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  1. #1

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    I have a ModelTech Great lakes Kit #123685. It’s an ARC with build data somewhat lacking. I’m confused about wing incidence and overall flight surface setup.

    The instructions say to set up the engine thrust with 2 degrees right and 2 degrees down with respect to the lower wing. It specifies NOT to use the horiz. stab as a reference for this measurement. However, it falls short of explaining just what the lower wing to horiz. stab relationship is supposed to be. Further, there is no incidence specifcation for the top wing. I’m just not content on leaving those other relationships to chance, particularly after finding the remains of this same plane in the trash can of our flying field. BTW, I took these pieces home with me for spare parts and glued them back together giving me a whole fuse and lower wing.

    So, I temporarily clamped together the Great Lakes kit in order to establish what the factory builders made the relationships of the flight surfaces. Using a Robart incidence meter, I find the horz stab has 1 degree positive incidence and the upper wing has 1 1/4 positive incidence both with respect to the lower wing. This seemed strange to me and suddenly I have a possible explanation why the only other example I’ve seen of this model was found in the trash. So, I figure, before I cover the Kit top wing, I’ll make a copy for the spare parts plane I retrieved from the trash. The Kit top wing is semi-symmetrical and has a label "UP" stamped on one of the wing tip formers. However, when I made templates of the airfoil, I found that if assembled per indications, the top wing will be reversed cambered, meaning the fat part of the airfoil will be towards the bottom of the plane. Was this a stamping mistake? Or, was this done for improved inverted performance?

    So, I don’t know what to do. I want this bipe to be aerobatic but land with some forgiveness. I tend toward the "hot dog" style of flying as I get bored with level flight 1 foot after take off and 1 foot before landing. Any advise?

    Thanks in advance,
    Lloyd

  2. #2

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    pleas let me know to as I have one about 6 hrs away from being done. P.S Love the kit need info on other model-tech arcs.

  3. #3
    TLH101's Avatar
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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    From what I have read, and seen in the past, this plane will do best when hung from the ceiling. They fall out of the sky if the motor quits, do donuts on the runway, and land at the speed of heat. Need a bunch of weight in the nose to balance.
    Terry
    "Old Fart" in training. (not to be an R/Cer, but to be an "Old Fart")
    P-39 Brotherhood # 6

  4. #4

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    Not realy what I wanted to hear. I thought it looked to good to fly. I also added smoke, proabably will add something to the horrific crash.

  5. #5

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    Lloyd, the incidence measurements you quote for the top wing and horizontal stab are about "right on" for a biplane. Top wing is positive so it will stall first. If the bottom wing were to stall first and the top wing was still flying you would suddenly have a tail heavy airplane! NOT GOOD! Positive in the horizontal stab helps keep the plane flying level with all the lift of the two Semi-symetrical wings.
    Can't help you with the possible stamping mistake. Good luck. Always wanted a Great Lakes Trainer. Tom
    There\'s never enough time to do all the nothing you want!!

    RETIRED!!

  6. #6

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    Hideho all,

    I am sorry to report that in my experience this is not worth the covering to apply.

    As previously stated , this is possibly the worst plane ever to be offered as an ARC, or any pre-built for that matter.
    Every report, from those who did not heed good advice ended in a bag O balsa.


    Fortunately, I sold mine (having never risked my equiptment) at the last NW RC Expo to a guy who wanted to hang it from his resturant ceiling.

    Good luck to you , however.

    Best to you all,
    Mike
    Best to you all,
    Mike
    In memorium
    Art Grabow Sr. AKA Grnbrt..RIP mah Brother
    04/06

  7. #7

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    Hi Mike,

    I have the plane, you can find some pictures and building advise at my site:

    http://home.hetnet.nl/~meijhmb

    look under 'bouwprojecten' (site is in Dutch)
    Somewhere you can find a quote of someone 'scary little...' that I found in a newsgroup.
    This is not my opinion, it is a great flying plane, but some points are to be made:
    Have the cog right and keep the weight low.
    I placed the rudder and elevator servo one compartment ahead.
    I placed the receiver on top of the tank
    I placed the throttle servo within the cowl area.
    I placed the battery on top of the engine (engine inverted)
    Used a saito 65 as engine Enlarged the cowl to acommodate the saito.
    No lead to balance, weight is 2765 gr
    I also changed the wing support. From this location I do not have the correct figures, but it thought that a piece of wood of quarter inch was placed under the rear sopport of the top wing.
    Keep some power on when landing, this plane will not float, but on the other hand will slow down nicely when going from full to third power.

    Greetings,
    Hans


  8. #8

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    I expect to be flying mine in a couple of weeks with a YS63. I did change the enterplane struts to 4 attachments per rather than 2. And used threaded inserts to mount the landing gear rather than wood screws. I also didn't glue in the gear cover so that I can remove it.
    The geometery and weight suggest it may be a difficult airplane but certainly no worse than some others I have.
    I never met an engine I didn\'\'t like.
    Of the things I\'\'ve lost I miss my mind the most.

  9. #9

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    Good luck, and will you please post your findings after the first flight?

    I would look foreward to your candid report on it's flight characteristics.

    Best to you all,
    Mike
    Best to you all,
    Mike
    In memorium
    Art Grabow Sr. AKA Grnbrt..RIP mah Brother
    04/06

  10. #10

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    Project on hold, for now...

    I'm sending off for Harry Higley's book on Bipes. So, it will be a while before I contininue with this plane. Given the replies I've gotten from this forum, I feel there is something very wrong with the "as delivered" geometry.
    No respondees, who have the plane, commented on the "upside down" top wing. If mine is stamped the same way all of them are, It would explain "falling out of the sky if the motor quits" by TLH101. Hans Meij had the most usefull input. Particularly the points about moving as much radio weight far forward to get correct CG, and after changing the top wing incidence to negative, gave him a "great flying airplane". Unfortunately, I don't know Dutch and I couldn't follow his web pointer. However, if his top wing was stamped and mounted upside down as mine certainly is, wouldn't reducing the incidence eliminate a great deal of drag from that useless top wing? Probably would improve the inverted performance a great deal also.

    Anyway, I've decided to re-engineer the flying surface incidences and recalculate the correct CG location based on good design practices rather than the poor instructions that came in the box. I hope Harry Higley will explain that for me.

    Thanks for all your supportive input. I'll post again when I learn something positive.

    Cheers,
    Lloyd

  11. #11

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    Lloyd,

    Perhaps this way:
    http://home.hetnet.nl/~meijhmb/Proje...greatlakes.htm
    http://home.hetnet.nl/~meijhmb/model...greatlakes.htm

    and have you found the link to the german site of Thomas Vogel?
    http://www.balsadust.net/thomas.voge...h_Great_Lakes/

    Greetings,
    Hans

  12. #12

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    Great references and info Hans. Good looking plane too. My German is OK put not good enough for me to struggle through to a partial translation of the Dutch.
    Did you use their control deflections called for in the instructions.
    I'm surprised you had to but a spacer under the rear support. I have the tall support in the rear as called for in my instructions. It appears to be correct in order to compensate for the airfoil. But it also looks like I'll need a spacer under the front support to get a positive incidense in the upper wing. I've had it together in the bones but I didn't put an incidense meter on it then. I'm finishing the covering now. I'm covering it with Black Baron prepainted fabric. It's made out of heavium. That ought to help me a lot!!! I am hoping that its a least no worse a flier than the high wing loading Global Raven ARF and the Global 25 size Taquela Sunrise ARF. They were great fun but bad and treacherous flying planes. After about 50 to 100 flights on each I decided they were best used as wall ornaments.
    I'll certainly let every one know how mine comes out before and AFTER flight.
    I never met an engine I didn\'\'t like.
    Of the things I\'\'ve lost I miss my mind the most.

  13. #13

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    Also there was nothing on my wing to indicate top or bottom like LLoyd found. I've looked at mine closely and it sure looks symmitrical. But I do have a significant astigmatism and even with my glasses on things are never as they seem. All my straight edges are bowed.
    I never met an engine I didn\'\'t like.
    Of the things I\'\'ve lost I miss my mind the most.

  14. #14

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    Sorry guys,

    Did not give quite the right info in my previous post because I replied from the place where I work. Measured everything now and this is what the incidences are:

    given the stab is at 0
    the upper wing is + 1/2
    the lower wing is 0

    for this setting I had to add a piece if wood of 4mm thickness between the foremost strut and the top wing and 2mm between the rear strut and the top wing. Did not made these changes to get a certain incidence but just to close the gap.

    Hans

  15. #15

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    I had one of these, it did take a lot of weight to balance, around a pound and a half, as I remember. It crashed on the first flight when one side of the elevator let go. It would make a good Hanger Queen, as it is a very good looking plane. Good luck with yours, please let us know how it does.
    Flying Cardinals of N. Ky.
    http://www.flyingcardinals.org

  16. #16

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    I fixed the weak elevator union during assembly. Pushrod to each half.
    I never met an engine I didn\'\'t like.
    Of the things I\'\'ve lost I miss my mind the most.

  17. #17
    Veritech's Avatar
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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    Out of all the bipes I have owned and flown, over 10 of them, this was by far the worst one!!! I bought the kit about 5 years ago and a friend in the club, a very good builder BTW, finished it. He had built several bipes in the past and we both though this one would be a breeze! Wrong!

    After setting it up per planes and putting in an ASP .40 we tried to fly it. It was the worst flying plane I had ever flown period! Even worse that my Air Core trainer of years past. It would all of a sudden do a nose dive at certain airspeeds and at other speeds it was marginal on control.

    I spent a few days one winter checking and adjusting the incidence to set it up more like my Goldberg ultimate but even after that it was terrible. I ended up trying to do a knife edge at full throttle and the darn thing snapped on me, right into the ground! I never need any bipe do that before. It was kind of fun to watch and the plane is rebuild able but not by me. I might take out the gear and give it away for someone to fix up and hang from their ceiling.

    I wish you the best of luck with yours,
    Randy
    Electrodynamics Team Pilot and Field Rep
    www.electrodynam.com

  18. #18

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    Great lakes Bipe

    Hello Grasshopper,
    Many moon ago I too had a Modeltech Great Lakes. It BY FAR the worst airplane that I have ever flown. Followed closely by the 60 size Global Raven. I admire your spirt by trying tomake this plane work, but please find someone who thinks it is cool and UNLOAD your balsa bomb. I wish someone would have stopped me before I finished the plane with silk and dope. What a dud plane. I know this sounds real negative but............................................... ..........been there and definately done that. Greg
    Some guys Golf...........I RC

  19. #19

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    Well it's finished except for painting the cowl. Covered with 21st century painted fabric(heavy) YS63 up front with a13/6APC, a brace nut AND brass spinner nut. It weights 5lbs8oz. Put it on the CG machine and it will take 12 oz on the mount beams to balance. 6lbs 4 oz, 24.6oz/sq.ft. Not real good but not real ugly. I put a little less than 1 deg pos. inc. in the uper wing with a 5/32 block under the forward strut. Well fly(attempt) in a week or two.
    I never met an engine I didn\'\'t like.
    Of the things I\'\'ve lost I miss my mind the most.

  20. #20
    Veritech's Avatar
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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    djlyon,
    I wish you the best of luck! Please keep us informed of your progress.

    Randy
    Electrodynamics Team Pilot and Field Rep
    www.electrodynam.com

  21. #21

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    djlyon,
    I had put my Great Lakes projects on hold pending input from this group and my own research. I'm now ready to give it a try as soon as I finish a house project that got inserted in the que. Of all the biplane plans and examples I've encountered, none have required positive incidence in the upper wing. More often, if it is not set at zero, then it is set negative. Harry Higley, in his book on Bipes, even changed the Smith Miniplane from zero to minus one degree on the flat bottom upper wing to negate an "initial climbing tendency" for that model when built per instructions. Further, the Aeromaster bipe, highly regarded as a very good flier, has semi-symetrical wing profiles, similar to the Modeltech Great Lakes, and also calls for minus one degree on the upper wing. The rest of the plans/planes I investigated called for zero incidence.
    I urge you to carefully check your upper wing profile. The example I have is most definately semi-symetrical, and is definately stamped "UP" on the wrong side of the top wing. I've never heard of a good reason to mount a semi-symetrical wing upside down on any airplane. I think Modeltech has some serious quality control issues. I never would have caught this if I had not been intent on making another top wing from the existing example. I am also going to change the the wing struts to four point attachment from the designed three. I don't want wing twist to add to any instability. Lastly, I am convinced that weight is an extremely important factor for this airplane. I will rework the empanage to take as much weight out of the tail as I can and mount all the radio gear as far forward as possible. I think I'll be able to get to this project in a couple weeks. I wish you luck with yours,

    Blue skies,
    Lloyd

  22. #22

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    If I had mounted the upper wing without the 5/32 spacer the upper wing would have been at 2 deg negative. I went positive because it seems to work for Hans and I hope the upper wing stalls with or before the lower wing. The upper wing on my Kyosho Super stearman is 2 Deg pos and it flys real nice and has no ugly stall characteristics, but it has a much lower wing loading.
    I put my battery and reciever in with the tank. But I put servos in per plan. I think it's a good idea to lighten up the tail feathers and get every thing else as far forward as possible.
    I never met an engine I didn\'\'t like.
    Of the things I\'\'ve lost I miss my mind the most.

  23. #23

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    Well this thing came in at 6lbs 8oz after adding a brass nut and brass spinner nut plus 12 oz of lead across the motor mounts to balance. That's 26.5 oz per sq ft. It's been ready to fly for 2 weeks. Every day I could fly the wind blew straight across the run way.
    Today was the day!! I went to start the engine and found I didn't have a needle valve. Back home to get it. Then I found I had the wrong transmitter. Back home to get the right one. Started engine and began to adjust needle. The tank split open even though I had wrapped it in strapping tape. I'm using a YS63. First time that happened to me. Gave up and went home. I don't think this thing wants to fly. WELL SUCKER YOU ARE GOING TO FLY. It may die but it's going to fly. Try again next week after I get back from a little rest and relaxation in Yosemite.
    I never met an engine I didn\'\'t like.
    Of the things I\'\'ve lost I miss my mind the most.

  24. #24
    Veritech's Avatar
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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    djlyon ,
    he he he....That's almost too funny! I remember when I bought a GS G Shark and brought it to the field for the first time. I got the plane built and supposedly ready to fly at a swap meet. So I get the plane there and I left the TX on. So I break out my field charger and start to charge. After charging I forgot to bring my ail ext. So I steal one out of my other plane. Then I can get the G-38 to run at all, turns out I had the kill switch backwards. Ok, fix that and get the motor fired up but then it only runs for a few seconds at a time then quits. 2 hours later, after taking down and cleaning the carb at the field she is finally ready to go. I start her up and take off...

    15 seconds later the horizontal flutters off and she comes a crashing down!

    I was mad at the time but now I just look back and laugh. I guess she really didn’t want to fly and she proved it to me once and for all.

    Like I have been saying all along, good luck with your plane and I hope all goes well.

    Please keep us all posted on your progress.

    Randy
    Electrodynamics Team Pilot and Field Rep
    www.electrodynam.com

  25. #25

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    ModelTech Great Lakes Setup

    Man O man I sure do admire your commitment to keep polishing that tur_ until it flies.

    I really mean it, if anyone deserves to have the one and only bipe that will fly decent, you shore do.

    Good luck,
    And, like the rest, look foreword to hearing the rest of the story.
    Best to you all,
    Mike
    In memorium
    Art Grabow Sr. AKA Grnbrt..RIP mah Brother
    04/06


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