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  1. #1

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    ECOMRC Laird-Turner LTR-14 Meteor assembly thread

    Note 1: This is an on going project, I will add update posts as I go along.

    Note 2: I started this plane about a month ago. In the review below there are many of the typical things you find wrong or need improving on an ARF. I felt this particular plane, considering it's price, had more than a resonable number of issues and/or really cheap parts. But the longer I worked on it the more I liked it. In spite of it's flaws, in the end it really is an impressive looking plane. If it flies half as good as it looks, it will be something to see.

    I just finished my H9 30cc P-47, and low and behold, my flying buddy who leaves for the summer is begging me to hold off on the maiden until he returns in September. So I put it in the back room with a sheet over it so I wouldn't be tempted. Now I needed another project to keep my mind off it. Since I have an old 3W150 lying around I decided a nice project would be the Laird-Turner LTR-14 Meteor in 95" wingspan sold by EcomRC through Troy Built Models. I intend to mount the 3W150, add smoke, a semi scale 3-blade prop, and a few other scale touches to her as I go along. This project will not be a rush, as I try to drag out July and August to make it to September. So here goes. Pros, cons and defects will be upgraded as I discover them or change my mind. You can see a video of the planes parts and features here:

    http://www.troybuiltmodels.com/items...R14-95AAF.html

    Defects (out of the box): Two of the stringer supports for the fuselage bottom were broken, the canopy was a bit warped, the cowl ring was broken, and the right side of the engine box was not properly glued and had separated. Also one of the mounting plates in a wheel pant was loose. There was a 3" cut/tear in the covering near bottom of fuselage.

    Pros:

    -Wing alignment dowels are pre-installed and long, running through two stringers for support.
    -The overall basic construction was very good, a couple of poorly glued formers here and there but overall very solid.
    -General fit of pre-installed items. All the holes for hinges, wing dowels, mounting holes (except elevator horn hoes), etc where all good and straight.
    -Plastic parts. There are a number of plastic parts to be cut out and fitted on this plane. It appears the plastic is fairly high quality, seems more soft and flexible than brittle like most are. I found it easy to cut things out and trim without breaking or cracking.
    -Carbon fiber wing and elevator tube.
    -Cowl attachment.
    -Decals. The decals that came with the plane appear to be of a much better (thinner, harder to see backing) quality that I've seen with most ARF's I've had.

    Cons:

    -The covering is very thin and tears easily, you have been warned. The plane wrinkled seriously bad after only a few hours. It continued to wrinkle after I had completely removed all existing wrinkles. The covering does seem to shrink OK with iron or gun, but required more heat than they allude too, and I'm afraid I will not get this second wrinkling out. The covering is CRAP.
    -The instructions are inadequate for anyone but an experienced builder. Measurements are wrong or missing, some instructions are incorrect, and some are just plain missing.
    -The wheels are too small and narrow.
    -The tailwheel is not scale. It is a pretty nice and sturdy design, but I am going to try and make it look more scale (more to come).
    -There is no extra covering to fix things like the tear in the covering the plane came with.
    -Hatch attachment. This plane has possibly the worst hatch attachment method i've ever seen. An M3x 16mm screw is suppose to put in through a 1/2" hole in the fuselage side that is 50mm from the screw threads. If, and it would be impossible not to, you drop the screw it falls down inside the fuselage, what crap! I improvised a 48mm sleeve to fit over a 60mm screw so it would sit flush with fuselage side when installed (see pic 9 & 10). You could also just use a really long screw so you wouldn't drop it inside. Plenty of space for it to stick into.

    While I have the time I might as well cover some of the weirdness in the instruction manual. -The manual refers to "instant type A/B" in several places, good luck with that one. -Picture 26, 27 & 28 show what I thought were two completely different ways to install the tailwheel. One is a rod into rudder, the other is pull-pull wires. It finally dawned on me the pull-pull was for the rudder; there are no external pull-pull wires for the rudder. These pictures also show the axle wire going through the wrong hole on the mounting plate. -Picture 50 & 51 show the wheel pant and wheel but give no measurement. The axle hole should be drilled 45mm above bottom of wheelpant lip. -Picture 57 shows the rediculous 16mm bolt going into the 50mm deep hole. -Picture 61 shows screws holding the cowl on. They are not screws, they are 3mm bolts.


    Arrival, Unpacking and First Impressions.

    The plane arrived by truck freight, I guess because the box was so big, about the size of a telephone booth (that gives my age away right there). It was double and triple boxed with plastic and foam sheeting covering everything. No holes in the box.

    Upon unpacking and uncovering one thing was clear. Visually, this plane is HUGE. You could put a cat or small dog in the fuselage no problem and the 3W150 will fit inside the 14" cowl just fine. That kitty litter bucket in the one picture for scale, is a 5 gal bucket. This plane is going to be very impressive at the field, and with smoke it should be awesome. You can get an idea of the size of this plane in the pics below.

    Initial impressions. The quality of construction seems fairly good. There were a few issues and you must be aware the construction is very light weight. This is not a plane you will be able to bang around either during assembly or normal handling at the field. Some areas of the smaller flight surfaces were pretty wrinkled; but overall the huge fuselage and wings were in pretty good shape. I was going to let her age a couple of days in our super hot, super dry weather before I iron her down and work on existing wrinkles, but I decided to go ahead and test the covering. It is not on a par with quality, name brand covering; for one thing it is very thin. I already poked a hole in the wing top just trying to remove an epoxy spill. The covering is very thin and easily torn. The plane also quickly wrinkled badly in our heat even though it is out of the sun. I did do a little testing of the covering on one wing and it seems to be ok. It would shrink with both the iron or the heat gun. The manual says to use low heat to get the wrinkles out. Don't know what they meant by low heat because I had to go up to 275 on my iron and also be pretty aggressive with the air gun just to get initial shrinkage. I would give the covering a D for quality, another words - crap.

    I did find a few flaws, out of the box. Two of the stringer supports for the fuselage bottom were broken, the canopy was a bit warped, the cowl ring was broken in one spot, and the right side of the engine box was not properly glued. Also one of the mounting plates in a wheel pant was loose. All these "gigs" are easily repairable or dealt with. The assembly manual is one of those typical chinglish, lots of pictures and few words, type manuals; but seems adequate for a seasoned ARF assemblier (except were they keep referring to instant A/B epoxy that is. I think they keep instant epoxy on the same shelf with canned Snipe).

    I want to put a cockpit and pilot in this plane. But that will probably have to wait until the very last step. The cockpit area is 23" behind the CG, which is right on the wing tube. Hopefully the big 3W150 will help offset this way-back cockpit. Probably one of the biggest challenges in this project will be doing a scale-like tailwheel, because what comes with the plane is a disgrace to scaleness.

    Followup to initial impressions. The ECOMRC LTR-14 is priced comparably to Hanger 9's giant scale planes. The only simularity is price. The ECOMRC plane does not have near the quality or innovative design of the Hanger 9 P-47 I just completed. ECOMRC is charging a premium price for an average product. What could have been a great plane was turned into a so-so plane by absolutely crap covering.

    Pic 1: the box.
    Pic 2: the specifications.
    Pic 3: All the parts, still wrapped, piled on the table.
    Pic 4: Cowl & wheel pants next to 5 gal bucket for scale.
    Pic 5: broken rib support.
    Pic 6: inside fuselage.
    Pic 7: bottom hinged flaps.
    Pic 8: The real LTR-14 showing main gear wheels and tailwheel scale among other things.
    Pic 9: Improvised hatch retaining screw.
    Pic10: The 48mm deep hole a 16mm screw is suppose to go in, showing a 60mm screw with spacer.
    Pic 11: Improperly glued engine box side.
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    Last edited by splais; 08-12-2013 at 07:59 AM.

  2. #2

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    RE: ECOMRC Laird-Turner LTR-14 Meteor assembly thread

    Control Surfaces, Control Horns & Linkages.

    I installed the aileron and flaps without to many problems. The holes were straight and in the right place. The flaps were hinged at the bottom edge of the flap. The control horns for both the flaps and ailerons are double fiber type. I did notice one nice thing on the wing. The alignment pins are preinstalled and mounted through two stringers, should not come loose.

    I also installed the elevator to horizontal stabilizer and installed the control horns. A BIG goof here. The holes for the fiber control horns were about twice as big as they needed to be. I installed the horns using epoxy mixed with fiberglass, filling up the over-large holes and then inserting the control horn to set. I also found that the elevator servo holes were very small and space is limited. I was going to use JR servos, but no way to get them in there or to make them fit. I ended up using Hitec HS-645MG for now because that was all I had that would fit in the holes.There is no place for the servo wire to exit so you have to enlarge a hole between the mounting screws as you can see I have done in
    Pic 3 below.

    I used SWB Turnbuckles and ball links for all linkages (pic 4), they make things sooooo easy. 5" turnbuckles on flaps, 5.5" on the ailerons, and 3.5" on the elevators.

    Wheels, Wheel Pants and Plastic Parts.

    The mounting plate on one of my wheel pants had come off in shipping but was easy to epoxy back in place. A couple of issues with the wheels and pants. The mounting plates in the wheel pants are mounted too high up in the pant to allow much adjustment on how much wheel protrudes from the pant. With the stock wheel that is about 1/2". Not much for a grass or rough field. In my opinion the wheels are too small (5.2" x 1.2"), both in diameter and thickness. It's clear from the picture of the real LTR-14 in my first post that the wheels are larger than those in the kit. I have ordered some 6" x 1.5" Dubro scale wheels that will look and fit much better.

    There are also no measurements provided for where to drill the axle holes in the wheel pants. I found centered left to right in the wheel well hole and 45mm above the bottom edge of the pant is just right. The instructions also show drilling through both sides of wheel pant and mounting hex head axle from outside in. I did not drill the outside of these beautiful wheelpants. I cut the head off the axle bolt and used wheel collars to position the wheel and a two nuts to hold axle to wheelpant and gear strut. It was a tight fit but did it even with the large 6x1.5" wheel.

    Cowl Mounting.

    Pic 7 & 8 show the cowl mounting points you need to epoxy to the front of the fuselage. The manual does not even address this, but it is pretty obvious it needs to be done. The cowl is pre-drilled for 3mm screws and everything lined up and fit. They did forget to drill one hole, but the other five lined up perfectly. While I was glueing these brackets on I went ahead and also repaired the two broken stringer supports in the fuselage. The cowl is huge and beautiful. The six point mounting system seems to hold it very firm and steady. This cowl has a huge amount of air venting around the fuselage you can see in Pic 9; enough that I will not have to cut any exit holes in the bottom of the cowl for hot air to escape. I will eventually paint the mounting blocks, control horns and linkages to match covering.

    Pic 1: Way to large holes for elev control horn.
    Pic 2: what the aileron, elevator & flap control horns look like.
    Pic 3: Elongated hole for elevator servo wire.
    Pic 4: Linkages.
    Pic 5: The stock 5.5x1" wheel in wheelpant.
    Pic 6: The Dubro 6x1.5" wheel
    Pic 7: The axle 45mm up.
    Pic 8 & 9: Big gorgeous wheels & pants
    Pic 10 & 11: Cowl mounting points installed.
    Pic 12: The cowl vent space.
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    Last edited by splais; 08-10-2013 at 06:09 PM.

  3. #3

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    RE: ECOMRC Laird-Turner LTR-14 Meteor assembly thread

    Rivets & Panel Lines.

    The LTR-14 had several different size rivets and screws. The front half of the plane was aluminum sheets, but eveything from the cockpit back and the wing and control surfaces was doped linen for the most part except for inspection panels and support structure. Part of the cowl has rather large raised screws; most of the rest are rather small flat rivets. I used three different sizes of Chad Veich's lazer cut vinyl rivets. For the screws, I added a drop of Pacer 560 applied with a syringe and very small tip I got from Horizon Hobby. It worked very well.

    For this plane I used a Top Flite Panel Line pen to draw the panel lines. After the fact I did not like it. In fact, I hated it, it was a HUGE mistake, it made the panel lines much too dark. On my last plane I misted the plane with dull clear and drew the panel lines with a #2 pencil; a far superior method that looks much better.

    Propeller.

    I am going to use a Xoar 28x12x3 wood prop for now. It was in near perfect balance. I sanded it and painted it to scale colors. Red on the back side, silver on the front with Hamilton decals, clear coated the whole thing and low and behold it came out in near perfect balance again - pure luck.

    Air Intake Scoops.

    The Meteor has air scoops above and below the leading edge of each wing and another scoop jst behind the cowl top. None of these scoops are included on this model. After much head scratching I came up with the idea to cut down and paint scoops cut out of sink drain elbows you can see the results in Pic 9 & 10. I painted them with Rustoleum Aluminum which is an excellent match to the covering. I used 1-1/4" J-bend sink traps and squished them in a vise after heating them with a hot air gun. Sanded with 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper and paint.

    Pic 1: The syringe for making humped rivets and screws.
    Pic 2,3 & 4: Shows the panel lines and two differnet types of rivets referred to above.
    Pic 5: Stock Xoar prop.
    Pic 6: Red painted face (back) of the prop.
    Pic 7: Silver painted back (front) of the prop. Don't you just love trying to figure out prop nomemclature.
    Pic 8: The vinyl rivets I used from Chad Veich (email: cwveich@cwvmodels.com ).
    Pic 9 & 10: The top fuselage and one side intake scoop.
    Pic 11: the pipe I cut them out of.
    Pic 12: All the cut out parts partially painted.
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    Last edited by splais; 08-10-2013 at 06:10 PM.

  4. #4

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    RE: ECOMRC Laird-Turner LTR-14 Meteor assembly thread

    Well for some reason it will not let me edit...more to come later.

  5. #5

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    RE: ECOMRC Laird-Turner LTR-14 Meteor assembly thread

    Cowl Ring.

    After test mounting the engine I found that it did not matter where you put the interior cowl ring. I found the best fit was 3" in from back edge of the cowl. In the picture you can see two marks where the manual says to put the ring. It will not fit there, way too much space. The cowl is tapered and is larger at the front then in the back by fuselage. I used West Systems Six10 epoxy. An excellent epoxy that does not sag.


    Engine Mounting.

    The engine box on this plane really sticks out there. On top of that it was not properly positioned and glued in a couple of places. The 3W150 is pretty big hanging out there and just barely fit the firewall. I reinforced it in several places. The firewall is also thin and appears to be made from only 2-ply plywood. I doubled up the mounting points with aircraft grade ply and epoxied it all on with West Systems Six10 epoxy. The engine box has servo mounting holes in six different places, the two on the bottom lined up perfectly for the throttle and choke servos. The cowl is soooo big, there will be no holes in it except for the exhaust stacks which happen to stick out in the exact same location as on the real Meteor. This engine has two ignition units and they are mounted on the right and left side of the engine box.

    I did hit one snag with the engine mounting. The muffler for the rear cylinder hits the corner of the engine box. I have 5/8" spacers on the engine and I will have to notch the engine box corner about 1/2x1/2x3/4".

    While the cowl is huge, when you add the cowl ring and those spark plugs sticking straight out of the 150 twin heads and the two muffler pipes, well, things get a little tight when tryingto put the cowl on. I had to cut down the exhaust stacks 1/2". Now came the really fun part - cutting holes for the exhaust pipes. I spent nearly two hours on this and still managed to screw it up a little. Measuring over and over, cutting just a little bit here and there, constantly taking the mufflers clear off - you get the picture. With the perfectly round cowl, six mounting points, and the two pipes sticking down it was not easy get things in the exact spot for minimum cutting. I did get the holes cut out, but I still need to remove the sparkplug caps to get the cowl on or off. Luckily there is room in there right to do it.

    I do not know if I am going to be able to put a dummy engine in the front of the cowl, things are very tight in that area. I also can't remove the sparkplug caps with a dummy engine. This will have to wait for additional thinking.

    Fuel and Smoke Systems.

    I am mounting a smoke system on this plane. Two Dubro 20oz tanks fit perfectly on the tray just in front of the wing tube. The Sullivan Skywriter smoke pump is mounted directly below the tank, there is lots of space in this plane. The vent tubes for both smoke and fuel tanks come out the bottom of fuselage in the same location as drain tubes on the actual Meteor. I was at a loss for a place to put the fill lines for smoke and gas tank. I ended up hiding a bracket just inside the cowl at the 2 and 10 o'clock positions. Hides them as best you can.

    Electronics.

    The fuselage is so wide I am going to install the Power Expander Pro and two A123 batteries all on a tray above the fuel tank. It is removeable, and depending on CG it can slide anywhere along the inside of the fuselage between firewall and cockpit. This plane has split ailerons, split flaps, split elevators, rudder, throttle, optical kill, smoke and a choke servo. Thats 9 servos plus two additional channels



    Pic 1: The open spaces at recommended 6” position.
    Pic 2: The cowl ring mounting at 3".
    Pic 3: Reinforced inside firewall.
    Pic 4: Fuel & smoke fluid tank mounting (2x20oz)
    Pic 5: Removeable tray for Rx and batteries.
    Pic 6: All the electronics mounted.
    Pic 7: Left side of engine showing throttle linkage.
    Pic 8: Right side with muffler and ignition.
    Pic 9: Close view of engine, prop & cowl.
    Pic 10: Side view showing muffler, top air scoop and prop spacing from cowl.
    Pic 11: Throttle and choke setup.
    Pic 12: How I mounted smoke and gas fill line.
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    Last edited by splais; 08-10-2013 at 06:13 PM.

  6. #6

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    RE: ECOMRC Laird-Turner LTR-14 Meteor assembly thread

    Picture #1 below shows the up side down bottom of the engine box/fuselage with the throttle and choke servos and how I ran the fuel and smoke fluid vents.

    A note about the choke servo install. It is not possible to use a servo with the stock location of the choke servo arm. It rotates up and down facing forward, toward the prop. The angles are wrong for attaching a servo. I filed down the compressed end of the choke rod and removed the stock arm. I then mounted a drilled out nose gear steering arm on the shaft at an angle that allowed use of a servo as shown in picture 2 below.

    Rudder & Elevator.

    Mounting the elevator was straight forward with no issues, almost. I did need to cut 1/2" off the too long carbon fiber elevator tube; and the bolt mounting holes were drilled all out of alignment. The rudder has no external control lines. Both the rudder and the tailwheel are operated by the same bent wire contraption inside the fuselage. This 3mm wire sticks up through the fuselage and then is bent over 90 degrees and is suppose to be epoxied into the rudder. If you ever needed to remove the rudder or tailwheel this could be a real mess. I found that 4mm brass tubing was a perfect fit sleeve over the 3mm wire. I epoxied a length of the 4mm tubing into the rudder. The 3mm rudder/tailwheel wire just sticks into it. If I ever need to remove either the rudder or tailwheel, it is now no sweat (see pic 3).

    Cowl Repair.

    As careful as I was, I still had to hackup the cowl pretty bad to get the holes in the right place. To fix the problem I used a picture I found of the cowl bottom on the real Meteor, what a life saver. The area around the exhaust stacks is an aluminum panel. I found a sheet of hard stock aluminum paper at Michaels, cut out the proper size holes for the exhaust, trimmed to size and glued it down with 3M spray exhesive to cover the cowl hole mess. I then added rivets and screws to finish the look.



    Failsafe Switch.

    I installed the Power Expander Pro Failsafe Switch just behind the left wing. This is the only switch/recepticle in the fuselage.


    Covering (followup).

    The following comments have been added two weeks after I received the plane and after any previous comments concerning the covering. The covering on this plane is CRAP. I have ironed and hot air gunned the entire plane twice. The first time it took 250-275 degrees to get the wrinkles out. After a few days it had completely wrinkled again BADLY. The plane has not been out in the sun. The second time it took 300+ degrees, but would not get A LOT of the wrinkles out. I got desperate after an iron wasn't helping and turned to my heat gun again. Yes I had used it the first time around. Today I managed to get about 90% of the pictured wrinkling out but extreme measures where required. I had to use the gun at it's hottest setting and use it around 1/4-1/2" above the surface. The plane is still not perfect; not even finished yet; and there is no more shrinkage left in it - we will see where this goes.



    Pic 1: Fuel & smoke fluid vents, plus throttle & choke servos.
    Pic 2: The reconstructed choke lever.
    Pic 3: The brass rod sleeve for rudder control rod
    Pic 4: What cowl looked like after crude attempt at proper hole placement.
    Pic 5: The bottom of real Meteor showing exhaust plate.
    Pic 6: The panel I fabricated with rivets
    Pic 7: The holes I fixed as seen from inside cowl.
    Pic 8: Failsafe switch behind left wing.
    Pic 9-12: The covering mess I had to deal with.
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    Last edited by splais; 08-10-2013 at 06:14 PM.

  7. #7

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    RE: ECOMRC Laird-Turner LTR-14 Meteor assembly thread

    A note on the dummy engine. I have tried everything, cutting it down, removing the prop shaft, all to no avail. The 3W150 is just too big and too close to the cowl, so no dummy engine. I did paint the inside of the cowl flat black and all the bare wood parts around the engine box flat grey so you can't really see anything but the engine. It doesn't look too bad.

    Landing Gear.

    Installing the landing gear was an easy six bolt install; especially since all the holes lined up perfectly. The landing gear cover and fairing for struts were kind of a pain. The instructions called for two sided tape for the fairings and screws for the cover. I used Pacer 560 on them both instead. The whole setup is kind of a lazy answer to covering the gear mounting plate. The cover is only supported at the front and back. At the sides it just butts up against the strut fairing. Things do not line up very well. I have seen much better looking landing gear covers. A balsa sheeted structure that sat down inside opening would have been a much better way to go.

    Upscaling the landing gear.

    I decided to try and upscale the look of the stock landing gears bare aluminum. I started by gluing two 3" x 3/8" thick balsa sheets together and then trimming them to fit the strut. I did this for both inner and outer sides of the gear. I found half round stock that fit the leading and trailing edge perfectly. I'm going to try just gluing the half round to the front and rear edges and letting the main pieces float. Haven't decided yet if I am going to cover or paint them.

    Tailwheel.

    The tailwheel is not even close to scale. I was planning to completely redo the tailwheel in a more scale fashion, but this will have to wait for now. So here goes with the stock install. I'll leave it to you to decide if this tailwheel assembly is ingenious or a stupid contraption. Well maybe it's an ingenious contraption. It was difficult to get the wire tailwheel through the fuselage. You need to lengthen the hole that lets the wire get out to the rudder to about 3/4" long (left to right) and 1/8β" wide. It's the only way to get that bent wire through the hole. The other option would be to wait and bent the wire after getting it through the hole.

    Almost nothing in the tailwheel assembly lined up. The mounting plate hole where misaligned with the pre-installed blind nuts and the cover didn't fit the fuslage. I elongated all three holes in the mounting plate and cut wood out of the interior back rear end of cover plate to get it all to go together. The whole thing is just a misaligned mess that you will have to tweak to put together. The concept was brilliant; the execution terrible. Is this not the ugliest cheesiest tailwheel you ever saw on what is, otherwise, a beautiful plane.


    Pic 1: The landing gear cover and strut fairings.
    Pic 2: The stock gear.
    Pic 3: The pieces for gear sleeves.
    Pic 4 & 5: The sleeves in place.
    Pic 6: The finished product yet to be covered.
    Pic 7: Parts for tailwheel.
    Pic 8: Misaligned exit hole.
    Pic 9: Dorkiest tailwheel on a $1000 airplane I've ever seen.
    Pic 10: The two piece Robart hinge points with retaining wire for removable rudder.
    Pic 11: She is coming along.
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    Last edited by splais; 08-10-2013 at 06:16 PM.

  8. #8

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    I've been gone for a couple of weeks and am waiting for graphics before I get final picks. I have also decided to go with the stock tailwheel for now. I did include a couple of pics of the work I started on a more scale version.


    Cockpit.


    I finished work on a cockpit for the Meteor. The real Meteor had a pretty spartan cockpit. A seat, a stick, a few gauges and that was about it. I'm scratchbuilding a simple cockpit and using a pilot I already had with pieces cut out of balsa. The cockpit does not interfere with anything so I just epoxied the whole thing in. The cockpit area in the model is nowhere near scale in appearance. It would have taken major surgery to make it so; so my cockpit is my version of a simple cockit &pilot.


    I made the cover for the opening at the front of the turtle deck with 1/16” ply. I made the sides of the cockpit with 1/8” balsa, and the floor with 1/8” ply. The instrument panel was an old one I just had lying around. I also cut the center out of the seat base because I suspect the plane is going to be nose heavy and this is an excellent place for added weight if I need it. The backrest is 3/16” balsa




    Landing GearWrap-up.


    Sprayed the gear with several coats of Duplicolor Filler Primer and final color coat of Duplicolor topcoat. The results was not very good. I needed to sand and seal much more than I did before painting; ended up covering the gear struts with monokote I had that was a close match in color. It looks much nicer.


    Scale Tailwheel.


    I started work on a scale-looking tailwheel but have postponed the project tell later in the year. I am cutting and shaping a tailwheel housing out of a block of balsa. The actual tailwheel will take some welding and critical bending to get right. We will see how this goes later.




    Aircraft Setup (Part I).


    As I suspected the CG came out way nose heavy with the 3W150. I solved the problem by relocation all three 2200mah A123 batteries back to just in front of rudder servo. I also had to add 7oz of lead to the cavity I made below the pilots seat. This has put my CG around 5.5-6 inches from wing leading edge.

    I hated the panel lines the Top Flite Panel Line Pen made, way too dark. I removed them all with alcohol and will replace them with pencil lines as soon as my graphics get here and I can put on a layer of flat clear.

    Pic 1: The cockpit area out of the box.
    Pic 2: The cockpit assembled and painted.
    Pic 3: The pilot as soon as I find a helmet.
    Pic 4: Painting gear.
    Pic 5: The gear and a piece of balsa after I gave it three coats of sealer, two coats of primer and then painted.
    Pic 6: Relocation of Rx batteries.
    Pic 7: 7oz of lead under pilot seat.
    Pic 8 & 9: Starting to make custom tailwheel and housing out of balsa block, piano wire and old forked tailwheel



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    Last edited by splais; 08-09-2013 at 08:54 PM.

  9. #9

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    I ground tested the 3W150 for the first time today. All I can say is WOW. This thing is going to be a beast. I had forgotten just how much power these 150's have. It is going to be impossible to keep the plane stopped at idle without holding it, it has that much pull with the 28x12x3 prop. I also tested the smoke system and it is going to be really impressive. Pictured below is my new pilot, he is actually a 1/4 scale modified bust with legs and much better looking than the 12" figure I had.


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  10. #10
    flartz's Avatar
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    Is that slightly insane smile on his face because he already knows about the power of the 3W150? Thanks for all the detailed information and photos. Very interesting. Sean

  11. #11

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    I'm still waiting for graphics before final pictures and maiden flight. In the mean time, I found these neat 6mm wing bolts sold at the website below. I epoxied the threaded studs into the wing root blind nuts. The large, easy to turn knobs have rubber washers for a nice tight non-slip grip. The plane, stock, comes with steel 6mm bolts that would need locktite every use. On my plane they started to come loose almost immediately without some kind of thread locker.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Secraft-RC-S...-/261221684478


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  12. #12

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    I have finally finished my LTR-14. Got a little more work to go on the clear coat; but other than that she has been ground tested and is ready for her maiden flight in the next week or two - smoke and a 3W150, should be interesting.

    Final note on covering. I did get most of the wrinkles out one more time. It required my heat gun being on the highest setting and using the gun within 1/4" of the covering, sometimes 5-10 seconds in a single spot. Can't believe I managed to do this without burning a hole in it.

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    Last edited by splais; 08-23-2013 at 08:37 PM.

  13. #13
    flartz's Avatar
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    Looks good. Well done. Sean

  14. #14

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    This is a walk around video of the completed LTR-14. I should have the maiden flight video in a couple of weeks.


  15. #15

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    Well, I finally got the maiden flight in today. It was interest to say the least. The good news is it flew, didn't crash and nothing really serious broke. The plane flies great, basically. Especially considering we flew the last part of the flight with only half an elevator (servo arm came loose)! We also had a flap hinge beak loose just prior to flight and had to repair that. This big engine is way more power than the plane needs, but she seemed to handle it OK. I am going to have to put some more right thrust in her for sure. She needed a lot right rudder in flight to fly straight and her takeoff was a bit squirrelly. Also going to pin all three hinges on each flap. The plane needs a lot of rudder. Think this is partly the design and partly the oversize engine. The stock rudder setup is too loose and imprecise. Going to try stronger/thicker pull-pull wires. If that doesn't work going to have to run a normal rudder pull-pull vice the stock contraption running off the tailwheel wire. Try to get a future better quality video.

    Last edited by splais; 09-28-2013 at 03:28 PM.

  16. #16

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    after much consideration we decided the rudder was totally inadequate for the 3W150. It had no authority and was way too sloppy with the stock setup there was a lot of torsional play in that weak stock wire that connects the tailwheel, rudder and interior pull-pull arm that does not connect directly to rudder. I disconnected the stok system and installed a direct pull-pull to rudder. The tailwheel is still steered by the stock wire link between rudder and tailwheel

    Installing a direct rudder pull-pull was much easier than I expected. Quit simple actually. I cut an 1/8" slit 1.5" aboce elevator and 3.5" back from rudder hinge line. Used a long 1/8" drill to cut a hole in just one former. Used a long piece of piano wire as a guide and threaded the pull-pull wire through the fuselage. It was a direct shot straight from rudder to stock servo location with no issues. The rudder is now rock solid.

  17. #17
    DeeCee 57's Avatar
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    Thanks splais
    Just acquired the same airframe locally, will be powered by a Moki S 150...
    Appreciate all info you gave about subject airplane: what a beauty she is
    DeeCee

    Life's short... - Enjoy!

  18. #18

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    If you over power the plane you will need an additional 1/8" right thrust. The plane flies beautifully and is really impressive with smoke.

  19. #19

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    The following is another approach a gentlemen made to the LTR-14 rudder/tailwheel assembly.

    "Here are some pictures of my tail gear/rudder modifications on the Turner.
    I am using an individual servo for the rudder and tail gear with 2/56 control rods. Rock solid control! I like different servos so I can tune down the tail gear and still have lots of rudder action. This way the tail gear doesn't make the plane so squirrelly on the runway.
    I had to mount the servos back a little due to the length of the 2/56 rods (36 inch).
    The control horn on the rudder turned out very nice, looks very clean. I am pleased with the look and function.
    I also did a modification on the hatch latch. I'll send you some pics of that too."

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    Last edited by splais; 11-08-2013 at 06:47 AM.

  20. #20
    fredo's Avatar
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    Great looking plane! Do you think moki 150 radial would be too much engine for this?

  21. #21
    DeeCee 57's Avatar
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    splais, any more flights, reports or even videos on your beauty?
    (haven't even started on mine yet, too many other projects, indoor stuff etc)
    DeeCee

    Life's short... - Enjoy!

  22. #22

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    fredo, the plane is rated for gas 80cc, not familiar with the Moki 150. My 3W150 way over powers the plane, but it seems to handle it just fine although most of my flying is at half throttle. I did reinforce the engine box and have had to locktite every nut and bolt. The cowl mounting system is weak. Their is a lot of flex in them, the mounting blocks will come loose. I ended up putting pieces of 1/2" square blocks behind them. A couple still came loose. Then I drilled trough the mounting blocks into the support blocks I installed and epoxied in 3/16" dowel, that seems to have fixed it.

    DeeCee, the LTR is doing just fine, she is a joy to fly. The side by side 32oz fuel and smoke tanks has worked out very well. I have had a time getting a good video. The guy I let fly her while i video has been out of town. I am going to try again next Saturday to finally get a good smoke video of her.

  23. #23
    DeeCee 57's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Splais.
    Haven't had time to start on mine... too many a project, no enough the time

    Looking forward to further in flight vids, not only are those pleasant to the eye, but there is a wealth of infos about how the aircraft flies to be gleaned from
    DeeCee

    Life's short... - Enjoy!


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