The landing gear on the Old Speedster is held on with one rubber band. When I assembled my Speedster and installed a battery the landing gear was sagging. Check the first picture. I tried adding a second rubber band but the skewers were beginning to bend and the model was still sagging, so I decided to see if I could come up with something that would work better for me. It involved a foam board landing gear doubler with some bamboo skewers. The doubler gets hot glued inside the fuselage above the original landing gear mount point. The 1/2″ round holes were made with a FoamWerks Drill. It worked great.
Several years ago I bought my first Multiplex FunCub. One distinguishing feature is the tundra tires. Not just for looks, they help get through thick grass. And so since then I have been putting large wheels on all of my R/C model airplanes. The tires shown in the pictures below are the ones that come with the FunCub. Yes, you can still buy them.
Not all mini glue guns and mini glue sticks are equal. When I was using my Aldi Workzone gun I needed to put in a new glue stick. I squeezed the trigger half way before any glue came out. Wasn’t sure what the problem was. What I discovered after taking some measurements and doing some research is that the Aldi gun takes 5/16″ (.31″) glue sticks and what I put in was a 9/32″ (.28″) glue stick. it doesn’t sound like much of a difference. But if you try to put the larger glue stick into a smaller glue gun, it won’t fit. And if you put the smaller stick into a larger gun not much glue will come out when you squeeze the trigger. My assumption was that all mini glue guns and glue sticks were the same. Not so. The point is that if you use a mini glue gun, just know what size it is so you buy the right size glue sticks.
Years ago we used wheel collars to keep the wheels on the axles. Here is another option. Use #4 flat washers and small silicone fuel tubing. Use this sequence. Put the wheel on the axle, then the washer, then squeeze on the fuel tubing before you cut it. If you cut a small piece and then try to squeeze it on, it will be difficult. Cut the tubing after it is in place on the axle.
When you are using glue guns you will have the problem of hot glue dripping out from the tip. If you put a piece of cardboard under the gun that will solve that problem, but there’s another way. In the middle is a glue gun holder with a small ceramic tile under the glue gun tip. The neat thing is that the glue will easily peel right off the tile. And you don’t really need the holder, just a ceramic tile as shown on the right will work fine.
Never liked to solder. When I first started flying electrics I was using Dean’s connectors. And at some point you probably need to solder connectors to ESC’s or batteries or something. Many years ago I discovered Anderson Powerpole connectors. I was attracted to them because NO SOLDERING!. The connections are crimped instead. If you have ever used a wire crimper before you can figure out what to do. If not, there are many Powerpole tutorials and how-to’s on YouTube. Besides not needing to solder, the other benefit is that while very secure, they are easy to connect and disconnect. You hear a little click. And after more than 15 years of using them and many hundreds of flights I have never had a problem.
The club that I belong to has a grass flying field. While it is cut once a week, if you go flying the day before grass cutting day, the grass can be thick; great for nose overs on takeoff. So for a long time I have been putting larger than normal wheels on my models. It all started years ago when I bought my first Multiplex FunCub, which came with Tundra Tires. Never have a problem flying off grass no matter how thick or deep with those wheels. So I continue to use larger wheels even on my foam board planes. When I take the Speedster in to a club meeting for Show & Tell, it will have the wheel pants option. But when I go to the field flying it will have the larger wheels.
One of my friends looked at a picture of my FT Speedster. First thing he said was, “Where’s the pilot?”. Good question. I decided to come up with one. Years ago I built an old time Sig kit called the Demoiselle. It came with a profile pilot. You can still buy just the pilot from Sig, but i decided to go another way. Did a Google search for pictures of vintage pilot with leather helmet and goggles. Came up with one that looked pretty good, then downloaded the file. I opened the pilot picture in a photo app that I have on my computer and applied a hatch filter. Then printed it out. Then drew in a mustache and cigarette. Then scanned the drawing and sized it down 50%, which seemed to be about the right size. In order for this to work properly you need a left side and a right side. The Preview app on my Mac allowed me to print, flip, and print. Then cut the figures out and glue them both to either side of a 3″x 5″ index card and cut it out. The pilot figure has a tab behind his head. That fits into a vertical slot that I cut in the turtle deck just behind the pilot.
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.
I had this old wire bender in the garage; hadn’t used it in years. And I needed to bend some wire for landing gear. You need to put the wire bender in a vise. While I have a bench vise in the garage I decided it would be nice to have one in my shop in the basement, but I didn’t want to drill holes in my Formica work bench. Harbor Freight has a vise that you can clamp to the edge of a work bench; no holes needed. It has been working great.