Today, we have a lot of great RC pilots who’ve earned their wings with quick building ARF designs. This is great for the flying field, but what’s happening is we’re moving a bit away from the part of the hobby that I really love and that’s the building board in the workshop. To help introduce new modelers to the techniques and tips used to build traditional wood kit planes, I am going to highlight the assembly, building and finishing of a typical kit plane, the Florio Flyer 60. This mid-size plane is a very popular fun fly design and hundreds have been built and flown all across the country. They are often found in the winner’s circle at many fun fly competiton.
The design has been around for many years, but if you want to get into a little retro modeling and end up with an impressive flyer, you can get one of these kits from my friend Dan Fedorko (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Let’s get to the workshop and start building this great RC performer.
(Above) Before beginning construction, gather your hardware including the engine, radio gear and your supplies and tools. I will be using the O.S. .75 2-stroke engine, the JR 9503 2.4GHz radio system and servos from SavoxUSA.
(Above) I will be using Zap CA glues and Epoxy throughout the build. Basic tools include the usual hobby knives, pins, clamps razor plane and fine tooth razor saw.
(Above) The first bit to take care of, and it makes a good warmup for getting into any build, is to assemble the tail feathers. Here, I glued the stab parts together and then jointed the elevator halves with a 1/4-inch down using epoxy to glue it in place.
(Above) To help manage the plans and different tasks of the build, I like to seperate the various sections of the plans and then just use the section I need at the time. This keeps your plans in good shape and keeps your work area neater. When you use the plans cover it over with clear plans protector material to keep glue off the paper.
(Above) For the basic wing build. Start by pinning the bottom spars in place and then attach the ribs one at a time to the spar, keeping them vertical with a small square. With a fully-symetrical wing like the Florio Flyer 60’s wing, the rear part of the rib is first attached to the rear spar so the ribs can lay flat on the building board. The front of the ribs rest on top of the front spar. Then after the glue dries, you remove the wing assembly from the board and insert the front spar into the ribs with their trailing edges blocked up with scrap balsa so the spar fits flush into the front spar rib notches.
(Above) Once the lower spars are installed and the glues dries, install the top spars and make sure they are even with the lower ones at the center of the wing. Now move onto the leading edge and trailing edge, Mark them with guidelines so you can center them on the ends of the ribs. Finally before removing the wing panel from the board, install an auxilary rib next to the center span rib. This should be spaced so you can fit your aileron servo in between. We will add some servo attachment rails between the two ribs to support the servo before we add the wing sheeting.
(Above) so after the two panels are assembled, you joint the two with the dihedral braces in the kit. I used the two 1-inch thick wing tip blocks stacked ontop of each other to block up one wingtip 2 inches. This gives the proper angle so you can glue in the balsa and plywood braces into place. That basically completes the initial assembly and gets the wing panels joined and ready for sheeting! So stay tuned…
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Items Needed to Complete the Florio Flyer 60 Fun Fly Airplane Kit.
2 Main Wheels 2 ½ to 3-inch diameter
1 to 1-1/4” Tailwheel
2 5/32-inch Wheel Collars
1 Fuel Tank (Sullivan 8oz. slant #739)
1 ft. Medium Silicon Fuel Tubing
1 set 3/32-inch Strip Aileron Horn Set (Dubro # 556)
1 set PushrodsGold-N-Rod (Sullivan #506)
2 Nylon Control Horns (Dubro #105)
1 12-inch 2-56 Threaded Rod – (Threaded Full Length)
5 12-inch 2-56 Threaded Rod – (Threaded One Side)
5 2-56 Control Clevises (Sullivan # 525)
4 E/Z Links (Dubro #855)
1 Heavy Duty E/Z Connector (Dubro #489)
4 8-32 Engine Mount Bolts with Nuts and Washers
1 roll Wing Seat Tape
CA Hinges (Thick, Thin & Accelerator)
Foam Rubber 1/4-inch (Sig Mfg.)
- 2 Rolls of Iron-on covering (Oracover from Hangar 9 used on the build plane)
Great idea, Gerry. Maybe we can convert some of the ARF flyers to model builders so a lifelong tradition to some of us will continue for at least a generation or two!
Thanks Rich. Yes, this fun fly plane actually has been around since 1971 so it is a legal Vintage RC candidate also. It is typical of basic wood construction and once someone builds one of these, they have the basic skill set to build anything, even exciting warbirds and scale planes.
I?m snitratg to think about buying a boat winch and using it to pull the plane back by its tail tiedown.I’ve seen discussions of this and some claim the tiedown is not designed for this. Consider roping the winch to your main gear.
Gerry….is there a kit build along video for the great planes stick 40-60 that you know of? We have a number of new young members in our club and I thought this would be a great start for those who want to get their feet wet building….
I am building the Florio Flyer.60 size. Did you find the stock one inch ailerons OK for this plane? I found a photo of a plane that you were flying for a u-tube video and it looked as though you built the plane with 1 1/2 inch or maybe 2 inch chord ailerons. Could you shed some light on this question. Thanks. Wayne.
Hi Wayne. for sport flying, the stock strip ailerons provide excellent performance and good response. I made the enlarged ailerons for competition fun fly events. I also use them as flapperons so being bigger helps slow down the model for touch and goes, coupled with elevators. Hope this helps
Two ribs close together to form the servo bay. So simple! Why didn’t I think of that before!
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