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flying wings.co - The Spectre

Assembly report

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Tim Mackey18/09/2011 14:26:47
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Having finally killed off my trusty old 46" Wildthing after 5+ years of HARD action, it was time to replace her - and another WT or maybe the excellent Fusion were on the short list. However, I spotted the Spectre whilst browsing the flying wings site, and having a couple of their other models - and liking them - I decided to try the Spectre.
Have I made a mistake ? ......Well let's see.
Ive flown and built a fair few EPP combat /chevron type wings over the years, so wasnt expecting any great surprises when it came to gluing this one together, but when it arrived, I had one or two raised eyebrow moments.
Although its 5" bigger in span than the WT, it arrived in a smaller box, with all the contents in a large plastic bag.
This was achieved mainly through the lack of a "proper" tubular Carbon Spar, instead, a flat "ribbon" strip was part curled inside the bag.
Next thing I noticed was that the elevons were of balsa rather than the more familiar correx, and the fuselage was in 5 pieces which will be laminated together.
I also soon realised that this fuselage was quite narrow, and a quick scan of the included ( poor ) instructions and mock up on the bench revealed that it did not cover the servo pushrod and horns etc - leaving them exposed ( underside).

Time will tell whether this was good decision - as its squarely marketed as a combat machine, and most of my combat action takes place on the very unforgiving high speed rock strewn Gt Orme !

Ok, so initial thoughts on paper, its time to continue, I started yesterday afternoon and the wing itself is almost finished, so I'll complete that stage, then summarize and upload relevant pictures.
Then it will be onto the fuselage and radio gear etc.

Edited By Tim Mackey on 20/09/2011 00:32:43

Tim Mackey19/09/2011 23:25:33
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Build time was around 10 hours - but that includes thinking / studying / photographing time.
First error I spotted was the wing panel alignment - lining up the spar slot and "nose" showed a discrepancy in both thickness ( section ) and chord at the root. One T/E panel measured 3 mm, and the other 5mm thick, The chord was also out by around 2mm. I took a fresh scalpel blade to it, and sanded the thickness back down to match the thinner panel....nearly.
With modern foam cutting methods, this should not have occurred.




The two panels were joined with UHU Por.
 
Next I moved onto the very thin carbon strip - and again UHU por was used to fit it into the precut slot.


50mm needs trimming off the nose of the wing to accomodate the fuselage later.

Premarked and semi cut servo recesses are already on the wing panels but they are incorrectly done - they dont match the suggested servo orientation as shown in the manual. I recut, dug out the foam, and finished off with a hot soldering iron spade tip, to fit the recommended standard servos used.



Then its onto strapping the wing, and here I couldnt understand the manual - it suggested one thing, but illustrated another, and I ended up strapping the whole wing with F/G tape, top and bottom after first coating with foam friendly spray glue - ugh, I hate that method, and never understand why some recommend it, yet others such as SAS dont.

Edited By Tim Mackey on 19/09/2011 23:30:11

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator20/09/2011 00:03:24
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Sounds like you're having fun Tim
 
BEB
 
PS See - I do sometimes read the glider threads!
Tim Mackey20/09/2011 00:10:35
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Next its the fuselage, and unlike the WT, you have to make this one up yourself from 5 sections, laminating ply reinforcement plates between the foam "core" and two side pieces.

Its worth noting that no FG tape, or colored tapes, or glue at all is included in the basic £40 cost. Im going through a fair bit of UHU Por on this build, and this needs to be accounted for on the total build cost. It is suggested that hot glue could be used for much of the assembly....but I find its not good for large areas as it sets too quickly.
 
I trial fitted the radio and battery into the narrow fuselage, ensuring access was possible after completion ....just in case.

I also fitted the popular "switch /charge" jack socket method on a small ply plate, which I let into the nose top area. This is NOT part of the kit, and was assembled by myself.

I then finished off the wing by shaping the balsa elevons ( which were too long to allow the fus to fit ) and hinging in place with FG tape, then covering the lot with parcel tape, deviating slightly from the manual, by leaving an area around the fuselage sides uncovered - reasoning that better adhesion would occur with FG tape to FG tape rather than thin weak coloured parcel tape.
I went for my usual high vis stripe / checker scheme underneath, and stealth all black on top....broken up a bit with a few decals and so on. Servos now glued and taped in place, control horns and pushrods etc fitted, after ensuring servos were centred and moving correctly via radio ( AR600 DSMX).
I also dug out some spare servo covers from my bit box to help protect the exposed servo horns - or so I hope.

 

Then it was back to the fus.
Glued and sanded, it was time to spray glue and strap the whole assembly - I hate this stage of a build, especially when Im all stuck up with darn spray glue everywhere. Against the manual, I ignored the instruction to spray AGAIN on top of the FG strapping tape, and just applied the parcel tape dry to the FG tape. I really cant see why its suggested to glue, as all my other similar models have survived being covered dry, for many years.

Allowing for hatch access etc, I fitted the NiMH battery ( larger capacity than suggested, as its all I had ) and made a hole through which the wing servos could be threaded later.
Next up I covered the correx fin, and fitted it roughly where it shows on the "plan" - although nothing really quite matched the drawings. Several grammatical errors exist in the manual also...so experience is definitely needed to work around the errors.
The fin attaches with two small tabs cut into the correx, and a couple of weedy little matchstick sized pieces of carbon rod are pushed in to supposedly help retention.
This sure looks a weak area for combat / crashing damage to me

I dry fitted the fin, and everything else to check on the COG and final AUW.
Due no doubt to the full FG taping job, and the large ( 2100mahr ) battery she weighed in at a rather portly 670 grams, as opposed to the target of 600
Strangely though despite the oversized battery, 50 grams of lead were needed in the nose to balance at the recommended spot.
This sadly brought the total AUW to 720 grams - 20% overweight. Im not too bothered about this, as much of my combat flying is in pretty strong weather, and shes still a fair bit lighter than my back up WT
Tim Mackey20/09/2011 00:11:17
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Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 20/09/2011 00:03:24:
Sounds like you're having fun Tim
 
BEB
 
PS See - I do sometimes read the glider threads!
 
Ill get you up that big rock yet BEB
Tim Mackey20/09/2011 00:15:15
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Not sure why...but the last lot of text and pictures has not appeared - and its late, and Im tired, so heres a very brief summary of what it said.
Theres issues with the manual, and quality control in some areas, the fin, balsa elevons, and exposed control rods etc look vulnerable to me.
Maiden flight tomorrow, and a 4 day slope fest later in the week down the Lleyn.
 
That'll test her !!


Steve Hargreaves - Moderator20/09/2011 10:02:41
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Excellent build article Tim.....I had kind of penciled in the Spectre as my first flying wing/foamy/slopey thing so I'm very interested in your thoughts.
 
Seems the quality control at Flying Wings is a bit awry......
 
I suppose the proof of the pudding will be in the flying (eh!!)....if it flys well then I guess the build niggles are worth it...if not then the SAS WT might be the best way to go for my first forray.....
 
I'm sure we all look forward to your flying notes....
Tim Mackey20/09/2011 10:37:51
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Cheers Steve, she's all charged up and ready for action this afternoon - video should be done too so I will update the thread later. I have let Rob at flying wings know of the issues I found ( and I know he's read this thread too ) so well see if he addresses any or all of them.
As you say, it needs to be flown before I comment further - I cant really summarize things until after flying her for a while, so after this weeks exploits, I will post a review of it in the review section.

Edited By Tim Mackey on 20/09/2011 10:38:35

Steve Hargreaves - Moderator20/09/2011 10:43:46
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Look forward to it Tim.....
 
Incidentally where abouts on the Llyn peninsular do you go......that area is a bit of a favourite holiday destination (went twice this year) for us because of the fantastic beaches. The kids love it there......
 
Methinks a bit of cliff top soaring for Dad might be good for some R&R too.....
Steve Houghton 120/09/2011 11:01:58
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The build is very similar to my Flying Wings Hawk Tim.
 
I used the spray glue as recommended in the manual before applying the CW tape, and then again over the top of that tape before applying the parcel tape. (This was my 1st foamy and I didn't know any better). I wasn't happy with the lumpy finish that left me with and which I didn't experience when putting together my WT.
 
I didn't spray glue the fus before applying the CW tape, then left it overnight ready for parcel tape covering in the morning. When I came back to it the next morning, the CW tape was coming away from the foam in places, so I ended up removing it and spraying with glue before recovering, however, I didn't re-spray with glue this time prior to parcel tape covering.
 
The exposed control linkages are also a feature of the Hawk, but then the Hawk isn't designed as a combat plane.
 
My Beevolution chevron wing uses two, 3mm ribbon type spars, which keep the wing nice and rigid, but how does the single spar of the Spectre cope?
 
Anyway Tim, nice build and I shall look forward to seeing the video
Tim Mackey20/09/2011 11:03:44
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We base at Abersoch, and then fly any one of around a dozen or more sites, depending on the wind. You may find this google map I did useful.
I also have an excel spreadsheet with the various formats of sat nav co-ordiantes on it, all cross referenced to the map. Let me know if you want a copy, and Ill attach to it an email.
RichieW20/09/2011 11:06:28
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Hi Tim, your new baby's looking good. I think the Orme roads are still closed, went up last night and the tram track road is still closed, but maybe " access only " to the lighthouse will get u up to the tank tracks.
Tim Mackey20/09/2011 11:09:56
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Ah thanks for that Richie...Ill give the council a call now then.
Steve Hargreaves - Moderator20/09/2011 11:30:04
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Thanks Tim...most useful.....I've saved that in my "Slope Soaring" favourites!!!
 
I know Abersoch quite well....we were very near there during early June (staying at Nant-y-Big farm) & wondered about the suitability of the cliffs for a spot of sloping!!! Seems there is a suitable site just on the cliffs above the bay......excellent.
 
The spreadsheet would be most useful...I've PM'd you with my email address....
Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator20/09/2011 21:43:52
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Nice model Tim - "Team Specktrum" take to the cliffs
 
BEB
Myron Beaumont20/09/2011 21:57:05
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BEB
Yeah ! Two receivers & neither tail feathers nor engine-.Hmm .
Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator20/09/2011 22:14:03
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I know Myron - but we have to be nice to him.
 
BEB
Tim Mackey20/09/2011 22:15:48
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It flew very well. 30MPH straight at the main slope, grey skies made for poor filming, but there's a 5 minute clip of the maiden flight below. Just one click of up elevator had her flying nicely - good penetration, and tight turns with a very fair lick of speed.
I passed the tx around 3 others and they enjoyed it, rating it between 3 and 5 stars out of 5.
One of them even said he is ordering one tomorrow.
Personally, I'll give it 3.5. It does snap out of tight loops with high elevator rate, and I think I need to dial down the expo ( I have it at 35% which is what I have on my other combat wings ) as she felt just a tad sluggish entering looping style maneuvers.
All in all, a great success, and GVFM.
Tim Mackey20/09/2011 22:32:17
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Posted by Myron Beaumont on 20/09/2011 21:57:05:
BEB
Yeah ! Two receivers & neither tail feathers nor engine-.Hmm .
 
Two receivers?
And doesnt a vertical stabilser count as a tail feather?
Real flyers don't need engines
David Gilder20/09/2011 22:35:03
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So is this what I'm going to be destroying soon???
 
You better get some more pics of it in its "flying condition!"
 
Dave

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