Several years ago Sig Mfg. sold three old time kits that had profile pilots as part of the kit. You can still buy the kits or just the pilot figures directly from Sig. Click HERE to visit the replacement parts page. Then view the parts for the Antionette, Demoiselle, or Deperdussin. The Demoiselle comes with torso, arms, & legs. The others just come from the waist up. You can order online.
The Scout looked unfinished without a pilot figure. So I came up with a solution similar to one I used before with the FT Old Speedster. Check that post out HERE. There is a hole in the foam board that is the top of the fuselage in the cockpit. I used a couple of pieces of foam board to make a base, then cut a slot for the profile pilot head to fit in. You may or may not want to glue the pilot in permanently.
The main point of this post is to show an optional way to mount motors that allows you to adjust down and right thrust. This may be needed to improve flight characteristics of some models. In this example I made a new firewall from aircraft plywood.
These are two ways to mount the motor on the firewall. The FT motors come with an X-Mount that can be set vertical or diagonal. The motors come with tiny wood screws and the firewalls have pre-drilled holes for the wood screws. Over time and with vibration wood screws tend to loosen up and back out resulting in a wobbly motor. For me a better way to mount the motor is to set the X-Mount on a diagonal. You’ll need to drill new holes, use blind nuts (also called T-nuts) and socket head cap screws.
The diagonal mount can be used to provide just down thrust, just right thrust, or both down and right thrust. It is a bit easier than using the vertical mount.
Looking from the front, if you put washers under the top of the mount, you get down thrust. If you put washers under the right side of the mount, you get right thrust. And if you put two washers under the upper right corner and one washer each under the upper left corner and lower right corner, you get both down and right thrust. No washers under the lower left corner. If you decided to make a firewall for the diagonal mount, you will need to relocate the hole that the motor wiring goes through. Click HERE to see what the blind nuts look like from behind the fire wall.
While I was working on the FT Speedster I was amazed to see the skewer fall out on the floor! This is the skewer that holds the back end of the power pod in place. Lucky I wasn’t flying. A couple of short pieces of tubing will hold it in place.
So here is what the finished, installed firewall looks like on the power pod. Needed to notch the foam board a bit to make room for the blind nuts, otherwise the firewall wouldn’t lay flat against the foam board.
Finally went out to fly the FT Old Speedster for the first time. Things didn’t go well. When I went to taxi around it veered left when I gave it throttle. Then when I took off it kept wanting to climb even with several clicks of down elevator trim. The Speedster doesn’t have any down or right trim built into the motor mount. Every balsa model that I have ever built had both down and right trim. Lacking any other insights I decided to do that with the Speedster. I made a new firewall with a larger hole to pass the motor cables through. And I am going to use the X-mount and blind nuts with socket head cap screws. 4-40. To see the solution that I plan to use for down & right thrust, see a previous post here.
The Flite Test Simple Scout comes with dummy engines; a nice detail. Thought it might be a good idea to paint them to set them off a bit from the brown fuselage and black cowl. So I went with aluminum Rustoleum. The skewers that come with the kit can be used to hold the engine parts while you are painting. I used sandbags to hold the skewers in place on the table. And then the skewers can be used again to guide the parts to the exact right place on the fuselage when you hot glue them. The one picture shows the parts painted black. Bad idea. It blends in with the cowl.
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/
I was having a hard time getting the turtle deck centered on the FT Simple Scout. Came up with this idea using some foam board scraps and painter’s low tack tape. Mark the centerlines, then it is easy to align the separate turtle deck sections while gluing. And the painter’s tape comes off easily without damaging the poster board.