The Squirrel and the TSK (Part III)
For those folks that have just walked in, let me do a very brief recap on the action so far. This is the story of a simple boy in New Zealand that is in the process of putting together his first semi-scale fuselage, with a TSK Mystar 30. Using a Funky fuselage, and the help of some guys in my local club, I have gotten the fuze kinda ready for the mechanics. Since the fuze was made for the Shuttle, there will be some minor alterations required, but nothing that we can't handle so far.
Ok folks, on with the story!
The next step I tackled was the relocating of my glow plug remote connection, a home-made thing featuring a small alligator clip, a fork crimp lug, two bits of wire and a RCA-type female chassis -mount connector. I use this connector system on all my machines, with a matching power lead that has a RCA male plug. This is good for the times when I try to walk away from my start box, with the lead still attached- it comes off easily! With this done, I then turned to the issue of the muffler.
Now with no experience in fuselages, I was a bit out of my depth when it came to knowing which muffler would work best, but most importantly- fit inside the fuze. After trying several, including a sexy looking Century Speed Torpedo, I settled on the muffler that was originally supplied with the Mystar 30's back when first introduced. It fits fine, and does the job OK. After some careful measuring, I cut out an opening in the floor of the fuze for the small exhaust pipe to stick through.
Since I added the plywood plate to the underside of the fuze, I thought it would be a good idea to do a bit of fuel proofing for it. I did this at the same time that I attached the wee plywood blocks that the canopy screws will screw into. I used a common 5 minute 2-part epoxy for both jobs, with a bit of meths added to thin the mixture for the fuel-proofing- as suggested by some fixed wing boys in the club. I can't say how much meths I used- it was kinda trial and guess. It seems to have come out alright, without adding too much weight. After giving all the wood bits a good even covering of the thinned epoxy, I set it aside to dry for about 2 days.
The next job went
fairly straight forward- put the mechanics back in the fuze, check the fit of
the muffler, and get the tail servo rod path sorted. This was pretty straight
forward, and required and additional slot to be cut into the underside of the
fuze boom for the servo rod. After putting a bit of padding on the boom in two
places, I slid the mechanics in, loosely bolted them in pace, and them fitted
the tail gear assembly. As you have seen in earlier pictures, I have completely
removed all the tail gear, to allow the boom to be pushed through the fuze boom.
Since the TSK has a belt drive, and the front part is not accessible when in
the machine, the tail bits had to come off.
Off to the club field I went with a couple of other guys I fly with. Since
they all are TSK owners, and are always very keen to point out everything I
do that isn't correct, I thought they would be a good support team. I hadn't
flown the TSK 30 since beginning this project, many months ago, and since it
had been shagged around a bit, I thought it was a good idea to test the wee
beast. Besides, it would have a different muffler, not the great Hatori I had
originally fitted, before this project.
A quick bit of work was needed to get the canopy screws in place. I drilled a small pilot hole for each, since the heads of the screws don't seem to be able to take a lot of brute force. I got these done and then was able to attached the front to the body
The one thing that was yet to be done was an item that had been on my mind
for a while. I wanted to put some sort of attachment from the upper rear mechanics,
to the fuze, but was kinda stumped on the best method. The opening that the
mechanics slide into, have maybe 35mm on each side, but then when the mechanics
are in place, the opening is about 60mm.This stopped me from using some great
50mm spacers, since I couldn't slide the mechanics into the fuze with them sticking
out!! Don't ask me how I know this.
On a day that was
forecast to be rotten, the weather suddenly started to change. When the weather
looked like it might be OK, I raced off to meet one of the guys at the field
for the big test. He is also counting the days until his fuselage kit arrives,
so he was keen to see how mine was coming along. I fuelled up the machine, did
a quick range check, and took a deep breath- started the TSK. After it was running,
I carried the Twinstar over to a good hovering area, and slowly brought up the
throttle. Then, just past mid-stick, the machine lifted off sweet and clean!
After a bit of hovering to make sure things were ok, I then started some slightly
bigger moves- some very simple circuits, that sort of thing. Very sexy.
After two tanks of fuel, I decided that I had had enough, so I landed the Twinstar and went back to my start box.
Well, it is a real buzz seeing this body in the air. Since this is just my first one, I'm kinda learning as I go, so getting this far is a great success. Next on the agenda will be getting the horizontal stabs attached (eek!), continuing the surface prep, getting a friend to trim the two main windscreens, and then getting the vertical stab attached. I have a cunning plan for the last item, if I can pull it off.
Thanks to the folks that have helped me in this episode- Greg, Darren, and Terry- three of the best guys to fly with. Stay tuned !!