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Cloud Bound 4

Old 07-15-2004, 11:55 AM
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McLeodAviation
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Default Cloud Bound 4

Hi RCUniverse,

Anyone building or flying a Skybench Cloud Bound 4 sailplane? This beautiful all wood sailplane was a construction article in May 1977 RC Modeler Magazine. Now a laser cut kit is available from Skybench. I am ordering the Skybench kit and can't wait to begin construction.

Cloudbound, Mike
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Old 07-20-2004, 10:08 AM
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Rick K
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Hi Mike, while I'm not building a 'Cloud Bound 4' I am building a Skybench kit (Viking). I must warn you that if the kit you're getting is anything like mine plan on spending alot of time figuring things out. From what I'm expereincing and from the input of others building other Skybench kits there seems to be a common problem . . . Ray (Skybench) has made many changes/improvements to the org. kits and later still revised those changes. The problem is that he isn't up to date in his descriptions as to the latest changes and none of the changes to the org. are shown on the plans or drawn anywhere else. My kit is comming out nicely, its just taking about three times as long to build as I thought it would. It's not hard to build or anything like that and the wood and lazer cutting is good, what's taking so much time is figuring out whats new, whats not and how and where/when to install the new stuff.
It's like getting a new software program, the org. was Ver. 1.0, you got Ver. 1.3 but the documentation is for Ver. 1.2 and the keyboard template provided is for 1.0 and with each up-graded Ver. the keyboard was 're-mapped' somewhat . . . like F1 still does the same thing but now F4 = Ctrl+R and Shift+G now is Ctrl+R etc... and you get to figure it all out yourself and oh, if you mess up a keystroke command the program could cause a 'System Failure" and crash the computer. Measure twice, cut once . . . in this case study everything twice, three, four or more times. Don't cut or glue ANYTHING untill your'e sure your'e sure and then check it out one more time again, unless you like to make a thousand or so trips to the hobby store to get replacement wood.
Rick K
Old 07-21-2004, 03:13 PM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Hi Rick,

Thanks for the tips. I will double check every thing and try to make a list of Rays modifications before I start building.

I was hoping to communicate with someone that has already completed a Skybench Cloud Bound 4 kit. Apparently not any RCUniverse members are building this kit?

Cloudbound, Mike
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Old 07-23-2004, 03:59 PM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Hi Mike, Yeah when I posted inquirys here concerning my purchase of the 'Viking' kit back in March I only received responses from people who have built other Skybench kits (which were but a few, but all positive) . . . you might want to try a post on the 'Lift Zone.com' site. Someone there may have the info. you want. Skybench kits are defenitly 'old school' builders kits with modern cutting methods . . . you still need to know a thing or two about building (or remember things you forgot) to have a good time with the kit, these are not 'paint by the numbers' projects by any means.
Rick K
Old 07-25-2004, 10:23 AM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Here is one more picture of the Cloud Bound 4.

Rays Skybench kit recommends building the fuselage 2 inches longer. Not sure if I will do this to my CD4?

Cloudbound, Mike
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Old 07-26-2004, 10:41 AM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Mike, I'd go along with what Ray recommends . . . I know 'V' tails need a long arm-moment for good pitch control and in any plane a longer tail arm-moment makes for greater stability. All of the mods Ray made to my kit's design make sense either from a survivability (strength) or performance standpoint. I'd do it if I were you but if you're interested in NOS class flying I'd first check out the rules or call Ray to inquire if making that Mod. would disqualify your plane from competition, from what I know all you can do to a kit is to strengthen the wing or other structure and add spoilers . . . I don't think you can do anything that would change the Orig. basic design concept or outline (or you can hope nobody notices) I'm not sure so you'd better check it out.
Rick K
Old 07-28-2004, 06:48 PM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Hi Rick,

I probably will build my CB4 to the dimensions on the original plan. I will consider all recommended modifications for extra strength.

The Skybench CB4 kit does not include a clear canopy like the original model. I was a little disappointed to here this. Ray plans to have them available in the future.

I have ordered my CB4 kit and should receive any day.

Cloudbound, Mike
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Old 07-29-2004, 11:35 PM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Hello Mike, you might be surprised . . . my kits Inst. told how to carve a balsa block into a canopy, but included a vacuformed clear canopy . . . see what I mean about not up to date info. That was one thing that was not current in the Inst. of my kit that was OK by me. I really think that my kit will end up being something that I'll be able to take pride in at the field . . . as soon as I get done with it . . . someday soon I hope. I hope you enojoy your kit and will keep in touch on how it's going.
Rick K
Old 07-30-2004, 12:31 AM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Hi Rick,

I am still waiting for my CB4 kit from Skybench. I emailed Ray tonight and should here something tomorrow.

Hope my CB4 kit comes with a clear canopy too!

When I receice my kit will post pictures and info.

You certainly will take great pride in finishing your Viking sailplane. Keep up the good work!

Cloudbound, Mike
Old 07-30-2004, 09:41 AM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Mike, it took six days for my kit to get from Ray in Ind. to here in SoCal. I checked on it's progress through it's tracking # every day. It first went to a sorting facility in Ohio then by truck to Las Vegas on to a sorting place in the next city over from mine and finaly to my door. It was kinda neat tracking it . .. made me feel like a kid waiting for Christmass. You'll really like the cutting and pre-shapeing of parts you wouldn't expect to be done for you. As I said before it's the Inst. that put the 'wammy' on the kit. Too bad for me but maybe your kit will be different. Oh, in my last post I said the Inst. said balsa block canopy . . . I meant Ray's 'up-date' sheet not the Org. kit inst.
Rick K
Old 07-30-2004, 12:22 PM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Hi Rick,

I received email from Skybench today and my CB4 kit will not be shipped until next week. Apparently the kit was not in stock and I will have to wait a little longer.

I am also feeling like a kid waiting for Christmas. Receiving a new RC airplane kit brings much happiness.

Don't worry, I won't be towing my sailplanes with my pickup. Just a crazy idea but is getting some interesting replies.

Cloudbound, Mike
Old 07-30-2004, 12:51 PM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Good morning . . . it still is here, anyway, Ray had my plane in stock but my web friend Loran (Astro-Jeff) had to wait as you are for Ray to cut him a kit. I'm pretty sure Ray waits to get a few orders together of a given kit and then makes a run of them. Makes sense to me, you wouldn't want to drag out all the jigs and templates to only cut one kit at a time or program the laser cutter just for one kit unless you had to. Tough to have to wait though, I feel for ya! The six days of shipping seemed more like six weeks to me after all the time spent carefully choosing the kit I wanted, visiting the site around ten times to be sure of being sure and getting all 'fired-up' after finally ordering it. Yeah, there still is a kid in us . . . not quite that far 'Over the hill' yet.
Rick K
Old 08-05-2004, 02:28 PM
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Default Thermal Machine

Wonder if my Cloud Bound 4 kit will arrive today? I am ready to start building!

I hope Ray doesn't wait for multiple orders before cutting kits. That could possibly take weeks or months! He did say last week that my kit will be shipped this week. I wish the delay was Ray making a canopy plug and vacuum forming a clear canopy. Not likely because last week he said the kit does not include a clear canopy.

Cloudbound, Mike
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Old 08-05-2004, 03:45 PM
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Default RE: Thermal Machine

"Head-in-the-clouds" Mike, (trying to be funny) I don't know . . . Ray sent me a e-mail stating the shipping date and the 'tracking #' (that's how I was able to monitor it's progress across the country). Did you ask him to do so as I did?

Once when I was starting out I messed up the canopy on the 'S-Lady' I was building, a buddy gave me the canopy off his wrecked Oly 650 and with a little fussing and cutting I made it work for me and it looked OK also. Maybe you could try something like that out. I know I wouldn't look forward to carving one from balsa, I'm dreading carving the "Horner" anti-vortex wing tips on my kit. Especially as they have to match perfectly to each other. (don't need any grief from my flying 'buddies' at the field as they are such expert critics on other's work)
Well hope you get your plane today or at least this week . . . good luck!
Rick K
Old 08-06-2004, 02:02 AM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Hi Rick,

I received email from Skybench and my kit is in the mail. YEE HAA!!!!!

I will post pictures of my new CB4 kit soon. I will also post pictures of my CB4 construction for any interested viewers.

I will look for possible canopies to adapt but will probably use a wood canopy for now. Hopefully Ray will have clear canopies available soon.

Cloudbound, Mike
Old 08-06-2004, 02:31 AM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Geez Mike, you stay up mighty late. It's midnite here, what it must be 2am. there, I stay up late after my kids and wife go to bed so I can get some reading/studying done in peace, the messg. 'alert' beep on my computer just about made me jump out of my chair!!!!! It's so (thankfully) quiet in this house about the quite loud 'BONGGGG' about scared me to death.

I was looking at my tower hobbies catalog to see what covering colors I might use for my 'Viking' when I noticed that they carry some clear canopys . . . as I don't know what the canopy area on your kit looks like I'm not sure if any they offer would work for you but you may want to take a look at them anyway. Well I expect to see alot of posts from you in about four days or so. Bet you, as I was, can't wait.
Rick K
Old 08-10-2004, 03:27 PM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Hi Rick,

Ya Hoo! Today I received my Cloud Bound 4 kit.

Lots of nice lazer cut parts and all the goodies. No clear canopy but I will buy or make one later.

Tonight I will clear off my workbench and study the plans and instructions.

I am using a wood door to build on. I noticed some people are using ceiling tiles. What type of surface do you build on?

Cloudbound, Mike
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Old 08-10-2004, 03:36 PM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

I build on a conference table, dead flat. I then bought the balsa building boards from great planes. They are dead flat too.
I did have some of the Guillows balsa boards and they lasted about 5 years before they developed a warp. To use them, I just clamp/weight them down and they are flat again.

Don

PS: I have the Cloud Bound 4 still in the box...way too many projects ahead of it. I think I really need to pare down my kit list...I'll be dead (twice) before I get to them all.
Old 08-10-2004, 06:36 PM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Hi Mike, I have the biggest Sears Crafsman Ind. bench they make, 72"x 32" as with a 1 1/2 inch top and seven drawers. To actually build on I use three 'celotex' accoustic celling tiles taped together, they hold pins well but are not too hard to push them into. You can get them at any large home improvement place. The only trouble is they need to be replaced after a couple of kits as they dent easy and always seem to get that way after a couple of kits or so. Before that I was building on a real mickey mouse set up, a old 4' folding game table, talk about rickitey, how I ever used that and came out with decient planes I don't know, but did anyway. My old home did'nt really have a garage as such so my 'workshop' was a 10'X12' lawn building out in the backyard had electric and TV even . . . but now in my new home I have a three car garage, the third bay of which is my shop, I really did it up right for once. I really have two benches, the main one being the sears and behind me a smaller 4' one I have my disc/belt sander and my scroll saw on with a area left for cutting, drilling, sanding etc. I also have a six shelf 24"X 48" storage unit across one end so the whole thing ended up shaped like a squared 'G'. Have a four 48" tube hanging flo fixture for lighting . . . and yeah, I still have the TV but now with cable and a stereo too. I spend alot of time out there. (alot of it just to get away from the wife and kids to watch what I want on TV in peace and quiet)

How do the Inst. look? How about any supplement Inst. on his mods? Be really on the look out for stuff he's changed but doesn't tell you about nor shows you on the plans . . . examine the parts closely and compare to the plans to pick up on any differences/substitutions. If your kit is anything like mine or my e-mail buddy Loran's (astro-jeff) there's going to be some. At least Ray groups pts. together so you'll at least have some idea as too what they're for, SOME idea . . . I had a few pts. left still in the tail group bag when it was done . . . I guess they go somewhere else but I have not a clue as to where yet!!!!! That's been my only complaint on this kit, the Inst. Well have fun looking things over and then getting started building.
I thought I would have mine done by the beginning of summer but am just starting the wings. At this rate it'll be Christmas before I'm done, luckly living in SoCal thats not a big a deal that it would be back east or up north even though it does get somewhat cool in the winter (to us) we can still fly most of the time. The trouble I have right now is that it's 103 degrees outside right now, maybe 120 in the garage, just a little too warm to be out there right now, in the winter it gets down to freezing at night out there. We seem to have two seasons here: too hot and too cold. In the winter it can be 80 in the day and 38 at night, thats what gets to you, the big swings in daily temp.
Rick K
Old 08-10-2004, 06:43 PM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Hey Mike, went back and enlarged your pix. Looks good, two questions, Does your plane have a wood fuse? and what are those two alumm. pieces that look like landing gear to me for? Are you going to build it full house ie: flaps, ail etc. or something else? Woops that's three questions isn't it. How about a forth, whats the wing loading?
Rick K
Old 08-10-2004, 11:07 PM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Yes, the fuselage is all wood with probably over 100 parts!!!!

The pre-bent aluminum plates are for the V-Tail.

I am thinking of using flaperons. One servo in each wing. Maybe spoilers too?

The advertised wing loading is 9oz/sq. foot.

I was disappointed no supplement instructions for Rays modifications was included with my kit. Later I discovered there is a 3 page parts list with information on Ray's modifications included with CB4 kits. This was missing from my kit and Ray emailed me a copy.

Now that I have studied the plans and instructions I am realizing this may be a difficult kit to build. This is not your typical kit with step by step photo illustrated instructions. All things considered, I should have this kit finished in a couple weeks! Ha ha, maybe a couple months!

Sounds like southern California weather is similar to central Texas.

You have a very nice workshop/garage and big. I have a single car garage and use one corner for building models. Most of the space is reserved for my nicest car.

Think I will try ceiling tiles for this project. I will go look for them later today.

Cloudbound, Mike
Old 08-12-2004, 09:54 AM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Hi Mike, thanks for the answers. It's a funny thing here, most people don't park their cars in the garage. (like me) but either have it filled with other stuff, BBQ, bikes, outdoor stuff etc. or they've turned them into rooms as in playrooms, gamerooms . . . large living rooms. Few really use them for cars. My wife would like to park our 64 1/2 Mustang in there as she seldom drives it. But I'm not too keen on that, what with all the balsa dust I generate which of course would coat her baby . . . she'd go nuts, it'd start a war over in what to her is a dubious, money wasting hobby of mine. I just know she'd demand I move the car out every time I sanded something (which is all the time) and go 'ballistic' everytime I got any dust on it. That might lead me to say something like: "Why did I buy you that thing anyway? You never drive it and I'm the one who washes it all the time anyway" Then she'd say . . . and we'd be off. Why DID I buy it for her????? Guess it was her birthday as I recall.

I hope you printed out all of Ray's "tips" on your plane from his site so you can go over them in hand while looking at the plans etc. Yeah as Iv'e said elseware, his planes are not for beginner types and the Inst. are 'Old-School' single spaced typewritten tomes, lacking drawings or pix. that leads to much 'reading-between-the-lines' and head scratching. Well that was the norm then, how it was done in the 'old' days. From what I see the kits that were first published in the mags. were even worse, they had a limit as to how many words they could use, ie: Tell how to build your plane for us using 2K words or less, that's all the space were giving you to do it in. That's why on these 'classic' kits the Inst. are so, lets say 'concise' to be kind. What did one expect for free?

Just like anyother 'Tech' writing, the author is so familiar with the subject, he understands what HE means, it's all so simple to him. His Inst. make perfect sense . . . to HIM. He doesn't see any spaces between the lines, nothing to miss-understand On my kit (the 'Viking') in talking about building the wing it seems the norm step by step deal until I got to the point where is says "now block up the root rib TE 1/4" and rib W-15 1/8". . . I thought all we're talking about so far is the root section, but rib W-15 is the tip rib, the first mention of the tip section in the Inst. till this point . . . well wait, there was mention of bending music wire to 7.5 deg. for the poly break in step 10 but that was all. Not the usual way Inst. go with building the root sections than move on to the Inst. on the tip sections. These Inst. just assume for you to automaticly do them. This is not the usual, don't do anything untill told to "or you'll be sorry later" way of doing things I was used to. Big suprise! The good thing is I caught it before starting the wing, now I see they want you to build it in one operation. Yikes!!!!, I got to get the kids to school, we're going to be late!
Rick K
Old 08-12-2004, 12:16 PM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

I got my cloudbound4 back in December of 2003 and am still putting it together. I was pretty much done with the major building in late May, but have been having issues since.

Here's tips I'll give (aka - where I messed up)

1) I thought each wing was in three pieces (a double polyhedral) - the wing being separated by two pages on the design is not meant to be a seperate polyhedral - they just ran out of paper!!!
2) The spar joiner between the polyhedral is "WAY" to short (1.5 in on each side). I landed just a little hard on one side and the two pieces of the wing split (my Aspire ARF handled rolling down the field on wingtips - when I was first learning to fly) - to get around this, throw out the little joiners and have the polyhedrals joined to the second rib on each side.
3) I'm having to take the covering off the back end now because I had to put a full pound (16oz) of weight in the nose to get it even close to the marked CG point (granted you need to fly it to get the CG correct), but without the nose weight , the CG was two-three inches behind the spar)
Some suggestions - 1) make sure to look at the tips for building the fuselage on Ray's website - I was doing the diagonal braces on the horizontal (like on the plans) - but Ray has pictures where he's just doing a few verticle pieces between the longerons. 2) I saw this neat trick in Quiet Flyer where they had a pull string and a spring on the rudder - really light weight as compared to pushrods/linkages. Maybe something like that could be rigged up

I set up mine with flaps and spoilers and dropped the drag brakes that are shown and just built the wing out at that point.

I didn't know much about building before this, but after all the mistakes I made, I sure did learn a lot.
Old 08-12-2004, 01:49 PM
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Rick K
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Yeah, it's still the time old story, 'measure twice, cut once" and "things you don't know, you learn by doing twice" The problem in our hobby with CA's and epoxy is that there's not much room for 'twices', usually you get one chance to get it right and just one mistake or misunderstanding can lead to a 'fatal' error that dooms that part of the construction leading to a expensive trip to the hobby shop to replace all the wood needed in that phase of building in order to recover.

I know Mike will be glad to hear from you, someone who's built the same plane he's working on as you know, these are not the simple kits to build as one might expect with all the pre-fab cutting thats already done for you, they do require a good amount of skill . . . Quite a bit more than I expected. I'm lucky to have most of what's needed, just need to remember it! I sure wish I could find someone like you to give me some 'pointers' I guess I'll just have to continue to rely on my experience to get through it ok.
Rick K

P.S. You ever notice that you never see all the spelling or syntax errors you make in a post untill you've already sent it, thats why you see 'edited by" subs on my posts.
Old 08-12-2004, 06:30 PM
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Default RE: Cloud Bound 4

Thanks for the tips David!

Wow, 16oz of nose weight! The original RCM construction article says the model required 4oz nose weight. Your model is much more tail heavy than the original.

I don't understand your tip #3. Why are you taking the covering off the back end?

I am still inhaling all tips and possible modifications before I begin construction. Probably will start on the fuselage this weekend.

If possible please post a picture of your Cloud Bound 4!

Cloudbound, Mike

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