Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Plane Carriers ROCK!!

I built up the first of the new plane carriers this evening. The design works great. The lower cross piece and the handle are 3 layers of 6mm birch plywood with a relief in the middle layer for a 6mm or 1/4" dowel. I happened to have some 1/4" aluminum rod in the closet, so that's what you see in the pics. When I get back from KS I will stop and get some carbon tubes just to be cool... The racks are available in 4, 6, or 8 plane sizes. I used some anchor bolts and nylon wing nuts to make the racks easily removable for travel.

I think these are going to look great after they are sanded and painted!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New Pit Box kits are here

I picked up the pit boxes today. I got 40 boxes this time and about half of them are spoken for so if you want to get one let me know ASAP. I will be at the Kansas F2D contest this weekend with them for sale. If you pick them up at the contest they are $40, after the contest they are $40 plus actual shipping to you. 

Now for the plane racks... They are a test run so there are only a handful of them. I will have to work out the price and build a couple up to make sure they are good to go. I will post pictures and more info soon.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

More graphics ideas...

So in my never ending quest to make our F2D wings look even cooler... I was thinking about painting on the covering and how to best do that. I got to looking at large format printers and quickly realized that they are SUPER high $$$$$. So I started looking at stencil art and found that this is likely the process that I will pursue for full plane graphics. I will have a thick Mylar stencil laser cut and then use standard spray paint cans to shoot color on the inside of the covering before covering the planes. The big challenge will be to find a set of graphics that can be cut to be used as stencils. I will post up pictures as the project comes together. 

Here is a preview of what the planes could look like.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pit Boxes On Order Reserve yours today!!

The original factory is back in the game and the boxes are being cut next week. I am getting 40 boxes cut so get your name on the list so you don't miss out!!

I hope to have them delivered to me by May 29 just in time to take them to the Kansas F2D competition, if you are going to be there we can save on the shipping.

The boxes are $40 plus actual shipping to you.

Email me at 4eles1  at   gmail or call 9222595 with an 832 area code to reserve a box.

Kevin Hebestreit's box with custom paint and lettering - AWESOME!!!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pit Box Update

Thanks for checking out the blog guys. I am currently working on getting the boxes produced again. The manufacturer that cut them before will not respond to emails now and all the quotes that I have received from other sources are double what the original was. The boxes used to sell for $40 plus actual shipping to you (they fit in the flat rate box at the PO) but now we are looking at $60 plus shipping and I am not sure that I would pay that much... SO I am still calling sources daily looking for a shop with a big enough CNC laser that will do these "on the side" to get the price back down. I am also getting quotes for plane carriers that hold 4,6, and 8 planes. With the current quote they would be about $25, again i think that's a bit high.

When I get the right shop on the horn I will make a run for sure. 

The interior dimensions are 11.5" wide by 8" deep and 7" tall. The dividers are set up so the builder can put the tool deck in the back and the syringe trough in the front or vice-versa. The battery area is designed for a pair if 5000mAh 2v cells. Some guys are running them in parallel on one switch while others are running them independently on a 3 way switch. I like the second option in case one of the battery fails the other battery is essentially on its own circuit. Opposite the battery area a 500ml Nalgene rectangular HDPE bottle fits perfectly. The lid makes a great place for storage too with a creative use of rubber bands and magnets.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Soldering Lead Outs

Some guys have asked me about what I use for lead-outs (LOs) saying that is a major reason for not building their own planes. When I tell them I us .021 stainless flying wire the first thing that they say is " I thought you couldn't solder to stainless wire!" Well in fact you can and it is not that big of a deal if you have the right stuff. Here is a quick look at the way I am doing them.

1. The right stuff: I use Superior 78 Stainless Steel flux. With out the right flux the solder will not stick and you will have a single line plane or worse a flyaway. I use  silver solder.

2. Everything has to be cleaned: I use some 600 grit sanding paper to clean the oxidation off the music wire hooks and the end of the LOs.
3. I first attach the LOs to the bell cranks and then measure the total length including the hooks that I need and cut the LO. Also keep in mind that the front and rear LO may need to be different lengths because of the bell crank location. Do this BEFORE installing the bell crank and LOs in the plane.
4. Wrap the hooks to the LOs with thin copper wire. Notice that the wire goes all the way to the end of the hook. The copper holds the hooks in place and lets you slide them for final adjustments before soldering.

5. Time to solder, I have found that using a small or as you see in the picture a big propane torch works best. It is much harder to get the wire up to temp quickly with a soldering iron. BE CAREFUL with the torch not to over heat the wire. You can very quickly damage the wire if you over heat it. I pass the flame over the wire hook for just a second at a time with the solder touching the copper until the solder starts to flow into the copper coils. I suggest a few practice hooks before you work on LOs that are installed in a plane.

6. After the hooks have been soldered bend the LO wires that are past the copper 90 degrees and cut them off with side cutters. Sometimes I go back with the Dremel and a stone to clean up the end.

7. Make sure to clean all the excess flux off the hooks, it is acid based and will cause the music wire hooks to rust  and possibly fail. A stainless steal brush and some rubbing alcohol work great.

All ready to go and only takes a about 5 minutes per plane.