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Reaction 54 Jet Kit

Old 08-04-2007, 11:27 PM
  #1776  
afterburner
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

Do you guys remember how much if any of the spring you cut off when you cut the strut down. I changed my wire gear out for the Robart struts and at the same time I also reduced my flap settings and the few times I was out flying off of pavement, I've been getting the kangaroo hop on landing. I've had the thing barely moving and put it down smooth and still get a hop out of it. I changed the flaps back to the max throw I could get somewhere around 55 degrees but have not flown it yet. I'm just curious if the length of the spring is causing some of the problem. the reason I initially cut down on the flap throw was there was some discussion that it helped on landing. Thanks.

Marty
Old 08-05-2007, 08:33 AM
  #1777  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

Marty,
I cut about a half inch off the springs on the main struts (Robart) and significantly more on the nose strut. My main struts compress from the models weight when placed on the ground. But....the struts will not bottom out unless a lot of force is applied from above. Before I cut the springs, the struts were just as stiff as the standard wire landing gear. To be sure of the length, cut 1/8 to 1/4 inch at a time until you achieve the softness you want. That way you won't cut too much and end up with mushy struts.

Keith
Old 08-06-2007, 10:05 AM
  #1778  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

First flight photos
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:13 AM
  #1779  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

More photos
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:31 AM
  #1780  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

I assume you are all using the Robart 660 series struts for the mains and the nose wheel. Has any one used the 660L/R struts for the mains? Is there an issue with getting that offset leg into the wheel well? I'll be flying my R54 off grass (if I ever get it finished []) and will probably upgrade the gear to the Robarts.
Old 08-06-2007, 02:24 PM
  #1781  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

Thanks Kieth. I will try that after my next time out if going back to max flaps don't make a difference.

John, for the mains the straight 660's will work but the offset ones won't. I ordered them first and the problem had to do with the length that you have to cut the strut down to. I think with modification, people have used the offset strut for the nosewheel. I'm still using the wire gear for the nose.

Marty
Old 08-06-2007, 09:50 PM
  #1782  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

Marty,
Take a look at the 660 nose gear with the yoke. That's the one I used. It places the nose wheel on the center line and just requires a narrow cut out for the gear as opposed to the large cut out needed for the wire gear with electric brake. Some modification is required to get the strut to fit. A 2.5 inch wheel is used to allow a little extra length for strut compression. I'll provide some pictures of the strut if you are interested.

Keith
Old 08-06-2007, 11:06 PM
  #1783  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

I used straight Robart 660 struts on the main gear. No cut to the springs at all. My struts might be a little stiff, but at full takeoff weight, they smooth out the bumps like butter and they compress on landing (based on the grease marks on the inner bare metal strut) to about half travel on a typical landing. I can tell the airframe is happier because there is less rattling and shaking around and everything stays put inside with minimal upkeep on fasteners and equipment placement.

I'm using a Dreamworks trailing link nose gear strut for the nose gear, and a BVM 2 1/4 inch nose wheel tire. My mains are BVM 2 5/8 inch tires and the wheels and brakes are Sierra Giant Scale units with disc/drum brake pads. They don't brake as aggressively as BVM units, but they activate smoothly & evenly every time and will not lock up the tires either.
Old 08-06-2007, 11:20 PM
  #1784  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

Hi All,

My son and I just returned from the Thundermountain Jet Rally in Whitefish MT. We had a great time! It was good to see Bruce Tharpe once again and watch him fly his Reaction 54. What a beautiful Jet. As I was watching him, I was impressed (once again) with how smooth this jet flies and how slow and easy it lands.
I've had the pleasure of running into Bruce at two jet rally's this year and have thoroughly enjoyed his friendship and his efforts to help my son feel welcome in the jet community. Thank you Bruce. I wish you all the success. You represent all the good things that this sport/hobby is intended to offer.
Sincerely,
Steve Morris
Old 08-06-2007, 11:29 PM
  #1785  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit


ORIGINAL: speedbrake

Marty,
Take a look at the 660 nose gear with the yoke. That's the one I used. It places the nose wheel on the center line and just requires a narrow cut out for the gear as opposed to the large cut out needed for the wire gear with electric brake. Some modification is required to get the strut to fit. A 2.5 inch wheel is used to allow a little extra length for strut compression. I'll provide some pictures of the strut if you are interested.

Keith
Never considered that one. As for now, I'm just sticking with the wire nosegear although I might look into changing it out later in the year. If you have a picture or two that would be great. Thanks.

Marty
Old 08-07-2007, 08:00 AM
  #1786  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

Thanks for the information and guidance everyone. I thought the offset struts were a little more attractive than the straight 660's but based on AB's experience I'll go for the 660's on the mains and wire on the nose for now. I'll be using the electric brake on the nose and it looks like there will be a fit problem getting the electric brake into the yoke nose gear.
Old 08-07-2007, 09:42 AM
  #1787  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

Steve, thanks so much for the kind words... you're making me blush. It's always a pleasure to cross paths with you and your son, Andrew. It was just a year ago I witnessed Andrew get his waiver using an R54, and now he's tearing up the skies with a Bandit and Bobcat. Wish I had nimble thumbs like that

About the strut discussion... Keith, Marty, and Eddie are sharing lots of good info, and that's great! There's no doubt the spring struts are an upgrade from the wire struts that come with the retract package. I just wanted to assure anybody reading this that the wire struts are more than adequate for the plane. I chose them because they fit the overall "spirit" of the design which features simplicity and economy. Lots of us are still using the wire struts and never thinking twice about it. Bottom line is this: By all means, upgrade to struts if you wish, just don't consider it a necessity.
Old 08-07-2007, 10:53 AM
  #1788  
Ron Stahl
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

Just flew mine again at the Liberty Bell rally 07 this make 3 years for mine. Everyone still can't belive how slow mine will fly and some guys actually get it too slow on the flare to landing, and this causes the gear to bend back from the bounce. Great sport jet plane building another one for a friend this winter.
Old 08-07-2007, 10:57 AM
  #1789  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

John,
You are right of course...the electric brake will not fit on the 660 yoke strut. When using struts most people install brakes on the mains...thus the electric brake is not necessary. But more importantly, the yoke allows the nose wheel to be on the fuselage center line...this improves ground handling. The electric brake puts the nose wheel off center. The cut out in the fuselage for the standard nose wheel and brake is large compared to a yoke strut. There is nothing wrong with either set up...I chose to make this change after building and flying my first Reaction.

Keith
Old 08-14-2007, 10:40 AM
  #1790  
Eddie P
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

My digital camera broke. I haven't been able to get a lot of good pics of the completed paint job. However, she has been flying well since the project was completed some time ago. My nephew volunteered as our pit crew (my other buddy flies a Titan powered Eurofighter). We were out there just after dawn last week and were having a blast in the cool morning temps when a dry cold front passed. Our heat thinned blood couldn't handle temps in the high 50's and low 60's without a jacket. After an hour of flying it was already in the low 80's and headed for higher.

I'm very happy with the Reaction 54 now. All told, here are the repairs and mods to the used model:

Went through complete airframe with fine tooth comb; R&R wear/tear items and unexpected damage
Removed monokote, rounded out sharp edges, fiberglassed and painted fuse and stabilizers
Engine inlets added
Faired exhaust area
forward fuse modded; canopy & cockpit added
Re-monokoted and painted wings
added servo fairings
replaced damaged main gear retract hardware
Robostruts replaced the wire main gear struts
rebuilt wheel brakes
new trailing link nose wheel strut installed
new set of tires
rebuilt fuel tank and lines
Royal Navy paint scheme

The Jet Cat P-60 turbojet engine package has been a finely tuned machine from day one. It needed a new fuel filter and I fitted a FOD screen to her - about a 15 dollar investment - but otherwise the trusty turbine has been the shining star of this project.

Things to do:

Continue to fly the snot out of it

When I feel like making myself some busy work I may add a smoke tank (external) and retrofit a 70 ounce fuel tank to replace the 50 ouncer. I've also talked big words about a bigger engine - but even with the P-60 I find I throttle back in flight to keep the airframe from overspeeding. It's a huge airframe, so it can look at times like it's going slower than it really is. The only thing more thrust would add would be better vertical performace, but to be honest, the vertical is still pretty decent even on a full tank, especially if I throttle up and stabilize at max blast a few seconds before a smooth pull.

The flying qualities of the R54 are amazingly diverse. I have settled in on a consistent style with her that relies on smooth maneuvers and energy management, like a real airplane. It can go relatively fast when pushed yet also very, very slow. All in all, when I fly the R54, there is only a lot of fun and no trepedation. It's a jewel of a model.


One last "THANK YOU" to all the guys who posted progress on their R54's along the way. You guys are the best and have kept me going to finish what I started.
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Old 08-14-2007, 12:23 PM
  #1791  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

double post
Old 08-14-2007, 06:44 PM
  #1792  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

Eddie P,
Awsome to see it finished, well done, the transformation looks amazing, you would hardly know its the same airplane--- What retracts do you have in her ??? Robarts or something else--- and can you recomend them ???

Was wondering where everyone is--- thread has been very quiet for a while now--- decided as its summer over the USA most are busy burning jet fuel--- lol.
cheers Jay.
Old 08-15-2007, 07:19 PM
  #1793  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

A pic. off my recently completed Reaction 54. Test flight in a couple of weeks
Old 08-16-2007, 08:18 AM
  #1794  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit


ORIGINAL: Sonicwings

Was wondering where everyone is--- thread has been very quiet for a while now--- decided as its summer over the USA most are busy burning jet fuel--- lol.
cheers Jay.
Much to the dismay of my wife, I've been living in my shop, building my R54. Everything is built to the point of putting in the evevator and rudder "push pull" system. I plan to glass and paint mine so I am a bit away from finishing. I may decide to put it into the air in primer or basic white with a red bottom just so I can be sure to get it in the air this season. The final color scheme will mimic the Patrouille Suisse air show team F5.

I have become quite familiar with my P70. It's mounted on a 1X6X18" plank with all of the supporting components. I take it to our flying field, clamp it to a work table and run it in simulate flight sequences. Looks like I will have enough fuel in the 50oz tank to fly for 7 minutes with fuel to spare.

I'll be retiring from Pratt & Whitney at the end of this month so early fall will be my building season as well as lounging at the flying field. I should make a lot of progress on the R54 during that time.

Eddie, that's a beautiful R54. Hope you don't mind when I copy your inlets. Eventually I want to put an F5 style canopy with turtle deck and cockpit on the plane.
Old 08-25-2007, 10:39 PM
  #1795  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

John, congratulations on making retirement at Pratt and Whitney!

Like they say, if you want to become a millionaire in aviation, start with a billion and quit when you get to a million. But in your case you have earned the right to say you have survived the aviation industry with wife and limb. Notice the 'w' in front of -ife. I would like to give my honest thanks to your efforts in making amazing engines that have held my personal life in the balance on many a dark and stormy night - through sheer brute reliability and refusal to blow to pieces in the most inopportune moments. My family thank you for that, and me too I suppose

Back to our fun topic, model airplanes.

All your hard work will pay dividends soon. I would second your decision to get it flying before too much hard work goes into the finish. I never used to do this but as time goes on I become more of a fan of early test flights in primer and basic markings. It gives you much needed motivation and diversion to regroup and come back swinging to get the finish just right before that final clearcoat gets applied.

Though you will curse your decision to glass when knee deep in wet snadpaper, you will forever be happy with the decision after the fact.

To everyone else, are there any good pictures of the R54 gang at Whidbey [&:]
Old 08-25-2007, 11:40 PM
  #1796  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

G'Day John,

Can I suggest that you glass the fuse and tail and monokote the wings. I did mine in all glass and I am sure glassing the wings added most of the weight. I would paint the tips and monokote the straight bits.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Regards

Old 08-28-2007, 11:04 PM
  #1797  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

Here are some links to some excellent pics of my R-54 on approach taken by Scott Stottlemire at the Heart of Ohio Jet Scramble.
I want to thank Bruce for designing a plane that let me win an award at my first jet rally. As Dave Rigotti said, "Bruce would be proud."

http://www.rcphotos.teamastro.com/im.../IMG_1719.html

http://www.rcphotos.teamastro.com/im...MG_7328-1.html

http://www.rcphotos.teamastro.com/im...MG_7333-1.html

http://www.rcphotos.teamastro.com/im.../IMG_3836.html
Old 08-29-2007, 12:02 AM
  #1798  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

Nice job Mark and congrats

Your R54 continues to look spectacular.
Old 08-29-2007, 12:29 AM
  #1799  
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

Thanks Eddie,
Maybe one day I'll finish the mods as you did... but different
Old 08-29-2007, 10:33 AM
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Default RE: Reaction 54 Jet Kit

Yeah, congrats Mark. I AM proud! Sounds like you are making a great impression out there with your R54...

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