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  1. #1

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    Converting GP .40 Floats to Amphibious

    I am building retracts into a set of .40 Great Planes Kit Balsa floats. It has been quite an exploratory ordeal, complicated by the fact that I am not a greatly experienced builder. Has anyone else attempted this?

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    RE: Converting GP .40 Floats to Amphibious

    Well, piddle, I would like to post some photos of these amphibious GP.40 floats, but for the life of me cannot seem to figure out how to do it? Could someone help this clueless one?

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    RE: Converting GP .40 Floats to Amphibious

    I am no good at posting photos, I always need to get my wife to do it for me...But I sure would like to see what you are doing...I usually make my floats from solid foam and cover them with glass...That way you never get leaks...What type of retracts are you using ? Mechanical ? It would be nice if you could use electrict but I don't think there are any waterproof ones
    Ken , Biker BC Cub Brother #6 Ultra Sport Brother # 100 Tiger Club # 7 Pulse Brother # 1 Sig Brother # 58 Top Flight Brother # 9

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    scale only 4 me's Avatar
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    RE: Converting GP .40 Floats to Amphibious

    ORIGINAL: Lambro

    Well, piddle, I would like to post some photos of these amphibious GP.40 floats, but for the life of me cannot seem to figure out how to do it? Could someone help this clueless one?
    Click the button
    Then scroll down and click on the "Click here to upload images and files!" link
    Click the "Browse" button
    Find the image where it is saved on your computer or portable disk drive and double click on it
    Then hit the "OK" button,, when you see the "OK" screen you're done
    Finsh posting the reply

    good luck

    You're so smart,, you figured out how to read this!! Or maybe ya just got lucky??

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    RE: Converting GP .40 Floats to Amphibious

    Hi Ken,
    We will get the photo thing figured out, but as to your question, I am using the inexpensive Hobbico mechanical retracts, nose gear model, for both nose and mains. And you are right, electrics would have been wonderful, but these retracts will actually be in the water, with the wells somewhat full, when afloat.
    I have the first float ready to cover and have learned a lot. I am confident they will be just fine on land, but will be fascinated to see how it goes on the water. I will likely hang them under my J-3 Cub already on floats to see.
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  6. #6

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    RE: Converting GP .40 Floats to Amphibious

    Thank you scale, I had been doing that previously, and it always asked for URLs, so I don't know what changed but it seems to work!
    ORIGINAL: scale only 4 me

    ORIGINAL: Lambro

    Well, piddle, I would like to post some photos of these amphibious GP.40 floats, but for the life of me cannot seem to figure out how to do it? Could someone help this clueless one?
    Click the button
    Then scroll down and click on the "Click here to upload images and files!" link
    Click the "Browse" button
    Find the image where it is saved on your computer or portable disk drive and double click on it
    Then hit the "OK" button,, when you see the "OK" screen you're done
    Finsh posting the reply

    good luck


  7. #7

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    RE: Converting GP .40 Floats to Amphibious


    ORIGINAL: bikerbc

    I am no good at posting photos, I always need to get my wife to do it for me...But I sure would like to see what you are doing...I usually make my floats from solid foam and cover them with glass...That way you never get leaks...What type of retracts are you using ? Mechanical ? It would be nice if you could use electrict but I don't think there are any waterproof ones
    My previous Great Planes Kit Balsas have never leaked at all. In this case now, we are chopping the bottom full of holes. Trying to waterproof the wheel wells is maddening. On this go round it entails lots of marine sealant, boots and grommets at pushrod penetrations etc. All inside wood surfaces are also coated in epoxy/alcohol and polyurethane, to keep them from rotting I hope.

    I have many more photos of progress, and in fact am putting together a build file. I think some of the experience here will come up with some great improvements. Let us see if these photos work.
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  8. #8
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    RE: Converting GP .40 Floats to Amphibious


    ORIGINAL: Lambro

    Thank you scale, I had been doing that previously, and it always asked for URLs, so I don't know what changed but it seems to work!
    If you use the (image) button link you need to use URLs,,, that's for images that are already hosted somewhere on the web.

    glad to help

    You're so smart,, you figured out how to read this!! Or maybe ya just got lucky??

  9. #9
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    RE: Converting GP .40 Floats to Amphibious

    Two things I'd do differently

    1- use air retracts, much easier to waterproof
    2- with the gear going so far back from the step, I'd have gear doors also,, that is going to catch a lot of water

    If you do insists on running the mechanical gear, I'd run a separate receiver/power system

    good luck
    You're so smart,, you figured out how to read this!! Or maybe ya just got lucky??

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    RE: Converting GP .40 Floats to Amphibious

    Actually considered each item you mentioned. Air retracts have small well mechanisms which would be good, but are otherwise a pita. The aft, main, wells are indeed far back and beyond the "dead" area aft of step. Though we obviously haven't got to water trials yet, the installation of the aft well deflector is intended to provide a bit of "lift" at pre-step speed. I am somewhat puzzled about the recommendation for seperate, or additional receiver and power. Was this because of the likelihood of things getting wet? If so, the likelihood of getting wet is actually greater in the airplane than in the floats.

    Overall, the project was a sort of a whim arising because the flight simulator had a J-3 Cub on ampibious floats, yet we could find no place to purchase .40 size amphibious floats. We also wanted to invest as little cash as possible, hence the Hobbico Mechanical retracts, which are ubiquitous anyway. The mechanicals are also relatively large, so we figured if we could manage to get them into the very tight confines of the Great Planes Balsa .40 Floats, builders with more experience and a better bankroll could really do some nice installations on these very popular floats.

    We appreciate the observations and recommendations...keep them coming!

  11. #11
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    RE: Converting GP .40 Floats to Amphibious

    Well, my thinking is,
    With an air system you can have all the electronics, valve and servo in the plane,, just run the air lines down to the floats, just like you'll have to with those servo extensions. No electronics under the water line so if there is minor leaking (which there is sure to be) you don't fry the plane's flight system.

    Same Idea with a separate flight pack,, it isolates the airplanes flight pack from the servo(s) in the float. I've seen a few guys do this in larger planes with retractable water rudders and to run the water rudder steering also.

    good luck
    You're so smart,, you figured out how to read this!! Or maybe ya just got lucky??

  12. #12

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    RE: Converting GP .40 Floats to Amphibious

    I had to look up ubiquitous because it is a 50 cent word and I had no idea what it ment..
    Ken , Biker BC Cub Brother #6 Ultra Sport Brother # 100 Tiger Club # 7 Pulse Brother # 1 Sig Brother # 58 Top Flight Brother # 9

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    RE: Converting GP .40 Floats to Amphibious


    ORIGINAL: bikerbc

    I had to look up ubiquitous because it is a 50 cent word and I had no idea what it ment..
    At 50 cents, its the only place we have a high budget!

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    RE: Converting GP .40 Floats to Amphibious

    I have a little more progress on the retract-into-float project, with a couple more photos. "Scale's" observation suggesting gear doors at the aft mains hit home, and will be installing doors when the hinges arrive. Again, I am staying with the inexpensive Hobbico mechanical retracts.
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