About this Plan
Mite. Free flight model for .020 engines.
Quote: "A very simple, build-it-in-a-week-end 28 in span F/F power model, designed by Gabriel Kiernan.
I designed 'Mite' for a friend of mine who had a Cox 020 engine doing nothing.The model needed to be simple to build, fly and trim as it would be his first model aircraft of any sort. 'Mite' was built over a weekend and proved to be a good little flyer. The Cox Pee Wee 020 provides more than enough power and the model could be flown with any small radial mount engine. If you wish to use a larger heavier engine then you should move the bulkhead F1 former back slightly to help keep the balance point in the right place.
Just a few words before you start. Use medium grade balsa throughout and hard balsa for the wing spars and dihedral braces.You can use any glue you like but epoxy is recommended for the engine bulkhead former F1 and for gluing the undercarriage to F2a.
FUSELAGE: Cut out all the parts and glue the 6 mm x 1.5 mm uprights to the fuselage sides. Make sure you end up with a right and left fuselage side? Glue formers F2 and F3 to one fuselage side. Use a playing card or something similar to ensure that they are at 90 degrees. Now glue the second side in place. F1 and F4 can now be added and the sides joined together at the rear. F1 should be glued in place with epoxy. Bend up the undercarriage and sew it to F2a. Use epoxy glue over the sewing. The front top cowling is formed from block balsa or laminated 3 mm sheet. Glue it in place and shape it as shown on the plan.
Add some scrap reinforcement at the top of F2 for the wing dowels. I used .7 mm balsa for the windscreen which was moistened to get it to bend more easily. However you may use acetate if you prefer. Now add all the top and bottom 1.5 mm sheeting with the grain across the fuselage. In the wing seat area the sheeting is cracked down the middle so that it rests in the top of the formers. Drill the fuselage for the wing and tailplane dowels and add the 3 mm balsa tail skid and a pair of small lightweight wheels.
WINGS: Cut out, all wing parts and rough shape the leading and trailing edges. They will be sanded to final shape when the wing is completed. Temporarily tape each trailing edge and leading edge together and cut the rib notches with a hacksaw blade or similar. Start construction by pinning the trailing edge in place over the plan along with rib W2 and the tip rib. Pin the leading edge down. followed by all the other ribs, including W1. Add the wing spar and wing tip.The spar is cracked and bent down to meet the tip. Glue the dihedral braces DB1 and DB2 in place and then add the centre section sheeting. When dry remove from the building board and add the bottom centre section sheeting. Now build the other wing panel. The first wing panel can be propped in place at the correct dihedral and the second wing panel built onto it.
TAIL SURFACES: These arc simply cut from 3 mm sheet halsa.The tailplane can be sanded to an aerofoil section if you wish but it is not necessary. Cut out the trim tab on the rudder as shown and hinge it in place with alloy strips cut from a soft drinks can.
COVERING AND FINAL ASSEMBLY: I covered my model with Solarfilm which is very suitable for glow engine powered models, although you have to be very careful about not getting unwanted twists everywhere. Other options would be Litespan or tissue and dope. With these you will need to fuel proof the nose of the model at the very least. Glue the fin onto the tailplane making sure that it is at 90 degrees. Check that there are no twists in the wing by sighting along it very carefully.The only acceptable twist or warp is a small amount of washout - the wing tips may he twisted up at the rear by about 2-3 mm on both panels. Otherwise everything should be straight or dead flat.
TRIMMING AND FLYING: You will need a clam day for your first flights. Start with a check on the glide. You may need to pack up the rear of the tailplane slightly to get a smooth glide. If your model tends to climb and then drop sharply, you are launching too fast or the balance point needs moving for-ward by adding some lead to the front of the model. Continue test gliding until you have a smooth glide with a very slight turn.
Now start with short, low powered flights. If your engine is reluctant to run slowly, try putting the prop on hack to front. You will be aiming for a left hand, gradual, climbing turn under power. Right hand turns tend to pull the model towards the ground. If your model climbs too steeply and tends to stall. you will need to add down thrust by a putting small washers between the engine and F1 on the top bolts. Any severe turning tendencies will need adjusting in a similar manner, this time putting washers on the opposite side to the turn.
Once you have the model flying smoothly. you can go for longer flights but don't forget to put your name, address and phone number on the model, just in case it gets away from you!"
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Supplementary file notes
Article pages, thanks to Algy2.
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