There’s not much left to do to this plane. Make sure everything is sanded smooth. Round the edges of the fuselage and the wing tips. Sand the leading edge of the elevator and rudder to a V shape. Leave the trailing edges of the fin and stabilizer square. Round all the other edges of the tail surfaces. Now the plane is ready for covering film.
After you cover the whole plane it’s time to attach the fin and stabilizer. Sometimes we all get ahead of ourselves or make a mistake. This was one of those times for me. I started looking at the part of the fuselage where the stabilizer is supposed to attach, and I thought it looked kind of thin and wimpy.
So I figured it would be a good idea to add a little strip of wood to the inside edges of the fuselage sides at the stabilizer saddle. I made doublers out of 3/32 x 1/4 inch balsa strips.
That looks more like something I would glue a stabilizer to, but unfortunately it created a minor problem. The fin was shaped to allow it to fit down in the slot and sit on the horizontal stabilizer, but now the stabilizer saddle is narrow at the trailing edge, so the fin doesn’t go all the way down.
That’s because these sticks are now in the way. I hope you can see them in this photo.
There are two possible remedies for this. Either cut the fuselage doubler sticks to create a slot for the fin, or relieve the fin where it comes down to meet these doublers. I chose to trim a notch in the fin to accommodate the doubler sticks.
You can do yours either way, or if you think the fuselage is strong enough at its original thickness, don’t bother with the doublers at all. It’s up to you. At any rate, once you get everything to fit right, install the horizontal stabilizer, then apply glue to the bottom edge of the fin and fit it in the slot so it glues itself to the top of the stabilizer inside the fuselage.
Apply some thin CA to the edges where the fin goes through the slot in the top of the fuselage. Now attach the rudder and elevator with hinges.
Cut the film away from the holes where the wing rubber band dowels go through the fuselage sides.
Install the dowels with thin CA and fuel proof the protruding part if you’re using an engine.
I’m installing a Cox Texaco engine, so I found the center line of the firewall and drew a line to help get my engine centered.
Then I drilled 1/16″ holes and attached my engine using #2 self tapping screws. Sealing the holes with thin CA before installing the screws helps to keep the oil from creeping into the wood. Note that I set the propeller so it will come to rest in a horizontal position after it runs out of fuel and the wind pushes the prop against compression.
I added a little bit of right thrust by putting washers under the mounting lugs on the left side.
When I fly the plane I’ll fine tune the thrust angle. I won’t quote any specific degrees of right or down thrust here because the optimum settings are highly dependent on air speed and prop size.
The only thing left to do is install the radio. You can use whatever type of push rods you want, but I’m planning to use wooden stick type push rods. I’ve marked the projected locations of the exit slots with a Sharpie marker. I’ve placed them as far apart as possible inside the fuselage to keep them from interfering with each other.
Use whatever control horns and clevises you would normally use on an airplane this size.
Here’s what my plane looks like when it’s all put together.
As it sits with no radio it weighs 7.75 ounces. With the addition of radio gear I’m expecting final weight to be around 11 ounces. That would make the wing loading 11 ounces per square foot, as the total wing area is a square foot.
Feel free to add landing gear or some small skids to the bottom, or do belly landings in the grass.