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Old 01-07-2002, 06:27 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: SF Bay Area
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Default Terminator


I've built two Terminators (and will probably build another). Both are balsa sheeted.

Some of the things I learned and you should look out for.
1. Watch the weight. Theyare very sensitive to an extra ounce or two.
Places where you gain weight.
a. Excess adhesive for the wing skins.
b. Excess epoxy in attaching the boom to the pod.
c. Balsa selection. (Wings, pod, tail) A *gram* scale is very handy.
d. The little things like bulkheads and the plywood for attaching the wing bolts.
e. The boom. Not all arrow shafts are suitable. Paying a few $$ more for something like an Avia kite framing tube can save you some weight where it really matters.

2. I trimmed the pod down from the plans and like it better.

3. I used 3M 77 on one wing and vacuum bagged the balsa with laminating resin on the other, both work.

4. Use the smallest amount of resin you can imagine and don't skimp on the 3M 77.

For flying, trim it such that it "cruises" with no up elevator. If you have the CG forward and then fly with some up elevator, that's very stable but makes a big throw more difficult.

Keep the control throws small.

If you don't have a computer radio that can handle the differential mixing of a v-tail, I have found that you need to give it a little down when starting a turn or you will tip stall.

It's a great plane. I was sloping it today with just a breath of air and catching the occasional thermal that would drift by.