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Give Yourself A Wedgie !!!!!!!!!

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Old 02-17-2015, 04:30 PM
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Default Give Yourself A Wedgie !!!!!!!!!

Intro

I’m having a little fun here so humor me. I’m going to call this “Give Yourself a Wedgie”. I have been asked for plans but the plans are from the first generation there have been quite a few improvements. Besides they were drawn up spur of the moment in magic marker on a spare bit of paper by two of us kicking around an idea for a better plane than the Gremlin. The plane is so simple anyone should be able to construct one following these instructions. Here are a few pictures and a photo of the original print just to give you an idea. Its designed for a .25 engine. Others have tried bigger ones and performance suffers with the extra weight.
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Old 02-17-2015, 04:31 PM
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This flying wing was competitive in combat but I haven’t participated in years so I have no idea how it would fare today. I do know it is a riot to fly; it’s fast and extremely maneuverable. It is also considered “Free Domain” which means one cannot charge for rights to the prints in hard copy or electronic. Feel free to change anything you want. Experimentation is encouraged as is the posting of pictures and explanations of the changes you have made. If you build a version of the Wedgie at least post some pictures and your experiences/suggestions.

For the novice I will go though the equipment needed and the steps I use to produce the wing halves. I apologize to those who feel these steps are obvious but I feel with a little coaching everyone should be able to produce one.

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Old 02-17-2015, 04:34 PM
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You will need to be able to cut foam cores or have them cut for you. The foam cutting skills are very basic don’t be afraid to give it a try. The rest of the build is simple if you have built an ARF you can master building the Wedgie. My foam cutting experience is manual and self taught. It works for me but I know it’s not the only way. You will need a simple foam bow and power supply. I will describe the bow and the steps I use to cut the foam the power supply you will have to go on the internet and figure out which one will work for you, (I use a 120 volt supply and a variak that will supply up to 25 amps not something for the timid or inexperienced). Not recommended!!!!!!

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Old 02-17-2015, 04:38 PM
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The Bow

You must insulate yourself from the wire and the electrical current used to heat the wire. I use a wooden handle to do this. The bow is manipulated with this handle. To construct the bow:

One piece of wood dowel 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 diameter 50 inches long
One piece of piano wire/hard wire 1/4 diameter, 36 inches long cut into two 18 inch pieces.
Some sort of wire to use as the cutting wire. I use .025 stainless mig welding wire but you can get small quantities at a fishing supply as single strand leader wire.

Using a hand rotary tool create a grove near the end of each of the 1/4 piano wire for the cutting wire to wrap in. Drill a 1/4 inch hole in the wood handle two inches from each end in line at a 10 to 15 degree angle outward. Insert the rods with the ground groves facing up and out. Wrap the end of the wire at least one full turn in the grove on one end then wrap the short end around the length keeping the wraps near the loop. Loop the long end around the second grove pulling until a good amount of tension (the rods should be bent towards each other then a full turn in the grove and tight wrap on that end and you have your bow. When the wire heats it will expand but the bent rods will maintain a constant tension on the cutting wire. See picture below. For other ideas of what can be done with a wire foam cutter just Google it under pictures.
https://www.google.ca/search?q=wire+...ed=0CAYQ_AUoAQ
There are lots of videos for inspiration as well.
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:08 PM
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The foam I use is the lightest 2 inch thick by 2 foot wide 8 feet long I can find at Home Depot or Lowe’s. Get the foam without any interlocking edges you want straight cut 2 by 8 ft foam sheet. You will now cut the length into 18 inch sections giving 5 wing panels and a small piece left over. The best way to cut these square is to let the bow hang below with the wire on top of the foam where you wish to cut. Make sure the bow is not moving as this will translate into movement when it cuts. A flip of the power switch and the weight of the bow will move the wire through the foam. See diagram. It is important your table be level to get a square cut.

I use a 3 foot wide piece of ply or hardboard extending 24 inches past the table edge to support the foam. I place the foam bow centered on the foam moving the wire until it is exactly 18 inches from the edge. Wait until the bow stops moving then when I turn on the power the wire will cut straight through the foam leaving a perfect 18 by 24 piece. Repeat 4 more times for 5 panels and a small test piece of foam.

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Old 02-17-2015, 05:36 PM
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Using the same method to cut through the foam you now need to cut the wing panels to shape. Mark a leading edge and trailing edge and on one end measure 6 1/4 inch from the tailing edge up and mark. On the other end from the leading edge back mark 12 inches. If you look at the sketch you will see first the layout and the off cuts separated from the wing core. This will give you one wing panel cut to shape. Repeat for the rest. The whole idea of keeping it square is so the wing root is square which will result no dihedral other than the amount of taper on top and bottom making it fly the same right side up or upside down.


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Old 02-18-2015, 08:00 AM
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Now you will need to make the templates for the root and wing tip. The airfoil is not fussy as long as it’s symmetrical. The templates need to be made of a material that will withstand the heat of the wire. Polishing the edges of the template also improves the finish of the surface as the wire will not catch on imperfections. Two materials I use are Arborite, (the thin stuff you laminate on table and counter tops) or my favorite thin aluminum, (flashing used in capping the wood on a siding job).

Simply cover the template material with edge to edge masking tape then draw the outline, cut out and polish the edges. I use the heavy duty double sided carpet tape to fix the templates to the root and tip of the foam block.

If you notice the picture of the templates the length corresponds to the length you should have cut the blanks too. It is important that these mount in the center and level on the 2 inch surface of the foam end pieces.

Notice the two tabs that extend from the ends of the template. These serve three purposes.

First they allow the hot wire to rest prior to the start of your cut so the cut starts evenly across the foam blank. As the wire exits the cut there is no drop off at the edge of the foam blank.

Second this fixes the size on the foam for the size of the leading edge strip of balsa wood. I made mine 1/4 inch for both templates. A 1/4 square leading and trailing edge will get glued on the wing blank and get shaped to the blank before sheeting.

The third reason is to ease the set up of the templates to the foam wing blank. Measure the foam accurately it maybe out a bit from the 2 inch thick dimension it depends on the manufacturer. The center line is one inch so if both the center line of the template and wing blank were the same that tab would be 1/8 of an inch on each side. If you were to make up four 7/8ths spacers and place them under the tabs as you pushed the templates with the double sided tape into place the templates should be perfectly in line with the center of the foam and parallel.

I have only shown this on the tip template but you should get the idea.

First picture is the tip template.
Second picture is the root template
Third picture shows the relationship between the thickness of the wing and the installation of a standard servo. That is why there is no specific airfoil it was drawn up as that’s about right. It works.

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Old 02-18-2015, 08:30 AM
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Remember that small piece of foam left over? Get it out and practice to get the heat setting and feed rate correct. Once you have the temperature set try not to move the adjustment instead unplug or use a switch to turn the power on and off. I use a foot switch, you might find one at Harbor Freight. When the temperature and feed are correct there should be no deflection of the wire visible in the finish cut. There should be no large melt out greater than the wire. You will hear the foam sizzle as the wire passes. You know your temperature is perfect when you observe a smooth cut with hair like foam fibers that are easily brushed off.

When you think you have it set then its time to cut a wing panel. Apply the double sided tape to the templates so that the tape stops just before it gets to the edge. If the wire touches the tape it will snag and if it stops even for a second the foam will melt forming an imperfection in the wing.

Double sided tape in place use the spacer blocks to support the template and line up the leading edge with the line on the template and press to the end of the foam blank. Repeat for the other end and the other template. When you draw the wire through the foam you want the length to enter and exit at the same time. That means the root side will have to move slightly faster than the tip.

I like using weight on top of the core blank to keep it flat and stop it from moving while I am pulling the wire through. When one side is cut simply flip over and cut the second side.

There are lots of videos on youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWF1XwrgjD4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfUKWTtpdi8

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Old 02-18-2015, 09:50 AM
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You should now have the wing cores cut. Save the upper and lower cavities they will help in the finishing and assembly later. You will need some sort of contact cement make sure it is water based. I use http://www.lepageproducts.com/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=89 It can be found in smaller quantities at any of the big box stores.

Two light coats of cement work better than one heavy one. Coat both surfaces letting them dry to the touch between coats. When applying it’s a one shot deal once stuck its not coming off easy.

Start with the 1/4 square leading and trailing edges. Cut them a little longer than needed and sand them flush with the root and tip later. Try not to be too sloppy when applying the contact cement it’s not the easiest to sand off later.

After all the leading and trailing edges are attached cut and sand the excess leading and trailing edges flush with the root and tip of the wing cores. You must sand the shape of both leading and trailing edge to match the curvature of the foam. Since the foam is easily sanded away use masking tape to protect its shape. 1/2 inch behind each edge lay down a strip of one inch masking tape the length of the wing panel then behind that lay a second strip of masking tape. Carefully shape the leading and trailing edges to match the foam wing sanding until the wood is flush with the foam. Remove and discard the tape when done.

Cap the root and tip of each panel with 3/32 balsa grain running from leading to trailing edge. Contact cement again leaving some extra wood to trim/sand later using the masking tape to protect the foam. Sand flush to foam and leading and trialing edges.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:19 AM
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Now you need to cover the wing panels with 3/32 balsa using the contact cement like you did previously. Make sure you spread the contact cement to include the shaped leading and trailing edge stock. I align my sheeting 90 degrees to the root tip some did theirs parallel to the leading or trailing edge. I never notice any difference in the end result. Leave enough so it can be trimmed/sanded flush with the leading and trailing edge as well as the tip and root plate. Use one of the cavities from the cut cores to support the wing during the sheeting process. When finished flip over and do the other side. You should now have at least two wing panels completely enclosed in balsa wood. I never worried about edge gluing one sheet to the next I simply butted one edge up to the other and laid it down. If there were any gaps I filled them with some spackle.

Some prefer to shape the leading edge at this time others like to do it after the wing panels have been joined your choice.

To join the wing panels I use epoxy on both of the balsa root plates with the wing panels supported in their matching cavities. If you have cut everything square and on center all that is required is a little weight on each panel to hold it in position while the epoxy cures. I clean the exposed surface of all access epoxy so that it will be ready to accept some fiberglass cloth to re-enforce the joint.

When the epoxy has cured you can handle the wing clean/pick/sand any access epoxy from the other side of the wing.

Now you need to cut and prepare all the other pieces. The motor/fuel tank mount, aileron stock and tip plates as all will be needed in the balancing and CofG

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Old 02-18-2015, 10:19 AM
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The motor/tank mount are made from 4 pieces. It is designed for a .25 engine and a 4 oz. round or flat tank. If you choose to make it larger for a bigger motor or fuel tank you will have to adjust its location to maintain the center of gravity. The cut out for the motor is only approximate adjust to fit your motor. Standard motors with straight out exhausts will fit upright and level on the mount. Motors like the Norvel will have to be canted so the down turned exhaust will clear the wing. Lightly tack glue the mount together you will want to take it apart later to trim the pieces to match the wing.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:03 PM
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We made our own aileron stock to fit the trailing edge. The trailing edge of the wing ended up being about 3/8 of an inch after sheeting and sanding and the trailing edge of the aileron we wanted to be about 1/8. The two pieces of aileron stock was cut at 1 3/4 inches wide by 26 inches long from 3/8 stock. Shaping was done with a 3/8 length of piano wire against the leading edge and a 1/8 length against the trailing edge as per the diagram. The piano wire was CA glued to the table so the aileron stock fit tightly between. Sanding over and down to the rods gave the proper shape. You will need to cut two wing tip plates or fences see the print, We found the size and shape were not important the plane flew even when these were knocked off in combat.
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Old 02-19-2015, 04:15 PM
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Cut aileron stock as shown.

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Old 02-23-2015, 04:14 PM
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Shape the pieces of aileron stock as shown

.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:09 PM
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Glue the two 6 inch pieces in place on the wing as shown. Then use .75 oz fiberglass cloth 4 inches wide top and bottom to re-enforce the centre of the wing as shown.

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Old 02-23-2015, 06:20 PM
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After the centre re-enforcing has cured you now have to cut the opening for the motor/fuel tank mount as per the diagram.

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Old 02-23-2015, 06:28 PM
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Trace the shape of the wing on the sides and back of the mount. Remove the mount and disassemble. Trim to the lines drawn then reassemble the mount using epoxy to permanently glue together. Brush a light coat of epoxy over the whole mount for fuel proofing. Use epoxy and glue the finished mount back in the wing carefully aligning it with the wing and centerline.



The center of gravity is 7 inches to 7 1/2 inches back from the point of the wing. Putting a small eye screw in the back wall of the mount is a good place to start and you can suspend it from here to figure out the placement for the rest of the electronics.
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:51 PM
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Masking tape the ailerons in position and the wing tip plates can be fixed temporarily with double sided tape.

You will need to use the placement of the motor in the motor mount (slide forward or back) and the electronic components to achieve the proper center of gravity.

Refer to the drawing and screw the 3 small eye bolts into the motor mount sides. Using needle nose pliers open the two on the long sides slightly. Place the 4 oz fuel tank there and secure with an elastic band between the two and over the tank.

Place the engine in the mount opening and tack or tape it in place temporarily. It should have the prop and aluminum spinner nut on for weight and balance.

Attach a string to the third eye screw and suspend the model a few inches from the table surface. Add double sided tape to all the electronic components and place on the wing in close proximity to the places shown on the drawing. Due to the difference in weight of differing manufactures you will need to reposition these until the model balances slightly nose down and level.

Mark the locations of each component then allowing a generous area around each remove the corresponding balsa skin carefully easing it from the foam below. Carefully carve out the foam so each component fits snugly in the foam in the middle of the opening. Open up channels under the skin just large enough to allow the wiring to reach the receiver and switch.

Some have made hatches for the servos and other components it all adds weight I simply push the battery and receiver in place and will seal it in when I replace the skin. The servos I like to glue in the foam then replace the skin sealing them inside.

It is important that you set the servos for proper motion and centering before gluing in place and replacing the skin. The control throw needed does not need long servo arms. I leave the ailerons taped and add control horns and actually set up the control rods and throw for the ailerons. 1/2 inch deflection max in each direction set your low rate for 50%

Once everything is set remember you need a charge access be it a wire or plug. Glue the servos in the foam. Make a generous opening for the servo arms in the covering plates before re-attaching to the wings. Seal all components with new balsa patches and sand flush with the surface. Servo arms can be pushed below the surface they will return when powered up.

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Old 02-24-2015, 03:40 PM
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Remove the motor/ fuel tank and three eye screws. Remove the tape from the ailerons and wing tip plates. Finish sand everything, Cover the ailerons and wing tip plates only. You will use a 1 to 1 1/2 strip of iron on covering to make the hinge. Lay the aileron on top of the wing see first diagram. Iron on the strip of covering. Fold the aileron down to its lowest deflection, centre and iron on the second strip. The aileron must move freely. See second diagram. Finally cover the wing the covering overlapping the hinges as in diagram 3.

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Old 02-24-2015, 03:47 PM
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If you have covered the end of the wings cut away the covering exposing the wood leaving a 1/8 border of covering around the profile of the wing. Hold the tip plate in place and mark the wing tip profile then remove the covering 1/8 inside the line. The exposed wood should match that of the wing tip glue in place. Repeat for the other wing tip.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:01 PM
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Use large control horns on the ailerons Dubro 716 Super Strength T-Style and 4-40 push rods with Sullivan 4-40 clevises. Seems like over kill but you may be involved in heavy mid air collisions. The heavy duty control links are bullet proof. Look at the picture and notice the control rods are bent down to fit the servo arms. The openings are wide enough to allow the clevises to move below the skin.

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Old 02-24-2015, 04:11 PM
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Your wing should be covered with ailerons and tip plates installed. all electronics ready to go and control rods except throttle installed. Screw the three small eye screws in place as before. Install fuel tank and any foam or blocking you wish to use and secure with one or two elastic bands. Hang from the balance point and position the motor/prop and prop nut to reach the final balance point. Mark and mount the motor. Finish by making up a throttle linkage 2-56 is fine. Fuel tune and test fly.

Launching hold the model from the back between the ailerons at a slight up angle. Hardly any push required it should almost fly out of your hand.

One last improvement we would simply remove the tip plates and lop off 4 inches from each wing. You will need to glue an new balsa plate on the end then glue the tip plates back on. Speed goes up and roll rate is much faster. No need to redo the CofG.

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Last edited by Propworn; 02-24-2015 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:41 PM
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If you build one please post pictures of the build or finished model. Any changes/improvements post them all are welcome.

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Old 02-27-2015, 12:54 PM
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Thanx for the effort. I was just thinking if you want to make the 8" shorter wing, that you may as well cut the blanks to the 12" and 6 1/4" dimension right away. Then later try to figure out the angles on the root and tip. It would be a bit more confusing, but you would get almost twice as many blanks from the sheet. Not sure what the span would be exactly, but it would pretty much work out to about 4" shorter each panel.
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Old 02-28-2015, 07:30 AM
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Well first off the 6 1/4 dimension is at 24 inch span you would have to figure out what it would be at 20 inches and adjust the tip template accordingly. What ever floats your boat that’s the nice part of this type of build. If you decide to do this please post a diagram showing how you did it and the number of sets you got. Post the tip plate you used as well it would be helpful for those who want to duplicate your effort. Remember all ideas and suggestions welcomed.

Personally I never found need for more than two of them and a sheet of foam was under $10 so it wasn’t that important to spend the extra time to get more out of one sheet. Our original was the full 48 inch span it’s only after I banged up the tip on my first one and lopped off the damaged part along with the same amount on the other side and slapped the tip fences back in place to find out it flew even better. 4 inches was by luck not design. That the CofG was good after was also luck not design. Sometimes you get up on the good side of the bed and you don’t wake up Grumpy. Let her sleep it makes for a quite start for the day he he he.

I started this thread thinking about the guys who might want to give it a try that possessed no experience with foam cutting or flying wings. Keeping it simple for the novice. Also learning to hand launch the thing and fly it around the full 48 inches is still very fast and nimble yet quite a bit easier to handle. When you’re ready for more of a challenge just remove the tip plates cut the 4 inches off and reattach the tip plates and you’re in business. I don’t know how much simpler I could have made it.

Those of advanced skills have at it and share your tips and tricks who knows where it will lead.


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