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With the fuselage finished it’s time to focus on the undercarriage. I’ve got two major objectives concerning my model: I want to have the capability to take off from smooth runways and I need a suspended undercarriage in order to dampen jolts during landings.
That’s quite an order on such a small model. Since I don’t want to put tundra wheels on a biplane, I probably won’t even be able to take off from mowed grass runways, but tarmacs should do. As a principle I don’t want to omit the undercarriage because on the one hand it offers some protection to the propeller and on the other hand it’s just part of a prototypical look. In fact I only know of one biplane with retractable gear, that being the Polikarpov I-153 “Chaika”.
Wiring the ground first.
After assembling the transmitter, I proceeded with soldering the parts. This turned out to be a fiddly affair, which kept me from taking pictures. In return, there’s a video of the final testing! 🙂
Overall one can say that the manufacturer’s documentation works very well. Once you’ve found your way around the diagrams and schemas, the assembly is easily done in a few hours’ worth of time.
It is really helpful to plan the wiring in levels or layers. At the bottom, I placed the ground connectors. There I connected the potentionmeters, the main switch, its LED and the bind switch. The two function switches remain untouched for the moment because after soldering they will partly block access to the potentiometer.
After framing the fuselage, the nose had to be tackled. This was the first time my skills got stretched to their limits and I had to rebuild repeatedly.
The main challenge was the quite accentuated curve that I expected the stringers to follow. I did manage to bend them accordingly on the fuselage’s halves while they were fixed to the construction board and the fixtures seemed to be stable. However, while trying to join the two halves I overtaxed the wood glue.
After a very, very long time, weather, opportunity and motivation converged into a picture.
Half Moon in Winter (3mm, F/2.0, 1/17, ISO 200 at telescope 115mm aperture, 900mm / 8mm focal length)
After finishing the upper wing quite fast, I chose to continue with the fuselage. On the one hand, because I didn’t have enought material left to build the lower wing, but on the other hand, because I never had scratch-built a wooden fuselage before. Hence, this should become my next test of my endurance.
As I have already mentioned in my post on powering my porter loco with Li-Ion accus, I’d like to experiment with the DelTang system. There’s a lot of positive feedback from other model railroaders and all my requirements seem to be met – with further room for improvements.
Unfortunately, with the upcoming Brexit the demand for DelTang components has skyrocketed at the moment (meaining autumn 2019). I was lucky to get my hands on one Tx22 transmitter and two Rx65c receivers. It will suffice for the moment, but I will need further components, especially spares.
About half a year after I started flying with my EasyGlider the desire for another model aircraft grew stronger.
I soon realized that I’d have to build my own models rather than buy premade ones. Especially larger models would quickly overtax my financial abilities. However, scratch building can consume a lot of money, too. So I decided to test my will: Do I really want to build a model aircraft from scratch?
Thus an old cardboard filled with balsa wood was ravaged, following the old saying: it only costs time. Taking stock, I realized that the materials wouldn’t quite suffice to build a whole plane. However, it would suffice to put my endurance under proper scrutiny.
After I finished the powerpack the next opportunity was seized to perform an extensive test run.
First the pack was connected to the charger and fully charged. To be on the safe side I placed the accu pack in a fireproof bowl and thanks to the fine weather I could move the whole setup into the garden. In case that a cell had been damaged, it would have spared me the troubles of toxic fumes in my workshop.
Test run under severe supervision.
All went well, so I could plug the powerpack into the existing R/C circuit. The results were stupefying: almost three hours of solid mileage with 40% capacity remaining. Now I’m convinced that I can get up to two hours of operations out of the powerpack without overtaxing it. Next step will be the assembly of the DelTang transmitter.