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  1. #226

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    This is interesting ". I couldn't part with the funds for Gorilla or other high end fillet material. "
    gorilla grip is one of the cheapest adhesives availible here !

    Cougar

    why do you say that the step is not sufficent? hundreds of these planes have been built, and flown without this observation.

    lastly regarding skinning the hull

    Mine has the specified balsa skin, followed with expoxy fixed ply , followed by 2 layers of 3/4 oz glass/epoxy, The inside of the floor in the radio area, and rear of the 2nd former as far as the step also has a layer of 3/4 oz cloth, this extends 1/2 inch up the fuse sides. This mix has passsed the test of many no gear abusive landings, , I have even put here down onto gravel a couple of times.

  2. #227
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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    Wow! Cavandish, sounds like it would take a torpedo to bust through that combination. Could almost call it the "Bismarck", (although we know the service history on that one!).

    I had a fiberglass version of the Northstar years ago, one offered with glass skinned foam core wings. Never could get it to go off water and determined the step design was at fault.

    Since as you mentioned there are so many succesful flying off water I would be hard pressed to say the step is insufficient. What I was intending with the increase on both I built was to break suction a bit easier with the heavier planes and have a little more rotation angle. There are a couple of other tricks I may try over time, but that was the easiest mod.
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  3. #228

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    step hight can be minimal, but having a sharp edge is critical , same goes for the hull sides

  4. #229
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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    True on that one and where the problem came in on the FG version.

    Have been working on finalizing the installation and center of gravity on mine today, determining I need 591 grams in the nose, (1 lb, 4.5 oz) to balance it 1 1/2" ahead of the step as specified by Laddie. Should have the slab of lead shaped tomorrow, but wondering if I should make some of it removeable if flight testing shows it needs it.
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  5. #230

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    I think that having the provisions to shift the balance aft is a good idea. I had to drill out some lead as my plane was very nose heavy on first flight. The balance is about 1 and 1/8 back from the starting point. My plane requires less up elevator to keep it in the air and now it can fly inverted. Before, inverted flight was very scary and almost all down to just hold it level. I'll get an exact measurement of where the balance is and get it posted. I think this is the furthest aft I would go. In some turbulent/choppy air and wind, I would put 2 oz in the nose to gain some stability for landing.
    I flew it this weekend at Bakersfield CA, Lake Ming. Burned 6 tanks of fuel with no problems. Altitude was 520 feet. Lots of power with the OS 55 and at 7 lbs, the plane leaped off the water in 20-30 feet. I was able to slow it down to a crawl and just at the end, balloon the nose up and the plane would just about stop and plop onto the water then slide 5 to 10 feet. Coolest thing I've ever seen. Next time I need to get a video of it. Check out the plane on some earlier pages on this link to see what it looks like and some mods on the tail and servo installation for those who are building one. PREDMECH, WES

  6. #231

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    When you start improving the the water break on take off that will go against you on landing as the NS will always balloon if you are above stall on touch down so less drag on the hull will just help it to break water again. Sharp edges on step and fuz sides are more important. Strenghing the the bottom side at the front is a great advanage for those unwanted beach landings and the extra weight is is always required up front so why not put it to good use. Putting servo.s down the rear to me seem a unessacary loading on the C.G as the choose of nyrods are plentiful. The throttle end needs a seal or device to stop fuel entering the tube and creating drag in time but thats no big deal. I have always put my lead balast in a mixture of polly fuller in the nose and it is quite easy to drill it to prize out any surplus weight after test flying. As it has been said many times before Laddie.s creation is a amazing ship to watch and to fly and keeping to the basic design has it.s time saving advantages. Cheers from N.Z

  7. #232
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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    Russram, the flat bottom, not the step height, is the reason the Northstar is a pogo if you smack it down on landing and the reason I hate some of the cheaper float offerings that come that way.

    As for servos in the tail, you can use a micro for throttle which reduces the weight, and the resultant tight control linkage to the elevator far offsets the need for nose ballast. As I posted not long ago I did the engine run outside in the snow and was annoyed to see my expensive nyrods, touted as being the least temp sensitive, shorten considerably in the cold.[>:] Would hate to see how the less expensive versions would have fared. I kept the aileron rods, (shortest runs) identical length and both are affected equally, but the rudder kicks over almost a half inch. Hate to see what that would do to my elevator trim.

    Been doing a bit or research and cannot find any other options for that long a control run with restricted or no access. If anyone has found a better way, love to hear it.

    Along the same line, here's a question I just posted on RCC. Perhaps some of you can lead this old horse to water, (pun intended).

    Along with the Northstar I have 2 other nitro amphibs in my stable that requires some disassembly to get at the flight pack charge lead. In the NS I have to remove the canopy. With the Seamaster and Eagle the wings have to come off.

    Does anyone know of a waterproof receptacle for the charge plug?
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  8. #233

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    An idea for control run (untested) is to use the nyrods orwires in a tubein pull-pull mode. At lest for the rudder that should be possible, the difficulty is to mount the servo in a way that do not cause large stresses in the mounting and nyrods with temperature change. Adrawback is the addedweight of the duplicated control run.On the other side I have never measured the actual CG differencebetween a tail mounted elevator servo and a long nyrod run. With a light servo like a Hitec 225 on the elevator the weightdifference might not be that great and with a 9gram servo on the throtle servo even less difference. Have anyone done a side by side comparison?

    Waterproof receptacle for charging? You could always find something made by Seacon, Subcon, Gisma or one of the others providing equipment to the offshore oil industry. The big downside is the price, the cheap ones start out in the $100 to $1000 bracket.

  9. #234

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    Its ready to fly wish me luck
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  10. #235
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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    Looks great, but just a "head's up" - You might catch some flack for that swastika. People don't mind them on scale, German WWII models, but on non-scale models they tend to set people off.
    Mike B. AMA# 42400 www.gettingairborne.com
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  11. #236

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    chadavilla

    how much nose weight did you need ? what is the finnish ?

  12. #237
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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    predmech, were you able to find your end balance point? My lead is installed and set up that I can remove up to approx 30% in 2 steps. Should be able to do the finishing touches this weekend, (one being a bulkhead to keep the tail servo leads away from the throttle and elevator linkages).

    Should be picking up the last of the stickers I need in Toledo next weekend. Will post some more pics of the final product soon.

    Been a long build! [X(]
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  13. #238

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    The nose weight 2 lbs easily removable the finnish is fiberglass and panted with warbird colors it is a water base not bad to use you add a crosslinker to the paint for fuel proofing and if you have a problem go wash it off with water. Im at 12 lbs the canards im going to turn off till its in the air for the first flight as for the decals the germans always had some weird planes the propeller is a 14-8 apc the engine is a ys 110
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  14. #239

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    Sorry it took a couple of days. The balance I'm flying now is 1 inch behind the printed CG. This is getting close to the neutral point of the plane. Inverted flight is now possible without tons of down elevator. At this point, you need to be easy and smooth on the elevator when landing, if your to fast and give to much up, the plane will definitely climb. Not really difficult, just need to be patient and ease it onto the water. The Northstar also lifts off the water almost on its own when flying speed is reached.

  15. #240

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    Here are my two favorite pictures. Notice on landing just the rudder is touching the water. This gives a good idea of the nose high angle when landing. Hope this helps you guys.
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  16. #241

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    Stan and Laddie, Thanks for your input. That sounds like a great solution to the short wing and will be my next step before I sheet the LE. In fact, when I took closer measurements, I realized that adding the 3/16 to the right wing tip will also keep the sponsons the same dimensions. I must say I'm a little star struck, getting build tips from the designer!! Indeed I really appreciate all of your tips and advice and have learned quite a lot from just reading this post.
      
    Cavendish...    "This is interesting ". I couldn't part with the funds for Gorilla or other high end fillet material. "
    gorilla grip is one of the cheapest adhesives availible here !"    Often in marriage the building mantra is "use what will work" I have carpenters glue, and have read on many threads and build sites that this is fine for building with, I choose to pick my expenses wisely. As for water getting on it, well if one is worried about getting water inside their airplane, one should stay away from float planes altogether.

    Chadvilla, awsome job on your 'star. I particularly like the subtle camo job and the nose paint. I do agree with MinnFlyer on the swastika however.  On scales a swastika is merely historically accurate, putting one where there never was one can lead to uncomfortable questions. That being said, of course the choice is yours.

    Build on,

    Colin

  17. #242
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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    Down to the wire. Balance is accomplished. Picking up the last of the decals this weekend and some larger 2.75" main wheels, (found the 2.5 don't work in grass the way I'd hoped). Then I guess it's just gutting up for the maiden.

    Was always a bit worried about the servo leads migrating into the linkages in the pod and was uncomfortable with my earlier fix with velcro, so decided to fab up a small compartment. Sealed once the stab is bolted down, so no stress on the plugs and no way for the leads to flop around. Will need to break it open if the tank ever needed to be removed, but a small bit of effort would be required to fab another.

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  18. #243
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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    predmech
    Really great shots of the flying. I love it. I wish the plane counld be built light enough to fly electric.
    Falcon
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  19. #244

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    Has anyone ever tried an NS without the LEX's?

    I'm finishing off one that was partially built and am not sure if I want to put in the extra effort if they aren't really needed.
    Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

    Ultra Sport Brotherhood #57

  20. #245

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    The leading edge's are extremely important part of the lift created by the wing. The F-16, F-18 all have them. I would not even think about leaving these off. The benefit and time required to build are worth it. I built mine in just a few hour. It looks difficult, but after they were done, it wasn't that bad. Hope this helps. Wes, "Predmech"

  21. #246
    Cougar429's Avatar
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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    Well, thought I'd post pics I took this weekend of the new additions to the USCG fleet. Weather was closing in, so the contrast isn't the best. Now just have to wait for my schedule and the weather to match.

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  22. #247

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    Flew the maiden flight on my Northstar today.

    We have a big float-fly coming up soon and I wanted to fly it before then so I took it to another club field close by and flew it off the grass.

    First flight was a success in the fact it came back in the same amount of pieces it took off with.

    Power: TT .46 - OS muffler for maiden - subsequent flights will have the mini-pipe shown in the pictures
    Servos: HS-77 in the back and a standard airtronics onthe rudder and an HS-625MG for aileron
    AUW: 7lbs 7oz - not too bad considering it wasn't built with any emphasis on weight savings
    - 18oz of lead in the nose

    Used a Master Airscrew (wood) 11x6 and did not have great power but decided to give it a go anyhow. Accelerated quite well off the wet grass and broke ground with not too much room to spare over the fence. Needed quite a bit of up trim to hold level and I thought I had used it all (as someone) helped me trim it for the first flight. Since I still had to hold in quite a bit of elevator I didn't get a good sense of how this plane can fly. I also had the ailerons reflexed down which of course effected the level trim.

    I felt the speed was lack-luster but that had more to do with propping and the higher altitude (then I normally fly at) then anything else. I've now gone to the mini-pipe and a 10x7 APC and will give that a go.

    All-in-all the flight report isn't great but the maiden is done, it flies so I'm happy.

    Once it's properly trimmed and propped I think it will be a very fun plane.
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    Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

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  23. #248

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    the pipe and a good dose of nitro will help a lot, strange plane to fly untill you get used to it, must be making reasonable power, as you got off the grass, good luck.

  24. #249

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    Cdallas2
    Your first flight sounds like mine.
    Beautiful job on the plane. Good job on the first flight. Mine has only seen water. My first flight was scary also. TOO NOSE HEAVY. I pulled (drilled) out about 4 ounces of lead from the nose. I'm flying the balance 1 and 1/8th inch aft from original location. My recommendation is to move it aft about 3/4 of an inch and try it that way and shift it slowly aft till your happy with it. The aft C/G location lets it lift off the water much easier and not need near as much elevator trim. My elevator was about 1/4 to 3/8 up at the trailing edge. Now it's very close to level. Read some of the other posts that I've done.

    My older posts were "predmech" I changed it to Yak Dude, Have a 30% Yak 54 with a DA 50.

  25. #250

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    RE: Northstar mods - Tell me what you think

    Flew my NS at Shushwap today and had a great time. Met some old friends and made a bunch of new ones.

    Had a rough start to the day as I had what we thought was some sort of radio interference. After some head scratching and probing turned out to be a faulty switch. Thankfully the hobby shop onsite (Lester's) had some parts I could use to put it back together.

    Put in another 5 flights and had an awesome day flying off water for the first time in about 15 years.
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    Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

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