Toronto Electric Model Aviation Club Forum

Toronto Electric Model Aviation Club (TEMAC) => Building / Construction => Topic started by: Michael on April 20, 2021, 06:27:28 PM

Title: PT17
Post by: Michael on April 20, 2021, 06:27:28 PM
Thanks to Ontario's new stay-at-home order, I've committed to building another model airplane.

My decision was based on: what balsa kits are available in the GTA; what currently unused power system I have on hand; what covering I have on hand; and what whatever else I have on hand that might lend itself to a new project.

I chose the Alien Aircraft Corp PT19 biplane, courtesy of a curb-side purchase from Great Hobbies in Mississauga. I have a suitable power system and radio components. I don't want to finish the model in the traditional blue and yellow colours, since it will look like an E-Flite ARF. I have red covering, and a quick Google search found a bright red example used in the Israeli air force. I just happen to have suitable Israeli decals left over from a previous order/project.

The model has a 34" wingspan, and should weigh about 24 ounces.
https://www.greathobbies.com/productinfo/?prod_id=ALE306

The kit was about $192 (with tax). Compared to an ARF, that's not so cheap, but the kit includes lots of hardware, hundreds of laser-cut pieces of balsa and plywood and good plans. As well, last year I built another model by this manufacturer, and it was fun to build, and flew exceptionally well.
https://temac.ca/smf/index.php?topic=7376.0

This should keep me busy for a few weeks, and should be fun to fly on calm, warm days.

This thread will not be a full "build-thread", but I will post photos and comments of my progress.
The instruction manual has many photos of construction.
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2281/6393/files/aac306stearmanpt17_bd13fb75-f89b-4702-8feb-cf17759c6dde.pdf?15716914580228316341


Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on April 21, 2021, 03:34:33 PM
I've done 5 steps out of a total of more that 265 steps, as per the instructions.

Tail "feathers" done: beveled, sanded, hinged (not glued).

Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on April 24, 2021, 01:07:21 PM
32 steps out of 268.

The fuselage construction is underway. The laser parts need a lot of cutting to get them out clean and smooth, so that's adding time to the construction.

I'm using medium and thin CA, as well as a quick-drying white glue, depending on what I think will work better and more appropriately at each joint.

Parts fit is about 9/10 (or better) quality.

There's a lot of slow and tedious work; it's not a kit for a rank beginner, and it may even challenge the patience of an experienced builder, but it keeps me busy, and I'm enjoying it.

Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on April 27, 2021, 03:36:39 PM
Basic fuselage construction is done. I'll do a bit more sanding.
That's 86 steps out of 268 steps in the instructions.

Next is the dummy engine, which seems to have more than 100 laser cut parts.

Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on April 27, 2021, 05:38:00 PM
Dummy radial engine construction underway.

Every thin layer of the cooling fins on the cylinders is a separate laser cut part (and many of those need to be partially cut out).

This is slow work, but fun.

Title: Re: PT17
Post by: davidk on April 28, 2021, 04:34:29 PM
Dummy radial engine construction underway.

Every thin layer of the cooling fins on the cylinders is a separate laser cut part (and many of those need to be partially cut out).

This is slow work, but fun.

What a great design job... to create hundreds of little pieces that fit together to form a full radial engine.  That's pretty cool.  Keep sanding, Michael... it looks great!
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on April 28, 2021, 05:07:07 PM
Dummy radial engine construction completed. It's made up of 165 laser cut parts, and an additional 14 parts I added. It weighs 21 grams (approx. 2/3 of an ounce) unpainted.



Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Frank v B on April 28, 2021, 06:19:04 PM
Looks great.  Stain and varnish it!   ;D


Frank
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on April 30, 2021, 05:11:10 PM
It's 10 days of pleasurable building. The upper wing is now constructed and sanded.

Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 03, 2021, 03:30:54 PM
Lower wing and wing-struts finished.

The wing struts took more about 3 hours to complete. They were glued together, secured with thread and glue, carved and sanded to an oval cross-section, and trimmed to fit in the wings.

Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 03, 2021, 03:32:15 PM
Main construction is finished.

The inner cockpits were painted black during construction.

234 steps out of 268, in the instructions.

The next step is covering and painting.
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: davidk on May 03, 2021, 03:33:59 PM
Beautiful.  This is a work of art.  Nicely done.
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 03, 2021, 03:38:38 PM
Thanks, David.

Now it's time for a little imagineering.

Title: Re: PT17
Post by: GuyOReilly on May 03, 2021, 09:40:32 PM
Looks fantastic!
Great job Michael.
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 03, 2021, 10:03:30 PM
Thanks, Guy.

Covering has started!
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 06, 2021, 07:55:28 PM
The built-up components are now covered. Painting the dummy engine, landing gear, and aluminum and wood struts, is next.

Title: Re: PT17
Post by: GuyOReilly on May 06, 2021, 08:30:49 PM
Lovely colour!
Some decals perhaps to break the solid red...
When is the field opening for a Maiden Flight?!?
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 06, 2021, 09:08:16 PM
Thanks, Guy.

For sure there will be decals and numbers. And a pilot too!

I'm hoping the field will open around May 20.

Let's hope!
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 07, 2021, 06:36:26 PM
Wing struts and landing gear painted.

Dummy radial engine and pilot figure (a nice fit in the plane) are primed with matte grey paint. They will be painted by hand next.

The pilot is from David's Magical Mystery 3D Printing, therefore the pilot will be named "David".

Title: Re: PT17
Post by: davidk on May 07, 2021, 09:47:14 PM
Those are some high def shots.  It's amazing the true nature of these objects are revealed.  In the hand, you don't see all the lines and imperfections... either in the PLA or the wood.
I wonder how wood fibre PLA would be?
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 08, 2021, 01:01:33 PM
Combing (black wire insulation) added to the open cockpit / battery hatch.

Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 08, 2021, 01:03:39 PM
Pilot figure painted.

Title: Re: PT17
Post by: davidk on May 08, 2021, 04:07:31 PM
Right... your middle name... Angelo.
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 08, 2021, 07:13:37 PM
Windshields done, and radial engine almost done.
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Gregor77 on May 09, 2021, 09:54:04 AM
how cool is that!  Shame to put covering on it!  xoxo!
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: bfeist on May 10, 2021, 12:39:17 PM
Looking good Michael. Just a note on the 3D printed pilot, it's possible to get much higher resolution prints than that, they just take longer to print. Let me know if you'd ever like anything printed, I'm always looking for an excuse to print something. Here's an example of "detail" resolution, I believe it's possible to go even higher but I've never tried.

Ben
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 10, 2021, 12:47:44 PM
That is excellent resolution.

I may rake you up on your offer.

However, acrylic paint easily fills in the micro-grooves, and when looking at the item in person, you barely see the lines.

Another nice thing about the acrylic paint is that it dries matte, and doesn't have a commercial glossy plastic finish.
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 11, 2021, 05:24:34 PM
Tail installed, level and straight - it took some trimming to get it right.
I found a light and small rubber and aluminum tail wheel, which I used instead of the plastic one supplied in the kit.
General assembly started.
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 11, 2021, 05:33:17 PM
As I assembled the model, it became obviously clear that it was tail heavy. I added lead, wheel collars and screws, at the inside front cowl, top and bottom, and heavy screws in the dummy engine cylinders.

It is still balancing slightly behind where it should, and it weighs 35 ounces instead of the 28 suggested. The instructions do imply that weight might need to be added.

I think it'll be okay.

Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 11, 2021, 05:38:19 PM
Construction, assembly and radio installation are complete.

Next will be decals and trim.

Title: Re: PT17
Post by: davidk on May 11, 2021, 05:48:59 PM
She's beautiful.  Those screws in the cylinders actually fit right in.  (litte joke, but true).
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 11, 2021, 08:39:57 PM
Decals done. It took over an hour to cut out the numbers.

Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 11, 2021, 08:40:33 PM
Compare to the full-size.

Title: Re: PT17
Post by: davidk on May 11, 2021, 09:11:33 PM
Even the same colour prop!  Lovely build.
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: octagon on May 12, 2021, 08:58:10 AM
Looks great Michael. Looking forward to seeing it fly soon.
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 23, 2021, 05:30:23 PM
Another successful maiden, and 3 more flights. Thanks Andy for the photos.

Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Michael on May 23, 2021, 06:09:55 PM
The maiden flight was OK and safe, but it was challenging. The model needed more nose weight (in the end, I added about 8 ounces to the nose!), and I installed one of the electronic gyros to help it fly smoother, and smoother in windy conditions.

gyro installation here:
https://temac.ca/smf/index.php?topic=7899.0

Subsequent flights were much better, and it is a joy to fly now!
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: sihinch on July 11, 2021, 11:13:44 AM
Michael, this is not the best footage and my flying isn't very smooth yet, but here are some memories of your PT17 flying.

You do need to get another one.

https://youtu.be/umhhKoykXO8
Title: Re: PT17
Post by: Gregor77 on July 13, 2021, 06:47:49 PM
Good Job Simon, too bad I feel like I am getting Dizzy!  lol!