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Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

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Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Old 11-05-2007, 11:56 PM
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slim_pkns
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Default Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Howdy y'all!

I got my hands on a VK Cherokee Babe kit. Unfortunately I'm not so experienced with kit building and after looking over the kit contents, I noticed there weren't any instructions. I have a thing for that vintage look and feel and I really want to get into this build but I'm a bit intimidated and I haven't seen any build threads to follow.

I'm thinking of starting a build thread here if I can generate enough interest. I've seen a lot of talk here and on other forums about the VK Cherokee Babe. Mainly about buying & selling and how much you can get for one. Has anyone here recently built one that might be willing to help or would just be interested in give advice, tips, and techniques?
Old 11-06-2007, 01:13 AM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Hi Slim, not exactly recent, I built my Cherokee Babe in 1970!

Great flying airplane, with a well-known flaw - under certain conditions, it will get into a flat spin and not be recoverable!
Mine flat spun to the ground three different times with little damage. It could probably use a little more vertical fin and/or rudder area.

Sounds like you may have never built an all-balsa model before. You need a flat building surface you can stick pins into,
I use a building board made from balsa, you can get them from Tower.

Maybe if you came up with specific questions on the process, we could point you in the right direction. It isn't hard, just tedious at times. I would recommend you use Titebond or simliar instead of CA, it gives you more time to set things up correctly. I'm sure this group will be happy to help...Russ Farris
Old 11-06-2007, 01:51 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Thanks for the advice. I have built balsa kits before but not for a few years and never one without a step-by-step manual walking through the whole build process. I think I'm going to get ready to start a build thread on this model and see how many others might have built this kit before. The plan isn't too complicated and I would guess the build process is the same for the larger VK Cherokee.
Old 11-06-2007, 02:20 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Many times, old kits didn't have step-by-step instructions. You may have some hints or sketches in the plans to show a general building process, but most of your direction came from a study of the plans. On that kit, though, I'd not be sure. I build the .60-size VK Cherokee in 1972, and don't remember if there were actual instructions or just guides in the plans.

It was assumed by many kit makers, then, that if they supplied the parts and plans, you'd know enough to build the model. In those days, by the time you were getting into R/C, you usually had considerable building experience behind you, because R/C usually came after you'd spent some years building and flying free-flight and control-line models. R/C was VERY EXPENSIVE in those days, and you usually learned modeling on something considerably less expensive.
Old 11-06-2007, 04:37 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

I've been looking over the Titebond site and I can't telll which glue would be best for building a balsa kit. Which one is suggested for this small type of job?
Old 11-06-2007, 07:34 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

I just looked at the large Cherokee kit stashed away. There is a small sheet of instuctions along with the two plans sheets (which are well detailed). Here is a shot of the top half of the sheet, the bottom is just a parts listing. Perhaps the Babe is about the same.
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:15 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Thanks HighPlains! I can't quite read that but it is probably very similar and it confirms I should be working the wing first. Have you built a VK Cherokee before or just saving it?
Old 11-06-2007, 10:02 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

I haven't gotten around to building one yet, but I did get a chance to fly one a couple of years ago. Although it looked a bit strange with the stock dihedral, it flew very nicely and tracked well through inside and outside loops. The only Babe I have seen was electric powered and it flew well too.

Both were models that I have always wanted since I was a kid in the late 60's.
Old 11-06-2007, 10:22 PM
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maxpower1954
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

The original Titebond works just fine, Home Depot or any hardware store has it. I also have used Titebond Carpenters glue, I really can't tell the difference.

Titebond is water resistant and sands OK, unlike Elmer's glue-all.

Russ Farris
Old 11-07-2007, 10:44 AM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

There was an extensive VK Cherokee (60 size?) build that I found on the web some time ago, but I don't have a link to it. I believe it may have been on some RC Club site. IIRC it was a group build (multiple planes) and had lots of pictures. Maybe someone on this board remembers it & has a link. I'll search around a bit and see if I can find it.


Jim
Old 11-07-2007, 10:55 AM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

OK, that was easy, #6 on the first page of my search. I'm not sure if I know how to make a link to the page:

[link=http://www.theflyingknights.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=169]Flying Knights Cherokee Build[/link]

It's a great build series. Jim
Old 11-07-2007, 08:14 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Thanks for the link Jim! I read the whole thread but found it was mostly over how the club redesigned the old plans to make it easier and even used foam core wings and stab. There was one member who built one from the original kit and he had a few great pictures but no details about his process or how things went. All-in-all it was really inspirational, a very interesting read, and I still learned some things.

I did notice they used wood glue like others advised me to do. I'm wondering about the time it takes to bond. I would guess it takes more than a few minutes and you'd need to keep a bunch of clamps, clothes pins, and stick pins handy. Also, you must have to let things harden overnight, eh?

Great info, thanks again!!!
Old 11-08-2007, 10:18 AM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

You might read some of the kit assembly manuals to help with the process. Many are quite comprehensive, including directions on which glue to use and when. Try going to the kit airplanes at towerhobbies.com to get their manuals. Top Flite also has manuals. Here are a couple:

[link=http://manuals.hobbico.com/top/topa0210-manual.pdf]Contender[/link]

[link=http://manuals.hobbico.com/gpm/gpma0492-manual-v1_1.pdf]Slow Poke[/link]

Jim
Old 11-09-2007, 11:14 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I think I'm going to go for it. I'm going to keep looking for anyone who might have built this model recently. I haven't seen any other build threds on the VK Cherokee Babe so I'm definitely going to start one.
Old 11-09-2007, 11:59 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Hey Slim, glad you enjoyed our build. We used both CA and TiteBond. Generaly we used the Titebond where we would
need to do extensive sanding. Although some used just CA and some just Titebond. Many of our members new Vern from way back since he was a local guy. With the recent movement towards SPA and Vintage RC, a few of us thought it would be fun to build an oldie. There was a lot of discussion as to which would be a good subject. When one member mentioned he had an original kit, that made our minds up.
We thought about making a duplicate of the kit, but after looking at all the pieces, and having a few guys that had never built anything other than and ARF we decided to rework the design. We didn't change any dimensions of the plane, just updated some of the building and materials... afterall it is almost 50 years old now.
Other than the fact that we were able to get a bunch of members together to do a fun project, I'd say the
best part was that even the most novice builder was able to walk away with a completed plane that flew great.

Anyway, good luck with your build! I'm sure you will enjoy it.
Old 11-10-2007, 11:01 AM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Are you still looking for the building instructions for the "Babe"? I finally found my plans, and the instructions are only a 2 sided legal pad size sheet. You're welcome to a copy. There's also a sheet about a cowl modification. PM me your snaill mail address and I'll get this in the mail to you.
Old 11-12-2007, 09:25 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

YES!!! I'm still looking for building instructions as well as getting in touch with people who have built a VK Cherokee Babe and have advice, want to put a build thread together, or have pictures of the build process.

Thanks for the offer Dr Craig and look for my PM!
Old 12-07-2007, 01:47 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Hello slim_pkns,

I help to look after a 4H model airplane club, and we just received a "donation" from a former club member's Dad - a VK Cherokee Babe.

The plane is in reasonable shape, but needs some work to repair crash damage and remedy areas of oil-soaked balsa - all of which is worth doing. Because there is some wing and fuse damage to repair and the covering was in rough shape, it has been stripped and we're rebuilding a few areas - all of which is a long way of saying that I can provide you with pictures of the UNCOVERED wing and fuselage. We also have to build a new cowl (fiberlass) and hatch, which is already underway.

The plane did not come with any documentation, so if it is possible to get a copy of DRGRAIGS plan (e.g. as a .pdf scan) that would be most appreciated.

Good luck with your build, let us know if you want any pictures - and if so, please specifiy if there are areas of confusion in yourbuild (for example the fuse inside is pretty cluttered and the build isn't 'obvious'). We probably won't get around to covering it for a few months, so you have some time to let us know if you need/want pictures.

Brgds
Flightprep


Old 12-12-2007, 11:50 AM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Not exact, but there is an article about Vern and his bigger Cherokee in the Sept. 1965 edition of American Modeler.

Wm.
Old 12-16-2007, 12:47 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Its a great model! Stock dihedral works well as posted earlier. Titebond: If you apply a thin coat, put the pieces together, separate them again to allow some "air time" on the glue, then apply another thin coat...this time when you assemble the two pieces, you will have created a "contact cement" type effect! Almost....meaning unlike contact cement, you can still reposition the parts if needed.

In general, don't worry about not being able to move right along building at a good pace by choosing white glue. Elmer's it aint! By the time you actually do need an overnight drying process, chances are you will be ready to call it a wrap for the day anyway!

CA works for odds and ends, but white glue rules for structure IMO.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:57 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Does anyone know a source for Cherokee Babe plans? The AMA lists them but doesn't sell them - I assume someone out there still has rights to them? Jim
Old 12-19-2007, 09:55 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

buzzard bait, Just dug through my plan archives with no success. The last time I had the plans in my hands, they were so battered, I probably pitched them [X(] Earlier on, I gave plans no mercy...cut them, glue and stains all over, the occasional obscene footnote, etc. I will keep an eye out for a source for them.
Old 12-20-2007, 06:18 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Safetwire - Thanks so much for checking for me. If you run across some scraps that add up to Cherokee Babe I'd love to have a copy--I certainly don't about the condition.

Or if anyone knows a source to order them from, that would be great too. Seems like a really nice plane to keep around in one piece and toss in the car for a quick trip to the field, plus classic looks. Nice picture of yours.

Jim
Old 12-21-2007, 07:18 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Slim, I will ask if anyone has the plans at our next club meeting.

BB, Thanks about the picture.
Old 12-26-2007, 09:39 PM
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Default RE: Recent VK Cherokee Babe build

Sorry for being away so long but my holiday was FANTASTIC! Hope everyone else had as good a time with family and friends as I did.

I got a new 12 megapixel digital camera and a 48"x48" board to build on! WOOHOOO!!! Hope I'm not too late to reply to some of you. Thanks everyone for keeping up the interest and special thanks to safeTwire for the awesome photo.

I do have full plans and documentation now thanks to the previous owner of the kit and DRCraig for the instruction sheet. I'll try to help out anyway I can. PM me if you want to talk about it.

I got a bottle of Titebond White Glue and I'm back at home studying plans again. I've been having a hard time getting an image of how the fuselage sides are built up. The plans show them as hidden line (dashed) and I just don't get it yet. I'm not going to put glue to wood until I do. I'll try to get a picture of the area posted shortly.

FlightPrep: I think that would be fantastic if you could. Congrats on the find and I can't wait to hear about the refurb! PM me if you need to but I hope you'll add your touch-ups to this thread and post some pics.

More soon...

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