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  1. #201
    MarkNovack's Avatar
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    And the start of clipping off the ailerons.

    There are several good ways to do this job. This way is nice because the blade cuts a perfect 3mm slice. It also leaves the faces perpendicular to the wing surface.

    The 3mm slice is great because it will alow capping the aileron and the wing cut with 1mm balsa and leave 1mm clearence, which after covering will be about a .5mm gap, perfect for smooth airflow with neutral aileron and beautiful to look at.

    This table saw has all of the stops and squaring devices to set-up and run a series of wings through rather quickly. PLEASE, if you ever try this method, BE CAREFUL. Table saws are one of the woodworking industry's number one finger takers. Always be mindful of the blade. In this operation the blade is set at maximum height and angled to cut the proper angle.

    Here it is ready to be turned on and make the cut.
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  2. #202
    MarkNovack's Avatar
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    And after

    The wing is passed right over the blade. It cuts 80% of the way through. The final cut with be made on the scroll saw.
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  3. #203

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    ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

    Hi Mark
    The ply plates for the horns have a different colour in the middle where the horn sits. Is it that 1 layer of ply has been taken out so that the horn is flush with the surface?

    Vikas

  4. #204
    MarkNovack's Avatar
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    Exactly!

    It's the second laminate in the plywood and it happens in this case to be darker than the outer laminate.

    The ZN horns fit perfectly into the slot.

    Mark

  5. #205

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    ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

    .
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  6. #206
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    ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

    Just for you enigma builders out there, another good site

    http://members.shaw.ca/nsrcawestdistrict/enigma.htm
    Mikey

  7. #207
    MarkNovack's Avatar
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    Nice site too.

    Mike,
    Who's site is that? I could not reference any name from the site. Their work is really top notch. They are also making great time!!!

    I'm final sanding tails right now and our coverer is very, very finicky about the surafce prep. A few more evening then I'll finish the ailerons. After that, the belly pans and motors will take only a few hours and then painting and covering.

    I'll also go step by step on fitting and installing and detail our hardware listings.

    Thanks,
    Mark

  8. #208
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    ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

    Hi Mark

    That is Dave Reaville, he is a friend of mine from British Columbia.

    His Enigma was in the last order that came to Canada, the same time as I got my Enigma We are going to be ordering 4 more in the very near future, I trust you will take good care of the kits for us LOL
    Chad Northeast

    www.f3acanada.org

  9. #209

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    ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

    Hello Mark,
    There is actualy a link on ZN's website to that site.


    Nelson
    http://www.arubarcclub.com

  10. #210
    MarkNovack's Avatar
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    Ah ha, I did not see.

    JP is always adding little things to the website that I never see. Acutally, it's been there a while, it is just far more advanced now. Great stuff!!!

    Chad,
    You know I will check for an extra special kit for our North American neigbors!!! Going to take it to the semi-finals I hope!!!

    On the building, I am finalizing the shape of the stabs now and filling and sanding still. Tomorrow evening I should finally finish the stab sets, then I shall move along. Getting a perfect surface with this ultralight balsa is not so easy. Everytime I breath on it I have to fill another nick. Yves has me filling the larger grain pits...sheesh!!! Wow, these are going to be nice looking airplanes.

    When mine is finished, I will take it home, set it on the coffee table, and watch it with a few Coca Colas for about three hours. It's this habit I have when I finish a special airplane. Just sit and stare!!!

    Anyway, I'll be back to posting the building process hopefully on Wednesday.

    Mark

  11. #211
    Moderator rajul's Avatar
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    Why Nomex ?

    Hi Mark, I would like to understand why the substrate material for the fuse is made of Nomex ? As I understand from Dupont's website, Nomex contains 5% Kevlar and it's primary application is for flame retardency. I can understand if Nomex honeycomb is used at the firewall due to the higher operating temperatures from the engine. Wouldn't Carbon fiber or Kevlar be better for higher strength-to-weight ratio ? Is the fuse impregnated with some kind of gel coat ? Thanks !
    Mike Marks
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  12. #212

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    ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

    Rajul,

    My guess is they are using Nomex for it's thickness. Just like a spar, the farther apart the inner and outer skins are, the stronger the fuselage will be. That's why thick airfoils tend to be stronger than thin airfoils, even if they use the same spar system.

    On the fuselage, the Nomex separates the inner and outer skin, making it stronger than if the 2 skins were attached together.

  13. #213
    MarkNovack's Avatar
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    ZN fuses are not nomex

    The fuselages are layed up of yellow Kevlar cloth with CF matting up front for the higher stress areas. There is also a thin laminate of styrafoam to help reduce vibration harmonic and keep things quiet. The styrafoam is covered with a final layer of lightweight glass cloth which gives a great bonding surface for the servo tray and tail area formers which are epoxied directly to it (no need to cut away the foam before bonding the servo tray in place).

    As far as the delay on this thread, I am still sanding tails. It takes me about 4-6 hours to get one stab set and rudder sanded to where the coverer will accept it.

    Tomorrow we are going to the expo in Sinsheim, Germany, Sunday is flying, no questions asked, so hopefully early next week we shall resume progress on the fuselages.

    Mark

  14. #214
    Moderator rajul's Avatar
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    ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

    Thanks Mark. Nomex in the fuse was mentioned in another enigma site. Makes sense now.......
    Mike Marks
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  15. #215

    ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

    The more that I look at ZN's stuff, the more I like it. I really like the Smaragd though. If ZN made that, I would be in heaven...

    Great thread Mark, I really have enjoyed watching your progress!!!

    Have you flown an Alliance? How do they fly and would you reccomend one?
    Ryan Smith

    Team JR | Thunder Power RC
    F3A Unlimited | Castle Creations

  16. #216

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    ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

    An Alliance is one of my all time favourites, but I think it is getting a little old for to-days schedules.
    I saw some Synergy's at probuild, and Wow, do they look SWEET! In CPLR'S sceme, I think that it is a little ugly, and I really didn't like it, but when I saw them in England, I really did come attached to them.

  17. #217
    MarkNovack's Avatar
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    Synergy over Alliance

    The Synergy is a highly updated Alliance. It has the side area for knife edge and modified wing for better snaps. There is nothing at all wrong with the Alliance, but for me, I like to stay with the latest and greatest.

    The latest proven designs are the Synergy, Enigma, and Hydeaway. That said, the Evolis, Alliance, and even the Fashion are still very competative, just not as refined as the newer models.

    There are still orders placed for Extremes, Toplines, and older airplanes by people who just love the looks of the older airplanes.
    I guess it also depends on the intended use.

    Mark

  18. #218

    ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

    Well I probably won't need an extremely wide-bodied design until I get to Masters class or something like that. I really do like the looks of the Alliance, and the thought of buying one just kinda popped into my head today for some reason.
    Ryan Smith

    Team JR | Thunder Power RC
    F3A Unlimited | Castle Creations

  19. #219

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    It's deja vu all over again!

    Hi folks,

    Well what can I say.... It's like a "parallel universe" out there. (no pun intended!)

    I have been so busy building my Enigma that I have not been following the "Pattern" section of RCU since late last year. It appears great minds think alike in that Mark and I both had the idea of a building site for this airframe.

    To set the stage....

    I have had some questions recently about my building methods and was told that "both mine and Mike (from ZNLine) sites was very helpful". Mike's site I thought to myself???.... Now I thought ZNLine had added something to their Website and so I went looking & found a bunch of great pictures of the completed airframe and was (wrongly) under the impression that this is what the reference was about.

    Chad e-mailed me this morning (Mar 15th) about my incorrect use of the word "Nomex" (in my description of the fuselage prep in the "Painting" section...since corrected) and mentioned some of the guy's comments about nomex vs kevlar on RCU. This peaked my interest so off I go this morning to RCU and the "pattern" section and low and behold what do I find? This great thread from ZNLine's Mark Novack about Enigma construction! Awesome!!!

    Although a lot of the pictures look very familiar :-) , this is a great 'second" look for me of the project. It's a bit unnerving going back over the pictures and methods of construction as I had only the single sheet of plans and help from Chad in construction. Following a quick perusal, there are a few things I really like & others I actually preferred my methods. It's simply preference and, as I have said on my own site, it's nice to see that there's more than one way to do things.

    The key here is to take these great idea's & methods, while taking the "mystery" out, and employing them to create your own aircraft. With that said, I believe these two sites can complement each other and give the prospective buyer a view of both Mark's excellent building techniques as well as a "joe builder" (me) out in the world. Perspective buyers and builders of the unfinished kit should see that you can build this or any other similar airframe without the "factory jigs" etc. and all the nice tools that a professional shop such as ZNLine has. (I love that router!)

    Techniques varied but I will say this, the kit itself is an excellent product and the end result will be an excellent tool to carve the skies with. In fact I liked the first kit so much I have ordered another as a backup (that's another story).

    It's interesting to note that Mark was unaware of my site even though JP had a link on ZNLine's page! I am sure I'll be in touch with Mark over the coming days/months as I we share a common bond through this kit. Similar to his plans at the end of construction, I will sit down and admire the work and it's result. There will be a subtle difference though that I will, for the time being, save for that final completion date. A little mystery if you will....

    I'll be sure to let Mark and everyone else in on it when I am done!

    Thanks for the "new" insight Mark and also to all those folks that have sent those great comments to me on my site.

    Dave Reaville
    NSRCA 3156
    MAAC 56510
    http://members.shaw.ca/nsrcawestdistrict

    Enigma site is at: http://members.shaw.ca/nsrcawestdistrict/enigma.htm
    Dave Reaville
    Team Canada F3A 2015
    MAAC 56510L-CM
    NSRCA Rep - Canada

  20. #220
    Moderator rajul's Avatar
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    Sanding techniques

    Originally posted by MarkNovack
    As far as the delay on this thread, I am still sanding tails. It takes me about 4-6 hours to get one stab set and rudder sanded to where the coverer will accept it.
    Mark
    Mark, could you kindly share your surface prep technique ? Do you fill every single wood grain boundary ? Do you sand wet or dry and what grit sizes do you use ? Any special jigs used here ? What type of filler do you use for wood and composites? Thanks again...........
    Mike Marks
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  21. #221

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    ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

    rajul,

    I was just getting ready to ask the same question. I anxiously await Mark's reply. gv

  22. #222
    MarkNovack's Avatar
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    Good questions

    Having sanded a few airplanes, the first thing I noticed when I started sanding the sheeting from ZN (my first prep job was on Mr. T. Yamada's Synergy) was that contest weight sheeting requires special care.

    First off, any seams and rough work is knocked down with worn 80 grit. Yes, 80. A soft hand will not scrape into the balsa.

    IMPORTANT: During final sanding, some compessed air course really helps. The paper must be lifted often and and hard particles blown out to keep from scratching the surface. The ears will tell immediately if there is debris in the paper.

    Once all of the shapes are there, 240 is used to remove any remaining bumps. A wood block keeps from sanding dips around any hard spots. Then 400, first with the grain, and then I do the little circles. I use foam as my block because it conforms to the curve of the surface and rounds any spots flattened in the earlier processes.

    After the 400 is finished, I fill all imperfections. Sand off the filler, recheck, refill other imperfections, sand off, then I start with the 1000 grit. 1000 grit sands contest grade balsa in about the same way that 400 grit sands heavier grade, albeit leaving the surface with a 1000 grit finish. When the surface is as smooth as possible, I blow it with compressed air (GENTLY, it is possible to blow right through 1.5mm balsa with compressed air). This clears out the grain and shows any nicks that remain. Nicks that look pressed get a licked finger, nick that look a little torn get a spot of filler. (filler is NHP blasa filler; my friend and real professional builder Nathan [he does Christophe's prototypes and advises me when I need help] from ZNLine France used dope and talc).

    As far as boundries (LE and wing tips where they join the sheeting), if they show a line, then they get a little filler. Normally, it is only the tips because the grains are 90 degrees and that will be highlighted under the covering after a month. I also fill the deeper grain pathways. The finished product, when held at various angles to the lights, should have an even grained surface with no manmade nicks, no pits or ripples.

    I would love to know if there are easier methods that can achieve the same results. I know of no method other than the elbow grease method of sand, clean, look, fill and continue on until the surface looks as perfect as possible. There are so many blocking techniques and most work as well as the other because the hand learns the feel of the tool and the same result can be achieved.

    Maybe a separate thread on F3A airplane finishing techniques could be started? Like I wrote earlier, contest weight balsa needs different techniques than harder grades of balsa, so this is special in a way to F3A.

    Is all of this work overkill? After the first few flights the wing normally has nicks just from insects or grass or a clumsy hand with dried CA on the fingers. I have heard some highly experienced people give theories on smooth versus rough finishes and that rougher finishes fly better. I have also seen CPLR's personal paper finished wings that look great at 20 feet but up close are obvioulsy optimized for winning in the air, not on the static display. I guess it's like this; we will give the customer the best and lightest finish that we can do using our methods (balsa sheeted, Oracover finished). If the desire for a rougher finish is there, we can supply unsheeted cores with a basic kit for the person who wants to do it all, as there are so many good techniques.

    OK, that was long winded. I hope that this answered some questions. I continue to learn and we continue to experiment with new methods, continually striving to find better ways to make better airplanes.

    To Dan Reaville,
    Thanks for the kind words. I am very happy that you like the airplane and the kit. Your work looks very professional and I shall continue to view your progress and learn from any different ideas that you have. I am as curious as anybody about your mystery, so I hope you finish soon so that I get to see what it is!!!

    Regards,
    Mark

  23. #223
    Moderator rajul's Avatar
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    ZNLine factory: Enigma Building

    Mark, thank you very much for sharing your sanding techniques!

    Do you wet the balsa before applying filler ? How long do you wait after applying filler before sanding ?

    On the safety aspect, how do you protect yourself from inhaling all that balsa and filler dust ?
    Mike Marks
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  24. #224
    MarkNovack's Avatar
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    Balsa dust

    I have a standard operating room mask (the old formed piece with the formable metal nose clip) for dust. I forget to wear it al the time and sneeze and cough of balsa dust to no end. But it is a good point; wear a dust mask when sanding. It makes the job much easier.

    When the filler is a little dry, I put a few drops of water into the jar and stir it in thoroughly with a stick. This really helps getting the filler to apply evenly onto the balsa. Moistening the surface works well too, but barely moist, not wetting. I prefer to moisten the filler in the jar. It spreads nicer.

    When filling tiny nicks, the filler dries in only a minute or two. When larding it on, I wait about an hour, and then first flatten it with 80 grit. It is normally still a hair moist but it actually smooths out better before it is totally dry. I read somewhere on a technique of sanding it moist and it really works nicely. It takes a little practice to know when it is ready, but it really feathers out well and smooths in amazingly.

    I plan on trying my friends dope and talc method. One of CPLR's experimental wings is in the shop today and the dope and talc looks pretty nice. The drawback on the dope and talc method is that it takes longer to dry, and it is important to wait about 2-3 days after the last dope/talc application for covering as the shrinkage is a little more evident than the NHP.

    Mark

  25. #225

    Re: Good questions

    Originally posted by MarkNovack
    Maybe a separate thread on F3A airplane finishing techniques could be started? Like I wrote earlier, contest weight balsa needs different techniques than harder grades of balsa, so this is special in a way to F3A.
    Please do Mark!!

    I really love this thread, it is so nice to have someone who works with a first class company such as ZN and can share some insider tips, and information.
    Ryan Smith

    Team JR | Thunder Power RC
    F3A Unlimited | Castle Creations


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