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Raptor Tail

Posted by Tom Benedict on 08/04/2013

Still no pictures of my new glider under construction, but they’re coming soon.

In the mean time I finished the tail on the Raptor, fitted the tail servos inside the fuselage, and ran the control linkages. I finished the linkages this morning before heading to work.

All of this has been happening when time is available. I don’t have a lot of room in my house to work on this plane (or the next two, which are on the way!) so at the end of each work session I break everything back down and stick it back in the box. This has worked fine up ’till now, but last night I ran into a snafu.

I fitted the servos, control rod guides, and rods for the tail control surfaces, but hen I had to go to bed. The untrimmed control rods were poking out the back of the fuselage by more than a foot! But until I fitted the tail and installed the control horns, I couldn’t trim the rods to length. No way was it going to fit in the box with the rods poking out the back. Nor could I leave it on the table. That’s where we eat breakfast! So I did the only reasonable thing: I stuck the fuselage in my kite bag. Hey, it fit!

But immediately after breakfast this morning I pulled it out and finished the job. The tail on this plane is removable, and once trimmed to length the control rods and fuselage fit in the original shipping box. So I’m back to being able to put everything away at the end of a work session, and my kite bag is back to being just a kite bag.

The next step is to install all the servos in the wings. The Raptor comes with servo extensions pre-installed in the wings for the ailerons, and with pull strings to thread the flap servo wires through the wing structure. Only problem: the wires on the Turnigy servos I’m using are too short for the flap wires to reach, and the combination of servo wire and servo extension is too long for the ailerons. Ugh! So I’m going to do what I’ve done with most of my KAP rigs: make custom servo wires!

Years ago I picked up a crimp tool and a couple of gauges of servo wire from Servo City. For anyone messing with servos, this is a really really good idea. It lets you make custom servo wires, build your own Y-adapters, make custom servo extensions, etc. I like my KAP rig wire runs to be neat, and to minimize weight in the air. It’s a pretty simple matter to install the servo in the KAP rig, remove the back cover, and run a custom cable length to the radio. Put the back cover back on, and it looks like the servo came that way.

I’m planning to do the same with the Raptor. The idea is to tape the servos in place and install unterminated servo wires a couple of inches longer than I think I’ll need. Once the servos are installed in the wings, I’ll cut the cables to the precise length I want and crimp on the servo connectors (also available from Servo City). That way there’s no more and no less than the wire needed, and no chance of a servo extension coming loose in the wing.

So I’m about one evening’s work away from reaching my first real stopping point on this plane. Until the radio, speed controller, and propeller arrive, there’s not much more I can do.

Actually, there is one thing: I’m installing a system of pulleys in my room so I can hang these planes from the ceiling. When I want to actually fly one (why on earth would I want to do that?!) I can uncleat the line holding that plane up, and lower it. Then I won’t have to put the plane away in its box each time I finish working on it! YAY!

– Tom



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