4/30/04

I am sad to report that on Friday, April 30th, My uncle, Paul Glanville, the inspiration for this project, passed away after a brief illness. He was 85. I was hoping to get Old Ironsides done so he could see it fly. Paul was very excited about this project and inspired me always to do my best. He was a great man who spoke affectionately of his friends in the 90th and of the aircraft they flew in or maintained. He will be missed.

The Stabilizer

5/2/04 - I haven't got much done in the past week and probably won't get much done this week but
I did get a little done on the Stab. I had to re-cut the ribs because of two reasons; The ribs were cut from 1/16" ply and they should be 3/32" balsa, and they were all different sizes! Holly cow! You'd think they would stack sand the ribs if they knew what they were doing. Very sloppy work in my opinion. Earlier in the project I was happy to have the kit cut but now I can definitely say I would cut the next kit myself If I can't get it laser cut. I'm having to re-cut too many parts but I'm also finding that it's not really that hard to cut them yourself and it gives me a little more pride in the project.

I have never had to make my own ribs so to make sure I did it right, I started by searching RC Universe for "stack sanding"  and found some good advice and I will also put my two cents in here. There were two ways to do it. One is make a pattern and trace out on the balsa sheet all the ribs, cut them out and stack the together then sand to shape. The other is cut a bunch of rectangles the ribs would fit into then stack them and sand away everything that is not rib. The rectangle way uses more balsa so being the cheapskate I am I decided to cut the ribs out and then stack sand them. Now that I'm experienced I would say the rectangle method would be a lot easier and for me at least would have cost me only about 50 cents more. The problem was lining up all the ribs that weren't all cut the same. A stack of identical rectangles would be better.

I copied and glued the rib SR-3 from the plans onto some 1/16 ply and made a template. I want all the ribs identical so I only used SR-3 as the template for all the ribs. I used SR-3 because it looked like it was drawn the best. I used that to trace out the ribs. Then cut them out.  I had two stacks, ribs SR-1 to SR-3 in one stack and SR-4 to SR-9 in the other stack. I put the template onto the 1-3 stack, put a drop of medium CA on each end of the stack to hold them all together and then sanded them to shape on my disk sander and sanded the slots with some 1/8"x1/4" spruce with sand paper glued to it. I then did the same with the 4-9 stack but before I final sanded I stuck them all together and stack sanded all the stab ribs together so they would all be the same. Before I pulled them all apart I drew a V on the top of all the ribs so I could keep them in order when I glue them in. It very important to make sure some don't get turned upside down since the stab isn't exactly symmetrical ( At least it wasn't drawn symmetrical ).

After that I stacked the bottom spruce spars onto 1/8" balsa to elevate it from the board and carefully glued the ribs to the spars. Before I glued in the SR-5's I stacked them and drilled the hole for the hinge rod.  I also built and glued in the bellcranks for the rudders when I put in SR-8 and 9.  Then I glued in the top spars.

I thought about using a flexible cable type control for the rudders but the bend was too tight and was binding so I decided to use the bellcranks (which I don't like to use because they can be sloppy) But to avoid slop I am using some quick links instead of Z bends. Precision for these rudders won't be absolutely necessary anyway. I'm still not exactly sure what I'm going to do about the elevator and rudder servos but I'm trudging ahead anyway, figuring it will all come together in the end. I do know that they have to mounted to the stab, in the center section, and there's not a lot of space.

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Updated July 14, 2009