ANTOINETTE RC91 COVERING

The covering material included in this kit is Litespan, by Solarfilm. It is a strong, tough, heat-shrinkable synthetic covering material. Litespan is very light weight, approximately 32 grams per sq. yard. Litespan is heat shrinkable, however it does not have glue already on it. You must first apply adhesive to the model structure where you want the covering to stick, using a heat-activated liquid adhesive such as SIG Stix-It or Solarfilm Balsaloc (not supplied). The following parts of the Antoinette need to be covered:
  • Wings - cover top only
  • Fuselage Sides - cover from former F7 to the tail post
  • Fuselage Top - cover from former F7 to former F9
  • Fin and Rudder - cover both sides
  • Stabilizer and Elevator - cover top only
Note: When covering the stabilizer, study the plan carefully to determine which side is the top. The determining factor is the location of the control horn. It must end up on the left side of the airplane.

Refer to the "COVERING DIAGRAM" to see how to make best use of the covering material provided.



Surface Preparation

Lightly sand the parts to be covered, removing any bumps and unevenness that would show through the covering. Start with 80 or 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block, and finish with 220 grit or finer sandpaper. Fill all cracks and hollows with light weight model filler and sand smooth. Coat the areas where you want the covering to stick with the heat-activated adhesive, following the manufacturer’s instructions. On both wing panels, apply adhesive to the leading and trailing edges, the tip and root ribs and to the top surface of each wing rib. Allow the adhesive to dry to the touch.

Pre-Shrinking

Litespan is capable of shrinking a great deal. We have tried several methods to control this tendency, including pre-shrinking the material. Doing this tends to take some (not all) of the "shrink" out of the material. This can be desirable when trying to minimize any tendency to warp the part being covered. To do this, first cut the piece to shape (such as one of the wing panels), leaving at least an inch or so of material around all edges. Place the material on a clean, flat heat-resistant surface (dull side up). With your iron set to about 200 deg. F, iron the material smooth, shrinking it in the process. The piece is now ready to apply as described below.

Adhering

Set your covering iron temperature to between 195 deg. F and 210 deg. F. Lay the Litespan on the framework and smooth out the wrinkles. Tack the Litespan in place at a few points around the edges, using the toe of the iron. While tacking, gently pull the Litespan to get a smooth fit without large wrinkles. Do not try to pull the Litespan drum tight, just smooth and wrinkle free. Reheating and peeling back while hot allows the Litespan to be repositioned. Then, seal the Litespan all around the edges of the wing with the iron. Trim surplus Litespan from around the edges with a sharp blade and reseal the edges if necessary.

.

Shrinking

Increase the iron temperature to between 250 deg. F and 285 deg. F. Shrink the Litespan by slowly sliding the iron across the surface of the Litespan - just lightly touching the surface. Be very careful not to over-shrink the Litespan because it will warp the light weight structure of the Antoinette. Do not try to shrink out every last little wrinkle. Just get rid of the largest ones. Remember, the full-scale Antoinette also had wrinkles in the covering.

NOTES ON COVERING IRONS:
We’ve found that a small "trim iron" (such as the Top Flite Trim Seal Tool) works better than a full-size covering iron when working with the Litespan on light weight model structures like the Antoinette. In fact, we use a trim iron for the entire covering process, both adhering the Litespan and then shrinking it. The small size of the trim irons' shoe places heat in a small area, allowing a lot of control. We can also tell you from experience that using a heat gun on Litespan is not a good idea. The heat from a heat gun is difficult to control and can cause uneven shrinking, which in turn causes warps.

FINAL ASSEMBLY

59.

Find the bamboo Tail Skid that you made earlier during the fuselage construction, and glue it in place.

60.

If you plan on painting the front of the fuselage and the tail skid, do it now. Let dry before proceeding.


61.

Glue the Stabilizer in place on the fuselage. Notice the small circular shaped cutout in the trailing edge of the stabilizer. This is to accomodate the leading edge of the rudder. Make sure when gluing the stabilizer to the fuselage that you line the front of that cutout with the rear edge of the fuselage tail post.
Now, glue the Fin in place on the stabilizer. Sight straight down the trailing edge of the Fin to make sure that it lines up with the fuselage tail post underneath the stabilizer.

62.

Built into the front of both the rudder and elevator is a balsa control horn gusset CHG. Cut away the covering material over the small slit in CHG. Insert a laser-cut plywood control horn CHN into the slit, center the horn, and then, glue with Thin CA.

63.

A single SIG Easy Hinge, measuring 3/4"x1", is provided for hinging the rudder and elevator. Cut the Easy Hinge into 8 pieces that measure 1/8"x1/2".

64a.

Refer to the plans and mark the locations for (4) Easy Hinges on the leading edge of the rudder and on the trailing edge of the fin and tail post.

64b.

Using a sharp #11 hobby knife, carefully cut small slits in the parts to accept the Easy Hinges.


64c.

Insert an Easy Hinge halfway into each slit in the fin and tail post.
DO NOT GLUE THE HINGES IN AT THIS TIME.
Now carefully slide the rudder onto the exposed half of the hinges. You will find it easiest to slide the part onto the hinges at an angle, one hinge at a time. To set the proper amount of gap between the parts simply deflect the control surface to the maximum amount of travel desired in each direction. This will automatically set the proper hinge gap.

64d.

Place a single small drop of Thin CA glue directly onto the hinges in the gap. You will notice that the glue is quickly wicked into the slit as it penetrates both the wood and the hinge. Because the hinges are so small, there is not need to put glue on both sides. The glue you put on the first side will flow around to the other side. Let the hinged parts dry before flexing.

CAUTION: SIG Easy Hinges are designed to be used with any THIN CA adhesive. Make sure you are using the thinnest variety. Do not use medium or thick CA, or any other type of glue, on Easy Hinges. Also, never use CA accelerator on Easy Hinges.

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65. Repeat step 64 to hinge the elevator to the back of the stabilizer.

66.

The 1/32" laser-cut plywood WTS wing tip skids provided in the kit are a decorative scale part. They are not structural or meant to be functional. You can leave them off if you want to without affecting the airplane in any way other than visually. We like them and feel that they add to the "Victorian Age" flavor of the Antoinette. If you agree, glue them in place on the tip end of each wing panel and paint them the same color as the front of the fuselage.

Decals

The decals provided in the kit are self-stick mylar stickers. They should not be dipped in water! Simply cut out the decal design with a sharp hobby knife or scissors, cutting as close to the image as possible. Remove the design off the backing paper with tweezers and carefully place it in position on the model. Gently rub the decal onto the part with your finger tip.

RADIO INSTALLATION

Rudder

67a.

Study the plans and cross-section F7 to understand how the rudder servo is mounted in the fuselage.

b.

A piece of 1/8"x1/4"x3" long basswood is provided for making servo mounts. Cut two 11/16" long pieces of basswood for the rudder servo mounts. Bevel the ends of the pieces to fit against the fuselage side sheeting, as shown in the cross-section drawing.

c.

Mount your rudder servo to the basswood servo mounts with the screws that came with the servo. Be sure to drill pilot holes in the mounts so the screws won’t split the wood.

68.

Set the rudder servo (minus the control arm) in place in the fuselage. Check the fore and aft positioning of the servo in comparison to the side view plan. The output shaft of the servo should be 2-1/8" ahead of former F7. Also, check to see that the servo sits far enough down in the fuselage. If you made your basswood servo mounts the correct length, it should automatically fit at the right height. When you have the servo properly located, glue the ends of the basswood servo mounts to the insides of the fuselage side sheeting.

69.

Use a sharp #11 hobby knife to make a cutout in each side of the fuselage for the rudder servo arm. The dimensions for the cutouts are shown. If you’ve located your rudder servo in the right place, it’s output shaft should be centered in the middle of the cutouts you just made. If not, you’ll have to adjust the cutout.




70a.

Installing the servo control arm onto the servo is a little tedious, but not difficult if you work carefully. First, on the inside of the fuselage, loosen the servo mounting screws enough to allow you to lift the servo up until its output shaft is clear of the cutouts in the fuselage sides.

b.

Now, insert the servo control arm through the cutouts and press it onto the servo output shaft.

c.

To put the control arm retaining screw in place, drill a small hole in the bottom of the fuselage just large enough to get your smallest screwdriver through to put the screw in.

d.

Re-tighten the servo mounting screws inside the fuselage.

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71. Pull-pull control lines are used to connect the rudder servo to the rudder control horn. A 10 foot long piece of monofilament fishing line is provided for this. Cut it in half into two 5 foot long pieces, one for the rudder and one to use later for the elevator.

72a.

Begin by slipping one of the 1/16" od aluminum swage tubes over one end of the monofilament line. Slide the tube up the line a little ways, leaving you about 4-5 inches of line to work with. Now, stick that short end of the line through the hole in left side of the rudder control horn. Then, loop the end of the line back through the aluminum swage tube. Slide the tube up close to, but not touching, the control horn. Use needle nose pliers to crimp the swage tube flat, tight against the lines. Trim off the short end of the line close to the swage tube.

b.

Next, poke the other end of the monofilament line through the outermost hole on the left side of the rudder servo control arm. Take the line all the way across the top of the control arm and down through the outermost hole on the right side of the arm. Then, run the line back to the right side of the rudder control horn. Swage the line to the right side of the control horn in the same manner you did the left side. Make sure you pull all the slack out of the monofilament line on both sides of the rudder servo before you crimp the swage tube flat. Just snug it up, but not so tight that you distort the airplane’s light structure. And don’t worry about getting the rudder exactly centered at this time. That’s in the next step.

c.

After you have your radio system hooked up and functional, you can adjust the pull-pull lines to center your rudder in neutral position. First, center your rudder servo arm in neutral position. Then, adjust the rudder to neutral position by sliding the monofilament line through the servo arm, lengthening one side while you shorten the other side at the same time. When you have the rudder properly neutralized, secure the pull-pull line by placing a single small drop of glue on the line where it passes through one of the holes in the servo output arm.

NOTE: In all the hours of indoor flying we've done with the Antoinette and other models, we've never found it necessary to readjust the neutral position of the rudder or elevator once they were secured in position.


If your rudder servo is perfectly neutral (including the trim lever on your transmitter) and your rudder is perfectly centered when you glue the line to the servo arm, the trim lever on your transmitter will easily cover any flight trimming adjustments that may be needed. If you ever need to replace the pull-pull lines, it’s a simple matter to chip the glue off the nylon servo arm, redrill the hole if needed, and put in new lines. Or simply replace the output arm with a new one.

Elevator


73a.

Study the plans to understand how the elevator servo is mounted in the fuselage.

b.

Cut two 3/8" long pieces of the 1/8"x1/4" basswood servo mount material. Glue them inside the fuselage, at the front and rear edges of the elevator servo cutout in the fuselage side.

c.

Mark and drill pilots hole for the servo mounting screws. Then, screw the elevator servo in place.

74.

Install monofilament pull-pull control lines to connect the elevator servo to the elevator control horn. Use the same procedures you used for the rudder hookup.



Receiver

Velcro® is supplied to mount your radio receiver to the balsa RXM receiver mount located right in front of former F6. For the receiver antenna, we drill a small hole in the bottom of the fuselage right in front of F6. Run the antenna through the hole and use a couple small pieces of clear tape to secure it to the bottom of the fuselage.

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Battery

Velcro® is supplied to mount your battery pack to the balsa BTM battery mount located in front of former F3. The second BTM in back of F3 is for other possible battery configurations. We’ve never had to use it yet, but recommend that you leave it in the airplane for structural strength. It weighs next to nothing.

Control Movements

The following control surface movements are based on our many hours of flying time with our Antoinette models. Note: These measurements were taken at the rearmost tip of the rudder and elevator.

RUDDER

2" Right, 2" Left
ELEVATOR

1-3/16" Up, 1-3/16" Down



ELECTRIC MOTOR INSTALLATION

75.

A laser-cut 1/16" plywood Motor Mount is used to adapt the GWS electric motor for "firewall" mounting in the Antoinette. To install the Motor Mount, we need to partly disassemble the GWS motor. Use a small screwdriver to remove the gear shaft split ring and washer from the back of the motor assembly. Pull the gear shaft and gear out of the plastic housing. Set aside these parts for re-assembly later.

76.

With a small Phillips screwdriver, remove the four screws from the front of the motor’s plastic gearbox. Also, remove the two smaller screws that hold the motor to the front of the plastic gearbox. Then, separate the front of the plastic gearbox from the rest of the motor unit.

77.

Set the front of the plastic gearbox in the cutout in the plywood Motor Mount - it will slip in place and bottom out against the face of the Motor Mount. While holding the plastic part tight against the plywood, place a single drop of Thin CA glue at the three points shown in the photo. This tack glues the plastic part to the plywood.




78.

Turn the assembly over and place a small drop of Med CA at the points shown and set the glue with CA Accelerator. The plywood Motor Mount is now adequately attached to the electric motor for normal flight, and yet it can be easily broken loose and removed later, if the need should arise.

79.

Re-assemble the electric motor and plastic gearbox assembly.

80.

Mount the electric motor assembly to former F1 using three #2 x1/4" Sheet Metal Screws. Notice that small pilot holes for the screws are already laser-cut in former F1.



.

Tip: Put the bottom mounting screw in first! The big gear on the front of the motor partly blocks access to the bottom mounting screw. So while you still have the motor assembly in your hands, put a screw through the bottom hole of the plywood motor mount, angling it past the gear. You can flex the plywood mount just enough to get the screw all the way in the hole, with the head tucked up underneath the gear. Then, hold the motor assembly up to the front of the fuselage while you thread the bottom screw into F1. Once you have it in, you can put in the other two mounting screws.

Scale Dummy Engine

81.

The scale-like dummy V-8 engine provided with your kit adds a nice look to the finished airplane. The engine is molded from .010 thick plastic in 3 separate pieces - 1 Crankcase, 1 set of 4 Cylinders for the right bank, and 1 set of 4 Cylinders for the right bank. Making the engine is not difficult, provided attention is paid to these instructions. Our finished, fully detailed and painted dummy engine typically weighs just 3 grams!

82a.

Trim out the molded plastic Crankcase, leaving a 1/16" flange on all four sides.
Note: A sharp pair of miniature scissors works great for cutting these light weight plastic dummy engine parts.

b.

Glue the Crankcase in place on the laser-cut 1/32" balsa Dummy Engine Base. The back end of the crankcase (the end with the sharper corners) goes right along the back edge of the Dummy Engine Base.



c.

Mark and then, cut off the front end of the Crankcase vertically, 2-9/16" from the back end.

d.

Trim out the bottom 1/4" of the back end of the crankcase so that it will clear the battery pack.




83a.

Bend ENGINE HOOK #1 and ENGINE HOOK #2 out of .020" dia. music wire, according to the full-size patterns on the plan. Note: Since neither of these hooks will be seen, they don’t need to be pretty, just functional. If yours don’t match the plan exactly, don’t worry about it, as long as they do the job.

b.

Glue ENGINE HOOK #1 in place in the Dummy Engine Base. Two small holes are already laser-cut into the base for the wire hook. Make sure you have the hook facing the right direction.

c.

Glue ENGINE HOOK #2 in place near the bottom of former F2. Two small holes are already laser-cut into the former for the wire hook. Make sure you have the hook facing the right direction.

d.

A small rubber band (not provided) looped between the two engine hooks holds the dummy engine assembly in place during flight.

84a.

Trim out the molded plastic Cylinders, leaving a small flange all the way around the perimeter.

b.

Draw a line exactly thru the middle of the each cylinder bank, and then, cut them in two.



c.

Hold the cylinder sections in alignment and tack glue them together with a tiny drop of Thin CA, placed right on top of each cylinder. The Thin CA will flow along the flanges, instantly gluing the parts together.

.

When dry, reinforce the seams by applying a little Thick CA glue on the inside of the cylinders. Let dry.

84d.

Carefully drag the bottom of the cylinder bank against a fine sanding block (150 grit or finer) to even out the edges. Don’t try to sand too fast or too hard. You’ll crush the thin plastic. Just drag the part lightly back and forth across the block and let the sandpaper do the work.






e.

The excess flange around the outside of each cylinder bank can now be carefully trimmed and sanded to final shape. Use 220 grit sandpaper and/or small jeweler’s files. Do not attempt to eliminate the seam completely, but rather work to make it as uniform as possible for a good appearance. When the engine is painted, the seam lines become very muted and won’t detract from the scale appearance.

85.

If you intend to paint your cylinders a different color than the crankcase, like we did ("steel" for the crankcase, "copper" for the cylinders), then you should paint them now. Allow the paint to dry before continuing.

86a.

Cut four 1/2" long pieces of 1/8" sq. scrap balsa stick. Adjust the length of the sticks as needed to fit inside the bottom of both end cylinders of each cylinder bank. Glue the sticks in flush with the bottom edge of the plastic cylinder. These sticks provide more gluing surface for attaching the cylinder banks to the crankcase in the next step.

b.

Put a drop of Medium CA on the balsa gluing sticks and then, carefully set the cylinder bank in place on the side of the crankcase. Prop the assembly up so the cylinder bank won’t fall off and leave it alone to dry.
Note: We don’t use CA Accelerator during this installation because it can mar the metallic paints we used on the cylinders and crankcase. Most brands of Medium CA will dry on its own, without accelerator, in 15-20 minutes.

c.

When dry, glue the second cylinder bank in place on the other side of the crankcase. Let dry.

87.

The dummy engine assembly, as provided in the kit, is now basically complete. For some modelers, this may be enough and they will want to move on. However, there are always those who want a little more "eye candy" and will want to fully detail the engines. For these folks, we'll share some additional detailing tips that we used on our dummy engines (materials for these additional details is not provided).

As mentioned earlier in the PAINT section of this manual, we used a selection of flat Testor's Model Master™ plastic model paints - both spray can and brushable types - for painting and detailing the dummy engine. The plastic crankcase was sprayed with Steel. The cylinders were sprayed with Copper. We made the exhaust pipes out of 1/8" od K&S™ Aluminum Tubing, carefully bent to shape, and then, painted with Burnt Metal Buffing Metalizer™. Thin or medium CA glue was used to attach the finished exhaust pipes to the cylinders.

The "sparkplugs" were made from 1/32" K&S™ Aluminum Tubing. Spray or brush the tubing with Flat White or Flat White Primer and allow to dry. Cut 1/4" lengths of the painted tubing for the sparkplug bodies. Cut 3/8" lengths of .031 music wire for the sparkplug tips. Glue one of the music wire pieces into each sparkplug body, leaving 1/8" of wire exposed. Use medium CA glue to install the spark plugs into pre-drilled holes in the top of each cylinder head. Use a 1/2" long piece of leftover 1/4" balsa dowel to simulate a distributor on the back end of the crankcase.
The sparkplug wires are made from thin black or gray R/C hook-up or antenna wire. Cut the 8 sparkplug wires to length, plus an extra inch on each one to work with.

Use a pliers to pull the metal wire out of the plastic insulation. One end of the plug wire is placed over the wire tip of each sparkplug (warming the tubing with a little heat relaxes it enough to do this). The other end of the tube is inserted into a distributor. Done neatly, the overall effect can be very convincing!

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GWS propellers are excellent products but they are molded in bright orange plastic! To make ours more realistic, we painted them. First, balance the prop with a prop balancer. If needed, sand the backside of the heavier blade to bring the prop into balance. Lightly sand the entire prop with worn out 220 grit sandpaper and wipe it down with alcohol to clean the surface.

For our props, we used Model Master spray paints - either Light Earth or Sand Beige will create a nice wood look.


Optional Dummy Gas Tank

The gas tank on a full-scale Antoinette is a prominent detail, in full view on top of the fuselage. In fact, some of the old photos of Antoinettes show multiple gas tanks lined up on top of the fuselage, undoubtedly for long range or endurance record setting attempts. The single gas tank shown on the plan is easy to make, quite light, and when painted and mounted in place, adds a lot of interest to the look of the model.

Note: No materials are provided in the kit specifically for making a dummy gas tank. To make the one shown on the plans you will need some scrap 1/32", 1/16", and 1/8" sheet balsa.

88a.

Start by finding a piece of hard metal or plastic tubing that is about 1" in diameter (we used a length of K&S brass tubing). The tubing will be used as a "form" to make the balsa tank Cylinder.

b.

Use a piece of light 1/32" balsa sheet, cut to 1-1/2" long. Roll the balsa sheet tightly around the tube until you have the edges overlapped. Secure it tightly with a piece of tape. With a straightedge and sharp hobby knife, cut away the excess balsa to create a tight seam between the edges of the sheet.

c.

Slip a 3" or so length of waxed paper between the balsa sheet and the tube, beneath the seam. Hold the seam together and use Thin CA to glue the seam together.

d.

When dry, slip the balsa tube off of the form and remove the waxed paper from inside.




89a.

Cut two 1/16" thick balsa End Caps and glue them in place inside the ends of the balsa Cylinder. Sand the edges of the balsa Cylinder flush with the End Caps.


b.

Add the 1/8" balsa Stands, the 1/8" balsa Neck and 1/16" balsa Cap to the gas tank.

b.

Paint the gas tank, let dry, and then, mount it on the fuselage. Use 1/8" wide plastic tape to simulate the Straps. Total weight of our finished, painted, and mounted tank was 1 gram.


Optional Dummy Radiators

Like the gas tank, the radiators on the full-scale Antoinette fuselage are a very prominent detail that can add a lot of interest to your model. A full-size drawing of the simplified scale-like radiators we built for our prototype models is shown on the plan. You will need to make two, one for each side of the fuselage.

Note: No materials are provided in the kit specifically for making dummy radiators. To make the one shown on the plans, you will need some scrap 1/16" sq., 3/32" sq., and 3/16" sq. balsa sticks.

.

90a. Start by cutting 1/16" sq. balsa sticks for the radiator Frame and Crosspieces. Glue them together over the plan.

b.

Cut pieces of 3/16" sq. balsa stick for the Ends. Glue in place on both ends of the frame.

c.

When everything is dry, carefully remove the frame assembly from the building board. Carve and sand the 3/16" sq. Ends to quarter-round shape.

d.

Paint the frame assemblies and set aside to dry.

91a.

The radiator tubes are made of 3/32" sq. balsa sticks, sanded round. Start by cutting 16 pieces (enough for both radiators) of 3/32" sq. balsa x12" long. This is just slightly longer than the finished size of the radiator tubes, but gives you something to hold onto during shaping and painting.

b.

I know what you’re thinking now ... "It’s going to take me a week to sand all those sticks round!" Fear not! Here’s a neat trick to make this job a lot easier and faster. Use a metal "Screw Checker" to shave off the corners of the balsa sticks before sanding.

Note: A Screw Checker is a flat metal plate with varying size threaded holes of all the common screw sizes. It’s designed to make it easy for someone to determine the thread size of an unknown bolt by screwing it into the holes until you find one that fits. Screw Checkers are obtainable from Sears and other tool supply outlets.

c.

Push the first 3/32" sq. balsa stick through the 6-32 hole of the Screw Checker. There will be a little resistance as the Screw Checker starts to shave off the corners of the balsa stick. Turn the stick around and push it through the hole again in the opposite direction. Continue passing the stick through the 6-32 hole until no resistance is felt.

d.

Next, push the balsa stick through the 5-40 threaded hole in the Screw Checker. This will be pretty snug the first time through. Turn the stick around and run it through in the opposite direction. Keep pushing the stick through the 5-40 hole until little resistance is felt. It may take several passes.




e.

Now, push the stick through the 4-40 threaded hole of the Screw Checker. Keep pushing the stick through the hole until little resistance is felt. It will take several passes.

f.

Finally, push the stick through the 3-48 threaded hole. After several passes through this hole, the balsa stick should be round.

g.

Finish sand the stick to final shape with a piece of fine sandpaper. Repeat the process to round the rest of the balsa sticks.

h.

After you’ve got all the radiator tubes shaped, paint them and set aside to dry.

92.

Glue the radiator tubes in place on the frame. It only takes a few small drops of Thin CA to secure them. Then, glue the entire radiator assembly in place on the fuselage side. See plan for exact location.


Rigging Wires



Installing scale-like "rigging wires" on your Antoinette is well worth the small effort and really makes the airplane come alive. This non-functional rigging serves only one purpose, and that is to add interest to the finished model. The process is easier than you may think.

.

For reference, we've included a 3-view "Rigging Diagram" of the Antoinette at the end of these instructions. This drawing shows and identifies the rigging locations we put on our factory-built Antoinette models. The "rigging wires" are actually black elastic thread, and an 8 yard long piece is included in this kit to make all of the rigging you see in the diagram. You will also need the remaining 1/16"od x1/4" aluminum swage tubes, a good pair of small needle nose pliers, a sharp #11 blade, and some thin CA glue.

TENSIONING: A little information about the elastic thread and how to use it will be helpful. Because it's difficult to convey "how much" to stretch this thread during the rigging process, we'll tell you that we use a 2:1 ratio. This means that to get adequate tension on all rigging lines, stretch them to approximately twice their relaxed length. For example, a relaxed 12" length of thread is stretched to about 24", providing the right tension. With this in mind, the 8 yards of rigging thread included in the kit is really 16 yards in actual use - more than enough to complete the model.

93a.

Cut a piece of bamboo 8" long for the Center Rigging Post. Sand one end of the post round. Drill a .025" - .031" dia. hole through the post, about 1/8" from the rounded end. Paint the Center Rigging Post to match the rest of the forward fuselage. Let dry.

b.

Glue the Center Rigging Post in place in the fuselage as shown on the plan. Be sure that the hole in the top of the Center Rigging Post is aligned span wise to the model, across the width of the fuselage.

94a.

Cut four pieces of bamboo 4-5/8" long for the Wing Rigging Posts. Sand both ends of each post round. Drill a .046" dia. hole (3/64" or #56 bit) in both ends of each post, about 1/8" from the end. Make sure the holes are facing the same direction, parallel to each other. Paint the Wing Rigging Posts and let dry.

b.

Install two Wing Rigging Posts in each wing panel on the outside of rib W4, as shown on the plan. An "awl" works good for punching a small hole through the wing covering at each post location.
Slide the posts through the holes until there is an equal amount of post above and below the wing rib. Align the posts by eyeball, sighting from the root end of the wing, making sure the posts are parallel to each other, and that they are perpendicular to the "chord line" of the airfoil. Also, make sure that the holes in the ends of the posts are running span wise to the wing. When satisfactory, glue the Wing Rigging Posts to the side of the W4 wing rib.
Chord Line = in this case, it's an imaginary straight line running from the center of the leading edge to the center of the trailing edge.

95a.

Make three Rigging Hooks from .020" dia. wire. A fullsize pattern of the Rigging Hook is shown on the plan.

b.

Glue one Rigging Hook in the hole in the top of the Center Rigging Post in the fuselage. Use a small drop of Medium CA glue and set with accelerator.

c.

Glue the other two Rigging Hooks in place in the landing gear, where shown on the side view plan.

96.

In preparation for installing the rigging wires on the wings, you must first pierce a hole in the covering material over each aluminum tube rigging point in the wing (A through J on the Rigging Diagram) to allow the rigging lines to pass through the tubes. The absolute easiest and neatest way to do this is with a sharpened metal point, such as an awl or a thin nail. Use a lighter or torch to heat the metal point and press it through the covering, into the aluminum tube. This makes a neat, perfectly round hole that is sealed around its edges. Open all ten tubing holes on both wing panels.

97.

Referring to the Rigging Diagram, the first rigging wire we’re going to install runs from rigging point B, through hole CT in the top of the rear Wing Rigging Post, then, through the tube at rigging point D, through hole CB in the bottom of the rear Wing Rigging Post, and then, finally back to point B.

a.

Cut a 13" length (unstretched) of elastic thread.
Tip: When cutting the elastic thread, avoid fraying by using a sharp new razor blade.

b.

At one end of the elastic thread, apply a single drop of Thin CA glue to the tip of the thread and harden it with CA Accelerator. Use a razor blade to cut the hardened tip at a sharp angle, leaving a "point". The pointed end of the thread will be used as a needle to route the rigging thread through the various rigging point locations.

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c. Glue the other end of the elastic thread to the side of wing rib W3 opposite the aluminum tube rigging point B. The easiest way is to first put a small drop of Thin CA on the rib, then place the end of the thread in the glue and set it with CA Accelerator.

d.

Now push the needle end of the elastic thread through the aluminum tube and out the top surface of the wing. Pull all of the elastic thread through the tube to the topside of the wing.

e.

Run the elastic thread through hole CT in the top of the rear Wing Rigging Post, then down through the aluminum tube at rigging point D, and through hole CB in the bottom of the rear Wing Rigging Post.

f.

Insert the needle end of the elastic thread in the aluminum tube at point B and secure it with a drop of Thin CA.

g.

Adjust the elastic thread to equalize the tension in the four sections between the rigging points.

98.

Repeat step 97 to install a 13" length (unstretched) of elastic thread from point G, through hole HT in the top of the front Wing Rigging Post, then, through the tube at rigging point I, through hole HB in the bottom of the front Wing Rigging Post, and then back to point G.

99.

Repeat step 97 to install a 28" length (unstretched) of elastic thread from point A, through hole CT in the top of the rear Wing Rigging Post, then through the tube at rigging point E, through hole CB in the bottom of the rear Wing Rigging Post, and then back to point A.


100.

Repeat step 97 to install a 28" length (unstretched) of elastic thread from point F, through hole HT in the top of the front Wing Rigging Post, then, through the tube at rigging point J, through hole HB in the bottom of the front Wing Rigging Post, and then back to point F.

101.

Repeat steps 97 through 100 to install the same rigging wires on the other wing panel. That will complete the installation of all the permanent non-detachable rigging wires on the wings. When done, install the wing panels on the fuselage.

102.

The remaining rigging wires for the wings need to have swaged looped ends so that they can be detached from the fuselage whenever the wings are removed. The first detachable rigging wire we will install runs from point K, through the aluminum tube at point C, and then, down to point O on the landing gear.

a.

Cut a 16" length (unstretched) of elastic thread.

b.

Get a short (6" or so) length of scrap monofilament line. Hold the two ends of the monofilament line closely together and insert them both into one end of a 1/4" aluminum swage tube. Push the two ends through the tube, leaving a small loop of monofilament line sticking out of the tube.
c. Insert about 1" of elastic thread through the monofilament loop and back against itself. Hold the elastic thread loop tightly and pull the monofilament loop through the aluminum swage tube, along with the elastic thread loop until about 1/4" (relaxed, not stretched) of looped thread is showing from the end of the tube.

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d. Remove the monofilament line and use small needle nose pliers to crush the middle of the swage tube, locking the thread loop in place. Trim off the short length of excess thread. This end of the rigging wire is done.

e.

At the other end of the 16" thread, apply a single drop of Thin CA glue to the tip of the thread and harden it with CA Accelerator. Use a razor blade to cut the hardened tip at a sharp angle, leaving a "point". Push the pointed end of the thread through the aluminum tube at point C. Pull approximately half the thread out to the other side of the wing.

Now, repeat steps b, c, and d to make a swaged loop on this end of the thread. When done, hook the swaged loop ends of the rigging wire to the Rigging Hooks at points K and O.

103.

Cut another 16" length (unstretched) of elastic thread and repeat Step 102 to install this rigging wire from point K, through point H, and down to point O.

104.

Repeat Steps 102 and 103 to install the same rigging wires on the other wing panel.


105.

The final rigging wire for the wing runs from point H down to the Rigging Hook at point N. Start with a 9" length of elastic thread. Simply glue one end of the thread to wing rib W4 at point H. Put a swaged loop on the other end of the thread - this end hooks over the Rigging Hook at point N. Make an identical rigging wire on the opposite side of the airplane.

This completes all the wing rigging wires. Unhook the wires and remove the wings from the fuselage to get ready for the next steps.

106.

Cut three 7" long (unstretched) pieces of elastic thread for the rigging wires that go on the landing gear. None of these rigging wires needs to be removable. The ends are simply spot glued with a tiny drop of Thin CA onto the model structure as outlined in the following steps.

107a

The first 7" long piece of elastic thread runs from point P on the axle, through the hole at point M, and ends at point Q on the axle.
Start by placing a tiny drop of Thin CA on one end of the elastic thread. Quickly place that end of the thread at point P, right in the corner between the landing gear brace wire and the wooden axle. The remainder of the piece of elastic thread should be facing the rear.
Set the glue with a squirt of CA Accelerator. It should bond the end of the thread to point P immediately and you can let go.

b.

Poke the other end of the elastic thread through the hole in part LG6 at point M.

c.

Spot glue the loose end of the elastic thread at point Q, in the same manner you did in the first end in step a.

108a

Drill a .046" dia. hole (3/64" or #56 bit) through the landing gear at point N. The exact location doesn’t need to be measured, simply place it somewhere near the middle of the junction of the 3 landing gear struts that meet at this point.

b.

Use the procedures from Step 15 to install a 7" piece of elastic thread from point P on the axle, through the hole at point N, and then back to the axle at point Q.

109a

Drill a .046" dia. hole (3/64" or #56 bit) through the landing gear at point L.


b.

Use the procedures from Step 15 to install a 7" piece of elastic thread from the Rigging Hook at point O, through the hole at point L, and then, back to the Rigging Hook at point O.
When gluing the ends of the thread to the Rigging Hook at point O, we recommend simply wrapping the thread twice around the wire and then, gluing it permanently with a small drop of Thin CA.

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110a

Drill .046" dia. holes (3/64" or #56 bit) through the top of the Fin at points R and T. Center the holes in the 1/8" balsa stick.


b.

Drill .046" dia. holes through the edges of the Stabilizer at points V and W. Center the holes in the 1/8” balsa stick.

c.

Cut a 14" long (unstretched) piece of elastic thread. Glue one end of the thread to the Tail Skid at point U. Run the other end through hole V on one side of the Stabilizer, then, through hole T at the top of the Fin, down through hole V on the other side of the Stabilizer, and finally, back to point U at the Tail Skid.

d.

Cut a 9" long (unstretched) piece of elastic thread. Glue one end of the thread to the bottom of the fuselage at point S. Run the other end through hole W on one side of the Stabilizer, then through hole R at the top of the Fin, down through hole W on the other side of the Stabilizer, and finally back to point S on the bottom of the fuselage.

Note:
This is the extent of the rigging wires we’ve put on our Antoinette models. If you study photographs of the full-size Antoinettes, you’ll discover that there are many more rigging wires that could be added using the elastic thread techniques. That’s your option. Additional elastic thread is available wherever sewing thread is sold.

Pilot

111.

Cut the parts of the printed cardboard pilot from the sheet with a sharp #11 hobby knife or scissors. Cut as accurately and close to the image as possible.

112.

Drill a 1/16" dia. hole in the shoulder areas of the arms and body of the pilot. The locations for the holes are marked by a black dot.

113.

Assemble the arms to the body using the #00-90 x1/8" long brass bolts, hex nuts, and washers that are provided.

114a

Locate the two laser-cut plywood Control Wheels. Paint the Control Wheels with the colors of your choice (we used brown for the perimeter and steel for the spokes). Let dry.

b.

Glue the Control Wheels in place on the fuselage (see top view plan). The left Control Wheel is glued right onto the elevator servo control arm. The right Control Wheel is mounted on the right fuselage side, with a small standoff cut from leftover 1/4" balsa dowel.


115a

Cut a piece of 1/8" sq. balsa stick to fit between formers F6 and F7, at the top of the fuselage. Glue the stick in place, in the middle of the fuselage.

b.

Glue the pilot to the stick. Bend the pilot’s arms outward so his hands are on the Control Wheels.

Balance

As shown on the plans, your Antoinette should balance approximately 3-7/8" (34%) back from the leading edge of the wing, measured at the fuselage sides. We’ve achieved this balance point on all our prototype models, without having to add any additional weight, by mounting the battery pack on the forward BTM mount in front of former F3.

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FLYING

Whether or not the Antoinette is your first indoor R/C model, we strongly suggest that you pay close attention to the following information! If you have access to an indoor basketball court or a clear gym space of about the same size, you can quickly get the take-off and landing procedures understood with little problem. If you don't have this kind of indoor space available, find a large paved surface outdoors, and remember you cannot fly this airplane in any kind of wind! In all of the following instructions, remember that altitude is best controlled with the throttle. As you gain experience flying the Antoinette, you will do this automatically. Finally, remember that the flight controls are on the right stick (for Mode II transmitters) and that trying to correct with "rudder" on the left stick will do nothing! This might seem a little obvious but if you are normally a 4-channel pilot, it can be a very real issue.

Taking off the Antoinette could not be easier. Simply throttle up smoothly (do not "punch it"), correcting the take-off run with a little rudder, if needed, and it will lift off by itself in a very short distance. Typical take-off runs for the Antoinette are about 6' - 10'. As soon as the airplane lifts off, smoothly throttle back the motor, WITHOUT TURNING IT OFF, allowing the airplane to lightly settle back down to the "runway" for a landing under power. All of this should be done in a straight line. Repeat this exercise enough times to become familiar with the way the airplane responds to throttle and your small control inputs. If you learn nothing else, learn this; the Antoinette will not continue flying with the motor off. With the motor off, it will almost immediately stop flying and drop to the ground. This characteristic is shared with the fullscale Antoinette, as well as most, if not all, early pioneer aircraft.



Once you've mastered the take-off and landing techniques, you're ready to fly the airplane. Take-off and use the throttle to establish a "cruise" altitude of about 6' to 8' in the air. Make the turns smooth, keeping the nose level or slightly down to avoid stalling and to maintain forward speed. This turning technique is very useful throughout the Antoinette's flight envelope. After making just a few turns, you'll realize that the control authority is remarkably smooth and sure, without being "twitchy". If flying indoors and the ceiling height permits, take the airplane up higher, using throttle to seek and then, hold any given altitude. This is a good exercise in learning how to fly this model. It won't be long before you're perfectly comfortable with this very nice flying scale model. Make a few low, slow passes and listen to your flying buddy's comments!

When you're ready to land, remember the landing technique that you practiced earlier - you must land under power! Set up for a landing by lowering the throttle setting just enough to let the airplane begin descending on its own. Line-up the final approach to take advantage of the longest part of your "runway", keeping the airplane straight while it settles to the ground under low power. Use elevator input only sparingly to avoid killing off too much forward speed and to flare very slightly immediately before touchdown. Turn the motor off, allowing the model to stop. On the smooth wooden floors of indoor gyms and basketball courts we've learned to "taxi" our Antoinette back to the flight station, using coordinated rudder and throttle inputs.

As you gain air time and experience, you'll be able to perform wingovers, touch and go landings, and of course, those lovely low, slow fly-bys. We've tried to loop the Antoinette many times but its relatively low speed, high-lift airfoil, and lack of mass tend to combine, making a loop nothing more than a powered stall. Hey, the full-scale Antoinette didn't loop either! Remember, we’re talking 1909 - the first loop wasn’t done with any airplane until 1913!

Finally, make it a habit to check over the airframe of your Antoinette after each flight. Check for any loose joints, etc. Bringing a little CA glue to your flying sessions is highly recommended for the first few outings.

CONCLUSION

We sincerely hope that building and flying your Antoinette has been a rewarding and interesting experience. We also hope that you now have a little better appreciation for the very real contributions that early aviation pioneers made in refining and furthering one of man's grandest dreams!

Want to learn more? During our research of the Antoinette and the other SIG Pioneers Of Flight models, we had a lot of fun reading related books for scraps of information and to find the occasional grainy black and white photograph of our subjects. One of the best books on these old aeroplanes is "Picture History Of Early Aviation, 1903-1913", by Joshua Stoff, published by Dover Publications 1996. It’s probably the single best source of photos of the early aeroplanes, and it’s still available new from book dealers.

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Another very informative book was "CONTACT! The Story of the Early Birds", by Henry Serrano Villard, published by Bonanza Books, New York. Unfortunately, this book is no longer in print. We found our copy for sale on an internet used book search. If you love early aviation and want a good "read", complete with some great photographs, try to find a copy of your own! Last but not least, try to find a video copy of that great old movie "Those Magnificent Men And Their Flying Machines". It’s a comic, yet historically well based, look at the great international air meets that started in 1909. It will show you what the Antoinette and many other early pioneer aeroplanes actually looked like in flight. It’s fun to watch while you’re building your own Antoinette.

Good luck and safe flying!

Hubert Latham and his record setting Antoinettes.
1909 - 1910

Antoinette replica built for the movie “Those Magnificent Man and Their Flying Machines”.


Customer Service

SIG MFG. CO., INC. is totally committed to your success in both assembling and flying the 1909 ANTOINETTE kit. Should you encounter any problem building this kit or discover any missing or damaged parts, please feel free to contact us by mail or telephone.

SIG MFG. CO., INC.
401-7 South Front Street
Montezuma, IA 50171-0520
SIG MODELER S ORDERLINE: (to order parts)1-800-247-5008
SIG MODELER S HOTLINE (for technical support)1-641-623-0215
SIG WEB SITEwww.sigmfg.com

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Warning! This is not a toy!
Flying machines of any form, either model-size or full-size, are not toys! Because of the speeds that airplanes must achieve in order to fly, they are capable of causing serious bodily harm and property damage if they crash. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AND YOURS ALONE to assemble this model airplane correctly according to the plans and instructions, to ground test the finished model before each flight to make sure it is completely airworthy, and to always fly your model in a safe location and in a safe manner. The first test flights should only be made by an experienced R/C flyer, familiar with high performance R/C aircraft.
The governing body for radio-control model airplanes in the United States is the ACADEMY OF MODEL AERONAUTICS, commonly called the AMA. The AMA SAFETY CODE provides guidelines for the safe operation of R/C model airplanes. While AMA membership is not necessarily mandatory, it is required by most R/C flying clubs in the U.S. and provides you with important liability insurance in case your R/C model should ever cause serious property damage or personal injury to someone else. For more information, contact:
ACADEMY OF MODEL AERONAUTICS
5161 East Memorial Drive
Muncie, IN 47302
Telephone: (765) 287-1256

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© Copyright SIG Mfg. Co., Inc.

SIG MFG. CO., INC............Montezuma, Iowa 50171-0520

LIMIT OF LIABILITY: The craftsmanship, attention to detail and actions of the builder/flyer of this model airplane kit will ultimately determine the airworthiness, flight performance and safety of the finished model. SIG MFG. CO's obligation shall be to replace those parts of the kit proven to be defective or missing. The user shall determine the suitability of the product for his or her intended use and shall assume all risk and liability in connection therewith.