The Radio Control Club of Detroit

An AMA Gold Leader Club
AMA Chapter # 368
An AMA Charter Club Since 1953
IMAA Chapter #206



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RCCD 2012 Scratch Build Project
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3/29/12: This is what it is all about: Friends getting together and assisting each other.

Project News (updates will be posted here):


There has been some discussion regarding the installation of the wire connector that connects the right hand elevator to the left hand elevator. It was mentioned in the discussion, that the ends of the connector may not be perfectly flat to each other, and a word of caution probably should be issued to the builders when installing the connector wire.

Please note: The purpose of the connector wire is to connect both halves of the elevator so they are positioned flat to each other and in line with the horizontal stabilizer's surface and trailing edge. This wire connector also allows both halves of the elevator to move in unison with each other.

There are a number of variables to consider when installing the "U" shaped wire elevator connector. The holes that are to be drilled in the leading edge of the elevator halves and the ends of the "U" shaped wire connector must be in perfect alignment. Even if the ends of the wire connector are dead flat and the 90 degree bends are perfect, the holes drilled in the elevator also have to be dead on dimensionally and 90 degrees to the leading edge and parallel to the surface of the elevators to make everything work in the 'perfect world'. Unless you are drilling the holes using a drill press and clamping the surface of the elevator halves 90 degree to the table of the drill press and the leading edge of the elevator halves parallel to the table, the holes will be out of position unless you have luck on your side. If you are drilling the holes in the elevator halves by hand, chances are your holes will be out of alignment to the elevator connector that may perfect in shape.

The solution to this situation, is to use a little bit of mechanical common sense. It should be up to the individual builder to compensate or adjust the elevators to be flat and true to the trailing edge and surface of the horizontal stabilizer. This alignment compensation can be accomplished by bending or twisting the ends of the wire connector and double checking the flatness and fit to the horizontal stabilizer, while all the parts (horizontal stab and the two elevator halves) lay flat on your work table. It may take a couple of trial fits (and a few dirty words) to accomplish the alignment, but it definitely can be done.

I believe the original instructions for the four star also relied on the builder to use his/her discretion to line up the elevators. The original plans and the instruction booklet regarding the connector simply states: "Use the plans to mark the elevators for the position of the 1/8" diameter music wire elevator jointer. Drill and groove the leading edges to accept the elevator jointer. Sand the jointer wire and wipe it clean before gluing it to the elevators with KWIK-SET epoxy. Keep the leading edges of both elevators aligned as the glue cures". I hope this clarifies any alignment issue.

2/2/12: Project progress ground school --> Status ranged from not yet started, to complete and ready to fly

1/18/12: Important Warning:
Notice to all the RCCD All Star Builders, I have just been notified that a couple of the dihedral braces have broken at one of the laser scribe lines on the surface of the brace. This breakage is random and not on every brace. It may be that some of the lite ply is less dense than others and the laser scribe lines penetrated deeper on some braces. The wing would be strong enough, if the joint between the wing halves is epoxied and fiberglass applied over the joint regardless of the condition of the dihedral brace. As a precaution, I have contacted Peter Van and he will make new braces without any scribe lines on the surface, for those builders that are not up that point in their construction. Those new braces will be available at the next club meeting. The builders who are ready to join the wing halves together and don't want to wait for the new braces, can simply make new braces by tracing the outline of the brace that came with the kit on a piece of lite ply or aircraft ply and use their substitute brace, or they can make a doubler to reinforce the center of the brace. If the builders that already have completed their wing or are past that stage in construction and have not run into the dihedral breakage problem, their wing joint should be good. Keep in mind that the wing joint should be epoxied together and fiberglass applied over the joint per the directions. Sorry for the inconvenience. Pete M.............Rattlesnake

12/9/11: Hello Fellow Builders,
Hopefully, you all had a chance to start your build or at least review the kits and the instruction posted on the web site. I know there are a few who are making tremendous progress with their plane. I've received a number of emails from builders with questions and comments, and some builders with photos showing their planes at various stages of construction. These builders also had the opportunity to use the instructions and were kind enough to send comments regarding the instructions. After reviewing the comments, I will try to improve or clarify some areas of the instructions that may have been confusing to some. I will forward some of the emails that I received along with my answers to Noel so he may post them here on the web site (in the Tips / Input by Members page). This may help other builders that may have the same questions.
Pete M.............Rattlesnake

12/1/11: There is a slight revision to the instructions
All the kits have been distibuted. (There is one unassigned kit for any RCCD member who wants to get in on the project. $90)

11/30/11: Great news! The kits are finally ready. We will have them available at tomorrow's meeting, Dec 1st. Hope to see you there.

George Snapshot

11/28/11: The vac formed canopies are coming along. We have 43 formed & rough trimmed. Tomorrow we are meeting at Joe's to inspect, re-trim, and package them. If there are some that need replacing, Norm is on standby to make the replacements. Attached are several pictures showing the vac form operation taken at Norm's house.


11/27/11: The gang spent a lot of time with Peter Van at his plant over this holiday week end, watching (or should I say, working) the laser cutting operation. Had a great time solving the world's problems and watching the smoke rise from the hot job (club project plane) being cut. Peter was a gracious host, but he makes a "mean cup of coffee". We were all very good on this project so far, we stayed away from the doughnuts.
We still have high hopes to complete the kits by this Thursday. If we miss, it's not for the lack of trying. We will be working right to the wire.


11/25/11: CANOPY DEVELOPMENT & TOOLING. Take a look at the development and carving of the canopy plug.
Phil Laperriere called and is delivering Prop Shop Stickers that Matt gave him. We will include them in the kits. The vac formed canopies may be running late and may not be included in the kits, when the kits are first handed out ? ? ?
We will shape the ailerons to size, now that I have the aileron balsa sheet stock at my house. They will be pre-shaped to size and added to the kits, instead of each builder having to cut them out of the balsa sheet as stated in the build directions.
We met at Joe's house and bundled the rest of the wood into partial kits. When we gather a few missing items and the laser cut parts, we can finish the kits. Attached are a few photos that were taken today.
We took three large boxes of wood to Peter Van's shop for laser cutting. We also reviewed the latest laser cut CAD files with Peter Van. Photos will be taken when the production laser cutting is in process.
The fuselage instructions have been updated, so if you printed them before 11/20, you may want to reprint, or at least review the new ones.
The wood order arrived Saturday and laser cutting will begin on Moday (11/21).
Keith Jones is offering participants 20% off servo extensions. Mike Pavlock is offering adhesives at cost if we bulk-buy them (12 packs). Anyone want to take on coordinating this? Get all your other items from Prop Shop.
Waiting on the wood delivery

Nov 22, 2011
Sorting the wood