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Crash Resistant Pylon Racer / Sports Aerobatic Slope Soarer
by Stan Yeo
by PHOENIX MODEL PRODUCTS
is a stylish 60in EPP pylon racer / sports aerobatic sloper designed to
meet the demand for a high performance crash resistant 60in EPP pylon
racer conforming to the current 6Oin EPP pylon racing rules. As with all
flying wings a control mixer is required to mix the elevator and aileron
controls. Although this can be done using an on-board mixer better control
set-up will be achieved using a computerised transmitter. Please do not
attempt to use plastic geared servos - they do not last long in EPP models!
If pylon racing is not your forte then you will be more than satisfied
with the Wanabee as a sports aerobatic model as it will perform all manoeuvres
(rolls, sustained inverted flight, loops, bunts etc.) expected of a flying
wing with grace and poise that will turn heads!
As with all
EPP models, building time has been kept to a minimum; typically a quarter
to a third that of an equivalent wood foam model depending on the skill
and care taken.
/ Materials Required
tools required are a modelling knife and spare blades, 180 grade Wet &
Dry sanding block, a set square, soldering iron and a hand drill with
a 5mm bit. Glues required are spray impact adhesive (Stikatak), runny
super glue and 12 minute epoxy. Please observe safety precautions!
The R/C Equipment used in the prototypes consisted of two metal gear micro
servos (HS81MG / 85MG) a 2/3 AF size Rx flat Nicad pack plus a JR R700
/ Webra 6 / Futaba 147F / Hitec Slimline Rx. All the items are available
from PMP at competitive prices.
- Lightly sand the fuselage sides, top and bottom with 180 grade wet
and dry to remove the 'release' agent. Remove dust with a small brush
or vacuum cleaner.
- Mark position of 4.5mm distance pieces (5 off) to fuselage sides
ensuring you have a left and right side!
- Superglue 4.5mm sq. strip and triangular nose strips to fuselage
- Superglue wing seats in position.
- Superglue nose former and the other four 4.5mm distance pieces to
one fuselage side ensuring they are all perpendicular (use set square)
Check dowel former can be slid in position.
- Join fuselage
sides together over plan checking that the fuselage sides are correctly
aligned using set square.
- Cut 1.5mm
fuselage top to length and superglue in position.
Step 7 above for fuselage bottom allowing for wing dowel plate.
Wing Nut block assembly as per plan. Slide into and hold in place with
scrap foam rubber. Slide into position the 6mm ply Wing Dowel plate.
- Fit the
wing to the fuselage and mark position of wing dowel hole on dowel plate.
Tip - wet end of dowel tube with felt tip pen to leave impression on
dowel plate. Ensure dowel hole is in middle of dowel plate and drill
dowel hole. Do not allow centre of dowel hole to drift towards bottom
of fuselage as this could prevent wing fitting snugly in wing seat.
dowel former in position. If necessary, slide former 'in & out' as appropriate
to compensate for any inaccuracies in drilling dowel hole.
- Fit triangular
strip to front of former (see plan).
- Fit wing
to fuselage and locate position of wing nut assembly.
nut assembly in position.
EPP sheets to fuselage sides using spray adhesive (spray both surfaces).
Allow a couple of minutes for solvent in adhesive to evaporate before
fitting EPP to fuselage. Allow the EPP to extend past the nose former
by at least 12mm (see plan). Also remember this is a ONE shot operation!
the EPP to shape of fuselage using White Spirit to lubricate knife.
The best tool for this operation is one made from a broken piece of
hacksaw blade approximately a 75mm long. Grind the teeth off without
getting the blade so hot that it loses its temper and goes soft. Sharpen
blade on a whetstone or oilstone so that you could almost shave with
it! The advantage of this blade over commercial blades is that it is
flexible allowing the 'handle' to be bent out of the way when cutting
the EPP to achieve an acute cutting angle.
- Fit 6mm
square strip to base of Fin at front.
Fin in position checking that is perpendicular to fuselage.
- If applicable
fit optional 3mm dia. Carbon rods in the Fin (see plan).
plastic aerial tube / Fin fairing to Fin leading edge using impact adhesive
such as Evo-Stick. Tape in position until glue is set (24hrs).
10mm thick EPP to fuselage top again extending EPP forward of the nose
former and stopping at Fin base.
8mm thick strip of EPP to fuselage bottom at nose. Again extending beyond
10mm thick EPP to rear of Fuselage and trim to shape.
spare 10mm thick EPP glue foam to base of Fin and trim to shape.
approximately 150grams of roofing lead to front of nose former in cavity
formed by EPP sides. This is typically 2mm thick and equates to 5 layers
of lead. Flatten lead before fitting. Roofing lead is available from
the scrap yard at approximately £1.00 a kilo.
EPP in front of nose weight to provide flat surface on which to glue
- Fit nose
block and shape fuselage i.e. round corners using sharp knife and 180
grade wet & Dry (use dry!)
- Cover fuselage using CW tape. Overlap each strip by 6 - 10 mm or
1/4 to 3/8 inch. Use Film Iron to remove wrinkles around compound curves.
Temperature required for this operation is fairly critical. Do not dwell
in one spot too long to avoid damage to the foam. Use white spirit to
lubricate cutting knife.
- Excess impact adhesive can be removed using white spirit.
- Lightly sand wing surfaces and remove dust as before. Trim and sand
spar slots to accommodate mainspars. This is best achieved using a very
sharp knife and a spar length straight edge (Tip - stick 180 grade wet
& Dry to under surface for grip) plus a short length of 10mm thick ply
fitted with Wet & Dry along one edge for final sanding of spar slot.
Unfortunately CNC cutting tapered wings with spar slots results in a
tapered spar slots due to the way CNC cutters work.
- Remove waste from wing bracing slots.
- Fit top wing spars (the thick ones) using Epoxy keeping spar bracing
slots free of Epoxy. Place packing tape along spars, place wing on a
flat surface. Hold flat with weights until epoxy set.
- Trim spars to length.
- Fit 6mm sq trailing edges using epoxy again keeping bracing slots
free of epoxy. Use masking tape to hold spar in position whilst Epoxy
sets. Trim to length.
- Dry fit bottom mainspars and trim to size. Lightly sand wing surfaces
and remove dust as before. Trim and sand spar slots to accommodate mainspars.
Unfortunately cutting tapered wings with spar slots result in a tapered
spar slot. Remove waste from wing bracing slots.
- Dry assemble wing to check that wing roots mate with a straight trailing
edge. Adjust as necessary.
- With wing upside down fit wing brace and bottom wing spars. Note
once again the trailing edge should form a straight line i.e. not be
swept back or forward.
- Fit rear spar brace and trim to size when epoxy set.
- Fit rear wing brace using epoxy.
- Manufacture Elevons and wing centre by laminating 0.8mm ply and balsa
trailing using spray impact adhesive. Place under weight until adhesive
has properly set.
- Glue centre section to wing observing wing reflex (apparent up elevator).
Refer to wing seat on fuselage.
- Fit 0.8mm ply ends to centre section and one end of each Elevon.
- Sand wing tips to shape and trim Elevons to size. Sand to shape.
- Epoxy balsa block in position at wing join. Bottom of block should
be flush with bottom surface of wing.
- Trim top surface of block to shape of top surface of wing. DO NOT
trim bottom of block.
- Locate centre of balsa block and centre of wing leading edge. Drill
hole for 5mm diameter brass tube the houses 4.5mm diameter hardwood
wing locating dowel.
- Epoxy wing dowel tube in place. Mark centre of tube hole on 6mm ply
dowel locater in fuselage. Use felt tip pen to assist in this.
- Manufacture a long drill using 4.5mm diameter piano and drill dowel
hole in 6mm ply.
- Drill hole for M5 wing bolt in wing and ply bolt plate. Do not drill
through rear spar!
- Fit 1.5mm ply wing bolt reinforcing plate using superglue.
- Mark position of wing servos. Note plan drawing is NOT full
size. Position of servo is dependant on servo lead length. Allow 30mm
from end of plug to servo lead exit from wing for connecting to receiver
extension lead when fitting wing. Note servo arms both point outboard
- Cut rectangular hole for servo in wing ignoring servo mounting lugs.
- Cut slot in EPP for servo lugs and fit servo so that it is flush
with top of wing. Note gap between top of servo and bottom of wing.
From block of EPP removed for servo from wing slice off the required
amount and fit in this void.
- Remove wing servos for covering.
- Shape wing tips.
- Spray wing with spray adhesive and cover wing with GW tape. For torsional
rigidity cover the wing with CW tape diagonally. There is no need to
wrap around rear spar but do overlap by 5 - 10mm at leading edge. For
smooth finish do not overlap CW Tape. Use film iron to remove wrinkles
- After covering fit aileron servos. Cut vertical slot in wing to hide
- Cover wing with either coloured vinyl tape or an iron on polyester
film (NOT polypropylene itstretches!). This is necessary for two reasons,
one to decorate the model and secondly to protect the CW Tape from the
effects of ultra violet light. If film covering roughen surface of CW
Tape and lightly spray with impact adhesive.
- Cover Elevons in an iron on film in chosen colour. DO NOT use CW
or vinyl tape.
- Hinge Elevons using Sellotape Diamond as shown on the plan.
- Fit control linkages and adjust to obtain required throws (see flying
- DO NOT replace the plastic mini-snaplinks with metal devises. In
the event of a mishap the plastic snaplinks will break thereby reducing
the risk of damage to the aileron servos.
- To achieve the design performance of any model care must be taken
in setting up the controls and balancing the model both laterally (wing
tip to wing tip) and longitudinally (nose to tail). The Wanabee is no
exception. Control movement must be symmetrical i.e. the same for both
- Set the controls to give the following movements for initial flights:
- Ailerons +/- 18mm
- Elevons +/- 6mm
- Balance Point 75mm +/- 3mm from LE at back of dowel former.
- Adjust balance to within recommended limits. This can be done by
taping a hexagonal pencil along the bottom of the wing at the balance
point and resting the model on a flat surface. Prototypes required a
small amount of additional nose-weight to that fitted in the nose.
- Check than Fin is perpendicular to wing. Adjust wing seat as necessary.
- Launching the Wanabee is easy. Place the thumb and second finger
either side of the fuselage just in front of the wing leading edge.
The forefinger is placed on the underside of the wing. This is important
as the forefinger ensures the model is launched in a level attitude
and stops you pulling the nose down and launching the model into the
ground! The transmitter is naturally help in the free hand.
- Remember all aerobatic manoeuvres require energy to perform them.
If the model has insufficient speed it will fall out of the manoeuvre
or perform it half-heartedly. Vertical or near vertical dives are not
an efficient way to build up speed, 20- 30 degree dives are much more
efficient. Avoid sudden control inputs. In most cases all they do is
scrub off speed and lose height but they could also result in a violent
'flick' roll. Try to fly smoothly with the minimum of control input
as not only do the manoeuvres look better but you will be able to perform
more of them before having to regain height. Try stringing manoeuvres
together, paying particular attention to positioning. Be creative and
set yourself targets for each flying session.
- If the lift is very good or you are having difficulty penetrating
into wind try ballasting the model. This will increase penetration and
help the model maintain speed through manoeuvres. Note when adding ballast
take care not to disturb the balance point. We have found the optimum
ballast to be about 200 grams. Over-ballasting any model will lead to
a degradation in its performance, often accompanied by a tendency to
- The suggested control settings are a starting point and can be adjusted
to suit your personal tastes. An indication that the balance point is
about right can be gauged by the amount of down elevator required for
smooth inverted flight and how the model recovers naturally from a dive
i.e. sticks in neutral and no pilot input.
- If you are using a computerised transmitter program in positive (JR)
Exponential on the Aileron and Elevator controls. This will 'soften'
the controls around the neutral position and facilitate smoother flying
particularly on the elevator control.
- Wanabee will take a lot of punishment. It is excellent for building
confidence and will add another dimension to your flying but please
remember if you take a big enough hammer to anything it will break.
The CW tape used for covering also degrades in ultra-violet light so
store the model in a relatively cool place away from direct sunlight.
10. The MH64 wing section is very efficient and performs well in light
lift so with good ballast selection Wanabee will cope with almost wind
/ lift conditions you are prepared to fly in.
- Finally should you require further assistance or advice please contact
us either by letter, telephone, email or visit our website (http://www.phoenixmp.com)
where you will find useful information on sloping etc.
- It uses the highly efficient MH64 wing section.
has an ultra slim, EPP clad, ply box fuselage. Not only is the fuselage
extremely, strong overcoming the detaching nose syndrome of other
similar designs, but it also has up to 50% less cross-sectional area
than most if its contemporaries. Fuselage volume has a large impact
on a model's performance. The more air that is displaced the higher
Wanabee is a two piece model. The wing is attached to the fuselage
via an easily replaceable M5 nylon bolt and a 5mm hardwood dowel (housed
in a brass tube). These are designed to shear in the event of a 'mishap
thereby minimising any resultant damage.
Wanabee has excellent directional stability. This is due to the combination
of a generous fin area coupled with a respectable tail moment arm
and the almost flat fuselage sides. Round fuselages look good and
are arguably more streamlined but do not offer much resistance to
the air to counteract any tendency to 'fishtail' or aid spin recovery.
hardwood mainspars extend all the way to the wing tip. This not only
stiffens the outboard section of the wing but offers protection to
the control surfaces should the model land on a wing tip.
top spar is thicker than the bottom spar. This significantly strengthens
the wing as most wing failures in flight are due to the top surface
failing in compression.
leading edge of the Correx fin is dressed with a 4mm diameter plastic
tube. This not only provides a fairing for the fin leading edge but
acts as a conduit for the receiver aerial improving reception (better
thin balsa control surfaces are laminated with 0.8mm ply to add stiffness
and make them more 'ding' proof.
Top Slope Sites
to slope soaring or want to visit a new site. Check out the PMP
slope site listings.
which shows PMP will be attending this year
about the design principles behind the PMP range of models
Articles written by Stan Yeo for national magazines on a wide range
instructions on how to construct our EPP Models
to Club Sites and Product Information.