Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Keil Kraft Senator Covered

I eventually got a few spare moments to cover the Senator with some really garish orange tissue. Since covering, the tail has warped a little, so I need some extra work to tease it back straight again. I just need to make a couple of balsa wheels and attach them to the wire undercarriage.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Senator Construction Completed

I've now found time to cut the nose block from laminated 1/4" balsa sheet and finish off the propeller assembly.  I used some brass tubing that could accommodate the 18 SWG wire used for the propeller shaft and epoxied this into the nose block.  Some brass washers between the 12.5" propeller and the nose hopefully will reduce the friction.

I acquired various coloured tissue from my local model shop and I think I will cover this in garish orange rather than something more subtle.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Senator Tailplane Completed!

I've now completed the tailplane to the Senator. It took longer to construct than I anticipated because I was rather fussy on cutting the curved tips and ribs exactly to shape. I think I'm happy with the final result, however, we will see how it works out once it is covered as I suspect it may warp if I am not careful with the shrinking of the tissue.  The 1/16" wing spars were fiddly to cut and I hope they are strong enough.

The wide-angle lens on the camera is distorting the image.

Starting to take shape
 Next.. making the wing tips!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Keil Kraft Senator Tail Fin Completed

Spent some of this afternoon constructing the Senator tail fin. Not a demanding build as all the parts are just cut from 1/8" sheet balsa.  Most of the laborious work came in the sanding and ensuring I didn't break the weaker parts.

And now onto the tailplane..

Keil Kraft Senator Fuselage

Although it was a very busy week I managed to find some hobby time by working on the fuselage of the Senator at sunrise and also very late at night.  My intent was to follow the plans exactly and to keep the weight as low as possible. However,  I decided to add some more rigidity by adding some extra diagonal bracing on the underside of the nose.

To try and avoid any warping I also added two 1/8" sheet formers in the box section under the wings and behind the nose section.  The nose was a little more challenging than I anticipated and I had to re-cut the sheet balsa three times before I was finally happy with shape and fit of the nose panels.

Not too bad really, no warping and an improvement on the fuselage I built when I was a teenager.  Just a little heavier than the original design, but I hope to save some weight on the wing ribs.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Keil Kraft Senator

While looking for another suitable rubber powered balsa plane to construct this Summer I stumbled over the 32" wingspan Keil Kraft Senator.   I recall building this a teenager and I got some remarkably good flights out of it.  I can't recall why I don't have this model anymore, I suspect it got lost or broken during the last house move.

The model is still in production and is available from the Vintage Model Company but I was really looking to rebuild it from scratch from the original plans which is a little more challenging.

After some searching around I found some plans online and also an excellent article on constructing the model by Craig Limber, with some useful notes on building the propeller from scratch.  I need to rummage around to see if I have the original plans, otherwise I will see if I get a legitimate copy somehow soon.

This 1950s Keil Kraft model is a classic and I look forward to constructing it.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Completed Sapphire

I managed to find some spare moments to cover the Sapphire with yellow tissue and apply some cellulose dope. Once this was completely dry, I drilled some 3mm holes and fitted the dowels for the wings and rubber motor.  My minor gripe was that the dowel provided was less than generous, but fortunately I had some spare from a previous kit.

The final steps were to fix the wheels, add in the windshield and get the propeller nose block finished.  The nose block balsa was a little softer than I expected so I ended up sanding it just slightly too much, so I may redo this at a later date.

All in all, not a bad little kit. Straight forward to assemble, the majority of the parts were very good quality and the instructions and plans were excellent.  It didn't take too long to build and it was an enjoyable experience.  I just now need some fine weather to fly it!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Build complete!

Today saw the completion of the building phase of the West Wings Sapphire.  I added some more 2.5mm square diagonal supports to the fuselage to give it more rigidity and hopefully I can crank up the rubbing winding a little higher than original designed.

I eventually got around to cutting and sanding the wing tips out of solid balsa block which wasn't so difficult as I first anticipated.   The nose block (not shown) took a some careful shaping but I've not yet drilled it and inserted the propeller shaft.

I'm rather pleased with the final outcome.  I just need to find some time this week to cover the Sapphire with tissue and prepare it for flying!