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My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

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My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  RknRusty on Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:24 pm

Last October in Huntersville, Mike Londke gave me a now discontinued Brodak Combat wing called a Gladiator. As is not uncommon for me, I talked for a year about getting it in the air. Mike is a member here, but mostly active in the Combat section of Stunthangar, and is a member of a Nashville club. I piddled with it, but just got serious a couple of weeks ago. Today I finally got it pretty close to ready to fly. I'll do it at the Combat field up in H'ville next weekend.

The internal bellcrank has solid wires that are always troublesome, so I did as told and added new controls on top of the plane. I made engine mounts out of 3/8" poplar square dowels and added a Sig 1/2A bellcrank and a tall control horn. I'll be borrowing the engine off of BFS-II since it proved clean and srrong when Wayne and I flew it Thursday. My video in the Fort Jackson thread tells that story pretty well. That flight was with a 5.5x3 prop. The Gladiator will be using a 4.5x3 prop. Imagine that. And without the restrictive muffler. Whew!

Here it is:


The control linkage:


The tail. I just pinned the elevator onto the hinge clasps with a piece of 5/64" brass tube on each side.


The front end. Engine beams are lightly epoxied in place and coated for fuel proofing. Bolted in place with two 4-40 threaded rods, and nuts. Blind nuts on the bottom. One combat guy advised me to build an intentional stress riser into the beams, so I figured the recesses for the hex nuts would do the trick. This is to prevent breakage of the KE in a crash. The engine will be the Big Mig .061, borrowed from BFS-II. Pictured is another one that went bad on me and I haven't repaired it yet.


There's still work to do, but it's getting there.
Rusty

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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  JPvelo on Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:04 pm

Oh man, can't wait for video on this one.
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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  Cribbs74 on Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:21 pm

Hang on Rusty!
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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  RknRusty on Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:33 pm

Haha, my knuckles are already white! Truthfully, I expect to do well. If I can handle it pretty well I hope maybe I can get into an unofficial Combat match with Ken or Mike or shawn.

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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  Ken Cook on Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:24 am

Why the external controls? In addition, how are you going to mount a lead out guide? The stock bellcrank is soft, I know this as I wore out everyone I owned. After I have a midair, I just remove the covering and replace the bellcrank and recover with suitable covering. I flew one for almost 3 years with a Stels side exhaust .049. That was a killer little engine. It could hit 30k on a Russian glass prop. It took a piece of 3/16" x 3/4" piece of steel 2" long bolted to the motor mount to get that to fly. It was a terrific flying plane after all trim issues were resolved. One thing to keep in mind when trying different engines is to check their weights. Two identical Norvel's can even be way off in weight.

One thing that's a pain in the rear is when you have several planes set up for external controls and now you have a few with internal controls and you need a different line length. Some flyers will keep a shorter set of lines and a piggyback set off leadouts to extend the length of their external control planes to utilize the shorter line lengths. I don't care for that as it's one more thing to jam up.

I can't speak for Shawn, but I know he's taken many new pilots out in the center. He's very calm and cool. A real joy to just play cat and mouse with. I'm sure he would love to do that. Ken
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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  RknRusty on Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:28 am

I put it on top because Mike insisted that I do.

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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  roddie on Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:03 pm

Hi Rusty, That's a pretty radical looking model! Why exactly are the solids troublesome? Would this be in particular to combat models because of their agility? Just curious...

Are you running a balloon tank inside that tube? I didn't figure you'd enclose a bladder where it wouldn't be accessible.

The off-center external controls don't seem right to me either.. Two Cents ... but I guess you have to consider the advice from someone who's successfully trimmed the model. Would there be too much "slop" in using guides made from safety pins?

If your wingtip is thin enough.. you could glue chord-wide strips of 1/64" plywood about 1/4"-3/8" wide, top and bottom.. and drill a series of holes through; spaced about 1/8" apart. This would provide for adjustment. The legs of the pins go through both strips and are bent 90 degrees on the bottom side. If your concerned with bending the legs repeatedly during trimming for the best fore/aft position.. you could temporarily leave the pin-legs "long" and install 4 bushings made from small alloy tubing to allow making short "safety" bends at the end of the legs until you find the sweet-spot position. At that point, you can cut the legs shorter.. and permanently bend them up against the bottom strip and secure with epoxy.



Here's a quick "mock-up".. using a piece of cardstock as a strip.. but you can see how it works. If a safety pin "eye" is too big.. or if the legs aren't long enough to reach through the thickness of the wingtip; you could make your own.. using some small music-wire coiled around a "brad" or small nail.


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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  RknRusty on Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:11 pm

I was told the solid leadouts get bent up and kinky, making trouble passing through the holes. I'm just going to glue a guide on right over where the existing holes are. No adjustments. This thing is running on brute force at 75 mph, I don't think it'll have time to go slack.

The bladder is only 1/4" or so wide and 1" or so long when empty. You just stick it all the way in that hole where there's a fuelproof cylinder to keep any leak or burst contained. Just plug it on the end of the fuel line and stick it in. It can't fall out when it has fuel in it. When it's empty, just pull it out if you need to. Nothing is holding onto it.

There's a blurry bladder captured from my "How-to..." video that will hold over an ounce of fuel. When you fill it, it takes on the shape of a hotdog:


Last edited by RknRusty on Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  RknRusty on Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:28 pm

Also the only trimming is to bend the outboard wing with a heat gun if it flies tip high or low, and use scissors to trim the tips off of the stabilator to tame it. When Mike told me to put the controls on top, I guess I figured everybody did. It'll work fine.

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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  londke3 on Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:33 pm

RknRusty wrote:I put it on top because Mike insisted that I do.
Rusty, my suggestion was to change the lead outs not the bellcrank. We did discuss an externally mounted bellcrank, but I am pretty sure I said changing the bellcrank was option #2. A little fuzzy from the Bushmills? or was I? Beer Cheers Beer Cheers Airplane And for Roddie, The solids on this Chinese ARF are terrible. They are very easy to bend and kink. I gave up on them on the first one I owned. Rusty it will be fine if you have enough weight up front. I hope you will get in the circle with someone and have some fun. Mike
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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  RknRusty on Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:57 am

Ah shoot, Mike, maybe "insisted" was my misunderstanding. I recall having to tell you a couple of times that I did indeed have a 1/2A crank I could use. Oh well, it'll give the guys something to laugh at, especially if I bottom it out inverted. All my other planes are ready so I may change that this week. My CF con-rod should fit it  just like it is.

Yeah I definitely want to have a go at some streamer chasing. We may get there during the 1/2A event Friday, but since the weather blew my practice for today, my first priority is to fly my stunter with its new C/G. There should be plenty of light left after I do that. If not, I'll be done pretty early with my Saturday profile event, it starts at 10:00.

I have some rolls of party crepe paper, is that okay for a streamer? I'm JACKED!
Rusty


Last edited by RknRusty on Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Streamers

Post  londke3 on Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:10 am

Don't worry about streamers we will have plenty. See you Friday. Flying
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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  RknRusty on Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:57 pm

Well I never did get the power plant outfitted before that contest. This time I will finally be ready. Got a Norvel AME adapted to use a Cox fine thread NV and a check valve for filling the bladder. Two weeks till Huntersville. This time I will fly it.
Rusty



EDIT: Hmmm, I just looked back at last Octobers claims of being ready and the picture doesn't look much different. Thing is, it wasn't as ready as I thought because I hadn't got the engine properly mounted and didn't have time at the contest. Besides I had robbed an engine from my Baby Streak. It's back on the Streak, has been for quite a while. This one is bolted up and all set.

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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  Ken Cook on Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:43 am

Rusty, I'm going to go with Mike's experience here in regards to the external controls. What concerns me with that is the fact that the vertical CG is now raised. What this could do possibly is make the wing fly tip high which it already has a tendency to do because everyone I ever seen fly automatically flies tip high. The tip high flying is due to a major warp that has been built into them. I know I mentioned looking at the wing prior to flight, but I will say I have had to twist the wing considerably to keep it from flying across the circle. Again, all of this is speculation and if Mike suggested this I can only assume this is one of the solutions him and his flying partner Larry came up with. Both of them are well experienced at this . Using the older AME I had a piece of steel 1/8" by 2 1/8" long bolted to the front for nose weight directly attached to my engine mounts. This plane is very tail heavy. Like I mentioned to you, a streamer can calm a tail heavy plane down from flying like a out of control roller coaster. I hope you get some video . Ken
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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  RknRusty on Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:20 am

Ken I apparently misunderstood Mike. He says he only wanted me to change the leadouts. In the conversation at the motel the night he gave it to me, we talked several times about 1/2A bell cranks and I thought he wanted me to make it external. It'll fly however it flies. If it's horrible, well I tried. I can go back to internal when I get it back home.
Rusty

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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  getback on Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:05 am

Hope it works out for you man , Have fun and hope to see some videos/ pics . Eric Flying
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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  RknRusty on Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:46 am

I was putting the finishing touches on last night and tried to balance it. Damn, even a two ounce fishing sinker isn't enough to balance it at the wood spar right behind the foam LE. That's in addition to a 1/4 oz tip weight in front of the spar. It's going to weigh about 10 ounces when I'm done. I wish I'd made that engine mounting beam a little longer now. But my old Red White, & Blue Baby streak weighs 9 ounces and flies great with a Tee Dee, so it should be fine with the AME for a combat beginner.

Ken, Mike, how much do your Gladiators weigh? I don't know if Fred is watching this or not.
Rusty

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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  Ken Cook on Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:36 am

Rusty, the problem with us giving you are weights are the fact that were both using ball bearing .049's. Our little .049 BB's are more powerful than a LA.15. This plane probably has more square inches than a .15 size plane. This plane would not fly well with a TD due to it not having enough power. I know that factually. It will fly but not with any kind of performance. Mezjlik made a smaller version of this plane which looks identical which is just unreal with a TD. It's a bad ass little plane which I have using a VA on. I don't even want to fly it competitively for fear of losing it.  I no longer fly with the Norvel's and the likes on my Gladiators due to them not having enough power on this size plane. It's not that they won't fly them. I wouldn't concern yourself with the weight. Make it balance. Mike is using a Profi which is lighter than the Cyclon. I would balance it on the first leadout for first flight. This would be the stock leadout hole and not your revamped leadout. I've shortened the tail moment on my Gladiator to use the heavier Picco. Bottom line is that when I used a AME, I had a piece of 1/8" steel 3/4" wide and a little over 2" long bolted to the nose to make it fly. It weighed 1.16 oz's. This was a older ABN cylinder and not a Revlite. I use golfer's lead tape at the field. I cut it with scissors and bend it over the leading edge and squeeze it onto the wing for test flights. When I get it right, I take it home and weigh it and smash weights paper thin and stuff them in the leading edge through a knife slit . The leading edge spar makes a nice place to slip them right on top. I then put a piece of packing tape over and iron to seal the penetration. Ken
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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  londke3 on Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:26 pm

Rusty, At a minimum put 1/4 to 1/2 oz right in the LE foam. I just cut a slit next to the nose block , shove it in and put a dab of epoxy on it. This should keep your first flight from being a bucking bronco.
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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  RknRusty on Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:40 pm

Oh Good. From what Ken said I'm trying to make the CG too far forward. I have it balancing 1/2" in front of the front leadout. I was mistakenly thinking the CG was supposed to be right at the spar behind the foam. So instead, that 2 oz I was worried about makes it nose heavy. That means I'm good to go. I'll fire up the AME tomorrow and find my needle setting, and it'll be ready to pack and go fly at Huntersville. I'll be bringing Sig 35/20.
Thanks Dudes
Rusty

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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  RknRusty on Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:48 pm

I made an adjustable weight holder on the nose. It's a 4-40 screw through a 1/8" ply plate glued on like a nose cheek. I think it's balanced okay, about 3/4" in front of the leadouts. It'll stay on until I crash it straight in. I'll add some fiber tape to hold it in place after Mike and the Combat guys look at it.

I just put it in the stooge and cranked the AME for the first time... geezamosis! I never had one run that fast. It started with 2 flips and I lucked up on the needle at 3 turns. I explored the setting and it held 24.5K for a few minutes. I think it was a 4-1/4" rubber ducky.
Rusty


Of course it was running out of gas before I got the tach on it, but I'm not exaggerating. Her's the only pic i got before it cut off:

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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  RknRusty on Fri May 01, 2015 10:31 pm

I hadn't been in Huntersville 15 minutes when Mike spotted me cooling my jets on the back of my car. From 50 yards he gives me the outstretched hands...where is it? I whipped it out and held it up finally ready to fly. He looked it over and basically approved, so we rigged it up and fueled it, and let her rip. Now I know why combat guys fly without looking at their planes... Because if you try to look at it, it's gone! Lol. It's so much faster than my TD Li'l Satan it's in another universe. But I flew the tank dry. Mike flew it and yawned. His engines turn 35k.
Videos when I get home. It took me a half hour to type this on my teeny phone.
Rusty

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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  getback on Sat May 02, 2015 7:22 am

Airplane Clapping Clapping Clapping Goods to hear you got her in the air Rusty , what wing span is that I still have the combat wing I got from John and was just thinking I need to get it repaired butttt and concerned about running a 35 size engine on it a this time /// May want to size down to a 15 if can to get some feel for it . Eric Paranoid
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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  Ken Cook on Sat May 02, 2015 8:13 am

Eric, if your wing was designed for a .35 size engine, I wouldn't recommend using a .15 to fly it. Use the .35 size engine and re prop accordingly. Show us a pic of your plane and I can make a good recommendation of what to use. Rusty, I'm glad you got it in the air. Now if I can get to Huntersville, you do know you will going into the circle for a cat and mouse chase. I like that better than getting the streamer. Shawn always says catch me if you can. Combat is more than 75% luck especially in 1/2A. When your flying high powered 1/2A more than likely the kill happens when your in a figure 8. You just wait for the streamer to start floating in the air. Ken
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Re: My 1/2A Gladiator Combat wing.

Post  getback on Sat May 02, 2015 8:35 am

Not to Hijack Rustys thread 39" WS/ 17" fuse I want to fly it but don't want to go 600 mph Thanks Ken !
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