Planning for a Beaver Build - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:21 PM   #1
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Planning for a Beaver Build

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I am going to try my hand at building my first float plane this winter, a 96" unionville radial beaver with Balsa USA edo floats, and hoping you guys up north can help. The only beaver, most people know about here in the States, has a flat tail and chews down trees. So I have to head up north to find the beaver experts. Been browsing RCCanada for a while and saving all the great looking Beaver pictures on the computer for future reference when it's time to cover. Also since it's my first float plane, been reading and taking notes on float setup.

First question I have would be the engine. Wondering how an OS 120 4s with an aluminum mount would work on this plane. It has such a short snout that it looks like it will be hard to balance without having to add wieght. I would be interested in hearing some finished weights, engines used, and where you put the sevoes for best balance.

Second question, now that I am talking about weight and balance would be sheeting the whole plane, 1/16" balsa for the wings and tail feathers and 3/32" for the fuse. I kind of roughed out the square inches that would take and came up with a good pound of balsa figuring 10lb. wood. Will this plane fly alright with another pound of balsa plus floats or will it seem like a brick in the air. Also all that balsa will be behind the CoG, so that will make it even harder to balance without lead.
The reason I would like to sheet the plane is it is modeled after a full skinned aluminum plane, and I don't like the look of sunlight shining through monokote on an open structure. Also, it resists hanger rash a little better and makes it a little easier for multi-colored trim schemes. What I would really like to do is glass the whole plane and shoot it with automotive paint, but then we would be talking even more weight. Is there a covering that doesn't show the open structure when in the sun? I know, I know,you'll never see it in the air, but I still like it to look it's best when on the ground.

Hoping you guys can get me started on the right path with this build. Will probably be more question coming.
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:16 PM   #2
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Re: Planning for a Beaver Build

From my experience building their Norseman I have a few suggestions, (more confirmation of your comments).

First was their use of 1/4 balsa for the bulkheads and tail surfaces. Far too thick and contributes to a tendency to be tail heavy. Trim ANY extra weight aft of the CofG. If you skin it and plan for water work that wood requires sealing against moisture, adding even more mass. Mine ended up close to 11lbs on floats. Never got the chance to fly it from water, but the OS FS120 yanked pretty darned hard. You needed a large enough prop on the Norseman to just extend beyond the cowl!

On that note the short cowl does not allow for a lot of lever arm up front. Consequently it would need more weight to balance correctly.

On my Norseman I found no way to fit the OS without recessing the firewall, something that would have been much easier before covering.

There have been posts and build reports here in the forums and there is a wealth of info and pics. You can go into the Float planes section in the forums and do a search for "Unionville Beaver".
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Last edited by Cougar429; 09-06-2010 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:24 AM   #3
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Re: Planning for a Beaver Build

I worked on the real ones, I just googled Unionville Beaver. It is the one I thought it was, "Semi-scale". Check the shape of the bottom of the fuselage and tje top corners of the aft fuse. The front does not look just right. He is right, building the tail light enough is going to be a challenge.

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Old 09-07-2010, 03:06 PM   #4
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Re: Planning for a Beaver Build

I have lots of time on a few unionville beavers, powered with OS91 Fs it will fly on floats, but just barely.
The 120 powered id much better, and flys like a beaver, but by the sounds of what you want, a Unionville kit may not be what you want, they are not very scale, and are more like a box fuse with a round motor, and sheeting the airframe would be WAY to heavy.

MR Aerodesign have a great scale looking beaver, I have not seen one first hand but it looks like a better "scale" Beaver model, and would be much easyer to build.
The unionville kit is a big box of balsa sticks and a set of planes, there are few pre cut parts othere than the ribs and fire wall.

here's a link...

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Old 09-07-2010, 03:30 PM   #5
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Re: Planning for a Beaver Build

You probably already have, but check out the scale, and float forums, there are several threads there dealing with Beavers of the size range that are looking at, particularly the Unionville 96". There are several contributions from folks who have dressed up their Unionville kits.

I have been flying mine, covered in MonoKote for 25 years. It weighs 10 lbs, and balanced right on with an OS FS 91 in the front, and the servos located as per plans. If I was to build it again, I would put the servos in the wing. I have never flown it on floats, but the OS 91 is plenty of power on wheels. For floats the 120 is probably a good bet, if you do not add too much weight.

The MR Aerodesign Beaver is about the same size, but heavier. I am building one now and expect it to come out about 27 lbs, powered by an OS AX120.

For lots of info and photos on full scale Beavers visit , and visit the DHC-2 chat room on Yahoo.

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Old 09-07-2010, 08:18 PM   #6
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Re: Planning for a Beaver Build

Thanks for the input guys. I will probably give up on the total sheeting idea. From looking at the plans it looked like it might be easy to get the tail to heavy. I was hoping everyone was going to tell me that they had to mount the servoes in the tail to get it to balance. I looked at that other beaver, it is nice, but since this is my first try at floats figured I better keep it a little cheaper. After I get all drownings and crashes out of the way with this plane then I will be ready for the Aerodesign one. How do gas engines with their spark plugs get along on water. I would think all the water spray would short out the plug, maybe not.
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