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General Aircraft: Tips & Techniques
Discussions on specific A/C building techniques.
Weights in noses
jphillips
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Arizona, United States
Joined: February 25, 2007
KitMaker: 1,066 posts
AeroScale: 214 posts
Posted: Monday, March 31, 2008 - 08:02 PM UTC
Hi Guys,
I've always built my model planes "in flight", and hung them from my ceiling, but I think I want to start building some of them "gear down" and putting them on shelves. Can someone please tell me, what should I use to weigh down the noses in the "tail sitters"?
JollyRoger
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Istanbul, Turkey / Türkçe
Joined: December 22, 2004
KitMaker: 1,241 posts
AeroScale: 616 posts
Posted: Monday, March 31, 2008 - 08:52 PM UTC
Hi, you can use anything heavy to use minimum space. Lead is preferable. You can use shotgun pallets or small fishing weights. I use spare parts of metal minies alot. A personal tip, don't care what the assambly guide says always chechk the nose geared(I don't know the correct term) aircraft simply by dryfiting and balancing on your fingers from where the rear gears will be. If it falls forewards, no problem, if it goes to the back side load the buger:}
Bigskip
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: June 27, 2006
KitMaker: 2,487 posts
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Posted: Monday, March 31, 2008 - 09:06 PM UTC
Fishing weights stuck in with pva or cyano glue works for me - i tend to use the smaller sizes. other options are lead solder or miliput.

I follow the rule - if in doubt, load it up.

Andy
lampie
#029
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: December 23, 2005
KitMaker: 6,249 posts
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Posted: Monday, March 31, 2008 - 09:29 PM UTC
Lead solder for me,pushed into blue tac.

Nige
jphillips
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Arizona, United States
Joined: February 25, 2007
KitMaker: 1,066 posts
AeroScale: 214 posts
Posted: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - 01:20 AM UTC
Thanks guys-I will try it.
HawkeyeV
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Wisconsin, United States
Joined: September 20, 2006
KitMaker: 319 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - 02:20 AM UTC
Remember any space forward of the mains is suitable to add weight...any place there is space you can find some sort of heavy material to pack inside.
UNITEDSTATESNAVY
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Idaho, United States
Joined: July 07, 2007
KitMaker: 243 posts
AeroScale: 150 posts
Posted: Wednesday, April 02, 2008 - 09:02 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Guys,
I've always built my model planes "in flight", and hung them from my ceiling, but I think I want to start building some of them "gear down" and putting them on shelves. Can someone please tell me, what should I use to weigh down the noses in the "tail sitters"?

why use weights? someone enlighten me please.
CRS
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California, United States
Joined: July 08, 2003
KitMaker: 1,936 posts
AeroScale: 1,168 posts
Posted: Wednesday, April 02, 2008 - 09:15 AM UTC
My Wife was looking over my shoulder, and show this post. She promptly put two fishing weights up my nose to keep me from being a tail setter ..........it didn't work


Quoted Text

why use weights? someone enlighten me please.



For aircraft that are not supposed to be "Tail setters", (Tricycle Gear P-38s,P-39s, B-25s, B-29s, etc.) it is often if not always necessary to add weight forward of the "main gear" to counter the weight of the plastic behind the "main gear". This opposed to gluing down the the nose wheel to a base of some kind. Clear
flitzer
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England - North West, United Kingdom
Joined: November 13, 2003
KitMaker: 2,240 posts
AeroScale: 743 posts
Posted: Thursday, April 03, 2008 - 01:11 AM UTC
Hi JP
I would also go for fishing weights.
But rather than glue them in place with cryo or pva, you might consider using an office tac putty like Blu-tac.
Its a lot less messy than glue and it sticks really well. Its also will add a little additional weight in the area you need it.

Also weight dosen't need to be always in the nose if its really tight...as long as its ahead of the main undercarriage its a possibility. Under and/or behind the cockpit for example.
And in the case of aircraft that are twin engined, weight could be added to the engines' extreme front if they extend well forward beyond the wings' leading edge. (Me 262, for example).

Good luck with it.

Cheers
Peter
pigsty
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United Kingdom
Joined: January 16, 2007
KitMaker: 1,226 posts
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Posted: Thursday, April 03, 2008 - 02:47 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Also weight dosen't need to be always in the nose if its really tight...as long as its ahead of the main undercarriage its a possibility. Under and/or behind the cockpit for example.
And in the case of aircraft that are twin engined, weight could be added to the engines' extreme front if they extend well forward beyond the wings' leading edge. (Me 262, for example).



Actual aircraft are generally designed with the mainwheels close to the centre of gravity, so that the effort needed to lift the nose is kept to a minimum. The considerable weight of the engines will either be close to this point (in early jets like the F-86 or the Canberra) or be balanced by a long nose stuffed with heavy electrical equipment. Models are empty inside so the airframe parts, which are all of roughly the same density, play the greatest part in determining where the point of balance lies, and with tail surfaces and (especially) swept wings, that's often behind the mainwheels. KIts like Trumpeter's 1/48 RA-5C don't help - stuffing two engines down the back only makes matters worse...

Always remember: the further the weight is from the mainwheels, the more effective it will be. It's a practical version of the old moment-arm problem they taught in physics (or, if you prefer, why they give you a long spanner to undo your wheel nuts). A resin cockpit is a handy way of adding weight and detail at a very useful distance, although I have to say, fishing weights are still cheaper.

Another thing to bear in mind is that adding weights, well, adds weight. The undercarriage may not take it without reinforcement if you have a real tail-sitter that needs a lot of persuasion to stay level. And if you're putting weight anywhere other than along the centreline, such as the engine nacelles, it's best to keep it balanced to avoid any risk of the kit tipping over as one maingear leg bows more than the other.

Strange but true - despite everything, I've never needed to put weights in an F-4.
PolarBear
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Västra Götaland, Sweden
Joined: February 23, 2005
KitMaker: 820 posts
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Posted: Thursday, April 03, 2008 - 03:06 AM UTC
Fishing wheight and Blue tac. A word of warning against excessive use of glue. Too much glue may actually melt the nose cone!

Cheers and good luck! // PolarBear
UNITEDSTATESNAVY
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Idaho, United States
Joined: July 07, 2007
KitMaker: 243 posts
AeroScale: 150 posts
Posted: Friday, April 04, 2008 - 04:02 PM UTC

Quoted Text

My Wife was looking over my shoulder, and show this post. She promptly put two fishing weights up my nose to keep me from being a tail setter ..........it didn't work


Quoted Text

why use weights? someone enlighten me please.



For aircraft that are not supposed to be "Tail setters", (Tricycle Gear P-38s,P-39s, B-25s, B-29s, etc.) it is often if not always necessary to add weight forward of the "main gear" to counter the weight of the plastic behind the "main gear". This opposed to gluing down the the nose wheel to a base of some kind. Clear

I have not built a model yet that tips over.....zeros and raiden jack so I was not aware that some models need to be counter weighted, so forgive me for be dense, weight is not necessary in all models correct?
CRS
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California, United States
Joined: July 08, 2003
KitMaker: 1,936 posts
AeroScale: 1,168 posts
Posted: Friday, April 04, 2008 - 04:34 PM UTC

Quoted Text

weight is not necessary in all models correct?



Correct Tail setters don't need it and as pigsty said even some tricycle gear like the F-4's don't require it.