Sport Planes (Formerly I/C & Gas Conversion) Discuss I/C or Gas Conversions, Aerobatic Planes and Sport Aircraft

Big Lazy Bee ARF

Old 01-16-2009, 09:30 PM
  #1  
vax6335
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Default Big Lazy Bee ARF

I've always been a huge fan of Clancy's Lazy Bee series, but I've only ever flown the Yard Bee. I have all the old kits still in the boxes, and someday I'll build them all, but I found this in the LHS and just had to have it. Obviously electrifying it is the only way to go.

Since this will be the biggest electric I have so far, I wanted to power it on a budget, so I won't have to wait so long to save up everything. I'm going to go with this motor and find a cheap esc and 3s 4000mah lipo to go with it:
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...r_Eq:_AXi_2826
I got that setup from someone on RCG and it worked well for them, so I guess it will work for me. Performance won't be crazy, but it is a Bee after all.

I've never heard anything good about the ARF's that Global Hobby/Hobby
People made after they bought the rights to the Bee's from Clancy. Putting this ARF together I can see why. The first thing I did was glue the wingtips on and install the ailerons. While doing this I found that a piece of white covering is missing from the inner left! And the covering looks like it was put on by me, not a great job considering this is a factory ARF. I can live with it though.
The plywood on the inside was broken when I pulled it out of the box. It's very thin and flimsy. But it's a discontinued model, so it's probably had a rough life being cooped up for years.
I also got the wheels on, I think I'm going to go with bigger ones, since I fly off grass. Progress will probably be slow on this plane, and I'll update this thread as I get things accomplished.
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Old 01-17-2009, 01:41 AM
  #2  
Rabbitcreekok
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I have never had a Bee but it is on my list of planes I want. Really sad to hear that quality has gone downhill.
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Old 01-18-2009, 03:53 PM
  #3  
birdy233
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Originally Posted by Rabbitcreekok View Post
Really sad to hear that quality has gone downhill.
They are long out of business, you can't buy a Lazy Bee anymore, haven't been able to for years, unless you get luck and find one.

I have one awesome story for mine. I bought my Lazy Bee ARF about 6 or 7 years ago, wasn't a very good pilot at the time and could see myself building and crashing such a nice plane. So I listed it on RC GRoups and sold it. recently being a better pilot and always loving the Bee's I tried to find another. Luckily posted on RC Groups and found a nib ARF Lazy Bee last month. When I got it in the mail, low and behold, it was my plane that I sold years ago!! Still had the price tag from the LHS that I bought it from. So I have now flown it twice, it creaks along in the sky, what a great flyer. Not a plane I want to fly often, just on special days!
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:39 PM
  #4  
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Default Speedy Bee

I also thought the Bee series was a cool plane. I final got a Speedy Bee ARF a year ago and made it electric. As stated, the quality of the kit was not the greatest. Moreover, the thing never flew well. It had a bad tendency to "tuck" down unexpectedly at high speed (not very fast just high throttle). After investigating, I found a lot of info on this phenom and it called the "Bee Tuck". As I understand from the aero gurus, it is the result of the wing design, short coupling andelevator effectiveness. I did not expect or desire to fly the Bee at high speed but even slow flight was not a relaxing task - always on the sticks correcting flight attitude.

I have since retired my Bee after a not so soft landing the damaged the landing gear (easy repair). It is looking for a good home for very little money (preferred local pickup).

There are pictures and discussions on this plane on my web site forum.
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:36 AM
  #5  
Dereck
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Okay, Lazy Bee fanatic here - I've built six, though it could technically be more if you include the single engined slimer converted to a tri-motor electric, then back again. Also, if you dig deep enough in the basement of a fairly well-known e-flight forum, you can find my 'kit review' of an electrocuted Speedy Bee - one of the first outside of Andy Clancy's prototypes.

The non-existent 'kit' supply - for years, Andy did it all. Cut the kits, packed them, shipped them. Wrote the instruction manual, though he did pay a part time draftsman to draw his plans. Eventually, he moved the distribution rights over to Global Hobbies - they did not, AFAIK, produce them, just distribute them. I contacted Global when the supplies started to dry up, they explained this in some detail. Odd, I know, asking the source for info rather than blathering all over the web, but it can work. It wasn't what they wanted either, but there was little else they could do.

The ready-mades. If you know which end of a balsa knife to hold and have a little patience, a Lazy Bee is a dead easy build. Mostly, you cut a stick to length and glue it to another stick. There aren't enough wing ribs to make life difficult, though if your other hobby is sending IMs, waiting for laminated tips to dry overnight may be taxing

The Speedy Bee suffered similarly, in kit form. Andy told me he designed it for the shorter attention span which, amongst other things, basically quadrupled the weight of the wing tip bows alone.

All is not lost on the supply front. Model Aviation, the AMA's house mag, still sells the Lazy Bee plans, which have all the parts shown to build the same model as the Clancy Aviation kit - not the far cruder and heavier BARF (Bought Almost Ready to Fix). IIRC, Radio Control Modeler, presently 'resting' sells the Speedy Bee plan set - the mag's out of print, but its plans service is still working fine. Okay, getting these plans costs more than the internet rate, and maybe by now, someone has committed intellectual property theft and 'published' free versions on the web.

The "Bee Tuck' - the Speedy did it more, due to the lower vertical distance between the wing and stab. In the Lazy Bee case, hitting full down at high speed - that's relative, of course, no Bee is particularly 'speedy' - will cause a radical sharp pitch down of similar nature. Remedies are easy - practice it lots, or reduce the down elevator throw!

My first E-Bee had a geared ferrite with around a 10" x 5" prop, seven nicads around 1200mA, a flying weight around 44oz and was pretty good fun. My present one has an Astro 020 geared brushless swinging a 10 x 7 three blader off a 3S Lipo and some 300W into a 29 ounce model. Like all the others I've had, the airshow trick is not to do what regular old boring models do, but fly to the Bee's craziest tricks. Even so, I haven't managed a rolling circle with an electric Bee, but am planning to do so this year.

It was relatively easy with a 24 ounce slimer with an OS15 FP up front

Wheels - the Lazy Bee purist would only be seen out in public with Trexler airwheels, around 3" diameter. Call it snobby if you must, it was just one of those things we fanatics did. The BARF was probably shipped with whatever was handy and cheap... FWIW - as well as the original Lazy Bee plan, MA sells the float plan. Three floats, the main pair rubber banding on where the wheels used to go, the tail float needed a hex key to fit. Worked a treat, glow or electric power.

There were options = a 48" long span LB wing, and a flat 40" one with ailerons. The former works, but turns the model into a pseudo old timer with limited aerobatic capability, the latter was the sort of thing sold because enough people wanted to buy it...

The Lazy Bee is a remarkable model. There was, according to one of the AMA's museum staff, nothing quite like it in US RC history before Andy Clancy designed it and, apart from some rip-offs from the usual places, nothing like it since. If anyone is really interested, I have some build photos of my present one, but they're on my other computer right now - but feel free to pester me if the urge strikes.

In the words of the Lazy Bee owners club - 'To Bee, or Not to Bee - what a silly question'.

regards

Dereck
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:10 AM
  #6  
vax6335
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Derek, nice to see you've popped in here. I've enjoyed your posts on Lazy Bee's over on RCG.

Here is a fun little website from some guys overseas, about the Lazy Bee. For awhile the site was down, hadn't been updated in a long time. I checked it out the other day and found that it was back up, although hasn't been updated any.
http://lazybee.welcomes-you.com/
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:54 PM
  #7  
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Hi Folks
That's a neat site - shame it hasn't been updated, but I've played with a similar site years back and you better not have any other demands on your spare time!

In the meantime, to cheer things up on this chilly day outside of paralysed DC - some guy name of Barry is moving into a pretty pricey public housing unit on PA Ave and they're having a little housewarming party for him - here's some shots of my # 6 Lazy Bee.

The wingtip and tailfeather outlines were laminated around the cardboard jigs I made for my first LB, circa 1994, while the scalloped trim pieces were cut using templates made for the same model. Okay, it's got a slinkier cowl, which will one day be finished by either dummy flat twin jugs or turbine exhausts, and its covered in Solarfilm Lite, rather than the original LiteSpan. Otherwise, it's off the same plan, same battery hatch and stuff.

The only significant change is that the servos are mounted up in the cabin, not down in the bowels of the fuselage as per plan. Where you can't actually reach them once its all covered...

Apart from the 'plastic covering', the standard of this production line hasn't gone down at all

Regards

Dereck
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:15 AM
  #8  
Al_M
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A little less prop pitch helps the tuck. It won't cure it completely. If it did you might fall asleep flying the length of the field.

Al
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:35 AM
  #9  
Dereck
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One trick is never to attempt to fly straight and level, then you'll never notice it

I have seen LBs 'just flying around' but it does somehow detract from the type's inherent sense of being a cartoon as much as an aircraft.

One of my favourite Bee pastimes is to fly slowly into wind, starting at around as low as I dare. Power to full, pull full up and climb vertically about 20 feet or so. Now hit full down, kill the power as the nose hits vertical down and take off the down ele. At as low as I dare, full power and up to perform a half-loop, missing the ground by some, repeating until I've run out of field.

I suspect the so-called tuck helps some at the tops
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Old 05-16-2009, 04:23 AM
  #10  
vax6335
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Got it finished! But the weather sucks, and I'm leaving for Texas on Sunday. I think I'll bring it with me and maiden it down there.

I've had some ups and downs with this Bee. At times, putting it together has been a pain in the rear, and other times it's a pretty cool plane. I can't see how anyone would power this with a glow engine. The whole airframe is so fragile, every time I pick it up I feel like I'm breaking something. I had to hog out the pushrod exits, they were too close to the fuse.

I bought a Turnigy 4260-500 and a 70 amp esc from a fellow Wattflyer here. It's about a .40 equivalent. 13x6 APC, and two 3s 3200mah lipos in series. My new watt meter is telling me it runs around 33 amps and about 730 watts at full throttle. I would guess it weighs around 6 pounds which would make it around 100 watts/pound! Maybe a little much for a Bee, but bigger is better right?

The motor was easy to mount, and I just hung the esc off the pre-installed throttle pushrod tube. The two lipos fit just about perfectly in the bottom of the nose, and I made a popsicle stick keeper so the batteries don't flop around. I'm using a Turnigy UBEC, and have that running with another 3s 1320 lipo. Even with that battery up front too, I had to add some lead weight in front of the gear. The wheels aren't what it came with either, they're a little bigger and heavier.

I still have yet to put the windows in. And maybe add some decals or something. Anyway enough rambling. Hopefully I'll get to fly it soon, this thing is big!
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:40 AM
  #11  
jimmi
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Its looking nice vax6335 don't give up. I have a babybee and was thinking about selling it but I'm really not sure. At times it could be discouraging but as soon as you take her out and fly it you'll have a grin from ear to ear. Good luck, Jimmi
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Old 05-23-2009, 04:44 AM
  #12  
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Well I maidened it while I was down in Texas on Monday and flew it's second flight tonight at the AMA field in Muncie, IN. The pictures are from tonight.

This thing is a floater! It flies so slow, at around half throttle or less, and actually flies worse at higher throttle. It just kinda lumbers around the sky, it's funny. Next flight I'll try some loops and see what kind of goofy aerobatics it will do, so far I've just flown laps. The ailerons don't really do a darn thing, except helping the wings keep level when coming out of turns. It really makes you use the rudder.
It was kinda breezy out there, and I could point it in the wind and let it crawl by, like a giant slow stick. It really is a fun plane, relaxing too.
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Old 05-23-2009, 06:51 AM
  #13  
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Pics look nice, glad to see you flying this puppy.
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:36 AM
  #14  
Dereck
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Good going - Bee's always fly great.

Oddly enough, yours is similar in colour to one a contributer of mine is presently painting.

Except his is really 'twice life size', at 80" span. E-Power - a great big Astro geared brushed motor from the dawn of time in the last century. It's painted too, no coloured plastic.

The kicker, especially for those who like to drive a cross between a builder's truck and a furniture van - this guy builds his models to strip down and fit into his Chevy Aveo four door sedan (the models, not him ).

Even Andy C admitted that the aileron wing on the Lazy Bee was not really worth the effort. The Lazy Bee aileron kit actually used a Speedy Bee wing - call me biased, but the sheet tips off the Speedy miss out badly on the good looks front compared to the Lazy Bee's laminated tips. The aileron equipped 40" LB flew pretty much the same on rudder/ele as the regular LB to top it off.

'To Bee, or Not to Bee - what a silly question!

Sorry, Will, that one doesn't bring home the Bacon

Regards

Dereck
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:24 PM
  #15  
Henry Sistrunk
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I have never built a Lazy Bee but have had this kit for many years. Thought one day I might build it for electric. The thought of building all those laminated structures sort of turns me off.
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:53 PM
  #16  
Dereck
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Come on Henry - I know you're better than that!

Find some thick cardboard - recycling day is always good for discarded boxes.

Cut out shapes of round Bee bits - IIRC, one for the wingtips, one for the tailplane bits, one for the rudder. Tape around edges with plastic packing tape, to glue-proof.

Strip balsa wood into whatever length/width for your version - I've only built regular sized Bees.

Select four strips for whatever part takes your fancy. Soak in water - having a bath tub next to my shop helps no end, but walking to your nearest tub beats renovating the house to put a bathroom next to your shop

Remove from water, wipe off loose water with towel. Rub Elmers white glue on mating faces - both faces in the case of inside joints, not just one face.

Place strips atop each other, line up, press down with thumb along length to really push glued faces into contact. Wipe off squooshed out glue from outer faces.

Tape around former, starting at one end. You can either masking tape the laminations to the former, or pin down to building board atop plastic sheet. However, work around former, keeping laminations in close contact.

Do this late at night, so you can go to bed and let the long part - the drying of the glue - go on without fretting about it.

Following day, remove lamination, observe how incredibly stiff it all is considering its just light balsa and Elmers, repeat as necessary.

What's hard about that? It's easier than getting the shrinkwrap off the latest big shiny box BARF toy.

Better still, it's about the hardest part of building a Lazy Bee.

But you will need to find a lot of cardboard for the laminating forms on a BLB...

Regards

Dereck
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:54 AM
  #17  
Henry Sistrunk
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Thanks Dereck. You went into great detail to help me do something I never intend to do. I know how to do it but at my age with not really steady hands and eyes that arn't what they once were, I love to build but laminating is too time consuming for me. Mostly I just do ARF'S now. I still do some building. Did you see my 80 inch Robinhood conversion built from a kit I bought years ago? I just finished it a few weeks ago and really enjoy flying it. I still have numerous kits bought years ago that I would like to build as electric. I have a Balsa USA 1/4 scale cub on floats that I flew off the St. Johns river. I may put gear on it and convert to electric. Thanks again but you can see that laminating parts for the Lazy Bee is way down on my priority list.
Henry
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:04 PM
  #18  
Dereck
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Hi Henry
Yes, saw the Robinhood - that's a remarkable design from what I've read of it. It's origins pre-date my move to the US, so I don't know much about its design and early days, but it has to be good to still be popping up so much.

Okay, I'm an oddball over structures. To me, a laminated outline is one step harder than building a Lazy Bee fuselage. Mostly in that I have to go to bed and sleep the night away before its dry enough for the next step.

My favourite for Bee wingtips was the time I managed to wreck a wing, leaving the other big bits more or less intact - my Bees spent a lot of time outside their flight envelopes, so it was inevitable. Anyway, I took the mess home, tore off the covering, to find that the laminated tips were about the only unbroken part of the wing.

So I hacked the rest off the tips, and put a new wing between them, in about two days. Had it out flying the next weekend, when the favourite question was 'didn't you wreck that last weekend'?

A quarter scale Cub electric - that would be something else. If you've still got a handy river, just electrocute it and leave the floats on. I've done some electric floatplaning and not suffering deadsticks like the oily lot get is invaluable. Stopping one's prop until the rescue boat almost gets to your 'deadstick' model, then powering up and taking off is not very tasteful though

Regards

Dereck
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:26 AM
  #19  
FoxVK
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Hello

I am looking for drawing of Big lazy bee (wingspan ~1800mm) or similar plane.
Please can somebody send (or sell) me it or tell me where i can get it?

Thanks you.

(Sorry for my bad English)
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