• F4F-4 Wildcat
    45 replies, posted
So I ended up with a fancy RC transmitter a week or so ago. I went to Hobbytown looking for one of those cheap RC planes to mess around with, got this Flyzone Albatros D.Va. Only what they didn't tell me was it doesn't come with a controller, so I get home, unbox and find just a plane and a charger. So I head back and try to do a return after they wanted me to get this $150 transmitter, only they won't do a return because I opened the plastic package that contains the manual. So rather than have a useless plane I went and got the transmitter anyway, it's a Spektrum DX6i. The plane itself was $50, and it wasn't too bad either. Problem is I was out flying it in the wind, letting the throttle off so it'd hover/fly backwards when [B]the rudder sheared off[/B]. The plane had no ailerons, all I could do was watch it fly off into the sunset, gaining altitude all the way until it disappeared. So now I just have the transmitter, and nothing to fly. But that's gonna change, I went to Home Depot and grabbed two sheets of 4x8 foot foam insulation. It's pretty tough stuff and very very light. I also grabbed some light weight masking paper which will form a hard shell around the already tough foam. The plane to be will be an F4F-4 Wildcat, one of my favorite airplanes from WWII. The Wildcat may not have had the speed and maneuverability of it's famous adversary the A6M Zero, but it was TOUGH, it could take punishment that would send most planes down in a ball of fire and the Japanese pilots hated them for it. It also carried a decent amount of firepower with six .50 cal machine guns. [Img]http://i.imgur.com/29cDR.jpg[/Img] Look at that thing, how can you not love it? These are the raw sheets of foam I got, they have a plastic cover on them which I'll leave on until all the parts are cut. I used my CNC machine to draw the patterns out on the foam for me, this would have taken [B]hours [/B]to do otherwise. Would have had to print out templates, transfer the printings to a large sheet of card paper, then trace each part onto the foam. I [B][I]HATE [/I][/B]doing that. So I invented an adapter for my CNC machine that holds a Sharpie, with a spring at one end to keep the sharpie pressed onto the work piece. [Url=http://i.imgur.com/8zWoC.jpg][Img]http://i.imgur.com/8zWoCl.jpg[/Img][/Url] Here's the sheet loaded onto the CNC table, the sheets are 4x8 feet. [Url=http://i.imgur.com/y5Sa0.jpg][Img]http://i.imgur.com/y5Sa0l.jpg[/Img][/Url] My table is only 4x4 feet, and the pattern is set up to fill the sheets so I had to draw up one half then scoot the sheet over for the other half. [Url=http://i.imgur.com/g5DH1.jpg][Img]http://i.imgur.com/g5DH1l.jpg[/Img][/Url] [Url=http://i.imgur.com/ifjCR.jpg][Img]http://i.imgur.com/ifjCRl.jpg[/Img][/Url] This is the adapter I made for the sharpie, the nut at the end unscrews and the Sharpie is loaded or unloaded without needing to raise the torch. The bracket on the side which keeps the pen from falling through is also removable, but doesn't interfere with the normal use of the Plasma torch so long as the pen itself is removed. [Url=http://i.imgur.com/920cp.jpg][Img]http://i.imgur.com/920cpl.jpg[/Img][/Url] [Url=http://i.imgur.com/5lBcf.jpg][Img]http://i.imgur.com/5lBcfl.jpg[/Img][/Url] There's one sheet 'printed'. The individual parts of the plane are made from several layers to create the proper thicknesses. [Url=http://i.imgur.com/Vymny.jpg][Img]http://i.imgur.com/Vymnyl.jpg[/Img][/Url] The wings use 3 layers of foam, the fuselage 13 layers, and the horizontal stabilizer and rudder use 2 layers. [Url=http://i.imgur.com/R0uIV.jpg][Img]http://i.imgur.com/R0uIVl.jpg[/Img][/Url] Just because I could. [Url=http://i.imgur.com/wULbh.jpg][Img]http://i.imgur.com/wULbhl.jpg[/Img][/Url] Tune in next time for 'Cut and Dry' or 'Down in the Dumps'. I still have to get all the other components such as the battery, receiver, speed controller, motor and servos but just building the plane itself should take awhile. I do plan on making retractable landing gear too, I already have it designed in my head but I may add the gear later.
Well, all parts are cut out and I glued them together with some spray adhesive. Even with all the extra foam on it, it's super light. [Url=http://i.imgur.com/3KZQt.jpg][Img]http://i.imgur.com/3KZQtl.jpg[/Img][/Url] [Url=http://i.imgur.com/8k5N9.jpg][Img]http://i.imgur.com/8k5N9l.jpg[/Img][/Url] It shouldn't take too long to shape everything, I'm gonna cut some aluminum templates for everything based on my patterns. [Img]http://i.imgur.com/7ywl7.png[/Img]
This is very cool. Looking forward to the progress you make on this project
It must be nice to have your own CNC machine, it looks like itll turn out really nice. I think the most fun part will be making the electronics so it has flight control surfaces.
Just about done getting the lateral profile sanded out. [Url=http://i.imgur.com/gRkrT.jpg][Img]http://i.imgur.com/gRkrTl.jpg[/Img][/Url] [Url=http://i.imgur.com/QX1Ce.jpg][Img]http://i.imgur.com/QX1Cel.jpg[/Img][/Url]
Can't wait to see this thing fly.
You are a crafty motherfucker you know that.
I have to say I was somewhat dissapointed, I was kinda expecting Raptor to be building a life size F4F-4.
Probably could too, problem is finding an engine, tends to cost more than building the plane itself. If it's anything like the Hellcat though, the internal structure is pretty simple. Should have made a Hellcat too, would probably be done by now. Carving out that hump on the back of the Wildcat is a bit of a pain, the Hellcat just has a smooth transition. The thing that made me shy away from the Hellcat was that slight gull-wing arrangement it has, the Wildcat just has straight wings in a 5 degree dihedral. I got one side of the fuselage done though, I'll post pictures once I get the other side done. I'm just a bit busy doing repairs on this guy's Shelby, has a big rust hole in the firewall I've gotta patch.
I tried R/C plane building one time. I just made it from scrap balsa and foam with Monokote over the whole thing for a fuselage. I flew it a grand total of two times. On the third day that I wanted to take it out, I leaned the 5 foot long plane against my house while I loaded the wing assembly in my car. I went inside again for a minute to eat lunch, and when I came back out, the plane had been stolen... so... that hobby was cut a bit short. Anyway, you mentioned motors being expensive; luckily i took mine out every time I dissasembled the plane so I still have it. Fired up about 10 times, just needs a glowplug and a rotor for your plane. I'll do $20 (that includes shipping) if you want it. Muffler is also included. It's an O.S. Max LA40. Propelled my 5ft plane nicely. I actually found the most expensive thing for my plane was the servos, receiver, and transmitter which were a $200 package. P.M. me if you want it. IF you look for your own though, Thunder-tiger and tiger-direct usually have them for pretty cheap, under $100. [IMG]http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e356/serj22/IMG_20120512_171422.jpg[/IMG]
Every time I see RR_Raptor65 thread I know we are in for a treat. Looks sweet, but how did you make sure you are shaping it correctly? How do you go about measuring it? Or do you go by eye? And that sharpie marking thing. Genius. Need to do something like this with chalk here at work for marking parts :V
If that was an electric engine I'd go for it but I don't wanna put a gas engine in this little plane. [QUOTE=Buck.;36038637]Every time I see RR_Raptor65 thread I know we are in for a treat. Looks sweet, but how did you make sure you are shaping it correctly? How do you go about measuring it? Or do you go by eye? And that sharpie marking thing. Genius. Need to do something like this with chalk here at work for marking parts :V[/QUOTE] I made some aluminum templates, one lengthwise and a bunch of em that run down like ribs. That wireframe picture is what they're patterned off of. I haven't been out to work on this lately, I got a bit distracted by a rifle I really want to build now, the goal is to get the rifle done before November comes around so I can shoot competition with it.
You should build a remote killswitch into this one, unless you want a repeat of the last plane's dramatic departure
[QUOTE=kaze4159;36050499]You should build a remote killswitch into this one, unless you want a repeat of the last plane's dramatic departure[/QUOTE] Did RR make another plane? Is there a thread for it?
No I bought a cheapy Albatros D.Va and the rudder sheared off when the wind picked up so I only had the elevator, the plane didn't come with ailerons. That thing was going bye bye whether the engine was running or not, kind of like a rowboat in a tidal wave.
Oh wait yeah he was referring to your description, stupid me. :V
Oooooh. One doesn't see many F4Fs at the field. Looking pretty good too. Is it gonna have retracts and full 4-channel control? [QUOTE=Serj22;35932620]I tried R/C plane building one time. I just made it from scrap balsa and foam with Monokote over the whole thing for a fuselage. I flew it a grand total of two times. On the third day that I wanted to take it out, I leaned the 5 foot long plane against my house while I loaded the wing assembly in my car. I went inside again for a minute to eat lunch, and when I came back out, the plane had been stolen... so... that hobby was cut a bit short. Anyway, you mentioned motors being expensive; luckily i took mine out every time I dissasembled the plane so I still have it. Fired up about 10 times, just needs a glowplug and a rotor for your plane. I'll do $20 (that includes shipping) if you want it. Muffler is also included. It's an O.S. Max LA40. Propelled my 5ft plane nicely. I actually found the most expensive thing for my plane was the servos, receiver, and transmitter which were a $200 package. P.M. me if you want it. IF you look for your own though, Thunder-tiger and tiger-direct usually have them for pretty cheap, under $100. [/quote] Nice little engine. Great for something that favors the engine running over the engine being able to pull the plane straight up. I always have been a fan of OS engines. I've got a 46AX in my 68" trainer, love that engine. Also got an 18 CV-RX in my touring car. [QUOTE=RR_Raptor65;36041643]If that was an electric engine I'd go for it but I don't wanna put a gas engine in this little plane. [/QUOTE] I don't think you could if you wanted to. The alcohol in the fuel would turn the plane to goo fairly quickly. 5-10 flights maybe. OS does have some stuff you may be interested in though. They recently introduced a line of brushless motors, and I believe speedos to match.
My dad used to be into RC planes. He had a piper cub RC (built it himself) until he let his friend fly it, who crashed it straight into the ground. It was one of my most horrifying childhood memories. The intact half of the fuselage and one of the wings is still in my attic.
Yeah if I ever REALLY get into these things I'll probably go for a gas engine. If I do that though I'd be going for wooden framework and aluminum skins. To be honest I'd probably have an easier time building that since I have my CNC machine there to cut it all out for me. I haven't worked on this in awhile though, I'm gonna start over on the fuse from scratch, messed up on the nose a bit. Saw this 123D Make program by Autodesk too, should make it a lot easier to build the thing since I wouldn't have to sand/cut off several inches of foam. But right now I'm working on a .50 Flintlock Pistol, in the process of carving the stock at the moment. I'll make a thread on that before too long, it's just been so god damn hot out I haven't wanted to be working outside much and neither of these projects are the kind of thing you want to be doing indoors. It also comes down to cash since I want to get this Ruger SR-556 rifle before the jackasses try another "Assault Weapon Ban" and so far I'm not winning the race on that one, after that I really want to build a Wender to use in rifle competition/make the other shooters jelly.
[QUOTE=RR_Raptor65;37060072]Yeah if I ever REALLY get into these things I'll probably go for a gas engine. If I do that though I'd be going for wooden framework and aluminum skins. To be honest I'd probably have an easier time building that since I have my CNC machine there to cut it all out for me.[/QUOTE] Nothing quite like an engine to get ya up in the morning, and OS is one of the best brands to grab. I'm not sure how well an aluminum skinned bird will fly though...perhaps you could build it as a monocoque instead? Nothing inside but enough bracing to keep it stiff and provide somewhere to bolt the servos? 'Tis something I've always wanted to try but I lack the tools to build one from balsa, let alone a metal.
I'd build it like an old Albatros. I did lots of reading on construction techniques of full sized aircraft like an Albatros. It was basically plywood bulkheads and I think fir longerons, then the skin was 1/8" 45 degree plywood tacked directly to the bulkheads and longerons by a couple hundred nails. A Fokker D.VII would be a neat build too, and fairly easy. Just weld up a tube frame out of steel or aluminum, apply wire struts and cover in a canvas skin laced up along the bottom. One could use 28 gauge steel sheet as well, granted the plane was big enough to offset the extra weight but even then you wouldn't have to go too big. A solid foam plane with a paper or fiberglass skin would probably be a fair bit stronger though, crash one of the above planes and they're likely to buckle. That's one of the reasons why I'm building one out of solid foam. Would love to put a 2-axis FPV system into one most of all though.
My main concern regarding an all-metal plane is the weight. They build them out of foam and balsa to cut down on it, I've always wondered if it was just a performance increasing thing or if an all-metal RC plane is just too heavy to fly worth a damn. The Fokker D.VII sounds like the lightest setup to use metal IMO.
Well an aluminum skin in 24 or 28 gauge would be extremely light without being flimsy. Most planes seem to have skin ranging from 20 to 16 gauge so the skin would not be scale, and I've seen a Bede BD-5 that appeared to be made of steel 18 gauge in some parts. The benefit of using aluminum skin like that would be the ability to mass produce a plane, I could cut the parts out with my CNC in less than 10 seconds. With such thin aluminum the machine might be able to run at 600-800 inches per minute so it would be extremely fast. Then using wooden forms the parts could be stamped out in a hydraulic press in one process. Aluminum is a good middle ground between Steel and Copper in terms of workability and strength while being much lighter than either, each individual panel would weigh less than an empty soda can even on a large plane. The plywood bulkheads the framing attaches to could be half inch luan plywood sheets, sometimes called 'doorskins' at hardware stores, I use the stuff to make shields, it's both flexible and light, very good stuff. The longerons on the other hand could be anything from 16 gauge aluminum strips or pine molding which is available in long very flexible strips, I would tend to lean toward the aluminum for durability in the event of a crash however. The weight would not be all that different than if you used the pine molding. I've used wooden forms to make 3D parts out of 16 gauge steel before so I could probably get several hundred aluminum panels out of a single form before it'd need replacing.
Gotten back to working on this, the weather is so nice right now I really want to fly it. At the current pace I'm hoping to get the maiden flight this weekend. Soda can for scale, as you can see it's not small. Even at a walking pace you can really feel the lift and the tail surfaces working. [img_thumb]http://i.imgur.com/2BxFjNV.jpg[/img_thumb][img_thumb]http://i.imgur.com/KBecubS.jpg[/img_thumb] I have all the electronics now, the motor is an E-Flite .52 outrunner with an 80 amp ESC and a 5000mah 4 cell LiPo, so it'll be a real beast. Only thing holding me up right now is I'm waiting for a battery plug to get here so I can charge the battery when it comes time to test everything out and have a go at flying it. All that's left is to finish attaching the wings and ailerons, mount the motor, mount the electronics inside the fuselage, add the tie downs for the canopy, cover the rest of the plane with the masking paper and of course put a badass paintjob on because it's a warbird and it needs a badass paintjob. [img_thumb]http://i.imgur.com/t9wnHRy.jpg[/img_thumb] I'll probably paint it after the maiden flight though.
This is extremely awesome! Nice work crafting that all up.
[QUOTE=RR_Raptor65;40241503]Gotten back to working on this, the weather is so nice right now I really want to fly it. At the current pace I'm hoping to get the maiden flight this weekend. Soda can for scale, as you can see it's not small. Even at a walking pace you can really feel the lift and the tail surfaces working. [img_thumb]http://i.imgur.com/2BxFjNV.jpg[/img_thumb][img_thumb]http://i.imgur.com/KBecubS.jpg[/img_thumb] I have all the electronics now, the motor is an E-Flite .52 outrunner with an 80 amp ESC and a 5000mah 4 cell LiPo, so it'll be a real beast. Only thing holding me up right now is I'm waiting for a battery plug to get here so I can charge the battery when it comes time to test everything out and have a go at flying it. All that's left is to finish attaching the wings and ailerons, mount the motor, mount the electronics inside the fuselage, add the tie downs for the canopy, cover the rest of the plane with the masking paper and of course put a badass paintjob on because it's a warbird and it needs a badass paintjob. [img_thumb]http://i.imgur.com/t9wnHRy.jpg[/img_thumb] I'll probably paint it after the maiden flight though.[/QUOTE] Looks like something the Imperial Guard would use on a valkryie :V:
Yeah, a buddy had me make a skin similar to that for a P40 a few years ago and since then we've always flown planes painted that way. The Kerbal pilot is all mine though. :v:
How did you get your own CNC machine? Did you build it? Did you buy it? If you bought it how much did it cost (that's if you don't mind telling?)
It's a Plasma Cam machine with a Hypertherm 1000 torch, cost $10,000.
Got all the guts fitted in there now. Just need to fix the canopy to the fuse, cover the fuselage and glue everything in place. Might be able to fly it tomorrow. [img_thumb]http://i.imgur.com/L0JQ7mf.jpg[/img_thumb][img_thumb]http://i.imgur.com/h5hz1gR.jpg[/img_thumb][img_thumb]http://i.imgur.com/Q4dZxCZ.jpg[/img_thumb] Also fired up the motor, only made it to 70% power before I decided that was enough for now, had a death grip on the tail trying to keep it from taking off. The CG feels like it's right where it should be too, I might not have to add any ballast at all, and it's all much lighter than I predicted.
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