Renard R-17 (oz11282)
About this Plan
Renard R-17. Radio control scale model.
Quote: "Renard R17 A simple 40 in span scale model for 3-function R/C and a geared 400 electric motor.
Whilst I realise that the Renard R17 may not be everyone's idea of an ideal subject for a model, I was hooked from the moment I first came across the type. Much as I hate to use the word, she is just so cute. Her angular, boxy appearance is so full of character that I felt almost compelled to start drawing. I openly admit that the only information that I had to work from was a 'Peanut' scale plan and a photo, but since they seemed to contain all the information required it was enough for me. The type of models that I favour don't require reams of documentation since they are intended as easy to build and fly, everyday models. I'm not for spending hundreds of hours building a model that I'll then be too worried about to enjoy flying. My models work hard for a living, and as such need to be practical and usable, and they get to see plenty of air. Since this is usually for very little sign of wear and tear, perhaps I'm doing something right - I like to think so.
Construction: This has been kept as simple and as straightforward as I could make it. I am a firm believer in not using five pieces of wood if one will do. You'll find that models usually tend to work out lighter that way, which is one of the major factors in success with electric power (they are also much easier to repair).
Bearing this in mind, a highly detailed set of building instructions should hardly be required for this model. So rather than bore you with stick piece A to piece B, I'll run fairly briefly through the general order in which my model was built. Any areas that I feel deserve special attention, I'll deal with in more detail. So instruction number 1 is: don't 'beef-up' the structure. I know that it looks quite fragile, but I can assure you that it isn't. Handled properly this model will provide you with many pleasant hours of flying. Treat her with the respect she deserves and she will repay you many times over.
Installation: A strange place to start a construction article, but I thought you might like to know what equipment is required before you get the model started. The current availability of mini and micro R/C gear at very reasonable prices has, more than any other single factor, made success with these small, light models an affordable reality.
My model uses a Jeti 4 Rx, two of the excellent 9g type servos and a Kontronic Easy 1000 speed controller. This, or similar combinations, have served well and reliably in many of my models. It allows us to assemble an airborne control package that weighs less than 2 oz (56 g) and costs less than £90.
The Rx and servos are mounted onto the fuselage sides with servo tape with the linkages to the rudder and elevator being made using lightweight push rods. Mount the servos fairly centrally in the cabin area and use the weight of the Ni-Cad pack to assist with balancing the model's CG at the point 2-3/8 in (60 mm) from wing LE.
Now the power train. Because of the need to enclose it in the dummy crankcase, I chose to use an inline geared motor. You might be able to get away with using an ungeared motor, but I haven't tried one. On the prototype model I used a Graupner 7.2v Speedgear 400 which, with its 4:1 gearing, turns an 11 x 7 propeller at an almost miserly rate of amps.
The one item that I refuse to cut cost on in my models is the Ni-Cad pack. My models of this size all use 7 x 500 AR cells from Sanyo, I have yet to find anything to equal them. They will deliver a higher current than cheaper cells (not so important on this model), charge at a higher rate and last for longer. A few extra pounds spent here is well worthwhile, and will actually work out cheaper in the long run.
The motor mounting system shown works very well since it allows for easy setting-up of thrust lines, and is dealt with in more detail later. My Ni-Cad pack is retained with a dab of silicon sealer, but could just as easily be fitted to a liteply plate using Velcro. You should keep a closer check on balance using this system, but it would mean that you could change packs between flights.
Details: I'll deal with the details of the model at this point simply because once they are made it is a great incentive to actually finish the model. They are an essential ingredient since the model would look very plain without them.
The wheel type used were purchased from SAMS, the free flight people. They are really intended for very light models, but have proven to be usable for our needs provided we keep our landings gentle.
The dummy engine takes rather longer. The actual cylinders are fairly easy, being modified Williams items (SAMS again), it is the crankcase that takes the time. Once you have the parts cut out it goes together quickly enough, it's the sanding, sealing, more sanding and priming that takes the time. It is important that no wood grain is left showing on the finished item. This is easier to achieve if you leave cutting the cylinder holes until after the priming. Use a piece of sharpened brass tube to carefully cut out the holes with each face of the crankcase supported from behind..."
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