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  1. #1
    8178's Avatar
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    FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    In the late 80s one of my fellow RC club members built and flew a FK SBA 60 Speeda in pattern competition. He offered to let me fly it a few times and I really liked its flying characteristics. It was powered by an OS 61SF ABC-P with a 12X10W APC prop and pipe and had Spring Air retracts. It was super fast and so graceful, with incredibly large loops and it could do a slow roll from horizon to horizon. I loved the design but try as I may I could not get a kit from the US distributor, Mutchler’s hobbies located in Corydon, Indiana. The FK SBA 60 Speeda is a loosely copied version of the MK Blue Angel done in fiberglass and foam. I had one on back order for many months and finally in mid 1992 gave up because FK apparently discontinued production.

    I’ve been on the hunt for a SBA Speeda kit for decades and in February of 2006 some RCU friends helped me get a set of MK Blue Angel plans so I could scratch build a Blue Angel. The MK Blue Angel kits have been out of production for years. My Blue Angel build can be seen on RCU at http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_3973867/tm.htm . I really enjoyed building the Blue Angel but I kept looking for a SBA Speeda.

    A few months ago one of our RCU members casniffer met a RCer that had a bunch of FK kits and was trying to clean out some of his stuff. Casniffer made him and offer and he accepted. Included in the lot was what looks like two Atlanta 60s, a Curare 60 and a FK SBA 60 Speeda retract version. The kits are missing some parts and some work was started by the origin owner but nothing that can’t be fixed.

    Casniffer posted some pictures of his find on RCU and when I saw the SBA I thought wouldn’t it be great if casniffer would sell it. To make a long story short he decided to sell all the kits in a lot but I made him and offer last week on the SBA and he accepted. So today, after a 300+ mile, five hour round trip and $56. worth of high octane in the Mustang, I met-up with casniffer in North Augusta to pick up the SBA. After my experience with UPS crushing my Kwik Fli III no way was the SBA going in a shipping box.

    This kit is missing the aileron stock, one elevator, rudder and some other small miscellaneous parts. It has been hacked on by the first owner trying to install a RF engine and a firewall mount retract unit. The wing span and stab span is shorter than the Blue Angel and although the fuselage looks like an exact copy the nose and tail moment are a little longer.

    I plan on documenting the SBA build here.

    This will be my fifth build thread (Blog) on RCU. You can see my Tiporare build thread at http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_2827386/tm.htm My Howard Engineering Kwik Fli III taper wing build at http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_2434444/tm.htm and my Cold Duck design that was published in RCM in 1971, build at http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_3092876/tm.htm

    My first job will be cleaning everything up and getting it back to its original condition and then start the building process. The FK kits have balsa pre-covered wing and stab cores and they appear to be bonded with some type of epoxy so that is good news. The kit has no plans but that’s not a problem because I’ll be using my Blue Angel plans. I may modify the wing and stab tips to match the Blue Angel plans.

    Some images of the original Mutchler’s hobbies FK ads are below along with the SBA in its current state.

    To be continued…


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  2. #2

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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    Fantastic!! Looking forward to another one of your creations!!

    The less I fly....The less I crash...

  3. #3
    8178's Avatar
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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    Thanks Atlanta 60! Casniffer still has two of your favorite kits left. At least I already know the SBA color scheme!

  4. #4

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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    i was delighted when i saw a speeda build thread posted, well double that when i saw who the posting author is. awesome!!

    david
    David

  5. #5

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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    Now that you'll have a wood airplane and a glass airplane it will be interesting to see the difference in their flying quality's...Like one of Alan Jackson's song goes: "You can't beat the way an old wood boat rides.."

    I'm predicting the wood airplane handles better in winds and is overall a smoother flyer...I predict the glass airplane is Very Responsive and Snappy...

    I intend to build one of my Atlanta's with some Kevlar in order to dampen it a bit...See if you can get closer to that "wood feel"...I plan to use a 50/50 Graphite/Kevlar cloth for my "experiment"...

    Oh Yeah..I PMed casniffer already..he he

    If it's those two airplanes he showed in the For Sale Ad I don't believe they are Atlanta's...I "Think" they are actually Summits...I believe one of them is possibly the Summit II and the other one may be a Summit I...I'm not 100% positive though...

    It seems all the airplanes I like look the same...lol

    Have Fun...

    Chuck
    The less I fly....The less I crash...

  6. #6
    8178's Avatar
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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    Glad you guys are pleased with the new build. I’m jazzed about it!

  7. #7
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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    I washed the fuselage, trying to keep any water off the wood formers because the front and back of the plywood firewall had started to delaminate in a few spots. The fuselage was pretty cruddy after sitting around for who knows how many years. I worked Titebond into the delaminated areas and then jammed balsa pieces in to hold it down while the glue set. There was a small delaminated spot on the formers in front and back of the wing. I’ll need to grind down and sand out the firewall rough spots, fill the some holes that were done to use a firewall mount gear and the coat it with resin. I need to rebuild the fuselage where the pipe cutout was done and some work around the engine cutout so it is not so large. There is also a hole in the nose of the fuselage apparently accidently done when the motor mounts were drilled. The fuselage weight is stout 24.5 ounces but that includes the engine mount and all the formers.

    The wing and stab balsa had turned pretty yellow with age but an hour or so of sanding the wing with my long 60 grit sanding board removed the yellow, a bunch of glue smears, some water stains and trued up the sheeting and wing tips. The sheeting is bonded to the foam with some type of epoxy and is very well attached. The wing and stab look pretty good but I’m going to add larger hollow tip blocks so they fit the Blue Angel wing shape and length. The root section of the wing halves have large factory cutouts for servos that I’ll need to fill in with some scrap foam.

    I’m not sure how to use the large boxes in the wings that are apparently for gear mounts. For those of you out in RCU land that have built one of these it would be great if you could give me some input on them.

    To be continued…



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  8. #8

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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    Fantastic!! I was just looking at the Mutchler's ad yesterday on the classic pattern photo link and thinking how beautiful the Speeda is (was). I'm looking forward to watching another of your incredible builds.

    But the big question........ drum roll...... Are you going to fly the BA before you get too busy on this project?!

    Tim

  9. #9
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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    Yes, The Blue Angel is ready to fly. Just need some good weather and it will fly.

  10. #10
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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    I think the builder may have positioned the boxes for the gear mounts too far forward and I also noticed that the used cutout for the fixed gear does not position the gear in the same place as the Blue Angel plans. I’ve projected the Blue Angel gear position on the SBA wing and I’ll go with that. I don’t have the retracts yet so I’ve been using my scale templates from the Spring Air website to check gear fitment. I discovered the wing sweep is off by 1/4 “ at the tip so that will be fixed by sanding more wing sweep at the root.

    To be continued…


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  11. #11
    8178's Avatar
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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    Fixed up the former in front of the wing.

    To be continued…
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  12. #12
    8178's Avatar
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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    Made a ¼” thick plywood fill piece to fix the nose gear mount that had been cut away to apparently clear a firewall mount retract unit.

    To be continued…

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  13. #13
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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    Started work to repair the cutout that was done to clear the pipe. A piece of balsa had been epoxied to back up the cutout. Epoxy should not be used with polyester resin so I was able to get it out and cleaned up pretty well. Shaped a piece of plywood to fill the firewall cutout.

    Fixing all this is taking some time but in a way I'm glad the original owner did all this stuff causing him to lose interest in the project. If he hadn’t it would be flying and I would have it now! I haven’t seen anything on the SBA yet that cannot be put back to the original condition with a little extra work.

    To be continued…
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  14. #14

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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    Glad to see that you got your hands a SBA. This should be another
    great thread. That gear cutout, goldberg retracts maybe?

  15. #15
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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    You don't come up for air, do you!

    I'm looking forward to learning about a whole new series of skills and techniques.

    David

  16. #16

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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    let me beat everyone to the punch!! what's planned after this?

    david
    David

  17. #17
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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    Yes, I’m trying my best to get going on this because I’m going to be on the road for a couple of days.

    To be continued…

  18. #18
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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    Decided to tackle some of the glass work. I backed the open area with a piece of clear plastic and a piece of balsa covered with Scotch tape. Mixed up some resin and laid on four layers of cloth. After it set up I sanded it down with 60 grit. It will need a coat of resin, more sanding and trimming. The patch turned out great.

    To be continued…

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  19. #19

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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    i noticed roncoleman thought the large wing boxes were perhaps for goldberg retracts. noticed a listing for some, perhaps this is why the cutouts are so large?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/CG-Mechanical-Re...QQcmdZViewItem

    david
    David

  20. #20
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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build


    ORIGINAL: dhal22

    i noticed roncoleman thought the large wing boxes were perhaps for goldberg retracts. noticed a listing for some, perhaps this is why the cutouts are so large?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/CG-Mechanical-Re...QQcmdZViewItem

    david
    Might be. It is hard to tell where the original builder was going with some of the stuff that was done.

  21. #21
    8178's Avatar
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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    Ordered my retracts from Spring Air. I hope they can supply the old style fill valve like I used on the Blue Angel.
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  22. #22

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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    what model number retracts are you using? i have a set of 202's in my king kobra build but i don't see a big difference between 102's and 202's.

    thx, david
    David

  23. #23

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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build

    8178,
    I'm glad to see the kit went to someone that really appreciates it. The fact that you have been searching for the SBA since the early 90's is a testament to how rare they are. I will be watching this thread with interest. It was nice to meet you.

    CAsniffer
    CAsniffer
    http://www.trentonrcflyers.com/pattern/pattern1.htm

  24. #24
    8178's Avatar
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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build


    ORIGINAL: dhal22

    what model number retracts are you using? i have a set of 202's in my king kobra build but i don't see a big difference between 102's and 202's.

    thx, david
    That is a good question. All the pictures on the website look the same to me. I just ordered the same ones they sent me for the Blue Angel and they were 202 flat mount with 5/32 wire.

  25. #25
    8178's Avatar
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    RE: FK SBA 60 Speeda - Build


    ORIGINAL: casniffer

    8178,
    I'm glad to see the kit went to someone that really appreciates it. The fact that you have been searching for the SBA since the early 90's is a testament to how rare they are. I will be watching this thread with interest. It was nice to meet you.

    CAsniffer
    Nice meeting you too. It was great that you recognized that FK kits were something special and bought them.


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