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  1. #1
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    If you thought that an airplane that has been crashed is just not worth rebuilding? How badly does a plane need to be destroyed before it simply cannot be rebuilt? A wood plane, giant scale plane can really go a far way in terms of rebuilding.

  2. #2
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    The Cap 232 design (Peter Goldsmith) built by the folks at Action Hobbies during the winter of 1999 flew in the TOC 2000. This airplane participated in a number of demontrations and show team activities. In the spring of 2001, during a pull out of a vertical down 10 of 8 point roll, the wing decided to give out (the wing tube rotated and the vertical spar inside the wing tube was no longer vertical, resulting in a very flexible situation). As the wings flapped back and forth, I very gently turned the plane parallel to the runway and attempted a gradual turn to base leg and landing. Well, the left wing did not hold and it folded. Needless to say the plane came down (at idle) but the vertical implant was pretty much a total loss.

    I picked up every piece, I mean every single piece. I picked up pieces of balsa, foam and spruce that were buried in the mud up to 8 inches. I filled several trash bags. I saved every piece of covering (see attached photo). When I got home, I tried to count all the pieces. I lost count after about 300. Every single 1/4 inch stick looked the same.
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  3. #3
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    Over the course of the last 1 1/2 years, I put piece by piece together again. It took about 2 oz of CA to put back together a 46% Cap. I used every single piece that I could figure out how. It was the "expert" level 3 dimensional jigsaw puzzle. I mean everything from about mid-fuselage (from the elevator ) and forward was splinters and foam pieces. I used RC56 glue for the foam pieces, and CA (and acclerator) for the balsa and plywood pieces. Everything went back together again. The cowl and canopy were the only things that were not reasonable to try and repair. The cowl was in about 20 pieces but what was left was very helpful in terms of setting up a new cowl.

    Where are we? Well, after assembling the rear fuselage from the back moving forward... and the front part of the fuselage, from the front bulkhead back, the final joining took place last Spring.

    This winter, I've got the firewall box rebuilt (the engine box sides and firewall had do be made from new wood) and engine mounted so far. Things are starting to pick up. I also got the wing tube back in place. (see pictures).
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  4. #4
    Boogie's Avatar
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    Wow!!! You have to be crazy to do something like that. Wouldn't it be much easier (and lighter) to rebuild major parts of the airframe??
    Even if nobody believes in you, show that they are wrong.......................

  5. #5
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    That's a really good question. Why not just use new stuff. I did where I had to. For example the two engine box/inner fuselage box sides. It seemed to go faster when I re-used as much as I could. What I found was that every piece I had to cut out myself (there were not many) took about 5 times longer than just glue the others back together. Even things like the ply landing gear plate (although delaminated in a few spots) went back together reasonably well. It saved a lot of time, not having to re-drill and set the blind nuts, alignment, and doublers.

    Another thing I found was that when all the pieces fit, there was not much to have to re-align. Everything fit together very well and the balsa sticks are actually stronger than before. The plane "aligned" itself as it went back together. The big test was when I put the wings back on. Everything matched up, even the counter-rotation pins.

    One interesting thing is that I'm going to switch from the Q 200 to a DA 150. I'll be losing at least 3 Lbs, and will almost positively have to move the rudder servos from the tail back up into the forward fuselage.

    The new cowling is also a lot lighter, probably a half pound (almost 1/4 Kg) when its all said and done.

    With all this stuff, the plane will probably come out at about 44 Lbs, vs. the 48Lbs it was before.

    Should be pretty neat.

  6. #6
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    Motivation
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  7. #7
    Boogie's Avatar
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    Are You going to cover it in the same scheme as You had it before??
    Even if nobody believes in you, show that they are wrong.......................

  8. #8
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    Was probably going to recover in the same scheme. Its a simple one. One thing though, there are not many logical places to put decals on the wings. Its hard to place them so they don't break the graceful lines of the red and white. Got the idea from Dave Fepelstien.

  9. #9
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    Could You post the photos of the plane before the crash?? I really appreciate the job You are doing, since I have thrown few planes that I could have easily rebuilt.
    Even if nobody believes in you, show that they are wrong.......................

  10. #10
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    Here is a link with some pictures.

    http://1nvrc.com/Don-Szczur-TOC-Album2.html

  11. #11
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    So Don, how are You doing??
    Even if nobody believes in you, show that they are wrong.......................

  12. #12
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    Enjoying Ft. Lauderdale today. Back to winter soon.

  13. #13

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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    Hi Don Hows the rebuilt Cap coming? I just started my Carden 35% Cap today, do you have any pointers to help me keep it from being tail heavy. Thanks

    Kent

  14. #14
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    Got the engine box braces and wood dowels in.

    Heavy tail- building light with just the right amount of glue, works best. I prefer CA/ foam CA.

    Still recovering from the JR Challenge. Got a cold while I was there, and am just revived from that about now. I should have the plane flying again by August 2006. I've got a couple of "half life's". That is, kids. Well got to go again, they are fighting...

    Don

  15. #15
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    Put in cannister clearance holes. 10 of these through the thick, beefy front bulkhead and gear mount box saved about 4 oz. The key to this is using a hole drill. 4 holes for each cannister hole. Pipes are not an option becaues the wing tube is in the way. Cannisters will allow for quiet operation that is now required at many fields and competitions.

    I took at least 3 oz out of the tail section from the servo mounts- 8 pieces of 1/4 x 1/2 x 7 inch spruce plus all the epoxy that was used to put them in. While going to three 8611 or 8711 servos for the rudder up under the canopy section rather than four 8411's in the back of the fuselage, plus the four servo extension wires back there. this should save about about 3/4 pound out of the tail. Since I plan a much lighter engine up front the CG should be close. I"m figuring that 3 Lb lighter engine/cannster setup over the engine that was set up originally, plus a half lb out of the tail. I'm going to go from a 48 Lb plane down to a 43-44 Lb plane which will make it fly very well at 3200 sq inches of wing area.

    Got the white on both fuselage sides. Making progress.

    Don
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  16. #16
    Steve's Avatar
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    Hey Don,
    What radio do you fly? Thanks
    AKA,, \"The Spleen\"
    If you want to see my Super Power,,, pull my finger.
    CubBrotherhood #94

  17. #17
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    I'm flying a JR 10X radio. The servos will either be 8611A's or 8711 servos which will work very well. Top of fuselage covered. They layout took exactly one roll split (half roll left and half roll right) of white. one roll for the bottom and about 3/4 roll for the top deck. Ultracote red and white. The covering technique is to cut a template from paper, taped in place. The trace the edges and cut the slot for the rudder. Start with an iron (covered with a sock to prevent scratching) and go from the top center, front to back, then work your way down from the top to the sides, pressing out the air and getting a good bond between the covering and the balsa.


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  18. #18
    Don Szczur's Avatar
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    Canopy hatch finished sanding this and re-covered. Mounted a new canopy. It fit perfectly. Re covered top of rudder. A picture of the cowling. This one is too far gone to repair. Over 30 percent is missing. The replacement cowling fits perfectly. Its a one piece cowl and is about 4 oz lighter.
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  19. #19

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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    WOW...

    That is an amazing amount of work to ressurect a gorgeous aircraft. Turned out beautifully, Don. Lots of sticks in that one.

    One question - are the main rails running the length of the fuse 1/4" balsa as well as the bracing members? Or spruce for the rails?


    Thanks,
    Mark
    Waco Brotherhood #4

  20. #20
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    RE: Rebuilding a destroyed wood aircraft

    Excellent work Don. Will you be using it to compete this year?

    Are you still using Amsoil, and if so, how is it working out? I'm thinking of going to the 50 to 1 blend.
    AKA,, \"The Spleen\"
    If you want to see my Super Power,,, pull my finger.
    CubBrotherhood #94


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