The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Phoenix Spitfire Build Update: Days 1 and 2

I started the Phoenix Models Spitfire Mk2 build the other day, as the parts have all arrived. Its a slow start. I've been excited about building her, but I've been busy...


On the first day I wasn't very motivated and just did the aileron and flap installation.

It comes with all CA fiber hinges. I planned to use all nylon hinges, but the fit in the flaps box was too tight... The space required by the nylon hinges, even recessed, was too much, so I had to pull them and use the CA hinges on the flaps. I taped the hinges.

Installed, both wings done, called it a day...


I used Hitec HS-485 HB Karbonite geared digital servos on the flaps, saving me $50. I had them on hand from some other build/crash. I generally like all metal gear servos on gassers, but I think having the MGs on all the control surfaces is important, but I can get it away with them on the flaps. Tactic X47MGs on the control surfaces and for the throttle.

I noticed that there were pre-lasered holes to secure the servo cover, so flipped them over and drilled the holes for the small screws that secure them in place.

Be aware there are two different sizes of screws, long for the ailerons, short for all the others. I hate these kinds of control horn installations. If you don't get the drill pilot holes exactly straight, getting the backplate to screw in is challenging. I managed to get about half of them to work out first try.

The long screws come out a little long so I Dremel'ed them short.

Protect with a couple of layers of masking tape.

I followed the design specifically. It makes for a very short aileron control rod. The stock control arms that come with the Tactic servos are just barely long enough, and I didn't have longer ones.  I used longer ones on the Hitec servos on the flaps as I have them.

Installed and done! I set the flaps up as closed at neutral. I've not set these up before, my only flap experience being with flaperons. Once I get the receiver in line and start programming the transmitter (Spektrum DX8) I'll know more. Pointers welcome.

I am not a fan of mechanical servo driven retracts, mostly because my experience with them on the rare plane I have had them on, well, sucked. So I replaced them  on this model with electric ones. I LOVE the way they sound in motion! The struts themselves are from the stock mechanical gears. I mention this to draw your attention to the wheel cover attachment that is closer to the wing; notice that its divided. I had to do this to allow it to retract and not run into the retract unit keeping it from closing all the way. I had to Dremel a little of the wheel box to get the retract to fit properly. These struts have a tendency to fall off, so I will go back and Dremel a notch to allow one of the set screws to hold the gear more securely.

When retracted I noticed that the strut wheel cover doesn't close flush. There is no way to address this as the wheel is firmly seated against the well, which is in turn directly flush with the wing. I looked at pics of others online, and even with the original mechanical retracts this is how it comes out.

All in all they came out nice. My first time!

The wings are each done, and next I will join them permanently. Then I can get on to the fuse and the engineering installation. This is coming along nicely!

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