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.
In this post I used a small, hobby table saw to cut the 45° bevel in the horizontal stabilizer. I left the stab in the surrounding foam board to maintain a line parallel to the saw blade, but removed the bottom few inches to adjust the saw cut.
The table saw is small so I needed to extend the fence to accommodate the the foam board that extended far beyond the table. To do that I taped a couple of yardsticks together then hot glued them to the table saw fence.
After the bevel has been cut I find it easiest to apply the tape hinge while the entire horizontal stabilizer / elevator assembly is pinned down.
To get the tape hinge centered I put a couple of pins toward the end of the stab as guides. The tape is 3/4″ wide so I put the pins in 3/8″ from the hinge line. Works great.
This one is from the guys at Flite Test.
My next project involves gluing balsa sticks to foam board. Since I want to make sure that I get a good glue joint I decided to do a test with the glues that I have available. Four glues to glue balsa sticks to pieces of foam board. Care to guess the winner? ALL of them! I was amazed. They all seemed to work very well. I went with Elmer’s. Been using it since 2nd grade and it never let me down.
Occasionally you need to make a piece of warped foam board straight and usable. For me it is the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, rudders, and elevators. Not so much a problem with fuselages and other parts that have panels that are bent and glued. Those tend to automatically straighten out any warps. So I usually take 2 warped pieces at the same time. Put a couple of strips of foam board under each end, then add some sand bags in the middle. If you get too aggressive with lifting the ends and adding sand bags you will end up putting wrinkles in the paper covering right where the sand bags sit. It normally takes a few to several days for the boards to straighten out. These pictures were taken outside in Chicago on a cold day. The warmth of being inside the house will be a better place to do this.
The little red pins are used to hold balsa parts together while the glue dries. Or to hold parts in alignment. They can also be used in foam board construction. The vertical stab and rudder are pinned down to make it easier to apply the tape hinge. Hard to do just holding the parts together while applying the tape.
The elevator of the Aeronca has a very narrow connection between the left and right side. If the elevator is being built with balsa and hardwoods there would be no concern about connecting the halves. But foam board does not have the torsional strength of balsa in this application. An exact foam replica from the plan would give a very narrow strip of foam board to connect the halves. So I decided to add a joiner made from 3/16″ x 1/2″ firm balsa. The middle pic shows what that looks like. Next is the need to cut a 45° bevel on the leading edge of the elevator. Normally cutting a bevel in foam board is easy, but with the addition of the balsa joiner the task becomes more challenging. Two possible ways to make a bevel in the balsa. One is to file or sand the bevel in the balsa before gluing it in to the foam board. Another is to use a power tool. I used a Microlux table saw. Just set the fence and make the cut. Comes in very handy.
This one comes from the Flite Test web site. If you build models from foam board eventually you will need to do a 50% score cut. A score cut will allow you to make a cut, then fold the foam board back on itself. You don’t want to cut all the way through. The tip from Flite Test is to take your cutting tool and round off the tip. Use whatever method you prefer. A couple choices are, a brick, sandpaper, or a file.