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Bill Higgins' 2.3m Extra 330 Build Thread - Page 1

These pages chronicle the building of Bill Higgins' Comp-ARF 2.3m Extra 330.

Many thanks to Bill for allowing me to post all his hard work on my site.

You can visit Bill's website at


Over to Bill.........



I'm going to try to document as best I can, my build of my Composite-ARF 2.3 Meter Extra. I received the Plane on Friday (11/12/04) and didn't really get to start on it till late Saturday night. Naturally, the first thing I did after opening up the boxes, was fit all of the major components together to see how she'd look. Pretty cool actually !!! Smile




Main Gear, Tailwheel, and Cowl.

I'm deviating slightly from the order that Composite-ARF has you put things together, so you'll notice in the first section, that I haven't mounted the wheels or wheel pants, and that just because I had to order some wheels. I cant believe I didn't have any laying around the shop !!




Next up was the Motor Box mounting. All that was done here is that the holes are drilled into the pre-marked areas on the motor box, and blind nuts are placed on the backside of the mounting holes. You can also see that I added some light balsa blocks to provide a little more "meat" for the nylon cowl mounting bolts to grab hold into.




Next up was a fairly tricky engine mounting procedure. It wouldn't have been difficult had I had more than one person doing it, but without help I had to invoke some stationary help !! Very Happy I used a step ladder to hold the fuse vertical while a placed a bubble level on the engine box to get everything perfectly level so the engine would stay up there without anyone holding it or it being attached to anything. Once the engine was placed on the box, I placed the cowl over the top and installed 2 cowl bolts. Then I stepped back and looked at the thrust and centrelines, moving the engine a little bit each time until I had it centred right where I wanted it. Then, without touching the engine, I removed the cowl being careful not to disturb or move the engine and then, once the cowl was out of the way, I used a sharpie to trace around the engine standoffs to give me a reference to drill the holes with. Non-standard but it worked !!




Pipe Mounting Method, Canopy Tint and trial fitting.

The last thing I did tonight (11/14/04) was to create a mounting method for the tuned pipe. I'm not positive I'm going to stay with this method yet, which is why I haven't glued it to the fuse yet, until I'm sure it's the way I want to go. I also tinted my canopy using 5 bottles of Rit black dye in a large container filled with hot water at about 125 degrees for 2 hours.





Progress during the weekdays is going to be slow at best ! (My damn job is getting in the way of my hobby !!!) Laughing
All I worked on tonight was fitting the canopy frame and cutting out the holes for the mounting blocks!!




Once the holes are spaced and cut in the canopy frame, we attach the frame to the fuse with masking tape and mark through the cut outs in the frame onto the fuse. Then we remove the frame and cut through the marks on the fuse that will now match up perfectly with the frame.





As a side note......You'll notice in looking at the pictures that the Tuned pipe rests a mere 1/16 of an inch underneath the extra thin fiberglass wing socket. Quite a few folks have reported melting the socket due the the extreme heat the pipe generates. From researching the threads on flyingcirkus and RCUniverse, folks have been using balsa, ply, and thin heat insulation with mixed results. I'm going to try coating the sleeve with some brush on ceramic heat shield from BVM Jets. The folks at BVM said 2 or 3 coats, and it should not be affected by the heat at all. We'll just have to wait and see !!! Wink


Next, I mounted my control arms in the elevator surfaces tonight and mounted the servos.




Here's the photo's of the hatch and the weights of the aluminum vs. carbon tubes. Oh-yeah....and I got the wheels and pants mounted also!...




Tube Weight comparisons....



Well, Finished up the elevators tonight (except for drilling the stab tube holes) and will probably move on to either the Rudder horn, or mounting the Ignition module, battery, and throttle servo in the motor dome. I hope to get all of that , plus some work on the wings done this weekend.

You'll notice in looking at the elevator horns that it appears that I've drilled a hole closer to the surface than what composite-ARF recommends. That's not the case. I left the horn long so if I wanted to fly precession, I could go out on the horn and increase my mechanical advantage. The hole closest to the surface is exactly 22mm from the surface (which is what CA recommends) the hole furthest out is 27mm.

I've got roughly 55 degrees of up elevator, and 45 degrees of down. Should be enough to play around with. Smile



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