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Old 04-08-2018, 09:13 AM   #1
Cougar429
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G/P Waco Build


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Might be a bit early, but grabbed one at the Toledo show and will aim to put this up on the build table after getting the current fleet ready for the season. Had been pretty well set on finding their Super Stearman. Unfortunately out of production now so finding one in good shape was getting more difficult. Also, no production on spares and working on a hacked up cowl was even less of my idea of fun.

Have to say this was one BIG box! Everything looks well packaged. Waiting to clean up the build/storage room a bit before pulling everything out. If like most other ARF's there may be some skin tightening to do,

This has the same 72" spec as my current 1/5 Pica Waco so would be a great mount for another Saito 125. However, have a Gemini 160 twin built up from two bad engines now ready to test on the stand. A quick check shows it fits in the cowl without any protrusions. YEAH!

Should be more than enough power and the sound might make it unique.

Rather than dig out the manual downloaded it from G/P and had a boo. There are some things that the Pica has over this one, especially in how the cabanes and interplane struts are attached. May look at other methods for those.

Off topic, there is a popular line of homebuilts that use the wing skin as the control surface hinge. Would seal the interface and perhaps reduce the required deflection, but my own experience with machines and alloy does not inspire confidence in durability or ease of repair/replacement.

Reason for that diversion follows: One item that definitely will not be included in the assembly are the CA hinges. Never can figure out why those are so popular. Sure, cheap and simple, but the extra work of installing pin hinges ensures reliability for years. Am looking at going away from my method of using Gorilla Glue to anchor the hinges in favor of something different. Upon recommendation from someone here on RCC picked up a bottle at Lee Valley that should work the same way. Will include that when start posting pics.

If anyone has experience or recommendations, would appreciate any input.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:55 AM   #2
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Re: G/P Waco Build

Over the years I have used different glues and methods of hinging. My favorited was Weldbond. Recently I tried Deluxe Super’phatic glue. This glue is great for everything and has become my glue of choice. I seldom use CA hinges other than for small park flyers. My favourite way of hinging is using Dubro hinges, removing the pin and re-pinning with a wire the full length of the control surface. Makes for lining up the hinges accurately. Control surfaces are easily removable. I also installed the hinges first then cover, no problem. I do no pin the hinges either. Never had a failure.
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Old 04-08-2018, 01:35 PM   #3
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Re: G/P Waco Build

Good call Gary.
That was one of my all time favourites. Best advice I can give is use redundant power setup. If you use a 30cc plant then the weight won’t be an issue. I only ever needed half throttle for takeoff with that plane.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:22 PM   #4
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Re: G/P Waco Build

I use the wire method for installation as it does perfectly align them all the way along. Pull that and use my own 90 degree bent wire, (same diameter) in place of their cotter pins for the large versions. Looked at the DuBro display at Toledo but they did not have any more large sets. Luckily I stocked up prior so still have quite a few.

The 160 twin calls for an 18" prop. If that looks a bit wonky will check into a smaller diameter 3-blade.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:43 AM   #5
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Re: G/P Waco Build

Very little progress as I am working 6-7 days a week, but have finally gotten the Gemini 160 to run a lot better. Had been hogging rich at low speed regardless of air bleed setting, so experimented with enlarging that opening. At roughly double the size and tapering the new allan head bolt, (much easier to get at) now can fine tune it down to 2000-2100RPM idle. Even lower with heat applied which may push for onboard glow.

Extra benefit is lots less oil from the vent line now, as well.
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Old 04-03-2019, 11:37 AM   #6
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Re: G/P Waco Build

Hi, there. I hope your project is coming along well. I put one of those together in fall 2017, and flew it last season. I have a DLE 35RA in it. I just want to share a few things that might be useful to you:

1) The angle brackets that attach the struts to the wings crack and break at the bend. The first one broke on the maiden flight, and a few more broke on later flights. I replaced them one by one at first, then I replaced them all. This could be due to the vibration of a gas engine, but you should be aware of that. I made stronger replacements out of 1 1/2 inch angle brackets (see first photo; original bracket on left, finished home made replacement in the middle, and stock 1/ 1/2 bracket from hardware store on right). The cabane strut brackets have not given me any problems yet, but if the top ones ever break, they will be more difficult to replace because they are glued into the wing joint. So, something to keep in mind.

2) You wonder about the prop length in one of your posts. I have a 20 inch prop, and it looks fine to me, and it has adequate ground clearance (see second and third photos).

3) Definitely replace the CA hinges. I didnít (out of laziness) and I lost two elevator hinges on one side in one flight. I was lucky that the third one didnít break before I landed. I replaced them with Dubro heavy duty hinges.

4) I wired the ailerons together by side rather than by wing, with a channel for each side so it is easier to program mixes in the radio.

5) I used one servo per elevator for redundancy (fourth photo).

The plane flies very well and looks great in the sky. The only thing I have to be careful with is to land level (two point landing). If I bring the nose up too much into a three point attitude, I often end up porpoising.

These are the main things I can think about, but donít hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

I hope you finish it soon and enjoy flying it.
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Old 04-03-2019, 09:53 PM   #7
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Re: G/P Waco Build

Been too busy with work to spend a lot of time each day and wanted to make more progress before posting pics.

Thanks for the info. I have been back at it recently and have the wings all together. Plan to tie the upper ailerons to the bottom identical to the 1/5 Pica of the same dimensions. Just have to find more aero tubing.

Good to know about the brackets. May have to find another solution before completion. Were those for the interplane struts, (between the wings) or the cabanes that tie to the fuse?

Making a box to extend the engine 40mm to give the proper cowl clearance.

One observation is this has the worst covering job of any ARF I have ever seen next to the Typhoon electric from years ago. Took so much heat to tighten color affected so this may be in for a recover once I have a season in. Almost embarrassing to bring this to a public event. Will decide if decals will go on till then.

Good idea on the dual elevator servos. Have been looking at some way to mechanically tie them together but nothing so far. Heading to Toledo Show on Friday and will keep my eyes open for something there.

I also hate CA hinges on anything, especially this size. Depending on progress will definitely look at replacement. Would have been a LOT easier if not already installed.

I'm also replacing their stock tailwheel with a Sullivan.
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Old 04-04-2019, 05:49 AM   #8
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Re: G/P Waco Build

Good morning. To address your specific points:

It is the interplane strut brackets that broke. So far, the cabane strut brackets are fine.

The covering on mine was the opposite: it was almost perfect, despite the ARF being in storage for several years, so go figure.

The hinges were not too hard to cut out of the elevator. I was originally going to cut new slots and leave the old hinges in, but the two outside hinges would have ended up too far in for my liking, so I cut out the CA hinges and used the same slots for the Dubro hinges. The CA hinges came out pretty cleanly. I was afraid that I would mangle the slots, but it didn’t happen. I just carefully slid a #11 blade on each side of the hinges to separate them from the balsa, and pulled them out. I then ran a a slot cutter through the slot to clean it up. It worked out OK.

Also, I left the aileron CA hinges in for now. I might replace them later if they give me trouble, but so far so good. However, I now inspect them after every flight. So, as a compromise solution, you could replace only the elevator and rudder hinges initially. This way, you would only have to remove and replace the CA hinges on the elevator, which would be a lot less work than doing the four ailerons as well.

Again, all the best with your project.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:53 AM   #9
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Re: G/P Waco Build

Thanks for the info. The interplane strut brackets have the most bend so that may be why they have issues. The others are less severe so may avoid any weakening or cracking.

Extension box is bonded together and just needs to be cleaned up before transferring centering marks.

On that subject wanted to ask if you needed to reinforce your firewall for the DLE. That OS Gemini twin is a boxer so relatively smooth, but to be honest only ran it on the test stand. Still, compared to a YS 120 and Saito 125 it feels like a watch.

Forgot to mention the gear fairing was missing during inventory so looks like I will have to fab one up. Not a biggie, just would be nice if they had that one listed for spares. I figure if going to the effort will set it up to be retained by the outer L/G bolts so quick removal will avoid digging through silicone.

There are reports of damage to the fairings where the gear meets the fuse unless landings are exceptionally smooth. How are yours holding up?
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Old 04-04-2019, 09:32 AM   #10
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Re: G/P Waco Build

Just about to start the second season with mine..the covering was pretty decent on mine with only a bit of tightening required.

I had a Saito 180 kicking around and used it vs the suggested 120. Glad I did as the extra weight in the nose helped with the CG. Also, having a bit of extra power is never a bad thing as she is a bit porky.

Agree on the main gear landings as well.
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