Landing is Inevitable

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Future Slope Designs: Raptor 48 Build Part 1

I didn't feel too good this morning so I decided to pass up on the morning flying session. Instead I decided to stay home and get some building done on my Future Slope Designs (FSD) Raptor 48 (R48).

In this particular build I wanted to stick to the manual as close as possible to get a very tough model with a nice finish. The weight will definitely be more than a light-weight build but I think I will appreciate a tough good looking model on the slopes. Before I started today, I have been reading the manual countless times on pdf format and also the "speed" build thread on rcgroups. I have a good idea on what's the build's gonna be like so i feel quite confident plunging in. And before I even started with step one, I covered my working surface with cheap china-brand plastic wrap.

The first thing I did was to GOOP the wing spars into the pre-cut slots. This is the first time I'm using GOOP and I have to say that it actually smells like Cow Gum. I put a few Dabs of GOOP on the pre-cut slots, and pushed in the spars flushed with the wing. After that, I wiped the excess GOOP off with a plastic "spatula."

Once that's done, I then replaced the wing into the provided wing bed and put some weights on it. I used some old phone books I found lying around and let the wing set for an hour. while waiting for the wing to set, I then started working on the fuselage.

For the fuselage, the first thing on my list was to epoxy the fuse spar into place.

A rather simple job, After that's done I epoxied the space at the vertical wing tube together. I found after the epoxy has dried that there is still a gap, so I just applied some medium CA to the spots and voila job done. I then started working on the other wing.

Once I was done with the other wing I went on to mate the two wings together. I followed the manual to the word for this step.

Last order for the day was to spackle the main fuselage.

I did it with my fingers and once I've more or less covered the fuselage with enough spackle I let it to set in a nice warm corner of the house for the spackle to harden.

By then it was already five o'clock. And I decided to try to fly at the open space at Chai Chee Street opposite Block 11. Many times have I passed there thinking, "I can fly here," and today was the day I tried it. I turned out to be a mini picnic as my wife, son, sister-in-law and sister-in-law's boyfriend came along with baulu in hand and tea in a flask to boot.

Once we reached the field, I quickly turned on my transmitter, hooked it on my neck strap and got my Flash turned on. I used the pavement as the runway and as expected it took off rather gracefully. I love taking off from the a runway. I did a few basic circuits to orientate myself in the new environment and got used to it quite comfortable. I then started practicing some slow rolls but my skill is just not good enough to pull off more than 3 revolutions. Practice, practice. After expending a pack, and a nice safe landing on the pavement I found the field more than suitable for simple practices. The area is large enough to pull off most manoeuvres. Ahh how nice it is to find a practice ground so close to home.

Today was a rather nice day. I got some building done, and some flight time under my belt. The Flash has now seen 34 flights already. I will continue the R48 build another day.

Signing off,


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