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New to nitro planes

Old 05-05-2019, 08:22 PM
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Geakist
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Default New to nitro planes












I got this plane from a buddy who found it in the trash. Iím new to nitro planes but Iím familiar with flying. I 3D print and build my own quad copters/drones. The plane looks fully intact aside from the rear rudder. There is no rod connecting to the rudder. How ever as photos there is a rod that connects down the majority of the plane but stops were the broken wood is(I assume this is where a rear wheel went?) technically there are two rods how ever one rod is connected to the rear horizontal wings for moving the plane up and down and they work fine. The rudder is simply not connected. I assume there was another rod that was supposed to be in there but no longer is. I think Iíll have to cut a hole in the side of the hall to get the rod in there and get it hooked up since there is no access to the spot. Iíve posted photos any and all help would be appreciated. If I can get this rudder hooked up I think this plane could fly again. It has a old ENYA 60 III 7033 motor on it. No electronics at this time.
Old 05-05-2019, 08:26 PM
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Couple more photos of my rudder issue, a diagram on how it originally connected would help me a lot to figuring out how to fix it or fix it in a alternative way.
Old 05-05-2019, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Geakist View Post
Couple more photos of my rudder issue, a diagram on how it originally connected would help me a lot to figuring out how to fix it or fix it in a alternative way.


Old 05-06-2019, 03:29 AM
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It looks like just a standard wooden pushrod setup, similar to what is actuating the elevator. Make a new one from a piece of 3/8 dowel rod fixed on the ends like the one you have.
I think you'll find though that there will be more to getting this old bird flying again that just hooking the rudder back up. Plastic deteriorates, so you may need all new clevises. The covering may or may not be sound, and you certainly don't want it coming off in flight. The bellcranks for your ailerons (maybe flaps too?) are probably fine, but if they are loose you'll need to bypass them and create individual aileron servo mounts in the wing. And that's all assuming that the glue hasn't generally deteriorated and there isn't old crash damage that hasn't been properly fixed. I restored a couple of old planes like this early in my time in this hobby. It can be a labor of love, but it is never simple.
Also, if you have only flown drones, you don't have the piloting skills for a model warbird. You'll be familiar with working the sticks and flight in general which is good, but you don't yet know how to land, how to recognize a stall and what to do about it, or how to keep orientation of a drab colored object moving at 70 mph in the sky. I don't mean that to say you shouldn't take up traditional model flying, only that it would be wise to get with an instructor and learn some piloting skills while you are working on this plane.

Keep us posted on your progress. It's a guarantee that unforeseen issues will arise, but that's all part of the process. We'll be here to help you.
Old 05-06-2019, 03:31 AM
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BTW, where are you located? There could be some local modelers that would help you.
Old 05-06-2019, 05:32 AM
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Iím from st.louis Missouri. I know we have parks here for flying. I love doing projects and this one will most likely take a few months and Iím ok with that. I figured I would 3D print some smaller planes to try and fly with first so if I wreck them I wouldnít be quite as disappointed since I can just print another one out 😉 I also learned that I could buy rc simulators for the computer to practice on, are these legit to learn on? I seen a couple used simulators on ebay with controllers that werent too procket. Iím no pro but I have expected the plane as beat that I know how. From what I can see the plane does seem remarkably solid. The only thing that worries me is the flaps (sorry I donít know the correct term but the flaps that move the plane that are on all the wings. When I touch them they feel ridiculously solid but when I look between the wings at whatís holding them to the plane it seems like nothing 😂😂
Old 05-06-2019, 05:35 AM
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Also is this plane really as old as the motor thatís in it? Because honestly that would be really really cool to me, I have much love for old/vintage objects. I knew the motor was from the 60s/70s but wasnít sure about the plane itís self cause itís actually in nice shape.
Old 05-06-2019, 09:24 AM
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The plane is an old Top Flight kit originally designed by Dave Platt circa late 1960's and finished in the box top depiction. If it was built according to the plans, the ailerons (outer pair on the wing) and flaps (inner pair on the wing) are solid balsa wood blocks. Hence the feel and heft. BTW, the flaps move the same direction together and only go down. 50 degrees from level is the max deflection for the P-51 flaps. The ailerons move opposite each other. That is one goes up the other goes down. They cause the plane to bank or roll over to one side. The tail pieces are all sheet wood. Original plans had a fixed, i.e. did not turn, tail wheel. I'd be tempted to let the tail wheel free wheel instead, i.e. turns but no control to it. Then run a piece of the Sullivan Push Rod to the rudder from up front. You can get the original plans in a free download from Outerzone. P-51B plans

The plans show the construction and control details you're asking about. The entire thing should have been sheeted with balsa, covered with fiberglass and painted. But there's no accounting for what people did back then.

The plane flew well on a 60 sized engine of the day. So I wouldn't try to change to anything bigger. I had an OS 60 Gold Head and Rhom Air retracts in mine in 1974. I also converted mine to the 'D' model with a bubble canopy.

Ask yourself if you were learning to fly full size (butt strapped firmly in the seat), would you start with a P-51? A single seat high performance fighter? Models are not unlike the full size in that you need to start with a trainer. Typically a high wing with trike gear (nose wheel). Then you progress to low wing, tail draggers, aerobatic and so on. About 3 or more planes into it, you might be ready for a war bird. But don't hold your breath. I was probably approaching ten planes under my belt when I built the Mustang.

If it were me I'd repair any damage, clean the whole thing up and hang it in a place of honor somewhere in my house. While solidly built, you have no history of the model. You don't know what if any repairs have been carried out on it. You don't know what kind of glue was used and if it's still good. Or why the model was retired and tossed in the trash?

Get with a local club. There are several in your area. A trip to a dedicated RC hobby shop is a good way to locate all the clubs in the area. Someone may even recognize the plane and be able to tell you something about the builder, owner, etc.
Old 05-06-2019, 09:27 AM
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It could be, if it were not flown very much. It looks like that Enya needs a carb and a muffler. There`s a section here for glow engines along with Enya, SuperTigre, etc. You might be able to get some parts for it. I`ve got a Enya .40 I bought new in 1995 that is still running fine now.
Nice to see that an old model warbird got rescued. Good luck on your project.
Old 05-06-2019, 10:05 AM
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Thanks guys I really do appreciate all the help and input! I realized the ENYA was missing the valve on the side of the carburetor that lets the fuel feed in and I believe it allows me to also adjust the air flow since thereís a valve on the end of it. The carburetor is there it just might not have been in the photos at the time. I had to pull it off and let it soak in PB blaster then in break cleaner because the carb was seized up and wouldnít let me move the throttle. I got it unseized. I got lucky and won a ebay auction last night and got a entire identical motor for $38 which was cheaper then I could get the valve alone for. I wasnít sure if I needed the muffler or not so Iíll start looking for that.
Old 05-07-2019, 08:43 AM
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Good deal! You could have some fun rigging up a test stand for your engines. I have one of those portable WorkMate tables that make it easy, to set something up where you have room for a battery, etc.

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Old 05-07-2019, 12:03 PM
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I was actually going to leave the motor in the plane while testing it, I was afraid to remove the motor with the plane being so old I wasnít sure if the screws would tighten the motor mounts back down in to the wood like they are currently. I might just be over thinking things. Iím sure moving the motor forward or backward a 1/4Ē to just remake the mounting holes wouldnít be an issue I assume.
Old 05-07-2019, 04:50 PM
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Moving the motor will mess up the fit of the cowl.
A test stand can be a good investment since it eliminates tank issues and makes adjustments easier.
You won't be able to 3D print a trainer plane. You can build one though. It's cheaper to buy one in the long run.
Old 05-08-2019, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Geakist View Post
I was actually going to leave the motor in the plane while testing it, I was afraid to remove the motor with the plane being so old I wasnít sure if the screws would tighten the motor mounts back down in to the wood like they are currently. I might just be over thinking things. Iím sure moving the motor forward or backward a 1/4Ē to just remake the mounting holes wouldnít be an issue I assume.
If you're afraid the age of the plane will affect the motor mounts, then the plane probably shouldn't be flown to begin with. The motor mount screws should go into blind nuts on the bottom of the beams. If they don't, if they're wood screws instead of bolts they should be replaced. Or if even one is stripped out, first chore will be to repair or replace those beams. They're Maple btw. In a proper build those beams would have been fuel proofed with a coat of epoxy, dope or some kind of fuel proof paint. I prefer epoxy myself but dope soaks into the wood better. If the beams appear to be raw wood, they are most likely fuel soaked and should be replaced. Not easy but not impossible either. Power tools can be your friend here!

To properly inspect the motor mount beams, you'll need to remove the engine anyway. And putting it in a test stand prevents the possibility of fuselage damage and/or a runaway (where the fuselage gets away from whom ever or what ever is holding it! Always happens at full throttle btw.) A test stand also gives you full access to the motor for any adjustments.

Download the plans I posted earlier. You're local Staples should be able to print them out for you at full size. They will help you. Especially if you need to make any new parts.

And as for old airplanes, I have a Proctor Mini-Antic that is pushing 40 years old. Still flies regularly. Weekly when the weather and schedule cooperates. Still a solid model and never a broken glue joint. They can be built to last!
Old 05-08-2019, 04:21 PM
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I bought a training plane today for $125. I felt like it was a good deal. It had every thing in it already servos, battery, motor etc...itís ready to fly. I messed around with the motor today for a bit just to see how it starts and so on. It has a evolution .40 motor. I also switched the receivers in it so that it would work with my turnigy remote. It will be a bit before I actually go fly it since Iím going to do some practicing on the simulators first. I was flying on the simulator at my local hobby shop and didnít do too bad. Have to practice my landings tho haha.

Last edited by Geakist; 05-08-2019 at 04:24 PM.
Old 05-08-2019, 04:22 PM
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Didnít post in my last post so hereís the photo.
Old 05-09-2019, 09:04 AM
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Nice looking plane. Kinda looks like a Sig Kadet.
Old 05-09-2019, 02:50 PM
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Does any one know how to charge a NiCd battery? Iím used to LiPo batteryís. Information online is kind of vague. I have a imax b6 charger which has the setting for NiCd batterys. I just donít know what amp and volt to charge it at. I seen some where that it said volt should be between 1.2v-1.45v Itís a 600mah 4.8v JR battery.
Old 05-09-2019, 06:52 PM
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Set it to .6 amps. The volts will take care of themselves on a NiCd. Don't use the NiCd that came with the plane unless you are certain it's less than 3 years old. I highly doubt that's the case, as 600 mah NiCds haven't been the standard flight pack battery for quite a while.
I'm going to strongly suggest working with an instructor with your trainer. The simulator can teach you a lot, but it can't teach your proper setup or how to deal with a badly out of trim plane. It also can't take over for you when you realize you are in over your head on those first few flights or recognize that you've lost orientation and so are confused about which way the plane is pointed. There is a good reason the tried and true hasn't changed much in the past few decades.
Old 05-10-2019, 09:39 AM
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Iím defiantly going to practice for awhile before I get my trainer in the air. Iíve looked around for some instructors in my area and there are quite a lot. Iíll just have to choose a place to go. The batteryís are more then 3 years old. The gentlemen I bought the planes for was very meticulous about his belongings. He had about 10 planes, all of them were hooked up to some sort of charger while in storage to keep the batteryís alive. I guess I could just change it out any way simply because Iím not really familiar with NiCd batteryís. I havnt used them since I was a kid, lol.
Old 05-10-2019, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Geakist View Post
Iím defiantly going to practice for awhile before I get my trainer in the air. Iíve looked around for some instructors in my area and there are quite a lot. Iíll just have to choose a place to go. The batteryís are more then 3 years old. The gentlemen I bought the planes for was very meticulous about his belongings. He had about 10 planes, all of them were hooked up to some sort of charger while in storage to keep the batteryís alive. I guess I could just change it out any way simply because Iím not really familiar with NiCd batteryís. I havnt used them since I was a kid, lol.
Sounds like you're heading the right direction. A high wing trainer and an instructor is a great way to start out in the hobby. I'm sure you'll meet someone at the field that'll be happy to help you get that warbird in the air when the time comes.

Nicads are an excellent choice for model aircraft because of their discharge profile. They can easily handle the instantaneous current damands of servos. Don't worry about the age of the nicad pack. I'm running packs well over 6 yrs old with no problem. Set up your charger to cycle the pack 3 or 4 times to ensure it will charge to 80% or more of its rated mah and run with it.

I got a head start on flying rc planes by using a free cell phone app. It's wasn't that great or realistic but did allow me to better understand aircraft oriention vs. stick movements. I had no problems with stick movements during my buddy box sessions with my instructor, in fact I found that flying the real thing was way easier than using the app.

Good luck and happy flying
Old 05-10-2019, 02:10 PM
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NICads need to be cycled to determine if they're still good or not. And cycled several times. But why? Today's Nicads are inexpensive. A replacement pack for yours would run $30-35. Cheap insurance when the other price could be a totaled plane.
Old 05-10-2019, 06:26 PM
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And the issue isn't whether they'll take and hold a charge or not. The issue is chemical breakdown which leads to both the inability to take a charge and increased internal resistance. NiCds can cycle fine but not be able to provide enough amps to run your system.
And yes, absolutely NiCd's can last for 6 years and be fine for powering a low demand plane. But the average time of failure is getting very close at that age. I think of it this way. If I replace a $40 battery every 3 years, I've spent $13.33 a year. If I stretch that out to 5 years, increasing my chances of a catastrophic failure significantly, I've spent $8 a year. I don't think that $5 savings is worth the risk.
Old 05-11-2019, 08:55 AM
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Jester is right. Why take a chance? You flying experience will be much more enjoyable if your confident that the batteries won`t fail.
Old 05-12-2019, 04:29 AM
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I ground my battery packs after two years. From that point on I use them on the bench or in one of my sailboats. Been doing this for over 50 years and I have never had a battery fail in flight. I also change out Rx switches every two years and inspect all wires and connections annually.

I did have an aileron servo wire break the pos wire in flight once. Sure was a pretty spin until it hit the ground.

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