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TF Spitfire build

Old 01-05-2004, 07:38 AM
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tubig
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Default TF Spitfire build

i'm just starting a TF Spitfire and thought i would try to post the build. i'm thinking of using either an OS91FS or RCV90, flaps, and CJ retracts. this will be the first time for flaps and pneumatic retracts. i'm going to try to modify the kit somewhat to try to get a better scale MkIX.

here is what i have so far. i added a few more lightening holes in the horizontal stab ribs . the tail section seems very overbuilt. i'm adding lightness where i can but it still feels pretty heavy. i think TF has heard the complaints about the Spitfire being so tail heavy because they have increased the size of the holes they are putting in the stab/elevators. however, they are using 3/32" balsa for the stab/fin ribs which i think would be sufficient with 1/16" ribs and sheeting.
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Old 01-05-2004, 10:12 AM
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Doug D.
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

Your doing great so far. Keep the tail light, Light, LIGHT! I finished mine this year and it came in close to 11lbs. I fiberglassed and doped mine. It flys at that wieght, but it's not that pleasent. I also used CJ retracts and flaps. Powered mine with a Laser 4 stroke.
Good luck and have fun!!! [&:]
Old 01-05-2004, 06:01 PM
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tubig
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

doug, thanks for the comment. i'm doing my best to keep everything aft of the cg as light as possible (with the exception of buying contest grade balsa and doing it all over). if you don't mind i'd like to ask you questions on problem areas i may come across as i progress.
Old 01-05-2004, 09:39 PM
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Doug D.
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

I'll do my best to help anytime. [&:]
Old 01-07-2004, 12:01 AM
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tubig
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

here is the elevator. the elevator core picture shows how TF has enlarged their lightening hole as compared to the plans which i assume shows their original design. you can see where i've marked out a little more balsa to cut out on the right elevator core and how is covered with the tips on the left elevator core. i even went so far as to hollow out the tips a little leaving about 3/32". have to be careful, though, on the ends because they will be shaped later.

also shown are the completed elevator halves. i modified the TF design by extending the tips in a more forward direction vs. the 45 deg. angle that TF uses. from what i can tell most MkIX's had this feature.
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Old 01-07-2004, 02:35 AM
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

Glad to see your TF Spitfire construction thread and it is looking good, Tim!

Please keep the pics coming and thank you for sharing.

Wallace
Old 01-07-2004, 09:49 AM
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Doug D.
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

Looking Good ! [&:]
Old 01-07-2004, 08:21 PM
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tubig
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

so, here is the horizontal stab with the elevators. still needs some filling, hinging and final sanding. i had originally planned to add shaped blocks to the back of the elevator leading edge to give a more scale look of the internal structure and had drawn them up on the plans but have since rejected the idea since i don't think it will show up to well on this scale level and to save weight. i am still planning on adding the elevator balance tabs since that is very noticeable on the full size.

the second picture shows how i've sanded a slight recess in the horizontal stab t.e. to install the control surface gap cover (not sure if that's the correct phrase...please correct me if i'm wrong). i'll be gluing in 1/64th ply for that.
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Old 01-08-2004, 09:57 AM
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Doug D.
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

Still looks good so far. Remember that you still have to install the torque rod that allows the two halve to move together. If I remember right you have to add some additional pieces in there for that. [&:]
Old 01-09-2004, 12:18 AM
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tubig
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

ORIGINAL: Doug D.

Still looks good so far. Remember that you still have to install the torque rod that allows the two halve to move together. If I remember right you have to add some additional pieces in there for that. [&:]
yeah, right now i'm playing with the idea of using a wooden dowel instead of the metal connector provided in the kit to join the two elevator halves. this would give it more of a scale look. however, i'm not sure if i can secure it enough to prevent an inflight failure. any ideas?
Old 01-09-2004, 12:45 AM
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

I dont know but I was thinking of doing the same thing (not using the metal connector)
because this way provides less flex between the two and ruduces the tendency to snap on full UP deflection.


David
Old 01-09-2004, 12:46 AM
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E*nealio
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

I am also thinking about building the TF SPit myself but thought i better hold off for a while untill im done building the kit im on right now> I think you could get a hardwood dowl from the hobbyshop or a craft store and instead use a longer cure time epoxy ie(45+) and use teh milled fiber glass and glass cloth to reinforce the dowel once its in the elevator. But then your looking at around the same weight as the original torque rod that it came with. with the wood idea i dont know what your planning on doing with this plane(I would think scale flying, not any aerobatics that would put that much stress on the rod....) Oh ohh another idea would be to install a dual elevator pushrods and link em. (example Gp extra 300s.60)That way you would forget about the torque rod and not even worry about the stress issue. Also you might think of installing a YS1.10 fz for the power to make it a little nose heavy.(they fly better that way just because of the planes flight characteristics)That way no extra "nasty" lead weight would be added to the nose that is just freakin dumb..... I hate adding weight. I dont think you will have much of an issue with ys1.10. Great engine at any attitude and you wont worry about a weight problem. IF you like the Ys engine, I got one from Central Hobbies for $323.something. Ample power and just a great engine. Good luck with the kit. Keep those pics hh come'n . Can t wait to hear about it when it flys. my 2 cents
Old 01-09-2004, 12:51 AM
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

I dont think a top flite kit is possible to build nose heavy.

But ya, the dowels do look a lot better when finished correctly.

David
Old 01-09-2004, 01:29 AM
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tubig
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

thanks for the suggestions. i would like to stick with the dowel idea because i want to conceal the control horn for the elevator within the fuselage. the rudder will have the control horn outside on the left side of the rudder (which is opposite the TF method....you would think that they could have at least put the control horn on the same side as the full size because it's really just as easy...but that's another topic). E*nealio, i think your idea of using fiberglass to reinforce the joint may be the way to go.
Old 01-09-2004, 11:57 AM
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Doug D.
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

The dowel method will work good so long as it's a good hard wood. Some of those available will still twist a bit. So look at them carefully. I've had one suggestion out here to replace the brass torque rod wire with an aluminum one. They are available at some hobby stores, but the best place to check is some place that does welding. Depending on the alloy they can be reasonably stiff. And they can be shaped with light heat from a torch. I haven't looked for any yet, but plan to on the next TF model I attempt.
Don't think there's enough room for any type of dual push rods as E*nealio suggested, but it's a thought!!! [&:]
Old 01-11-2004, 10:09 PM
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Navy18
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

Hey guys, just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the pics on the building; I am looking for a good Spitfire and will follow your build with interest. I have a Goldberg Extra to finish before I choose which Spitfire to build. Have you seen these TF models fly? Are you happy with the instructions? Keep those pics coming.
Old 01-12-2004, 12:40 PM
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tubig
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

navy18, no i haven't seen a TF spit fly yet. most reports say it flies well if kept light (under 10 lbs). my target is 9 or less....we'll see. ask Doug D. as he finished one about a year ago i think.

the instructions are very good. many steps but all are easy to follow with good photos. the materials are ok. the balsa is mostly hard and heavy. a couple of sheets of laser cut with the rest being die-crunched. however, the crunching is not too bad.

btw, do/did you fly navy?
Old 01-12-2004, 12:47 PM
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

Tubig, I was a Navy pilot from 1985 to 1991..... flew P-3's and instructed in Pensacola for 3 years...... now I am a lowly airline pilot who wants to build a Spitfire. I have the Great planes Spit40 kit given to me as a gift but that is more of a fun flyer type and not a scale copy. I am interested in taking the hobby to the next level with retracts and scale addons. Keep the build info coming.... really enjoy it.
Old 01-12-2004, 12:51 PM
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tubig
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

navy18,
i was navy also...EA6B from '86-'93. now also a lowly airline pilot flying in asia. in states for training now so my projects are on a little hiatus.

managed to get this much done before i left. vertical fin with a gap seal of 1/64th ply on the t.e.
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Old 01-12-2004, 02:12 PM
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Navy18
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

Tubig, it's a small world.... us lowly airline pilots need a good hobby too; think we found it. When were you at Whiting Field? I got winged in 85 but since you went jet, we may have been in the VT's at the same time. What engine are you thinking about for your Spit? Wish I could start one up and build right along with you..... I would have plenty of questions.
Old 01-12-2004, 02:53 PM
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

Tubig, how do you post a pic? I'm rather new to all this.
Old 01-12-2004, 05:38 PM
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Doug D.
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

Here's a couple snaps of my TF Spit. It's still flying. [&:]
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Old 01-12-2004, 07:01 PM
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

Doug,

That is a great looking Spitfire; you are talking me into the TopFlite kit. I get the feeling it is a handful to fly..... did yours turn out heavy? How difficult are retracts (and what kind did you use) for someone who has never used them? What part of the kit gave you the hardest time? Do I dare ask how many nonkit parts you substituted? Thanks for the pics.... I'm just about sold. The end result for the money seems really nice.
Old 01-12-2004, 07:04 PM
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

Doug,

I forgot to ask what you have under the cowl? And what muffler fits so well?
Old 01-12-2004, 08:06 PM
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Default RE: TF Spitfire build

I gotta suggestion on the dowel. How about you glue the dowel in. And get a very small dowell, I think a 1/16th or so. The metal one needs a hole drilled into the stab any way. Why not just drill a hole in the dowel and glue in the small dowel as the metal joiner would? I did this on 2 of the kits I did to eliminate the metal one. Worked well for me. Hope this works.

Mark Shuman

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