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"Eliminator 2" molds under way

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Old 02-28-2005, 07:36 PM
  #76  
Mike James
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Ultra-simple "automatic" gear doors...

When the strut goes up, the string pulls the door shut. When the strut goes down, the rubber band holds the doors open.
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Old 03-04-2005, 10:01 PM
  #77  
Mike James
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Just a heads up for any of you following the article...

To consolidate and speed up my site, I'm moving ALL of it's contents to my server space at Apple. If you go to my homepage at http://www.nextcraft.com, you can then visit any pages that you normally visit, and update your bookmarks.

The new URL for the jet article, for example, is at http://homepage.mac.com/mikejames/n...sportjet01.html

(No content on my site has been removed, but the URL's have changed.)
Thanks!
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Old 03-06-2005, 05:14 AM
  #78  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

very nice job mike!

I really like your jet construction...very interesting to follow!

Will you fill the gap we can see between the body airframe and the gear doors?
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Old 03-06-2005, 02:51 PM
  #79  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

While this plane is flyable as a prototype, it's been through some rough treatment. The main seam was broken when I first pulled it from the molds, since the first one didn't have formers installed, and was a little delicate. (Production kits will have the formers installed in the molds.) Then formers were test-fit and removed several times, and several different configurations were tried for the gear doors before I got it right.

The gap you see around the nose gear door doesn't exist any more. This photo was taken when I first rigged it, and the placement of the hinges caused it to warp under "up" tension. Moving the hinges forward about an inch solved it. Actually, a worse cosmetic spot on the fuselage is around the main hatch, where I distorted the fuselage a little with a former that fit too tightly. Solved all those things now.

Not sure if I'll bother with trying to make this one perfect, visually. We want to do the flight testing, adjust whatever requires adjusting, then I'll make the next one a "show" plane. Remember that for this prototype, all the parts were hand cut, whereas production kits will use laser cut parts. Builders who assemble this kit will have a much easier time than I did.

Starting on some masking and painting today...
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Old 03-07-2005, 06:08 PM
  #80  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Here are some photos showing the beginning of painting.

Still have to vacuum bag the second vertical fin and second taileron, but here's what I have assembled. Now it's starting to look right.
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Old 03-07-2005, 07:29 PM
  #81  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Mike... You have to be so happy seeing a concept become reality...Keep up the good work. It looks Beauitful!!!!
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Old 03-07-2005, 07:41 PM
  #82  
Mike James
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Thanks, Bob.

It is great to finally have it sitting on the table. It'll be sooooo much better in the air, too.
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:22 PM
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Mike,

If I can find a way to put a turbine inside I'd buy one for sure. Looks like everything is coming out nicely. Heck, might just have to buy a kit so I can check out your work close up.

JR Gautreaux
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Old 03-07-2005, 11:35 PM
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Looks great Mike. Just knowing what it takes to get from concept to finished product makes it that much sweeter. I hope your test hops go well!

-Tom
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Old 03-08-2005, 02:27 AM
  #85  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Mike.
Your model looks really great.
I am a little bit concerned about your gear door mechanism though. I think that things MAY become a bit different with wind forces acting on the door.
It shoud not be a problem getting the wheels out, but I think there is a possibility for the open doors to be pressing against the gear leg, thus preventing the gear from retracting. (Depends on your air speed and the tension in the rubber band, I suppose.) Of course I have no way of knowing this for sure, and I dont want to sound negative, it's just a concern.
Take care, and good luck with the test flying.
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Old 03-08-2005, 06:08 AM
  #86  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Magne... I don't think there will be a problem with the doors...That't the way they did it in the old days and had no problem.
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Old 03-08-2005, 10:44 AM
  #87  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Been away from this thread for a while. WOW Mike you are making some serious progress! Looks great.

Ted
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Old 03-08-2005, 11:05 AM
  #88  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Thanks, guys!

Yep, the landing gear door rigging equates to using the .60... It's simply a demonstration that you don't have to be a millionaire to fly the plane. There's plenty of room (more room than most planes) for air cylinders, retract servos, or any other method you want to use on the gear doors. Doing it mechanically does take some fiddling.
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Old 03-09-2005, 11:11 PM
  #89  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

I painted some of the pinstripes on the top of the "Eliminator 2" today. (first photo) The second taileron and vertical fin are already painted white in the molds, and are being joined. I'll be able to pull them and start on their painting tomorrow. (second photo)

And... just a detail, but I also painted the wheel hubs white. I'll paint the struts white too, toward the end of the process.
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Old 03-13-2005, 10:02 PM
  #90  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Finally, the "Eliminator 2" is fully painted and assembled. Just some last-minute Loctite-ing and double-checking to do before flight tests. As of today, the forecast is (of course) calling for about a week of rain, but we'll see.

We're overweight, due to things mentioned in previous posts, and that's bugging me. (12 1/2 pounds!) But, that's prototype life, and we know that if this one flies well, the production versions will be much better, so we'll go for it as soon as the weather clears, and I'll let you know the results.
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Old 03-14-2005, 06:00 AM
  #91  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

WOW Mike!!!!!!! I'm Speechless!!!!!!
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Old 03-17-2005, 04:52 PM
  #92  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Mike... While we are waiting for the weather to clear, Any chance of some pic's of the engine install??
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:32 PM
  #93  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Sure. Here you go...

The first photo shows the installation, looking through the rear hatch. You can see that it's just like the CAD images I posted earlier. The engine is mounted inverted, and the muffler goes through a cutout in the lower portion of the firewall, where a diverter expels the exhaust through a small 1/2" opening in the fuselage bottom. (second photo) You can see in the second photo that I've also drilled small holes in the fuselage bottom for access to the glow plug, and for the needle valve, and you can also see the NACA inlets (both sides of the plane) that direct cooling air into the engine compartment.

For those of you who haven't followed this before...
The small (2 oz.) hopper tank is fed from a larger (12 oz.) tank located on the CG. I tested this setup, mounted on a saw horse, so I could tilt the whole assembly about 60 degrees up and down, and there are no fuel draw problems. The hopper tank stays full all the time, until the main tank is completely exhausted.
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:10 PM
  #94  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Thanks Mike... And that was going to be my next question. Was weather you were going to use a fuel pump or not. I had built a Combat Models A-10 and had to use a pump because the tank was on the C.G....I never thought of using a hopper tank. I bet you can't wait for the weather to clear!!!
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Old 03-26-2005, 04:59 PM
  #95  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Hello everybody,

A little background is necessary, so you'll understand this announcement...

Until 2002, I was doing these model-related things, including my web site, as an independent designer and builder, and doing occasional outside projects. Since then, trying to do the modeling business full-time, I've had two very bad run-ins with "manufacturers" who not only harmed me financially, but in one case, actually stole most of my tools, and a couple of my plugs. One was in a foreign country, and was pretty dramatic.

During the last of those two experiences, I became friends with a person who very generously helped me survive. Later, we decided to give the manufacturing of these models a go, and have been working on that since August of 2004. I won't identify him here, to respect his privacy, and will leave it to him whether he wants to be involved in the public news about this. He funded the operation, and (since my tools were stolen) also offered the use of his shop, and a place to stay etc. I did all the model-related work and web site work. Keep in mind that I have lost money continuously on this for 3 1/2 years now, barely surviving, in the hopes that I could make it work.

You'll notice in the online article ( http://homepage.mac.com/mikejames/ne...portjet01.html ) that we switched concepts part-way through the project, from the idea of a fiberglass fuselage with foam wings and tail parts, to a completely-molded, all-composite design. This made the project take longer than expected, and while it didn't raise our materials cost too much, the mandatory wait times for epoxy curing and vacuum bagging has increased the labor costs. Having now looked at the money spent to far, as well as our predictions on what we could sell the model for, and it's profit-per-kit, we find that we simply can't produce the kit at this time. We would have to sell the kit with foam parts for at least $600, and the "deluxe" all-molded kit would be close to $1000, to make any kind of profit, and we have assumed that this price was too high for the market we were aiming at. While there's been discussion of the development of a turbine version, which could be sold at competitive turbine prices, none of this work can happen until I repay the investment, since my partner is holding on to all the plugs and molds. He has spent a lot of money, and it's for his security, rightfully so. So, in lieu of continuing, I have moved back home to Anchorage. (My email addresses and web site will all remain active.)

My partner still intends to test-fly the prototype, but not until late May, just before the Joe Nall event. I hope he will have good results, and that he will get both still photos and video. Until I've paid back the investment on this airplane, he has ownership of the projects, to protect his investment. Let me be clear about what this means. This person is not "screwing me", and we are not "fighting". It's simply that with only one set of molds at this time, and the prohibitive labor costs, we cannot continue to spend money. That means that the "Eliminator 2" and the King Air ( http://homepage.mac.com/mikejames/ne...ruction01.html ) are both on hold indefinitely. For your information, no one has placed an advance order, and no one has given us any deposits or other funding. We didn't quite make it to that stage, and wouldn't have accepted any outside money until we knew we could in fact produce a proper product. No prospective customers will lose money.

I've moved back home to Anchorage, in the hopes of raising the money to pay back the investment, after which I can once again explore some kind of production of these kits. I have to pay this debt before I can start to rebuild a shop and accumulate the tools, so recovery will take a while. I'll will do my best, but am basically starting over from scratch, and can't begin to predict a "back in action" timeframe yet. I will continue to post new articles on my web site, and to contribute on the online forums, but will be out of the physical fabrication of models for a while.

As more information becomes available, you can depend on it that I'll let you know. Be aware that there are a LOT of people following these projects, and that until I get settled here, my internet access is somewhat limited. So if it gets too difficult to keep up with the email, I may have to resort to automated responses. This announcement describes everything I know at this time. For now, all I can do is cover my immediate survival, and start making new plans. Watch the "Latest News" page for updates, too, but as I said, it will take a while. I know this is disappointing news to many of you, as it is to me. If you can bear with me during my recovery, I hope you'll all become happy customers at some point. Thank you for your interest and support so far, and please keep your fingers crossed for me.

Take care, everyone, and happy flying.
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Old 03-26-2005, 05:41 PM
  #96  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Mike, Im sad to hear this. Not that im a potential buyer im just a fellow modeler. Ive learned alot from your web site and threads but i believe this is my first corrispondence torward you in one of your threads. I think you have done the right thing. Its to bad there isnt more people like you in the world. Obviously you have a real friendship with your partner. Freindships like these should be protected at all expense. I salute you for explaining your situation. You have my respect as well as your friend for helping you out. I hope it all works out in the end for you guys. God Bless...
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Old 03-26-2005, 08:28 PM
  #97  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Mike.. I'm sorry for your loss. I read the other forum and the problems you encountered and am at a loss for words. It's too bad that there are people out there like that. I hope that you are able to get back on your feet soon, I hate to see anyone kicked down like that, and get back into the enjoyment of building and flying. Just to let you know, you still have a buyer for the Eliminator when you get back on your feet. God Bless and take care.
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Old 03-27-2005, 03:39 AM
  #98  
Mike James
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Thank you both for those very nice words.

It's tough right now, thinking about what I have to do next. But in the big picture, I will recover, and get back to these designs. I want to see them fly, get them in your hands, and move on to some new ones too.

This is a serious setback, for sure, but not "the end".

Thanks again everybody, and thanks to those of you who've emailed me too. I got some nice letters today, and they made me feel better.
Take care, everybody.
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Old 03-31-2005, 06:23 PM
  #99  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

Obviously, I can't physically fabricate models right now... Have to eat first. So, at the advice of some friends, I've come up with "Plan A". If you're interested in helping me recover, and getting something in return, (a "Tips" DVD) see the info on my site, at http://homepage.mac.com/mikejames/ne...thing_dvd.html

Thanks again everybody!
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Old 12-28-2005, 03:20 PM
  #100  
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Default RE: "Eliminator 2" molds under way

manufacturer and suppliers of fiberglass mesh and tape :
http://www.shanquan.com/
http://www.fibreglassmesh.com/FRP_Grating.htm
http://www.fibreglassmesh.com/Fiberglass_Mesh.htm
http://www.fibreglassmesh.com/Fiberglass_Tape.htm
http://www.china-flooring.com/
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