The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

First Day at the Sopwith Factory

This morning I started the Hangar 9 Sopwith Camel build. This is a simple, straightforward build using many of the skills and techniques I have learned from previous builds. It has gone fairly smoothly, with a couple minor sidesteps hardly worth mentioning (me, not the kit).

The obligatory Box shot...

Unboxed, all but the cowl which I...

added a bright red band to.  I saw this in a You Tube vid of this plane and really liked it.

Despite trying to avoid this, there was some bleed. I cleaned it up the bleed using nail polish remover and Q-tips, and it looks simply amazing!

The wood shrouded metal cabane struts are quite scale! Finding the right one to go in the correct place took a little patience and some attention to detail. Why they couldn't just mark them I don't know.

Other builders noted that the gear straps all around were not drilled properly, so I was expecting this. I simply used a grinder to make the holes a touch bigger.

The motor mount is metal and sits off at an angle.

The Heads Up RC 4260-06 motor doesn't fit the motor mount, drilled for a Eflite Power 46. I thought I'd just drill holes that did fit, using the HURC motor's mount as a guide...

Marked out some nice spots...

And quickly found out that there was no way I was going to drill through the steel. But I can grind out the existing holes to fit, as they are pretty close. That worked great! Here's the motor mounted on the steel.

And put in place. The end of the motor mount needs to be 5 inches from the firewall, which required I use the end holes on the firewall mount and extending the sliding part of the mount all the way. Came out to almost 5 inches.

Side view.

I am using a Turnigy Trust 70A SBEC ESC, with a long EC5 extension and an EC5 series harness from Progressive RC.

The ESC was tightly wrapped in shiny shrink wrap ("I like shiny...). I cut open the ends around the radiator to allow more airflow and heat release, though its a switching BEC and way more amps than I should draw so should be cool.

Here's the motor and ESC in situ. I chose to extend the battery leads rather than the ESC-motor leads as I had battery leads which I soldered together, but lacked the ESC wire... I had to change the ESC connectors since they didn't match the motor connectors. Some salvaged female red battery plugs (the one's Hobbypartz and Nitroplanes use) matched the motor connectors fine, so I tranplanted them onto the ESC and shrink wrapped them. 

The manual suggests using a hobby knife and scissors to cut out the center and the spaces between the cylinders. I found the plastic very dense, hard and brittle, likely to shatter rather than cut. I decided to use a Dremel pointed diamond grinder and very easily cut the sections out. Looks great! Waiting for the red paint on the cowl to dry, so skipped installing the mock motor into the cowl and installing the cowl until tomorrow.

Put the fuse aside while I moved on to the wings.

I know this will need a lot of weight in the nose, so I installed the kits weight box. This thing is heavy!

I am using Hitec HS485hb servos all around.  Here I am building the aileron servo installations.

I wrapped up the build day with installation of the aileron control rods and the control horns. The control horns did not install as cleanly as they should have. The leading edge of the aileron did not have solid wood all the way through, but balsa on each side. Drilling the hole in one side did not guarantee it came out exactly straight on the other, which made mating it with the opposite side attachment challenging. Not as clean as I would like it to be... but not bad. 

Tomorrow afternoon I may fly, but I do hope to get back to this build as I think I can finish it up with a few more hours work. I have the cowl installation, the wings, tail assembly, and the guide wires to install to finish the model!  She is going to be beautiful!


  1. Fancy! I always admire people who post detailed photos in blogs, too-- more interesting that way :D