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"balsa USA citabria pro brotherhood"

Old 09-10-2014, 03:00 AM
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rcjunky67
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Cool "balsa USA citabria pro brotherhood"

This will be for anyone that has ever, or is planning to build a balsa USA citabria pro kit. a place to discuss and share tips on building and covering and flying this great piece of aviation history that is not very well known.
Old 09-10-2014, 07:07 AM
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Propworn
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I hate to break this to you but it wasn't a great piece of aviation history. It was a dismal failure. Only one was ever built. It was never completely finished and its performance was worse than the original plane it was modified from due to the increased drag and turbulence from the open cockpit modifications. It was built for unlimited aerobatics in the sportsman class I believe. No orders were ever taken and it was canceled when Belanca took over from Champion. I don't believe final stress testing was ever done so I don't know what the status flight wise would be today if its still around.

This started out as an in house modification of an early cabin 7KCAB by Champion. It was a two holer complete with duel controls. The front hole at first was covered over but in the pictures I have at Oshkosh it was open with its own windscreen. The windscreens were squarish out of angle stock with the persplex screwed to them. The front was noticeably smaller than the back. The upper fuse skin that was formed over the opening when the cabin was removed was very rough with the openings where the cabanes were rough and unfinished. In fact these were stuffed with rags about the same color as the finish. Later I saw a picture where it looked like these were replaced with leather boots.

I believe the engine was to be 200 hp but it was actually 160 or 180 if memory serves me right.

Many years ago I built one for scale competition and flew it a lot. I only realized how poor the full size had been presented when I saw pictures from Oshkosh and did a fair amount of research on the aircraft. As a model it flew wonderfully you could not ask for a better first large plane/scale subject. After many years and untold number of flights I retired the model because it was beginning to become too fuel soaked to trust. I ended up giving it to a young man who was building a new one with the intent he could study some of the modifications I made to mine. The fuse at the rear cockpit is the weakest part of the fuse. I had heard many broke in this area upon hard landings.

I used an OS 1.08 and 15X10/6 prop and like I said it flew great, solid an predictable through every manouver.

Good luck with your build post some pictures when you can.

Dennis
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:05 AM
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rcjunky67
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well,you know what they say about whats on the internet. the info I was going by came up under 'a brief history of the citabria pro'. tahts cool though Dennis , and I do appreciate the information. thats why I thought it would be neat to start a thread just based on this model and other flyer's experience with it. what can be done to beef up the rear cockpit area? Id wondered about that and figured I'd see what was possible when I do get to start building it.

according to the article that I saw, it was loaned to the EAA museum for a long time , in that time supposedly they tore it down and restored it. then some years later it was sold to a private individual somewhere in texas and he is still the current owner to this day.

it also explained that one of champions dealers in tennessee talked them into letting him use the plane fro demonstrations and exhibitions. apparently the day after it was flown from the factory in wisconson to tennessee, there was a fire that destroyed the factory and all the records and demensional drawings and plans for this plane. so there was only one that was ever built. like I said , interesting. but , do you know where I could find the cowl for this made of fiberglass instead of abs,and the wheel pants also. and , if it's not to much trouble, a good source for the landing gear too. none of these were in the kit that I picked up. gotta love a swapmeet...

this is what I love about this hobby .it's so cool to learn about the planes that we build and fly for fun. do you know of a good source of scale pictures of the actual plane, I ask cause you said you did a lot of research. sorry to ask so many questions at once, and I do appreciate your posting here.
Old 09-10-2014, 09:09 AM
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rcjunky67
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Don't think I want to give anyone a number here as I'm not antisapating this thread to become overly crowded.Just thought it'd be nice to have a place to focus on this one model.
Old 09-10-2014, 02:09 PM
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Propworn
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I looked but unfortunately I must have given away the pictures and documentation book with the old airframe. You can order the pictures from Bob Banka’s Scale Model Research. http://www.bobsairdoc.com/ Download the catalogue and look them up or call him direct.

The only thing I have left is the building instructions. If you’re interested I can mail them to you.

I reinforced the cockpit area by adding gussets and some ply sheeting in strategic areas to spread loads out into the rear stringer area.

I just located the old plans with the reinforcing drawn in. It was a larger sheet of ply than I remembered but I have included a picture from the print. I used to make copies of the original then use the copies to sketch in ideas and changes without damaging the originals so it’s just in magic marker but it will give you the idea. These I can mail as well.

Fiberglass Specialties made both the cowl and wheel pants. http://www.fiberglassspecialtiesinc.com/

Landing gear you can get the dimensions from the prints and order from TNT Landing Gear using their custom gear form http://www.tntlandinggear.com/welcom...ne_catalog.htm


Dennis
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:10 PM
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optech
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Fiberglass Specialties- http://www.fiberglassspecialtiesinc.com/catalog.htm
BUSA Citabria Pro;
Cowl- #USA-6 - $39.00;
Wheelpants- #47 - $37.00;

Abell RC - http://www.abellhobby.com/Articles.asp?ID=252
- Landing gear. Enter your requirements and they will call you with a quote. They make them and get 'em out most ricky-tic and the price is reasonable. I CANNOT recommend TNT unless you want to wait months for a reply, months for shipping and you may or may not get them....... of course it'll be blamed on the shipper in which case you end up with neither the gear or your money.

Hope this helps,
Mike
Old 09-10-2014, 02:16 PM
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Propworn
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Also if I remember correctly flying it from the rear cockpit made it a bit tail heavy so the front cockpit was opened up and it was flown from that location most times. This was because of the amount of material removed when the cabin was taken off the fuse.

As to TNT landing gear we have used them every year with the University Aerodesign Team and their shipping and workmanship has been nothing but top notch. Sometimes in as little as two weeks to the door. University students think they can make changes at the last minute and its a simple mater of phoning in the order. TNT has saved the day more than once with their prompt service even overnighting the gear once.

In my experience I have nothing but good things to say about TNT Landing Gear.

Dennis

Last edited by Propworn; 09-10-2014 at 02:23 PM.
Old 09-10-2014, 02:31 PM
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optech
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I'm a UAS Pilot/Engineering Tech for Navmar Applied Sciences. We stopped using TNT stuff years ago because of several reasons. I tried working with the gal and all she could do is accuse me of stealing..... NEVER AGAIN. Wait until you have a problem with an order and watch their true colors come out. When I needed a gear personally the guy from Abell got back to me and got my stuff to me in a week.

Mike

Last edited by optech; 09-10-2014 at 02:40 PM.
Old 09-10-2014, 04:12 PM
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Thanks Dennis and Mike, all your info is most helpful. you guy's are da bomb... Dennis, what thickness of ply would be best for the gussets in your drawings? and also did you use it only on the side's , or did you do the top and bottom also? I'll be also using 1/32 biscuits on all of the joints that I can. I'd read about it on here , somewhere by a fellow named sensei, using a great planes slot machine. looks like it adds a lot of strength where needed without adding a lot of weight.

And Mike thanks for the heads up. And I'm thinking Abell hobby is a no brainer for me just cause my last name happens to be ABEL,and also I'd checked out fiberglass specialties when I first got the kit. they've also got a cowl to convert a 1/5 scale j3 cub to a super cub. I'm gonna be building that soon for a friend that would end up with less finger than he started with if I let him use a hand saw.terrible ain't it
Old 09-10-2014, 07:42 PM
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well rcjunky67 i am in i have a Balsa usa kit,just need to finish of a flybaby bipe first,it is built and covered just needs stuffed
Old 09-11-2014, 01:53 AM
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rcjunky67
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great ff2907,welcome. I hope this thread turns out to be helpful to all that come in. If you've got questions or answers or pics, then feel free to jump in
Old 09-11-2014, 02:17 AM
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Not exactly sure when I'll be getting started. I don't like to work on more than one kit at a time. I find I can do a much better job if I focus on the task at hand . In my work environment I have to work on several different jobs in the same day and at the same time.
I choose to sepperate the two.
This I find is the best way to relax and enjoy the hobby.
Work=stress, building=relaxation.

but once I do get under way, I'll post the results as I progress through the build.
Old 09-11-2014, 05:04 AM
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cardinalflyer
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I am glad to see this thread. I have had the kit for years but have had too many other projects to make a beginning. I will be looking for ideas about construction and any flying reports. Looking forward to all future posts.
Old 09-11-2014, 08:04 AM
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Daddyo57
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I bought an already started Pro kit recently, I am about done with the building process but need to spend about 3 days sanding and shaping now! The guy who started the kit wasnt the best builder and I think it may have been his first effort... I had a lot of work to do to make it right, it will not be the lightest Pro around by a long shot as this is a very old kit, found some writing on it from 1962!!!! I am going to power it with a Saito 1.80 4 stroke that should arrive today. I suppose a DLE 20 or some other gas engine would really be better but I love 4 strokes! On this older version I found the plans and instructions to be vague in some places and the cheesy half fuselage view was no help at all. I have wanted a Citabria Pro for almost 30 years now so finally I have one! I will go ahead and do a box stock covering scheme, I was going to go with Teal green but since I need to do 2 tone on the cowl I went with the red/white, I am going to use Monokote because I have it and the paint to match and to save a bit of weight over a nice fabric job. I should post some pics and probably will. It is good to see interest in this rare airplane.
Old 09-11-2014, 08:16 AM
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rcjunky67
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Glad to have you aboard cardinalflyer&Daddyo57. Welcome. Gee, this is working out to be better than I expected.I want any and everyone to feel free to post their opinions and tip's or trick's and please don't hold back on the pics.this isn't exactly a build thread so to speak,well at least not just for me anyway. So lets see whatcha got as you progress alopng this path.
any of you guy's think I need to reconsider assigning everyone a #? speak up.
Old 09-11-2014, 09:23 AM
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rcjunky67
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Did any of you guys get a materials list with your .kit? It doesn't have one in my manual. I know I don't have the cowl or wheel pants and landing gear,but I don't know if anything else is missing. Other than tose tthree pieces, it pretty much looks complete.far as I can tell.
Old 09-11-2014, 09:47 AM
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Propworn
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Originally Posted by optech View Post
I'm a UAS Pilot/Engineering Tech for Navmar Applied Sciences. We stopped using TNT stuff years ago because of several reasons. I tried working with the gal and all she could do is accuse me of stealing..... NEVER AGAIN. Wait until you have a problem with an order and watch their true colors come out. When I needed a gear personally the guy from Abell got back to me and got my stuff to me in a week.

Mike
Your issue with TNT isn't the experience myself and many others I know have had. Mention it once its an opinion your entitled to. Harp on it and it begins to sound like a personal vendetta or shill for a competing company. After all your side is but one side of the tale and in my experience not only are there two sides to the story but usually the truth runs somewhere in the middle. I am sure the OPs intention was not to start a bashing thread. Much stronger argument to say your were extremely dissatisfied and use a different manufacturer instead. Kind of one sided and churlish to accuse someone without them having a chance to tell their side
Old 09-11-2014, 03:18 PM
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Much agreed PW, but truth be told I'd already had some other dealings with abell hobby and figured I'd end up checking with them any way.As for TNT,honestly ,I'd never heard of them before,but Optech's esteemed opinion wouldn't have swayed me not to deal with them at all.See , just like my local LHS's, I believe in spending my benjamin's with all of them. My way of thinking is it keep's more products available for me to get when I want or need them.

Ain't it funny how we let ourselves get upset over the most trivial things in this wonderful hobby. By the way there Dennis, do you realise that the angrier you allow yourself to become, the more your spelling suffer's? not pokin fun brother, just a curious observation.

and as far as Mr. Optech, I for one appreciate his insight and opinion,He's welcome to it. And for what it's worth, he could very well be right about his particular situation and experience with TNT. Like you stated above,there is more than one side to every story. And he was being a good guy to give me a headsup . I for one can appreciate that.But for what it's worth, I could just as easily not asked about the landing gear and just contacted B-USA for another set. I just wondered if there was anything better out there as far as a scale look was concerned.

So basicly , what I'm saying is , no harm no foul and lets enjoy this thread together. JUnky out
Old 09-11-2014, 05:05 PM
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Hello RCJUNKY67,
Thanx ! ! All posters have given great input, and I for one, am all "ears".

That's 'cause my pro is buried deeper than yours . . . . but seriously, always interested in tips, tricks,
and info about scale models, chosen to model.

DADDYO, please give some pics . . . . & PROPWORN, would 1\16 be thick enuf for the
reinforcement \ load spreader ?

T-man49 in Al
Old 09-11-2014, 06:00 PM
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Propworn
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Originally Posted by rcjunky67 View Post

Ain't it funny how we let ourselves get upset over the most trivial things in this wonderful hobby. By the way there Dennis, do you realise that the angrier you allow yourself to become, the more your spelling suffer's? not pokin fun brother, just a curious observation.

So basicly , what I'm saying is , no harm no foul and lets enjoy this thread together. JUnky out
Not angry at all, like you I made a simple observation. As to the spelling if there are mistakes I plead fat fingers and a cell phone do not always mix. I was at work at the time and it's all I had. The thread brought back a lot of nice memories with that plane. Thanks again for the reminder.
Old 09-11-2014, 06:01 PM
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T-man, I guess Propworm is taking the night off. I'd asked about that in a previous post, but so far he hadn't responded. hope he's OK . He was a little flustered earlier I think. I'm sure we'll hear from him soon. I'd also started a thread in the kit building forum about using 'biscuits' made from 1/32 ply on all joints in the longeron structure. Sensei was the monicker of the fellow that had originally did the post I'd seen about the technique. he made a box and mounted a GP slot machine in it to cut the grooves in the jointer sticks , and cut half circle biscuits out of the ply.

Now , obviously, this would be an excellent way to add strength without adding a lot of weight.So, I've got a GP .60 size cub that I'm gonna be starting before to long and I'm gonna see how this technique really works on it. where I can.

Getting back to the pro, I'm wondering if using the 'biscuit' technique would allow us to use 1/32 ply for the 'PropWorm load spreader'. Seems to me it would work OK, just not sure for a plane this size.

Also T-man, and everyone else, what engine are you gonna run in your pro??? I was thinking about going gas with mine. Any suggestions???
RCjunky out
Old 09-12-2014, 02:52 AM
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rcjunky67
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Dennis, you ought to pick up another one and build one with us. Your insight would be most valuable to us noob's. And shoot, I'm on a regular keyboard on my old PC.I'm excited man,I gotta keep my word and put a j3 kit together for a friend before starting my pro, so this thread for me, is a way to catalogue insight to make it one really nice model. Just have to refrain from trying to build the cub to fast.I owe to my buddy to do a good job on it.
Old 09-12-2014, 07:11 AM
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Fiberglass Specialties is a great company to deal with and the quality of the products is great. They seem to always have what I need and the time it takes for them to custom make the part(s) for you isn't bad at all. It's usually a couple weeks or less, just depends. Just my experience, not trying to sway you one way or another.

Brian
Old 09-12-2014, 05:22 PM
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rcjunky67
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Thanks BC, I've already checked out their site for the glass part's that I need . will be ordering from them in the near future for sure. Preciate the heads up bro,
Old 09-13-2014, 03:10 AM
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If any of you fella's have any Idea's as to how to make the wing a three piece system for easier transport,please show or explain them here. I'd like to use a cf spar tube ,or maybe two,for and aft to keep it strong and light as possible. thanks

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