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My Next Build ..... The FMS Beaver


toto
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Hi Grumpy,

 

the tailplane is perfectly useable but having a nice new shiny one returns the model to its " new state ". I'm delighted that its coming back into service as I really have a soft spot for this model.

 

here are my new parts ...... 

 

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The star of the show ..... the new horiontal stabilisor ...... Hussaaaaarrrrrrrr ....... the sound of many clapping hands ...........

 

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The new front cowl ........ and the crowd goes absolutely ballistic ............

 

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and some fine and dandy new wheels ........ Ohhhhhhhh ..... this really is just too much.

 

I'll be back with some lovely fitted shots.

 

cheers for now

 

toto

 

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Posted (edited)

OK ...... so we tramp on and the first on the hit list is the wheels ......

 

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from these heavy thick plastic jobs with no give in the hard plastic tyres ....

 

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to these rather nifty numbers with a more flexible tyre ..... onlt downside was the others were actually ball raced. never mind.

 

then ... its on to the front cowling .......

 

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but first the prop needs to come off .....

 

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so off it comes .....

 

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and here is a shot of the damaged cowl .....

 

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and the front end without the cowl ....

 

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some plastic fixing points to take the self tapping screws that hold the cowl in place. two of the above .... one either side ......

 

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and one on the top of the cowl like the above ......

 

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on with the replacement cowl .....

 

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doesn't it look pretty ....... but wait ......

 

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don't forget the go faster stripes .........

 

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both sides of course ........

 

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then its back on with the prop ......

 

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and on with the horiosontal stabilisor .....

 

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dont forget the fency thing which has been glued into position with Alphatic glue ( foam freindly of course ).

 

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which just leaves the reconnecting of the elevator horn. I'll go back to that as I should have done it before setting the elevator fence with glue and don't want to risk disturbing it. So thats for later.

 

I'll need to fit the horn rod, try on the wings, check out the servoe etc with the transmitter and also check all the transmitter settings, bind to the student transmitter as well and set the dual rates etc etc.

 

apart from that .....

 

Job done

 

toto

Edited by toto
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Its a thing of beauty Grumpy.

 

As ever ...... I'll not be flying it anytime soon ..... I have a successful partnership with the Super Cub and I want to keep that going but it will be one of the first out of the hanger when the time comes. ..... Unless of course my mentor takes a fancy to it and entices me to take it along for " another " more successful maiden for a bit of light relief from the usual flying programme ...... I can always dream ..... 😄

 

it does actual fly well and it is a heavy beast in the air ..... sounds funny but you can almost feel the weight as you fly it .... weird or what ....

 

cheers toto

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That's good toto - avoid the slippery slope of putting your airplanes in the trunk of your car, then popping the hood to connect your field charger...... and asking at the chippie on the way home if you can get like cod and chips....... 

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Posted (edited)

It looks like a very nice model Toto, I am sure you are itching to fly it again. 

 

Going forward, in the event of a ‘non standard arrival’ should the elevator hit or scrape the ground, the tip will deflect but the root is constrained by the control horn connected to it’s servo. Result? The EPO foam elevator splits as it did before. Where the split occurs is called a ‘stress riser’ between the plastic part and the foam. Hopefully you won’t get a repeat break but you could reinforce the elevator to make this less likely. If you were to drill a couple of pilot holes and insert a couple of carbon rods inside the elevator as you did before with your repair, the elevator would be somewhat more robust. 
 

The cowl is a thing of beauty (!) but appears to be made of rather thin plastic (ABS? 🫣).

In the past I have epoxy/glassed the inside of thin ABS cowls as it adds considerable strength to a vulnerable part of the model.

Just be sure to mask off the outside of the cowl to avoid unsightly sticky finger prints as epoxy seems to goes everywhere. 
 

These ‘rainy day’ jobs/upgrades are quite satisfying to do and may avoid these annoying little repairs being necessary in the future.

 

Just my 2p worth!

Edited by Piers Bowlan
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Posted (edited)

Hi Piers,

 

I like the idea of epoxy glossing the inside of the cowl. Do you apply a mesh or pause and just cover with epoxy by brush or is it simply just a brushed coat of epoxy straight on with no mess/ gause? 

 

I think I may also dismantle the tail again and strengthen that joint on both elevator halves. It would not take long and would add terrific strength.

 

Cheers

 

Toto

Edited by toto
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Posted (edited)

As Jrman says, lightweight woven glass cloth cut to roughly correct size. You may need to snip several small cuts in the side of cloth nearest the front of the cowl to persuade it to follow it’s shape. Brush on lots of epoxy and stipple in. When done leave to stand (nose up) on some cellophane (or similar) to allow the xs to run out. When dry or semi-dry cut the xs cloth protruding from the back of the cowl.

 

Don’t forget to cover the outside of the cowl with low tack masking tape or it will end up a right mess ( it is a messy job. )

 

I would get a piece of card and cut a round hole the same size as the cowl. Push the cowl through the hole to ensure the cowl remains perfectly circular (if it sets oval it will stay oval!!)

 

Don't use too much hardener or it will get very hot 🥵.

 

The glass cloth will provide a lot of split resistance but it is not indestructible. The cowl is usually the second thing to hit the ground (after the wheels🤣).
 

 

Edited by Piers Bowlan
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I actually tossed the old cowl in the bin ..... but it's probably recoverable. In hindsight I should have kept it as a practice piece. 

 

When I sent for the new one ages ago, they actually sent two so I have a perfect spare. I'll check to see if its retrievable tonight when I go into the shed.

 

My intention was to disassemble the Twin Otter to free up my model stand for the Beaver ..... get the wings on and give all the controls and settings .... including the buddy box ..... a good testing out.

 

I'll see how far I get. It looks nice outside so it would be a good night for working on the Beaver with the shed door open. Even better outside but the less my neighbours see the better. 

 

Toto

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Phew ..... old cowl rescued from bin for purposes of a practice piece. Some glass fibre cloth ordered from online.

 

Meanwhile .......

 

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The Beaver reassembled under the watchfull eye of the mutt ( Lulu ) in the kitchen.

 

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Not a huge amount of room left once its on the stand ..... but enough.

 

I connected up the NX8 and bunged in a 6S battery. Ran it through its paces. Safety cut off switch tested and works. as do throttle, elevator, ailerons and rudder.

 

My dual .... or triple rates were all to pot for some reason so I set them again and they all work fine. set the timer alarm for 7.5 minutes as I know I easily get that. It may be changed again at the field once I remind myself of just exactly what I am being left with on the battery after a 7.5 minute flight.

 

All I need to do is transfer the settings on to the NX6 and set up the student link.

 

That is for tomorrow though.

 

cheers

 

toto 

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No worries.

 

I can see the wisdom in strengthening these tailplane parts though. They do look like a definite weak link. A couple of cocktail sticks drilled along the length of the plastic to foam connector joint makes sense.

 

Or .... order in some carbon but I think the cocktail sticks covered in epoxy would do enough as well.

 

Toto

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9 hours ago, GrumpyGnome said:

Just be careful of the weight creeping up toto......... add as little as possible when 'strengthening'.  

Good point Grumpy, but the stock FMS Beaver has a wing loading of around 21oz/squ. ft if my estimate is right (almost glider territory). Even if a layer of woven glass and epoxy were to double the weight of the cowl, at least the weight is in the right place (the nose). The thin plastic cowl is thin and plastic because it is cheap and quick to manufacture, not because it is fit for purpose. 
 

It might be interesting to weigh the cowl before and after glassing?

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I know, but we don't need lashings of epoxy and multiple cocktail sticks at the tail end..... even if the additional weight in the cowl maintains the balance. Use the minimal amount of heavy stuff - one of the reasons I use foaming Gorilla Glue not epoxy in many places - all those bubbles add lightness!

 

Like practically all foamies in inexperienced hands, it'll need some additional glue in it's lifetime.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Well,

 

Looks like this weekend I will be back on the Beaver again. ( if you'll excuse the phrase ).

 

There is no flying at my club as the motorbike racing has first dibs on the track ( read runway ) this weekend.

 

So the main task is to swap out the AR 630 ( with safe etc ) for an AR 620 ( basic receiver ) as the Beaver already has the FMS Reflex module fitted.

 

So ... swap them out which is no big deal, then rebind the AR 620 to my Spektrum NX 8 and .... although I am now flying solo ( feel free to give another round of applause ) , I am still going to buddy this up with my Spektrum NX 6 as well. The reason being that the Beaver as chronicled above, has went through some reasonable degree of repair, and that, coupled with the rebinding and resetting of controls / rates etc would almost suggest that what it is going through is actually a remaiden. 

 

As such, I'd rather have the comfort of having my mentor on board just in case there is any surprise behaviour going on. That does not guarantee that things can't still go wrong but in my mind, gives me better odds if they do.

 

So the shed time ..... if I get, it will mean one more model back in service with the Domino and Phoenix Tiger 60 still to look at.

 

That's the plan.

 

Toto

Edited by toto
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My advice is to never reject expert help (and never be afraid or think of it as a kind of weakness to ask), when I used to train/instruct accomplished pilots for their B test or more advanced aerobatics I would always ask them if they wanted to buddy up with me and when trying something they had never tried before most of them gratefully accepted it, far better to have a back up and not need it than than not to have it then need it.

 

Phil

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Posted (edited)

Hi Philip,

 

I agree totally. I've had the discussion with my mentor and he is happy that regardless of if I have my A cert or not, he will be happy to return to the buddy box with me if asked. Whether that's trying out a new model for the first time or trying out a new manoeuvre or so.

 

To me .... it makes sense.

 

Toto

Edited by toto
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Posted (edited)

So ...... hit the shed tonight to get the receiver switched over from the AR 630 to an AR 620 to get rid of the stabilisation on the AR 630 as the beaver already has vector stabilisation built in.

 

So .... got the wings on and up onto the stand ....

 

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disconnected the AR630 .....

 

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and installed the AR 620 ....

 

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I done a servo centring test on the Aileron, Rudder, Elevator and flaps with the use of this gismo .....

 

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a dual battery and servo tester ..... all centred fine.

 

I re-bound the AR 620 to my NX 8 and set the throttle cut and the dual ( or triple ) rates. 100 - 70 - 60 on the NX8.

 

I tested to ensure that all surfaces were working as they should and tested the rates had been applied to the surfaces as well ....... all is good.

 

Then .... the last step ...... I set up a model on the NX 6 for the Beaver " student " and bound the NX8 to the NX6. I then confirmed that the NX8 could hand control over to the NX6 via the depression of the big black " I " button which it did and that all the controls including the dual rates and throttle cut worked as intended ........ it does.

 

So the Beaver is now good to go. 

 

One thing I still need to do is test the reflex stabilisation system to see if its on or off. I'll catch that one later before Re-maidening.

 

for now .........

 

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its back in its bed.

 

cheers for now

 

toto

 

Edited by toto
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Posted (edited)
On 10/05/2024 at 06:05, Piers Bowlan said:

Good point Grumpy, but the stock FMS Beaver has a wing loading of around 21oz/squ. ft if my estimate is right (almost glider territory). Even if a layer of woven glass and epoxy were to double the weight of the cowl, at least the weight is in the right place (the nose). The thin plastic cowl is thin and plastic because it is cheap and quick to manufacture, not because it is fit for purpose. 
 

It might be interesting to weigh the cowl before and after glassing?

 

My understanding is that the average glider is a bit less than that. 10oz/sq ft for a 3m type. Phoenix Models list 8-10oz for "average slope" model. But I guess they would ballast up.

 

This FMS Beaver is 827sq in wing area (5.75sq ft), weighs 8-1/2lbs, giving regular wing loading of 24oz/sq ft (as you state). The cubic loading comes in at 10 (ish) - so it'll be a very pleasant power flyer.

 

Going on those figures, give or take, this is a 10cc or 60 class power model.

 

 

Edited by Nigel R
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