Thursday, February 26, 2009

Update Feb 2009

Ok folks.. been a little while to update - doesn't mean we haven't been progressing. Let's just say that it has been 1 step forward, 2 steps backwards this month. Here's the drill....

Retracts ordered and arrived. Finally determined that they won't fit. Remodelled retract slide trays to work with the CJM retract set but won't be using the struts - using standard GreatPlanes/Robart bolt-on steel axles instead. Slide trays fitted and fuse modified to suit. Threw out servo mounting tray in the process - useless... replaced with mounting rails. Slide trays now off to be sheeted in carbon fibre and epoxy for additional strength. Wheels ordered (and on back order) - looked at going to another manufacture but didn't want to take the extra weight hit. Front retracts mounted. Had to do some minor mods to get all that to fit (slightly lengthed the space between the former pieces. Retract mounted on rails epoxied into place.

Things I've learnt this month:
1. Don't set out off these plans especially the keels that need to be bent - allow longer length than shown on sections. If something has to fit into the space later - use that to set out against - again - DON'T use the plans(refer front nosewheel bay and retract slide boards).
2. The plans are TOTALLY useless when it comes to the truss framing and the retract slide boards - they do not work.
3. There are two different sets of plans out there for the 87" version of this plane - one set identifies Goldberg retracts (yet noone at Goldberg knows what retracts were to be used on this model) and the more modern version (dated the same) using Robart retracts however this would require modification of the truss frame which wasn't incorporated into that drawing set - how do I know this? I now own both sets of drawings and have done the comparison. The mod I've done to fit the CJM air-retracts *should* work for the Robarts as well.
4. The plans do not identify ANY means of opening the front half of the nosewheel door. Plans are underway to resolve this matter - another servo is likely to be involved.
5. A good number of the pieces from the kit cutters are incorrect and are having to be cut from scratch.

Status - About one month behind schedule although catching up fast. Truss done, retracts all in, air system roughed in (and working), receiver programmed (initially), radio programmed (initially), receiver mounting rails installed. Full steam ahead to get the fuselage finished.

Photos to follow shortly.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fuselage Formers

Tonight the fuselage side formers were fixed in place. No major dramas here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The coming together of the fuselage

Little by little, work has been ongoing on the fuselage of this model. Measuring just over 64" when finished, and building it in a room 2m x 2.6m is keeping life interesting. The two side trusses have been built, key formers in place and tonight the main section of the fuselage was tied together. So far, so good. At this point, it has been decided that we are going to use the build instructions as a 'guide' but push ahead on the construction (otherwise having to wait for the retracts to arrive). Photos below showing everything aligned and glued with 30minute epoxy for strength.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Decisions, Decisions...

The weekend saw a review of the project, some research (from the various books I've collected over the years on the C-130) and a number of important decisions being made as follows:
1. Retract system will now be air not mechanical. - purchase made and goods on the way
2. The Weatonic dual receiver fits so will form the 'heart' of bird - a 36MHz model has been sourced and is on its way
3. The plane will definately be based on A97-001 of the RAAF and will be painted as per its time in the 36th Sqd. This particular aircraft has won competitions (airlift) and has now seen in excess of 20,000 flying hours.
4. A full lighting system will be installed including navigation, formation and landing lights as applied to the particular aircraft being modelled.
As such, photos of the particular aircraft are being collected (so if you happen to have any - let me know) and specific details are being sought from individuals who know this aircraft intimately.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Well... after a false start with the first side truss we have dicovered that it isn't the cutting of the parts that's wrong - its the plans. Somehow they have shrunk in the vertical dimension only. So, to cut a long story short, the plan of attack is now to build based on the parts cut using the plans for guidance in the horizontal direction only. Closer examination of the plans has also revealed that some components have not been cut correctly (and will therefore have to be replicated by hand here) and that while the instructions refer to modifying a set of Robart retracts for the main landing gear, that the plans fail to show the relevant details and indicate a set of "Goldberg" retracts are to be used. All in all - this is going to keep getting interesting. Anyhow, construction is underway. Photos below showing the first truss 'setting' and the 'box of bits' from the kit cutters.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Welcome to the project site of the 1/18 Scale, Palmer Plans, C-130 Build. This C-130 Hercules radio control plane design was provided by (the late) Dan Palmer. This site will cover the various stages of construction and hopefully flights thereafter of this radio control model. The intention of the site is to give others looking to build this plan some insight into the difficulties and how they were overcome as well as being somewhere were people can generally follow the progress of this project. Many decisions on the build are still yet to be taken and will be subject to numerous changes as the build progresses however initial plans and thoughts are as follows:

1. Powerplant will by 4 x OS FS30s in leiu of the original OS Max 25FPs.
2. The model will be based on / replica of A91-001 of the Royal Australian Air Fore.
3. The model will be a C-130H as per the original plans.
4. The original mechanical retracts may be replaced with Air-retract system.
5. Receiver considerations are centering around the Weatronic 12-20R Dual Receiver (36MHz) with a view to going to 2.4GHz in the future.
6. On-board navigation lighting system in being considered.

The plans were originally purchased from Dan Palmer a number of years ago however they are currently in storage in Australia. A replacement set of plans and a full wood kit was purchased from Precision Cut Kits in U.S.A. and shipped to Dubai, United Arab Emirates for construction.

Construction began on the evening of 9 January 2009 with the box being unpacked, the instructions read and the first attempt at the fuselage frame being made. It was then that it was discovered that the pre-cut former piece are all slightly (but enough) larger that the plane can not be built using a direct 'lay-over' technique. Result = One side of the truss frame abandoned and to be reconstructed.

Photos below showing the 'layover' technique in use and the layout of my model room (the maids room in our apartment).