Santini Air Project (Fuselage Assembly)

I do not plan to do lots of add ons to this fuselage. The only two things I plan to do is a cockpit of course, navigation lighting, and the battery trays for the main motor power source. Details of each of these can be found in their respective pages.

The fuselage build itself is pretty easy and straight forward. After having built my Tow Defender project this build seems to be going pretty smooth and as expected. I now know what kind of glue works well with the fiberglass fuselage material, and how to prep before gluing. So this section will just show what I am doing, or have done, while building this project.

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Here I am gluing in the wood supports for the metal guide pins, and for the upper fuselage to frame mounts.

Again more wood for the metal guide pins. They will be attached and glued to this front fuselage half.

Here the pins are being installed.

I also did not feel safe using only magnets to hold the front fuselage on so I mounted blind nuts.

These will be secured from below the front, and through the open side windows.

Here I had to cut away some of the fuselage to allow cyclic servo clearance.

I plan to make a plywood stiffner for behind the fuse where I cut out the material.

Here you can see how the upper fuselage supports are attached. I was actually able to use the brackets

that came with the kit. Just had to bend them a little. There is also some plywood backers glued to the fuse.

Here I am trying to show how the fuse is interferring with the T/R control rod. And here is the fix I came up with. So simple and works so good.

I have a nice and easy fix already that I will show later.

And here the tail cone has been rough cut to check fit. It will get some finishing work later on.

The tail cone is now mounted and will still need some work as I did not get it perfectly lined up, crap...

The mechanices are now mounted with the front tray installed for now. Later I will remove this and replace it

with a cockpit instruments, seats, ans whatever else I can fit in. The electronics will be integrated into the cockpit.

I am also using some temporary skids until I buy the proper scale skids.

It is now winter where I live so I am back to working on this project along with others. I put around 20 flights or more

on this heli during the summer and I love flying it. I really didn't want to take it apart but it needs to be done if I am going

to move forward. So one of the first things is to fit the new skids I bought for it. They came complete, welded, painted, ready

to install with mounting hardware. I don't like the way they intend for you to mount them so I made my own mounts. The

next few photos are of what I did and made.

So here you can see I am marking where the front holes need to be. The back worked out that I could use the holes for the

mechanics as the front holes for the skid mounting brackets. Then I just drilled two more for the read of the bracket and done.

The front was as easy as setting the brackets over the skids, lining them up and marking the hole locations.

This is another view with all the bracket sitting in place. You can see that the rear bracket

will need a slight bend to conform to the fuselage. Easy to do.

Here all the holes have been drilled and bolts placed to hold each in place.

Here you can see the plywood backers I made and mounted compared to what came with the kit.

The kit was only using a single hole per side with no brackets, just drilling through the skid. I did

not like that idea.

Along with screwing the front fuse section to the rear I am using magnets to help keep

the sides aligned and in place. Here they are ready for gluing. I also have clamps to help

hold everything in place while the glue dries.

Magnets are glued in place and drying while I type all this in here. They will need to cure for 24 hours.

I have now started on the body work. Mostly just a strip of bondo down the center seam

on the front and read fuselage sections. The rest seems pretty good to me as is.

Here I have done most all the sanding. I will still go over everything with fine grit before primer.

I have been flying this heli for a long time now and decided to get back to finishing it.

So I am getting back to finish the bondo work and then get ready for painting.

So on to the horz stabs.

Here I had a little damage from what I think was ground resenance. Luckily I popped it back

in the air before it got real bad and destroyed itself. Caught me way off guard that's for sure.