lines so that you can either glue that section back on with minimal lines showing (I'd just tack-glue it in four places so you can cut through the glue if you ever need to remove it again later), or reattach it using magnets (I get mine from K&J Magnetics).

I'd cut straight along the sides right above the wings, and then straight down in the front and back until you meet the horizontal cuts.

If you're going to ditch the fuse anyway, it's worth giving it a go.
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Old 03-12-2008, 03:03 AM
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I've already successfully removed the canopy. The metal piece attached to the servo control arm is loose. The only problem is that in order to tighten it, I need to get to the nut on the underside of it. I can't get anything under there. I tried to remove the servo arm by removing the screw on top of it. But once I removed the screw from the servo arm, I still can't get it off. Isn't it supposed to just come right off once you remove the screw? I have to get it off so I'll have some leverage in tightening the nut.

Once I get that done, I have to go in and see about fixing the battery bay wall, while making sure that the landing gear isn't bent inside where I can't see. Then I have to get everything back in place. I'm trying to decide if I should fix the battery wall first or tighten the piece that holds the wire on the servo arm. Any suggestions? Thanks guys.

Mike
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:08 AM
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The servo arm takes a good bit of tugging to get off. I either use a pair of pliers to tug at it, or I grab it by the arm and start tugging in a front-to-back fashion, being careful not to pull so hard that you break the arm. It just takes wiggling back and forth and the arm ought to pop off.

That metal piece is supposed to be loose in the servo arm hole, though. If you tighten it up too much, it can't swivel as the arm turns. The only part that should be tightened down is the screw on top that holds the pushrod (be a good idea to remove all the pushrod holder screws and put green or blue loctite on them).
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by PerlAddict View Post
The servo arm takes a good bit of tugging to get off. I either use a pair of pliers to tug at it, or I grab it by the arm and start tugging in a front-to-back fashion, being careful not to pull so hard that you break the arm. It just takes wiggling back and forth and the arm ought to pop off.

That metal piece is supposed to be loose in the servo arm hole, though. If you tighten it up too much, it can't swivel as the arm turns. The only part that should be tightened down is the screw on top that holds the pushrod (be a good idea to remove all the pushrod holder screws and put green or blue loctite on them).
Thanks PerlAddict. I took a closer look at things, and yes, I realized that the piece on the servo arm had to be loose so it wouldn't bend that wire arm when the servo turned. Also, I was able to pop the landing gear back in place and used 5-minute epoxy to secure it back together. The battery bay wall was completely cracked down the center. The landing gear went through the length of the crack and shoved itself into the fuselage towards the nose. All is well now...WHEW!! I'm going to let the epoxy cure over night and most of the day tomorrow, then it's off to the field for another attempt at the maiden. Thanks for all your help, and the help of everyone else on here. You guys are great! Thankyou.

Mike
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:29 AM
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Glad you got it all taken care of. Now we all hope you have a successful maiden flight
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:32 AM
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Hope it goes great, Mike! Can't wait to hear about the maiden. I'm hoping I might get to fly mine tomorrow, but I'm not sure if it'll happen since I don't think I can hand-launch it myself.
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Old 03-12-2008, 02:03 PM
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Well if the wind remains low today like it should, I'll definitely maiden her today. I will be videoing it. I'll post it HERE. Thanks again Newjak and PerlAddict, I couldn't have kept my sanity without you guys. Yall are great!
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Old 03-12-2008, 03:58 PM
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Hey, you've kept me excited about getting to fly mine and helped me be aware of some things on the front end (like double-checking my wings as the glue dried!), so the thanks go all the way around.

Good luck on the maiden!
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:25 PM
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It's a nice-flying airplane.
I might suggest, though, that if you had a crack in the front plastic battery box, that not much will stick to it, in the way of glue, in the long-term, you might have that problem again. Some sort of mechanical bond, like screws, or a tie-wrap, may be called for, if it happens again.
Also...that contact cement they provide in the kit...much better to use five minute epoxy. It's faster, neater, stronger, and much more rigid.
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:29 PM
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Good luck with the maiden!

Mine nose gear broke too. It was when I was landing on it's 11th flight, and nose gear broke, much like yours.

I epoxied i back together and it is fine now!
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:37 PM
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I have my doubts as to how well epoxy will stick to that kind of plastic, in the long term, but that remains to be seen...

Here's an idea...the receiver is in an identical box. Why not run around that box with a razor, remove it, and switch the two boxes? The crack won't matter one bit for the receiver box...
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:46 PM
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I did use 5-minute epoxy. I hate that cheap glue that came with the kit...too rubbery for my taste. Switching the two boxes isn't a bad idea, but the battery box is different, as it has a double sided wall that the landing gear fits in between, in a premolded slot. Right now I have her epoxied and she seems to be holding well. I gave her a few light tugs to see if the epoxy would come loose as well as the landing gear. So far so good. If the winds aren't too bad today, I will maiden her. Thanks for all the advice guys!

One quick question though...how slow can I fly her without stalling...roughly? The reason I ask is because I want to know how much room I will need to land her. How slow should I bring her in/how much power will be needed to land without stalling? Thanks guys.

Mike
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:03 PM
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Did you watch the video on Hobby Lobby's page? They show it doing a touch and go and a landing, so that might help you get a good idea of the distance it takes (those guys are way better pilots than me, so I figure two or three times that far should give me a good enough margin. lol )
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by PerlAddict View Post
Did you watch the video on Hobby Lobby's page? They show it doing a touch and go and a landing, so that might help you get a good idea of the distance it takes (those guys are way better pilots than me, so I figure two or three times that far should give me a good enough margin. lol )
Yeah, she seems to just float there right before touch down. I'm not taking any chances though, so a nice large strip (road) is what I plan on using...especially with this not only being the maiden, but also my 1st EDF. It's looking a little windy right now, so hopefully in an hour or two when she starts dying down a bit. Hopefully I'll get her in the air today.

I waited so long and so patiently for this maiden...I ignored the anxiety of rushing into the first flight, and when the day was PERFECT, this happens. Oh well, I've waited this long so what's another day or two, right?
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