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BVM F-86 (60") Build Thread

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:38 AM
  #1
Shaun Evans
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Default BVM F-86 (60") Build Thread

Hi,

I started construction on this kit and am going to chronicle the build here. It's going to be a slow one as I've got a couple other projects going round-robin.

My initial impression of this AFS kit is that it's excellent. I'm not sure why they stopped producing it, but I suspect it's because of the market trend away from builder's kits. At the same time, there doesn't seem to be much less work on the ARF version of this bird from what I can tell from build photos.

The kit is intended to forgo gear doors, but my customer wants them so they're being installed. BV offered a door kit for the plane, but I wasn't able to get any info from them when I called to order. I decided to just wing it, using methods from all the Y/A kits I've built over the years. Fortunately, they didn't pre-cut the holes in the fuse for the gear as they show in the instructions, so the doors are there for me to build as I like.

The parts and hardware are bagged and separated by component. Tail area stuff in this bag, then a smaller bag in that bag with sub-assembly parts. Very well done, and practically everything you need to build the plane is in the box. The wonderful thing about high-quality kits like these is that the hardware is high-quality, too.

The kit came to me with the old-style BV mechanical retracts. Real old-style. My customer opted to not upgrade to the newer stuff, and I talked to a couple of BV guys who assured me that the old equipment will work fine if I install and rig it properly.

The layup on the fuse is great, with reinforcement for stiffening in the right places. The wings and tails are obechi-sheeted foam with carbon cloth reinforcement. This is the stuff I feel at home with, and would rather build sheeted foam than composite if I have a choice. These wings come with the carbon spars installed along with the flex-plate gear mounts. The servo pockets are routed and the live-hinged control surfaces are cut. Very good stuff.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:54 AM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Hi,

The first problem I ran across was with the nose unit itself. When in the extended position, there was a considerable amount of drag on the steering...enough that the unit would definitely have a double-neutral and probably wingtip dance down the runway if not corrected. I disassembled the unit to track down the source of the drag and it was just a matter of the brass rotating bushing/carrier being too tight of a fit into the plastic trunion. I rubbed on it with some wet 300 grit paper, then polished it up with a cloth and some toothpaste. Now it's smooth as silk with no drag at all.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:06 AM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Hi,

First step with this kit is cutting out the nose door and installing the nose gear former and mounts. Since I'm doing full doors, I deviated from the instructions which call for you to grind away a cutout for the nose wheel and cut out the entire door. First I reinforced it with some cloth and resin, then laminated a 1/16" soft balsa liner which was then glassed in with lite cloth. The liner is not scale, but will be dressed up a little bit later on. I did the same for the main doors, but used some carbon cloth with West System resin for stiffening. The only regret is that the doors are quite a bit heavier than I would have liked. That means I'll have to think about that when I set up the actuation for them. I prefer the Y/A cylinders to the BV ones, but with doors of this weight, they'll open when you pull up hard. We'll see about that later on....

I noticed in some photos of some other F-86 kits, the nose gear bulkheads were end-grain balsa with carbon lams. This kit had a plywood bulkhead which was uncharacteristically [for BVM] sloppy. I cleaned it up with some 120-grit and installed the supplied maple blocks for mounting the flex-mounts to. I cut out the big door and the two-piece little door for the nose. The instructions call for the poly-ply door stops to be glued on with Zap. I don't know if there's some kind of trick to that, but I couldn't get the poly-ply to stick to the glass with Zap at all. Same was true for the nylon hinges on the little 2-pc door. The hinges would just crack off with only the pressure needed to bend the door. I ended up using some tiny Y/A screws to anchor the door to the hinges.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:12 AM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Hi,

Here's the nose doors cut out and hinged. I decided to substitute the BV offset door hinge with a Y/A door hinge that was designed specifically for the F-16. It's got a slightly bigger footprint and the material seems to stick a lot better to CA. The shape of the hinge allows for more throw on the door itself, too. Lots of screws visible, but those will go away with some filler during final assembly.

I used Y/A door hinges for the big nose door as well. Nothing wrong with the BV offset ones, I just like these better because they've got little holes in them for you to use as a drill guide for the screws and a bigger footprint for adhesion.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:21 AM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Hi,

I gave up on trying to glue the poly-ply with CA, so I used 5 minute epoxy and sat there holding it while it cured. They're on there good and tight now.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:28 AM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Hi,

The current nose gear units offered for this plane have the air cylinder integrated onto the unit. Those cylinders are quite a bit shorter than what came in this box, but the customer doesn't want to go doubling the price of the kit (I got the kit off RCU for a great price and sold it to the customer at the same price) by upgrading to newer equipment, so I'm using what's in the box. The pistons are tapped for 5-40 thread which isn't sitting on the shelf at the LHS. I ended up buying some 5-40 bolts out of the car section and cutting off the heads. To those, I attached a HD ball cup also out of the car department. I used a leftover plywood block out of a Starfire kit and bolted the cylinder to it with a 6/32 bolt. I ground the block down to contour of the inside of the fuse and glued it in good with Hysol. Only then did I test fit the nose cap and inlet to find that I'm going to have to relieve the inlet to clear about 1/8" of the tip of the nose cylinder. Trial fit... trial fit....
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:30 AM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Hi,

In case I didn't say so, I welcome any advice, tips, etc. from those of you out there with some experience with this bird!
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:33 AM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Wow you are doing nice work. I would not fill the pp screws with filler. The reason is if you ever have a gear problem you will break the offset hinges and need to replace them. You can paint them to make them not show up. Good Luck Dan Avilla
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:36 PM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Hi,

Thanks, Dan! Advice from you is ALWAYS welcome and appreciated.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:55 PM
  #10
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Hi,

Based on peoples' experience, what's the better engine to use with this plane? The options are P-60SE or K-80F.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:49 PM
  #11
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

I've got the old DF version & converted it to use a P-60SE which has enough power.
I fly it from grass. Mine has no gear doors except the front half of the nose gear
door & the maingear leg doors, so it looks 'normal' on the ground.

I know the P-60 is no fuel miser but the smaller, lighter, engine carrying less fuel at
least keeps the weight down a little & the wing loading more reasonable, after all it's
only a small model.

The other issue is space, next to none in these things so the more compact your gear
the better.

I hope the latest versions have improved on the crap elevator linkages of the first ones.

- John.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:40 PM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Quote:
ORIGINAL: YellowAircraft
The kit came to me with the old-style BV mechanical retracts. Real old-style. My customer opted to not upgrade to the newer stuff, and I talked to a couple of BV guys who assured me that the old equipment will work fine if I install and rig it properly.
I'm a little worried about that nose unit, the plastic dogbone link is a weak point as well as the plastic cross member. I upgrade mine to the new mechanical version with those parts in metal, flew my original mains for a long time with no issues before swapping in air blue mains. This is an old kit (pre-AFS) that flies electric, landing weight = 15.25 pounds. You'll be heavier on takeoff but probably lighter on landing?

On second thought - you've got the metal dogbone - DUH!
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:22 AM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Chris,

Thanks. Yeah, I just looked up the prices on the newer BV gear and I see why the owner doesn't want to spring for 'em. Same with the struts. He's happy enough with the Robart struts and the existing gear. I'm advising for the P-60, but he's got a new K-80 he wants to put in something, and he's had some stick-time on one of these with a P-70 which is roughly the same size/weight.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:08 PM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Great thread, keep it up!

Not enough kits out there!




JT
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:29 PM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Hi,

Thanks, John. I agree. It's a shame that there are so few builders left. Personally, I get very excited and inspired by the truly great builders out there and I miss not having a bunch of their threads to peruse.

I got a little more work done today. I installed the main bulkheads into the fuselage. These have the graphite-reinforced plastic spar receivers bolted on. You have to use the wings to locate the spar position as the spars are already installed. This took quite a bit more customizing than expected. The instructions tell you to radius the top edge of the wing where it glues to the root chord cap so that it fits tight against the wing. I did this as much as I was comfortable, but I didn't want to go so far with sanding a radius that I sanded through the glue joint between the top skin and the root ply cap. I took a dremel drum sander and trimmed the glass shelf where the wing mates up at the root.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:33 PM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Hi,

Once I got the wings fitting nicely, I glued the formers in place while tape held the wings in position on the fuse. After that, I skipped ahead and started messing with the tail parts.

This is really well-designed! The parts that should be are made of 1/8" carbon plate. The stab spars are flat carbon plate, and are designed to make the stabs removable. The fin is also removable. My only complaint is that the lite-ply that all of these carbon parts mount to seems a little brittle, but I suppose once everything is hysoled in, it will be plenty strong.

Like the wings, the stabs are obechi-sheeted foam with live-hinging. Really nifty!
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:16 PM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Nice! That is considerably easier than fue pre-afs setup.
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:47 PM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Hi Sean,

Thanks for starting this thread. Your work so far looks to be very good. These are great kits, and as a builder, I’m sure you will enjoy this project.

There are lots of very very experienced BVM builders on here that I’m sure will follow this with interest and help where possible. (I am a bit of a BVM novice having built just 3 kits to date, non ARFs, and currently have 2 more on the go.

A couple of points from your posts.
The laser cut bulkheads and fuse formers that BVM supply are usually a little undersized. This is intentional. The idea is that a small gap is left between the bulkhead and fuse, allowing hysol to be injected In the space and a nice fillet to be made. If the former does not actually contact the skin, there is less chance of deforming the skin at that point, and creating a ripple on the outer surface.

Gluing the poly ply strips on with Cyno can be tricky. I use thick slow set Zap and wooden dowels to hold it in place while it sets. (Saves on finger skin.) You have to be careful not to use too much glue, and preparation is important. Like all work with cyno, it goes bad real quick if you are use too much, or are not ready. A good cyno gue joint is light and as strong as it gets.

I used the original plastic rotating nose gear on a Balsa Bandit. This system works, and should be fine in a 60” F86. I had a few breakages of the plastic nose gear in my Bandit (due to pilot error). I eventually changed it out for the purple air nose gear which is bullet proof. Like most things BVM, it is hard to understand (and pay) the high cost of these parts, but once you start using them in the field, it becomes apparent why they cost so much. I would suggest staying with the plastic for now, and if you need to upgrade, the new retract parts drop straight in.

My only other advice would be to keep the kit as standard as possible, and as these are very good performers, a P 60 will be all it needs.


Roger
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:38 PM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Hi,

Thanks, Roger!
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:14 PM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

shawn, what technique/tools do you use to cut out your doors - they look real clean!
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:09 AM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Hi Sean, how do you spell your name, you never seem to use it? I have a very early one piece wing BVM Sabre(ex D/F). It is a little peach. I use a Wren 70 and after take off never use full power.
It is a very smooth and predictable flyer and one of the very few planes that experiences no pitch change with either take off or landing flap.
By today's standards it is quite small and needs to be flown in close unless you have really good eyesight. I use the Trim Aircraft aluminium nose gear and the BVM mechanical mains. I notice that the main flexplates are now re-enforced with a ply backing plate. I wish I had been aware of this concession when I installed my mounts. I dread the thought of damaging these plates particularly since I fly from grass. Its a great model but by today's artf standards can be a little frustrating but you and your customer are going to have a lot of fun, Ron.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:07 PM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Hi Ron,

Thanks for the input. Yeah, this is a very nice kit. It's a shame they discontinued it, but I guess that's where the market went. Away from kits and toward ARFs.

The backing plates for reinforcing the main flex mounts in this kit are aluminum. They're hysoled to the GRP plates and I understand they're a huge help with strength. I'm ordering one of those nose units for the Trim Sabre I'm also going to build.

Shaun
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:18 PM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60


Quote:
ORIGINAL: ron Sweeney

Hi Sean, how do you spell your name, you never seem to use it? I have a very early one piece wing BVM Sabre(ex D/F). It is a little peach. I use a Wren 70 and after take off never use full power.
It is a very smooth and predictable flyer and one of the very few planes that experiences no pitch change with either take off or landing flap.
By today's standards it is quite small and needs to be flown in close unless you have really good eyesight. I use the Trim Aircraft aluminium nose gear and the BVM mechanical mains. I notice that the main flexplates are now re-enforced with a ply backing plate. I wish I had been aware of this concession when I installed my mounts. I dread the thought of damaging these plates particularly since I fly from grass. Its a great model but by today's artf standards can be a little frustrating but you and your customer are going to have a lot of fun, Ron.
Main Gear Flex Mount Stiffener #PA-SR-0020 can be installed easily on a completed airframe. It is a carbon fibre plate drilled and tapped for the included 4-40 machine screws. Should be installed on any turbine or any electric which will ever operate off grass. Prevents pulling the screws out of the treads in the plastic flex plate. Flex plate will still break before the wing is damaged on a ground pounder though .
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:41 PM
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Hi,

The more I work on this, the more I like this kit. The removable stab mounts were installed with hysol after test fitting and tacking in place with CA. With the wings on, the tail group was aligned and then glued. The bead of hysol was sloppier than I normally would do, but my fat fingers couldn't reach in there properly and make it all pretty.

With everything glued in place, the tail area is very stiff. The vertical fin is composite and really heavy. The v-poxy they used to glue the framework inside got away in a couple of places, so the supplied plywood stiffener that glues to the front of the solid carbon fin spar needed to be trimmed to fit. I preferred to do that rather than grinding down the glue lest I get dust in there I couldn't clean out (which might have compromised the glue joints I was doing).

The stabs have a carbon plate tongue that glues inside the foam and attaches to the mount. Really nifty setup!
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:50 PM
  #25
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Default RE: BVM F-86 (60

Great pictures thanks for posting.

Did BV ever make a MIG 15 AFS? I would love to get my hands on one!

Keep the pictures coming. How much usable fuel can you get in this model?
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