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Easy Built PBY Catalina a 20 year wait is over

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Robert Parker01/05/2016 19:13:35
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929 forum posts
1196 photos

Hi All,

I thought I'd share with you the building of a kit that I once built back in the 90's, I sold it before I flew it and have regretted it ever since.

Thanks to ebay, I finally got hold of a kit without any plans back last December and thanks to Jim Carss from this forum who pointed me to Derick Scott of Model Plans who thankfully had a copy of the plans which are no longer available from Easy Built so I now have a kit.

With my bench now clear I'm going to start the build which if memory serves me right this is anything but an easy built kit especially when it comes to the hull.

The model has a wingspan of 54", 4 functions and originally used a pair of Astro 035 motors with an all up weight of 3 1/2lbs.

I am going to use a brushless set up with Lipos to bring it up to date

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This is the kit, no laser cut parts, all the formers ribs etc have been printed onto the wood and the print lines are about 1/16th thick so I am going on the outside and work in if needed.

The build instructions start on the wings, these are in three sections, centre and outer panels.

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Ribs cut out and glued in place I had to mark out each rib as the printed cut outs did not match the rear spar, so I'll cut the notches for the top spars when this lot has dried.

That's all for now and I hope you enjoy a trip down my memory lane.

Regards

Robert

Colin Leighfield01/05/2016 19:30:00
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5969 forum posts
2494 photos

Another really interesting project. Good luck Robert.

Percy Verance01/05/2016 21:17:52
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8108 forum posts
155 photos

An interesting subject and certainly one to watch. And if you want a bigger one then Ivan's Plans do a couple of larger sizes specifically for electric, right up to about 9ft or so...........

Good luck with the build Robert

 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 01/05/2016 21:20:20

Robert Parker01/05/2016 23:58:07
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929 forum posts
1196 photos

Thank you both for your support, I was a little unsure if the project would generate any interest being such an old kit.

I must admit that despite it's age it has kept well unlike me over the same time frame.

I'll keep you all posted with progress

Regards

Robert

Percy Verance02/05/2016 08:21:51
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8108 forum posts
155 photos

Oh we like old Robert. Indeed, some of us aren't in the first flush of youth...........

Jim Carss02/05/2016 09:31:44
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2073 forum posts
82 photos

Keep us posted Robert,interesting project methinks.

wink 2

Jim

Matt Jones02/05/2016 09:52:49
1186 forum posts
1 photos
Looking forward to seeing this!
Andrew Price 202/05/2016 13:06:33
815 forum posts

Signing in, with interest.

Robert Parker02/05/2016 18:03:30
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929 forum posts
1196 photos

Hi All,

Done a bit more this afternoon and started the outer panels as well as continuing with the centre section.

It has become apparent that I am missing some balsa, I had no top spars for the wing. A quick rummage through my odds and sods box and were soon back on track. I'm not surprised really considering it's age. I am also aware that I'm missing the hardware, clevis's, horns and hinges, all of which can be easily replaced. I do have all of the printed parts for the ribs and formers etc, So I hope we can continue without too bother.

dsc05743 (640x427).jpg

That's the three panels started. despite the ribs being printed for the cut outs for the spars I had to check each one as they differed slightly.

That's all for now

Regards

Robert

Robert Parker02/05/2016 19:44:59
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929 forum posts
1196 photos

Hi All,

I have been planning ahead a little and as the wing is progressing nicely it will need to be wired.

As I'm quite new to this electric side I was going to order the motor cables. I would like some assistance in choosing the correct wire gauge 16,14 or 12awg

The motors are Turnigy D2830/11 1000kv,

Esc's Turnigy plush 30A

Battery (yet to be purchased) but around a 3s lipo around 3700mAh

By using the above set up I am saving around 3ozs

Regards

Robert

Shane Sunday02/05/2016 21:24:07
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342 forum posts
160 photos

The catalina is a beautiful bird I hope to see this one fly. You're coming along nicely sith the build. I think you could get away with the 16 swg wire for the motors. The leads on the motors themselves shouldn't be much smaller. Here's a question for you... What gauge are the leads on your speed controller? This will help decide much easier.

best of luck to you

WolstonFlyer02/05/2016 21:59:05
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2104 forum posts
189 photos

Very interesting project, I will enjoy watching this !

Robert Parker02/05/2016 23:15:47
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929 forum posts
1196 photos

Hi Shane,

For me that is the question.

How do I find / work out that. As I said I'm a bit of a newbie with regards to the black art of electric flying. I know it is a simple and basic question and with experience would become second nature to many.

Having given it some thought I will be extending the wires from the esc's to the motors.

I am keen to try to keep the weight down as much as I can so getting the right cable size correct would be a help in keeping the weight down.

I am trying to hit the target weight of 56ozs all up or below if I can. I do tend to end up with my models going slightly over and I want to get this one right.

Regards

Robert

Shane Sunday03/05/2016 22:27:14
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342 forum posts
160 photos

Hello there Robert. 12awg is typically 2.o5mm diameter, 14awg is 1.63 and 16awg is 1.29. I just got this from a search I did so not my info but perhaps it'll help. If it were me I'd go with 14awg. I'd also keep the motor wires short and try to keep those speed controllers in the nacelles. This way youve less weight with only 4 wires to lengthen instead of 6. Hope this helps.

Robert Parker04/05/2016 20:30:56
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929 forum posts
1196 photos

Hi Shane,

Thanks for getting back to me.

There seems to be quite a debate on this topic on another current thread, "Lengthening Wires" at the moment. I've just been reading through it. It's made me wonder a bit not so much for this build as they only need lengthening about 250mm, but my last electric build where I extended the wires from the battery to the esc's having 4 motors, the outer esc's have been lengthened to 900mm from the battery they seem to run ok but yet to maiden.

Regards

Robert

Shane Sunday04/05/2016 22:01:03
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342 forum posts
160 photos

Hey Robert. In all of my builds ive only ever extebded the battery wires. One as long as 2 and a half foot. This was my F18. It ran on 4s 4000mah 35c lipos and worked a treat.

Andy Meade05/05/2016 08:58:12
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2691 forum posts
682 photos

Very nice, I've just bought a foamie seaplane as a taster to flying off water. Would love to build a Cat at some point, they are very pretty.

Robert Parker10/05/2016 21:24:33
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929 forum posts
1196 photos

Hi All,

Another update.

I have joined the wings so I now have a basic wing structure when it dries. I have roughly shaped the wing tip floats which will be fixed in the up position. I was suprised that blocks in the kit were quite heavy, I will make up some 1/2" laminated blocks and see if these are any lighter.

I have also got the servos, now these certainly save a fair bit if weight 4 servos weighing in at just 48g, my standard servos weigh in at 45g each and the torque is just a little less than my standard servos.

dsc05745 (640x427).jpg

Top sheeting fitted

dsc05746 (640x427).jpg

Wings joined and braces fitted

dsc05747 (640x427).jpg

I'm hoping to fit a servo for each aileron.

Next is to start the nacelle structure

Regards

Robert

Robert Parker21/05/2016 15:14:24
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929 forum posts
1196 photos

Hi All,

I've been a bit busy lately plus managed to get a trapped nerve in my left shoulder which has proved to be very painful and of course being a left hander this has hindered my building as well.

Finally, I've been able to do a bit more, and bit is the operative word here. I needed to extend the motor bulkhead to enable to fit the brushless motor to do this I had to duplicate the motor mounts and add a 20mm (2x10mm balsa) spacer. This has meant I've increased the weight by 1oz in total.

dsc06119.jpg

dsc06120.jpg

When these are dry, I can continue with the nacelle construction as per plan. In the meantime it's back to reading my magazine.

Hopefully tomorrow.

Robert Parker22/05/2016 17:54:22
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929 forum posts
1196 photos

Hi All,

I've had a very good day today and have got on better than I had hoped for.

The motor mounts and nacelles are done

dsc06125.jpg

dsc06124.jpg

The tailplane is done and hinges fitted

dsc06121.jpg

Rudder completed

dsc06122.jpg

Just needs some final shaping

dsc06123.jpg

dsc06126.jpg

This was an impulse buy but when you see all of those printed sheets and the curves, it's well worth the investment

dsc06127.jpg

Took just an hour to cut this lot out

dsc06128.jpg

This was fairly straight forward just had to alter some of the notches a little

When dry I'll fit continue with it, although the instructions seem to be a little vague on the next step plus I'm going to have to make some more strip as the box is getting empty.

That's all for now

Regards

Robert

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