With the Tundra and the Juliet in flying order, I enjoyed the first part of the season at the field having fun. Still, I managed to make some progress to the A1-D. We can now say it’s reaching the final steps of the construction. Having the model structurally complete, I made some tests to see where I could expect the CG to fall. While of course not 100% accurate at this stage, the results brought some last moment changes to the plane.
The Final steps
First, I bought myself some margin on the CG by moving the tail servos in the fuselage. This option was designed from the very beginning, so the only modification necessary was to phisically install the control links in the tail. While some combinations of engine-batteries might take advantage of the tail-mounted servos, I preferred to stay safe and keep the CG as forward as possible in the prototype.
Then I tested some options for the fabrication of the wheel pants. I started with the conventional (for us) wood shape and made several attempts with vacum forming and fiberglass, but i still havent found a good and consistent system. The next test will be to make foam plugs with the aid of a friend’s cnc router and fiberglass on top of them.
re-building The Canopy
On the bright side, all these trials made me experiment with building very light fiberglass parts, where there’s almost no structural strenght required.
One first result is the new fiberglass canopy, to replace the PET one I previously made. It has several advantages. Not only it looks better with its smooth finish, it is also more rigid and weights around the same of the plastic version. In this case, losing the transparency is not a deal breaker. It might actually save me from adding weight by adding a fake cockpit and a pilot in it.
The never ending story about the livery.
A few months ago, seeing the progress I was making with the A1-D construction, I started to think about its livery. I initially intended to use the same rolls of covering film I bought for the Juliet, which limited a bit the options being just white and silver. Still this didn’t prevent me to come up with half a dozen different paintschemes. Things only got worse when I had the chance to take a roll of bright red covering film on offer from Hobbyking. As you can imagine, this sparkled a new serie of liveries. As far as I remeber, at least 24 different options were considered. And of course there were separate choices for the fuselage and the wings, upper side and bottom, and all could be composed together. Friends and family members were asked to give their own opinions on the matter, but at the end it was up to just me and Inguna taking the final decision.