Build Log - Gentle Lady 250

Everything you will want and need to know about the WillyNillies.com Gentle Lady 250
SavageX89
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Build Log - Gentle Lady 250

Post by SavageX89 »

Hey everyone! I'm super excited for this forum! I started a build log of my gentle lady over on RCGroups. When I get a moment, I'll work to transfer it all over here and I'll keep this updated along with my RCGroups build log.
Last edited by SavageX89 on Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Build Log - Gentle Lady 250

Post by WillyNillies.com »

Welcome aboard our new ship! That will be great for you to share your build here! Please let us know if you have any suggestions for us to improve this site.

Sincerely,
Doug and Becky
WillyNillies.com
SavageX89
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Intro to the Build

Post by SavageX89 »

Here's where I'll start bringing over my build log from rcgroups.

Greetings all!

I just purchased myself a Gentle Lady 250 kit from the great couple at Willy Nillies, and the wonderful triangle box came in the mail yesterday! And I've already learned something. Happiness is the smell of fresh cut balsa! I haven't started the build yet, but will do so shortly. I'll block out a few thread posts after this one for the various sections of the build and will update them as the project progresses. I hope you enjoy and hope this can serve as a valuable resource for others that plan to build this kit.

note: i am not the first to build this and am far from being an expert... we will see how this goes.


Update 11/18/20

I decided to finally get started on this build. I still have other kits that are in some stage of completion, but I want to take a break and get going on this awesome kit.
Last night, I opened it up and performed inventory on all the kit components and part sheets. Everything was there (not that I expected otherwise) and a few of the parts were falling out of their sheets. I guess this plane is as excited to be built as I am to build it. Once I confirmed all the bits were there, I decided to start with the Fuselage. Conveniently, that is also the first section of this build log.
To start this build off, a few things of note. Willy Nillies kits don't come with any plans, and the beta kits don't come with instructions. Now, once a kit leaves beta stage, there are instructions available to help with the builds. My Gentle Lady kit was purchased during the beta stage, I think the second run of beta kits. Since the date of purchase, the Willy Nillies community has helped to create build instructions for the wings. Fuselage instructions might be in the works, but as the build of the fuse is very similar to the rest of the Willy Nillies fuselages, there are some "Basic Fuse Assembly Instructions" that you can follow and figure out how the Gentle Lady Fuse goes together.
Now, I'm a Design Engineer by trade, and my work days are spent creating production drawings for a manufacturing shop. I live in Solidworks. So, being the crazy person that I am, and since I love the look of a good set of build plans for a balsa plane, I've decided to take EVERY piece for this kit, trace it out on paper, and create a set of build plans. It will show every part, where they go, and (with any luck) what the final assembly will look like. Maybe even show where I end up putting the electronics.
Will this make the build obscenely long? Is this completely unnecessary? Am I making this hard on myself?
Yes, yes, and yes... But it'll be awesome when its done!
Attachments
Image from WN website
Image from WN website
Laid everything out to make sure I have all the parts before proceeding.
Laid everything out to make sure I have all the parts before proceeding.
Begin the work of creating detailed drawings of each part and the fuselage assembly.
Begin the work of creating detailed drawings of each part and the fuselage assembly.
SavageX89
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Fuselage Assembly

Post by SavageX89 »

Update: 1/27/21

Construction has begun on the fuselage!

I've gotten all the parts drawn up and assembled in the drawing. There are still a few details I want to add so the drawings better reflect how I'm building this glider. But those will have to wait till I get the physical thing completed.
To start out, I performed a dry fit of the battery tray, former F1, F2a, F2b, and F3 to make sure it all fit together smoothly. once I was comfortable with how they laid out, I put down the wax paper and pulled out the thin CA.

To assist my 'fat fingers' and make sure I keep things straight and true, I used a couple sections of 90deg aluminum angle stock from the scrap bin at work. Yes, these kits fit together via tabs and slots to make it all go together smoothly without any extra assistance, but the last kit I built that had similar construction, I got bits of it crooked. Really didn't want that to happen this time.

Once everything was in place, I began pouring the CA... and promptly glued my fuselage to one of the angles... It took some very careful and slow blade work with a long snap utility blade to get it free. Thankfully, I was able to do so with minimal damage to the side of the fuselage. Nothing a little sanding won't fix. Not to future self, apply a couple "tack welds" of glue in key points to hold things together, then remove your supports and finish gluing. Also, don't over apply the glue. That stuff RUNS!!

Once the front end was all glued in place, it was time to start on the back end. I put the formers in place, "pinched" the side walls together near each former and glued them down. Looking back, I should have used the lower (or upper) sheeting as a guide to get straight lines. My back half is a little wavy between formers. Not a big deal, I'll be able to sand everything so it all looks nice under the covering. With the formers in place, I went back and glued the horizontal stringer sticks in place.

I put the high start hook mount in place at this time. Its a series of 4 blocks that brace between the side walls and the battery tray.

Next step, bottom sheeting. Nothing too fancy here. Simply laid out each sheet before hand to make sure I knew where they were all going and everything was covered properly, then applied glue as I went along. Since the nose of the fuselage tapers in a bit, I had to take a blade and sanding block to get the lower sheeting to match the shape of the fuselage. Pretty simple procedure.

Before moving on to gluing the top sheeting in place, I wanted to install the servos and get the control rods run thru the formers.
In the pictures you'll see that I have one servo in front of F2 and one behind. This kit is designed for 2x 2.5g servos. I don't have any, and rather than spend the money on a pair, I decided to scavenge a pair of EMAX 5g servos from my Hobby King Mini DLG that took a nosedive into a hill earlier this year. The space in the servo tray is easily expanded to fit the larger servos, but the control arms I have for these servos are too long and rub against the side walls when both are installed in the same servo bay. This caused me to move one servo behind F3. This way I can put each servo more central to the fuselage and still try to keep the weight forward.

After gluing a servo support in place and playing with this location, I decided to scrap these servo spots. With how I plan to have the forward hatch work, the forward servo would be in the way. I removed the servos and the extra support I had glued in place.

For the battery hatch, there are a few ways I have seen people do it. My favorite, is along the lines of what I have pictured below. The hatch has a tab that slips under the nose sheeting, and the whole thing goes back to include the scalloped piece for the rubber band access. To help the hatch line up smoothly and straight, I added a couple scrap guide sticks that I cut to match the profile of the fuselage. The next step is to add a couple magnets to keep the hatch closed during flight and such. Those will be ordered later this week.
Attachments
Dry fit with aluminum angle supports in place
Dry fit with aluminum angle supports in place
Successful removal of the glued on aluminum angle
Successful removal of the glued on aluminum angle
IMG_20201225_205725844.jpg
Initial servo placement before reconsidering and removing.
Initial servo placement before reconsidering and removing.
Guide rails cut to match fuselage for shaping the battery hatch.
Guide rails cut to match fuselage for shaping the battery hatch.
IMG_20210126_215010473.jpg
Battery hatch assembly. You can see the tongue that goes under the nose sheeting, the battery hatch glued to the scalloped piece for rubber band access, and the carefully glued on guides.
Battery hatch assembly. You can see the tongue that goes under the nose sheeting, the battery hatch glued to the scalloped piece for rubber band access, and the carefully glued on guides.
Gives you a rough idea of where the battery hatch goes.
Gives you a rough idea of where the battery hatch goes.
SavageX89
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Fuselage Assembly Continued

Post by SavageX89 »

The past couple nights have been spent working on finishing up the construction of the fuselage. For starters, I wanted to get the battery hatch finished up and ready to go. This meant getting the magnets in place and holding properly. After much searching for some good magnets at the right price, I settled on Magcraft Rare Earth magnets. Home depot kindly had a ship to store option with free shipping, always a plus!

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Magcraft-Ra ... /204721213

These magnets are 1/8" dia and 1/16" thick, with a pull strength of 0.7lbs. Perfect for a small battery hatch.

To hold the magnets in place, I cut some small squares of balsa from the tail surfaces scrap. This balsa is thicker and heavier, which made it easier to drill 1/8" holes into for the magnets. I then took a stick of 3/8" square balsa and trimmed off a small section for a post. The magnet would then be glued into the small square of balsa then directly on top of the post that was then glued into the fuselage.

Using a bit of wax paper to protect from glue in the wrong spot, I took the mating magnet and balsa square, placed them on top, added a drop of thin CA and put the battery hatch in place. Thus gluing the battery hatch to the top magnet block. This worked surprisingly well, and now my magnets are lined up perfectly. :D Repeated this process with the second post, and now my battery hatch holds itself closed with a satisfying little snap of magnets!

The next step, servo mounting and control rod connection.

I had previously set this up with a servo in front and behind former 2 (see previous post) but felt this would get in the way of my rubber band as well as my magnets for holding the battery hatch. I now have them spaced on either side of the hi-start hook. Hopefully, this makes for spreading the weight and doesn't end up over balancing the glider forward or back too much. Thankfully, there is plenty of space in the nose for me to put some counter weight if needed.

The control rods feed through former 3, 4, and 5. I put a large Z bend in the rudder control rod to lift it out of the fuselage. This did require the removal of some material in the upper fuselage skin, but that's fine. Its a nice bit of weight savings. :D

With the servos mounted, control rods run and shaped, I felt comfortable adding the top skin. A little bit of painters tape to hold it in place then some small dabs of CA to tack it down made sure I had everything where its supposed to go. With the top skin in place, I removed my tape and applied thin CA down the full length of the top skin to lock it down.

With that, my fuselage is almost ready for final sanding before covering! I still need to get the nose block assembled and glued in place. I think that will be my next step before anything else. This thing is really starting to come together and I'm super excited!

Oh! I still need to glue the rubber band pegs in place. Right now they are simply friction fit into the formers. Nothing a quick bit of epoxy won't fix.

I get more into it later, but this build will be powered with a WN 350 2s Lipo, with a MatekSys 5-9v BEC providing a constant 5volts to my FrSky GR6.

http://www.mateksys.com/?portfolio=mbec6s

I love these little BEC's. I picked up 3 of them for $8 from racedayquads.com and have been using one in my Great Planes 2m Spirit for a year. Works like a dream! and weighs almost nothing! Super tiny too!

(Pictures are in a weird order. Sorry)
Attachments
Balsa blocks cut for holding magnets.
Balsa blocks cut for holding magnets.
Rudder control rod popping out of the top fuselage skin.
Rudder control rod popping out of the top fuselage skin.
Rudder control without skin.
Rudder control without skin.
MatekSys Micro BEC I plan to use between the battery and receiver. Can be set to 5 or 9 volts
MatekSys Micro BEC I plan to use between the battery and receiver. Can be set to 5 or 9 volts
MatekSys Micro BEC I plan to use between the battery and receiver. Can be set to 5 or 9 volts
MatekSys Micro BEC I plan to use between the battery and receiver. Can be set to 5 or 9 volts
MatekSys Micro BEC I plan to use between the battery and receiver. Can be set to 5 or 9 volts
MatekSys Micro BEC I plan to use between the battery and receiver. Can be set to 5 or 9 volts
Servos screwed in place and control rods mounted.
Servos screwed in place and control rods mounted.
servos set in place to ensure proper spacing.
servos set in place to ensure proper spacing.
battery hatch closed
battery hatch closed
magnet block posts in place inside fuse
magnet block posts in place inside fuse
magnet block on battery hatch
magnet block on battery hatch
first magnet post in place
first magnet post in place
SavageX89
Posts: 32
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Electronics - Initial Setup

Post by SavageX89 »

Electronics used in this build:

Radio: Frsky Taranis X9D+2019 SE
Receiver: Frsky Archer GR6
Battery: Willy Nillies 350mah 2s lipo
BEC: Mateksys 5-9v micro BEC
Servos: Emax ES 9051 5g servos
Attachments
IMG_20210211_221905349_HDR.jpg
IMG_20210211_221934160_HDR.jpg
IMG_20210211_221918430_HDR.jpg
IMG_20210210_214827173_HDR.jpg
IMG_20210210_214848371_HDR.jpg
SavageX89
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Electronics - Update

Post by SavageX89 »

The wing top power pod has been released!!!! You know I just had to get my order in for that asap! I'm so excited for all the ways I'll be able to fly my Gentle Lady 250. My options will be: 1) Slope soaring on a calm and gentle breezy day. 2) Hi-start with .25" dia latex surgical tubing and 150' of masonry twine. 3) the power pod with 1306 racestar motor from Willy Nillies!

The options are endless for where I'll be flying, and nothing will stop me! (except for rain, strong winds, and the bitter cold...)

With having to wait for the shipment of the power pod, I now feel a strong urge to get this bird finished up and ready to fly!

On a separate note, I recently learned of a couple features I plan to use with my FrSky Taranis X9D+ 2019 SE. Radios that use OpenTX have the ability to run Lua Scripts, and I was recently introduced to one that shows you all the positions and status of your switches. Ex: switch A is set to select the high. med, and low rates. This script will tell me the position and what the switch is doing. Ex: SA up = High Rates.

The second feature is a Pre-flight Checklist. In the model set up menu, there is an option to turn on a pre-flight checklist. I've tried to use it in the past, but id didn't do anything when I turned it on. Recently, I was looking in to general pre-flight checklists for flying rc planes and stuff. I found plenty of apps for pre-flight on full scale planes, but nothing for rc craft. I'm pretty close to going ahead and learning Java so I can write my own app checklist. We'll see how that goes, if it does.

My searching eventually led me back around to RCGroups.com where I found a thread that showed how to use the OpenTX model checklist option. Turns out it is a simple as creating a text file with the list. The pre-flight option will pull up the text file when you open the model and before you get to the controls screen. I'm gonna get mine set up and I'll show how it works in a later post.

Again, super excited to get this bird up in the air!
SavageX89
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:34 pm
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Wing Construction has Begun!

Post by SavageX89 »

With the fuselage squared away ;) I feel its time to move on to the wings.

As with the previous steps of the build, I start by making a part reference sheet and trace all the parts. The idea here is to identify each part so others can easily see what parts are what and where they go.

Once I had the parts identified and had read through the instruction manual for the wings a few times, I felt confident moving forward. As I've stated before, this is my first Willy Nillies build, and I really want it to go well. I placed the ribs in piles according to the wing panel they go in.

To assemble the wings, I set up a simple building board to help me build a flat and square wing. The base is a scrap section of laminate countertop that I know to be a flat surface. On top of that, I attached a double layer of dollar tree foam board to serve as the surface that the pins can go through and hold things in place. For this simple build, it worked really well! The foam board held the pins much better than I expected. Given the nature of the material, it's not a long lasting surface, but it costs $1 for a 20"x30" sheet, so a worthwhile investment.

I pinned the leading edge of each wing panel down to the board, with a piece of wax paper between the wood and the building board. Rather than pinning thru the balsa, thus leaving holes that can be seen through transparent willykote, I pinned along the front and back of the piece, thus wedging it down to the surface and holding it quite tightly.

From there, I dry fit the ribs, trailing edge, and the lower spar. Once these were in place, I took a scrap piece of 1"x1" aluminum angle I picked up to ensure that each rib was sitting perpendicular to the leading and trailing edges. Note: the first and last ribs (those that mate between the different panels of the wing) were not dry fit yet. With the main ribs in place, I used thin CA and one of the small capillary tips to apply a very small amount of glue to all the joints. I only did a small drop at first, to make sure I didn't make it hard to pull off the wax paper. No matter what I do, I can't seem to figure out which side of the paper the wax is on. With the main ribs in place, I dry fit the remaining outer ribs and set them to the proper angle using the gauges provided with the kit. With all these glued in place, I placed the top spar in place and glued it down.

With glue applied to the outer ribs, I removed the first wing panel from the building board. I then used the thin CA again to apply more glue to the joints to ensure a secure attachment. With one wing panel successfully assembled, I proceeded to follow the same steps to complete the remaining wing panels. The wing tip panels were done with the trailing edge pined down first, rather than the leading edge, given the angles of the leading edge.

With the 4 wing panels glued up, I moved on to fitting the dihedral braces thru the end ribs and between the top and bottom spars. The end ribs come with a small window pre-cut in them, but this needs to be enlarged to properly fit with braces. I chose to fit my braces towards the trailing edge side of the windows. Just to make it easier to keep things consistent. I kept it simple with a razor knife and a series of stop cuts and removing the material between them. I wasn't careful on one of my wing tip ribs and ended up breaking off the section of rib between the spars and the trailing edge. Thankfully, a little bit of CA and the angle gauge set it all back in place and the dihedral brace fits perfectly.

The next step, bottom sheeting. There are a few pieces of sheeting for this center section of the wing, so dry fitting is important to ensure you use the right pieces. Once I had verified the correct pieces, I aligned the sheeting to the second rib and glued it in place. This left about 3/16th of an inch hanging past the end rib that was quickly trimmed off with a knife and sanded smooth.

And, finally. I started on the wing tips. I glued the two blocks together for each tip, and sanded them smooth and even. With the tips prepared, I marked out some reference lines to align the wing panel to, and traced the shape of the end rib onto the wing tip block. This gave me rough lines I can carve to and then I can sand to the final shape.

I still have some shaping to do on the wing tips, the sheer webbing to glue in, and the top sheeting of the center section. More on that later though.
Attachments
Ribs cut out, sanded, and sorted.
Ribs cut out, sanded, and sorted.
Left wing panel pinned down to the foam board building surface.
Left wing panel pinned down to the foam board building surface.
IMG_20210303_202620182.jpg
Setting the rib angles for the wing tips.
Setting the rib angles for the wing tips.
Setting the rib angles for the wing center. (not sure why this image is upside down)
Setting the rib angles for the wing center. (not sure why this image is upside down)
IMG_20210303_203454251.jpg
Right wing panel
Right wing panel
Both center wing panels completed and next to each other.
Both center wing panels completed and next to each other.
Cutting out the window for dihedral brace to fit between top and bottom spars.
Cutting out the window for dihedral brace to fit between top and bottom spars.
Dihedral brace fit in place on one side of middle section.
Dihedral brace fit in place on one side of middle section.
Trimming the top and bottom spars to fit flush with the end ribs.
Trimming the top and bottom spars to fit flush with the end ribs.
Mostly completed center wing panels.
Mostly completed center wing panels.
Preparing the assembly of wing tip panels to make sure I don't build two of the same side.
Preparing the assembly of wing tip panels to make sure I don't build two of the same side.
Wing tips dry fit in place.
Wing tips dry fit in place.
Beginning of the gluing of the wing tip center ribs. End ribs dry fit in place.
Beginning of the gluing of the wing tip center ribs. End ribs dry fit in place.
Setting the angle of the joining ribs.
Setting the angle of the joining ribs.
With the wing tips glued up, testing to see how the two panels look together.
With the wing tips glued up, testing to see how the two panels look together.
Be careful when cutting window to fit dihedral brace.
Be careful when cutting window to fit dihedral brace.
I fixed it.
I fixed it.
Wing tip dihedral braces fit in place.
Wing tip dihedral braces fit in place.
Center panels bottom sheeting extends past the first rib when aligned with the second rib per instructions. Trimming required.
Center panels bottom sheeting extends past the first rib when aligned with the second rib per instructions. Trimming required.
Sheeting trimmed and sanded.
Sheeting trimmed and sanded.
Bottom view
Bottom view
Shaping the wing tips with a knife to remove the bulk of material.
Shaping the wing tips with a knife to remove the bulk of material.
Before and after.
Before and after.
Quinlan
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Re: Build Log - Gentle Lady 250

Post by Quinlan »

any updates?
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