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Radio Control Aerobatic

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Plan Printing by Dave at The Final Image


Super Lucky Fly II - Build
No strings attached ... Hands-on flying with your feet on the ground
I received a challenge from a Texas friend named John, to build this airplane in an effort to evaluate it for the purposes of creating a new kit for the market. I received a set of plans in the mail from John and began to look them over and see what it would take to build this airplane from just the plans. I soon realized that the plans were incomplete and I needed some templates of many parts to begin to build. I sent John a message and soon a bunch of templates showed up in the mail. I began to lay out parts of the airplane and compare them with the templates and soon found that these tracings of original parts did not match the plans, even the plans were drawn wrong to some degree. I was beginning to feel that the people that made the plans did not want people finding a way of duplicating the design from the plans that were supplied from a kit. Well that was not going to stop me much in completing an airplane. I began to make the changes in the plane to match the templates supplied and I began to move ahead.
This is a picture of the finished airplane from the original kit box. It is likely one of the designers prototypes.

The design has a long fuselage with at high aspect ratio wing and large tail making it an ordinary looking airplane but, there are some features that make it a entry level competition aerobatic airplane.

Super Lucky Fly 2

The Kit came with all you see here; ready to be assembled as a simple straightforward construction, the templates that were made for me came off this airplane.

parts

Another picture of a finished Super Lucky Fly II.

Finished

Making the Wings
I needed to check that the wing profile templates matched the plan so I measured the wing root and found that the templates were pretty close, out by a 1/16 of an inch. I could work with that, so I made the changes to the airfoil in order to be correct.

Measure plan

So the next step was to see if I could cut a set of wing cores. I built a foam cutting bow from some plans I found on the Internet and parts around my shop. It turned out pretty good and works fine. Without this tool the project was going nowhere. The cutting bow is a simple design with an aluminum center bar and scrap maple end pieces that are hinged in the center. Between the upper sections of the bow is a wire that has a spring in it that keeps tension for the nichrome cutting wire below.

foam core cutter

Wings were a big project only because the plan showed a root profile but no tip profile. Once I had a tip profile from the templates that were sent to me I was ready to get down to business. I then calculated the half span and organized just how I was going to prepare the blocks of foam in order to cut proper wing airfoil cores.

After they are cut the completed foam wing cores are placed back in the foam cradles. They are now ready for internal structure before sheeting. The plan called for landing gear blocks and a plywood spar joiner.

foam core cut

Shown here is a complete set of cores ready for landing gear blocks and wing root spar joiners.

foam cores cut

Now that the cores are cut, I placed them back into their core cradles and then arranged to lay out where the landing gear was going to go. This took a bit of measuring on the plan in order to get the landing block hole in the correct place. After cutting the hole I made an 'L' shaped gear block from some extra maple and maple dowel that I had in the scrap bin. Marked here is the location for the landing gear blocks that I got from measuring off the plan.

landing gear location

Gear blocks are home made from maple and plywood, and glued together with gorilla glue. This worked great and they are solid. I need to add gear wire upright blocks so the gear can be held firm in the blocks.

Landing gear blocks

I had to cut the gear block beads in the foam and the use of a hot knife did the trick. I also used a drill to make the round hole for the gear leg upright to go into.

Landing gear blocks

Properly measured and located, the landing gear block is made to fit in a slot cut in the core and held there firmly with Gorilla Glue. The gear blocks are fitted in place and are ready for glue..

gear block trial fit

Here is a gear block firmly glued in and sanded.

Gear block glued

I made a trial fit of the spar joiner to see how things lined up before the next step.

Wing Joiner trial fit

More sanding of the whole wing before preparing for sheeting is necessary to make things smooth.

More wing sanding

Another trial fit of the whole wing and gear legs to see how things look and verify alignment before the wing sheeting step proceeds.

Gear Trial Fit

Sheeting the Wings
A template is created using bond paper or file folder paper to the wing shape, slightly oversize in order to make the sheeted wood that goes on each wing. I included a cut-out where each landing gear block is located. It will help me locate the gear block after the sheeting has been applied to the foam core..

Sheeting Template

It is up to you to decide what glue to use, I used Gorilla Glue PVC Urethane glue that worked great.

Skinning wings is not a complicated step. This picture is the cores being cured in their cradles with plenty of weight.

Next time I will apply sheeting to each foam core and cure them one at a time rather than stacked one on top of the other. My method here resulted in a warp in one wing so I had to do that one again.

Sheet Curing

Here is a set of completed sheeted wings.
Ready for sanding.

Sheeted Wings

A check for straightness before the next step, I felt that these wings were coming out ok after the skinning process.

Is it straight

Wing Center Spar
After the sheeting was complete, I needed to install a plywood wing joiner. This is a 1/8th inch plywood piece that has the correct dihedral angle in it and that sets the angle in the wings when they are attached together. In this series of pictures I show the use of Gorilla Glue again. With the low humidity around here there was very little glue expansion. You will have to experiment with this for yourself so see how the glue works for you.
Simple task of inserting the plywood joiner into the slot and gluing in place, I used gorilla glue there as well.

Wing Joiner

Next step is the leading and trailing edge strips. I prepared four strips of 1/4-inch sheet, two to 1/2 inch wide and two to 3/4 inches wide. I also made a straight line on each down the middle to set as a reference. They are straight pieces of wood but the camera angle makes them look warped.

Leading & Trailing Edge strips

I began with the trailing edges first. I used Gorilla Glue and then wrapped with what I had, nylon cord. I should have used some kind of ribbon but this worked in a pinch.

Edge strips strapped

Attached the leading edge in the same way and let the glue set.

Lead edge secured

Continued  Next Page >

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