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RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

Old 01-09-2010, 08:44 PM
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Nergall
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Default RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

Well, I wasn't planning on posting this build until I saw someone here complaining about most of the build threads being the same small set of kits. (Guilty! I have a 4*, an Ugly Stick, and a Kadet Senior!)

Plus, this built looks considerably more complicated than I've done before, so I might need a little help!

Anyway, here's a link to the plans:

http://www.rcmplans.com/index.php?ma...oducts_id=2003

Here's the link to the kit:

http://www.lazer-works.com/rcm.html

After that, a wood order to Balsa USA and a parts order to Tower Hobbies! This ain't gonna be cheap!
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:54 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

I built a couple tiny electrics this summer. I'm sick of it! I need bigger planes with reliable hardware and not tape for hinges...

Couple notes on hardware for this:

Saito .82. - Lightest weight engine in its class, but my decision rested primarily on the availability of a 2nd hand one from a fellow club member upgrading to gassers. He says it's only run about a half dozen times, so from what I hear of the Saito, I'll want to break it in further before mounting it on the plane.

Carbon fiber push rods - I didn't believe you all on the (many) Four Star builds and have used plastic ones up till now. You REALLY do have to adjust the trim everytime you fly.

Robart hinges - 1st timer on these. They seem highly recommended here! Also, they should make the flaps far easier. The plans call for a special brass hinge. I'm planning to just use the Robarts.

Monokote! - (OK, I know you all hate it, but it works fine for me.) I have some source pictures of the real planes, and they are all shiny. So, one less new thing to learn.

Still to be determined? The cowling. $50 including shipping from Fiberglass Specialties. I'd like to try making this myself, but if the build goes too slow, I may still order it.
Old 01-09-2010, 08:57 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

Starting on the tail feathers!

Lazer Works kit includes a special jig for both. You build a small plywood frame and place their pre-cut lower sheeting in it. It comes scored for the rib and spar placement.
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:03 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build



Awesome. Subscribed.

Old 01-13-2010, 10:52 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

OK, glued the main spar and ribs in.

Couple notes on this:

The Laser Works instructions call for a single 1/2 x 3/8 main spar, that I guess you cut down the middle when you separate the horz stab from the elevator. I used two 1/4 x 3/8 pieces pinned tightly together. Hopefully, I'll get a nice easy break when that step comes.

The ribs came as one piece with dotted lines where you would cut out for the spar. They are not reversible, so you have to play attention to which way is up. Careful though, because once you separate them, there's nothing left to tell you how to orient the back half. I put a pencil arrow on each before breaking them up.

Finally, I tried using the sand bags to hold the ribs down. You have to have some weight on them to keep the lower sheeting in its "airfoil" shape. Unfortunately, the sandbags were just too big for the task, and a couple of the ribs "drifted" once I put the weight on. Since these are totally interior to the structure, I think I'll just live with the small error.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:54 PM
  #6  
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

I wouldn't sweat the drifting, that's what the sanding bar is for!
Old 01-14-2010, 10:09 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

'Xactly.

I put the top sheet on last night (after a little sanding), and I cut the elevator free tonight. It popped right apart like I hoped!

The Lazer Works version comes with 4 chunks of 1/4 balsa for the tips and the inside curves of the elevator. The 1/4 inch is a little on the thin side compared to the sheeted ribs. However, I'm guessing you're supposed to shape/sand it down into a smooth taper? Anyone here built this before?
Old 01-17-2010, 11:29 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

Started on the Vertical jig tonight.

The horizontal is sheeted. I filled those jig notches and started gluing on the solid balsa curvey bits. Haven't decided how to get the end pieces on the elevator and absolutely make sure they're on straight.


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Old 01-20-2010, 08:10 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

I realized last night that I'm going to want to sand the elevator end cap piece to match the horz stab shape. This means I probably separated the two parts way too early...

Dang.

Well, I should be able to blue tape them back together while I do that part.
Old 01-22-2010, 11:36 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

Horizontal:

I blue taped it back together for the endcaps. However, when I held the 5/16 think endcap wood up to the edge, it just seemed way too thin. (Plans call for 1/4 here though?) I decided to glue two together (5/8), glue them on, and then carve them down to shape. I'm thinking it'll be easier to carve down than to build it back up. Maybe I was supposed to do this anyway, since the short kit came with extras.

Vertical:

The vertical is ready for the second sheet of balsa, which I put on right after the pict below. While I had the blue tape out, I decided to tape the edges snug before putting the ziplock sand bags on top.

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Old 02-02-2010, 08:10 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

Been a little slow posting, sorry.

I've actually been working on two builds at once, so things are proceeding more slowly than usual.

I've epoxied all the doublers in place, including the rear balsa doubler which is called for on the Lazer Works version. (The fuselage side pieces are too big for their cutter, so they have to be spliced together.) I used something new for me on the splice. I placed a piece of glass on my work surface beforehand. Normally, for me anyway, a splice like this would come out a few mills off height-wise and require some sanding. With the glass, it looks perfect!

I also dry fit all the bulkheads into position and trimmed as necessary. I need to epoxy the firewall layers together, and then I can start assembling the fuselage shell. (1/4 plywood, I guess, is too thick for their laser, so you end up laminating two 1/8 pieces.)

The spliced sides and laminated firewall are the only caveats on the kit though. It was the same thing with an Ugly Stick build I did from them, and it's really minor.

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Old 02-08-2010, 12:42 AM
  #12  
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

Once again, very slow progress. Firewall is laminated. I started epoxying the front bulkheads. (I like epoxy for fuel tank area forward.)

Got a little sanding on the horizontal and some small progress on the vertical fin as well.

One thing here, the fuselage side has a contour to it, hence the large number of clamps.

I need to make some small cuts aft of F4 for the sharp bend there, install F1 and then the other side. It'll start to look plane-like soon!
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:30 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

It's great to have an abundance of clamps!



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Old 02-14-2010, 07:34 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

Finally got around to bench mounting the engine to start breaking it in. It's second hand and reported to have 6-7 flights on it already and, I'm guessing, a couple tanks before that.

However, I've never run a four stroke before, so I wanted to at least run it a few times on the bench first. I also want to figure out if it will need onboard glow power.

Everything I've read online says run a gallon of fuel through these before they even start to settle in and idle well.

However, it seemed to run great for me. The head temperature was creeping up a bit high at full throttle, so I'm guessing a little more fuel through it will still help. However, it looks like a great engine! (Saito .81 fs) And, it seemed to idle just fine without the glow plug battery attached.

Any advice on tuning this one?
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:36 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

Otherwise, I mostly sanded on the Bird Dog this weekend. The vertical seems ready to hinge!
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:54 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

OK, I have basically all the vertical formers installed in the fuselage.

However, I sense a problem here. Unlike many kits I've built, there is basically nothing to keep the frame from twisting or kind of shearing into a big bananna! (Looking at it from the top)

Once the top and bottom sheeting are on, it would definitely hold it's shape. However, IMHO, because of how that's applied, I need to know it's holding its shape BEFORE I start sheeting - and that the shape is square!

I've decided it needs some triangulation, so I'm adding some scrap stick wood. I'm starting at the rear and working forward.

Anyone have any better ideas?
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:09 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

OK, been a couple weeks, but I'm still proceeding slowly. I've been slowly clamping and adding those cross pieces to straighten out the fuselage. (While I worked on another project.) I'll post pictures later on.

Meanwhile, I acquired a large vise and bent the landing gear to shape. I have to add the landing gear mounting block shortly, and I needed some motivation. A new tool always helps!
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:58 AM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

OK, I finally have the fuselage mostly straight!

Final bit I installed earlier in the week was a 1/8 plywood fuel tank floor. Cut it to the plans, then clamped the fuselage straight and installed it. Fuselage stayed straight when I took the clamps off the next day.

Now, if I could only hold the camera straight?
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:31 AM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

I built the same plane last year and did a build thread for my clubs web site. I built it just as the plans showed and had no problems with it at all. I did cut all my own parts out and I do remember being very selective about the types of wood I used. Here is a link to my build and good luck with yours, Dave

http://clarkflyers.com/Projects/Arch..._L19_Home.html
Old 04-02-2010, 06:16 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

Looks sweet, that's the exact color scheme I had planned.

On the fuselage, the old kit box top would probably have saved a lot of headache. It basically needs some kind of jig to assemble. I guess I got spoiled building the Four Star!

Couple questions:

1. How's it come out balance-wise? Be nice to have some hints on where the battery and servos should end up.
2. I saw you went with the Fiberglass Specialties cowling. Would you recommend I do the same?
3. How's it fly?
Old 04-03-2010, 08:42 AM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

Balance, way tail heavy so my battery is in the nose as far forward as I can get it, along with a collection of fishing weights. The box top jig is the way to go. You can make one using any box that is long enough and deep enough. Just lay your plans on it, mark where the formers are going to be and cut the slots to same width as the wood for that slot. The cowling that I used was a perfect fit for the plane and it worked out so well. As for flight, it will be different than what you are used to with your 4 Star. It does not float as much as you might think and you need to keep flying it all the time. The flaps do work very well, but you will need to practice with them at higher elevations. It is a good flying plane and not hard to master at all. In order for it to be scale looking it needs to be flown slowly ans slow fly bys are what makes all your work now, look so good. Your build looks good and just give me a shout if you have any questions, Dave
Old 04-11-2010, 08:28 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

Thanks for the info.

Glued on the turtle deck tonight. To be honest, I needed more clamps...
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:09 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

Back on the Bird Dog! My other side project is out the door, and this is the only thing on the table for now.

Laid out the first wing half. Short kit comes with tabs so you can build it upside down. Since the top of the wing is flat (except in the center), upside down has some advantages. You can build the two outer panels together. This means NO breaks in the spars! (Though two need half cuts to make the bend.)
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:19 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

Starting on the second half of the wing tonight. In the background, is the first half, which I'm putting spar webbing on. (Not in the plans, but I prefer to do it.)

Also, I ordered a cowling from Fiberglass Specialties. Looks to be very nice quality, but it needs a little trimming.
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:52 PM
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Default RE: RCM CESSNA 0-1E/L-19 BIRD DOG Build

Second wing starting to look like the first.

I finally got around to making the landing gear block and installing it. It was way too much work without a hobby table saw. I recommend just buying a pre-cut hardwood landing block. Otherwise, it requires freehand routing with a Dremel tool.

I probably should've done this far earlier. Having the gear on will mean being able to set the thing on the table upright without it rolling over!

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