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Model restoration
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 Posted: 26 April 2017 06:22 pm
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Mike Smith
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Having looked at my next scale project I went into procrastination mode and dug out an old Keil Kraft Ladybird that I've had for about 15 years.

It flew very well in free flight untill I cartwheeled it at one of the Old Warden meetings about 5 years ago. Got home and put it in a box to languish.

The fuselage was broken off at the rear end, the wing tips crushed and the tailplane dowels broken.

I took the covering off and bit by bit rebuilt / repaired it with single channel rudder only R/C similar to the Popsie I fly.

The DC Merlin engine was gummed up but got it freed off and running. This was the first engine I owned and at that time it terrified me. It howled like a goodun in Dads shed.

In the photo I have repaired the wings  but the rest was to do. The fin / rudder is only hanging on by the tissue paper.

Mike


Attachment: CIG_IMG001.jpg (Downloaded 99 times)



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 Posted: 26 April 2017 06:30 pm
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Mike Smith
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The trick here was to install the radio without too much addition in weight.
A simple ply plate was put in across the fus' and the servo mounted upside down and fitted to operate a closed loop for the rudder.
I let in some 1/8th sheet balsa to strenghten the fus' at this point and cut out a hatch to allow access. Battery will velcro to the baulkhead. The arial is inside the paper tube to stop it flapping in the breeze
Mike

Attachment: Radio installation.jpg (Downloaded 94 times)

Last edited on 26 April 2017 06:32 pm by Mike Smith



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 Posted: 26 April 2017 06:44 pm
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Mike Smith
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When I first flew the Ladybird the coweling was fitted as per the plan and was a real pain to operate the engine. It did not last long and in a fit of peek I chopped it off. Easy to run the Merlin now. But with out the characteristic dustbin on the front it lost a lot of the appeal for this model.

So I made a new one from laminations of 64th ply and 1/16th balsa. light and strong.
The former at the rear is shaped so that I can remove it if I need to. Just 3 screws hold it in place.

In free flight the fuel tank was on the outside on the port side of the fus' just behind the engine. So I made a tinplate tank, as can be seen, to give me an estimated flight time of up to 4 mins. After 5 mins I get brain freeze on the RX so that will be more than enough.

Mike

Attachment: Merlin installation.jpg (Downloaded 98 times)



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 Posted: 26 April 2017 06:50 pm
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Mike Smith
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The tail end has been strenthened somwhat and a rudder fitted.
You will note that I have fitted trim tabs on the trailing edges to adjust the glide.
Mike

Attachment: Tail surfaces.jpg (Downloaded 97 times)



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 Posted: 26 April 2017 06:51 pm
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Mike Smith
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The structure is ready to cover.
Watch this space.

Mike

Attachment: CIG_IMG001.jpg (Downloaded 95 times)



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 Posted: 27 April 2017 08:37 am
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Bill

 

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thanks Mike.

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 Posted: 27 April 2017 10:40 am
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Mike Smith
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Bill
No worries.
More words and pictures to follow.
Mike



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 Posted: 30 April 2017 12:55 am
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Jon

 

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Great job Mike, very interesting upgrades to the original :D

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 Posted: 2 May 2017 08:53 pm
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AdeH
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Well done Mike, if anyone can fix it you can



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 Posted: 8 May 2017 10:07 pm
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Mike Smith
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Ladybird's airframe was sanded and filled where needed. Sanded again and given a coat of sanding sealer. Sanded again.
I like to use heavyweight jap tissue as it is relatively strong, easily applied with thinned aliphatic glue and one can achieve a reasonable vintage finish. Red for the fus' and white for the wings and tailplane.
I had forgotten how awkward the rear fuselage was to cover, the first time round, with all the compound curves. H/w tissue does not do these. The rear fus', fin and rudder has 17 separate pieces of tissue to try and maintain the curves without any wrinkles.
Airframe was sprayed with a mist of water and allowed to dry slowly. This was done twice to ensure a taught surface. Two thin coats of shrinking dope and then two thin coats of non-shrinking dope to give a good finish. A very light sanding and I was ready to paint.
I pushed the boat out here and purchased two spray cans of gloss Spectra enamels, red and cub yellow £££s. The results are not too shabby.
Applied a few decals, finished the basic closed loop system to the rudder and installed the engine and cowling etc.
C of G seemed ok and now I just need to be patient and wait for a calm day to give it a wiz.:)
Mike

Attachment: CIG_IMG001.jpg (Downloaded 62 times)

Last edited on 8 May 2017 10:31 pm by Mike Smith



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 Posted: 8 May 2017 10:32 pm
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Mike Smith
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"Take two"

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 Posted: 9 May 2017 11:23 am
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looks good as usual Mike.

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 Posted: 9 May 2017 11:30 am
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Mike Smith
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Bill
Ta muchly.
Mike



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 Posted: 10 May 2017 10:11 am
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Phil F
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That was last week Mike ! "May the fourth be with you"



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 Posted: 10 May 2017 11:35 am
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Mike Smith
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Went to Stickfast with the Ladybird on Wednesday. Ideal conditions with a slight breeze.
Hand Launch to check the and glide found it to be very nose heavy??? I concluded that the cg on the plan is not as accurate as it should be. I added 15 grams of lead to the rear fuselage. Almost exactly the same amount I found in the tail when I stripped it down.The trim tabs were given a tweak of up and tried again, long glides ensued. Now it was time to crank up the merlin and invoke "the force". Heart in mouth off it went from a hand launch. Nothing to worry about and it behaved impeccably, just as I remembered it in free flight mode. Gave it a few clicks on the rudder trim to get it to circle left and put in 30% expo to stop it lurching in the turn. Second flight was similar. 
Went home with a smile on my face.:D See you down there with it!!
Mike  

Last edited on 10 May 2017 11:51 am by Mike Smith



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 Posted: 11 May 2017 08:35 am
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Alistair
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Congratulations Mike, you is a lean mean flying machine :)



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