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Thread: 12 FT Telemaster ARF build

  1. #1

    12 FT Telemaster ARF build

    Part 1
    I am building a 12 Foot Telemaster ARF from Hobby Lobby. It is a great ARF and a very well thought out airplane.

    The plane comes in three very large boxes, one has the 4 wing panels and the vertical stab/rudder assembly. The largest box contains the forward fuselage section , horizontal stab/elevators, wheels, hardware and the laminated instruction manual. The last box has the aft fuselage section.

    The instructions are straight forward and easy to follow.

    Following the manual I started hinging the wing sections. The kit comes with Robart type pin hinges.
    I separated the control surface's from the inboard and outboard wing sections.
    When I use Robart pin hinges to keep glue out of the pivot point I lube the pivot area with WD-40 and coat the area around the hinge holes on the wing and control surface with a thin film of WD-40, this will keep any excess adhesive from sticking to the covering. To secure the hinges you can use Epoxy or Gorilla Glue. I prefer Gorilla Glue as it expands for a tight grip and will not dry out and shrink with age like Epoxy.
    Once the hinges are all lubed I put a large drop of Gorilla Glue in each hole on the control surface. Install the hinges in the control surface, checking the alignment. Now add glue to the holes in the wing and join the control surface to the wing. I use elastic bands around the wing to hold the control surface tight to the wing and use a clamp to keeping it faired while the glue sets up. (24 hours)

    Next step is to install the servo's the wing sections. The manual calls out the length for the servo extensions. When I use extensions I cover the plug of the extension and servo lead with shrink tubing to avoid them from coming apart. The servo installation and control linkage installation is very straight forward.

    Now it's time to install the tail wheel assembly. The manual talks about the relocating the tail wheel assembly but my kit had 3 predrilled holes in the correct position so that was that!

    Next is hinging the rudder to the vertical fin. I used the same method as the other control surfaces. Now it is time to add the vertical fin to the fuselage. Follow the manual instruction, no mysteries here.
    After the fin has had time to cure it is time for the rudder servo, servo extension and the control linkage. no problems here.

    It is now time for the cabin door install, I followed the manual except I used socket head servo mounting screws to mount the door hinges to the airframe. No particular reason I just found it easier to work from the outside of the cabin. Don't forget to trim the hinges inside the door as per the manual!

    I installed the drop box doors just as the manual called out. I modified the door latches so I could open the two doors individually.

    Next is the lower strut/landing gear mounts, no problem. After that install the landing gear and wheels as call out in the manual.

    Now it is time for the horizontal stabs, my only advice here is when you install the three retaining screws on each stab you should add flat and lock washers under the screw heads for security.

    To be continued,

  2. #2

    12 FT Telemaster Build Part II

    12 FT Telemaster Build Part II
    Time for the wings. I chose to keep the inner and outerwings panels as one piece as I have a trailer to haul this big bird around. Ifyou have an SUV you can do the 4 piece wing.
    As called out in the manual slide the longest aluminum tube into a flap section, locate the hole on the bottom for the wing directly infront of the flap servo. Drill through both sides of the aluminum tube and be careful not to drill through the wing. Be careful to drill straight/ 90 degreesto the flat bottom of the wing. Remove the tube and enlarge the hole to 3/16" as called out in the manual. DON'T FORGET to mark the tubes as to put them back in the same hole and for top or bottom. Be as accurate as you canbe in drilling the holes. Remember if you mess up you can always rotate thetube 90 degrees and start again. Repeat this step for all the wing panels.
    Now it is time to install the fuselage wing strut mounts with the straight cut ends toward the front of the airplane. Install the wing strut mounts next as called out in the manual, making sure they are facing toward the fuselage.
    When putting the airplane together at the field remember to put the struts in before you slide the wings all the way flush with the fuselage. Next install the screws that secure the struts, then install the wing bolts in the tubes. I found it easier that way.
    Next it's time to join the rear fuselage to the front half as the manual calls out. I used canopy glue to secure the nuts so they wouldnot come loose.
    The motor mount is next, I used the recommended AXI5345 motor and the mounting holes are predrilled. Follow the book and the motor mount install is a piece of cake. There is plenty of room on the bottom of the motor mount for the ESC install.
    I used a motor arming plug (available at Hobby Lobby)as I amVERY INTIMIDATED by a 24" prop with that monster motor. When I fly armingt he motor is the last thing I do before take-off and the first thing after landing.
    I used the recommended two 5000 mAh 5 cell batteries. with a24X10 prop. This is a very good combination. Weight is not an issue so going to two 6 cells may be in my future. These batteries are just to power the motor, I use two separate batteries to power the radio system. I wanted to build in redundancy for the onboard radio gear. I installed two 3500mAh 2 cell lipo's for the radio through two separate BEC's to keep them electronically isolated. That way if one receiver battery fails it will not affect the other.
    I am using a Spectrum DX8 radio to control this big bird, it gives me all the options I need. I programmed the flaps to take 8 seconds to get to mid or full flap. I have not noticed any ballooning when flaps are deployed.
    I have found, thanks to Hobby Lobby that a C/G 7 inches behind the leading edge of the wing is the sweet spot for this airplane. I had to add about a pound to the nose but it fly's great. When loaded with candy the only difference is it feels a little heavier but the C/G is fine. The only thing you have to get used to when flying the big Telemaster is its big wing span makes a usually wide runway seem small at first. After a few flights it is just another sweet flying airplane. It does require aileron/rudder coordination and that can beprogrammed into a computer radio. Iprefer not to do that.
    On the day I did the maiden flight of the plane I was usinga 22X10 prop and we had about a 9kt wind straight down the runway. The airplanej umped off the ground before I got to full throttle and climbed out well. After trimming I tried a landing. This airplane is a bit of a floater. It took two missed approaches before I finally got it slowed down enough for a landing. I tried a landing with full flaps but with the wind it just floated across the runway. You do not need flaps with a strong head wind. With power off on landing it makes great 3 point landings and with a little power on landing it will make pretty wheel landings and the tail will slowly settle as it slows down on roll out.
    I have a fleet of airplanes from giant scale aerobatic planes to electric jets to war birds but I find I'm flying my Sr. and 12FT Telemasters more than any of the other planes.
    You will love building and flying this great airplane and it will soon become your "go-to" airplane.
    Here is a You Tube video of my maiden flight

    Last edited by merlin417; 06-18-2012 at 09:28 PM.

  3. #3

    12FT Telemaster C/G issues

    I recieved this E-Mail concerning the proper C/G for the 12 FT telemaster.
    Here is the question and my answer.

    How did you check the cg on your plane? I hung mine from the middle spar and the
    plane was extremely tail heavy, so I moved everything fwd. First test flight the
    plane was diving to the ground, I maxed out the trim (up elev) and stil had to
    pull back. Today I moved everything back towards the cg and it still dives after
    takeoff. The weird thing is inflight it acts as if its tail heavy. Also are all
    of your flight control surfaces straight and true, mine came severely warped.
    Any help would be appreciated.



    7 inches back from the leading edge of the wing is the sweet spot for the C/G. I hung my fuselage from the wing strut mount bolt holes near the landing gear mounts. I don't remember which hole but if you mark the C/G at 7 inches back from the leading edge of the wing and drop a line straight down the side of the fuselage you will find which hole to use. I had to add quite a bit of weight to the motor mount box and made a cover for it. My batteries are mounted as far forward in the fuselage as they can go.

    Be really careful of the elevator throw. I like a lot of control throw but the elevator on this airplane very sensitive and if you have too much throw without expo it will act tail heavy. A light touch and recommended throws on the elevator will make a big difference.

    This is a heavy airplane, approx 27 pounds. If you do a hammer head as soon as the nose is pointed down hill it pick up speed really fast.

    I had the same issues when I first flew the Telemaster but this is what I did to make it fly as it should.

    When landing if you use a little power it will do the nicest wheel landings. If there is a substantial wind down the runway flaps will make it float forever. The first flight of my airplane we had about 9 MPH straight down the runway. I made my second landing with flaps and it just floated for most of the runway, I had to do a go-around and land without flaps.

    I hope this info helps, the 12FT Telemaster is really a great flying airplane.

    Please feel free to send me any more questions or concerns you may have with the airplane.

    Al Larson

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