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  1. #1
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    F3P build thread

    For the 2016 -2017 indoor season, many have asked for a build thread centered around those wanting to build an indoor pattern plane. This is the start of the build thread. Enjoy.

  2. #2
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    Basic materials. This is not a high end model. Rejoice. This is not a difficult build. Hooray. Total cost is about $2.50 for the balsa. If you cover the model with dollar store tissue that brings the total to $3.50. That is about as low as a barrier to entry as one can make. The target is 75 grams or less for an indoor model to fly slow and controlled, and to simulate an outdoor model in performance. The target for and ultra-micro sized pattern plane is no more than 25 grams. This one can be flown in the smallest gyms.

  3. #3
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    We have found that the E-flite 250 to be a very nice running motor. I will be honest though, back in the ETOC days when the planes weighed 130 to 150 grams (biplane Vrolet) it was tough on the motor to get through all those complicated maneuvers, but now with the planes in the 60-120 gram range- well put it this way on Joseph's 60 gram F3P model we had to put a throttle curve to half throttle because it had too much of a thrust to weight ratio and also this allows us to go to very small 110 and 150 size 2 cells batteries. The Spektrum 2010 and 2020 servos are excellent for F3P.

    Choose your equipment around these specs for the build. We are on the fence whether to go with an E-flite 180 but we'll see as we go into the project.

    Of course if you go high end, the planes are well suited to the 1S or 2S Lantsov contra units.

  4. #4
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    Balsa. We prefer 1/32 but 1/16 would work ok as well. It will add 5 or so grams to the model, depending if you use it to the braces. We found 1/32 to be adequate and easy to work with once you get used to it.

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  5. #5
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    Motor and servo selection for us. We have been very pleased with the Eflite motor, Castle 6 speed control and Spektrum 2010 servos (2020 for ailerons) and the 6310 receiver. I've had really good results with this combination. Disclaimer up-front: I'm on Team Horizon.

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  6. #6

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    Watching this with interest.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strat2003 View Post
    Watching this with interest.
    Me too :-)

  8. #8
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    So after you get your balsa sheeting from your local hobby shop, get a metal yardstick or 48 in metal ruler and cut some 1/32 inch squares (or 1/16 squares). A balsa stripper works as well if you have one. A trick to consider is getting a marker and putting some lines on the balsa sheeting so that when you cut it there will be small marks that indicate the top side. This helps with flush balsa joints during construction- when all the marks face up you know that the stick thickness will always be 1/32 even if you don't cut the strips/sticks exactly square.

  9. #9
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    To make this as simple as possible, tape some pieces of 8 1/2 x 11 or 1/4 inch square graph paper together then draw a thrust line and out line. Here are a few pictures. This is where it is fun because you can come up with your own "design" pretty quickly. We prefer a slight taper at the back before the vertical fin. Generally the area above and below are as shown for relatively neutral rudder to elevator coupling. Do a similar paper construction template for the wings as well. You can draw trusses in (vertical first then diagonal). Plot out where you want the servos and mark those spots. You may be able to see from the drawings if not I'll see if I can get some closeup shots. Of course if you have CAD, you can develop it on CAD, but in the spirit of simplicity, paper and pencil is the most direct and quickest route to that end.

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  10. #10
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    With regard to covering material, I had mentioned this at the NVRC meeting late Thursday night, but it actually .08 mil, not 2 mil. This is an affordable material at $8.55 per package. This thickness does not lent itself to ripping and its very light.

    http://www.homefly.com/products.asp?id=31

    2um thick clear mylar
    32cm x 3m, 2.2g/m2
    (12.6 in x 9.8 ft)
    2um = 0.08 mil
    Price: $8.55
    Last edited by Don Szczur; 10-22-2016 at 05:33 AM.

  11. #11
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    OK, now cut some strips of 1/32 square. They don't have to be exactly 1/32 but mark the side of the sheet before cutting the strips.-- edit, if not using boron cut some strips that are 1/32x1/8.... we'll see how they are used later.
    Last edited by Don Szczur; 10-29-2016 at 06:17 AM.

  12. #12
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    I may build two different models. One will be built on a sheet of dollar store foam.

    Don

  13. #13
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    Here is the general layout on the foam board. I placed a ruler at the bottom to provide scale. Transfer the drawing from the template to the foam board.


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  14. #14
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    Counter top material or shelving material works very well also. If you draw the outlines on the counter top material you can use pencil. After drawing in the location of the balsa outline and inner structure, map the location of the wing. When we used the UMX extra components, we found the plane to be nose heavy and had to move the battery way back behind the wing (one cell 120 cell) I'll shift the wing back from that position.

  15. #15

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    Are there some basic measurements we should follow for Fuselage, Wing, Rudder and Elevator. The photo is not clear enough for a novice builder like me.

    Thanks.

  16. #16
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    Great question. Here are some photos

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  17. #17
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    Paul was nice enough to drop off a couple of high performance motors. They are supposedly some hot motors that the drone racers use. I checked and the motor does not fit the housing from the standard ultra micro motor gear setup, so will have to ponder how they can be used.

    One other update, the local expert junior world champion advised me not to put counter-balances on. He reminded me that these cause a twist on the control surfaces and thus distorts deflection during level flight and slight control inputs. Seems counter-intuitive to larger models that benefit from counter-balances.

  18. #18
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    A picture of the motors. Thanks Paul. The innovative types out there can tie the two together to make a contra. I plan to use one in this small model if I can get a gearbox figured out. The other option is run it direct, if wanting to do it very simple direct drive setup.

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    Last edited by Don Szczur; 10-29-2016 at 05:36 AM.

  19. #19
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    To boron or not to boron, that is the question. If you boron, I recommend the .004 stuff rather than the .003 stuff. The .003 stuff is about the thickness of your hair and is not as stiff. It also snaps into tiny pieces a lot easier. Always tape the edges of the boron rods to the building table. Trust me you don't want to get a piece in your foot or hand. You can google all the hazards (and techniques), but expect a trip to the emergency room if one snaps off inside your finger or foot.

    I did find that the .004 is much easier to work with, easier to see the pieces and provides a stronger structure. Its applied with DUCO cemented, thinned about 50 percent with acetone. Its 30 percent heavier than the .003 stuff, though. You can expect to add a couple to 3 grams to the model if using boron, but this stuff is incredible If you get a piece of 1/32 square and put it on two sides its got the same stiffness as a piece of carbon rod but at about 1/10 the weight. Speaking of weight, this is optional but for $20 you can get a milligram scale. Make sure its to a 1/1000 gram and not 1/100 of a gram. We got a scale for F1D to weigh the components while Joseph built that 1.4 gram model (yes the whole plane ready to fly excluding rubber band weighs less than a gram and a half). I will see if I can go the route of non-boron plane for this build. The balsa is very fragile so you have to build a foam box to transport the plane. This is really not a big deal as we'll get to later.

    P.S., in case you are wondering what it costs, 100 pieces of 24 inch long boron rod costs $17. That's 17 cents a piece- pretty cheap, but it takes quite a bit of patience and technique to apply. I can cover that if I go that route. The end result is a structure that is incredibly stiff. http://www.indoorspecialties.com/index1.html
    Last edited by Don Szczur; 10-29-2016 at 06:23 AM.

  20. #20
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    For those that just cannot wait and want to build your model immediately, here are some pictures of the first model we built last winter and flew at efest, if my memory serves.

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    Last edited by Don Szczur; 10-29-2016 at 06:23 AM.

  21. #21
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    Some more pictures. This is Joseph's intermediate indoor pattern design he calls, "Progress v1".

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    Last edited by Don Szczur; 10-29-2016 at 06:27 AM.

  22. #22
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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  23. #23
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    Some soldering. This is a learning point. Local Hobby Shop has 60/40 in stock. I got it!!!. The lead free solder just does not work well on the very thin magnet wire. Even with lots of flux, the temperature of lead free solder is much higher than can easily solder these small wires. 60/40 works very well.

    This is on the high end of work on the plane- for competitive F3P keeping the plane weight to an absolute minimum. Weight of items are taken in the tenths of a gram. Sanding the very tip of the wire. Its said that the soldering iron will melt off the wire insulation, but I've sanded slightly which provides a good solder wet.

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  24. #24
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    Some additional items.

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  25. #25
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    Boron techniques are applied from F1D style of build. Adhering covering with a mixture of rubber cement and 75% goo off.

    Cheers


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