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New to the forum and scale sailplanes...and towing

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  • New to the forum and scale sailplanes...and towing

    Technically I would suppose I'm a beginner. Since 1985 I have been scratch building and building kits of scale war birds and jets. I started with slope soaring but as they close hills around LA where I lived I became more and more involved with flying fast stuff and making EDF jet kits and more. Flash forward my late wife of 33 years passed away from cancer in 2013. Later on I met an amazing woman who lives in beautiful Ventura California and I move there from LA for a different pace of life.

    After working in the film business as a creature effects artist, model maker, prop maker and more I was glad to leave that all behind and live by the sea with Mary. I opened a film studio in Ventura where we both make our art and still we do some movie work, but now I have 2000 sq, feet of shop space like never before.

    I for awhile my favorite hobby of flying was neglected and the planes I had where not what I preferred anymore. Like my slower paced life I wanted to relax in the hobby and soar, not keep a brick in the air under power anymore.

    I found the plans to an Aquila Grande, I feel in love with the idea of flying the slope in peace once more. I scratch built the plane from plans making every single part by hand, even the vacuum formed canopy.
    Then I flew the beautiful plane and I was hooked. I soon thereafter sold all my EDF jets and war planes and started making more gliders, buying more gliders, Joined the Thousand Oaks Flying Society. I'm pleasantly gone soaring crazy.

    I took up DLG gliders too. EP gliders and of course slope. But now I'm on the big Towing adventure and winch. I haven't done either and I reading and watching everything I can on the subject.

    Scale has always been my first love. The other day I picked up a new in the box Ka8 that was sitting on the self of my local hobby shop on consignment from an estate sale. I thought it must be divine providence under the circumstances. After building from scratch a 96 span Sinbad I needed a brake and it would be good for my first scale air tow bird.
    I was on face book which I only use for the hobby, other than that I find the place a huge bore and waste of time. But I’ve been on the RC Universe and then I discovered Scale Soaring and here I am.
    I’m hoping to get advice and meet new friends. Join events around the country and build something 4 meter next year.
    To see more of our studio take the video tour on my site: www.steveneillsgarage.com
    Ka8 I picked up recently for my beginner tow glider. Not scale I know but this Aquila is all scratch built and got me started back into sailplanes once more.

  • #2
    Hi Steve,

    Welcome to the addiction. I've been flying RC gliders since the 70's. Dabble with some foamy warbirds but boring holes in the sky gets boring, oops bad pun. Anyhow, you will like the Ka8. One of my aerotow flying buddies in San Antonio has that same model. I have it's 3.5 meter bigger brother from Phoenix Model and I'm assembling a 4.8 meter Ventus 2CX for aerotow as well right now. About three years ago is when I caught the aerotow bug and love it. Hope you enjoy it too.
    Mark

    Comment


    • #3
      Mark thanks so much for the warm welcome and words of wisdom. I already am enjoying it. Today I'm at my studio playing hooky and working on some gliders for flying this weekend. I'm also scoping out Peter Goldsmith's Slingsby kit for my Christmas present to myself. Enjoy your build and do post pictures!

      Comment


      • ARUP
        ARUP commented
        Editing a comment
        +1... welcome to the website! That Ka is a great sailplane! You will enjoy building Peter's kits. Like you... I enjoy the peace and serenity of sailplanes over powered models and it is a bonus when a scale version catches a thermal! I just love it!!!

    • #4
      Steve,

      I've been following your Sinbad build posts over on FB, Nice Work! Glad you made your way over here. I'll be starting my build on Peters Slingsby Skylark soon soon you should definitely get yourself a kit and build one along with me too!

      John

      Comment


      • #5
        Thanks John. I worked on it more today and when I got home from my studio found my vinyl transfer decals had arrived for the sinbad. I also worked on the Ka8 and installed a took hook release. I'll order the kit around Christmas. Still working on the Sinbad which is nearly ready to fly. Also the Ka8 and a 30 inch span mini Singsbly that's stick and tissue build. Thanks again to all of you here. Did get a name ARUP but thank you.

        Comment


        • Mark9
          Mark9 commented
          Editing a comment
          I understand about being "incognito"...still feel many things should not be told on the internet too.

      • #6
        Hi Steve,
        Welcome aboard the forums and website. I'm sure I speak for all the guys when I say we're happy to have you with us.
        The community here is a positive group always willing to help and offer advice, as well as take advice.
        Sorry for the slow responses, but many of us are in Cumberland for the fall Aerotow.
        Hope to see you at an event soon, the Horizon event in June will be held at the AMA headquarters in Muncie Indiana.

        Len
        Len Buffinton
        Team Horizon Hobby

        Comment


        • #7
          Len thanks for the warm welcome. I sure hope to get there next year. This is a great site and I've learned so much already and met some nice people.

          Comment


          • #8
            Added the simple tow release today. Got the tail feathers all working.I have never seen the actual size of the nylon line used fro towing and didn't have any but I did have this rather heavy duty fishing line I use for my RC sailboats. Tested well.

            Comment


            • #9
              The release you have will work but requires access inside fuselage. If possible you might get music wire bent into a l-o-n-g 'U' shape so that the curved portion of the 'U' protrudes through your aluminum guide tube about 1/2" out of the nose. Anchor the other ends of the 'U' to the end of the tube by bending them so the 'U' can't pull through. You will have to do a little 'surgery' on that wood 'box' inside. Next, run a long music wire from inside to the nose and connect it to the servo. Relocate your servo to where your 'cross pin' release is presently. This 'retracting pin on the U' is what I use on mine. I like it because you can see what position your release is, the loop has no way of snagging so always releases and relatively little effort from the servo is required as compared to the release you have at present. I always position the servo arm so that it is pointing toward the nose of the glider and it is slightly 'over center'. When the release switch is activated the servo has time to 'ramp up' torque before the pin moves.

              You will see on some of my releases I have an articulated joint on the release pin along with a guide tube at the nose. Most servo outputs are not linear so a deflection of the pin would occur. Your pin should be long and thin and your sailplane lightweight enough that this shouldn't be of concern.

              Comment


              • SteveNeill
                SteveNeill commented
                Editing a comment
                Is it possible to see pictures or drawings of your recommended setup? And thank you so much fro your help on this.

            • #10
              Steve, ARUP is correct. The simple pull pin does work well with the lighter gliders, but access to hook up with ease makes it more fun. Fiddling to get the tow loop hooked up can be frustrating. Take a look at my thread of what I built for my Kate. It's a simple design using K&S tubing, flat stock, piano wire and wood dowel. The wood dowel was purchased at Lowes and is a slip fit into the brass tube. If the pictures aren't enough let me know, I can probably talk you through what I did. It's in the Kate so additional piece part pictures aren't possible now.

              http://forum.scalesoaring.com/forum/...se-help-please
              Mark

              Comment


              • #11
                Mark this is outstanding. Should adapt well to my K8. Thanks so much. I think I have everything I need on the shelf here at my studio to do this. Makes perfect sense! Thank you so much!

                Comment


                • #12
                  Here are a couple of cartoons to show what to do.

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_3585.JPG Views:	1 Size:	27.8 KB ID:	31166Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_3586.JPG Views:	1 Size:	27.7 KB ID:	31167

                  You can see how the pin has lateral travel as it moves reward in the first picture. This flexing shouldn't be a problem at all if you retrofit your Ka. If a 'U' and retracting pin won't fit in the tube without making the radius of the 'U' too tight then maybe you could bend the loop into a lollipop shape like in the second picture. Mark's design is a good one!

                  Comment


                  • ARUP
                    ARUP commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Oh yeah... make sure the tube is epoxied well in the fuselage or it and the loop will get yanked out until they clear the pin!

                  • Mark9
                    Mark9 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Good point Michael if the loads are high enough the tube can be removed at an undesired time or manner from the aircraft. That is why I incorporated the brass plate on the one for my Kate. Also, in the nose we almost always need to add weight, so why not have it do something? The old belt and suspenders concept.

                • #13
                  You guys are so helpful and thank you Michael and Mark for your assistance and time...oh and cartoons! I built this based on both concepts and I can't believe how strong it is and once installed it will have a backplate as per Mark's so the tube can't be pulled through under load.
                  In addition I used all brass and a torch and solier. There is some square stock the music wire passes through. It went together easy and I have you both to thank.

                  Attached Files

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                  • #14
                    Steve, I have noticed one concern on my part when looking at your pictures as best I can, not being able to see the joint well enough. If the cross pin is held in only by the solder you are relying on the strength of only the solder to carry the weight of the entire aircraft and dynamic loads generated during towing. These could approach easily 10-20 times the weight of the aircraft, may be more, for short periods. Solder is not very strong. That is why in my design the cross pin is set back about 1.5 times the diameter of the pin, minimum, from the front edge of the tube. More would even be better for strength alone, but concessions were made for functionality.

                    Brass is significantly stronger than lead, tin or sliver which is what solder is most usually comprised of. In this case solder may work, but I would not want to trust it. Never the less at some point the solder joint will fail much sooner than the brass. Brazing is an acceptable method to join the two parts for this purpose, but many people do not have the equipment or skills to perform that process. I by the way have brazed parts in school, but do not have the equipment nor the place to perform that process either.

                    To give you a reference about possible RC sailplane aero loads a flier in California this year set a new world speed record for RC aircraft, a sailplane, of 545 MPH. In a symposium he told the attendees that they put a G sensor in the airplane that was capable of reading to 120 G's. When they looked at the data after the run which was in the low 540 range the sensor was maxed out. They do not know what the actual G loads are. They can only be calculated at this time because no sensor small enough to carry is available. When I began flying gliders in the 70's no one knew or even imagined it was possible to fly that fast with a model no less one powered only by the wind!
                    Mark

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Mark just to be sure then I will use the method Michael shows which eliminates the the risks. BTW the cross bar is not soldered but pressed through the holes and burnished like a revit. It is too close to the edge for sure as I got a bit selise with the house of balsa tuff grind and the dremel tool. I planed to make another tomorrow. Yes it is amazing how fast a glider can go without and engine. Again thanks for the education it is important to me!

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