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Tower Hobbies Vista Grande build thread

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Tower Hobbies Vista Grande build thread

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Old 03-17-2019, 09:33 AM
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Post Tower Hobbies Vista Grande build thread

Good Afternoon RCU community,
The last four years I've spent with a TH Vista BL has been trouble free and just all around sensational. Nothing has been replaced on the model with exception to an FrSky 2.4 Ghz Rx and Tx conversion module. I have absolutely become fascinated with thermal hunting thanks to Tower Hobbies and it's amazing products. Naturally I had to try the latest addition to Tower's balsa and ply sailplane lineup. Wasn't particularly sure if this was the right place to post this assembly, but this is an ARF and the "Slope Gliding and Soaring" section seems to be reserved for some serious players in this category and I didn't have 70% CF, German made, high-performance Esprit Model money whom BTW I hope to be a customer of one day. Some great guys there too. For now I'll appreciate the quality and value of this classically designed Vista Grande by Tower Hobbies.

Got to mention the value you're getting with this ARF and I'll respectfully quote a review from a purchaser on the Tower Hobbies site as saying, "It's like buying a Rimfire outrunner and 80amp ESC and getting a free sailplane." For $169.00, I agree.

Now let me see If I can remember how to do this...LOL!
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:48 AM
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Everything came quickly and intact as always. Couple of wrinkles on the spoiler but that's about it. I went with the recommended accessories as far as servo brand and size except that I went with digital for rudder and elevator. Never dealt with Tactic servos before, but they seem to have decent reviews and again are at a fair price point.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:57 AM
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That decal sheet will do wonders for helping fine-balance the wing.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:11 AM
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Lamination Time. Two of 'em.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:18 AM
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:28 AM
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Sorry for the Ginormous pics...I'll see if I can reduce in future.
The wingtip joiners are very specific in their orientation. I'm trying to keep the most weight up front as possible so I'm trying to make sure aluminum plate is toward the nose when inserted, hence the markings. Wider side goes into center wing panel and slimmer side into wingtips.
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:08 AM
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Been a few days, had a drive fail on the PC....FIGURES! After six years of service, it deserved to RIP anyway. Have to say, while a beginner might be able to fly this, one might not be able to assemble it. The wing joiners are very loose in the center and wingtip pockets. I've been coating with epoxy to see if I can get a little more tightness out of them. Be warned, if you need to sand them to make fit, sand very very little at a time. These receiver pockets are not tapered and it might be something as small as a drop of glue on a joiner in the way. They were very hard to get in the pockets and then I sanded very lightly, now they're too loose. Would like to keep this a 3-piece wing but it's not looking that way. We'll see how the attempt to get a few microns back with the epoxy works out. In all, I feel like Tower could have done a little more in this and the spoiler hardware area. I'll get to that spoiler next and explain.

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Old 03-21-2019, 06:20 PM
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Wing hold down plate install. Remove covering and use medium CA.
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:27 PM
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Now for the weakest link...Literally!!
The hardware included in these next steps are just this side of rinky-dink.

First have to get your servo arm ready. The instructions say to go all the way to spoiler open position
and place arm a few degrees forward of that but this did not work for me. I'm placing control on channel 5, which
is left rear slider on my Tx.



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Old 03-27-2019, 10:58 AM
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Installed the servo mounting tray with medium CA.
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Old 03-27-2019, 11:08 AM
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Apparently this ESC is not a Great Planes brand but is something in the Horizon family as identifed by the orange, brown, and black Rx lead so as a forewarning you will have to reverse EVERY channel if using Futaba, Hitec or Tactic Tx.

Here I installed the spoiler control bracket after making the slot a little deeper and longer. My spoiler only came with what I can only imagine is a reference "scoring" for a notch. Definitely not something you want to install this bracket in. Nothing in the instructions mentions this so I took it upon myself to modify this groove.




Use a hobby knife to deepen and lengthen this groove as seen here. Your model MAY be different as I feel this was an oversight on mine.
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Old 03-27-2019, 11:14 AM
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I'm a "taper". Little tricks learned from the Embraer school of aerodynamic sealing. You'll see me tape A LOT. My Vista BL ended up with a little more epoxy hairs than I'd like so I'm ding this as clean as possible.
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Old 03-27-2019, 11:16 AM
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Old 03-27-2019, 11:18 AM
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Bracket installed.

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Old 03-29-2019, 02:27 AM
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Oh, and you're going to want to iron the spoiler to have a slight downward arch before hinging. It's very thin and this allows the spoiler to seat more flush. I'd love to run a carbon fiber rod through the whole piece since it's very soft and would allow a more even distribution of seating when retracted.
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