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What to do with Cessna wreckage!

Or my own version of the "Flight of the Phoenix"

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Simon Chaddock04/12/2018 01:33:58
5405 forum posts
2824 photos

Last month I crashed my Depron Cessna O-2 Skymaster.


In fact this was just after a major rebuild after a stupid pilot error landing crash following a nice long flight the month before at the Ashbourne scale day!

Normally a faultless flyer I suspect it had not gone together after the rebuild quite as well as its original state. wink 2


After much heart ache (it was my favourite plane to fly) it was scrapped but I noted the outer wing panels were undamaged and all the electrics still worked perfectly. Build a single engine plane from a twin boom wreck?

So trim the wing panels neat and square and join the balsa spars with a substantial balsa dihedral brace.


Looks suspiciously like a set of P51 wings or rather the "H" variant that did not have protruding wheel wells in the leading edge. wink 2

Its 39" span is almost identical to my 3/4 size Depron Ballerina so it seemed obvious to use that as its fuselage. With apologies to Peter Miller another fuselage was built to use one of the ex Skymaster motors and ESC.


It uses a one piece printed bulkhead and motor mount.


The bulkhead is fairly substantial although the motor mount cone, which incorporates the drum fixing with grub screws, is hollow.


The three small centre holes carry the individual motor wires. the two larger pass motor cooling air down the fuselage.

Apart from the fuselage there are no plans as such just marking out directly on the Depron sheet.

It will have no under carriage but unlike the Flight of the Phoenix I do have the advantage of a strong arm!

Edited By Simon Chaddock on 04/12/2018 01:38:57

Colin Leighfield04/12/2018 19:16:21
5889 forum posts
2459 photos

RIP Paul Mantz! I bet he would have loved it.

McG 696904/12/2018 21:08:09
2503 forum posts
976 photos

Still amazing projects you have, Simon. smiley



Geoff Sleath04/12/2018 21:17:23
3272 forum posts
251 photos

Is the 'faultless flyer' description referring to you or the Skymaster, Simon?

It's a pity it's met an untimely end it looked good when I watched it flying at Ashbourne a few weeks ago. I'm sure you'll think of a clever solution - you usually do.


Simon Chaddock04/12/2018 23:12:52
5405 forum posts
2824 photos

Me faultless? LOL

The Skymaster used a basic Orange 2.4 DSM2 rx with just a single aerial. Fine for where I fly (I stand in the middle of the field!) but may have contributed to the Ashbourne crash - busy site and low on finals so both the front motor and battery were directly between the Tx and the tiny Rx aerial!

So the "Cessna Bits" will have a tiny Corona 4ch 35 meg which with a full length trailing aerial I know works well beyond the limit of line of sight!


The wings fin and tail [lane glued to the fuselage. Elevators to follow.


Just for fun the cockpit canopy frames are printed.


Unlike the Ballerina it will be permanently fully glassed and so add to the structural stiffness. The fact that the rx will be built in is no problem as you can't loose 'bind' with a crystal! wink 2

Note the aerial is fed down the fuselage and all along the leading edge and top of the fin. Done like this the remaining 'dangley bit' is less likely to get snagged in anything in the belly landing.

Getting there!

nigel newby05/12/2018 02:33:29
161 forum posts
40 photos

So will you call it Balliess?

McG 696905/12/2018 07:21:03
2503 forum posts
976 photos

... or 'Ballessna'? ... sounds a bit 'slavish', like a Montavian stream or mountain... wink



Simon Chaddock05/12/2018 11:23:33
5405 forum posts
2824 photos


There is actually very little left of original Ballerina design. The rear fuselage top decking is shallower and the nose profile altered so when coupled with the completely different tail feathers, tapered wing plan form of a much thinner section and the enclosed framed cockpit I think the title "Cessna Bits" is about right.

And just to add insult to injury it will be 'bank and yank' so won't even use all 4 channels! smile o

Martian05/12/2018 14:59:14
2197 forum posts
1070 photos

It should be shortened to "cessbit"

Simon Chaddock05/12/2018 20:59:37
5405 forum posts
2824 photos

Cessbit is far too close to Cesspit for my liking!

The 2 mm planked Depron rear decking.


The elevators.halves have a semi circular nose and are joined by a substantial glass fibre tube.


The tube is supported by an acetate sheet bearing where it passes through the fin. Printed hinges support the elevator outer edges. Tapered 1 mm sheet balsa inserts minimise the elevator gap..

Note. As a bank and yank the elevators need no cut back to allow rudder travel!wink 2

The printed two part spinner.


It weighs only 1/3 that of a commercial spinner of the same diameter.

The next job is to position the battery and build its box that puts the CofG on the wing spar




Edited By Simon Chaddock on 06/12/2018 00:35:35

Simon Chaddock07/12/2018 01:08:44
5405 forum posts
2824 photos

The cockpit glass.


The spinner painted silver chrome.


After quite a bit of filling and sanding before the acrylic black paint. Just a very light coat on the already black wings but two on the fuselage.

complete1 The tail feathers are painted the same red as the wing tips and the 'skeleton' USAF markings carried over from the Skymaster.. The battery hatch has a printed positive latch as it is the only thing stopping the LiPo falling out when inverted!


All the electrics except the rx have come from the Skymaster.

Span is 38" (970 mm). 9x6 prop. 1500 mAh 3s LiPo.

It weighs 12.7 oz (364 g) ready to go.

The motor draws 16,5 A (169 W) giving a healthy 212 W/lb. This is actually slightly higher than the Skymaster had.

It has a bit more battery capacity (1500 against 2200 shared), less than 1/2 the frontal area, rather better streamlining and a slightly lower wing loading. smile p

Maiden when, and if, it ever stops raining and blowing!

Edited By Simon Chaddock on 07/12/2018 01:11:52

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