Skygate C-ARF L39 build thread and virtual manual - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:52 PM   #1
Peter A
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Skygate C-ARF L39 build thread and virtual manual


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I have been thinking about building an L39 for quite a long time and I had my eyes set on the Tomahawk Design L39 until C-ARF released their SkyGate C-ARF L39.

I must admit they should call this kit Quick Build because I am almost done in less than 1 week. I am waiting for the tail pipe, tank, retracts and cockpit, they are back ordered.
You can build and go fly this kit in 2 weeks

The reason I chose the C-ARF are:

1- A little bit smaller, removable rudder, mangeable to transport
2- Shipping to my door was almost a third of what I was quoted by TD
3- Flying characteristics are superb
4- The amount of work already done far surpassses what is done on the TD L39
5- Everything fits perfectly
6- Did not have to pay extra to have the equivalent of " work done at factory" like with TD done i.e. every single piece of wood is installed, absolutely nothing to glue
7- The most ingenious design is the removable air intake which gives an amazing access to the engine bay area to work comfortably.


The disadvantage is that there is no manual but since the designer of both kits is Stephan Volker anyway, and I have built the TD Hawk, things progressed super good.
I still need a manual at some point to check that what I did is correct.
Here are some pictures.

I am using air retracts and brakes, but servo operated doors.


NOTE: if you are building or planning to build one, watch for a missing bolt inside the rudder control rod, I used my own metric bolt and fixed it in place.
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Last edited by Peter A; 10-04-2012 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:36 PM   #2
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Re: Skygate C-ARF L39 build thread and virtual manual

That looks like a great kit!
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:31 PM   #3
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Re: Skygate C-ARF L39 build thread and virtual manual

Small update.
I re-did the aileron linkages, some comments on RCU woke me up and I realized there was a better way of doing them.

I have just ordered a pair of the 36mm Lexon landing lights. I will make my own landing light kit.

2nd main door to be done today. Then I have to Waiiiiiiiiiiiiit to get the rest of the items to finish (tail pipe, tank, retracts and cockpit kit)
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:47 PM   #4
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Re: Skygate C-ARF L39 build thread and virtual manual

Nice build Peter, I gotta see how you will do Light kit and will take some notes from ur build...
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:35 PM   #5
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Re: Skygate C-ARF L39 build thread and virtual manual

Nothing fancy. These will go in the wing tips, 2 cell LiPo for power, servo activated switch and high power load resistors to limit the current.

I am not making nav lights or anyhting like that, just super bright landing lights.

Here is an example of my Viper's landing lights.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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Re: Skygate C-ARF L39 build thread and virtual manual

All doors are done. Here is a short video:



Well the air brakes are interesting. Absolutely no hardware included and since there are no instructions, I made own system. Seems very smooth and work surprisingly well.

One is done, the next one will be done later today .
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Last edited by Peter A; 10-06-2012 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:17 PM   #7
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Re: Skygate C-ARF L39 build thread and virtual manual

OK here is the update.
Still need to Hysol and re-enforce the mounts but so far they seem to work very well.

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Old 10-07-2012, 11:29 AM   #8
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Re: Skygate C-ARF L39 build thread and virtual manual

Fantastic project Peter, can't wait to see it fly!

What made you decide to use servo operated doors and brakes vs the Lado actuators?

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Old 10-07-2012, 01:12 PM   #9
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Re: Skygate C-ARF L39 build thread and virtual manual

Thanks Mike
The use of servos is much more practical since LADO only offer 20 and 30mm, and the problem with them is exactly the same problem with air actuators, if you want less or more, you cannot refine the travel.

Also, in my case, 30mm is too little for the main doors, and 20mm it too much for the nose door. So LADO is out for that reason. Also, for the Main doors, the location of the actuator had to be out of the way to avoid the wheels and the bottom of the turbine so I did not need anything bulky, just a 4-40 rod to give room.

As far as Air Brakes, LADO could have worked but I stayed with servos.

Also very important, somtimes like in my nose gear door, the pushrod had to be bent to clear the hinge line due to the way the door opens, can never do that with LADO.


I like the idea of servos since you can adjust the travel, fine tune the end limits (extended and retracted), program the speed of extension and retraction through the radio. LADO only allows a delay programming but not speed of retraction etc. the motor turns at a fixed speed.

Finally the ease of replacing damaged parts, standard servo size, straight forward.

LADO has an advantage though in case of binding, the current detection circuit will shut off the power to avoid burning up a motor so I figured all the above advantages surpass the LADO advantage.

Hope I am making sense.
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:42 PM   #10
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Re: Skygate C-ARF L39 build thread and virtual manual

Not trying to be negative, but what happens if a wheel gets stuck between the door ?
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