I supposed you might be expecting something Lazy. Let me

I supposed you might be expecting something Lazy.
Let me introduce you to The Bee Liner, a plane whose finest trick is just sitting stationary, taking
a break. It is reclining ​in the air.
You can do this stunt pretty easily. The Bee Liner is kept so supremely airborne because it has
four propellers blowing their air over its wing. Fly it along at a slow pace under power and then
suddenly cut the throttle. This will cause a sudden stall. As long as those props are spinning, the
air is flowing, the wing is lifting… and the Bee Liner is flying in place. The plane is creating its
own breeze to fly on. Then, if you are the dramatic type, stop the props. That lift provided by
the propwash ceases instantly, so the plane falls. The onlookers gasp. (Be warned! If you
performed this maneuver too close to the ground, you will end up with a new airplane “kit”!).
Flying this plane is fun and exciting. It’s a Bee, after all! The Lazy Bee series of planes was
meant to be particularly versatile in the sense that they could be docile for beginners, yet
capable of providing challenging stunt-flying to an expert pilot. The Bee Liner is no exception.
Stalls with the Bee Liner are predictable and gentle with an immediate recovery. Response to
stick and throttle is quick and powerful. If you take your hands off the controls, the Bee Liner will
quickly go to straight and level from any “nightmare” attitude. Performing any maneuver requires
only a small space and little time. Flying at its slowest takes a little experimenting with
It's even fun to watch. Its wide chord wing and the chubby fuselage make it easy for the eyes to
follow it when it’s far up and away. The nice synchronous hum of the 4 motors and props are
amplified by the drum-like wing.
Bee Liner Lineage
I have treasured the pictures and stories that Lazy Bee customers have shared with me, both
“textbook” Bees and their Bee interpretations. I wasn’t surprised to see that some modelers had
built their Bees as a multi-prop plane, for this is something that the Lazy Bee’s airliner-like
windows suggests doing. This led to me doing some experiments with one of my tired old Lazy
Bees and a bunch of small gear drive Flyboy motors. These motors were simply glued to sticks
and then rubber-banded to the wing. The wires hung dangling out in the breeze, causing plenty
of drag, I’m sure. First I flew it with 4 motors, and then I kept adding more until I got to 9 motors.
It was ridiculously heavy (remember: nicad batteries!), yet it could fly along at a slow walking
pace with its nose up at about a 20 to 30 degree angle under steady control. I saw that how a
heavy model can be made to fly slowly by having its wing flying in propwash. One problem I
had with my multi-motor lazy bee was a lack of airflow over the tail at such a low speed, so I
tried mounting 3 additional motors to flow air over the tail. I rubber-banded one to the rudder
and one to each side of the stabilizer. The tail-mounted motors helped with low speed control.
Of course, it was bizarre-looking, but this 9-motored overweight plane was slickly maneuverable
and could sure fly incredibly slow!
With so many rubber bands squeezing all over this plane, a minor crash caused it to implode
into a tangled mass.
Getting Started
STEP ONE To avoid mistakes,you should begin with a careful study of the building instructions
and the plans. Really! Build it from the start to the finish in your mind before you start to build it
for real. The goal is to have a thorough understanding of the entire building sequence before
you begin.
Make The Parts
Even if you are very good at building things, be sure to read all the instructions before you make
the parts. And PLEASE don’t make the fuselage sides until you have read that section.
This design has fewer parts than most comparable models. It involves less work and less glue.
However, it makes it very important that most of these parts must be from very firm, hard balsa,
which has more strength for its weight.
The easy way out is to have the parts laser cut. You can go to a blue print shop, have your
plans scanned, E-mail them to a laser cutter and wait for your nicely-cut parts to be done.
Wing Building
Build each of the 3 wing panels separately, flat over the plans, starting with the 2 tip panels first.
You should note that the ailerons are built as integral parts of the tip panels and will only be cut
away later only after the completed wing has been sanded to shape. This is key to having an
even finish on your parts.
Remove the tip panels from the plans before you build the center panel. I recommend that the
following sequence be followed for building each wing panel of this plane: build each panel
from front to rear.
Start at the leading edge, which needs to be just as straight as it can possibly be. The best way
to achieve this is lamination. Laminate two sticks together with a slow-drying white glue like
Elmer's. There is still nothing better than white school glue for laminating. White glue dries
slowly, giving you time to position the sticks together precisely. Arrange them so that any
warps oppose each other. Secure them firmly in place over the plans using pins so that you
end up with a straight leading edge when the glue is dry. You can build up the rest of the wing
panel while this glue is drying. Carefully position each rib tightly against the leading edge. Use
pins to hold them in place, and make sure that they all are kept in perfect alignment. Now
pin/glue the wing tip arches and ribs in place. Next, cut the trailing edge strip to shape using the
plans as a guide. Glue these and the upper spars into their notches.
I recommend shimming up the trailing edge of each wing tip up about 3/16 of an inch to build in
a little wash out. By “wash out”, I mean a twist in the wing that reduces the angle of attack of
the wing tips. This is to make stalls more gentle--since different parts of the wing stall at different
times and the wingtip being last and allows the ailerons to stay effective during stalls.The lower
spars will not be installed until after all 3 panels have been built and joined together. After the
glue has dried on the tip panels, remove them from the plans and build the center section panel.
Use the same front-to-rear building sequence on the center section. Now join the 3 wing panels
together while the center panel is still pinned down. Each wing tip will need to be raised up 2¼’’
to give it the correct dihedral angle. Use some scrap wood and pins to hold the tip panels
securely in place. Check each joint carefully for alignment before dribbling in thin ca. Finish
framing the wing up with the bottom wing spars, shear webs, and gussets.
Do not make the balsa sheet fills at each nacelle location until after the nacelle-locating dowels
are installed (see Building the Nacelles for how to do this). The sharp-eyed reader might notice I
did not (regrettably) follow this order. Make these fills by cutting oversize pieces and pinning
them on where they will go. Then use a sharp pencil to trace along the ribs and spars from
below to mark where to cut. Remove them to cut to shape. If the fills are to be on both sides,
don’t glue any in on one side before you’ve made the pieces for both sides. Lightweight
spackling compound is my favorite stuff to fill gaps and other imperfections. It has everything
going for it: low cost, low weight, and fast-drying. It thins and cleans with water before it dries.
Carve and sand the wing’s leading edge to shape to match the plans. Then you can build up
the four fairings for the motor nacelles on the upper front surface of the wing. Begin this by
installing the 4 fairing formers in place on the wing’s leading edge. Make sure these match up to
the nacelles before gluing them. After these dry, glue on the the curved sheet balsa parts of
each of the fairings. If your balsa isn’t very flexible, soak it in water to bend in the curve. Pin
and glue the wet parts in place while they dry. White glue can be used on wet parts. Another
possibility: carve the fairings from soft balsa blocks instead of building them up.
Be sure to install strings or wires in the wing before applying the covering so you can pull the
motor and servo wires through.
Building The Engine Nacelles
Each nacelle is built like a small fuselage. The inner pair houses the landing wheels and the
outer pair houses the aileron servos.
Begin with the inner pair. They are identical to each other. Be mindful to make pairs that will
become left and right sides: lay the sides out on the table and arrange them into pairs, with two
facing up and two flipped over, facing down. Next, carefully mark the positions of the cross
pieces (the formers) with a pencil and a ruler before you glue the plywood doublers to the 4
nacelle sides. Before assembling any further, stack these 4 sides and drill the axle holes in all 4.
Now you can assemble each of the inner nacelles: Use a triangle to align the 4 cross-pieces
that will form the forward parallel part of the nacelle to one of the sides. Glue. Once dry, glue the
second side on. When dry, pinch the tail end of the sides together and glue in the rear former
and the lower rear sheet piece. The sheeting on the lower nose is installed next. It’s an
oversized sheet of wood which is glued on (wood grain running crosswise). Then you trim the
excess off after the glue is dry. Now install the piece I call the motor shelf, with its grain
crosswise as well. Finally, cover the curved top with flexible wood. Again, we’re using an
oversized sheet and trimming it to size after the glue dries.
After both of the inboard pair of nacelles are done, build the outboard pair of nacelles using a
somewhat similar building method. In this case, however, the left and right sides are not
interchangeable. They are mirror images of each other. There are some complications in
building the outboard nacelles because of the wing dihedral and sweepback. It makes it
necessary for the inward and outward sides of the outboard nacelles to be different shapes from
each other, the outboard side being taller than the inboard. Each outboard nacelle has a former
that is mounted at an angle to match up with the wings swept leading edge. Use the wing as a
building jig to make sure the outer nacelles match up to the wing.
When your 4 nacelles are all made, the dowels sticking out about ⅜” from the wing are going to
plug into them. You will need to drill 2 holes in the firewall of each nacelle, and they will need to
be precisely located. You can’t really do that, not even by the most careful measuring. Instead,
we’re going to have you build those holes in the nacelle by FIT. So, first, drill those dowel holes
into the leading edge of the wing... but don't put the dowels in yet. Temporarily-- but precisely
and securely-- pin each nacelle in its place on the wing. Use a drill bit to mark the location of
where the dowel holes will be drilled in the back side each nacelle. Do this by using your fingers
to twirl the drill while pushing it forward through the holes in the leading edge. This should get
the hole started in the right place. Separate the nacelles from the wing to finish the drilling.
Before gluing the dowels into the wing, round off their ends by spinning in a drill and
sandpapering the corners away. Slide each nacelle onto its wing dowel and drill the hole
through its tail end into the wing’s trailing edge. Use a wood screw to attach the tail end of each
nacelle to the wing's trailing edge. Secure the rear of the nacelle with a wood screw or a sheet
metal screw. A final tip: The balsa dowel holes in the nacelles can be made more durable by
dribbling a bit of thin ca in. Once dry run the drill bit through using finger power to clean it up.
A True Fuselage
A carefully aligned and built fuselage is fundamental to having a plane that flies straight and
The fuselage is a simple box of balsa that has a keel on the top. The 3 tail surfaces are
mounted on and aligned by carbon fiber rod spars. The horizontal stabilizer’s spar passes
through holes made in both of the sides. The vertical tail is mounted on a carbon rod that
passes down through the keel and ends at the bottom of the fuselage.
Start by making the 2 sheet balsa sides. Be aware that it's really easy to accidentally make two
left or two right sides.
The sides should be strong, firm, heavy wood. Ideally, both should be made up from balsa
sheets that are as near to identical to each other as possible.
You’re looking for them to be
matched in weight, strength, and wood grain. The density of balsa varies quite a bit, and a
piece the size of this fuselage side has a lot of room for variance. You would not want to have a
lighter end at the front on one side and at the rear on the other side. Most of all, you want these
sides to be a mirror image of each other in their bendability.
While you’re making the sides, don’t forget about drilling the holes for mounting the horizontal
stabilizers. Also make the slots for the elevators pushrods. These should be made while the
sides are stacked together so that you can be sure they are the same on both sides. The side
view of the plans has been cross hatched to show where the fuselage sides have a double
thickness of wood glued to the inner surface of each. Most of these “doublers” must be
precisely positioned in the same location on both sides. This is because many of these will
determine the position of the fuselage sides in relation to each other. If any doublers are
misaligned the fuselage will be crooked. Once you’ve plowed a crooked row, it's tough to plow
straight! There isn’t much you can do for a plane with a crooked fuselage, so take care to plant
those doublers correctly.
Glue the doublers to the 1st side while it is pinned in place over the plans, using them as a
building jig or alignment guide. Then remove the 1st side from the plans. Turn it upside down.
Put some plastic wrap over it. You are going to build the other side up, right over it. Your 1st
side is the “blueprint” for your 2nd side. Pin both sides together. Their outer surfaces must face
towards each other. Next glue the doublers and vertical sticks in place on 2nd side, using the
first side as a guide. We want to align those doublers perfectly. A good way to accomplish this
is to push pins through at the edges of the doublers on the first side so you can locate them on
the second side.
Now the time has come to begin boxing up the fuselage. Fortunately, the front of the fuselage
has straight, parallel sides. This simplifies building it “true”. So, to begin this step, make a small
sheet balsa triangle to use as a guide for aligning parts squarely at a 90 degree angle. Securely
pin down one of the fuselage sides with its outside surface flat against the building board. Next,
attach all the cross pieces of the forward parallel portion of the fuselage. By cross pieces, I
mean the parts that connect the sides of the fuselage together. You should check the alignment
of each cross piece more than once, for any crookedness or poor alignment will cause a twist or
bow later on that will be hard to correct. Next, the other side of the fuselage is added on to the
top of this pile. Pin and glue it. If you use white glue you should have time to get all the cross
pieces placed and glued correctly while everything is still squarely pinned to the board. If you
use ca you will have to turn the fuselage upright off the board so the glue will dribble down
where you need it.
It’s about time for the next step, which is to pull or bend the tail ends of the fuselage sides
together. Before you go rushing headlong into this,​ I must warn you that this step is a critical
time where crookedness will sneak in if we let it. ​We want to avoid a twist or a sideways curve
that will cause a high-sided horizontal stabilizer, or a leaning rudder. You don't want to build a
noticeably curved fuselage. This is where those evenly-matched side pieces really pay off.
So, you’re going to use the building board and the top view of the plans to make sure everything
on the fuselage is correctly aligned for its full length as you pull the sides together, and you are
not going to glue ANYTHING until you are sure it is just right. Straight-and-true.
Sometimes it is too difficult to bend. In that case, use some hot water. Fold a wet paper towel
and put it in a microwave until hot. Then use the paper towel to spot-dampen the wood just
where it needs to bend.
When you’ve got the fuselage sides together, pin all the rear fuselage cross pieces in place, but
NO GLUING yet. Before any gluing, make sure that the fuselage lines up with the plan’s top
view for its full length. Check the sides to make sure they are truly vertical at numerous
intervals from the front to the tail. If you discover any crooks, twists, or curves they need to be
corrected before you move on. Temporary diagonal bracing can help alignment problems.
When you’re satisfied that everything is as straight as you can make it, it’s time to glue.
Making the Nose Block
You should carve the nose block from a single piece of soft balsa. Avoid putting 2 pieces
together for this. Glue joints in carved soft balsa block leaves unsightly bumps you can’t sand.
(If you can’t get a big enough piece, and must piece together a nose block, use harder balsa).
First thing is to trim your nose block to fit precisely between the fuselage sides. After this, cut it
to match the side view outline. Use a dremel tool to hollow it from its back side. It should have
a wall thickness of about ½ to ¾ inch on the sides and transition to a little bit more than an inch
thick at the front. Next use a sharp long blade to round off the corners. Do the final shaping
after gluing it in place. Study the photos and the front view of the plans to do this job. Note that
the top of the nose block forms a base for the windshield frame. Use 60 to 80 grit paper for
shaping, and 120 grit for smoothing.
Fuse Details
Now the top of the fuselage can be built up. Install all the triangular top formers, the pieces that
give the fuselage it's peaked-roof shape. The keel goes in after these-- dry --and then the
windshield frames. The battery hatch is built up in its place using the fuselage as a jig. Put
plastic wrap on the fuselage to protect it. Do not remove the hatch until later, after the finishing
shaping and sanding is done. (I used small magnets that came from Radio Shack to hold the
hatch in place.) The sides of the keel have to be built up with scrap balsa to form a base for the
vertical stabilizer. Drill a hole in the keel for the rudder spar.
The underside gets attention next. Make the wing hold dowels--they are kitchen bamboo
skewers. Glued them into their holes in the cross pieces. Next pin/glue on the 3 pieces that
form the underside of the wing fillets. Begin with largest piece. The remaining bottom sheeting
can now be installed. The grain runs crosswise. Use oversize pieces and trim the edges flush
after the glue dries. Glue a pair of sticks down to the inside of the last piece of bottom
sheeting. These form a slot to trap and hold the lower end of the rudder spar securely so that
the vertical tail cannot lean from side to side.
Tail Wheel Installation
You need to drill a hole under the rudder in the bottom of the fuselage, and another hole in the
top. A small aluminum tube 3/32’’ in diameter must pass vertically through the fuselage from
bottom to the top. This is for the tail wheel strut to pivot in and connect to the rudder, and it
needs to be glued in tight. Before you epoxy the tube into place, roughen it up with sandpaper
to give the glue something to grab.
The Stinger
Should be of very light weight balsa. Cut it slightly oversize, hollow it out to about ⅛ inch wall
thickness and glue it on. Do your final shaping/sanding with it right in place.
Making The Tail Wheel Strut
The tail wheel strut gets made and installed after the covering is ironed on.
First bend a ½’’ diameter coil into a piece of 1/16 spring steel wire. Make the coil by bending
the center of a piece wire around the shaft of a Phillips screw driver that is held in a vice... or
perhaps held in the vice-like grip of a strong helper. The coil should have two loops. It’s
amazing how tough this wire is. It takes me several tries to make one that is perfect. Next,
bend the axle part over and trim it so that it is long enough for the tail wheel and collars on both
sides. Two collars are also used on the tail wheel strut. One is a spacer to keep the coil from
touching the bottom of the fuselage.
Now the upper end of the wire needs to be annealed. I use a propane torch or a gas stove
burner. Heat the wire ‘til it is red hot and then let it cool off slowly. The annealed wire is easy to
bend but loses its spring, so don’t anneal near the coil where it needs to stay springy.
The upper part of this strut is passed up through its tube in the (now covered) fuselage from the
bottom to the top, to the second collar above the fuselage. The upper end of this wire strut has
to be bent over at a right angle while it is sticking up through the fuselage. This bend needs to
line up with the tail wheel so it tracks with the rudder. Next a rubber band hook needs to be
bent in.
Elevator Push Rod
This is easiest to install while you are covering the fuselage. Cover the bottom of the fuselage
first, then both sides….Then install the elevator pushrod through the open top before it is
Building The Tail Surfaces
The tail surfaces are designed for medium/light balsa. The tail usually doesn't get much stress,
making this a good place to save weight. It really only needs to be strong enough to withstand
the stress of ironing on the covering. Laminations are used for some of the outer edges. Begin
by making these. Follow the laminating method used for the wings.
Vertical Stabilizer
The vertical stabilizer has a center ‘’core’’ frame that is an assembly of ¼’’ square balsa sticks.
Construct it in place over the plans. To build up the outer airfoil shape, add sticks to the core
while the core it is still attached to the building board. Remove it from the board to add sticks to
the other side. The vertical stabilizer has a symmetrical airfoil at its base and a flat airfoil at its
tip. The outer sticks will need some carving to form the airfoil. Then you need to drill the holes
for the spar. After covering, glue the vertical stabilizer on to the top of the fuselage. The rudder
is attached to the vertical tail with hinges. I favor hinges with removable hinge pins because I
like to be able to disassemble it by removing them. Speaking generally, rudders tend to be a
hotspot for damage, and making them removable aids in quick repairs.
A rubber band connects the tail wheel to the rudder and protects the rudder servo.
The rudder is a simple frame that is built in place over the plans.
Horizontal Tail
You will build the horizontal stabilizer and elevator as a left side pair and a right side pair. Each
pair is built in one piece and will only be separated into a stabilizer and an elevator after the
shaping/sanding has been done. I want to point out this horizontal tail uses a flat topped airfoil.
It's a flat bottom airfoil that has been turned upside down. The airfoil on this tail does produce
‘’lift”. But it is a lift that pushes down. Negative lift! (This is not unusual, most horizontal tails do
this). The horizontal tail on this model is built in one piece on each side. Build it just like a little
flat bottomed wing. Build it upside down, though, instead of building front to back, as I
recommend for building the wing. Start with the 2 tapered spars. These are centered over the
hinge line. Trim their outer ends to match the curved outline. Next glue and pin all the ribs,
front and back. The laminated outside edge follows after the ribs. Finish by gluing the spar into
the rib notches and fitting in the diagonal pieces. A final step is to put in the fill pieces that form
the notches for the plywood horns. Do the shaping/sanding before separating the elevator from
the stabilizer. The elevator’s leading edge should be rounded.
The horizontal stabilizers can be glued to the fuselage, or they can be rubber band mounted. A
small hook can be attached to each horizontal stabilizers root rib. Holes in the fuselage sides
would allow a rubber band to pass from the hook on one side, through the fuselage to the hook
on the other side.
Motor Mounting /Cowling
The engine nacelles are designed to allow for different size motors motors to be used. The
nacelles are intended to look good with either un-cowled motors or cowled-in motors. I gotta
say, I was thinking about old farm tractors and hot rods when I designed the nacelles. Motors
are interesting to look at, especially if they are nicely machined and have gear drives or a nice
finish. All motors like being out in the cooling breeze .
It’s a lot of work to make the motor cowls. For those of you who just won’t be talked out of them,
I have made carved balsa block cowls, to show you how. They’re made just like the sketch on
the plans. I attached 2 little plywood rectangles to each cowl block with little wood screws. I
used epoxy to glue these ply rectangles to the nacelles. I did this with the little ply pieces
attached to the cowl blocks. Plastic wrap prevents getting the cowls stuck so the cowl block can
be separated by removing the screws. Shape the cowls by carving them while they are attached
to the nacelles. Sandpaper them smooth. Remove them to hollow them out for the motor. For
the largest motors, the cowls had to be hollowed out to be very thin. In some places they are
only 1/16 of an inch thick. This takes a lot of trial and error fitting. I made dummy exhaust pipes
of aluminium tube. I flared the end of the tube by pushing and twirling a pointy thing in the tube
end before cutting it off( a philips screwdriver). You, too, should improvise with what you have
at hand. To mount outrunner motors, I used screws to attach a small plywood piece to each
motor. The plywood was glued to a balsa block… then this was glued to the motor shelf and
balsa firewall. I have little love for plywood firewalls and screwed-on motor mounting. I prefer to
break some balsa to save a motor. Actually I was in a big hurry when I mounted these motors
with screws. It took me a while, but since then I have devised a way to mount brushless
outrunners with rubber bands or rubber O-rings. O-rings cost more, but are more durable and
look nicer than rubber bands. Get them anyplace that sells plumbing supplies. I have included
some sketches of methods for rubber motor mounting of any motor type. I have favored rubber
band mounting for years. It saves on crash damage. It allows thrust line adjustments to be
easily made and can be made attractive-looking.
Outrunner Rubber Mounting
For explanation purposes, let’s divide it into two assemblies. One is attached to the motor; I call
it a motor chair. The other, attached to the model, I call the motor table. This table-and-chair
pair use rubber bands (or an o-ring) to join them and secure the motor.
To make the motor chair, attach a piece of plywood to the rear of the motor using its mounting
screws and some blue Locktite. Use a plywood laser cut mount for this, if one came with your
motor, or just make one. This part will do two jobs when the mount is completed. It will connect
the motor to the chair and part of it will project up to give the rubber band something to grab
hold of the motor by. If you used the laser cut mount, it will need some minor trimming at its
bottom edges. After the motor mount is completed, the mounting screws will be accessible only
by cutting wood.
Make a wood spacer block--the back of your chair. This is made by laminating several pieces of
balsa together. You will need to make holes in it to clear the plywood mounts screw heads.
This spacer is to add length that is needed to give the rubber some diagonal pull/stretch so it
can keep the motor from sliding forward. The thickness of the spacer can be increased to get
the prop as far forward as you need. The SEAT of the chair is a piece of plywood which you
must glue to the bottom of the spacer block. It should be just far enough below the motor to
keep from rubbing it. Put a hole in it for the motor wires to pass through. Its length can be
adjusted to suit the motor.
For the motor table you need another spacer. It’s the base of the table, and it should be glued
on top of the shelf that’s in the nose of each nacelle. The spacer will need a hole for the motor
wires to pass all the way through it into the nacelle. For the table top, use plywood, and cut it so
that it has a tab sticking out on each side for the bands to grab onto. The tabs need to be as far
aft as they can be while still allowing the o-ring to hook onto them. Now glue it on.
This mount should use only one or two O-rings or several rubber bands. The goal is for the
motor to be secure so it does not move around in flight yet will let go in a crash.
Rubber Mounting Other Motors
The rubber band mounting of these motors is very simple. For each motor mount, a 3-layer
sandwich is made up. The bottom layer is of ⅛’’ balsa with the grain running lengthwise. The
middle layer is some of 3/16’’ balsa pieces and three aluminium 3/16’’ tubes and the top layer is
1/16’’ plywood. On top of this sandwich will go a pair of sticks made of 5/16’’ triangle stock. This
keeps the motor from moving sideways. Velcro can keep the motor from rolling. This assembly
can be built to the length and width that is needed for the size of motor it will use. It is good to
have some space for the motor to be able to move backwards to absorb impact.
Shaping and Sanding
There are many places that need shaping on this model.
wing, vertical and horizontal stabilizers:​ leading edges and wingtips get rounded
nose block:​ needs rounding
fuselage:​ round off the edges on the bottom and the the top of the keel is pointed
nacelles: ​round all the bottom edges of each one
rudder and elevator​: all of the leading edges need to be rounded
ailerons​: front edges must bevelled so that on each aileron, the top front edge comes to a point.
The rear edges of all the planing surfaces should be left at least 3/32’’ thick. This causes little
drag and saves work. Not tapering these to a point makes them strong.
Once you are sure that you have a perfectly smooth even outer surface you are almost ready to
Before you do the covering job, mount all the motors, install all the wiring, and make sure it all
works reliably. Once it's covered, pulling wires through the wing is a pain. Test the motors
under load, just to be sure all is well. Besides letting you hear all that nice noise, the vibration
and airflow will help rid your plane’s airframe of dust.
The wiring can add a lot of weight with this plane. This is especially true with brushless motors.
I mounted the 4 brushless speed controls in the center section of the wing, keeping wires as
short as practical. To cut down on the mess of wire, I made a wire harness to connect all 4
speed controls to the receiver with one plug.
Cover your plane from bottom to top, and from back to front.
The bottom of the fuselage is done first, in two parts: in front of the wing cut out, and then
behind it. Each side should be done with just one or two pieces. The wing fillet might require a
separate piece.
After the sides are covered, you need to glue and cut the window holes. Glue each window by
dribbling thin ca around the edges from the inside. Capillary action will draw the glue in where it
is needed. Trim the window holes with a very sharp blade. It took me a dozen razor blades to
do a neat job.
The fuselage side and bottom covering pieces extend all the way forward to cover the nose
On this model the entire bottom of the wing can be covered in one piece.
While covering the top of the wing, each of the nacelle fairings will need to be covered with a
small separate piece of covering. Otherwise the top of the wing is covered with three large
pieces. These will need to be trimmed away as they are applied around the nacelle fairings. So,
do the center section of the wing top first. Then do the two tip panels, followed by the nacelle
Covering for the top is a single piece that goes from the tail to the base of the windshield. It will
need a V slit cut out at the center between the windshield frames. The small parts, like the
nacelles, each require many pieces. The control surfaces and stabilizers are covered each with
2 pieces (one for each side).
Main Wheels
The wheels for this model should be as light as possible. Foam wheels are usually the lightest.
The main wheels are mounted in the nacelles on an axle made of 1/16’’ spring steel. Wheels of
this size usually have a much bigger axle hole. To make this axle hole smaller, you need to
force a piece of tubing in. I have used a piece of inner nyrod from my scrapbox for this, but
other types of tubing will also work.
Put a 90 degree bend (of about ¼”) on one end of the axle before you push it through the
nacelle wall. It’s a tight fit to get the wheel in place. There’s not much room to work in, and
you’ve got to push that axle through the collar.
A collar is placed on the axle, inside of the nacelle on the same side as the axle is pushed in
from.The collars set screw is tightened so that the bend on the end of the axle and collar lock
the axle and wheel in place.
Collars can be used on both sides of the wheel (if there is room) to prevent sideways wheel
movement. Washers might also be used for this purpose.
A carbon fiber rod can be used as an axle to save weight, but in this case, you must glue it in--it
can not be bent.
Elevator Pushrod
The elevator pushrod is shown on the fuselage plan. Any in-flight failure of this pushrod will
result in massive damage. It is made up from 3 pieces of 1/16’’ spring steel rod and a ¼’’ square
wood stick. It should be hard straight grained wood. Use a single-edge blade to make grooves
or slots in the ends of it, where the rods will lie. Near the end of each rod, make a 90-degree
bend. This end will be attached to the stick. After you make the bend, cut each wire so the bent
part is only 1/16’’ of an inch long. This is going to serve as a sort of “hook” to anchor those rods
in the stick. Two of the rods will need further bending to spread them apart so they can be
connected to each elevator half. Do your bending before you attach them to the stick. At the
ends of each of the grooves, carefully drill a small hole. Its job is to “catch” the hook. But while
drilling, please use all the restraint you can muster, and make it only as deep as absolutely
necessary. You don’t want to compromise the strength of the square stick by putting a deep
hole in it, or by going all the way through it.
Fit the wires into the slots, and wrap them up with thread and glue.
The elevator pushrod should be installed after covering the sides of the fuselage before
covering the top. Mount it so that the push rod is centered in the fuselage. This means that the
servo will be off center. This will ensure that the elevator throw is the same on both sides.
Aileron Servos
The aileron servos are attached to the bottom of the wing with foam mounting tape. You must
position them precisely so the outer nacelles will fit over them. This part of the wing framework
needs to have been filled in with sheet balsa in order to provide a servo mounting surface and a
place to make a hole for the servos wire to enter the wing. You will have covered the bottom of
the wing before you mount the servos. Cut the covering away where the servo mounts. Seal the
edges of the hole and the wood surface inside it with thin ca. You want the covering edges to
stay fastened around the hole. Capillary action will draw thin ca under the hole. Stick the foam
tape to the servo, coat the wood sheeting inside the hole with 5 minute epoxy and mount the
servo. Test fit the nacelle before it dries, and adjust the position as needed. Run the servo
wires through the wing before you apply the top covering. The ailerons should have differential.
That is, they should move more up than down. This can be achieved by having the arm on the
servo angle forward about 15 degrees with the aileron centered or slightly above.
Control Throws
The rudder and elevator should move about 7/8 ‘’ each way. The ailerons should move up an
inch and down ½” to ¾’’. This will make the model docile. If you reduce throw at your
transmitter, you are reducing the output of your servo. If you use a small lightweight servo like I
did, you may not want less power from your servo, so in that case adjust throw mechanically.
Balance and Battery
The battery is used to balance the plane. It should balance about ½ inch behind the spar. This
will make it some what nose heavy. It will be docile on the controls.
To mount the battery, I suggest mounting a strip of 3/32” plywood in the fuselage. Attach it to
the lower cross pieces of the fuselage . It should extend from the back edge of the nose block to
close to the rear edge of the battery hatch. It should be a little wider than a strip of velcro.
Velcro should be attached on top of its entire length. The battery pack should have mating
velcro . Adjust the position of the battery on this strip to fine tune the balance of the plane.
To balance the model add ballast to the nose or tail. Never try to fly a tail heavy model!
And Then...
Wait for a calm day to test fly your model. Make sure the test pilot is well rested. I prefer a lack
of spectators.Test flights are boring for spectators unless you crash. Learn to fly it slowly up
high first, and try a few stalls before the first landing. Let me know how it goes. I'd love to see
what you do with the plane!
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