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Thread: Poor Mans Streamlined Flying Wires

  1. #1
    Premium Member (Donated) Supe's Avatar
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    Default Poor Mans Streamlined Flying Wires

    Prior the my purchase of an S-20 kit, I met Randy at a show in Illinois. We discussed the S-20 and during that conversation I learned that Randy and I both enjoy Radio Control Aircraft. This led to a discussion about using aluminum streamlined tubing, commonly used in RC, on the tail surface flying wires, might be cool!

    With the seed planted, and my purchase of a kit, the time eventually arrived that a closer look was necessary. Locating the flying wires and getting a couple measurements, verified that it was indeed possible. K&S Metals makes the tube in various widths and the longest length is 35". Several RC Mail Order Hobby Supply Houses carry the tubing. A local hobby shop may also have it in stock or could order it for you. For my taste I felt the 3/8" tube looked about right. Your taste may vary. Cut the tube to lengths needed for each wire. Measure the wire from the widest part of each taper. The length of the largest diameter of each wire.

    A jig was needed to hold the tube to avoid bending, while driving the wire into the tube, and avoid crimping from clamping the tube. A 24" 2X4 tangled with a 1/4" router bit set to a depth of 1/4" and lost. This left a square grove in the board and when the tube, trailing edge first, was place into the slot the leading edge protruded slightly above the face of the
    2X4. Placing several quick clamps secured the tube to the jig. (The slot width will need adjustment if you chose to use a different size tube.

    Jig & Clamp.jpg

    A striking block was needed to give a large area to drive the wire into the tube. Drill a slightly snug hole the size of the fitting that screws onto end of the wire, the depth equal to the length of the threads plus the taper at the end of the wire. Screw the fitting onto the wire with the legs of the fitting toward the wire and the end of the wire flush with the round end of the fitting. Tap the block onto the wire and fitting until it reaches the bottom of the drilled hole. Spread a couple of drops of a light machine oil over the large diameter of the wire with your fingers. Insert the other end into the tube. Using a rubber mallet lightly begin driving the wire into the tube. The large head of the mallet against the large block will aid in driving the wire squarely into the tube. The oil helps the wire slide into the tube easily allowing light strikes to drive the wire.

    Strike Block.jpg

    A mark was made with a sharpie pen at the wide end of the taper that was inserted into the tube. This mark along with the edge of the striking block was used to verify the tube was centered on the wire. As the block becomes closer the edge of the tube, continue lightly striking the block until you see the mark begin to appear at the other end of the tube.

    Wire Insertion.jpg

    Unscrew the drive block and screw onto the next wire and repeat the process. When all the wires are complete, remove the fitting from the block by centering a chisel over the hole in the block to split it. Carefully split the block, pry open and remove the fitting. Slightly round the tube ends with a file if desired. Seal the ends with paintable latex caulk, JB Weld or something else of your choice.

    Flying Wires.jpg

    This worked well for me, I'm sure someone may see an improvement to the process.

    Doug,
    May all your days be CAVU

  2. #2
    Premium Member (Donated) mikeno's Avatar
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    Default

    This is a great idea and I'm thinking about fabricating these for my newly purchased S-6S. My first questions (probably many more to come) are about the connection points. Are you going to use AN665 clevises and the existing tabs? Whether I build your flying wires or not I'm going to replace my tabs. While I understand the multiple holes allow for easy adjustment (though coarse) every hole is an opportunity for a crack and I want to remove that failure point. I may fabricate my own or purchase some if I can find ready made that will work and aren't exorbitantly priced.
    Thanks - Mike


  3. #3
    Premium Member (Donated) Supe's Avatar
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    Default

    The connection points on the S-20 use the AN665 and a steel tang. The tang has a single hole at each end, which I intend to use. Ran's site, in the alerts section AD's #135 cab-tang discusses your concerns of the tang. An e-mail or call to tech may provide additional info or check to see if the tangs that come with the S-20 could be substituted. I would guess that the tangs would be inexpensive from the parts department if they could be substituted.
    Doug
    May all your days be CAVU

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