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ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

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Old 02-09-2003, 09:47 PM
  #51
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Default ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

Wow Mark, you're going hard at it.....Thanks for all this though, maybe the thread should be stuck on the top of the list to show us newbies how to build....
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Old 02-10-2003, 07:19 PM
  #52
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Default Happy Monday all!!!

Well, after my day job I could not wait to get back into the factory and get my hands into some balsa. Before I get to the wing, I am going to go ahead and get the stab started. I want it ready so that after the wing is mounted I can get right into mounting the stab.

The stab comes ready to install the stob socket. The socket is a loose fit into the the stab, however, it fits into a precisely placed balsa block which is captured tightly in the foam and under the sheeting. Very strong. We will use fiberglass sockets and carbon stab tubes on these airplanes.

Again, the stab comes ready to accept the socket. All we need to do is cap our socket with balsa to keep the epoxy from getting inside, mix our epoxy, pour some into the wing tube socket hole, insert our socket, align the stabs properly while they dry and they are almost ready to mount onto the fuselage.

As I wrote, the sockets fit loosely into the stab, so let's take a look at the alignment procedure we use.

Our jig is a chunk of nylon that has been carefully machined to the the tube hole is perfectly parallel to the bottom surface. This holds our tube absolutely parallel to the table. The bottom stab saddles properly set the dihedral (none), and the elevator cutouts align the relative root angles. If this sounds complicated, it is not. Look at the photos. If you have any questions, then please ask.

This photo is from the front of the jigged assembly. The tube is installed into the sockets, the stabs are weighted in their saddles, and when the glue dries, the will be ready for the indidence adjusting plate, the incidence adjusters, the root rib and then mounting.
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Old 02-10-2003, 07:23 PM
  #53
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Default From the rear.

This photo should have the ruler, but you will see that in the next photo. Notice the elevator cutouts form a straight line. The ensures that the stabs will mate with little to no gap when placed onto the fuselage. This is easily checked with a straight edge that you will see in the next photo.
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Old 02-10-2003, 07:27 PM
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Default Here is the ruler to align the root angles

This last photo should have been taken from behind, but I think the idea is clear. We lined the ruler up with the elevator cutouts, adjusted the stabs until perfectly aligned, and layed these lead weights on each stab half. In 24 hours I can remove this from the table and finish up the root areas.
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Old 02-10-2003, 07:28 PM
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Default Question about building sequence.

Mark,
Why did you join the wings as the first step? This creates a very large part which must be constantly, and very carefully, moved and manipulated for the rest of the building steps. I have always joined my wings only after all other work has been done to save hassle and hanger rash.

Comments?

John
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Old 02-10-2003, 08:23 PM
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Default A photo of the root area!

I have backtracked a little bit to show the root as received. Here after the sockets are installed we shall install the capping for the incidence adjuster.

Root photo.
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Old 02-10-2003, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Question about building sequence.

Quote:
Originally posted by JWN
Mark,
Why did you join the wings as the first step? This creates a very large part which must be constantly, and very carefully, moved and manipulated for the rest of the building steps. I have always joined my wings only after all other work has been done to save hassle and hanger rash.

Comments?

John
John,
You are right about the hassle of moving the large part. I must be very careful about moving the wings around the factory. However, the wing is the first thing to be mounted to the fuselage and in order to do this it must be joined, faced, center laminated, wing bolt seats installed and shaved. That is why we start with the wing. Also, again, we use the long cure epoxy and while the laminates are drying, we can prep the other parts.

I hope this helps answer your question.
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Old 02-10-2003, 08:31 PM
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Default Incidence caps

Here are the incidence caps installed and then a picture of the incidence adjuster installed. The stab will get a hole on top and on the bottom just big enough for the allen wrench to stick into to turn the adjusters. Some people like to finish the hole after covering with a brass servo gromet sleeve.
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Old 02-10-2003, 08:33 PM
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Default And now the root rib.

And this finishes up the basic stab, ready for mounting onto the fuselage.
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Old 02-10-2003, 09:07 PM
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Default Let us get the wing mounted.

OK, our wing bolt seats are cut to size. The bottom of the bolt seats are cut perpendicular to the hole length, not even with the wing surface. Although this may sound obvious to some, it differs from the normal kit method in which the bolt head fits flush and even with the bottom surface of the wing. In this case, the four bolts holding the wing on are all parallel (or perpendicular to the same plane). Look back to where we drilled the holes into the wing with our router on the flat plate for a clearer picture.
On the top surface of the wing, the bolt seats will be cut down 1mm from the wing surface, the angle is not important.

Here are the bolt seats. We used a router and an assortment of blocks to level it out and then ran it over the tubes. A very adequate job can be done with a dremel grinder, as this will eventually be capped with a carbon/ply washer with an epoxy/microballoon mix filling any gap between the washer and the wing.
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Old 02-10-2003, 09:09 PM
  #61
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Default And the rear seats

These seats are on a parallel plane to the front seats.
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Old 02-10-2003, 09:19 PM
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Default Here are the wing hold down plates

We use MP Jet blind nuts, 6mm.
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Old 02-10-2003, 09:21 PM
  #63
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Default Re: Re: Question about building sequence.

Quote:
Originally posted by MarkNovack


John,
You are right about the hassle of moving the large part. I must be very careful about moving the wings around the factory. However, the wing is the first thing to be mounted to the fuselage and in order to do this it must be joined, faced, center laminated, wing bolt seats installed and shaved. That is why we start with the wing. Also, again, we use the long cure epoxy and while the laminates are drying, we can prep the other parts.

I hope this helps answer your question.
Mark,
I understand that the wing needs to be mounted to the fuse after it's been joined. But, why not install/shape the leading/trailing edge, tips, landing gear blocks, aileron cutouts and facing, servo wells, etc.BEFORE joining the panels. Individual 3' panels are much easier to work with through these steps than a single 6+' panel.

I've built many pattern planes in the past and never joined the panels before doing any of the above steps. It's just too cumbersome. I'm curious why you chose to assemble the model in the steps you have outlined here. Personally, I can see no benefit to this, but as someone who's always looking for a better method of doing things, I'd like to know why you do it this way.

John
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Old 02-10-2003, 09:25 PM
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Default Fit them into the fuselage

Now the blocks go into the fuselage. The side of the block that fits against the wing saddle lip is beveled to fit nicely into the radius under the saddle. The blocks that support the plates are cut to keep the plates in a parallel plane with the centerline of the wing chord.

Here is the rear plate.
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Old 02-10-2003, 09:39 PM
  #65
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Default To answer John' question

Well, first of all, we have a little bit of room and the wings can sit basically in place until we start the laminating process. Secondly, the unfaced wing sits perfectly into the shell without having to be so carefull to ensure that the LE of the core is perfectly aligned with the saddle and the tips are not hanging up on the saddle ends. Also, we are doing five wings per assembly batch. It is just very convenient to set everything in our wing holders in one piece and walk around the table.

As far as the ailerons, I believe that the mounting process should always be finished before the ailerons are clipped away. It is easier for the eye to match the stab with uncut surfaces and also easier to set the wing straight in the wing saddle. The uncut wing is the best reference for all measurements critical to alignment.

Even before I came to ZNLine, I took that from Sam Turner's wing building method.

Until recently Sam was a very reknowned builder in the USA. I believe he has retired from building. Sam, you are leaving a big void, your work was always great.

Thanks for your questions.

Mark
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Old 02-11-2003, 03:47 PM
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Default OK, let's continue

Well, last night ended fairly abruptly. Suddenly it was 2300 hours qnd I was in need of sleep. Tonight will not go that late.

I was about to post a picture of the front mounting plate blocked into position. Here is the front.
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Old 02-11-2003, 03:48 PM
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Default A shot of the whole saddle

Here is the big picture.
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Old 02-11-2003, 03:52 PM
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Default And a close up of one plate.

Again, notice the angle at which it sits. This IS important, especially on the rear plate if you want the bolts to start into the blind nuts.
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Old 02-11-2003, 04:03 PM
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Default Mount the wing!!!

OK, now we mix our glue and mount the wing. The plate are nicely fit with about 1-2 mm of side play which will allow us to adjust the wing for a perfect alignment. We will start out by tacking the plates in with 30 minute epoxy, and then go back after that is completely dry (about 2 hours) and finish with a nice fillet of 24 hour epoxy and microballoon mix.

The rear plate has been carefully measured into place so that the bolts will go right into their blind nuts. The front plate (this is why the wing goes on before the firewall) is fit approximately because we can reach our hand through the motor opening and adjust it by hand to fit the bolts. We hold it in approximate place, however, as this prevents us from getting glue all over the fuselage interior.

Wing is placed on the fuselage, bolts are run into the mounting plate, and we measure, measure, measure, do it several times until all sides are perfectly equalized, then we tighten the bolts and this locks the wing securely into position until the glue is dry. We will not disturbe the airplane for at least two hours, although we will return to remeasure everthing in about 15 minutes, or before the glue tacks up.

Here are the measurements we make. I have only shown us measuring one side, but of course, each side is measured and equalized.
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Old 02-11-2003, 04:04 PM
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Default ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

Next measurement.
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Old 02-11-2003, 04:05 PM
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Default ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

And the last measurement.
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Old 02-11-2003, 04:14 PM
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Default And another good point to notice.

These wings are computer cut and end cut in jigs. They are exactly the same geometry left to right, and if the fuselage to tip measurements are the same, then the triangulation measurements from tip to tail should automatically be correct too (given that the fuselage is perfect out of the mold). The accuracy of these wing is shown at one more location. The center joint of the wings lines up perfectly with the center line of the fuselage when the wings are aligned and everything is perfect. All measurements were closer than 1mm tolerance and I feel good about this airplane. Four more to go to this stage this week.

Once satisfied, again, we tighten the bolts and it's coffee time!!! Coffee coffee coffee coffee, cuppacino, YES!!!!!

It's starting to look more like an airplane and less like a whale!!! I really like this part.
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Old 02-11-2003, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: To answer John' question

[QUOTE]Originally posted by MarkNovack
Secondly, the unfaced wing sits perfectly into the shell without having to be so carefull to ensure that the LE of the core is perfectly aligned with the saddle and the tips are not hanging up on the saddle ends.

You have to do this when you join the wings anyway. It's not that much of an issue to make sure your wings are sitting properly in the shucks when you join them. I'm sure you have far more effort in the building of your flat work bench than you do in joining a pair of wings.

Also, we are doing five wings per assembly batch. It is just very convenient to set everything in our wing holders in one piece and walk around the table.

Space is nice, and if I had that much room, I would leave the wing on the table and walk around it to. But this comes later in the building process.


As far as the ailerons, I believe that the mounting process should always be finished before the ailerons are clipped away. It is easier for the eye to match the stab with uncut surfaces and also easier to set the wing straight in the wing saddle. The uncut wing is the best reference for all measurements critical to alignment.


I never use the trailing edge of the wing when referencing the stab alignment in relation to the wing. There is not enough contrast in the colors to "see" the trailing edge in my opinion. Instead, I use the top surface of the wing and the bottom edge of the stab with a dark back ground to increase the contrast. A dark blue or black piece of fabric hanging on the wall works very well.


Even before I came to ZNLine, I took that from Sam Turner's wing building method.


Sam is a very good builder, no doubt. But the benefits of this method do not produce superior results. All it does is make the handling of the wing more difficult. I could possibly see doing this on a model with plug in wings, but I would never do it on a joined wing.

But, that is one of the things that is so wonderful about this hobby. There are many different ways of doing things to produce the same results.

Keep up the good work. It is nice to see a build along such as you are doing here.

John
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Old 02-11-2003, 04:53 PM
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Default ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

Mark
- GREAT, GREAT, job with all these postings. You are doing a superb job of removing the mysteries as to how the "professionals" build pattern ships.

You mentioned the "MK Wheel Pant" method or something the like. On my Alliance (now with 8 flights), I had difficulty installing the wheel and wheel pants. The wheel pant is so narrow, that I decided to NOT use wheel collars. Instead, the wheel pant bolts directly to the gear strut. The axle passes through the inside of the wheel pant and into a receiver piece of 1/8" plywood on the far side of the pant. This then traps the wheel in place. So far, so good.

Where did you get the "MK" wheel pant stuff? I checked out some websites with sell MK stuff, but did not see it.

Thanks again Mark for the extra work of posting this stuff, along with the building, and serving in the military.

Jim Woodward
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Old 02-11-2003, 09:46 PM
  #75
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Default About the MK wheel pant device.

Jim,
Thank you for your kind words. I sure hope that your Alliance is living up to your expectations. It's a great airplane that did manage to place 1st at the Worlds under CPLR's pilotage. The guy's got bizarre talent!

About the MK wheel mounting system, please look under Kato accessories on the ZNLine website at the part called axes de roues. We did some photos tonight in response to your words and posted them there. One word about this system is it takes the correct hub width which is provided by the MK pattern wheels. So, the MK wheel i neccesary to use the system. The wheel pant is simply captured between the axle and the button head screw. To make it really secure, a little roughing up where the pant touches the gear is all it takes. We simply tighten is down and I have never seen a wheel pant droop with this system.

Tomorrow I will be mounting the stab on the first airplane, and then continuing on with stab facings and start with ailerons.

Thanks,
Mark
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