Electra X-35 (oz6458)
About this Plan
Electra X-35. Control line stunt model.
Quote: "Bonus project - construction article for an outstanding control-line stunter, plus good course on finishing. Electra X-35 by Jerry Worth.
Anything can be improved upon! I have always believed in this age-old proverb, but it seems to me that it might apply to everything, except control-line precision aerobatics. I know that it will raise a lot of hair on some stunt flyers' heads, (except the bald ones). The reason for my saying so is that we have to consider what makes an ultimate stunt design, or is such a thing possible?
t is my belief that there is little or no room for improvement on the general type of planes we fly today, such as: Noblers, Sharks, Ares (oz4884), Olympics, etc. It is a completely individual type of competition that we are flying today which simply means that a plane which fits the requirements of a stunt flyer on the West Coast, can be altogether wrong for a flyer on the East Coast or in the Midwest, even if the same ship is used, and all the flyers are of top contest caliber. Such conditions as wind, altitude, and climate, have direct and profound effects on the planes we fly. Therefore, due to the different flying requirements of individuals and the different climatic conditions existing across the country, the ultimate designs have been flying for years by the hands of those that have become proficient in the use of one parti-cular design.
It is with the foregoing in mind that the Electra X--35 was designed. It was built to fly in windy weather at a moderate elevation level such as the Midwestern' region of the United States. It does not mean that the Electra will not fly very well in calm air as it does it excellently. It does mean, that it can be flown in dis-turbed air such as is found at almost all contests held in the Midwest.
It is a design which fits my individual requirements perfectly. If your reflexes are like mine, (on the slow side) and if you do most of your flying in windy conditions, then the ELECTRA might very well prove to be what you are looking for, and it has a bonus. Much has been said for de-sign following function! But! we can still put a pretty package around that ugly lump of function, and this was the prime consid-eration when I was designirig the Electra. These appearance points should not and cannot be taken lightly. How many times have you lost a place by just a few points that you might have had with a more im-pressive plane?
Throughout the construction of the latest Electra a careful table of weights has been kept to be used as a building guide.
The reason is, if we are forever building 580 sq in planes that never go less than 55 oz we must find where the excess weight is coming from, and eliminate it. The construction, as used, is a compromise be-tween weight and strength. For instance: at first glatIce the solid type of tail surfaces look like a brick to hang on a lightly con-structed stunt ship. But! I have proven be-yond any doubt that it is possible to build a solid type of surface lighter than built-up. Secret is the careful selection of light balsa wood.
If light wood cannot be obtained, then by all means build up the surfaces. When I speak of a certain type of construction lighter than another, I mean complete construction with the final finish. It is conceivable that your solid tail surface, or flap assembly might weigh more in a sanded wood condition, rather than a comparable built-up section, but let's not forget that the assembly must be finished with dope and color.This is where we are ahead with our solid surface. I have proven through practice, that there are less coats of finish necessary on bare wood than would be re-quired with silk, nylon or Silkspan. You will notice that I say dope and color, and not just dope.
Finish used is a little different than most, especially for a stunt ship, but if followed properly, it will be easy, extremely durable and have a beautiful appearance. What is suggested is a very light method of finish-ing. The usual finish is from 8 to 10 ozs. on an average-sized stunter. The Electra finished weight is 5.25 ozs., including all the dope, filler and color, i.e., all the liquid used. The color has to be sprayed. It does not have to be an elaborate setup, just a sanitary one, dirt and dust will ruin any finish.
First step is to sand all the completed structures with No. 400 wet or dry paper, but use dry. Then, spray three coats of 50% thinned Butyrate dope over all the model, let dry for at least eight hours, then sand again. At this stage, cover the wings and brush five coats of 50% thinned.Buty-rate to fill the pores of the silk. If you are using Silkspan, you can get by with three or four coats. I prefer silk because of the strength advantage, remember this wing has 1/16" sheet ribs. Now, sand the wing assembly and the model will be very smooth but the grain will not be filled. The next step will take care of this. Buy a quart of DuPont No. 30 Auto Primer, yes, it's heavy! Thin the primer about 50% and spray two or three coats over entire model, (mask the canopy first, unless you wish to protect cockpit details from old Sol). Model will now be set aside for two days so that the primer may completely dry.
The next step is most important. Sand away the primer until you can just start to see the lightish color of the wood underneath. At this point the primer is very thin and light, but the grain is completely filled and we are now aware of the reason we let the primer dry for two days. If we rush the preceding step, the primer filling the grain would still be drying and after the color coats are added..."
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Update 5/12/2016: added article, thanks to RFJ.
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