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Taurus retro aerobatic build

Belair laser cut kit

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Mike Bell15/03/2020 18:03:46
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291 forum posts
214 photos

Made up a pair of nut plates to fit to the underside of the engine bearers. These are 4mm steel with holes threaded M3. I was quite pleased when all the holes lined up nicely.

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The third hole is for a self tapper to help keep the plate in place. It will be epoxied as well.

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Here it is epoxied in place and the remaining side doubler glued in place. There is still space to add lock nuts as well if required. I was feeling quite please with this.......then I realized that the engine fouls the nose leg installation angry.

I can't move the engine forward now, and don't want to anyway, so I'll have to look at installing the nose leg on the other side of the firewall. Have to think about that one.

Mike Bell18/03/2020 20:20:50
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291 forum posts
214 photos

Been busy planing and hollowing.

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I don't suppose the hollowing out will make much difference weight wise but it is necessary at the front to allow the fuel tank to sit high enough. I'll tidy the hollowed bit out before fuel proofing and I won't glue the top deck on until the push rods are inserted.

I think the nose leg issue is sorted, more later.

Mike Bell25/03/2020 18:46:15
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291 forum posts
214 photos

So, the nose leg was fairly simple. A bit of rearranging with the suspension spring position allowed the top mount to be moved down out of the way of the engine.

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The leg is actually too long so I made another on the SLEC wire bender

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I had a rethink about the push rods for rudder and elevator. The engine is going to be heavier than the original so the model is likely to be nose heavy. That being the case I'm going to mount mini servos in the back of the fuz. This allows me to glue the top deck in place and complete the front end doublers.

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I got the wing joined too. There are no centre section braces shown on the plan but I decided to embed some carbon strip into the spars. They are half inch square at the centre section so there is plenty of meat to cut into.

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The picture shows the carbon strip prior to cutting the slot. There is a similar but shorter one embedded into the upper side as well.

Mike Bell07/04/2020 19:48:43
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291 forum posts
214 photos

Haven't posted for a while but I have done bits and bobs including loads of shaping and sanding. Every time I sand the front of the fuz I decide I should take a bit more off the corners and end up sanding some more.

I have also been pondering how to tackle the tail and fin assembly. Ideally I would like to cover separately the assemble but to get fairings and everything to blend in I really need to assemble and fettle which means a trickier covering job. So, in true tradition when faced with a decision, put it off and build another plane. I'm now most of the way through an Aero-Naut Pepper but I have a decision to make on that one as well so..... back to the Taurus.

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Servo mounting sorted for the steerable nose leg. I should be able to cover most of the servo to be less conspicuous. The hatch it's mounted in will be screwed in place to allow access.

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I cut the ailerons out of 3/8 balsa (they aren't included in the parts set for some reason) and when I started shaping them look what happened to one of them. There must have been a lot of internal stress in that tree. It started out flat and took the banana shape when I planed the section. I'll try the steamer before I bin it. Above the ailerons is the tail plane which is having fin fillets fitted before shaping. I'm still putting the decision off.

Nigel R08/04/2020 06:54:13
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3744 forum posts
586 photos

Looking good Mike.

That is some decking!

The aileron looks frustrating.

Peter Christy08/04/2020 08:45:46
1781 forum posts

My KingPin follows a very similar method of construction for the fuselage. I made the decking over the tank detachable, held in place by magnets, rather than cut a hole in the bulkhead for rank access. This meant I could seal the tank bay from the rest of the fuselage. I've had tanks leak in the past, and soak the radio gear in fuel!

This made it a lot easier to hollow out that bit for tank clearance! In fact, IIRC, I built it up.

I also got the linkage for the steerable nosewheel to go internally, under the floor of the tank bay. The floor is removable for access if required.

I'll see if I can get some pix and put them up later.

--

Pete

Mike Bell08/04/2020 19:54:45
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291 forum posts
214 photos

My only regret with the decking is not weighing it before shaping. I was worried it would be a bit heavy but after coarse shaping and hollowing before gluing to the fuz it weighed 2 and one eighth of an ounce.

Access to the tank is pretty good without having to cut a hatch and the rx will be mounted high up so shouldn't get fuel soaked if the worst happens.

I got the Oracover yesterday so now I need to decide on the final scheme. Always the hardest bit of most builds.

Peter Christy09/04/2020 16:10:37
1781 forum posts

Here's some tank bay detail on mine:

The hatch is held in place (very securely!) by 3 magnets, two at the back and one at the front, making access a doddle!

The hatch itself is part block, part built up:

I built it square initially, installed the magnets, and then carved it to shape once it could be "installed".

The floor of the tank bay is screwed to bearers for access to the steerable nosewheel linkage:

My nosewheel is bolted to the rear of the firewall (just visible at the front of the tank bay), with the linkage under the floor and out of sight.

I use the rudder servo for the nosewheel too:

(topmost in the frame)

The linkage has a large Z-bend under the tank, which takes the piano-wire pushrod from one side of the fuselage to the other. This provides the necessary springiness to protect the servo, but still provides surprisingly accurate steering control on the ground.

--

Pete

 

Edited By Peter Christy on 09/04/2020 16:12:14

Mike Bell10/04/2020 17:58:06
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291 forum posts
214 photos

Thanks for the pics Pete. Your z bend shock absorber for the nose leg push rod is a good point. I'm sure you used to be able to get servo savers for car steering servos, I might even still have one in the loft.

MaxG10/04/2020 18:38:04
172 forum posts
5 photos

With respect to the tailplane structure, I think that it is a method that was popular in the 80s. The Airtronics Aquila and similar designs in that range of gliders used that style of taiplane. I built one like that for an Aquila last year.

Much lighter than sheet and also a lot less expensive balsa used which could have been an issue in those times.

Maxg

Martin McIntosh10/04/2020 18:53:01
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3329 forum posts
1178 photos

Very chunky old fashioned build. To think that we all made them like that in those days in the hope that they were crash proof to an extent certainly brings back memories. I remember a guy writing off a beautifully finished Taurus due to the dodgy gear of the day. He jumped up and down on the remaining intact wing panel and could not break it!

Mike Bell13/04/2020 15:03:34
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291 forum posts
214 photos

Hi Maxg, I think weight saving is a likely reason, long tail moment and all that. I think it is also designed such that the film is attached at the LE, TE and centre sheet but above the ribs so that the ribs don't show. I daresay it will make for a nice smooth finish, I'll find out soon.

I finally decided to glue the tail to the fuz before covering so I can get the triangular fin fillets in place and blended, but I can leave the fin off until the covering is done.

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Fillets roughly in place.......

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......and faired in.

Spent the last couple of days sanding, applying sanding sealer, sanding again etc. Was pretty pleased with the progress until I spotted my deliberate mistake. I forgot to fit the elevator joiner wire before finishing the fillets etc angry

Mike Bell19/04/2020 15:37:03
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291 forum posts
214 photos

Sanding sealer and sanding all done so on to covering.

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Peter Jenkins19/04/2020 16:12:54
1520 forum posts
254 photos

Looks really good Mike. Look forward to seeing it covered. What scheme are you going to use?

Mike Bell20/04/2020 16:37:50
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291 forum posts
214 photos

Hi Peter, the colours are white on top and a light orange (golden yellow) underneath. I'll bling it up with cut vinyl details. I have a picture in my head but it will no doubt change as the covering progresses. I'm a bit concerned about how much covering this thing is eating, I might run out.

Phil Green20/04/2020 19:28:21
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1582 forum posts
318 photos

I was privileged to ride shotgun for Leon at Buckminster when he maidened the prototype Belaire Taurus kit as he was understandably nervous - but its a fine flyer, smooth and stable, not slow but very steadily paced, and a terrific sight in the air, Kaz would be proud.

Cheers
Phil

Martin McIntosh20/04/2020 20:49:33
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3329 forum posts
1178 photos

Mike, I think that you may well have trouble seeing it in the proposed scheme, especially against a cloudy sky. A clubmate has a Dalotel in similar colours and it just disappears. You are unlikely to be able to see the decals either.

I have a 1/4 scale Mew Gull in white with large lettering on the wings and fus. and can only fly it in blue sky conditions.

Peter Jenkins20/04/2020 23:46:06
1520 forum posts
254 photos

Thanks for that Mike but I have to agree with Martin. You might have difficulty in seeing the aircraft in certain conditions. Then again, you might have a solution for that.

Mike Bell21/04/2020 13:05:57
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291 forum posts
214 photos

I appreciate your thoughts guys but I'm committed now. The orangey yellow undersides are pretty bright and I rarely have a plane upright for long so I hope that will do. I used to have a Gangster 52 in a similar scheme that I could keep track of OK, but there again my eyes were younger. Will just have to wait and see.

The long wing is a bit of a handful when covering but just one panel to go now.

Mike Bell21/04/2020 13:10:54
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291 forum posts
214 photos

Phil, forgot to say, I was there at Buckminster too. It did look nice in the air didn't it? Mine should be ready for whenever the next retro do takes place.

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