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Cub windshield from a bottle?

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Old 01-27-2013, 09:51 AM
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hugger-4641
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Default Cub windshield from a bottle?

Has anyone here ever morphed a two liter bottle into a windshield or canopy for your plane?


I'm sure I'm not the first person to do it,but I couldn't find any threads on it.
Recently I was given some kind of 71" J-3, I think it’s some kind of Arf judging by the glue and/or lack thereof in various places. It had been crashed, top of the cabin and the windshield destroyed, tail wheel ripped out and mount broken, wing bolt mounts ripped out, bulkhead for the front wing dowels ripped out, landing gear and mounting blocks ripped out, wing broke in half at the joiner, which was a good thing, evidently wasn't glued that well, which made repairing it a matter of making a doubler for one rib and making a new joiner. I didn’t include any pics from before, as I figure no one here is really that interested in a routine airframe rebuild.
I've got it fixed and ready to fly and for now I’ve thrown on a spare .46 ax that I had laying around. But it still had no front windshield. I once used a couple two liter Dr. Pepper bottles for a canopy on a .60 sized T-34, but that was fairly simple, I just cut the bottom out of two bottles and slid them together, cut to fit, and glued together.
>>

This time I had to deal with that compound radius that Cubs have in the top of the front glass. I cut out the bottom of a two liter Dr Pepper bottle, sliced it from top to bottom, and cut the neck off, but left about 1 ½” of the part where the radius starts decreasing towards the neck. This part worked well for the center portion of the top of the windshield, the problem came trying to form the top corners which have kind of a “bubble “ contour with compound radius. I was able to use a trim iron and get most of the “bubble” contour formed into the windshield , but I got a slight wrinkle on the left side that I cannot seem to remove. If I do manage to get it smoothed out, a couple small concave bubbles appear around the edges. The first pic shows what it looked like about halfway through working on it with the trim iron on the outside while pushing a small spoon up against the bottom side. The last pic shows the current status except I have removed the RTV that was leftover from the previous windshield, it worked well for a guide while I was cutting the new one.>>

It is good enough now that you can’t see the wrinkle from more than four feet away, but if anyone has some suggestions for getting it perfect, I would appreciate it.>>

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Old 01-27-2013, 10:07 AM
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RC MANIAC119
 
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Default RE: Cub windshield from a bottle?

GOOD JOB........I use them for cowls also!!
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:48 AM
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Default RE: Cub windshield from a bottle?

Thanks! I guess I'm a perfectionist. I know it's just a rebuilt arf, but I wish I could figure out how to get rid of that wrinkle, or keep it from happening on the next one!
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:32 PM
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Default RE: Cub windshield from a bottle?

Don't worry about it for now...........just fly that beasty!! The wrinkle adds some character.......makes it look mean!!! [>:][>:][>:]
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:26 PM
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Default RE: Cub windshield from a bottle?

I'm not sure how far you've gotten along, but I made a windshield from a Club Soda jug. The fit was great but I could not get it to stick down. I used Pacer 560 Canopy cement and Ambroid but neither one worked.

Were you able to stick yours down successfully? The soda bottle material is a nice way to go because it's already pre-curved.

Thanks,

Bob
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:25 PM
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Default RE: Cub windshield from a bottle?

I used servo mounting screws in the four corners of the windshield, then sealed the edges with RTV silicon. The silicon would probably do just fine on its own cause it is not easy to pull loose, but RTV cures so slow, the screws are needed to hold it in place and I just leave them in.

I've got to get back to this project soon, I flew it a couple times after getting the windshield done but had some problems getting the CG and thrust angles right. Been to busy flying my other planes to get back to it. Takin advantage of this good weather while it lasts!! Today I flew my 1/4 scale Balsa Usa Cub, Venus .40 , .60 size Sportster, and a .25 sized arf 4 star clone. I'll get around to that J-3 again when the weather tanks and I'm stuck inside again!
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:37 PM
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Default RE: Cub windshield from a bottle?

Hugger, A scale J-3 has two areas on the top corners of the windshield that are not transparent window material. They kind of start at the top of the wing and curve down to the bottom of the wing at an angle, narrow part at the top and full width wide part at the bottom of the wing airfoil. Look at some full scale or some well done correct scale models and you will see what I am referring to. I think if you add these you will hide most of the wrinkles. Do them with two separate pieces of windshield material painted cub yellow and glued (your clear RTV) over the top of what you have now. You will also be adding another scale feature.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:53 PM
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Default RE: Cub windshield from a bottle?

Thanks for that suggestion 52Larry! This cub may have actually had something like that originally, as you can see in the pics, I had to rebuild a lot of the cabin and wing mounting area. The two thin pieces on the sides are where I mounted my windshield, but they were to thin to connect directly to, so I went from the sides and shaped the top of the windshield around them, like I've seen on other arfs. There may have been more of a "hood" across the front of this one that the original windshield was mounted to. If I can find some paint that will stick to the "glass", I'll try your suggestion. That gives me another idea, hmmmm..., I wonder if some monocote would stick to this stuff and achieve what you're suggesting without the heat distorting it any more? I'll have to experiment and let you know.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:14 PM
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Default RE: Cub windshield from a bottle?

Monocote directly over the wrinkles will show the wrinkle, plus heat applied covering on the soda bottle material is a crap shoot at best...more wrinkles and warping! Use the sticky back monocote "trim sheets" in cub yellow to give color to the separate pieces of whatever type of material you want to use. Thin aluminum flashing or more clear windshield material come to mine. Something that can easily be formed to shape and covered with the sticky back covering, then glued to the windshield.
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:33 AM
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Default RE: Cub windshield from a bottle?

Guys.........no matter how much you spend on a pretty party dress....... If you put that dress on a pig, it's still going to oink and rut in the mud!

You can't see the wrinkles from 5 feet away, so just fly the thing. Make the NEXT windshield pretty!!
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:55 PM
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Default RE: Cub windshield from a bottle?

Oh man, are you calling Hugger's plane a PIG? Where's the love? I think I hear a wounded Cub crying somewhere! But, maybe Maniac has a point that you should fly it first and see if it is worth trying to detail out to hide it's previous rough life. I know I have been guilty of investing too much time and effort trying to turn a sows ear into a silk purse. In fact I am doing just that now with a crappy trainer that dosen't even belong to me (a "favor" for a newbee club member) ! If it's flyable, put it up and see what you've got.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:29 PM
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Default RE: Cub windshield from a bottle?

See? Now it's starting to sink in!!!! I wasn't calling his Cub a Pig.....I wouldn't want to insult the Piggy like that.......BAAZINGA!!!!!!!

Just kidding guys.............

Here's my point.
This hobby satisfies different stuff in different people. I am a Pilot, I want to fly, instead of worrying about what someone might say about how my plane looks...........

Some guys worry about the look, and can't fly.....GO FIGURE!!! I would be much happier, if Hugger would just fly the snot out of that Cub, and then when it dies......make the next one REAL PURDY!!!

GOOD LUCK GUYS
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:28 AM
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Default RE: Cub windshield from a bottle?

Well, I'm not offended one way or the other. Call it a pig if you want. I don't think any more or less of it because it's an arf. Just because some Chinaman was paid a dollar a day to put it together instead of me doing it from a kit really doesn't make that much difference to me. I'm not really hung up on how every plane I have looks. I have planes that are pristine and yes, I'm proud of them. Some of them I built from kits, a couple are scratch built, and several are arfs, but ALL get flown regularly because flying is my first love. I also have other planes that look like turds from being flown, crashed, and patched so much. I still enjoy flying them.
The fact is I am a craftsman at heart, I'm as much concerned with figuring out how to make something the right way as I am how it looks when I'm done. I will fly this plane, and crash it, and fix it, and fly it some more. And it may look like pig manure before I'm done with it, but hopefully in the process I'll learn a better way of making a windshield so the next Cub will look right!
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