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Blue Angel Wing is Born

Old 03-15-2006, 08:07 PM
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Deadstik
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Default Blue Angel Wing is Born

This post is to give you folks an idea of what it takes to make foam wing from the drawings to the template to the actual cutting of the foam. I'm going to cut a Blue Angel wing and stab for 8178's project. Please feel free to ask any questions or input any ideas you may have with the purpose that everyone can simply see how this is done.

8178 provided me with a set of plans for the Blue Angel as well as drawing of the actual kit root and tip ribs for both the wing and stab. The first issue here is how much distortion was there in the copy. To find this out, you have to measure the tracings and compare them against the plan. The wing tip rib makes an excellent measurement here as it shows the complete rib and is the exact shape of the foam wing template in that area (after filling in the spar slots). The Tracing measures 17.85mm while the plan measures 17.7mm so we have a very small error here but one that will be dealt with. Here you must keep in mind that the builder (8178) is building from the plans... so I am going to adjust the template to fit the plans exactly. 1.5mm isn't much, which makes it just as easy to add that to the circumferance of the tip template. The wing root template is a totally different animal. MK makes wonderful kits that fit together beautifully but they have a tendancy to use 4 parts where one would do. Look at the picture of the plan, wing center section. Here you will see that the center of the wing is made up of two center rib pieces (W1 and W2) plus other parts such as spars/facings and braces. Our foam wing will have none of these so I must take the tracings I have, add 1.5 mm circumferance, and then draw in the lines to make the MK center assembly one big rib. Turns out here I have to add 3 mm to the front of W1, 2.8mm to the back and 9mm to the rear of W2. The center rib will be 31 mm when completed.

I also am posting a picture here of how the raw foam block dimensions are made. When you vew this drawing you will note that: C is the total root rib length, D is the length of the entire wing half, E is the length of the wing tip, A is the distance of forward sweep from a line drawn 90 degrees from the end of C, and B which is the distance from the end of C at the back of the wing. Please note that the drawing is of a double tapered wing while the Blue Angel is a swept wing design. It doesn't really matter if the drawing shape is the same, just that the dimensions are correct. Any extra time spent here makes everything else so much easier to do.... so do all that double and triple measuring before you break out the foam cutter. ... more to come....

Dan
Carolina Custom Aircraft
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Old 03-15-2006, 09:08 PM
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rainedave
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Default RE: Blue Angel Wing is Born

I always thought it was a pain that the side view on plans typically shows the airfoil as it is at the fuselage side, not the root. No problem with constant chord wings, but the root rib has to be enlarged from the side view outline with a tapered wing.

It looks like you are doing a real expert job with this.
Old 03-15-2006, 09:15 PM
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Default RE: Blue Angel Wing is Born

Dan,

Great thread! Thanks for all your work on the Blue Angel project.
Old 03-16-2006, 11:11 AM
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Default RE: Blue Angel Wing is Born

Great stuff, Dan!
Put me in for a set!!

-Ron
Old 03-16-2006, 12:02 PM
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Default RE: Blue Angel Wing is Born

Keep it coming Dan. I'll watch this with great selfish interest!
Old 03-16-2006, 10:41 PM
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Default RE: Blue Angel Wing is Born

Thanks for all the kind comments.....

Getting in late tonight, but wanted to bring up a couple of points on the wing templates. Raineday brings up an excellent point in that the side view shows the wing from the side of the fuselage. This will be too short to use as your root template but there is a way to make this work. You first scan in the drawing of the fuselage side, wing section. You can then measure the EXACT lenght of the center of the wing section according to the plans. Then, using a neat program called Tile Print (you can find the link here on RCU) you draw a line and have the program produce the rib in EXACTLY the same length as the center ROOT RIB on the plans. This works great. After you have done this, it is a simple matter to remove 1/4" from the front of the rib to account for the balsa leading edge stock and then measure the length to the trailing edge balsa spar. What is left in the middle is your center root template. You can actually do the tip template the same way after measuring the distance of the complete tip section and applying that via Tile Print to your drawing. I'm going to attach the root rib drawings tonight to give you guys an idea of what I've done.... more to come..

Dan
Carolina Custom Aircraft
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:12 PM
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Deadstik
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Default RE: Blue Angel Wing is Born

Hi,

I wanted to give you folks an update on the wing progress... but... my digital camera and my computer are not talking to each other right now.. but.. I do want to let you know that the wing templates are completed and the dimensions are in place for the foam blocks... the stab will be done tomorrow.. don't worry.. pics will be online tomorrow night....I use a foam cutter called an AMAP machine which automatically cuts in the parallax correction in a tapered wing.. and I want (ed) to show you guys how it works.. so.. please have a bit of patience while I get the new technolgy working....


Dan

Carolina Custom Aircraft
Old 03-21-2006, 10:38 PM
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Default RE: Blue Angel Wing is Born

Parallax. There's a word I had to look up. So does it refer to the fact that the wire on the root template has to travel faster than the wire touching the tip template in order to reach the TE at the same time?
Old 03-22-2006, 06:58 AM
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Default RE: Blue Angel Wing is Born

Raineday,

That is exactly right. Parallax correction makes the wire exit the trailing edge at the same time. If this doesn't happen, the wing will have a really unusual airfoil shape.... Cutting a wing manually, you mark off the templates in "stations" and call out the numbers as you pull the wire thru the foam... the AMAP does this automatically... should have my picture ability by this afternoon, so will post tonight.


Dan
Carolina Custom Aircraft
Old 03-22-2006, 10:41 AM
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Default RE: Blue Angel Wing is Born

Dan,
I'm with Ron..if you are going to sell some cores, I'm ready to buy. Don't know if 8178 will sell copies of the plans or if you will, but I'd buy those as well. Any chance of kitting this bird?
Old 03-23-2006, 06:20 PM
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Default RE: Blue Angel Wing is Born

Hi,
After the wing root template is made, you then have to go about checking the template against the actual plans. I look at this as a reality check in that it doesn't matter if you made one 1 mm error, that is one too many. The first picture here shows the reality check of using the drawing and comparing it directly to an actual line drawing made from the kit part. This usually shows up any error in the copy process, but in this case, I was very please to see that the error was less than the fine point pens I'm using. When it comes to making templates for the AMAP foam cutter, I use two templates per wing root and wing tip. In other words, there is a template that cuts the bottom half and a template that cuts the top half. If you look at the next picture, you will see the 3/16"plywood wooden template that is used to make the formica template. Why wood first??? Because there are usually a LOT of error involved in using carbon paper to transfer a plan plus carbon paper doesn't stay on formica very well. You can't use a stick pin method to transfer the pattern because formica is too hard. Making a wooden template first may seem like added work, but it makes making the formica templates very easy plus before you make the formica templates, you can be absolutely certain that the airfoil shape is correct.

The next picture is of my AMAP foam cutter. If you look at the picture, you will note that the cutter has infinite adjustment as to rake/sweep and really does a sweet job of cutting foam. You can see the Variac transformer in the top right corner. You will find that having very fine temperature control makes cutting uniform cores simple. This would mean that the larger foam wing you are cutting, the more power you will use in the resistance wire (Nichrome)...Too much, and you will literally cause a meltdown of the foam, too little and the wire will not cleanly cut thru the foam.

Couple of comments on the foam I use. I only use 1 LB per cubic foot CLOSED CELL FOAM. You will find that you can buy open cell foam cheaper, but that it is not as strong or uniform in weight. To tell the difference, look at the side of the foam.. if you can see individual "honeycomb" sections, then it is closed cell. If it is just a mass of foam, then it is open cell. Again, this is not the place to save money on a pattern ship.

I have also posted pictures of the templates versus the plans and am trying to give you folks an accurate picture that you simply have to take your time doing this. If done incorrectly, you have the wrong airfoil, at the wrong size, and cut incorrectly. Also posted is a picture of my bandsaw with a very easy way to make a rip fence. This way you can get an very straight cut on your template material before starting.

For those who would like a set of plans and cores for this project, please send me an email at [email protected]
Seperately, the plans are $20 shipped (rolled in a mailing tube).. you never fold plans.....and the cores are $55 plus $10 shipping...The plans plus the cores are $75. So save ten bucks and get the set.
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:34 PM
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Default RE: Blue Angel Wing is Born

How do you put root template and Tip template on the foam?
Old 04-09-2006, 06:53 PM
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Default RE: Blue Angel Wing is Born

Today I'm going to try to finish up the Blue Angel Wing is born thread. The first part of this thread dealt with getting the templates made to cut the foam wing. This thread will show how you go from the templates to the wings.

The closed cell foam I buy comes in 9 foot sheets, 3 feet wide and 4 inches thick. I purchase these from a foam supplier in Raleigh. Obviously I have to cut these huge sheets down to model size. Just as if you were cutting wood, you try to get as many useful parts from a sheet as possible.

Using this method I first cut down the large sheet to 3 pieces for a plane. 2 pieces are for the left and right wing panel while the 3rd piece will be cut in two pieces to make the left/right stabilizer. To do this, I use what I call "The Chopper" which is a Variable transformer controlled moveable Dress Rack with the cutting wire mounted on clear, insulating tubing and the nichrome stretched across the two uprights. You will see the Chopper in the first picture along with Michelle, my wife, and head of Quality Control. After the big pieces are cut out, they must be made to conform to the dimensions of each individual part. The next picture shows the markings for the stab cuts. You will note that I use a Sharpie Black marker to draw out the part and then cut to the INSIDE of the line. Using a high heat setting the Chopper cuts thru the big pieces relatively quickly and accurately. You will see how I split the stab core in picture 3. Picture 4 shows the size of one half of the wing core. After the big pieces are cut (and a reality check done to make certain they match the templates) it is then time to use the AMAP foam cutter to cut the cores. In preparation, the bottom of the wing template is matched up to the precut core and I use finishing nails to hold the template in place. As you can see, the template has a flat bottom which will line up with the slate pool table top I cut on plus the vertical marks align the template with the leading/trailing edges of the core. This is shown in pictures 5 and 6.

The next step is to cut the cores. I will put those pictures in the next thread.

Dan
Carolina Custom Aircraft
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Old 04-09-2006, 07:10 PM
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Deadstik
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Default RE: Blue Angel Wing is Born

The following will describe the foam cutting process. As shown in picture 1, this is the AMAP foam cutter being set up to cut the Blue Angel left wing core. As you will note in the picture, the bottom of the core is cut first ( I have already made allowances for wire drop in the templates) and the AMAP has automatic parallax correction. That means that the wire MUST begin cutting the leading edge equally from center to tip AND EXIT the core at the same time both at the leading and trailing edge. The Blue Angel has a double swept wing which makes this a bit difficult to set up, but once set up it will cut the same way each time. Note that the AMAP is "powered" by two 4 ounce fishing weights that run on ball bearing supported rollers attached to the edge of the framework. You can also see by this picture that you must be able to cut both to the left and right side of the AMAP cutter to cut left and right wing halves.

The next picture shows the AMAP actually cutting the right half of the Blue Angel wing. You can see that the weights are reversed.

The stab is cut in a similar fashion. When cutting wings, you always cut bottom first and leading edge to trailing edge. Keep in mind that if the wire does not exit the same time all the way along the trailing edge, the airfoil will be ruined as you will not have the correct airfoil shape from center to tip.

There are other small items such as wire temperature and cutting speed to be dealt with also. I will say simply that experience here is the best teacher. The cores must must be cut smoothly and without excessive drag. The Variac coupled with a step down transformer accomplishes this very easily. A much lower voltage setting is used on a stab than on a wing half due to the amount of foam you are cutting through. You cannot get upset if it doesn't go right the first time or the tenth. The only important thing here is that the cores have to be accurate. Without an accurate core, you have no chance of having a great flying plane.

I hope this thread helps those who enjoy the building aspects of our hobby as well as piquing the interest of those who haven't found out how much fun this stuff is. If anyone has any questions, please post here or if you would like a personal response, just send me an email.

Time to go build !!!!

Dan


Dan Hines
Carolina Custom Aircraft
Rougemont, NC

[email protected]
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Old 04-09-2006, 07:25 PM
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8178
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Default RE: Blue Angel Wing is Born

Dan,

Thanks for taking the time to do the Blue Angel wing thread and all the time you spent to setup and make my foam cores. Great job and the cores are wonderful.

If anyone is looking for a way to build a Blue Angel, Dan has the stuff you need to make it happen.

Dan has a great selection of other classic kits too!
Old 05-07-2006, 08:28 PM
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Default RE: Blue Angel Wing is Born

This is the RCU link to the Blue Angel build http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_3973867/tm.htm

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