Go Back  RCU Forums > RC Airplanes > Beginners
Reload this Page >

What the hell did I get myself into?

Notices
Beginners Beginners in RC start here for help.

What the hell did I get myself into?

Old 12-28-2014, 06:25 PM
  #1  
Rapid13
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Noblesville, IN
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default What the hell did I get myself into?

After years of racing rc cars I decided that I want to get into planes. Since there probably isn't much outdoor flying here in Indiana for the next few months I thought I would try to build my first plane. A Great Planes PT40 kit will be on my doorstep tomorrow. After reading the manual for the past few days I am thinking what the hell did I get myself into? I have a strong mechanical ability but this is all new to me. Yesterday I bought some supplies from the LHS and tried gluing some balsa and making some hinges. So far they have turned out pretty good. I'm just hoping the rest of the build is a straight forward as the first few steps. Being brand new to planes I wanted to start a thread to document my progress and post questions as they come up. Hopefully my experiences helps out other people just getting started too. Thanks in advance and I am tentatively looking forward to getting started.
Old 12-28-2014, 07:09 PM
  #2  
JohnBuckner
My Feedback: (1)
 
JohnBuckner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Kingman, AZ
Posts: 10,441
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Welcome to the passion

John
Old 12-28-2014, 09:55 PM
  #3  
JollyPopper
My Feedback: (6)
 
JollyPopper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mountain Home, AR
Posts: 2,684
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

I've never built a PT40,, but Great Planes usually includes pretty good plans and manuals. Read the manual over and over until you fully understand each step and visualize them on the plans. If there is something you do not fully understand, the is a good place to ask. Somebody here will know and be willing to help. Understanding every step fully before executing that step is essential to a quality finished product.
Old 12-29-2014, 04:10 AM
  #4  
TomCrump
 
TomCrump's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Traverse City, MI
Posts: 7,614
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Looking at the instructions, and that box of lumber, can be daunting. Once you get into it, though, you'll soon figure out what's going on.

The plans and instructions should be straight forward. They'll lead you step by step, through your build. If you do run into questions, members of this forum will surely come to your assistance.

If you do a build thread, we can watch your progress, and alert you if we see anything questionable.

Welcome to building. Many of us find this side of the hobby the most enjoyable, with flying being an added bonus.
Old 12-29-2014, 09:30 AM
  #5  
Propworn
My Feedback: (3)
 
Propworn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,057
Received 7 Likes on 7 Posts
Default

Do you have a building board?
Old 12-29-2014, 03:52 PM
  #6  
a70eliminator
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: mogadore, OH
Posts: 473
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

If your already doing hinges my guess is you bought an ARF (almost ready to fly) kit? Unless your just practicing.
I have a PT-40 flying for my winter beater with snow skis and a K&B 61 for power, pretty stout little trainer, easy to build and repair.

Last edited by a70eliminator; 12-29-2014 at 03:55 PM.
Old 12-29-2014, 05:22 PM
  #7  
Rapid13
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Noblesville, IN
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Thanks for the words of encouragement! I will try to keep updating this as a build thread as TomCrump suggested. I got the kit today and checked out the pieces for damage. So far so good. Then I unrolled the plans and found out my building table is not big enough to lay the plans out completely. I built a work bench exactly like the one in the manual and used a 30x80 interior door. I guess I will have to move the plans as I build different sections. The manual says to separate all the parts and label them. Seems like a pain and a good way to lose parts. Is it really necessary to do that? Or can I take what I need as I need it like building a car kit?
Old 12-29-2014, 06:15 PM
  #8  
Propworn
My Feedback: (3)
 
Propworn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,057
Received 7 Likes on 7 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Rapid13 View Post
Thanks for the words of encouragement! I will try to keep updating this as a build thread as TomCrump suggested. I got the kit today and checked out the pieces for damage. So far so good. Then I unrolled the plans and found out my building table is not big enough to lay the plans out completely. I built a work bench exactly like the one in the manual and used a 30x80 interior door. I guess I will have to move the plans as I build different sections. The manual says to separate all the parts and label them. Seems like a pain and a good way to lose parts. Is it really necessary to do that? Or can I take what I need as I need it like building a car kit?
No need to separate parts but do go through the kit and make sure all the parts are there before you start. I like to only remove the parts that I will immediately put to use that way I don't damage or miss lay them somewhere. An interior door is not the best but it will do if it’s straight and not warped. Remember the parts you build on that table will duplicate any warps in that building table. I have switched to solid core doors though much heavier they hold their shape for a very long time. I have had mine for 15 or more years. You will be pinning parts to the table top and there are several surfaces you can cover the door with. What ever you do don’t glue it to the door it will shrink and expand at a different rate than the door and will warp with a change in temperature and or humidity. On my solid core doors I cover mine in homosoate and fasten it with a few drywall screws. It is a sound deadening board made of compressed paper. It holds pins the best of any surfaces I have used. Model rail road guys use it under their tracks and a single spike every foot or so holds the track in place for ever. You will have to look for it as it’s not that common any more.

I like to cover my plans with wax paper and build right on top. Use the paper with the heavier wax content. As long as you don’t flood the joint the wax paper will protect your plans. The brand I like to use is Reynolds Cutright Wax Paper.

I recommend using a yellow highlighter and highlight every step as you complete it. That way if you skip a step to do later a quick glance through a missed step will stand out. If you leave your construction for a while you know exactly where you left off.

Take your time cut and fit twice glue once.

Dennis
Old 12-30-2014, 03:50 AM
  #9  
TomCrump
 
TomCrump's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Traverse City, MI
Posts: 7,614
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

I like the suggestion to use homasote. It accepts pins well.
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	m_DSCF2990.jpg
Views:	316
Size:	58.0 KB
ID:	2058837  
Old 12-30-2014, 10:21 AM
  #10  
Propworn
My Feedback: (3)
 
Propworn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,057
Received 7 Likes on 7 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by TomCrump View Post
I like the suggestion to use homasote. It accepts pins well.
Homasote comes in a 4x8 sheet so if you save the off cuts from covering the door you can make a few small portable building surfaces. These are great for smaller subjects or even sub assemblies and I can even stand them up against the wall with the parts pinned in place.

Dennis
Old 12-30-2014, 11:02 AM
  #11  
Flyboxx
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

One thing to remember throughout your build, especially if this is your first time, is to be very patient. If you find yourself rushing ANY part of the building process, tell yourself to chill out and concentrate. The itch to fly will always be there and it is pretty easy to get frustrated. Just take your time and you'll end up with a pretty, and formidable, flying machine.
Old 12-31-2014, 02:47 AM
  #12  
Rapid13
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Noblesville, IN
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

I got the fin and stabilizer glued last night. They turned out flat and smooth. The wax paper stuck to the stabilizer but that was easily sanded off. Now its time to start on the hinges, tomorrow.
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	20141231_053108.jpg
Views:	362
Size:	3.86 MB
ID:	2059139  
Old 12-31-2014, 03:58 AM
  #13  
TomCrump
 
TomCrump's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Traverse City, MI
Posts: 7,614
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Nice start !

Lately, I've been using plastic wrap instead of waxed paper. You may want to give it a try.
Old 12-31-2014, 08:16 AM
  #14  
Propworn
My Feedback: (3)
 
Propworn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,057
Received 7 Likes on 7 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Rapid13 View Post
I got the fin and stabilizer glued last night. They turned out flat and smooth. The wax paper stuck to the stabilizer but that was easily sanded off. Now its time to start on the hinges, tomorrow.
Yes sometimes the wax paper sticks to the odd glue joint as you said it easily sands off. I find it sticks more as of late I think they are using less wax in the wax paper. I may try something like a light layer of car wax on the wax paper. Pin it down apply the wax and buff it off. I have tried the plastic wraps and I didn't like them though I know many who use it. If your getting it really stuck to the glue joints you may be using to much glue. I like to lightly glue all the joints then go over them after the structure is removed from the table. This way I get the bottom as well.

Dennis
Old 12-31-2014, 08:21 AM
  #15  
Propworn
My Feedback: (3)
 
Propworn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,057
Received 7 Likes on 7 Posts
Default

If your going to build from plans its a good idea to copy the prints so you have something to refer to that isn't covered by the structure you are building. Some of the prints I have built from have all the instructions printed right on the print. I recommend taking to a local printer and having them make you a copy. One hint if it says copyright any where on the print cover it with white out or magic marker. Some places don't like to make copies when they see the copyright in plain view.
Old 12-31-2014, 04:03 PM
  #16  
Gray Beard
My Feedback: (-1)
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hemderson, NV
Posts: 14,385
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

I started using Parchment paper, it's found with the wax paper at the market, you just can't see through it as well but nothing sticks to it. I also use the plastic wrap as Tom mentioned. Never tried homasote but it looks pretty good.I have been using the same old soft pine building board I made several decades ago but it has been added to over the years as required.
Plans can be cut to fit the board or folded. Anyway you can do it. If you want to make a copy of the plans Kinko's does a nice job. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't, depends on my mood and the plane I'm building.
Old 12-31-2014, 04:59 PM
  #17  
JohnBuckner
My Feedback: (1)
 
JohnBuckner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Kingman, AZ
Posts: 10,441
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

If one is a Monocoat user and saves most of the backing material I find this to me is a superior backing to the wax paper for building. Tower hobbies even sells the same stuff packaged for building plans protector.

On my current build I unfortunately ran out and being somewhat cheap was not about to Pay Tower prices for backing plastic so headed to the grocery. Picked up both waxed and parchment. Waxed being my old standby but thought I would also try the parchment. Did the first frame with the parchment and did not care for how it released and changed back to the waxed. I did find I like drawing frames and such on the parchment for bashes and so forth.

John
Old 12-31-2014, 09:36 PM
  #18  
Gray Beard
My Feedback: (-1)
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hemderson, NV
Posts: 14,385
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

Funny how that works John, it seems to stick or not stick to parchment from batch to batch but for the most part I find parchment better then wax paper. My kingdom for the old wax paper before microwave ovens when you could peel the wax off the paper. I did a search and tried to find the good old stuff without any luck.
Gene
Old 01-01-2015, 09:15 AM
  #19  
adamle
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Dubuque, IA
Posts: 67
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

I built one of these this summer from a partially built kit. It's a good flyer. We use it as our club trainer. The plans say you can build it with 8" or 5" of dihedral. I changed it to 3" and put a servo on each wing. I think high wing trainers with too much dihedral are challenging on windy days.
I also made it a tail dragger using a Dubro fiberglass gear and a Sullivan tail wheel. I also built it with a bolt on wing. The plans have the wing mounting blocks about an inch below the wing. That space is there if you use one wing mounted servo for the ailerons. But this means you have a large gap between the wing and mounting block. Therefor the wing can slide a little side to side. I glued a small block of wood to the underside of the wing as wide as the fuselage to prevent any shifting. It is a simple fix. The other way to fix it is to bring the mounting block closer to the wing.
Ours is powered by an O.S. 46fx. It is plenty of power for a trainer.

Ask plenty of questions as you build. There is a lot of good knowledge here.

Adam
Old 01-01-2015, 09:19 AM
  #20  
Propworn
My Feedback: (3)
 
Propworn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,057
Received 7 Likes on 7 Posts
Default

Like I said the heaviest wax paper I have found is Reynolds Wax paper. It may be a Canadian only product. Someone once suggested a comercial grade wax paper but heck it comes in like 1000 ft rolls. I think if I pin the wax paper over the plans then apply a light coat of paste wax and buff it off nothing should stick. Heck its what I use to release from my molds.

Dennis
Old 01-01-2015, 02:44 PM
  #21  
Rapid13
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Noblesville, IN
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

I got the elevator and the rudder hinged today. It turned out better that I thought it would. I used the great planes center line tool and a #11 xacto blade for the slots and a razor plane and a bar sander to make the bevel. Everything is straight and even. I also glued the fuse sides. They look good but I did notice a couple of spots where they didn't fit together perfect and can see light through the joint. Can those spots be filled with thick CA? Also, I epoxied the wing bolt plate and firewall. The pieces don't fit together perfect but I figure they can be cleaned up later. Is that normal?

Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	20150101_151952.jpg
Views:	225
Size:	81.6 KB
ID:	2059757  

Last edited by Rapid13; 01-02-2015 at 02:20 AM.
Old 01-01-2015, 06:04 PM
  #22  
L8cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Jackson , Georgia
Posts: 49
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

I am a beginner also. If I was you, I would learn to fly on an ARF trainer or a cheap used trainer. I would hate to crash a stick built plane that I have hours and hours building. I would fly the stick plane after after I learned to fly. Back in the day you had no choice but to learn on a stick built. Today you can purchase a arf under a hundred bucks. Also a simulator will really help you get started.
Old 01-01-2015, 06:08 PM
  #23  
Rapid13
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Noblesville, IN
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

I forgot to mention. I have to make some decisions about the wing. Bolt on or rubber bands? Trainer wing A or sport wing B? Wing A locks out the ailerons has more dihedral. I been flying RealFlight for a few years and I have gotten used to flying with the ailerons but don't know how a real plane will be. Any suggestions?
Old 01-01-2015, 06:27 PM
  #24  
Gray Beard
My Feedback: (-1)
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hemderson, NV
Posts: 14,385
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

I have only seen one pilot and was told by a friend of another that were able to pretty much be able to fly a plane after just using Real Flight. My instructor loaned me real flight G-nothing and when I was still teaching I loaned my students RF #2 but I picked the plane and had them doing exercises on it after a day of instructions at the field. I like a combination of both flight training and the sim. I have also found age makes a big difference. A 13 yer old will learn to fly a bunch faster then a 65 year old. Kids have been around joy sticks most of there lives. I had a 12 year old and a 60 year old learning to fly at the same time. The kid could solo in one day, the 60 year old took a couple months but a lot of that is fear. The 60 year old understood the price of the gear, the kid didn't care. Funny thing, when he had to buy his own gear he was a lot more careful and started to show nerves.
Old 01-02-2015, 03:12 AM
  #25  
TomCrump
 
TomCrump's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Traverse City, MI
Posts: 7,614
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by Rapid13 View Post
I got the elevator and the rudder hinged today. It turned out better that I thought it would. I used the great planes center line tool and a #11 xacto blade for the slots and a razor plane and a bar sander to make the bevel. Everything is straight and even. I also glued the fuse sides. They look good but I did notice a couple of spots where they didn't fit together perfect and can see light through the joint. Can those spots be filled with thick CA? Also, I epoxied the wing bolt plate and firewall. The pieces don't fit together perfect but I figure they can be cleaned up later. Is that normal?

I usually try to get the parts to fit well before gluing, but I arrived at this decision after building quite a few models. The gaps in the fuselage joints can probably be filled later, using light weight spackle, from the hardware store.

Pics of the wing bolt plate and firewall would help. Most likely, if you are satisfied with the joints, and they are solid, they'll be fine.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.