Extreme Speed Prop Planes Discuss the need for speed with fast prop planes (Screamin Demon, Diamond Dust, Shrikes or any REAL sound breakin'''' plane)

Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

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Old 03-06-2007, 02:33 AM
  #1  
Kmot
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Default Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

Lots of people have em'. No one has done a build thread that I could find. So I will do it while I am putting mine together.

http://www.hobbypeople.net/gallery/127515.asp

I bought mine a few months ago for full pop, $90. A few weeks later Hobby People was blowing them out at $40! Now they are back to $90. [sm=spinnyeyes.gif]

Okay, so when I got it I pulled it out of the box and was impressed with how tight and good the covering looked. Now, several months later, it had developed some wrinkles. So first thing was to spend some quality time with the monokote iron smoothing out the wrinkles. It almost seems theraputic to me, to do that. I just like seeing the wrinkles slowly fade away. Kinda like watching your troubles fade away........

The main pieces, as they came out of the box:







After smoothing the covering, and gluing all the hinges in place, I slopped 30 minute epoxy all over the wing joiner and wing roots and glued the wing halves together. I used masking tape to help hold it together and then I used some bar clamps to really put the pressure on it and keep it aligned while the epoxy cured.

*Note: The manual stated the wing joiner was plywood, but in fact it was a solid piece of some kind of hardwood.





After the wing was cured, I marked out the lines for the plywood aileron servo doubler so that I could cut away the covering in order to epoxy the doubler in place. A 12V battery came in handy to hold it down while curing.





Then I installed the servo and linkages. I am using Cirrus servos from Hobby People. The CS-601 costs $10 bucks, has 75 oz.in. of torque and is ball raced.



Next step is to place the wing bolt doubler on the underside and mark the lines, cut away the covering, and epoxy in place. I used the bar clamps again and used the wing hold down bolts to keep the holes aligned.





Next comes tha landing gear. Cut away the covering where the wire gear goes. Then install. But the wheel "axle" part was way to long. So I used my trusty Dremel and hacked off the end, and also made a flat spot for the set screw in the locking collar to seat on.



Cut away more covering (sheesh!!). This time the horizontal stab and top of the fuselage. Then glue the stab in place. Hold it in alignment with straight pins. The manual said to cut away the covering where the triangle braces will go, before gluing it to the fuse. I did not read that part. So later, cutting away the covering was a pain in the arse..... RTFM!



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Old 03-06-2007, 11:18 AM
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Flyboy Dave
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

....lookin' good there, Tom....

....will have ready for the Revvers Meet ?
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Old 03-06-2007, 11:47 AM
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BigBadJon
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

looking good dude. what engine you plan on using??
i loved my sonic till doing a high speed pass down the runway and then the wing seperated from the fuse and turn my sonic into a rocket lol.
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Old 03-06-2007, 12:51 PM
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bob27s
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

This looks good - nice thread.

However I cant seem to get it out of my mind..... how one could ever build a "scat cat" and not have at least a 3" wide piece of fiberglass at the center section. The landing gear mout/spar helps, but its not really enough. Perhaps this plane builds a bit differently.
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Old 03-06-2007, 03:16 PM
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rmenke
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

Kmot:
Yea, I bought one of these things and promptly stuck it on the shelf waiting for someone to build and fly the thing. At this stage, do not want to risk my limited gear for this club racing season. Forgot who put the thing on our thread as a must have, but have yet to see, or hear of anyone test flying one of the things. Have a few engine choices for it, 60LX, 50L, webra 55. Jett seams to be swamped as to engine orders, so don't want to hirt one of these things at the start of the season. Need something fast that will turn, so right now I am finishing a scaled up and redesigned verson of my "Yellow Jacket", 35L powered that has servived 4 club racing seasons and whipped for the first time this last season. God, second place has a nasty taste even on a club level. Only good part, the winner overall is about my age, so the young guns still have a little hill to climb. The motto "olde age and tretchery will overcome youth and skill" seems to prevail for now. Have my nephew up and coming this year. Thought I would never meet anyone as crazy competitive as myself, but here is another one, only worse if that is possible. The social defect must run in the geans. At 6'-4 and around 250, no one is going to give this guy much lip. Two or three of the "big boys" of the valley are coming to enjoy our club racing fun, so should be interesting to see what happens in this kind of mix. There sure as heck gonna be some dead airplanes in the making I am sure. I digress. Let us know how this thing flys and will it run near quickee speads, 150 mph or so with a good engine.
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Old 03-06-2007, 03:20 PM
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Kmot
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

Bob, I read your other posts when doing a search on Sonic 500. You suggested three layers of 2 oz fiberglass 6" wide. It's got me wondering too. I did not want to strip the covering off. But now I wonder. Anyway, I am building this according to the manual. (almost!) I am using the factory supplied hardware. It is a Chinese built arf. I am using the Chinese made hardware. I am installing Chinese made servos. The radio, regardless of the label, is made in China. The engine most likely will be a Chinese made engine.

I have surfed Asian model airplane forums and seen hundreds of photos of Asian dudes flying their Asian made planes with all Asian made stuff on them and they seem to be enjoying them well enough. I think if the plane is built within the guidelines of the design it should be alright. I am not loking to go 150 mph with this thing. I am not going to install a Jett or Nelson on it.

I read one of your posts that said the original Scat Cat was designed to fly on a K&B .40 engine. That probably would not have made the wing fold.
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Old 03-06-2007, 03:55 PM
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

I've been flying my SONIC 500 for a year about 80 flights with a SF46 ABC with tuned pipe, I don't pull it to hard in the turns but it has held up well so far but it's getting boring so I'm bumping it up a notch, time will tell if it will hold up. I rebuilt one of my old S/T X-40s all new inside and a OS Marine Carb on it, I'm breaking it in with a APC 8.75x6.5n , it's touching on 20k with 30 min run time so far 15% fuel, my ears are still ringing. I want to clip the wings after a flight or two.
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Old 03-06-2007, 04:44 PM
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proptop
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

I stripped all the covering off mine and re-covered it with Solarfilm (had a roll of white kicking around for a couple decades)
Mine is all white, and I'm gonna put wide flourescent green and yellow bands out at the tips of the flying surfaces.

I wrapped a 2" wide band of 6oz. glass cloth around the center section, and put a couple of 12" long x 1/4" wide carbon fiber strips (the iron on .007" thick) across the top and soaked them w/ thin CA to hopefully help the compression strength of the top skin? They are just in front and just behind where the spar joiner is.

I stripped all the covering off because when I removed the small section around the aileron servo mt. the clear seperated from the color!?[:'(] and I figured that I'd better do it now, rather than wait for it to get oil soaked then be a major PIA later. Of course, being a "racing" airplane, it might not live long enough for that to be a problem, but...

Mine has a K&B 6.5 FIRE with an old Newton "muffler" on it...(Bob27s...you know Brad Young, don't ya?)
It's mounted upright, and I put a 3/8" thick piece of soft balsa on the fwd. fuse bottom under the engine, and 1/8" on either side, and am using a TT 1.5" Ultimate shaped spinner. It's got a needle nose now![8D]

Oh yeah, and I clipped the original wing tips off and sanded the ends of the wings at a 30* angle and put winglet style tips made of 1/16" ply on them. The span is now 47.5"
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Old 03-06-2007, 06:32 PM
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ChuckL
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

I must just be lucky I've had two and so far haven't been able to pull a wing apart no matter how hard I try. The wing actually stayed in one piece when I leveled off about six inches to low on a high speed pass on the first one, the rest of the plane including radio gear was destroyed but the wing stayed in one piece.
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Old 03-06-2007, 07:01 PM
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AirGar
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

KMOT, Here's my Sonic (even before it was fully complete). Wing was glassed along with triasngle stock at stab and vert fin.

Yours is looking good....

Gary
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Old 03-06-2007, 10:20 PM
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Kmot
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

I like the cowled engine captb!

Okay, got busy on it again. I am in a time crunch. Wife has been sick for a week and I have been doing the cookin', cleanin', shoppin'. Gotta leave for three days and the Revver nation is gathering in 10 days! [X(]

I did not like the way the tailwheel assembly was supposed to be installed according to the manual. Looked kinda fubar to me. I decided I just wanted a free swiveling tailwheel. Hey, if a big 'ol warbird can have a free swiveling tailwheel so can my Sonic!

I cut the stem so it was just long enough to put one of those plastic squish retainers on it.



I know I said I was going to use the stock hardware. But on the tailwheel, that screw sticking out of the collar was just too darned big looking. So I exchanged it for a grub screw.



And again, I had to trim off the excess axle material and file a flat for the grub screw to seat on.



Here is what the vertical fin should look like after the covering has been cut away for the triangle stock and to fit into the fuselage.



And the matching area on top of the fuselage.



Masking tape is good stuff. I use it a lot. In this case, to keep the triangle square up against the fin and stab while the epoxy cures.





Here is the completed tailwheel installed.



Again, I decided to replace some hardware. I didn't like these blind nuts. Too large, and the barrel was not straight but tapered. I used some Dubro instead.



The manual makes no mention whatsoever about how to install the wing. Whether to use blind nuts, tap the hardwood blocks, whatever. I at first, was going to tap the blocks for some nylon bolts I have. But then I noticed the Dubro hardware with the blind nuts so that was a lot simpler.

Here is the wing installed.



The motor mount holes and blind nuts are already installed in the firewall. They did not line up square to the motor mounts. I had to flip-flop the mounts and try to find which one fit. One fit halfast and one was really skewed. Just take your time threading the bolts in at an angle until they bite. Nothing a little cross-threading can't fix.



Once the mounts were installed, I set the engine in place and used a bar clamp to squeeze it at the front to keep it square. Then I used a really great tool, the motor mount hole centering tool. It is worth every penny for the convenience and accuracy it provides.





Out of the shop for a few quick poses. Starting to look like an airplane.







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Old 03-06-2007, 11:25 PM
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Flyboy Dave
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

...yo, Tom....

....'yer gonna hate the decision on the free-wheeling tail wheel. [X(]

FBD.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:57 AM
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

Maybe. If it bugs me, I will turn it into a skid.
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Old 03-07-2007, 01:42 PM
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build


ORIGINAL: Kmot

I read one of your posts that said the original Scat Cat was designed to fly on a K&B .40 engine. That probably would not have made the wing fold.
Without glassing the center of the scat cat, you could fold the wing with a Webra 28 installed The hardwood gear mount and spar was prone to splitting over time. Also that spar didnt really grab both the top and bottom sheeting, it was cut into the bottom of the wing, and relied on a foam/wood joint. So the wing center strength was entirely up to the glass. I seem to recall the kit came with glass for the wing center. The ARC china clipper came with glass too. Of note, the K&B40 engines we raced were nearly as capable as the TT40pro raced today.

But I like your approach here. Building an ARF kit stock is rare... and Id like to see it actually work properly. Gives me a bit more confidence in the stuff being placed on the market.
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Old 03-07-2007, 02:15 PM
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daven
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

Personally I would just use a skid instead of a tail wheel, they are not on the ground long enough to need it, and you will most likely be landing dead stick, so taxiing back is probably not going to happen.

Just a couple notes. I would suggest putting a piece of tape, or even mononcoat over that hole in the firewall to keep the gunk out. Also, I had much better luck landing and taking off my Sonic when I bended the landing gear wires forward so that roughly 1/2 the wheel was forward of the wing. Mine was the ARC though, not the ARF, and this goes back nearly 8 years.

Still thought it was a great plane, and I won many races with a sonic.
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Old 03-07-2007, 06:20 PM
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

Thanks for the comments, Bob and Dave. I will take that into consideration!

I did not do much work so far today. Just measured and drilled the holes for the servo hatch. Once again, masking tape was used to help hold the hatch in place while I measured with a 6" steel rule. Then I drilled the holes while squeezing the fuselage sides to match up with the hatch cover.



I have a question for you guys. Instead of using a standard full size servo for the throttle barrel, what about using a micro servo instead? Saves a little weight. Will it work okay? I have some micro servos from Spektrum as well as Hobby-Lobby. 0.5 kg/cm torque.

I goofed off today and added some stickers and a race pilot.





I think you can see that I plan to make this a fun machine, not a serious speed machine.
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Old 03-08-2007, 03:20 AM
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build


ORIGINAL: Kmot


I have a question for you guys. Instead of using a standard full size servo for the throttle barrel, what about using a micro servo instead? Saves a little weight. Will it work okay? I have some micro servos from Spektrum as well as Hobby-Lobby. 0.5 kg/cm torque.
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Old 03-08-2007, 03:52 AM
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

Hey Tom,

I use the little blue Hitec HS55's as throttle servos all the time.

Tony
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:02 AM
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daven
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

Personally, I wouldn't go with a micro. You are going to get quite a bit of vibration, and I don't think it will hold up well. Using a mini like a Hitec 80, 81, or 85 would be fine though. Also, the weight difference of a micro vs. even a standard won't matter with the light wing loading of a quickie (as long as its under 4 lbs you will be fine).
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:47 PM
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

Bring an extra prop


Moving the wheels forward is excellent advice also.
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:04 PM
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

Okay, thanks for the advice guys!
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:57 AM
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

I have a race for ya' Tom....

....my GMS .47 powered Sonic....
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Old 03-09-2007, 01:13 AM
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

I would like to formally throw my hat in the ring and offer up my resume as a possible test pilot if you need one.

1. I have flown a Scat-Cat AND a Sonic.

2. I safely maidened your F-20

3. There is no #3 but I can provide references upon request.

Looks great Tom! The whole "getting the tail-section on straight" thing is a cool idea. I usually skip that....

Cheers
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Old 03-09-2007, 01:41 AM
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Kmot
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

Thanks James! [sm=thumbup.gif]

Dave, I think you gotta stuff that Ultrathrust with some steel wool to compensate for the extra cubes.

Shouldn't a pilot be mandatory?
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Old 03-12-2007, 06:46 PM
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Default RE: Sportsman Aviation Sonic 500 ARF Build

Got back from a 3 day trip. After wasting half the morning trying to repair an antenna on my DX6, I moved back to the Sonic 500.

Continuing.......

I installed the interior servos today. I am really curious to try a micro on the throttle so ignoring probably very good advice I am going to give it a go.



Next, I made a batch of thinned epoxy and painted the inside of the fuel compartment with it. I also went over the face of the firewall.





While waiting for the epoxy to dry, I started on assembling the fuel tank. As I have said before, I want to try using the factory hardware on this ARF. But it is really tempting to throw it all away and install known good hardware. However, I am going to stick to my guns and give it a whirl.

The fuel tank tubing appears to have been torn, rather than cut with a tubing cutting. The ends were jagged and sharp.



I used a tubing cutter and trimmed off the ends. One tube was too short afterwards, so I had to replace it.





The clunk was already attached to a piece of silicone tubing, quite thin-wall tubing it is too. Anyway, the clunk had cut the tubing on the side.



The rear stopper plate holes were not drilled accurately either.



With the new metal tubing cleaned up and a new piece of silicone tubing attached to the clunk, I assembled the stopper.



And then assembled the fuel tank.

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