PowerPlanes International Maule M5 Lunar Rocket

Colin
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PowerPlanes International Maule M5 Lunar Rocket

Post by Colin » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:39 pm

OK - Here is the latest project. The part built kit was given to me about 15 years ago with the fuselage 70% done. Since then it has been in various garages until just before Christmas.

Oh - you have not heard of a Maule M5? Well this is the one I am modelling ...
G-BVFZ 1 (small).jpg
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It's a STOL workhorse GA plane from the 70's.

The kit is from the now defunct PowerPlanes International who I think were a sister company to Soaron Sailplanes who produced my 12' span 'Sillouhette' glider that some of you will have seen and is also shown on the forum.

Box Lid:
Maule M5 Kit Build 6 (small).jpg
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Colin
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Re: PowerPlanes International Maule M5 Lunar Rocket

Post by Colin » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:52 pm

So the first stage was to get the fuselage presentable. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures at the time but it had 15-20 years mould on it plus had provided entertainment to a number of mice, so needed a good deal of sanding down and a few new pieces of balsa being spliced in.

I was surprised to see that the glue joints were all solid which is very encouraging. There were a few areas where the original builder has done things differently to the way I would so some remedial work was also required along with some fettling on the firewall to accept an inverted SC 52FS.

So now on to covering. The original is a fabric covered steel tube fuselage with sheet aluminium wings, so to replicate this I plan to use Solartex for the fuz and tail, and Solarfilm for the wings.

The fuselage is almost complete now apart from the rudder ...
Maule M5 Kit Build 1 (small).jpg
Maule M5 Kit Build 1 (small).jpg (66.46 KiB) Viewed 8990 times
To give you an idea of the size you can just see my transmitter peeking over the top.

Colin
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Re: PowerPlanes International Maule M5 Lunar Rocket

Post by Colin » Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:00 pm

Then it is on to the wings. These are obechi covered foam cored so need little work doing other than adding the ailerons/flaps.
Maule M5 Kit Build 10 (small).jpg
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Being a 70's kit, the plan shows strip ailerons driven by a single servo in the wing centre. Flaps are then implemented by having a second servo moving the primary servo linkage back and forth which you can just make out on the plan just above the top wing.
(That's the way we did it in those days! Real men then - none of these new fangled computer-me-bobs for us. Wet string and a spark generator was all we needed - ah the old days!)

But since I now have one of these new fangled trannys then it will be 2 wing mounted servos for the ailerons. What I have not decided yet is whether to keep to the kit and have flaperons, or else stick with the scale and have separate ailerons and flaps. (At the moment it is likely to be the latter.)

David Cowley

Re: PowerPlanes International Maule M5 Lunar Rocket

Post by David Cowley » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:40 pm

Colin
Looking good, I must be there on its maiden flight please please let me know

Colin
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Re: PowerPlanes International Maule M5 Lunar Rocket

Post by Colin » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:43 pm

Well I have got a bit further. The wings are now joined. They are veneered foam so I have joined them with epoxy and then applied three layers of 25oz fibreglass as strengthener.

If you have not done this before then the idea is that you use 3 strips of increasing width e.g. 3cm/5cm/7cm, then lay them down in increasing width. This means that you get a smooth joint with no stepping between layers, and a gradual transition in strength. The advantage over using the glass tape often used is that if done properly you do not see the transition at all. (On my AcroWot I used tape and even though I used several coats of resin and then filler the join is still obvious.)

The kit is originally designed for a single servo and torque tubes, but as I want to use wing mounted servos I have had to cut new servo pockets and cable runs. One disappointment was that I followed the plan which has the aileron starting about 3 cm from the wing tips. With hindsight I should not have done that since I wanted to have scale ailerons and flaps but when I came to plan these out, then the aileron looked wrong and would have been quite inefficient - the full size, as normal, being right at the wingtip. As a result I am staying with the plan and using strip ailerons but will be mixing them as flaperons.

One thing I am trying with this one is to use film hinges for the ailerons - 3 layers, First an initial strip to hold the aileron in place, and then the normal top and bottom covering. Should be very free and more efficient with no bleed between surfaces - not that I would be able to tell with my flying!!

Anyway, a few pics ...
Joined Wings.jpg
For some reason the photo won't stay as portrait!
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Servo pockets.jpg
Servo pockets.jpg (166.32 KiB) Viewed 8922 times
Current status.jpg
Could not resist seeing how it looks!
Current status.jpg (196.41 KiB) Viewed 8922 times

Colin
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Re: PowerPlanes International Maule M5 Lunar Rocket

Post by Colin » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:35 pm

Haven't been very good at keeping this up to date so here's an update.

All covering now done. Original has a fabric fuselage and sheet aluminium wings so have used Solartex for the fuselage and tried HK film for the first time for the wings.

Must admit I am very impressed. £8 for 5m shipped in a strong cardboard tube that can be used for future storage. The only problem is that unlike Solarfilm there is no edge where the backing and film are separate, and the backing is very strongly attached so it takes numerous goes with the tape trick to separate the two.

For the first time I have also gone with film hinges for the ailerons and again they seem to have worked quite well...
Film hinges.jpg
Film hinges.jpg (72.2 KiB) Viewed 8806 times
(by the way - if you have not already found out, a single click on a pic will get rid of the scroll bars)

Because the ailerons are top hinged, necessitating a large bevel of the control surface, standard horns were no use as they could not be positioned for the clevis to be over the hinge line, so bespoke hinges were made from fibreglass. (From Maplins - PC board with the copper etched away).

Colin
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Re: PowerPlanes International Maule M5 Lunar Rocket

Post by Colin » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:45 pm

So onto the inside.

Plenty of room for the radio gear. Eventually the Rx will be suspended from the servo rails loosely wrapped in foam. All will be hidden by a cabin floor.

As mentioned previously this model was given to me part built and one problem was that the snakes had been glued in with about 8" from the forward anchor point to the servos which I was not happy with, so I added the extra cross beam to provide a better anchor point.
cabin.jpg
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Colin
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Re: PowerPlanes International Maule M5 Lunar Rocket

Post by Colin » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:54 pm

Another problem I inherited was that the plan called for the rear of the fuel tank to be supported by bands from the rear nose former - but the tank does not project enough to allow this.

After considering various options I decided to go with adding to the bottom of the current former so the former supports the tank, and then adding another former that is bolted to the first to hold the tank against the firewall.

This former will have the dashboard attached once I can find a decent image to use.
former.jpg
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Colin
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Re: PowerPlanes International Maule M5 Lunar Rocket

Post by Colin » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:00 pm

So now on to the cowl.

Some people have problems fitting cowls with concerns over where to put the cut outs.

A trick you may not be aware of is to simply mount the engine, and then cut holes in card templates for the cylinder head, needle valve etc.
The templates are fixed to the fuselage with masking tape and then the engine can be removed and the cowl put in place and the cutting positions marked.

The picture below shows this for the needle valve of my SC52 FS ...
Cowl 2.jpg
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Colin
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Re: PowerPlanes International Maule M5 Lunar Rocket

Post by Colin » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:02 pm

No problem with cooling in this bird !
Cowl.jpg
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