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Official Great Planes Ultimate .40 Build Thread!!!!

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Official Great Planes Ultimate .40 Build Thread!!!!

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Old 04-07-2015, 04:48 AM
  #1  
flygilmore
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Default Official Great Planes Ultimate .40 Build Thread!!!!

I had stated earlier that I would be doing a build thread for this model since it doesn't appear to have much focus on it. I will state up front that I have a full work week, 2 small children and various other chores etc. that I must tend to each day. I will update as quickly as I can so please bare with me. I'm also in the covering stage of a SIG 4 Star 1.20 as well so I will be dividing my time as best as I can.

So, here we go!!!!!!

I ordered the kit from Tower on a Thursday and it arrived the following Monday in great shape. Along with the kit, I ordered an OS .55AX and a Bisson pitts muffler. Checking the kit contents, everything was neatly packaged and thankfully arrived safely. I noticed right away that the kit box was very heavy in good 'ole Great Planes fashion. I was expecting this as I have built many, many of Great Planes kits in the past and. much of the wood provided is entirely too dense/heavy. Well, the Great Planes Ultimate .40 is no exception to some extent but more on that later. I typically lay all the pieces out of the box to assess the kit and make sure nothing is majorly wrong with the contents. All of the wood provided was in excellent shape as were the ABS bits and canopy. I just love the smell of a freshly opened kit lol!!

*Note* I realize that this kit builds quite heavy as do most all the GP kits I have done over the years. I am not going to go overboard or obsess with trying to lighten the kit. I could have ordered a bunch of Contest grade wood and prob. knocked 1.5lb or more off the stock weight but that really isn't my goal here. I just want a great flying plane and to come out in the end with a good RTF weight.
Now, I will be weighing certain pieces that seem suspect as being ridiculously heavy and sub'ing my own wood when needed.
Basically, I'm just using common sense with the build. I know that most of the weight in this kit comes from the fuse itself so I will be watching that. I plan on using a LiFE pack for RX and that will knock off 3oz.+ right there. I will be using a RX that is also less than 1/2oz and though I haven't decided fully yet on servos, they will also be no more than 1.5oz each with the aileron ones prob. around 1oz or less. I'm going to use a 6oz. fuel tank which will be plenty for my OS .55AX.

Last edited by flygilmore; 04-07-2015 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 04-07-2015, 04:56 AM
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Here we have the kit.......





Really not a whole lot of wood there....especially when you're used to building giant scale stuff!

I guess this is the 1st .40 size "sport" model I have built in years. It's like I'm taking a step backwards with mid fuse mounted servos, 2-56 metal pushrods and a glow engine! I started the kit on Friday and have the tail feathers done, the lower wing done and have just started the fuse. I've not had much time over the weekend to spend on it with family activities etc. but it's gone together really quickly and very easy. I'll be posting those pics when I get a few minutes. I plan on trying to keep the thread as informative as possible and may be editing stuff as I go.
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Last edited by flygilmore; 04-07-2015 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 04-07-2015, 05:45 AM
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I have just ordered this kit, so I'll follow this thread with interest
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:14 AM
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Construction begins with the tail feathers. GP has you laminate some 1/8" die cut balsa pieces together that help with the shape of the tail. Some new guys often ask, "Why don't they just cut the stuff out from 1 thicker sheet instead of having to laminate". There is more than 1 reason for this with strength being at the top of the list. Normally, 2 laminated pieces are much stronger than a single piece, especially when the wood-grain is alternated. The outline of the tail bits are made from 1/4" x 1/2" x 36" Balsa sticks. This is where I ran into a little bump. The supplied sticks could have passed for Basswood!!!! They were so dense, heavy and hard that you could not have cut them with a Zona saw. One quick glance and I knew they would be thrown in the scrap bin! I sub'ed my own stick stock that was 75% lighter (but still plenty strong) and framed up the tail very quickly. Once the frame-work is done, you are to add 1/8" x 1/4" ribs.
Pull the parts off the board and go over the joints with thin CA. Take your pieces to a perfectly flat spot and lightly go over them with a long bar sander and 80grit at first. Round off the mentioned edges (don't do the wrong ones!) and set aside.
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:22 AM
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Some tail pics.........
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:44 AM
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Sweet! Good to see this project get started, I am sure it will go together quickly
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:36 PM
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Adding myself to the list of viewers and subscribed
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:35 AM
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Next step in the build is to begin the lower wing. You cut and glue 4 spars together and pin down. Lay out the ribs etc. The lower wing is very easy to build and it is a really nice touch having both the leading/trailing edge stock with slots cut for the ribs to key in. Take your time to make sure that the little tabs on the ribs are making firm contact with the building board! The sheeting that GP provided for the leading/trailing edges was fantastic! Just the right density and very easy to form.....I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it. Not much really to say about the lower wing as the directions are very clear.

*Note: I am planning on running 2 servos instead of the stock single servo to drive all 4 ailerons. I'll prob. use Hitec HS5245's for this task. As a result, I modded the center rib from balsa and did away with the ply one that has the cutout for the servo. I also filled in the trailing edge stock where it was grooved for the torque rods before gluing down
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:41 AM
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Some wing pics......
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Old 04-16-2015, 03:43 AM
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Hi,
I built two of these kits.Why? Just because the first one flew sooooo nicely that when I broke it I wanted to build another one and keep on flying it.
I use a Saito FA-65 for power and an APC 12 X6 prop.
My tip:keep it light,it's well built and strong.I find the landing gear fixation a bit weak,using a grass runway not always in the best shape....
Happy flying!!
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Old 04-16-2015, 04:26 AM
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I'll agree about it being heavy. The dense wood that GP supplies is to blame for that. I've already built the fuse and when done, took the dremel to some places. I cut out quite a bit of material and only saved 20grams. I've got other projects going and don't have the time or interest to really put this kit on a diet like it could be done. I'm hoping that by using a lighter RX batt ( LiFE ) and lightweight RX, tires etc. that this will help keep weight down. I have sub'd some wood where I could. More pics later.......................
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Old 04-18-2015, 05:15 AM
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Looking good! And you're planning to replicate the box scheme?
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:35 PM
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Hey! Im in. I built this kit three times, all with th OS 55 AX. Youll love it. Its a very easy kit to build, and flies great. Ill be watching.
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Old 04-20-2015, 04:32 AM
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I have the entire plane framed up now and almost RTC. It was a very, very easy build for sure and all parts fit very well. I was amazed too how nicely everything lined up with no fuss.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:02 AM
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What? no pics? We like pics.
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Old 04-20-2015, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by flygilmore View Post
.............. It was a very, very easy build for sure and all parts fit very well............ss.
Maybe that's why there is hardly any build threads on this thing.
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by stevegauth30 View Post
What? no pics? We like pics.
+1 !!!
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:39 AM
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After the lower wing is done, it's time to begin the fuse. A few sub-assemblies and it's time to start dry-fitting it all together. It went together very easy and fast.


I sub'd some 1/8 aircraft ply for the firewall formers as they were not up to my standards. It is important when doing so to make sure that you alternate the wood grain to get max. strength. You also have to have your engine on hand to drill the engine mount holes and throttle hole.
First pic is one of my helpers during this build. He has been good company while down in the basement (building room) lol!!!
When drilling the holes for the cabane mounting screws, use a really good bit to make sure and have a nice clean hole. One thing I do sometimes is to soak the area with thin CA before drilling to help cut down on splintering.
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Last edited by flygilmore; 04-22-2015 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 05-02-2015, 05:20 AM
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This thing ready to fly yet?!
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Old 05-05-2015, 04:56 AM
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Sorry, no it's not. I have more pics that I need to add to this thread. I have been swamped lately with work and other activities. The plane is now RTC. I've spent a great deal of time on the ABS parts getting them looking nice. I was cheaping out on this part because I didn't want to throw out $80+ for fiberglass cowl and wheel pants. So, it's been filler and sand, filler and sand. I ordered white Lusterkote from Tower along with the matching primer and will be ready to spray the parts soon. I'll update this thread as soon as I get a break.

Thanks!
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Old 05-05-2015, 01:39 PM
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make sure to add a good amount of fiberglass to the inside of the cowl, especially at the joint line. i hate when all that hard work cracks and falls off.
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Old 05-06-2015, 05:46 AM
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I did, thanks.
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:53 AM
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With the advent of the small new gasoline engines im tempted to build one of these now, the Saito FG11 would be sweet in this thing! I just cant do glow fuel, extra slimy, expensive fuel, overpriced glow plugs, carrying around a glow starter, etc...

Hmmm... might have to order one up
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Old 10-16-2015, 01:27 PM
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How big is your bench flygilmore?
Going to buy this kit but my floors aren't level so I have to build a bench out from the studs to be level
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Old 10-28-2015, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ccm7432n View Post
How big is your bench flygilmore?
Going to buy this kit but my floors aren't level so I have to build a bench out from the studs to be level
It's a hollow core door that's mounted on a drawing table. Sorry, I haven't touched the Ult. in months!
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