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Doug's Trainer ( 44 in. / 111.8 cm )

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Doug's Trainer model airplane plan

Doug's Trainer

DMorris Design's Doug's Trainer

This 4-channel, radio-controlled, trainer is built from pink Insulation foam board, and is electric-powered. By itself, the foam is lightweight but needs reinforcing for expected flight loads and stiffening to keep the wing, rudder, and elevator from flexing, so I have incorporated carbon-fiber tube (wing spar), and carbon-fiber rods (tail feathers). To further help with crash impacts and protect the foam from solvents found in common "rattle-can" spray paints, I have wrapped the outer surfaces with a frosted adhesive-backed Mylar that is sold by Avery as a mailing label in 8-1/2" x 11" size (Avery #18665, available in office supply stores). I also used some 1/64" plywood to reinforce the fuselage sides ahead of the wing to help with the motor loads and landing gear loads.

Link to this page: https://www.aerofred.com/details.php?image_id=97027

Details: Full Details
ID: 97027
File Size: 1.7 MB
Type: Airplane
Class: Radio-Control
Use: Trainer
Motor: Electric-Powered
Motor Size:50-To-150-Watt 
Wingspan: 44 in. / 111.8 cm
Publisher: DMorris Design
Designer: Doug Morris
Date: 07/2016
Weight:21 oz.
Listing Editor: DMorrisPE
Added: 29/06/2016 00:09
Updated: 03/08/20 04:30:07pm
Corrections? Contact DMorrisPE
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Filetype: .pdfSoftware for .pdf files

Member Profile for DMorrisPE

DMorris Design

I'm a retired Professional Civil Engineer living in Charlotte, NC. Been building and designing model airplanes since 1952, but just recently (2015) got into radio-controlled planes. Member of https://www.facebook.com/CharlotteAeromodelersClub/

Radio-Control Airplane Outdoor

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Plan Attributes: Edit Attributes
Plan ID:97027
Keywords:Trainer radio-control pink foam 4-channel
Model Type:Airplane
Aircraft Use:Trainer
Wingspan: 44 in. / 111.8 cm
Wingspan Class:100cm-To-125cm (40in-To-50in)
Wing Position:High-Mounted-Wing
Wing Style:Straight-Wing-Trap
Wing Dihedral:Dihedral
Landing Gear:Taildragger
Motor Type:Electric-Powered
Motor Size:50-To-150-Watt 
Number of Motors:1-Tractor
Weight:21 oz.
Weight Class:500g-To-1000g (17.6oz-To-35.2oz)
Construction Skills:Low-Intermediate
Pilot Skills:Beginner
Publisher:DMorris Design
Designer:Doug Morris
Restorer:Have you restored this Plan? Request transfer to your account
Category:PDF Vector Foam Plans
Similar:Plans like Doug's Trainer
File Details:
Date:29/06/2016 00:09
File size:1.7 MB

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Building Log 1: https://www.facebook.com/DMorrisPE/media_set?set=a.10209440052539811.1073741839.1280134384&type=3

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Comments & Corrections
Do you have questions, comments or corrections about the Doug's Trainer? Your input will surely help others to build this model...

Sliced foam? Nope! DMorrisPE on 09/07/2016 11:36
The pink foam insulation board is listed as being 1/4" thick, but after building several model where the parts didn't fit well, I actually measured it, and it was closer to 3/16" thick. I adjusted the plans for that and parts fit better now.
Foam source and type? p51mustang_1a on 17/06/2018 20:50
I'm interested in building this plane - but curious what your source for the foam is? Looks like Home Depot carries a 1/4 rigid foam. Would this work? Are there other sources?
Reply: Foam source and type? DMorrisPE on 17/06/2018 21:15
I used the fanfold pink Foamular extruded polystyrene foam. The Home Depot lists it as 1/4" thick, but it is closer to 3/16" thick. Either way, it really doesn't matter much. Just make the parts fit and you are good to go.

Alternate sources are: Lowe's BlueCor foam, Dollar Tree Foam Board (paper on or off, your choice), a product called Depron, or Elmer's Display Board. Elmer's is more brittle with the paper removed, but you can buy a box of it online in sizes up to 4' x 8'.

Don't be tempted to skimp on the 1/64" plywood. The strength it brings is needed to resist hard landings.
Wing construction process p51mustang_1a on 23/06/2018 20:54
Thank you for your reply. In terms of the wing construction, did you build it with one solid sheet (upper/lower) or each half (right/left) and then join the halves?

It seems with the CF stiffener building the entire wing without joining it makes sense. Not sure, however, how you'd have the right dihedral.

I've taken a look at your FB build log, but it's hard to tell about this specific step.

Thanks in advance.
Reply to wing construction DMorrisPE on 23/06/2018 22:42
The original wing, as shown in the photos, was one skin for the entire wing. During the prototype build, I decided to make the wing longer to reduce the wing loading. The plans were revised to show overlapping center panels. Now, each half of the wing is built with a single skin as before, the matching center ribs are angled for dihedral, and a 2” length of brass tubing is used as a joiner that slips over the carbon fiber spars. Before starting the wing build, put the two CF Spar halves in the brass tube and bend it to the proper dihedral angle. Set it aside until you are ready to join the wing halves.
First Flight p51mustang_1a on 19/07/2018 17:34
Finished the plane and took it out for its first flight. A few observations on the behaviour I wanted to get your perspective on - notably is this expected or is there an issue with my construction.

First - the tail wheel prevents the plane from tracking correctly. After many attempts to bend/rebend it, I removed the wheel and wire and have the plane drag on a plastic slide. In other tail draggers, the wheel was connected to the rudder servo. Does your rear wheel track correctly?

Second - the plane balances a little nose heavy. I'm using a Venom 3s 950 mAh battery, very small 20 AMP ESC and 9x6 prop with an Eflite park 450. Good power to weight ratio, but wondered if you have had to apply much (if any) tail weight.

Finally - Curious what your high/low control throws are for the control surfaces. It seems like I should have more elevator throw, but am not sure I want to bump it up too much.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Reply: First Flight DMorrisPE on 19/07/2018 19:22
A little nose-heavy is not a bad thing - I use 3S 450mAh LiPo, which would be just a couple grams lighter. This plane, like most others, does not fly well when tail heavy!

The tail wheel has not been a problem for me, but I don't make long takeoff rolls and I fly from a grass field , so maybe there is a different drag factor in play. A swiveling tailwheel with a "tiller" bar attached to the rudder might be of use.

Dual rates for controls: I use 50% for Low and 100% for High and full-throw is 3/8" for all surfaces. I thought that was on the plans, but a quick review shows it is not. My apologies. The rudder and elevator surfaces are rather large and were intended to have "authority" at low speeds (half throttle or less). Flying at full throttle can be a little twitchy for a beginner with full throw on High rate. But the motor size was designed to have excess power in case the plane was built "heavy", and to be semi-aerobatic as your skills progress.

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