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ARTF - The Stevo way

Blackhorse Super Air

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Stevo10/09/2017 12:32:19
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Ok, so what's this guy playing at? Scale scratch bult Stuka? And now he's on a low wing trainer?

You may know already that I'm having to re-learn everything flying after a lay-off and that my flying needs stick time. I felt the need for a low wing trainer - Blackhorse Super Air it was.

This is not intended as an ARTF construction bible or build blog, so experienced builders/scale officianados might want to skip this.

So I have an ARTF - I could assemble the whole lot in 2 hours and get it airborne, so what's the deal?

It's not about installing flight assistance.. or flashy LEDs.. gyro assisted Rudder.. but how to get it together properly, and what you can do at the early stages to make it last a little longer. However it will not protect you from a severe ground impact..

So, fairly new to ARTFs? Read on, it's your lucky day yes

Stevo10/09/2017 13:04:07
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Straight out of the box it's fuel proofed. Well, sort of. I've seen quite a few ARTFs that are long in the tooth, still flyable but soaked in oil, so nothing will stick back down, making repairs a little difficult. Best thing you can do is add extra!

Use your fuel proofer of choice. Mine is always Plastic coating.

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Dries by evaporation, then the catalyst gets to work.

Start with the obvious area..

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Apply 2-3 coats sparingly - particularly over the ends of the covering - fuel will seep up here like nobody's business!!

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Now go to the inside - yes the inside. This is where the tank is, so any mishaps here may spell disaster. Coat all around the tank bay, and particularly the hole in the firewall. Don't be frightened to also coat the servo mounts and inside of the fuselage as well. This makes it easier when attaching velcro as well!

Now for the lesser known parts! If the wing attaches in two parts as mine does, fuel/oil will also get in there. Coat the end of the wings, and where the wings attach to the fuselage as well.

2017-09-10 12.38.58.jpg

2017-09-10 12.46.02.jpg

As I say, 2/3 coats will do. It will take a week to go off, but I'm not installing the engine until next week anyway.

Just a note. Many ARTFs will state a particular size of 2 stroke, and their 4 stroke equivalent. Don't be fooled. The 2 strokes will generally fit with no problem. The corresponding 4 stroke will be longer - if you are looking at a cowelled aircraft, this will be a show stopper!!!!! Download the manual from the website first. It will give you a measurement from the firewall to the back of the prop - typically 110mm, for Seagulls/Blackhorses. If you want to install a Saito 56 you've no chance, I'm afraid

ASH.10/09/2017 13:43:44
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316 forum posts
I use Solarfilm Clearcoat for fuelproofing. It is a synthetic varnish which dries instantly. I also paint a thin line over all film edges and trim. It's time consuming but worth it. Never had a trim lift.
Stevo10/09/2017 14:16:40
2699 forum posts
419 photos

That's it Ash, you've got the idea.. always over the edge

My chosen powerplant, Saito 50. Reconditioned by me

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Now for those hinges. DO NOT trust that they are glued in. At all. Ever. On this particular model, the hinges appeared to be glued in, however with little effort I managed to pull half of them out! Place the control surface in a small vice to hold it, use THIN CA with a micro dropper attached. Don't try without, you will flood it. Make sure the hinges are halfway, and drop CAREFULLY CA at the hinge base, AND into the slot either side. Quickly wipe off any runs.

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Once dried in a couple of minutes, assemble into the wing/stabilisers and make sure they are central, there are NO gaps between the Aileron/Elevator/Rudder, and flext it back and forth. If it's OK to continue again GO EASY with the CA as it will wick right into the gap. Again, go left and right of the hinge itself to fill that gap. Once done, turn it around and do the other side. Wipe off any spare.

The tips are to use thin CA and a micro dropper and GO EASY. The thin CA is like diluted water ad will run right in. Remember to go left and right of the hinge; this seals any gap that fuel could run in to.

The tank holds no surprises; the pipes are plastic and won't corrode and are pre-bent. Use thin clear tubing for the clunk, not the thicker stuff. Mark the tank connection for the carb with a scriber for future reference. On the subject of tubing, I colour code mine: -

  • CLEAR - Carb: So you can see fuel getting to the carb
  • GREEN - Pressure pipe from exhaust
  • RED - Filler
  • If you are using a four stroke engine, I use a short run of clear from the nipple hanging down below the engine as a breather, and to inject some after run oil.

Obviously you can use your own choice, but I advice clear for the carb line as you can see if fuel is getting there, or if there are any bubbles present that may give you problems.

Don't forget about 6 - 8mm clearnce from the clunk to the back of the tank. Once assembled, flip the tank upside down, and you will hear the clunk hit the top of the tank. If it doesn't - don't install the tank and investigate why! Now you see a reason for fitting the thin walled clear tubing to the clunk. The thicker stuff will not allow it to move freely, I'm afraid.

2017-09-10 13.55.12.jpg

Careful here. When pushing the tube on to the carb outlet, it is all too easy to push the plastic pipe back in to the tank, jamming the clunk against the rear of the tank.. go easy.

Edited By Stevo on 10/09/2017 14:19:03

Stevo13/09/2017 19:05:05
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Little more done today.

Servo Insallation

No big suprises here,follow as per instructions. When installing any servo, make sure the body is not pressing against the mount or the airframe - and it is held securely by the screws and rubber mounts.

2017-09-13 18.09.05.jpg

In this instance I noted that the outer for the throttle went way past the throttle servo.. Kinda' obvious really, but it may catch the unawary!

2017-09-13 17.57.34.jpg

Servo screws? everytime I use the hex variety from Modelfixings. They never shear or break, and you cannot 'round out' the hex socket. Always mark the hole beforehand, I use the screw centring gadget...

2017-09-13 17.53.46.jpg

Ok so they are in.

Tail

I always insert the tail, and then mark with masking tape, not a marker. The marker is messy, and difficult to erase. The masking tape also stops any squeeze out onto the tail. BUT... don't force the tail in. Ever. I had to relieve mine a little with a permagrit file. Dont be tempted with a chisel, will you?

2017-09-13 18.13.46.jpg

Then of course use the tape to mark the postions when it's in accurately. More on that later.

2017-09-13 18.17.24.jpg

Heres another trick How to get the horizontal stab level? Insert the aluminium tube - which is now the horizontal reference. I use a digital pitch gauge for saw table setting. Set this as zero degrees - make sure the fuselage is firmly clamped or weighed down. Insert the tail and place the gauge on that ... anything within 0.2 - 0.3 degrees will do. In this case it was OVER a degree... Again Fettled with the Permagrit.

2017-09-13 18.21.45.jpg

Mix up some 30min epoxy, yes 30min. Believe me, the last thing you want is it going off when you are trying to position it!

Insert the tail after coating with Epoxy - DON'T use too much.. (here you can see the covering removed between the lines of masking tape. Cut, using a SHARP scalpel and a ruler 1mm to the inside. Go easy... try not to  cut into the balsa..)

2017-09-13 18.31.40.jpg

When sliding in, the making tape is your guide. Measure from a central point to each corner of the tail... and when these are equal, its centered!!!

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Use a coffe stirrer.. to wipe off the escess epoxy. Wipe off with a rag, DO NOT USE ANY THINNERS (the print on the covering will wipe off!) and remove masking tape.

2017-09-13 18.34.47.jpg

OK all done. Vertical Stab next

 

Edited By Stevo on 13/09/2017 19:14:31

Stevo13/09/2017 19:16:12
2699 forum posts
419 photos

OK - a prize on offer.

Who mentioned in a previous forum, '... Devilspawn, otherwise known as the 'hardware pack..." answers on a postcard..! Cymaz, any takers?

ken anderson.13/09/2017 19:23:51
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8497 forum posts
773 photos

stevo...well done ,i'm enjoying reading your thread...and i'm learning stuff..

ken Anderson...ne...1 keep going stevo dept.

Josip Vrandecic -Mes13/09/2017 20:03:18
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2993 forum posts
260 photos

Hello Stevo , I really like your work, also have a similar urge when I buy any ARTF ... I'm obliged to change everything according to my ''standards'' smile p

Wish you stable health and happinessthumbs up

Ciao

Edited By Josip Vrandecic -Mes on 13/09/2017 20:04:51

cymaz13/09/2017 20:05:37
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8881 forum posts
1176 photos
Posted by Stevo on 13/09/2017 19:16:12:

OK - a prize on offer.

Who mentioned in a previous forum, '... Devilspawn, otherwise known as the 'hardware pack..." answers on a postcard..! Cymaz, any takers?

Rich 2?

Stevo13/09/2017 20:06:40
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Thanks, Ken.

Many of us on here are quite experienced, and take ARTFs in our stride, really. I thought I would write this hoping it would catch someone's eye, who is venturing into ARTFs/RC modeling for perhaps the first time.

I thought I would get some tips in there just to make it a bit more interesting and maybe things we didn't think of, such as the saw setting gauge or substitute a mobile phone and App; silicone sealant round the tail joins, extra fuel proofing.. I'll include the incidence gauge at the end too.

Thanks again Mr. Anderson yes

Stevo13/09/2017 20:20:32
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Josip - thanks for the postive comment

Cymaz - you could be right...

ken anderson.13/09/2017 20:46:56
avatar
8497 forum posts
773 photos

stevo,all credit to you...the way you are putting it across is spot on...worthy of a mention in the mag.fingers crossed it catches young Asher's eye.

ken Anderson...ne...1...young Asher's eye dept.

cymaz13/09/2017 21:44:58
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8881 forum posts
1176 photos

An excellent, back to basic, simple, step by step how - to. photoyes. laugh

Ron Gray13/09/2017 22:39:24
1597 forum posts
391 photos

Stevo, when cutting the covering from the tail plane I use the soldering iron method as not only does it cut it seals at the same time.

Rich too14/09/2017 06:47:01
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3057 forum posts
1070 photos

Enjoying your thread yes I always pin flat style hinges - I prefer Robart..

Rich too14/09/2017 06:48:43
avatar
3057 forum posts
1070 photos
Posted by cymaz on 13/09/2017 20:05:37:
Posted by Stevo on 13/09/2017 19:16:12:

OK - a prize on offer.

Who mentioned in a previous forum, '... Devilspawn, otherwise known as the 'hardware pack..." answers on a postcard..! Cymaz, any takers?

Rich 2?

Moi?

Phil 914/09/2017 06:49:25
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4287 forum posts
239 photos

has anyone tried one of these for sealing down covering and trim.?

cymaz14/09/2017 06:53:51
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8881 forum posts
1176 photos

I bought one several years ago. It is still in the packet and hasn't been used in anger yet. I have used 50:50 pva/ water mix works well. Brush on leave to dry ( or use the wife's hair driersurprise), then seal with a covering iron. Sticks like ,...., well it does stick!

cymaz14/09/2017 06:55:04
avatar
8881 forum posts
1176 photos
Posted by Rich too on 14/09/2017 06:48:43:
Posted by cymaz on 13/09/2017 20:05:37:
Posted by Stevo on 13/09/2017 19:16:12:

OK - a prize on offer.

Who mentioned in a previous forum, '... Devilspawn, otherwise known as the 'hardware pack..." answers on a postcard..! Cymaz, any takers?

Rich 2?

Moi?

Just a wild stab in the dark. A free prize was on offer!

Jon Laughton14/09/2017 08:49:41
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1181 forum posts
72 photos

I use clearcote for sealing trim - never had a problem with it

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