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Building the Kolibri Slow-Flyer

The Kolibri is a popular, inexpensive design that makes a great first time slow flyer. Follow the directions below and
you should be flying in no time. There is a list of items required for construction at the end of this document.
The Vtail

!repare " carbon rods # $,% mm and &"'mm in length, two $.% mm thick balsa triangles
(better if laminated from " x '.&mm balsa) as shown in the drawing and " carbon rods #
$,' mm and *'mm length. +lue the balsa triangles to the ends of the $,% rods with ,-
and let it dry well . Then bend the rods and glue the other end to the small side of the
balsa triangle. .ow you have to glue the /'mm long, #$.' mm rods to the third side of
the triangle.
,overing0 1nly the top side will be covered2 !repare an appropriate si3e piece of
covering foil. !lace the second frame on your table as mirror image of the other one. 4ub
the carbon rods with glue stick (56768 recomended). 9tretch the foil over the frame and
rub it to the carbon rods with your finger. 8,ut8 protuding foil by moving around the
frame with a 8not too hot8 small soldering iron tip. Finally you glide over the foil with a
hot modelling iron (full heat) without touching the foil, in order to tighten and smooth it.
.ote0 -void direct contact of the iron with the bent carbon rods they will break with
localised heat 222 :et some drops of thin ,- flow around the rudder in the slot between
covering and carbon rod in order to reinforce the adhesive strength. The control horns are
then cut out of '.; mm plywood according to the plan and '.; mm holes drilled into
them. The slits for the horns are cut into the balsa triangles carefully using a scalpel. They
are then inserted, ad<usted and glued into position.
The wing

The wing will be built very similar to the tail. !repare " carbon rods # $,* mm each
=*'mm in length . +lue the two rods together with ,- by overlapping their ends "cm.
The <oint is stiffened by wrapping a small tuft of carbon rovings around it and hardened
with thin ,-. ,onnect the open ends of the rods in the same way. Tie a thread between
the two <oints so that the <oints have a distance of ";*mm. >ou may need to tie extra
threads %''mm from, and parallel to, the centre thread, to get the shape shown in the
diagram. .ow you have the flat skeleton of your wing in front of you. +lue four fittings
(carbon or plywood) si3e ',?x%x% mm to their positions according to the drawing, with
,-. @ake sure they fit well2 The two *cm pieces left over from your $,* mm dia. rods
are now glued perpindicular to the center of the wing structure with ,- and wrapped
with some rovings and thin ,- (see photograph).
The upper side of your wing must now be covered with transparent or aluminumcoated
condensorfoil in the same way as the tail. .ote0 @ake sure you pull the foil tight while
glueing. 8,ut8 protuding foil by moving around the frame with a 8not too hot8 small
soldering iron tip.
An order to give your 8flat wing8 an airfoil you tie a thread around fitting $ and fix it with
,-. .ow go with the thread to fitting ", tie it around (do not glue yet) go to fitting %
underneath the wing, tie it around and go back to fitting /. 1nce you are sure that your
wing tips are ='mm above the center of the wing you glue the thread to fitting /. .ow
you still have the chance to ad<ust the twist in your wing at the fittings "B% where the
thread is still not fixed. 1nce your wing is without twist, fix the thread to fittings "B%
and a few minutes later (max. adhesive coherence) cut the unnecessary thread on the
lower side of the wing.
Finally, glide over the foil with a hot modelling covering iron (careful until you work out
what heat setting my old iron needed full heat) without touching the foil, in order to
tighten and smooth it. .ote0 -void direct contact of the iron with the bent carbon rods
they will break when heated 222 .ow you can cut away the thread in the centre of the
Fuselage and undercarriage
6se a thin walled aluminum tube with *mm inner diameter and "cm length as a stiffener
for the undercarriage mount. Crill the holes for the tail ("mm), wing and undercarriage
($.*mm) and the tail skid (',?mm) in the bree3e tube fuselage to the correct position with
the correct angle according to the drawings. The 8legs8 of your undercarriage are made
from carbon rods # $,* mm and $*'mm length. Dend piano wires # $,* mm and glue
them to the 8legs8 according to drawing as wheel axles.
The wheels themselves are each made of two wheel discs glued together (ensure the grain
of the two parts are at =' deg. to each other) and finished with tyres made out of foam
rubber. To make the tyres0 stretch used model car tyres over a plastic or wooden cylinder.
,ut the tyres out on a lathe (should one be so fortunate as to have one) or a drill
attachment using a scalpel, and then sand round with $'' grade sandpaper. The wheel
hubs are made from a piece of Dowden cable inner.
The guide tubes for the tail are also made from $ cm long Dowden cable inner. They are
glued into the respective fuselage holes.
.ote0 6ndercarriage legs, wing support rods and tail parts are only stuck with a good fit
and not fixed with ,- so that they can be removed (ad<usted) at any time.
Engine mount

The FE9Technik propulsion set $a is mounted to the fuselage tube with a piece of #
*mm balsa rod (use some ,-) as shown0
9ervo G receiver mount

The wiring for the antenna must not be inside the carbon tube2 This can cause

Building Materials needed for the Kolibri
Qty. Material Dimensions
$ Dalsa $,*mm light * x $' cm
$ Dalsa round # * mm $' cm
$ !lywood ',; mm $,* x * cm
" ,arbon rod # $,' mm $ m
" ,arbon rod # $,% mm $ m
% ,arbon rod # $,* mm $ m
$ ,arbon rod ',? x % mm $' cm
$ Dree3e tube # * mm /; cm
$ ,arbon 4ovings $' cm
" !iano wire # ',? mm $' cm
" !iano wire # ',* mm $' cm
$ -lu foil ;.? gGmH $," m
$ Dowdencable inner # ',? x " mm * cm
$ Dowdencable inner # $,$ x " mm * cm
" Fheels # %* mm %% cm
$ -luminum tube # ; x *," mm / cm