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Flair Puppeteer wing fixings

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Bob Cotsford14/10/2018 12:51:22
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8032 forum posts
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I've aquired an old Puppeteer which is in need of a little TLC. OK, a lot of TLC. At this point I'm looking to leave the covering as replacing it would double the cost of the model so it will be a tidy up, convert to electric, double check the hinges etc.. As I'll need to strip it down to fit in the car I want to replace the woodscrew wing fixings with captive nuts. Can anyone scan the plan of the centre section for me so that I know what I'm getting into?

Andy4814/10/2018 13:12:09
1389 forum posts
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When I built my electric pup I chopped the fus behind the cockpit. This avoids removing the wings. The tail servos are then fitted to the tail section.
The battery is installed by using a hinged cowl which holds the motor and speed controller.
This layout may save you any problems with the fus.The Flair pup kit does not contain complete plans.

Edited By Andy48 on 14/10/2018 13:13:46

Edited By Andy48 on 14/10/2018 13:14:25

Bobby14/10/2018 14:32:28
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dscf6698.jpgdscf6697.jpgHi Bob. Hope I do this right and that it helps you. Cheers Bobby(bob)Flair plan.dscf6696.jpg

Edited By Bobby on 14/10/2018 14:35:44

Martin Harris14/10/2018 15:12:10
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A word of caution - I bought a second hand Pup just after I returned to model flying and had the rather disconcerting experience of the bottom wing's leading edge dropping an inch or so in flight and overpowering the elevator - a semi-controlled downhill landing saved the model from serious damage. This happened at higher speed - after the first time something didn't feel right I landed and couldn't see an obvious problem, thought I might have imagined something, tried flying faster and the wing "tucked under" terminally.

I don't know if Flair modified the design or if it was a departure from the plan by the builder but the leading edge fixing pins were carried by a ply plate which was only fixed to the top skin - the pins located above the position on the plan as shown above. On that, the pin appears to (just) contact the leading edge member but will rely on the glue joint and wing skin although landing loads shouldn't present a problem.

On mine, I added a second piece of ply, inset into the leading edge member...

20181014_145532.jpg

...if yours resembles this arrangement it's a modification I'd recommend. If it's as the plan, make sure the pins are firmly anchored to the leading edge member.

Phil Claridge14/10/2018 15:21:19
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1924 forum posts
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hi bob, be realy thourough when you check the hinges if they are plastic.i bought an old spitfire with a saito 80 in it we checked every thing before geting it ready for flight and checked it again at the field all seemed to be in good order but after5 mins flying the right full lengh aeleron was hanging down and one half of the elevator was missing luckily my test pilot was flying it so it landed ok. the hinges had all snappedsurprise

Don Fry14/10/2018 16:21:31
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From your photo, you are missing the packing which anchors the ply plate to the top wing skin

Bob Cotsford14/10/2018 16:23:17
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Andy - if I end up stripping the covering the split fuselage is a good idea. Luckily this one has a hatch built over the tank bay that will do nicely for battery insertion.

Bobby, thanks, that's what I needed. Now I know it's 1/2" square hardwood I'm quite happy with screwing in threaded inserts from underneath so that I can use cap head machine screws to hold the wing on.

Martin, I shall take a close look at that!

Phil, the ailerons are fabric hinges and I thing the tail end has plat pinnned hinges. At least with electric there will be little vibration and being a WW! style bipe stresses are low but point taken!

Martin Harris14/10/2018 19:32:37
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Posted by Don Fry on 14/10/2018 16:21:31:

From your photo, you are missing the packing which anchors the ply plate to the top wing skin

That tends to confirm that it was built as designed and suggests that the plan shown above is a different version - newer or older?

The fact that it was just anchored to the top skin was what caused the failure, hence my modification to anchor the plate to the leading edge and delete the no longer required packing. It's quite a few years back but I'm sure I once came across a plan which seemed to suggest that the model had been designed to use the skin as a structural mounting - which I didn't think was the best idea...

fly-navy14/10/2018 20:33:21
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Bob why not use some threaded inserts into existing holes in wing, you can always epoxy them in for peace of mind. I use these now more than captive nuts. Gaydon in a couple of weeks should be some there.

John

Bobby15/10/2018 12:21:21
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dscf6701.jpgHi Martin H. I hope I insert this correct. Re the pup plans ?, in the two photos you will see the very old original Flair plan that came with my part built model and still shows the two dowels as in the later one that I placed for Bob as it gave a clearer view, my guess is that what you have experienced is a model that was built incorrectly. Not looking for any form of confrontation, just my two pees worth cheers Bobby smileydscf6700.jpg

Martin Harris15/10/2018 15:11:06
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8881 forum posts
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Thanks Bobby - there's certainly nothing confrontational here and your picture shows the same arrangement as the first one you posted - any idea when that one dates to?

I'm just interested to know if any version had the arrangement that mine was built to (around the turn of the Millennium) and give the possible benefit of my almost disastrous experience to anyone with a similarly built model!

I am almost certain that the plan I looked at from a Puppeteer of a similar age showed the (to my mind rather flawed) arrangement of a ply plate glued to the top sheeting that Don's comment seems to confirm, but the plan's owner has moved 100 miles or so away so I'm unlikely to get another look at it, even if it still exists.

Bob Cotsford15/10/2018 15:44:45
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8032 forum posts
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Posted by fly-navy on 14/10/2018 20:33:21:

Bob why not use some threaded inserts into existing holes in wing, you can always epoxy them in for peace of mind. I use these now more than captive nuts. Gaydon in a couple of weeks should be some there.

John

That's the plan John, I get my inserts from Modelfixings. I've used them for ic radial mounts in the past when I couldn't access the rear of the bulkhead and for electric motor mounts too.

Martin Harris15/10/2018 16:18:32
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Aha! I've just had a quick trawl of the 'net and found the later plans on Aerofred - the relevant part is detailed below - almost confirming my recollection...

pup.jpg

I think the builder had attached the plate to the balsa sheeting as examination of the photo I posted earlier confirms the original plate is still there but rather than the butt joint suggested here, I rebated the leading edge (I've added the dotted line on the plan in red and would have expected to see one on the original) for the new deeper ply plate that I fabricated and epoxied it to the much larger gluing area (working in shear now, not tension).

I've no way of telling how the original plate (part 85) was supplied but I'm rather hoping that that he misinterpreted the plan and trimmed it to fit. The plan doesn't really clarify whether the leading edge should have been cut away to accommodate it.

pup2.jpg

 

P.S.  Now I'm not so sure, having spotted this on another sheet:

 

pup3.jpg

...which suggests, on a quick reading, that the builder may have followed the instructions fairly closely!

I expect that some may consider that there is little load on this component, the wing seats taking the landing and normal flying loads but the problem came to light at a low - maybe even negative (given the possible rigging difference between top and bottom wings) angle of attack - i.e. high speed - so my recommendation to check this detail (particularly on the MkII Puppeteer which this plan is for) still stands...

Edited By Martin Harris on 15/10/2018 16:49:06

Bob Cotsford15/10/2018 19:36:12
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8032 forum posts
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Mine appears to have been cobbled together with the ply plate embedded slightly behind the leading edge. This leaves about 1 1/2" of dowel sticking out of the front. When I get round to the Puppeteer I'll add a plate as per Martin so that the dowels are loaded in sheer, at the moment any load is a pure bending moment.

i12fly15/10/2018 23:32:48
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564 forum posts
21 photos

I bought a part built Puppeteer and modified it as so:

I cut out the front centre section of the wing and beefed up the spar to compensate, then built up the fuselage to move the wing mounting to suit. This meant I could leave the undercarriage permanently attached (saving 4 screws at the field. At the rear edge I used one M6 captive nut and nylon screw (saving 1 screw).

Top wing I made used 4 captive nuts and 4 M5 nylon screws.

For the struts I soldered press studs onto the brass lugs and glued the other halves of the press studs onto the struts. After painting they are 'invisible' at 3 metres.

This makes for quick assembly at the field, 5 nylon screws and 4 struts on press studs. ….and no fiddly little nuts and bolts lost in the grass. OK, it is a sports scale model for practical flying,

Watch out the CoG balance -the plan position is with the nose pointing down (what a silly way!!) I made mine level and spot on the marks -it was tail heavy and I was lucky to get it down in one piece. OK I didn't read the instruction properly.

With electric conversion it will be difficult to get the balance right. As I put a 70 4 stroke in mine I thought it would be fine to put lightweight servos in the tail -but I finished up adding 1/2 lb lead in the cowl.

Morten Westereng19/08/2019 20:45:22
2 forum posts

i am starting up with an old unbuild Puppeteer, probably version !, does anyone have the buildinginstruction ( missing in my kit ) and can possibly mail me a copy.

The plans are OK

barryt20/08/2019 09:33:50
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55 forum posts
15 photos

Hi Morten, PM sent.

stu knowles20/08/2019 11:11:16
572 forum posts
44 photos

The Puppeteer is one of my all time favourite aeroplanes, Head and shoulders above all the other in the Scout Series. I had my last one for about 15 years and flew it from land water and snow with equal capability and enjoyment. Somewhere in the middle of all that time I bought a car that wouldn't take the Pup' ready assembled. The Pup didn't fly again until the car was changed for another which did take it in one piece.

The moral of the story is that the Pup is a lovely flyer but an absolute cow in standard form as it takes far too long to rig/unrig, which ruins the experience.

Any additional time spent making it a quick to rig model during the build will be rewarded many times over at the flying field...…. or buy a car that takes it in one piece.

Andy4820/08/2019 11:18:27
1389 forum posts
1 photos

When I built mine, I not only chopped the fus behind the cockpit, and strengthened the wing fixing, but mounted the motor and ESC in the cowl, and fitted a hinge to the bottom of the cowl so the cowl would drop down. Then there was plenty of room to slide a battery in from the front,and keep as much weight as possible as far forward of the CofG. The motor itself sits inside a dummy rotary engine crankcase.

barryt20/08/2019 14:24:59
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55 forum posts
15 photos

Hi Andy48. Do you have any pictures of the cowl hinging arrangement? Sounds like a worthwhile idea. What electric powertrain did you use?pup kit.jpg. Just collecting info at the moment. My plane is still in its box!

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