A return to model building and flying. Part 64

March 2010

Bearcat Slow Progress

This model is making me loose the will to live....!

Tailplane hinging and covering has taken place, with too many problems to even begin to describe the process. 

Now I have run slap into another problem because I want to put the bellcrank on the upper surface of the in board wing. Trying to save time I had visited the Brodak web site  to hopefully find a suitable three line bellcrank, only to discover that they have all been photographed upside down with the cranks in various random rotations? This makes it really, and I mean REALLY! difficult to do the mental gymnastics in order to visualise what they look like the right way up.

After a considerable amount of time I began to realise that they are all designed to sit on the outboard wing, placing the elevator push rod close to the fuselage and the throttle pushrod displaced further out to clear a fuel tank. Placing any of them where I wish to would mean the elevator pushrod will be waving about in a considerable amount of space causing other problems. Turning the elevator bellcrank through 108 degrees to compensate means that it throttle leadout and forward bellcrank leadout have a tendency to collide due the the clearance bend being on the wrong end when rotated to this position.This leaves me with two choices, make holes in the fuselage and make a new mount point on the outboard wing (most likely solution), or make my own bellcranks again.

Even the Brodak rectangular metal fuel tanks will not fit, they have the fill vents set at a strange angle that would mean more cutting of holes in the fuselage, or modifying them (the most likely option); or I have to do even more metal bashing. I certainly will with the Tigercat Twin kit I have laying around, as there is a chronic lack of space to get the tanks into? Even the recommended tanks on the plan do not match the same part number on the site, in fact nothing on the site does?

I really am getting so fed up with all these brick walls I keep hitting, they are a real disincentive to do anything with the model. I'm not sure if it's a curse having experience and knowing what works and what I need. If I was an innocent beginner, and blindly followed the instructions, even then I would have difficulty getting the bellcrank inside the wing and finding a suitable fuel tank, it would probably fly OK. But! I know it would not fly well in the conditions I have to fly in, would not be easy to maintain, and  would have all the problems I know exist with that sort of engine, tank, bellcrank setup.

What I need is actually very simple and in some ways crude, but functional. It would seem that manufacturers of the items I need either don't exist, or are designing for something completely different. Clunk tanks are unnecessary for this task, they take up a lot of room, are awkward to fit, and have bits that can become a liability with the abuse a carrier model can be exposed to. Metal wedge tanks are also unnecessary, they are designed to operate both up right or inverted; I am not likely to end up flying upside down with a carrier model unless something really unexpected happens.

I actually did this once, and in the process proved how strong Jan's Odeyn's Wilcat is when it fell out of the sky from 12m above my head, in one of those never to be forgotten moments. I was trying to prop hang and it ended up upside down. Jan had told me it doesn't like being in that attitude, and how right he was! My brain went into idiot panic mode and stunt habits took over as I tried to bunt it back upright; it's no aerobatic model. I nearly made it: nearly; but not quite. Hence the fall out of the sky thing. All I had to do was chop the throttle and land upside down on the grass...! One of the those Duuuhh! moments.

A rectangular metal box tank is all that is needed, maybe with a slight bottom wedge to avoid unclean stopping if the tank is running low. Has anyone tried to get small metal boxes these days?

The cullender like holes in the wing ribs are the result of mistakes, bodges, and trying to to make leadout holes after the wing is assambled. But Hey! They are lightening holes. At least that's my story, and I am sticking to it.



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