Adventures in 3D Printing – Ep1

Wait, I can do what?!

3D printing is something that I have been playing with for some time and in one word, it is awesome!  Though as a technology, it has been around for a really long time, only within the last few years has it become an accessible tech for most folks.  The reason being that the prices of machines have come down dramatically allowing folks access to something that was otherwise cost prohibitive.  Also, there are commercial companies now that focus on 3D printing for non-industrial folks like us, plus one can now own a 3D printer for under $1000.    So, this is an exciting time as this awesome technology grows in popularity and becomes better and better!

JHH Mirage Turkey Feathers Comparison

Comparison of the 3D Printed turkey feathers on my JHH Mirage IIIRS to the full size.

As we are going through the Skyray build, 3D printing is something I’m using quite a bit for detailing.  I first started seriously experimenting with it on my mirage pushing it to the extent of fully printing the exhaust section turkey feathers.  So, with that in mind Continue reading

How to Build an RC Jet – Part 5

Fiberglassing and Hinges…now we’re getting somewhere!

buld an rc jet - skyray 40With the dorsal and rudder shaped, the next step is fiberglassing and hinging each of the parts.  I didn’t take many pictures during the glassing process (performed this before starting this blog), but I will talk through it a little bit.  When I get to fiberglassing the wings, I plan to make a complete tutorial video.  The pic to the left is ultimately what we are striving for…

Some Notes on Fiberglassing

Now, I typically don’t hinge control surfaces until  after glassing.  I’ve done it both ways (hinging before and after glassing) and have found hinging after glassing is definitely my preference.  The reason for this is that when I make the slots in the control surfaces to receive the hinges, I can get much cleaner and crisper corners since the glass hardens the wood.  Otherwise, the balsa can crush in around the slot and it doesn’t come out as cleanly.  In terms of glassing, I use 3/4 oz fiberglass cloth and Pacer Z-Poxy Finishing Resin finishing epoxy resin to apply the glass.  The fiberglass is cut out around the surface allowing significant overlap and laid flat onto the surface dry (important!).  From there, I mix up the Z-Poxy Resin as directed (50/50 mix Continue reading

RC Cars – Tamiya Midnight Pumpkin

Tamiya Midnight Pumpkin, so much fun!

Midnight Pumpkin ready to roll!

Midnight Pumpkin ready to roll!

I really enjoy building RC Cars with my kids.  Though I’m certainly not a gear head, it’s something fun and accessible for my kids and it’s an easy excuse to build a project with them and that’s what I love about it.  I recently put together a Tamiya Midnight Pumpkin kit (metallic version) with my 8 year old son and it was a blast!  What kid (or adult for that matter) doesn’t get a kick out of driving a cool RC truck inspired after a 1950’s pick-up with oversized tires that does wheelies off the line and will easily hit those sweet jumps?! 🙂

To give you an idea, here’s a quick video including a fun time lapse of the build along with some driving action! 🙂

Growing up in my Dad’s shop (Jet Hangar Hobbies), I vividly remember many of the Tamiya RC car and RC truck kits on the shelves of the shop.  My memory was that they had some of the most fun and stylish RC cars — meaning that they were Continue reading

Hawker Sea Fury – 5-blade Electric Conversion

5-blades of Sea Fury Heaven…but it Takes the Right Motor

sea fury - pics 548The Hawker Sea Fury is one of my favorite propeller warbirds.  I guess the simple yet elegant lines of it combined with the beastly (and exotic) radial engine and 5-bladed propeller just have a certain appeal to me.  Though it came 2 years too late to support WWII operations, it had a nice stint in Korea; not to mention was one of the fastest single piston engine airplanes ever produced.  So, it’s not surprising then that so many Sea Fury’s have adorned the course at the Reno Air Races.

sea fury - pics 367A few years back, Thunder Tiger offered a small line of 1/7 scale RC warbird ARFs that were quite nice.  The lines of the airplanes were good and they flew incredibly well.  The kits included the Sea Fury (military and September Fury racer schemes and the best looking Sea Fury ARF out there for some time) and an F8F Bearcat (military and Rare Bear racer schemes).  I was fortunate to acquire one of the Sea Fury kits when they first came available and of course it had to be electric with a 5-bladed prop!  So, I thought I’d use that to talk a little bit about designing an electric propulsion system for your propeller airplanes.  First off though, here’s a little video of my Sea Fury in action, 5-blade prop and all! 🙂  It sounds just as good in person, no sound system needed!

The power system for the Sea Fury is as follows:

  • Motor: NeuMotors 1515/2Y with 6.7:1 gearbox
  • ESC: Castle Creations Phoenix 110 HV
  • Battery: NeuEnergy 10s 5,000 mah Lithium Polymer
  • Prop: Zinger 16×14 prop (aluminum hub with wood replaceable blades)

In sizing an electric power system (we’re talking propeller airplanes here as opposed to EDFs), the first question to ask is “what do I want my power system to do for the airplane?”  What I mean is, Continue reading