Foam board wheels are not very durable. The question is what to do about it. I came across some 1-3/4″ I.D. rubber O-rings recently and thought they might be useful to add some durability to the foam board wheels. The process begins with gluing the artwork to the foam board. There are places on the Internet where you can buy excellent art work for just a few dollars. Then cut the circles out. I used a Logan WA8001 FoamWerks Foamboard Circle Cutter available at Amazon. Glue the rubber O-rings to the wheel. Don’t forget to use the doublers behind the wheel for added strength. And you may find a Center Finder useful to find the exact place where the axle needs to go though. I bought the O-rings on ebay from Mr. O-Ring. Finally I used some rivet parts to act as a bushing inside the wheel. See my Rivets post HERE. The O-ring is 1/4″ thick so the finished wheel is 2″ diameter. Probably suitable for a smaller model such as the FT Minis. I am looking for larger O-rings or something similar. I fly from a grass field and have found that something more like a 3″ diameter wheel will allow me to taxi and get off the ground.
I needed to build a couple of the short power pods. There is a small oval hole just behind the firewall. My thought is that it is there in case you want to pass wires through to connect to the battery. Found a neat way to make the hole. Logan FoamWerks makes several products for cutting foam board. I used the medium sized hole cutter. Worked out really nice. Buy at Amazon.
The winner of the 2014 SEFF Southeast Electric Flight Festival Best New Aircraft is a model called the Giant Norman. It is a laser cut balsa and plywood traditional build with Monokote type covering and an 84″ wingspan and 12-18 lbs weight. The model was very popular at the time but the designer had many requests for a smaller version, which is how the Normal Norman was born. This one has a 49″ wingspan and is made from EPP foam. Normal is a 3 channel model but there is now a 4 channel version available called the Nifty Norman. This one appears to be a good candidate for a foam board scratch build project. The Giant Norman kit (balsa & plywood) and both the Normal Norman and Nifty Norman (EPP) kits are available at: http://lainesplanes.com/
At the point where I am finishing the fuselage. Without the foam board top rear of the fuselage, the back end of the turtle deck has no support. You might add a cross member right where the turtle deck ends. And on the bottom of the fuselage you might cut the foam board to include the tail skid and end at the last cross member.
When you are assembling the carbon fiber pushrods and the servo arms, you may find it helpful to clamp the control surfaces so that they are perfectly flat; no up or down and no left or right.
When I built the first FT Simple Scout with the balsa diagonals, I didn’t make slots for the pushrods. The foam board fuse has slots but I thought that I could somehow maneuver the pushrods through all the open spaces between the balsa sticks. I couldn’t find a way to do it. So instead i decided to mount the servos on the outside of the fuselage and use carbon fiber tubes as pushrods.
Make some short Z-bends for each end of the carbon fiber pushrods. Make sure the piano wire is a snug fit in the tubes. Then I used thick CA to fix the Z-bends into the tubes.
If you use a Dremel tool or power saw to cut the tubes you are liable to put some cf dust in the air. You don’t want to inhale that so I use a miter box and hand saw for minimum dust.
The cardboard packing in the servos from FT can be used as a template for cutting the hole in the fuselage. Just extend the opening on each end so that the entire servo with end tabs fits through.
This model is being built as a 3 channel. If you are building the 4 channel version you need to make sure that the servo has room with full aileron down deflection.
The way that the Scout is constructed there is a second layer of foam, the doubler, that you will need to cut through.
The servo arm is in the up position. This makes the line from the servo to the control surface close to parallel to the top of the fuse.
I put the hot glue inside through the bottom of the fuselage. Little bit of a tight fit to get the glue gun nozzle in, but it is doable.
Just a short video to show the action of the external pushrods on the FT Simple Scout.
Already admitted that I am not good at free hand cutting the bevels on control surfaces. So instead I have been cutting off part of the foam board and replacing it with balsa. In this case I took a 3/16″x3/8″ strip and cut a 45° bevel on the table saw. So as shown below, the aileron is separate from the wing. Vertical and horizontal stabilizers work the same way. Then I use brown kraft tape to attach the pieces to one another for the control surface hinge.
A large foam board model with some interesting construction ideas.