Another ‘project’

While I’m still building the Thunderbolt, I figured I need a new challenge in terms of flying and I would also like to fly a bigger plane than the ones I own right now. Due to being busy in other areas, the Thunderbolt may take a while to get finished, so I decided to buy an ARF for the upcoming flying season. In addition to my under construction warbird, I opted for an aerobatic civilian plane: the Hangar 9 Christen Eagle II 90. Power will be electric.

Yesterday most of the parts arrived. I now have the airframe, prop (APC 17x8E), ESC (Hacker MasterSPIN 80), batteries (2 sets of 2x 4S 4000 mAh 35C Turnigy nano-tech packs), receiver (Graupner HOTT GR-12) and all battery connectors. The motor (e-Flite Power 90) is in backorder and will join the party in a few weeks. I still need to pick the servos, but they ought to be digital and high-torque.

Upon opening the box of the plane I was in for my first surprise. Not only had the pilot become loose, it also smashed both dashboards. It is a common issue with this kit, that the pilot tends to come loose, because oddly enough, Horizon glues the pilot onto the covering inside the cockpit with only a few drops of glue, instead of gluing it to the wood underneath the Oracover. So I was prepared to secure the pilot from beneath with some screws, but it turned out to be a little worse than expected:

  • The pilot came loose, and..
  • … tore off some covering,
  • … knocked out the middle dash,
  • … slammed into and completely punctured the front dash,
  • … made lots of scratches on the inside of the canopy with the paint of his helmet.

And since the canopy is glued on already, everything inside the cockpit is hard to reach, let alone glue or fix. But tonight I took a shot at it and enjoyed myself as if I was building a ship in a bottle, working only through some small holes on the sides. I patiently removed all scratched with a damp cloth on a small stick, removed the covering under the pilot as well as the little snips around the base of the pilot, painted all bare wood black to cover up the missing covering and removed some glue patches on the inside of the canopy while I was at it. I then glued the pilot back in place with some 30-minute epoxy and also found a way to re-attach the middle dash: I put some drops of contact glue in the corners of the dash and on the corners of the intended location, shifted the dash to the right spot on two skewers acting like some rails and, when the contact glue cured for about ten minutes, removed the screwers and pressed the dash into position. Everything worked out great. Tomorrow I will glue in the front dash with white glue and I will also secure the pilot with some screws from beneath.

As you can see, we’re almost good to go again and if I am ready with the cockpit I will clear out some space in the workshop and start following the supplied instructions.