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  1. #26

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    RE: Lightning Build


    ORIGINAL: Viper Driver

    Once the stringers are in place, the turtle deck is sheeted with 3/32'' balsa. The sheeting is first glued together into one sheet, large enough to cover the deck. Next, I pre-mold the sheeting so I can start fitting it. To mold it, I wet the center of the sheet with water and pulled it around a wrapping paper tube ('tis the season) to form a shape that is close to the shape of the turtle deck. Once it is dry, it is taped to the turtle deck and pulled to the final shape. As with the nose section, I lightly misted the wood and left it to dry. Once dry, I removed the tape and the sheeting maintains nearly the exact shape of the turtle deck. This is a bit more difficult than it sounds as the turtle deck is a compound curve shape and the sheeting requires some finessing to conform.
    Jeff, two questions... First, I noticed on the fuse sides you've inletted in two places with another piece of wood... is this ply or something else where the incidence adjuster and wing tube go? Second, what method are you using for tail feather actuation? If it's pushrods/deps/whatever, are you going to install them after the top turtledeck is sheeted (access from bottom?)

  2. #27
    Viper Driver's Avatar
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    RE: Lightning Build

    Mark,

    The wood you see are the hard points for the wing adjusters and for the wingbolts. They are made of 1/8" light ply. As far as elevator servos, I use two in the tail.

    Jeff
    Jeff Carder

  3. #28
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    RE: Lightning Build

    The nest step it to trim the turtle deck sheeting and glue into place. Since the fuselage curves as it goes back, the edge of the sheeting is not straight. To mark the shape, I tape down one side, and then trace from the inside. Once I cut that, I tape down that side, and then mark the other side. One trick is to leave excess sheeting on the forward end so if you trim too much, you can just slide the sheeting back and it will still fit.

    I glue the sheeting on with Gorilla Glue. To prevent a mess, I mask under the seam with electrical tape. I tried blue painter's tape previously, but it adheres to the glue and makes a mess. I used long, heavy balsa sticks running down the sides of the sheeting to ensure it did not bow as I taped it down.
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    Jeff Carder

  4. #29
    Viper Driver's Avatar
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    RE: Lightning Build

    Holiday cooking at the Carder House. Apple cider and a carbon fiber Onas firewall for my buddy Tim on the stove.
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    Jeff Carder

  5. #30
    Mastertech's Avatar
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    RE: Lightning Build

    Man !!!!!!!!!!! it's going to smell good in the van going to contests now!

    Tim
    Be a kid forever, fly models.

  6. #31

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    RE: Lightning Build

    What no props in dye on their?

  7. #32
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    RE: Lightning Build

    The next step on the fuselage is to sheet the front section of the fuselage with 1/8" balsa. On the prototype, the upper section of the nose was about 12" long and was planked with 1/2" strips of 1/8" balsa. On this version, the canopy extends further forward, leaving about 5" to sheet. I decided to use four larger pieces of wood for planking since there is such a small area to plank (I have enough fingers and hands to hold it all down). In addition, the reduction in the number of seams will be a benefit as after three years they have started to show under the paint. The diagram on the picture shows the outline of of the sheets.

    I used a heavy piece of 3/32 balsa out of the reject pile to make a pattern. The using the heavier wood (stiffer) was great for the pattern as the soft stuff will just bend into place. I cut and fit all of the pieces for the nose section and practiced holding them onto place.

    Start by edge gluing the new piece of wood to the previous piece already in the airplane. I used medium CA for this job, taking great care to not have any ooze out of the seam. If the edges don't align perfectly, not a big deal. There is pleanty of material to sand the seams out smooth. Once the edges are glued together, I do some real finger gymnastics and CA the rest of the piece into place.
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    Jeff Carder

  8. #33
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    RE: Lightning Build

    Nose section, continued.
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    Jeff Carder

  9. #34
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    RE: Lightning Build

    Nose section, continued. By the way, this is a great opportunity to bond with the airplane (ie glue all of your fingers to it!)
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    Jeff Carder

  10. #35
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    RE: Lightning Build

    Happy New Year to everyone!

    Since my favorite football team decided to call it a season a bit early this year, I have plenty of time to work on the Lightning and not worry about bowl season as much.

    The fuselage is about ready to seperate from the jig. The last steps before I do that are to install the landing gear plate and attach the fin. The landing gear plate is 1/8 lightply, laminated with carbon fiber on both sides. The gear mounts on the bottom of the plate and on the top of the plate is a 1/8" by 1/4" carbon strip to add flexural strength. The plate is glued into the fuselage with Hysol.

    After the fuselage is removed from the jig, a fore and aft sub-former will be added to lock the plate in.
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    Jeff Carder

  11. #36
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    RE: Lightning Build

    I did this about a year ago. I still get a kick out of building, and am glad to see that some still do. Mine flew great until I lost the canopy in flight, and it took out the stab. Hoping to have it rebuilt for the next season.

    http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_92...tm.htm#9245009
    Cali is a city in Colombia
    I\'\'m from California.

  12. #37
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    RE: Lightning Build

    Dave,

    I remember your build. Fantastic work on the wing structure! Good luck with the rebuild.

    Jeff
    Jeff Carder

  13. #38
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    RE: Lightning Build

    I have added the 1/8" nomex honeycomb rudder servo tray prior to removing the fuselage from the jig as it also provides additional stiffness to the fuselage.
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    Jeff Carder

  14. #39
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    RE: Lightning Build

    Jeff,

    I see a very slight gap where one of your notches fits the fuselage. Judging by the work on the rest of the plane this is unacceptable and now your fuselage is virtually useless. lol...just kidding, AWESOME work and looking forward to seeing the new one fly in the spring!!!

    Arch
    Team Futaba, Aero-Model / Hacker, Tech Aero Designs, F3A Unlimited, Team BJ Craft, Thunder Power RC, Castle Creations

  15. #40
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    RE: Lightning Build

    Dang Arch, I guess I need to dial the resolution down a bit more to hide the flaws
    Jeff Carder

  16. #41
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    RE: Lightning Build

    On to the fin. The fin is built up with 3/16" balsa ribs, 3/16" x 3/8" balsa spars, and sheeted with 1/16" balsa. I reduced the sheeting from 3/32" balsa that I used on the prototype to save some weight. The fin came out plenty strong, but the thinner sheeting is going to make finishing a bit tougher. I think if I was going to do it again, I would go back to a minimum of 3/32" sheeting for built up structures.

    The ribs are cut with alignment tabs, making construction similar to building a wing.

    I use zip lock bags filled with shot as weight to hold down the sheeting.
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    Jeff Carder

  17. #42
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    RE: Lightning Build

    I use my height gauge as a vertical reference to take measurements off of to line up the fin. I use a laser to double check that my measurements are accurate.
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    Jeff Carder

  18. #43
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    RE: Lightning Build

    Prior to removing the fuselage from the jig, I used my trusty height gauge, with a minor modification, to mark the thrust line and the wing and stab reference lines. This is the time to get the most accurate measurments for these references and will aid in aircraft setup later on down the road.
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    Jeff Carder

  19. #44
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    RE: Lightning Build

    The day I have been waiting for is here, removing the fuselage from the jig. Prior to removing it, I did put some temporary cross bracing across the canopy opening to ensure the fuselage doesn't flex prior to sheeting the bottom.

    If you remember from and earlier post, I used hex head screws to hold the jig stations down. Now all I had to do was slide my ratchet under the fuselage, remove the screws, and the fuselage is free. The formers were held to the stations with clamps and rubber cement. After removing the clamps, I slide my xacto between the former and the station and it easily popped free. Now we have a 90% complete fuselage!
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    Jeff Carder

  20. #45
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    RE: Lightning Build

    By the way, my pictures are all pretty big, so it takes some time for them to load when you click on them. I will make them a bit smaller from here.
    Jeff Carder

  21. #46
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    RE: Lightning Build

    Now I can access the bottom of the fuselage to do the work I couldn't do while it was on the jig.

    The forward landing gear former is made from 1/8" light ply laminated on one side with carbonfiber. Once in place, this former ties the front to the landing gear plate into the fuselage spars to prevent the front of the plate from pulling out of the fuselage (lesson learned the hard way from Lightning #1). This is glued in with hysol. There are two rear landing gear plate supports, made of the same laminate, glued into place at the back edge of the gear plate to prevent the plate from pushing up into the fuselage.

    I also glued in the lower 3/16" by 3/8" balsa cross bracing.
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    Jeff Carder

  22. #47

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    RE: Lightning Build

    What are you using for landing gear Jeff?
    Doug Cronkhite

  23. #48
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    RE: Lightning Build

    Doug,

    I am using AERO F3A R/C Electric CF Gear from Aero Products. They are the same as the Bolly electric F3A. http://www.aeroproduct.net/
    Jeff Carder

  24. #49
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    RE: Lightning Build

    Jeff,

    Aren't you done yet?????

    Looks great. Can't wait to see it in the spring,

    Arch
    Team Futaba, Aero-Model / Hacker, Tech Aero Designs, F3A Unlimited, Team BJ Craft, Thunder Power RC, Castle Creations

  25. #50
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    RE: Lightning Build

    Arch,

    This is definitely is a long process! Hopefully I can speed up a bit, but work has been a little busy as of late.
    Jeff Carder


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