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Nice original Babe Bee from a Super Cub 105, late fifties.



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Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

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Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  JasonB on Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:15 am

Heya folks. I've been flying RC things since 2006 and running Cox engines (mostly on test stands) since I got my first Black Widow about 25 years ago. Been waiting to upload this since joining 7 days back, LOL.

Recently, I found myself in my hobby room, fiddling with a fairly old Babe Bee I'd come into possession of a few years ago. I began to think that it was a shame I'd never flown ANY Cox engine, and figured it was time to build something. Something 2 channel, low wing and with a 1930's style were my goals. And hopefully a weight under 16oz. The design is inspired by the Pong II and the "Blue Flash", a .25 size design I found in FlyRC #44 some years ago...

I started with a wing, using the rib shape taken from my Herr Aquastar (Norvel 061 powered), a Clark Y with a 6" chord. I changed the wing structure to match materials I had on-hand, and built a 40" wing with 8 ribs, 1/4" sq. spars top and bottom and 1/4" sq. leading edge, two 1/8x3/16" leading edge stringers and trailing edge stock. Covered it with monocote and ultracote. Building sure is quick with CA. The wing has 6" of dihedral, measured under 1 tip.

The fuse was next. I made simple slab sides from 3/32 sheet, and doubled the front of the fuse from 1" behind the TE forward. A 3/8" plywood firewall, and spreaders of 1/4" sq. balsa gave it shape. No full formers inside. Part formers were used in front and behind of the cockpit, midway back on the rear fuse and at the front of the built-up fin. The forward upper fuse was planked in, and the rear upper was stringer'd with 1/8" sq. balsa. The h-stab is 3/32" sheet. The lower forward fuse has a magnet closed hatch for battery/radio access, and the wing bands on. A gear plate of 1/4" ply is just forward of the wing.





Finally, I finished the fuse with Golden Rods run to above the wing saddle, and covered it with more Mono/Ultra cotes. I should have added another former to the stringered turtledeck, as it cannot quite be made wrinkle free, but not too shabby. I cut some gear struts from 1/8" alu stock I had lying around, and bent it to shape. The windshield is from a coke bottle....

We've had tons of snow this year, so skis seemed natural. These are again my own design, with 1/8" ply spines, 3/32" balsa cross-grain, and 1/64" ply running surfaces. After the close-up photo of them was taken, I added limiting pins that prevent them from tipping too far up or down, and they feature a "toe up" spring. Finished with spar varnish.

I've named the model the "Northern Flicker", for its yellow colour and the starting ritual of the 'Bee.











Now, a pet peeve of mine is model aircraft that fly without pilots at the controls. I decided to carve my own for this plane, something I've never attempted before. He's balsa, with a 1/64" ply core. Coloured with Sharpie, and protected with clear nail polish. Meet Cal Rodgers.







The radio gear inside is pretty basic. A 4x 1/3AAA NIMH pack powers the Berg 4L receiver (72mhz), which commands the 2 HS-55's. The control surfaces are sewn on with standard sewing thread. All that's left is a flight test.... That happened last Sunday. To follow.

J
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First Flight report...

Post  JasonB on Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:18 am

Sunday, Feb. 28, the Northern Flicker got her first flight...

One of those rare Sunday mornings when the kids let Mom and Dad sleep in... When finally we arose, we were greeted by sunshine, -6C and near dead calm winds. We broke fast, caffeinated ourselves liberally, and I grabbed some fuel (Omega 15% plus extra castor), a couple glow starters and my 1/2a head clip, along with the transmitter and the Northern Flicker.

Our flying site is an abandoned gold mine's former leach pond, a big pile of quarter-minus gravel with a kidney bean shaped pond about 80m x 20m in the middle. The mine has long been out of service, so only the pond makes a good runway now, alders growing up in the area. It's about a half km walk and another half km snowshoe for us. My 5 year old son brings his Playmobil glider (highly recommended, durable, flies GREAT!)

The wife and kids set up on the side of the pond, near midpoint, and fly the glider. I hump to the downwind end of the pond, and get out my gear. Tx on, Rx plugged in, fuel the mighty 1960's vintage Babe Bee. Then the incantations begin. Prime, glow, wind, release, repeat. Initially I get some starting bursts, but soon they go away.

Thank the gods I brought 2 glow starters. My usual one seems dead. Backup one hooked up, the sizzle returns, and I see starting bursts again... After each, I rich the mixture a touch, until finally it catches and runs. I rich the needle further to the 4 stroke side of the break, point the plane into the wind, pull out the TX ant. with my teeth, and release the howling yellow beast.

(photo from an attempt the week earlier, when the glow problem went undetected, and no flight was achieved)



It gathers speed well, and almost instantly the tail flies. I leave it skimming across the snow for about 20m, then touch the elevator. She climbs easily, the engine flirting with the 2-4 break, now clear of the alders. The kids and wife cheer!

Turns take a bit more rudder than I'd anticipated, especially as the plane transitions from the calm wind of the pond's bowl to the light breeze over-topping it, but it comes around reasonably well. I spend the powered flight keeping the plane near the upwind end of the runway, turning circuits and figure 8's, climbing... As the fuel burns down, the Bee cleans up to a near-peaked 2 cycle note, and the climb becomes quite strong indeed. Moments where I over-pitch the plane show a docile stall, with simple nose-drop. Nice.

Finally, with one final spurt of lean-peak power, the Bee's prop chutters to a halt, and the scene overlooking the Bay of Fundy is broken only by chickadees and the funny noises of a pair of HS-55's in the now glider. I orbit the upwind end of the pond a circuit or 2, and begin my final approach. This plane glides wonderfully, picking up speed easily when pointed earthwards, slowing up to a jogging pace when asked.

Naturally, I near run out of pond. I've spent my entire RC career carefully avoiding dead-stick landings, using timers to ensure I land with fuel margin, but this plane is in a fuel emergency before it leaves the ground. And so, here it is, half the pond behind it, still 4' in the air. I pull back gently to shed some speed, allow it to settle to within a foot of the snow, and then release the back pressure. The skis sink into the snow to mid-strut before planing their way back to the surface to ski a final 8' or so. The kids cheer. I let out my own celebratory Whoo-hoo!!

J
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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  fredvon4 on Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:25 am

Very well written build and flight story...one of my favorites on this site...thanks
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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  KariFS on Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:30 am

Nice plane, very classic lines Cool

Nice work on the skis, too. And welcome to the forum Smile
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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  JasonB on Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:45 am

Thankee gents.

I've been considering drawing up plans for this, if enough folk are interested. Let me know!

J
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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  roddie on Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:59 am

Very nice! The way you write.. I felt like I was there watching! Great to know that your snow-skis worked well too! I've made a few pair, but haven't tried them yet.


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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  JasonB on Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:03 am

Thank-you, Roddie!

Your skis look pretty good, Roddie, but I'd worry that they will cause a nose-over on landing. They should be a bit toe-up at touchdown, and touchdown is likely to happen with the plane fairly level. Unless you 3-point that each landing, they're gonna be about 10 deg. toe-down... But one success doesn't make me an expert!

I'd add a light rubber from the toe of the ski to the LG strut, or perhaps a spring like I did in mine.

J
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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  rsv1cox on Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:13 pm

Enjoyed your build, your narrative, and your flight.

Cal Rodgers is a handsome devil.

Bob
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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  getback on Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:15 pm

Nice presentation JasonB , I really enjoyed he adventure and sounds like ya'll had a wonderful time . To see that snow and you out there with your family flying !! and to think we complain about a little cold here. Eric
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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  JasonB on Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:42 am

Well, spent a few hours drawing up the plans for the Northern Flicker last night.  I think they turned out OK.  I've attached a .jpg version of it here, but if anyone wants, I have a .pdf available - just PM me.

The plan is intended to be printed on 36"X24" (Arch D) size sheet.  It's full scale.

I'll try 2 versions.  This is the full rez version:



This one's more modest, but still easily readable, I think...



Direct link to my photobucket so you can download the full rez:

https://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif

Good luck, Folks!

J


Last edited by JasonB on Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:29 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : revised drawing)
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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  OVERLORD on Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:09 am

Hi Jason,

Congratulations with the build and the successful flight. Your drawings are superb. Your plane will be one more project for many, I'm sure.

You mentioned the Playmobil glider. We've got one over here as well. It glides well but needs a bit of balancing. With a fully equipped figure, mine glides perfectly with the CG at 1 mm behind the indented lines on the bottom of each wing near the fuse. I had to add 3 large M3 washers with an outside diameter of 12mm and about 0.8mm thick to the tail. I just stuck them on with masking tape.







Lieven
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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  JasonB on Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:31 am

That's the glider. Ours came balanced perfectly, luckily enough! We've gotten 200' glides from it when launching from the top of a modest hill. Well... I have. The kids, 5 and 7, rarely get it beyond 50', but it's not the plane's fault!

Thanks for the kind comments on the plans. I hope to see more planes like mine!

J
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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  roddie on Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:41 am

Yes indeed very nice drawings of your design J. I just went back and re-read the construction details.. and will copy/paste into a word doc. I started a folder with all photos of your model.. along with a separate word doc. of the maiden that you wrote about. Good stuff!

Did you have balsa already on-hand.. or did you need to make a stock-list and buy some? I like the 1/8" sq. alum. gear-legs! I've never seen that used before. Kind of a cross between Dural and music-wire!

Have you read the threads on the Ace venturi-throttle for the Babe Bee? Do you have a spare radio channel? Effective rpm range using the Ace-style throttle averages 5K-15K depending on the engine. Your 3/8" ply firewall would serve as a perfect guide-plate for the plunger-style needle.. (1/16" dia. music-wire w/simple 1/4" taper on one end) All that's required is removing the engine and popping-out the little screen on the air-intake. Squarely drill a 1/16" hole through your firewall exactly on-center with the four-hole mount pattern for the plunger-needle to pass-through. The plunger enters the venturi as the throttle is closed. Servo-trim can be set to advance the plunger fully forward.. to close the air-intake.. and stop the engine instantly. Ace provided the "needle" (which you can make yourself..) also a short (5/8"L.) piece of sm. silicone fuel-line for an adjustable "link" to a servo's pushrod, and a plastic guide-plate shaped like the Bee's backplate w/nipple and guide-hole in it's center. You don't need the guide-plate if your firewall is thick enough to support the plunger's linear movement (zero side-play like a sleeve would be). Drilling the guide-hole squarely and on center in your firewall is important though. You can also "sleeve" the guide-hole in your ply-firewall with a piece of plastic tubing having a 1/16" ID.

It would be nice to not be committed to running-out 5cc's of fuel before you can land dead-stick. Nano-servos these days weigh next to nothing... and with 240 squares of wing area.. your Northern Flicker would be a perfect candidate. It would be easy to install a servo-mount inside the front bay with the hatch. You might need a smidgeon of added tailweight to rebalance.. or possibly just add a tailwheel.
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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  pkrankow on Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:25 pm

I got my copy!

TE stock is somewhat hard for me to get. Sanding might be in my future. Cheap micro servos make me want to put ailerons on, Probably from the outer rib to the tip, but I'll build 2 wings if I go that route. I have a dragonfly I haven't even cleaned, or I'll put on a surestart, either way with throttle.

I need to finish what I have underway before I start a new build.

Phil
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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  JasonB on Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:26 pm

Thanks for the kind words, Roddie. It's been a fun project. Smile

Now... Gotta clear up the landing gear. They are't 1/8" square alu, that'd be far too weak. They're essentially dural gear, but homemade from 1/8" aluminum sheet stock I had in the "useful scrap" pile. Ran it thru the bandsaw, then bent it in the vice, drilled a few holes.

This project was, how to put this.... A "You've been modelling enough to have enuf spare stuff to build a plane for free" plane. I had all the balsa on-hand, from a kit I won at a funfly some years ago, but never would build (An LT 40 short kit). Oh, and the engine was talking to me...

I have noticed the Ace style throttles on here, and have found them intriguing. I WILL try one, perhaps with the Black Widow I have burning a small hole in my hobby room table, but not on this plane. It'd be fairly trivial to do on this one, but it's not what I wanted for this. I've spent my modeling career avoiding things like deadsticks - Call this forced training, LOL. Hold on to'er, nothing's stoppin' it till it quits has its own sort of appeal Smile

Anyway, I look forward to seeing what you all make of this, can't wait to see another!

J
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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  JasonB on Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:31 pm

Phil,

This plane's wing is closely related to the Herr Aquastar's wing.  My Aquastar has ailerons.  When I built it, I simply cut the TE stock so as to make 3/4" chord strip ailerons, leaving 1/4" of the TE stock to join the rib tails and receive the hinges.  This has proved very acceptable.  A servo in each wing would probably be the best way to go, though the Aquastar uses a single servo in the wing root to actuate them via a bit of a Rube Goldbergian linkage (which probably weighs more than an extra servo!). I'd loose some dihedral if I were going to use ailerons, maybe 4" under one tip (mine is 6" under one, the plan shows 7" under one, as I found my rolls a bit sluggish).



Certainly, there's lots of room on this plane to modify the design with all the toys...  Ailerons, throttles, the works.  The wonder of scratch building...  You get what you want, if you want it.

J
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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  pkrankow on Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:05 pm

L cranks and linkages to a single servo is pretty handy really. Compared to modern 9g servos, yes. heavier. Compared to older 40g-60g servos...featherweight!
Phil
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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  balogh on Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:53 pm

JasonB wrote:Thankee gents.

I've been considering drawing up plans for this, if enough folk are interested.  Let me know!

J

I definitely am innarested..Myself a skratch-builder of R/C planes and a COX maniac will definitely build one.

Congrats for the nice build and the thrilling narrative on your maiden flight..I suggest you add an extension tank made of a party baloon to allow a 10 minutes flight...a real fun having it in a loooooooooooooooooooooooong powered run and do all those aerobatics without being concerned with how much juice you still have on board in the middle of an inverted flight...

welcome to the forum as well.
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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  roddie on Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:55 pm

JasonB wrote:

This project was, how to put this....  A "You've been modelling enough to have enuf spare stuff to build a plane for free" plane.  I had all the balsa on-hand, from a kit I won at a funfly some years ago, but never would build (An LT 40 short kit).  Oh, and the engine was talking to me...


ha ha   my engines talk to me to.. they all have laryngitis. Laughing Speaking of Herr.. I've got a "Little Extra" ARF/NIB that has laryngitis too.. I bought it 6 or 7 years ago.

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Re: Scratch Built 2 chan Babe Bee Powered plane - The Northern Flicker

Post  JasonB on Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:19 am

Those little Extra's are about as much fun as you can have with an ARF! Wonderful little machines with an LA15 on the nose...

J
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