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Carden for a first build?

Old 03-25-2006, 04:25 PM
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Default Carden for a first build?

I may be crazy but I’m going to ask anyway. I haven’t been flying long – less than a year. In that time I’ve learned a bunch, got my MAAC wings and instructors passed, built about 10 ARF’s (electric, glow and now I’m flying mostly gas up to an Extra 330L 33% 80cc.) I’ll be flying IMAC basic and Intermediate Pattern this year just as a way to focus and to get better at flying in general. I don’t plan to compete in the long run but I love aerobatics.

So – I have assembled some nice ARF’s from WildHare, Hangar 9, Thunder Tiger etc. I never planned to be a builder because I thought it would take too much time and that “those guys can build better than I can.” My wife also encouraged me to spend more of my limited time flying and wasn’t too keen on me building for hours on end. Now she’s flying and thinks its cool if I want to build too (AS LONG AS I EVENTUALLY BUILD SOMETHING COOL FOR HER TO FLY.)

I have built one kit - A Steven’s Aeromodel G480 electric. It shouldn’t count since its basically about as easy as assembling one of those wooden dinosaur skeletons for your kids HA HA. Great kit BTW.

One thing I know from my flying, assembling ARF’s and talking to all the better pilots who’ve been around – I WANT A CARDEN one day. I also want to build – even the good ARF’s are driving me nuts. On some of them I spend so much time fixing what I don’t like about them (even the good ones) that I might as well do it right from the beginning. I don’t have any hardcore woodworking skills. But I have tools like a scroll saw, band saw, drill press etc. I built my workshop and have had to reapir a couple of ARF's. I’m good at assembly (I did RC cars competitively for 17 years.)

I’m thinking I want to build a CUDA next winter. Or maybe a 35% if I come into enough $$ to justify it. I already have a DA50 in my H9 Extra 260 (this is the best ARF I have assembled – the only one I didn’t feel I needed to make any changes on…)

Should I go for it and make a CUDA my first ever build? Am I nuts to start building at the top-of-the-line? Based on all the greta building sites, Cardens awesome reputation for support and the wealth of internet knowledge it seems to me if I take my time I should be okay… I also have access to a couple of locals who scratch build who are more than willing to help (I don't like asking though.)
Old 03-25-2006, 04:55 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

Hi Chris.. Go for it man... I have been flying for 15+ years and always went Pro built, I want perfection. Im starting on a 40% Carden 260.. I cant wait. Take your time, be patient and do everything by the book. You will be fine.. There is nothing like the feeling of saying " Yea, I built it"


Brian
Old 03-25-2006, 06:17 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

If you really want the airplane go for it. There is a lot of airplanes out there but if this is what you want do it, you will not be dissapointed with the airplane and like you said there is a ton of help on this forum. I just finished the 260 under ( another 260 is born) on this forum, if you need any help don't be afraid to ask.

Albert
Old 03-25-2006, 08:32 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

Carden was one of the first "big" kits I built. I bought two kits from 2 different people of the same kit. Both were missing a few parts but I was covered in the big booboo areas if I screwed up.

Having a backup piece helped take the tension out of the build and I really didn't need the second kit.
Old 05-25-2006, 12:44 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

Just an opinion but if you're gonna take the time to build a Carden, I'd want to end up with a bigger plane after all that work. I'd go 35 or 40% rather than the Cuda.
Old 05-25-2006, 07:58 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

I'm currently building my 3rd Carden. The first was a 35% Extra and now 2 Cuda's. They are not hard to build but there are 2 things to consider.

1) safety. Yes a .40 size plane can hurt someone but a giant scale can do so much more damage to life and property.

2) the investment you're make in building a kit. We're not talking pocket change (at least not MY pockets)

I've build a ton of the Sig / Goldberg type kits over 20 or so years of modeling. I found the construction method of the Carden's straight forward and relatively easy. BUT I still had a lot of questions during the building of my first Carden.
Luckily Dennis is always willing to help his customers successfully build their planes. And on this forum there are many other good builders with some great tips.
John at AeroProtect has a great website with the construction of several of the Carden kits he has built and if you search you can find others both here on RCU and other websites.

I would also say there are some specialty tools that are almost a must have when building big planes. Things like a drill press, band saw, a small table saw, disc & belt sander, Lots of quik grip clamps, carpenters squares. If you never built a kit before chances are you do not have these unless you're already into woodworking. $$$$$

Definitely don't be afraid to try. If you take your time and ask lots of questions along the way you'll do fine.
Maybe build a smaller .40 size to see if this kit building thing is really for you or not. It would be a shame to get half way into a giant scale build and then lose interest in it.
The Sig Kougar is a neat little plane that flys great AND has sheeted foam wings...it would be good practice before trying a Carden.

good luck
Steve


My first Carden
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Old 05-25-2006, 08:23 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

That's a sweet looking Extra ibow. I've been wanting to build a Carden myself. As for all those tools you mentioned, that's another advantage of having a dad that used to be a cabinet maker.
Old 05-30-2006, 10:26 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

Small Cardens are a dream too!!
You don't have to have a big one besides build to what you can transport. 30% for me. Almost done with this one.

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Old 10-16-2006, 06:01 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

I don't recommend it. The instructions and plans are very basic. I have been building for 12 years and when I got my Carden Cuda, I was disappointed. I enjoy building and good documentation.
Old 10-16-2006, 06:11 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

5150flyer,

I'm curious, what do you think should be on the plans that isn't on ? There isn't a wing plan but one is not needed.

Albert Santiago
Old 10-16-2006, 07:50 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

5150,
don't give up on it. If you talk to Dennis before you purchased the plane I'm sure he told you what to expect.
and after the sale he will still help all you need. It's in his best interest that you have great success and he would do everything he can to help you.
So will all the guys on RCU. I can't tell you how many questions I've asked along they way with both my 35% Extra and Cuda.
The plans and manual have enough information to complete a good plane.
the reason it isn't more "complete" is that every builder / pilot has his own ways of doing things, things like mounting servos, the engine, fuel system.
wiring etc...and those are the kind of things not given. At this level of building it is assumed you are already familiar with such things and have a pretty good idea of how you like them done. There are at least 2 Cuda build threads on here, I know because I've been a part of the 2 I'm thinking of, there may be more. Point is...the reason people spend the time to do a build thread it to share ideas...and too show off their handiwork too
this wasn't meant to bash you, just the opposite. It was for encouragement. Give it try !!!

Steve

PS is the 5150 a reference to Van Halen by chance?
if you have no idea what I'm talking about then I know it has nothing to do with Van Halen
I was a huge fan way back when. I got backstage to meet them during the 1984 tour. The video for Panama was filmed in Philadelphia PA and I was in 4th row...and my ugly mug even made it onto the video....for about 1/10 of a second.
Old 10-17-2006, 07:42 AM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

Go for it!!!

My first Carden was a 30% Extra. It was the second airplane I ever assembled and almost eleven years later it is still flying. They are very straightforward builds. To date I have built 7 Cardens and I have broken down on my next one to have professionally built because I just dont have the time, and I want to fly the Yak real bad so I can get it quicker this way. They are by far (in my opinion!!!) the best kits, the best flying airplanes, and best customer service in the business BAR NONE. Dennis will literally talk you through the build. They are available almost all the time, except when they travel to contests or vacations. Just go through their site, look at their testimonials, and on the bottom of the left hand side of there site are a couple of real detailed building sites. Have fun and in my opinion you cant go wrong.

My only suggestion would be if you are going IMAC dont get the cuda. If you want a 3D plane it would be great. Cardens 35 and 40% planes really do well in IMAC. the Extra 330 and now the Extra 260 are the kings on IMAC.

Pete
Old 10-17-2006, 04:48 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

Here are my thoughts...

By the time the Cuda arrived at my house, I was into it for $765. I really like to build and was looking forward to building the best. The next week I spent on the web, calling Dennis and trying to read his hand drawn plans. Then I realized it was going to take me all winter and his hardware kit isn't that great. I have built numerous 60 and 1.20 sized IMAC and pattern kits and some of Cardens old .60 kits. Always had fun and had a good planes.

Items missing: detail on wing servo locations, hardware setup, engine mounting, CAD plans, photos in the instructions, more detail on the setup of the plug-in wings etc... I think it is a good kit, he just needs to spend some time making the instructions more detailed.

I will build the Cuda someday. Thanks for all the offers of help.
Old 10-17-2006, 05:40 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

.
Old 10-17-2006, 07:46 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

5150flyer,

What couldn't you read on the plans ? Again just curious.

What carden .60 size kits did you build ? I thought their first kit was the " EL Bandito " which was a laser 200 look alike from the early 90's and the 30% extra 300S (I still have one new in the box).

Thanks
Albert
Old 10-17-2006, 08:05 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?



Albert,

I have a New 30% Extra too It would be my first GS build, would you entertain doing a joint build thread?

Ward
Old 10-17-2006, 11:51 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

ORIGINAL: as722

5150flyer,

What couldn't you read on the plans ? Again just curious.

What carden .60 size kits did you build ? I thought their first kit was the " EL Bandito " which was a laser 200 look alike from the early 90's and the 30% extra 300S (I still have one new in the box).

Thanks
Albert
Carden produced a number of .40 and .60 sized kits in the early 1990's when he was HQ'd in Florida. Names like: Paydirt, Mavrick and Sidewinder. They all had great documentation and plans - much better than the Cuda I might add.

I didn't have any issues reading the plans, but they are minimal in detail and the text is hard to read in some areas.

Other outfits are doing better documentation like Bruce Tharpe Engineering and the Aero-Works Yak54 QB for example.
Old 10-18-2006, 04:40 AM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

I've built several Cardens and it was also the first big plane ( 35% Edge) kit I built and I
found that the plans and instructions were not lacking. Too much info can be very
confusing! You spend more time reading than building. These kits are very simple
in design and the parts fit is perfect. The only thing to be affraid of is doing
a bad covering job which will ruin your whole build! chris
Old 10-18-2006, 01:28 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

Maybe some building techniques are required prior to any build, but 5150 what you are asking a lot of it is common sense. He explains in detail how to layout your servo's as far as installing the wood to make the wells. As far as location on an aileron thats easy. The horn for a single aileron is half-way out and for a dual servo set-up 1/3 and 2/3 's out. 2 degree right thrust setups on a firewall requires about 1/4 inch right of center line for the mount and install it like you would any other motor. All the info is right there on the plans and in the written instructions. I have gotten a photo pack with ALL 7 of my kits, maybe he forgot yours. Call Dennis and ask for one. I think his hand drawn plans are as good as any CAD stuff Ive seen. I build everything right off them and have never had any problems. I think the problem here just might be a little education as far as how to build and set-up GS airplanes. Not to knock you or anybody, but I just dont agree with some of your conclusions. As far as the hardware is concerned, everyone has their own favorites, but the stuff supplied is directly from a guy with LOTS of experience. Ive never had a problem with his hardware. Again no disrespect to you or anyone with some concerns about taking on a task like a cuda or any kit, but I think if you do a little bit of research and times with the plans, pick Dennis' brain for a few or even me or anyone here on RCU you will find it a pleasurable experience. If I can be any help let me know.

Pete
Old 10-28-2006, 09:16 PM
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Default RE: Carden for a first build?

Hey Chris, your original post was from March. Just curious, what did you decide about building a kit?

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