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  1. #51

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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    The paint characteristics are beginning to sound like it's more kin to Randolp GA fabric paint. What is the cross linker your refering tt and do you sand between coats?

  2. #52

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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    I do not sand between coats unless absolutely necessary. I'm not sure what the cross-linker actually is, except that if you want the paint to be fuel proof... you add it.
    #26 Club Saito (2) FA-62's, FA-90TS, FA-120R3, FA-125a
    -Glowhead Brother #2 -

  3. #53
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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation


    ORIGINAL: Steveibrc

    Dave,Â*Â* Never had a problem with the stick thing and can see what an unnecessary pain that can be.Â* How do you cut your own?Â*Â*Â*Â* Also one LG piece has a sig description. I know from experience the haphazard wood wood you sometimes find in sig kits, butÂ* also have heard their custom ordered is about good as it gets, wonder about sig stick quality any idea? Was never an issue to me in their kits.Â* Haven't heard back on the cowl, and leaning toward a wood nose anyway. Homemade cowl, a 90 fs scrounged up somewhere, and a twenty dollar tower radial suits me for the beak end. Â*

    I would think that tower would have the stand offs your referring to also. I am a long ways from crossing that bridge, but do need to get the major parts togethers so i can get the pieces figured out. Saw some new (to me) servos, Savox, on National Balsa's site that looked pretty nice, dug up a few reviews singing their praises and wondering if anyone out there has any experience with them? Â*Â* TTYL Steve Â*
    You would need a jointer, saw (I like bandsaw best) and planer to do your own, but the accuracy is worth the effort. The LG is just 5/32 grooved hardwood, I used 3/16" for my front LG wire and 5/32" for the back. I'm sure you could find some kind of standoff. I just made them from 3/8" aluminum rod you can get at the hardware store. Cut to length the drill and tap each end about 1/2" for 6-32 screws. I've seen those Savox advertised, never in person though. You'll need some mini servos for the wing.
    For a kit you are, and to a kit you shall return.

  4. #54

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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    Hey Dave, Had figured out gear block material from sig's site and ordered the wood today from NB. I can snag a 3/16 block on another order depending on what i do there.. Will hope for the best on the sizing. Not rigged up with that type shop equipment . Got Savox mini metal gears comming for the wing. High torque mg standards for the other surfaces and thanks for the standoff info.

  5. #55
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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    Fiberglassed the cowl back to the passenger cockpit, then primed, sanded, primed sanded and painted the whole thing a white basecoat. Color coats tomorrow. Should be assembling over the weekend.

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    For a kit you are, and to a kit you shall return.

  6. #56
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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    So Dave, did you enjoy your 4th of July with family and friends? Maybe a cookout? No, I was in the shop getting high on dope fumes from 9am until 10pm, but we did go out for fish and chips at lunchtime. Not exactly hot dogs and apple pie, but some of the best fish and chips I've ever had, Capt. Scotts in New London, CT.

    Finished color coats. Dope severely blushed due to the usual high summer humidity here in RI, so it looks flat. Should turn to gloss with I shoot the clear coat with retarder tonight.

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    For a kit you are, and to a kit you shall return.

  7. #57

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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    Sweet! I've had marathon days like that. Your project is really coming along!
    #26 Club Saito (2) FA-62's, FA-90TS, FA-120R3, FA-125a
    -Glowhead Brother #2 -

  8. #58
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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    Here it is, not the best shots under my shop fluorescent fixtures. The dummy engine is the last big thing and a bunch of small things like the windshield left to do. It should be done this weekend. The big blank spot in the red stripe down the fuse is for the RCA Victor logo on one side and the "His Master's Voice" slogan and painting of the dog listening to the phonograph on the other. I'm not sure when I'll get those done, hopefully some time in the next month or two. This paint scheme and the RCA Victor logo is not a real scheme that was ever on a PCA-2 or PCA-3, I made it up to look like it could have been. Graphics that fit the era and a company logo that was widely known at the time.

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    For a kit you are, and to a kit you shall return.

  9. #59

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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    Very nice!!!!

    Wishing you all the luck I can for your maiden.

    Mike
    Balsa USA brother #61

  10. #60

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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    That is just outstanding work, smithcreek. And what a fast completion time! I wish I had your free time....

    If at all possible, please post a maiden-flight video and a post flight report. Soon!
    #26 Club Saito (2) FA-62's, FA-90TS, FA-120R3, FA-125a
    -Glowhead Brother #2 -

  11. #61
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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    Thanks guys, I'm looking forward to flying it also.

    ORIGINAL: Rv7garage

    And what a fast completion time! I wish I had your free time....
    Thanks. During this build my wife went to visit her parents in MI for a week, I work for myself and although I didn't take the week off, I did cut back to about 1/2 my normal hours. Also got lucky with a few lousy weekends, so I built when I would usually fly, but mainly I've just worked on it after work, before dinner for an hour or two, and immediately after dinner until I go to bed, which has been midnight most nights, one o'clock frequently, two o'clock and couple times and 4 o'clock once. I definitely feel like I'm paying for that free time the next day. Well, back to the shop to finish the dummy radial.[8D]
    For a kit you are, and to a kit you shall return.

  12. #62
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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    The dummy radial is almost done. I mounted a exhaust collector ring between the engine and fuse like on the real PCA-3. Only a couple things left, make a windshield and front cockpit cover.

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  13. #63

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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    Fantastic. Just awesome
    #26 Club Saito (2) FA-62's, FA-90TS, FA-120R3, FA-125a
    -Glowhead Brother #2 -

  14. #64
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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    She is done! Finished at 2 am last night. Ready to fly as soon as I get a muffler adapter. I ordered a 90 degree muffler adapter and turboheader muffler, should be in Thursday or Friday. I'll have to send the exhaust out the top for now, but I also ordered some header hose, so when that comes in I should be able to route the exhaust out the bottom. I may even add the scale exhaust pipe to the ring and run it out that.

    Took about 8 ounces of brass rod in the dummy cylinders, total weight, 8-1/2 lbs. I will have a pilot for the maiden, I still need to paint him and there are a number of small scale detail items like spark plugs and wires for the dummy engine, instrument panel, navigation lights, and of course, Nipper the dog and the RCAVictor logo. Yes, I know my lawn (crabgrass) needs to be cut, but I let it get behind a few days to finish this thing up, ok?
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  15. #65

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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    That is crazy-cool. Love the color scheme! You have some excellent skills.
    #26 Club Saito (2) FA-62's, FA-90TS, FA-120R3, FA-125a
    -Glowhead Brother #2 -

  16. #66
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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation


    ORIGINAL: TomCrump

    Is this model suitable for a builder that has never flown one, but has extensive fixed wing flying experience ?
    Ok, I'm as prepared as I'll ever be give you an answer. Like you I have no autogiro experience. I also have no helicopter experience, only fixed wing. I'm only one guy so I can't answer your question definitively, I can only tell you what happened to me, and since I said I would post result good or bad, here it is:0

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVtPfGhwKu0&feature=plcp[/youtube]
    For a kit you are, and to a kit you shall return.

  17. #67

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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    [X(][X(][X(]......... Yeah!..... Shake that booty!

    ROFLMAO, Best maiden video ever!!!!

    I love it,
    Mike
    Balsa USA brother #61

  18. #68

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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    For sure.....best video I've seen in a long time! Anyone that hires a professional singer deserves to be rewarded "BEST VIDEO!"
    Love it Dave! You make us proud here at Whirlybird Aviation!
    Joe
    Autogyro Crazy

  19. #69
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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    Actually, Carol is a member of our club AND she's also a builder!!!!! She just maidened her Great Planes .40 size ultimate this week that she built over the winter. She rocks big time! I told her I was building the PCA-2 kit and sent her a link of Rich's video. After she saw it she said "I love that song, when you fly yours I'm going to come out and sing it." I said "I'm going to video that." Well, give me 6 weeks to mull it over and I ended up making it more elaborate until it is what you see. Glad you enjoyed it!
    For a kit you are, and to a kit you shall return.

  20. #70

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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    Well, it was very kind of her to come out! Tell her it made my year! That was awesome!
    Joe
    Autogyro Crazy

  21. #71

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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    Wow!  Outstanding build and video.

  22. #72
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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    Since the build and maiden part of this thread is over I thought I would wrap it up with a few comments since some information I wanted to add ended up on the other thread I started with the video. First, great job putting this aircraft together Joe and Dave, aka, Whirlybird Aviation. All you have to do is a little math to figure out these guys are not doing this to get rich. If you look at the time it takes from design through prototype, then the cost of materials, laser cutting, packing, and even the little things like the trip to the post office that robs an hour of your day, you understand these guys might put a couple bucks in their pocket for the effort, but mainly they are doing it because they truly are gyro-nuts and want to share this very cool aircraft with others. Thanks!

    As far as the build goes, this is a short kit/plans build. There is no instruction manual, but there is lots of information available. Dave and Joe have both done video series on youtube and vimeo detailing almost every step. If you have built a stick type airplane like a cub you should be all set. If you haven't, it's not difficult, no reason this should not be your first. Like any short kit/plans build there are some details left up to the builder. For example, you will need to add balsa filler around the tail feathers to attach your covering to. It's not on the plans, so you will need to figure out how you are going to do it. Different people have done it different ways and documented it in their build threads. You can pick your favorite or come up with your own. When I could not find an answer to a particular question Joe was always quick to help.

    I had a request for part you will need for this model, I also added a couple tools that are required of at least recommended:
    -The Fourmost 154 Miter Sander is the simplest best tool for a stick build. It makes getting all the angles right much simpler, therefore much less swearing when you sand too much off the end a a stick for the 3rd time.
    -If you don't have a WIRE BENDER you'll need to borrow or buy one.
    -The rotor is attached to the mast via some sort of ball bearing supported shaft. You'll need to make one, or take the easy route like I did and buy one. The recommended set-up is a gear box from an electric motor, the Astroflight 710 Superbox.
    -You will need mini-servos for the ailerons. I used the Futaba 3150, but I'm sure there are less expensive alternatives.
    -For rudder and elevator I used Futaba 3152 which I get at Go Nitro Hobbies where they cost $19 instead of the usual $35 (no idea why they sell them so cheap)
    -I used the Williams Bros. dummy radial Wasp engine. Expensive but looks great. Other radials for less are out there that work just fine also.
    -Here is a Template for the Pilot Windshieldtemplate for the pilot windshield made by Rich, aka SafeLandings
    -I used a Sullivan Tailwheel Bracket but lots of options including making a scale skid.

    As far as flying goes, this is what I wrote in the other thread:
    If you can go out with your favorite easy flying sport plane or trainer, make a turn using the rudder and elevator, and control banking with the ailerons you are all set. Gene, I'm sure you can, and I don't want to get preachy, but if other people can't, do yourself a favor, take your favorite sport plane or trainer to the field and teach yourself how, because it's a skill worth having, not just for flying an autogiro, but for flying anything. The plane is also very easy to control banking with the rudder only. When you give rudder the planes banks in that direction, when the turn is done you give opposite rudder to level the wings, just like you would use ailerons. I'm not exaggerating when I say it flies just like a trainer, the only difference being that this plane will slow down SO much for a landing that ailerons are not very effective right before landing, but rudder is nearly 100% effective right until you land.

    In my limited experience with it there are very few differences between this an a fixed wing plane. Takeoffs are a bit different. With a fixed wing you watch ground speed, maybe try to figure in a bit of wind speed and you know about how fast you need to be going to lift off. With the autogiro it has very little to do with the speed of the aircraft, it's all about how fast the blades are spinning. That is determined by how long and how fast you have been taxiing, and how much of a head wing there is. Watch a few different videos and you will see totally different takeoffs. Some take off are at a walking speed, others are faster. If you watch the rotors you can see them really spinning up, then you will see the wheels start to get "light" as in they are still on the ground, but kind of floating. At that point you are about to take off and it's really best to get off the elevator and let the plane decide to take off itself than try to horse it off the ground.
    The only thing I would change is to recommend using your trainer over a sport plane. I think it may be the dihedral of the typical trainer and the upturned wingtips on the PCA-2, along with the fact that both have a lot of lift, fly slow and floaty, that the similarities make it the perfect plane to practice with.

    If anyone that builds this plane would like to post pictures or ask questions on this thread feel free to do so, we can make it the "PCA-2 Clubhouse" thread.

    If you did not see it on the other thread, here is my third flight, the day before we videoed "The Accident".

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4scwGTatow[/youtube]
    For a kit you are, and to a kit you shall return.

  23. #73
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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    Materials list, not guaranteeing it is complete so if you see something missing please tell me. I always order extra, especially the 1/4" x 1/4" sticks used for framing:

    Spruce:
    6 = 1/8 x 1/4 x 36 inches spruce (for wing spar)
    1 = 1/2 x 1/4 x 36 spruce stick (for mast)

    Balsa
    8 = 1/4 x 1/4 x 36 balsa sticks (fuse and tail sections)
    5 = 1/8 x 1/8 x 36 balsa sticks (airfoil on tail sections)
    2 = 1/8 x 1/2 x 36 balsa sticks (for elevator laminations)
    8 = 1/16 x 1/4 x 36 balsa sticks (for elevator and rudder laminations)
    2 = 1/2 x 3 x 36 soft balsa sheet (for underneath fuse and filler)
    15 = 3/16 x 3/16 x 36 balsa sticks (stringers for side and top of fuse)
    2 = 3/32” x 4” x 36” balsa sheet for wing sheeting
    2 = 1/4" x 1-1/2" x 36" balsa for aileron leading edge and wing trailing edge

    Plywood
    2 = 1/64 x 12 x 24 sheet plywood (top of fuse and around nose)

    Blades:
    3 pcs. 1/8" x 3" x 36" NEED
    3 pcs. 1/4" x 3" x 36" NEED (UNLESS you buy the SIG airfoil balsa)
    3 pcs. 5/32 x 36 wire NEED


    Hardware (EVERYTHING BELOW YOU WILL NEED)
    4 = 5/32 wire (landing gear and mast)
    6 = steel landing gear straps (for landing gear and struts)
    Grooved landing gear blocks 3/8 x 3/4 x 6 inch maple blocks, exact dimension not critical, but for 5/32” wire
    1 = 4-40 steel threaded rod ends Dubro #302 (landing gear)
    1 = 4-40 steel solder rod ends Dubro #303 (landing gear)
    2 = 4x40 rod with threaded ends (landing gear)
    pull-pull wire (landing gear)
    6 = 5/32 wheel colars (mast and landing gear)
    6 = 6-32 x 1 inch screws and blindnuts (mast and engine mount)
    2 = 2-56 x 1/2 inch screws and blindnuts (landing gear struts)
    1 = 3/8 x 12 inch brass tube (landing gear strut and mast mount)
    1 = 5 /16 x 12 inch brass tube (landing gear strut)

    Add:
    For a kit you are, and to a kit you shall return.

  24. #74
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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation


    ORIGINAL: smithcreek


    ORIGINAL: TomCrump

    Is this model suitable for a builder that has never flown one, but has extensive fixed wing flying experience ?
    Ok, I'm as prepared as I'll ever be give you an answer. Like you I have no autogiro experience. I also have no helicopter experience, only fixed wing. I'm only one guy so I can't answer your question definitively, I can only tell you what happened to me, and since I said I would post result good or bad, here it is:0

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVtPfGhwKu0&feature=plcp[/youtube]

    You had me laughing before I finished my first cup of coffee this morning !


    I enjoyed your video very much. Even though you were alone, my compliments go to all involved.

    Your subsequent posts tell me what I wanted to know. It sounds like this model will fit my requirements.

    Sorry for the delayed reply. I've been working on my house, ans haven't had a chance to check my notifications.

    Congratulations on your success, and on the excellent video.
    Tom C

    Sig Brotherhood # 120

  25. #75
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    RE: Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro by Whirlybird Aviation

    Thanks Tom. If you build the model I'm sure you'll do a beautiful job, I watch your other builds on a regular basis, the 195 is gorgeous! My club held it's annual event in conjunction with the RI Balloon festival, so it's a public event with a crowd of many thousands. Usually I just bring along a beater plane that I know flies well, I'm not out to impress anyone with the plane I have, but this year I could not resist bringing the PCA-2. Gotta say, it was a huge hit with the crowd. Can't tell you how many people from 5 years old to 95 would look at it and say "wow, what is that? Are you going to fly it?". I would walk over to start it and hear several people saying "oh, he's going to fly it now!"
    For a kit you are, and to a kit you shall return.


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