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Windex 1200C RC Glider

This all balsa wood Windex 1200C Glider was featured in the August 2001 issue of Model Airplane News. With my soaring interests, the construction article caught my eye and in no time I was discussing the plans with my new found friends at the local hobby shop. There was much excitement in the air down there. Before the day was over, balsa wood and other supplies, including a new 6 channel computer radio set, a JR XF631 with 3 micro servos and an Electrifly C-10 electronic speed control (to control the electric motor) followed me home. (Click images for larger views) Windex 1200C RC glider
Feb 11, 2002 fuselage construction After some minor changes to the plan, the fuselage parts were cut from sheet balsa and have found their place on the construction table. Here is a view of the first stages of the fuselage assembly.
The fuselage assembly is now planked, rudder mounted and nose block glued on. Fairing the rudder to fuselage and shaping the nose are next. Notice the marking for wing cutout and canopy separation. The idea is to carefully cut the formers where the canopy joins the main fuselage. Note: The edges of the planks were not glued at the separation line, making the process easier. Precision on the plank joint lines adds to the satisfaction level of the project. A little extra time, and balsa wood to rework mistakes, are well worth the small investment. Here is a view of the complete fuselage assembly. (Click images for larger views). Feb 16, 2002 fuselage complete

A piece of 1/64" birch plywood is rolled and glued into a tube with a 1/32" wall thickness. This forms the motor mounting nacelle and attaches to the rudder high enough so the folding propeller clears the fuselage. A string to pull the wires from the rudder to the electric motor controller in the forward fuselage area is already in place within the rudder and fuselage. Note: So the folding prop, a Graupner 6x3" (15x8 cm) with spinner clears the rudder and fuselage, the motor nacelle must be mounted about 1/4" higher and forward than indicated on the plan.

"Gold-N-Cable" (#514) flexible control rod sets are routed through the fuselage from the servo tray area to the elevator and rudder control surfaces, and show as yellow tubes in the photo. These control cables come with two matching clevises, so one #514 Gold-N-Cable can be cut and accommodate both the rudder and elevator control surfaces with a little tubing left over. I plan to build two wings, one without ailerons and 4" dihedral at each wingtip, and one with servo controlled ailerons and a flatter dihedral (1.5"). A second #514 Gold-N-Cable is just long enough for the ailerons.

The surplus piece of "Gold-N-Cable" tube (left over from the elevator and rudder) was routed through the fuselage to top of rudder to receive the antenna wire. Thus it will be easy to share the radio receiver with other models and fish the antenna wire in place. An elevator to rudder fairing piece attaches to the top of the rudder. The antenna wire will exit this mount just below the elevator control surface where it should not interfere with the rudder or elevator controls. I'll post a detail photo when the time comes.

Feb 25, 2002 fuselage & elevator This view shows the fuselage nose sanded into shape and the canopy (foreground) separated from fuselage. The elevator pieces are glued together in the background. I modified the elevator ribs from flat to double airfoil similar to rudder airfoil. This requires a modification in the elevator to rudder mount. Also, four small 1/8" thick gussets are glued in to accept four small #118 Du-bro nylon hinges. Two of the same size hinges are used in the rudder.

Mar 4, 2002 wing & fuselage Wing fabrication begins with bottom sheeting being laid on plan (over waxed paper). The lower main spar followed by the wing ribs are then glued to the sheeting. The leading edge is then glued in place followed by the top spar. The root ribs are not glued into place as they must be cut to accommodate the dihedral brace, the next step in this view. Afterwards, the leading edge must be sanded to conform to the curve of the ribs prior to attachment of the top sheeting, which lays ready in foreground.

The completed fuselage is shown in the background with elevator, motor nacelle with folding prop mounted. Control surfaces are hinged. The elevator will be glued in place after covering it and fuselage with Monokote.

Mar 5, 2002 ready for Monokote A day later, the top sheeting is on the first wing and entire model is ready for covering with Monokote. I lost count of the number of hours required to construct this airplane, however only a few evenings are necessary. I lost some time to day-dreaming along the way, and breaks to fly the simulator. A real sense of accomplishment is taking hold now.

Now for a color scheme. Perhaps this will take a few days more. I have some ideas, but I want to do some sketches first. Be patient. It's blowing snow outside, with the weather turning colder for a few days.

Windex 1200C RC glider And, what you have been waiting for... the completed model in the chosen color scheme. Yup, those are Canadian Maple Leafs on the wings. After all, she was scratch built, right here in Canada!

Next model? Something a bit more rugged to withstand my learning curve may be in order, like a smaller park flier. Again, it will be a scratch-built project. I may even build something similar to a Zagi wing also. Who knows? The objective is to enjoy the construction, which I am.

Windex 1200C Radio check
First a quick radio check prior to hand launch.
Windex 1200C in flight
...and off she flies!
Windex 1200C Low Pass
A low pass at local NVRCFC field 6/22/2002
Windex 1200C straight & level
Close up at local NVRCFC field 6/22/2002

June, 2002, modifications: A new wing with ailerons and flaps was constructed using carbon fiber on the spars and leading edge prior to covering. Nelson Lite Film was used on the wing and stabilizer, replacing Monokote. Weight savings due to covering film change offsets weight gain of three wing servos (two Hitec HS-55 for ailerons and one Hitec HS-81 for flaps using landing gear switch). The battery, ESC and motor fuse were re-located as far forward as possible. ESC was changed to a C-20 with brake as the C-10 allowed the folding prop to freewheel and not fold, causing extra drag. Now the prop folds when throttling back and thermal performance is greatly improved. The aileron servos are connected to channels 2 and 6 on the JR R-700 receiver and use "flaperon" mix. I have set the flap switch to reflex the ailerons upward when activated, allowing for crow mix (flaps down, ailerons up) when both gear and flap switches are activated. This is about the best I can do with the JR XF-631 radio I currently have. Gee, is an XP-8103 in my near future? ;-)

Learning to fly RC? Flying Model Simulator by Roman & Michael Moller is an excellent excellent! program. Building a simple parallel port interface was a snap and allows me to use my JR transmitter to experience numerous RC flying models, rain or shine, from my desk top. No broken balsa, shattered radios, or tree to climb.

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Last Updated: September 3, 2003.

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