To my eye the funest airplane I have seen in a while is the Pilatus Porter, and the funest thing to do with it looks like aerotowing. Having devoured all the forum posts here and on other fourms regarding the Porter and aerotowing I jumped in and ordered the 3.2 meter version of the TOPMODEL Pilatus Porter from Espirit Model in Palm Bay, Florida. The boxes were promptly delivered and children in the neighborhood thought the Frankenstein monser was being delivered in a giant coffin. My wife simply thought I had lost my mind. Our minature Daschund thought he had found a new place to mark.
In self (and Porter ) defense I quickly loaded it into my Tahoe - barely - and took it to my shop down the road. There it stands today, looming as a block of the Stonehenge circle at the back of the shop. I can't wait to get to it.
First, however, I am laying in some supplies that go with the scale of the aircraft, and with the philosoply of reliability as a tug. The last thing delivered was a Prop Drilling Jig for the DA 120 I plan to use on the Porter. Before that came the Aeropoxy Glue Kit, the HiTec X4 charger so I can charge the A123 packs simultaneously, that is for two packs for servos and receiver and one for ignition. Some 4-40 ball links, some titanium pushrods, an inch-pound torque wrench for prop bolts and other things, 100 ounce gasoline tank with appropirate stoppers and tubing (viton and tygonn), HiTec HS-7965MG servos, stainless steel tubing for a servo guard aft, 1/8" fuel line barbs, other high torque servos, opto kill switch, heavy duty control horns, some CM6 plugs, rare earth magnets, carbon fiber sheet, 1/4" and 3/8" birch plywood, and lord knows what else. Every time I read of a potential or actual problem with the Porter that has been solved, I go out and get what it takes to incorporate it into my Porter. My goal is extreme reliability.
Also in the meantime I have been finishing a Glow engine Senior Telemaster, a .60 Big Stik with an O.S. FS-95V and flying my Tower Trainer .60 and T28s. Now I am starting another Big Stick and I am putting a DLE20 on it. This is a learning experience on gasoline engine installation, operation and usage. I will reinforce the nose area, just as I am planning to do on the Porter, and will try and develop a source of pure, no alcohol, 91 octane gasoline.
As a first step in the Porter I ordered an additional set of main landing gear from TOPMODEL. After reading the experiences of many, I wanted to start with that as a first step. I unpacked the landing gear, or train, as used by TOPMODEL and finally figured out which screw and which washer and which bearing went where and assembeled the gear. I had earlier ordered 160 mm wheels from TOPMODEL to use on the short axles of the Porter. The wheels and secured to the axle inside the hubs so no wheel collars are needed on the outside.
Next thing I did was disassemble the shock struts for a learning experience and to clean them in preparation for using red locktite on the threads of the shock struts. It was a long task to get all the old, dried and gritty grease out of the springs using only Simple Green cleanser. Since I was working at home this time, I avoided issues with my wife and dog and didn't use some of the available chemicals to get the grease out quickly. Of course, I don't have a parts washer here or at the shop anyway.
I will do my best to post some pictures of the main gear to illustrate these points. Hopefully I can figure out how to do that.
My main piece of information for any newer builders (assemblers), such as my self, is that you absolutely must get all the grease out of the inner and outer threads of the eyebolt and aluminum spring cover at the bottom of the shock strut before applying red or blue locktite during reassembly after cleaning. It is hard to get the old grease out and you will need some stiff burshes and chemicals to do it thoroughly. The locktite won't work if you don't get all the grease out. I haven't succeeded yet, and will have to work in the shop with chemicals to do it. IF I do it that is. I say IF because I suspect it will be durn near impossible to get the re-greased spring back inside the housing and the eyebolt screwed in again, without smearing some more grease into the threads.......
I am considering a plan to regrease, reassemble, them drill all the was through the housing just above the lower eyebolt flange and put the stoutest practical cotter pin through as a means of preventing the fitting from unscrewing. That should secure the lower end. The upper end of the spring shock strut would not be able to rotate if it is strongly locktited. The spring itself would be free to move, expand, contract and rotate freely within the aluminium shock strut spring cover. The cotter pin would hold the cover to the eyebolt while allowing spring movement above it, and the strut going into the upper eyebolt would be secured with locktite of your choice! What do you think?
If anyone has suggestions or better ways to do things, please do jump in and let me know. I will sincerely appreciate any advice or insights.
Next thing I plan to do on the Porter is to drill some socket head screws for safety wire. I had the thought that drilling two holes in the socket head would not weaken it to any measurable degree, and would make the safety wiring more like what I'm used to. What do you'all think?
Thanks, and see you later. Particularly when I run out of ideas or screw something up. Mike.