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Post  MauricioB Sat May 11, 2024 8:05 am

Come on friend, it's possible!!!....this is one of my Pitts shoes...
Bottle of mineral water, file-formed wooden block and supports to hold the tension.
Use heat gun!!!

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Post  rsv1cox Sun May 12, 2024 10:54 am

New plan Mauricio.

I'm only working with a quarter inch here, no room for a pedestal. So I came up with this:

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Widest L10-11 siding I had so I had to cut it on an angle to fit the canopies profile. Sanded down to 1/4" thickness. I found some Hobby Lobby plastic cut-off's that I had that are about the thickness of the canopy, a lot closer than the bottle.

Started shaping the fuselage. Layered balsa to duplicate the original thickness. Clamped the original JW fuselage on as a guide and carefully sanded away the excess. That 60 grit sanding board works great on glued balsa. Takes no prisioners but I could have used Robert's whittleing knife.

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Post  rsv1cox Mon May 13, 2024 7:00 pm

Well, I got tired of guessing what goes where and finally printed out the FireBees plans or what passes for them.

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun - Page 3 P1017613

I have scans of the individual pages if anyone wants them, PM me.

I have been trying to protect this mostly unmolested kit and that includes the plans so I did not fully unfold them.  I just scanned and taped them together missing a little information.  But I'm getting around to locating the landing gear and I did not have a clue.  JW saved a lot by having the customer put this thing together.  Lot's of individual parts involved.  Most pretty self-explainatory, but not the landing gear.  

A clone, but a darned near identical clone as I traced all the pieces directly on to balsa then cut and sanded to shape with the original part still clamped.  Did I mention ....carefully cut and sanded.

The wing is an exception.  SIG airfoil.  The wing is the thing so I made sure it was positioned as the original which only differs slightly in camber, but not by much.  

I like a clean organized workbench when I build but that isn't happening with this one, so I did not want to unfold and use the original plans.  I get glue, dust, and filler all over...............

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun - Page 3 P1017614

Everything gets two coats of sanding sealer, unassembled.  Then an unsanded third coat assembled.  It's like sealing the whole thing in epoxy.  Weight?  Maybe, but little additional for the added benefit.  I Don't care, it gets painted like the box example.  Fly it?  Sure, but probably without the speed control.
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Post  944_Jim Mon May 13, 2024 7:46 pm

Looking great, Bob!

Did the canopy doodle make sense?

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Post  rdw777 Tue May 14, 2024 6:09 am

The work bench full of tools, parts, and saw dust looks good…. Always fun to plan next steps Very Happy …. Thoughtful preservation of the original kit down to not completely unfolding the original plans…. That kit is a little involved to make a clone compared to most 1/2A’s… Lots of parts and details… But what makes it unique too….

I got your sketch Jim, Noted!!…. Yours and Mauricio’s examples are a good tutorial for forming canopies and parts… Thumbs Up
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Post  rsv1cox Tue May 14, 2024 7:43 am

944_Jim wrote:Looking great, Bob!

Did the canopy doodle make sense?

Yes, thanks and I'm working on it. Bringing in my son next week to help. He actually knows what he's doing while I'm a lost puppy in the woods.
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Post  rsv1cox Wed May 15, 2024 3:45 pm

My colstered space.......... Smile

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Scientific alignment......

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The addition of canopies make a big difference.

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First coat of sanding sealer. Everything rounded off.

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun - Page 3 P1017642

Off the shelf Minwax.  Ken is a carpenter and never mentions it, so maybe it doesn't have much merit in this application.  He probably knows it well.  But I have used it ever since Aerogloss sanding sealer and filler went off the market.  It works for my backyard builds and makes a big difference in the finish.  I generally use three coats sanded inbetween.  

I just applied a second coat.

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun - Page 3 P1017643

Robert may recoganize this:  Reminds me of the image on the FedEx box featured in the movie Cast Away.  Farm in the middle of nowhere..........

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun - Page 3 Fb_par10

Made the seller (same one as the FireBaby) an offer.  Got to make a second edition, the one with the bubble canopy and I will need the hardware.

I think....

Gliders - Then
First edition - Firebaby plastic fuselage with the pilot molded in.
Second edition - Firebaby bubble canopy.
Third edition - Firebee
Fourth edition - Bonanza

etc. etc.
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Post  rdw777 Thu May 16, 2024 3:58 pm

FireBee is looking good Bob, And coming along pretty quick!!…. Yes, The canopy adds lots of character….. Satisfying I’m sure to have a pristine original to get all the info to produce a copy that can be displayed or even flown….The original can remain preserved that way….Looking forward to your Firebaby clone as well…. You got the best part for a start with that wing-engine mount!!!…. Your gonna have to steam mould the wing on that one Very Happy
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Post  rsv1cox Fri May 17, 2024 6:56 am

This morning.

Found the work bench a jumble.  Robert can probably pick out what goes where.

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun - Page 3 P1017646

Wheels and landing gear time.  I have some NOS Perfect 1" wheels coming but I have had good luck cutting out wheels from Luan and color matching to the model so I will probably use these.  Spray silver, attach the painters tape circles and over-spray matte black.  

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Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun - Page 3 P1017650

Plans show the wheels positioned inwards, so that's the way I'm doing it.  Wing V brace is a complicated combination of slots and holes.  I'm simplifying.

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun - Page 3 P1017647

Evidiently a production change.  Brace shows two holes for the mounting screws to the wing, plans show only one.  A single screw acts like a pivot allowing for small changes in alignment.  Other holes are for a securing screw and washer to retain the landing gear.  I'm thinking epoxy will be enough.  

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun - Page 3 P1017648

Almost glue time..............
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Post  rdw777 Fri May 17, 2024 3:07 pm

Busy work bench is a happy sight…I’ve got two, One just a little smaller than your photo and another smaller one made from 2 x 12’s for messy, oily stuff….Neat way to make wheels!… I like making my own wheels sometimes to fit a particular need Thumbs Up

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Post  MauricioB Fri May 17, 2024 10:28 pm

rsv1cox wrote:My colstered space.......... Smile

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Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun - Page 3 P1017641

Roberto!..All of that looks great...your place and your work!...beautiful!
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Post  rsv1cox Sat May 18, 2024 8:19 am

Thanks Mauricio, I have managed to stuff a lot in there.  Handy, I can just turn around and get what I need.  

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun - Page 3 P1017657

Lot's of Nations are represented there, Argentina as well.  

Plans for the belly pan call for splitting it in half to accomodiate the landing gear, I just cut a slot.  Plans also call for a screw and washer to secure the mains.  I wasn't going to do it, but oh well.  They didn't break the surface of the wings top which I feared.

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Up on shakey legs,  Nothing is set in stone, nothing is glued down.  Still lot's of loose ends to tie up.  

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Post  rdw777 Sat May 18, 2024 5:03 pm

Satisfying when the individual pieces and parts begin to take a 3-D shape for a mock up….Really nice work on FireBee…. A good part of the way there!!
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Post  rsv1cox Sat May 18, 2024 5:24 pm

My mistake.  "When all else fails, read the plans."  Just did.  

Me.......Evidiently a production change.  Brace shows two holes for the mounting screws to the wing, plans show only one. Actually, the second hole is for the bell crank!  

Crunch time.  No turning back now.  Glued the wing and belly pan.  More "scientific" alignment.  

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It seems like excessive dihedral especially for a control line model. But, that is how the wings cross brace is configured, so that's the way I'm doing it.

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Everything except the wing is laminated.  Had to, I ran out of 1/8" balsa.  Two 1/16" glued served on most but on the fuselage 1/16" added to the 1/4" of the original gave me JW's dimention.  Tomorrow, the tail assembly.  More filler, hopefully not too much then a final sanding and a last coat of sanding sealer.  Then paint.  Probably silver as on the box model, but I have options.
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Post  cstatman Sat May 18, 2024 6:58 pm

i wanna see the flying video! Smile Smile

oh, its tremendous beautiful work.
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Post  getback Sun May 19, 2024 9:55 am

Nice and straight there , that fuse sure has a lot of different balsa parts (puzzle) Very Happy
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Post  rsv1cox Sun May 19, 2024 2:43 pm

Yeah, laminations.  Me being to cheap/busy to drive two hours and back to Hobby Lobby for the correct balsa.  Poisoninly, I think laminations will make it stronger although perhaps with a little weight gain.  I'm not building a contest winner here.  

Finally made it around to this:

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun - Page 3 P1017666

Hinge tape is in the sealed FireBees package and I'm not opening it.  So, I raided my Mothers sewing kit and found this.  I did a test strip and it worked out well although I have always used pinned hinges for this.  Red tape is not iron on so not an option.  White stuff sticks great, I might have found a new way to do hinges.  Plans show to split the tape. I just ironed it straight across using my Monokote iron.  Lay it on a flat edge and sand away the bevel.  

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Fin/rudder a little fussy and not well illustrated on the plans.  Not a problem.  Baby steps.  

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun - Page 3 P1017669

Personally, I'm beginning to like it.
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Post  rdw777 Mon May 20, 2024 10:22 am

Starting to look like a FireBee Bob Very Happy …. The dihedral in the wing and the trike gear gives it a “can do” look…. Glad you’re enjoying the build, Very unique airplane!!
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Post  rsv1cox Mon May 20, 2024 8:16 pm

Tragedy.......final coat of sanding sealer loosened the iron-on elevator hinge.  I was afraid it might.  Enough stayed intact for me to clamp it and let it dry.  Four hours later it's fine.  Sanding sealer is sticky stuff and I have used it before to secure cloth hinges.  

Still a lot of detail sanding to do then a final coat of ss then paint.

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Big mail day today, wheels, FBaby frame, Firebee tubing.  Perfect fit internally, but external diameter is four times the size of that supplied by JW.  No way this plane will haul it around a circle.....I think.

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