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Gangster 75 Build Blog

Build Blog of an old kit of the Gangster 75

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Peter Jenkins20/01/2019 00:54:26
1193 forum posts
132 photos

I flew a clubmate’s Gangster 75 and I was so impressed with it that I put out feelers to see if there were any kits still lying around. Luckily, via another friend, I was able to buy an untouched kit together with an unused Super Tigre 90 engine. I originally started the build in 2011 and took loads of photos as I intended to write up the build. However, I got deeply into F3A competition and the Gangster build ground to a halt. I had by that stage built the wing and started the fuselage. In Nov 2018, I re-started the build with the intention of completing it by the end of 2018. Well, I failed but my new deadline is end of Jan 2019.

There was no plan provided but I’ve not really needed one. There is a 4 page instruction manual but, as this kit is intended for someone with some experience of building, there isn’t much help provided. To be fair, it really doesn’t need much as the process is quite straightforward.

So, here’s what I started with:

Gangster 1.jpg

and here it is unpacked

Gangster 2.jpg

SIMON CRAGG20/01/2019 07:21:12
339 forum posts
5 photos

What a great project. I had one powered by an MVVS engine, which was a fantastic model.......until simebody up the field switched on when omn the same freq. (35mhz). Went in full chat from 200ft.

Percy Verance20/01/2019 07:41:55
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7899 forum posts
152 photos

One assumes that you had the frequency peg, and he switched on without one Simon? He replaced everything then?

It was always a great shame when a perfectly good model was wrecked through plain ignorance or misunderstanding..........

I had a Gangster 52 back in the mid 70's. If I had to describe it in just one word, that word would be scary. (Aileron flutter).

Percy Verance20/01/2019 07:41:56
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7899 forum posts
152 photos

One assumes that you had the frequency peg, and he switched on without one Simon? He replaced everything then?

It was always a great shame when a perfectly good model was wrecked through plain ignorance or misunderstanding..........

I had a Gangster 52 back in the mid 70's. If I had to describe it in just one word, that word would be scary. (Aileron flutter).

Percy Verance20/01/2019 07:41:57
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7899 forum posts
152 photos

One assumes that you had the frequency peg, and he switched on without one Simon? He replaced everything then?

It was always a great shame when a perfectly good model was wrecked through plain ignorance or misunderstanding..........

I had a Gangster 52 back in the mid 70's. If I had to describe it in just one word, that word would be scary. (Aileron flutter).

Percy Verance20/01/2019 07:42:28
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7899 forum posts
152 photos

What the hell happened there?????

Ron Gray20/01/2019 07:46:35
1406 forum posts
358 photos

I think you may have stuttered Percy.

SIMON CRAGG20/01/2019 07:48:03
339 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by Percy Verance on 20/01/2019 07:42:28:

What the hell happened there?????

You posted three times!

Yes, I had the peg and another pilot switched on, walked out to the patch and started doing his pre-flight checks. All went pear shaped from the on. He paid out via his house insurance somehow, and I bought a Mick Reeves "G Man", which turned out to be just as good.

Percy Verance20/01/2019 08:48:55
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7899 forum posts
152 photos

I wanted a G Man way back when Simon, but I left it too late. I ended up with the International ( enlarged Capricorn) but I didn't like the look of the glass fus, so sold it on.....

The MR Racketeer was also a good 'un.......

The Gangster surely has to be one of those all time favourites. The Wot 4 is another, first appearing in the mid 70's. I always wondered if the Galaxy Magician and the variations of it were based on the Gangster?

Mick Reeves seems to stick with his most successful designs and keeps them in production. I watched him win the World Scale Championships in 1978 with his Fournier. The kit was initially available through Ripmax, although Mick Reeves now produces both a 1/4 and a 1/3rd scale version and markets them through his own site. 

 

 

 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 20/01/2019 09:21:19

sgwlm20/01/2019 10:00:01
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110 forum posts
84 photos

brings back memories,

i had the 42, 53 & 63 back many many years ago, never had the 75, instead at that time i had the Galaxy Mystic, probably the close competitor for the gangster.

i always wanted the gangster twin but could not manage it back then, maybe i should look for one now.

Peter Jenkins20/01/2019 10:12:55
1193 forum posts
132 photos

I started with the wings. It’s a long time since I built a model from a kit (around 1969 I think) and one with foam wings was also a novelty. I started by gluing on the leading edge and trailing edges. To keep costs down Mick Reeves seems to use only 36 in balsa strip so you get little add on pieces for anything over 36 in. I used PVA to glue both strips in place supporting the glue by taping the LE and TE to the wing with masking tape.

Gangster 3.jpg

Gangster 4.jpg

The next step was to sand the LE and TE to blend in with the wing making sure that the veneer on the wing wasn’t damaged in the process.

Gangster 5.jpg

gangster20/01/2019 11:56:01
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915 forum posts
16 photos

Ah yes Percy. The aileron flutter. That is one thing I never understood. I have had a few 52s and 63s and on each one I did not build the strip ailerons right to the tip. I never had the aileron flutter that so many others had I do not know why that was not shown in the instructions. As for economy of design MR was very clever they used so little wood

Peter Jenkins20/01/2019 14:04:31
1193 forum posts
132 photos

The next job is to glue on the wing tips. These are just thick sheet and so all pretty easy. Once the glue had dried, I used a razor plane to shape the tips finishing with my trusty sanding block.

Gangster 6.jpg

The next job was to mark out the ailerons using the dimensions shown in the instruction leaflet.

Gangster 7.jpg

I have to say that I wasn’t looking forward to cutting out the ailerons using a hacksaw blade. I did have difficulty in keeping the blade at the correct angle at all times!

Gangster 8.jpg

Percy Verance20/01/2019 16:04:31
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7899 forum posts
152 photos

Ah, relatively large insets instead of strip ailerons. I've not seen a Gangster 75 and wasn't aware of this change. Probably for the better I'd say.......

Peter Jenkins20/01/2019 18:20:39
1193 forum posts
132 photos

Indeed - no strip ailerons on this baby! For the avoidance of doubt, the 75 refers to the wingspan in inches. Interestingly, this is about the same span as my 2 mtr class Majestic (1905 mm in new money) and so larger than the current fashion in F3A designs. The Gangster fuselage is a lot shorter than 2 mtr so in this case the span is greater than the fuselage. That being said, the one I flew was a beautifully behaved aerobatic aircraft. Fingers crossed that I end up with the same!

The next fiddly job is facing the ailerons with the supplied sheet. This was a bit of a struggle as I had not been able to make an accurate cut. This required the use of filler to sort out the effects of my butchery. I decided to hinge the ailerons with Robart pin hinges and left this till later in the build. The ailerons are top hinged with a closing V on the underneath so you get some built in aileron differential.

I decided to fit two aileron servos so had to cut out a servo box in each wing and then line each with balsa.

Gangster 9.jpg

Mick suggests running the servo lead to the servo by cutting a V into the under-surface of the wing to run the aileron leads in. I didn’t like this idea so as I had a piece of aluminium hollow rod in my workshop, I sharpened the tube end and used that to burrow through the wing.

Gangster 10.jpg

The problem is keeping the hole going in the right direction so that the tube exits in the servo cut out! Success!

Gangster 11.jpg

Percy Verance20/01/2019 18:38:23
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7899 forum posts
152 photos

Neat job Peter, but how much easier might it have been if those extension lead holes had been cut at the same time as the wings themselves.

I don't like the idea of burying leads in grooves in the wing either. Some glues (cyano especially) can erode and crack the insulation on extension leads.

How big are those holes Peter? Will you need to remove the plugs to pass them through?

Peter Jenkins20/01/2019 23:31:48
1193 forum posts
132 photos

Percy, I chose that aluminium tube as it would produce a hole large enough for the servo plug, and more importantly, the servo extension lead connection to fit.

Peter Jenkins20/01/2019 23:36:47
1193 forum posts
132 photos

Next up was to fit the undercarriage bearer. The Gangster 75 is a tail dragger so the wings get the u/c blocks. This is fairly straight forward. I made sure I used a generous amount of epoxy and wiped away the excess that was squeezed out.

Gangster 14.jpg

Next job is to join the wing panels. Once done, you now have a 75 inch plank which makes you think twice before picking it up and turning round! I used araldite to join the wings and checked that both wing panels were at the same incidence and that the dihedral was spot on.

Gangster 13.jpg

I left the glue to dry overnight and then used fibre glass gauze to reinforce the wing join. I did this using 3 layers of the fibre glass. The first layer was kept fairly narrow, the next layer was just larger than fuselage width and the third layer was wider still.

Gangster 15.jpg

Peter Jenkins21/01/2019 17:31:33
1193 forum posts
132 photos

At this point, I put the wing to one side and started on the fuselage. I had fortuitously bought a SLEC building jig at a Club night and this came in very handy as you will see. The fuselage side was made up of 4 parts with a but joint between the front and rear parts. There is a large doubler but I felt that the proximity of all the butt joints required a ply reinforcement on the outside – see later on. This was based on my friend with the Gangster 75 having had the fuselage snap at the butt joints on a heavy arrival.

Gangster 16.jpg

Gangster 17.jpg

Having managed to make two handed fuselage sides (phew), it was time to bring the SLEC building jig into play to frame up the fuselage sides with the first 3 formers. There is no up/down thrust specified so it was simply a matter of checking for a vertical with a small try square but 1.5 deg right side thrust is required. A quick recourse to trigonometry gave me the required measurement by which the engine mounting bulkhead needed to be canted to the right – or rather, as the fuselage is built upside down, to the left!

Gangster 18.jpg

Percy Verance21/01/2019 17:53:27
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7899 forum posts
152 photos

Mmm, not sure about that fibreglass bandage Peter. My own preference ( particularly on a model this size ) would be to use a much larger piece of bandage, shaped like a large diamond on each surface of the wing. I'd then lay the pointy ends out along the wing towards the tips, probably for about a foot or so on a model this size. This would spread the flight loads and stresses out along the wing rather than concentrate them in one small area.

The foam wings I've seen after failing (folding!) in flight, almost always let go where the bandage ends.......

I had no idea the Gangster 75 was a taildragger. Or is it just yours Peter?

 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 21/01/2019 18:03:47

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