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Bridi fiberglass fuse construction?

Old 08-25-2005, 11:36 AM
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N1EDM
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Default Bridi fiberglass fuse construction?

I bought an old Joe Bridi kit that had a fiberglass fuse, cowl, and wheel pants. These items came already 'assembled' in the box.

My question is - does anyone know if Bridi kits came with these pieces already joined In which case I'd trust the joint), or did someone do that after the fact (in which case, I would have to do a lot of worrying)? I noticed that the cowl didn't have any fiberglass tape along the seam. Now I'm wondering if I should 'trust' the construction. There were no formers installed.

I've never worked with this type of a kit before, so I want to know what I might expect, or if I am going to get myself into trouble...

Thanks for any info you might have.

Bob
Old 08-26-2005, 10:22 AM
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Default RE: Bridi fiberglass fuse construction?

Bob,

My only experience with Bridi glass kits came from working in a hobby shop during the 1970s. At the time, I marveled at the quality of the parts, though of course I could never afford one on what the hobby shop was paying me.

I wouldn't worry about the seams. A greater concern would be whether the resin has become brittle with age. Even so, once you've installed the servo tray, wing hold-downs, etc., with PFM or Shoe Goo, and added a firewall using fresh resin and chopped glass, it ought to be airworthy.

Just out of curiosity, what kit is it?

Duane Gall
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:17 AM
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Default RE: Bridi fiberglass fuse construction?

Hi Bob,

I have an old Bridi AT6 with glass fuse/foam wings. I believe the model (in rafters) is made of polyester resin. This would mean that you would need to use polyester to bond to it after a light sandind on the glue surface. There are other adhesives now that work also.

Heres what I am going to do. For my servo tray and inside mounted firewall plate, design a system that connects the wood to the firewall to have a larger surface area of bonding/support. Then if anything comes loose, the firewall is still holding the servo tray. The firewall is not only glued, its bolted. It will not come loose.

Then I back up glue with a pliable silicone/lexel material. just in case.

Thr Bridi concept for its time was way ahead. People still marvel at the popular glass fuses today, imagine 30+ years ago.

Steve
Old 08-26-2005, 08:04 PM
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N1EDM
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Default RE: Bridi fiberglass fuse construction?

Duane and Steve,
Thanks for the replies so far...

I've never built up a fiberglass fuse, and you've both given me great ideas. The wing is foam, but I may not use it - I may make a built-up wing, perhaps save a few ounces, and try a few Scale tricks that I've been working on.

The kit is a Brown B-2 Racer, better known as "Miss Los Angeles". Try looking "Miss Los Angeles" up on Google and see what you get :-D

Your points about brittleness and methods of bonding the motor mount/firewall/Servo tray are well taken. Good advice. I'm just wondering if the seams along the top and bottom of the fuse might be weak, that is, could they have been assembled incorrectly?

If I decide to put a layer of glass tape down, do you have any suggestions about weight/width? I'll be sure to try a small area with polyester resin first, to make sure that the glass isn't attacked.

The details is pretty amazing on this. The original (full scale) racer had a fabric covering, complete with the sunken areas that you're used to seeing between the longerons. This had those same types of areas molded right in. There is also a tremendous rivet detail molded in as well.

This is my first Scale attempt, so a lot of this project will be a chance for me to gain some experience. I'm still figuring out what questions I need to ask.

Thanks again. If you have any other ideas, please let me know.

Bob
Old 08-27-2005, 10:12 AM
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Default RE: Bridi fiberglass fuse construction?

http://www.century-of-flight.freeola...%20Angeles.htm

Interesting!
Old 08-27-2005, 01:27 PM
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N1EDM
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Default RE: Bridi fiberglass fuse construction?

Thanks!

Here's another link that might give a little bit of its history...

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...05/ai_n9078813

Bob
Old 08-29-2005, 09:59 AM
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Default RE: Bridi fiberglass fuse construction?

Bob,

I've seen a couple of the Bridi Brown B-2s built. You're right; the simulated fabric and rivets are amazing. That's a good pick for your first Scale model, because so much of the tedious detail work is already done. Also, it's a racer.

The center seam is as it came from Bridi's factory, and I can't imagine it has any strength issues. But if it makes you feel better, go ahead and reinforce it with some 1" wide, 6- to 9-oz. woven fiberglass tape. FiberGlast Inc. sells it in 5-million-mile rolls, or maybe you can find smaller quantities elsewhere. The tape soaks up a lot of resin, so I would recommend pre-painting a light coat of resin on the area where you want it to stick, then applying it and brushing more resin through it. Keep smoothing it out and pressing it down as the resin cures so you don't get a lot of sawtooth edges and bumps to snag your servo wires on.

A built-up wing with fabric covering ... lots more work, but very authentic! Good luck, this should be a very cool model when you're done.

Duane Gall
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Old 08-31-2005, 07:41 PM
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Default RE: Bridi fiberglass fuse construction?

Thanks, Duane.

I'll leave the fuse as is, then. It sounds like fuse was built that way at the factory. I don't think I'm going to do any better than Joe Bridi, so I'll leave it alone. If it's good enough for him, who am I to argue?

I really want to get my feet wet with this model. I want to try a few things, but don't want to get mired down in areas that I know nothing about... am working on a way to make Scale hinges. I could always use the old fallback of Robarts, and not too many people would notice, I don't think. Still, Dave Platt has a neat way of making them out of G-10.

Thanks again for the reply!

Bob
Old 11-28-2014, 11:04 PM
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I see a few threads on this plane have been started!
Anyway, to note, I think the availability ended in 1978. I was working at Indy R/C Sales, and we got the last 6 World Engines had, and they dumped on us, and we sold them for $35 each! I couldn't resist the price myself and bought the one I have, I used to always mark my planes with the year I acquired it. I would guess it came out somewhere at, or after 1975, at least. It was not very popular at the time, and a very slow seller, at least at our establishment. The 70's were when WWII planes really took off and were the rage for scale.
I see some hesitation as to using the foam wing. When mine was done, and 3/4 oz glassed, it was a brick of a wing. Very strong. I still have the fuse, and it still feels in good shape, and flexible, no signs of being brittle. Must have been some nice resin, or possibly epoxy? My firewall is still in nice and tight. I can't remember if I actually glued it in, or if it came installed, it looks to be centered very well, and that is not an easy area to get a hand into and see what is going on at the same time. I think I was the one who added a balsa block in the chin behind the firewall to support the fuel tank at the right height, relative to the engine, an OS 60FSR, which was plenty of power for scale flying, and I used a 12 x 6 prop on it.
I note a mention of aileron rolls, yes, it was a little slow on the roll. Quick enough to respond to ailerons, but at full tilt, the roll would be considered slow, but graceful, and a good scale looking roll. Loops would be considered a bit large and slow too, but nice for scale flying.
Old 11-29-2014, 09:21 AM
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I built one of the bridi Miss Los Angeles kits in the late seventies, plus several other glass kits from bridi. Never any issues with quality on any of them. The glass is molded with epoxy not polyester just rough it up where you need to put parts and use good epoxy. I put many flights on the Brown before I sold it in the early eighties.
Old 11-29-2014, 05:41 PM
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Thanks for that, Racer639. I may see if the guy that I sold it to is still interested in making it.

Bob

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