C18 Updates

Thanks to our new testbed for carbon fiber and balsa sandwiches (more on that on the Juliet2 page), I was able to start a partial redesign of the C18. The use of composites helps to beef up the most stressed points. But the most important aspect, it does that  without adding complexity or volume to the structure.

At the moment we are focusing our attentions on the important area of the mid fuselage and central part of the wings. This zone concentrates non only the most of the loads, but also contains most of the components and connections: batteries, radio equipment, engines, and the main landing gear are all there. And let’s not forget the two equipment hatches and the possible option of the bomb bay/camera holder just in the middle of it.

I’m also redesigning the engine nacelles, both them and the nose cone (removable) using light fiberglass, probably out of silicone molds (process which I will be of course testing soon).

As a side note, I also updated the rendering engine in sketchup to give a slightly better representation of the final product. Now we switched to Twilight renderer, so you’ll start to see better previews of the final product, as soon as we learn to use it!

The C18 is proving to be a huge opportunity to learn new techniques. Some of them will be tested first on another project, the A1-D “Juliet2”, while others will be applied directly. Unfortunately this means it wont be a quick effort. Besides, actually building and flying a model is for me just the tip of a much bigger iceberg, made by months spent researching and studying the best solutions.

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