Keil Kraft Piper Super Cruiser

This project has dragged on to say the least. Started in June 2009 and now, after nearly 2 years, it is ready for its maiden in May 2011. Lets just say that having a baby and going into hospital yourself a couple of times tends to take its toll on your free time!

This started out as a impulse purchase from a antique shop in Ventnor, originally designed as small IC or rubber powered free flight. I fancied having a go at converting to Electric power with 2 channel RC.

Its my first build of anything bigger or more complex than the Frog RedWing and as a result I made some mistakes along the way but also I’ve learnt a lot.

  • It has a slightly out of true fuselage, I must spend more time when joining the halves and possibly invest in a jig.
  • I remember as a kid not being successful at accurately bending wire, I still cannot it seems. In future I will take the time to make a proper jig for any wire I need to bend.
  • Litespandoesn’t shrink much! But on the whole I found covering with it to be an enjoyable experience.

It is as complete as it needs to be for a maiden flight. Only decorative trim is missing, which I’m happy to omit for the first few flights.

I’ll write some more once it has flown, but until then; onto the next project!

 October 2011 Update

So I finally got round to flying this, it was a short and eventful flight! I knew it was a little tail heavy but , but only 1/4″ or so behind the indicated CoG on the plan. I figured it might be a bit of a handful but with the large elevator I thought I would be able to manage it. How wrong I was, quite an exciting minute or so followed after a hand launch, eventually ending with her coming in hard from about 20′ up.

Amazingly the damage was slight, the planked cowl I took so long over was smashed, the prop had gone and the motor mount had sheered off the firewall. One wing had a chunk out of the LE and a couple of the fuselage longerons had suffered. In all honesty I could have repaired it, perhaps I should have repaired it, but I decided to rip out the electronics and bin the airframe.

It had annoyed me ever since I noticed I’d built a banana of a fuselage and then to compound it my dodgy wire bending left it with a wonky undercarriage. She was a wrong ‘un from the word go!  The poor thing sat around my office getting bumped around whenever it was in the way; very much un-loved, so now its gone. Onto the next thing!

Gallery

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