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37% Schleicher ASK-21 — Salalore — a saga and assembly

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  • 37% Schleicher ASK-21 — Salalore — a saga and assembly

    Yes, after ten years it's about time this model met the finish line.

    It all began when Etienne Dorig, Steve Richman, Len Buffinton and I traveled to Germany and Switzerland on a soaring adventure back when we were young. While attending the SLS meet in Herrieden, Germany I fell in love with the big ASK-21 by Rodelmodel. Love at first sight led to buying a kit that arrived with a host of problems and mis-fitting parts that led to what became an on-again/off-again appearance in my workshop over the course of many years.

    Here's why I fell...


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    Team PowerBox Systems Americas... If flying were the language of men, soaring would be its poetry.

  • #2
    When the kit arrived here in the U.S. thanks to Etienne, we quickly learned that it would be a chore. The first set of wings had deformed the wing tube when they were bagged and no amount of sanding would get the wing joiner to fit, while overall alignment of the wing root to the fairing on the fuselage was way off too. A new set of wings main panels was the solution. Those still took a good bit of alternate sanding and filling of the wing root and fuselage fairing.

    From there, it became a lot of fussing and fixing while other sailplanes caught my eye along they way pushing this big beast back into storage. Tom Mavaro enjoyed constantly asking me -- month after month, year after year -- how the build was going?

    The original extensive build thread died with RCAeroTowing.com, so here are some quick summary shots. I'll spare all of the wing photos that led to finally replacing them and start here with the fuselage...

    First up was installing bulkheads for the nose and main wheels as well as all of the hardware for the two-piece fuse joiner

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    Last edited by Steve P; 01-05-2020, 02:41 AM.
    Team PowerBox Systems Americas... If flying were the language of men, soaring would be its poetry.

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    • #3
      At just over ten feet in total length, the ability to split the fuselage is a great option. It will actually fit in my trailer with the rudder removed, so that will be my approach.

      Installing an extensive set of thick ply doublers, braces, blind nuts and four steel bolts join the halves.

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      Last edited by Steve P; 01-05-2020, 01:28 AM.
      Team PowerBox Systems Americas... If flying were the language of men, soaring would be its poetry.

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      • #4
        The fuselage is plenty robust but seams were poorly aligned which lead to a whole lot of sanding and filling and sanding. While that was going on the new wing main panels arrived...

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        Team PowerBox Systems Americas... If flying were the language of men, soaring would be its poetry.

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        • #5
          I'm one of those rare few who love the covering process. For this bird, Oracal sign vinyl was my choice.

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          Last edited by Steve P; 01-04-2020, 10:08 PM.
          Team PowerBox Systems Americas... If flying were the language of men, soaring would be its poetry.

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          • #6
            White is nice, but graphics are better! These photos are some nine years ago!

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            Team PowerBox Systems Americas... If flying were the language of men, soaring would be its poetry.

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            • #7
              With the four wing panels covered and servos installed and the fuselage in primer, the ASK then went to sleep for eight years.

              More ribbing by Tom Mavaro was not motivation, but Scot Stewart telling me he was willing to paint the fuselage SURE AS HELL WAS!

              I quickly dug out the fuse, did some more filling and priming, added fiberglass tabs to hold the various cockpit parts, built an additional ballast box around each side of the nose wheel, and finally painted out the entire interior with gray primer, then granite spatter paint and then three coats of dead flat clear. A quick transfer of goods at the Black Dirt Aerotow this past October and the fuselage was off to Massachusetts!

              Scot is perfectionist and when the fuselage arrived in his shop the fuselage joint from the factory did not meet his standards. It would have to be perfect so that when joined the line virtually disappeared. To say what he did is 1000% improvement is an underestimation.

              Here are some shots from Scot's workshop...

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              Last edited by Steve P; 01-04-2020, 10:09 PM.
              Team PowerBox Systems Americas... If flying were the language of men, soaring would be its poetry.

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              • #8
                Scot is a man of his word! The finished product...

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                Team PowerBox Systems Americas... If flying were the language of men, soaring would be its poetry.

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                • #9
                  Thanks to Len who transported the fuse back from MA this past weekend. Now the "ball" is back in my court.

                  Here's a tip. Ten year old vinyl graphics stored in a basement will lead to swearing if one actually tries to use said graphics. The vinyl stuck to the paper backing and the transfer tape stuck to the vinyl. Patience and determination work wonders. The blue pinstriping is a lost cause, so I've ordered sky blue automotive pinstripe that should arrive this week.

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                  Last edited by Steve P; 01-04-2020, 10:01 PM.
                  Team PowerBox Systems Americas... If flying were the language of men, soaring would be its poetry.

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                  • #10
                    Wow! Very impressive Steve. Glad it is finally coming together. Cant wait to see it fly!

                    Nice work Scot!!
                    Steve K

                    Kremer Aerotowing Team

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                    • #11
                      Excited to see it in person Steve! I really love the 21 and can't wait to see more of them on the circuit.
                      Kevin K

                      Kremer Aerotowing Team

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                      • #12
                        I wanted to bring the tow release below the nose instead of in the nose (scale location is directly in front of the nose wheel) so I quickly fabricated a servo mount, brass tubes and rod. The plate is contoured to the fuselage bottom. This at least splits the distance between the two locations.

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                        Team PowerBox Systems Americas... If flying were the language of men, soaring would be its poetry.

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                        • #13
                          The tow release goes directly against the front former of the nose wheel. (Hence why I taped that area from paint)

                          I boxed off the nose wheel so lead could go there since I took some forward space for the release. A quick test fit of used tire weights easily accommodated 80 ounces.

                          The release, nose wheel and lead are all concealed beneath a top plate. This plate would of otherwise had a servo mounted driving a tube style tow release as well as room for batteries. Two PowerBox PowerPacks and a Source easily snug up front.

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                          Last edited by Steve P; 01-05-2020, 02:26 AM.
                          Team PowerBox Systems Americas... If flying were the language of men, soaring would be its poetry.

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                          • #14
                            The main gear is a mighty piece work. A substantial frame and two strong shocks. The mounting plates were painted to match the fuselage interior and it all went into place perfectly.

                            interestingly, per the plan sheet, the bolts go in from the rear with the fuselage split. This makes sense as once the cross tube for the wing rod is epoxied in place the bolt heads would be a bear to access.

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                            Team PowerBox Systems Americas... If flying were the language of men, soaring would be its poetry.

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                            • #15
                              Not much progress this weekend — waiting for my order from PowerBox and looking forward to the upcoming 3-day weekend — but the blue pinstripe did arrive and looks much better than the stock would have.

                              Started on the binnacles, seats and side panels inside the cockpit. Anything to delay cutting the canopies. ;-)

                              And, while the wings are covered in Oracal vinyl, my choice for the horizontal stab was Ultracote. Rather than a single horn and a servo inside the vertical fin, I went with dual servos internal to the horizontal with all HD hardware and horns I made from thick G10. Those are JR8411 servos and they look tiny in the huge stab!

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                              Last edited by Steve P; 02-07-2020, 01:10 AM.
                              Team PowerBox Systems Americas... If flying were the language of men, soaring would be its poetry.

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