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SIG Four Star 40
Aircraft | Building | Flight Log
Aircraft

This is one of the latest additions to the hanger for 2006. This ARF is advertised as a good low-wing tail-dragger trainer, and I have to agree. Maiden flight was this spring and as of Fall 2006, I have over 125 flights on it.
 
Quick Specs:
Wingspan: 60 inches (5 ft.)
Engine: Thunder Tiger .46 Pro (BB)
Servos: 4 - s3004 Futaba (BB)
Radio: Futaba 6EXA 6-Channel
Weight: 5 lbs.
Construct: Balsa, Lite-Ply, UltraCote
Prop: 10x6 MAS (Nylon)
Completed - Four Star 40
   ________________________________________________________________
1-20-2006 Started on Four Star 40. Now working on wing.
1-24-2006 Building according to plans. UltraCote (OraCover) is Flame Red.
1-31-2006 Entire plane now about 85% finished. Ready to start installing radio and engine.
2-6-2006 Engine and fuel tank installed.
2-8-2006 Radio and servo installation complete. Linkages and control surfaces adjusted to spec.
2-12-2006 Checking CG balance (with plane upside down). Came out nose heavy for some reason (probably due to engine selection).
2-14-2006 Construction completed. Added 2" yellow MonoKote stripes under wings to hopefully aid in visibility. Added pilot to cockpit. Tested balance.
3-21-2006 Ran one tank of fuel through new engine at field. Ran "rich" to break-in. Thunder Tiger Pro .46 started right up (very easy) and didn't die once. Set high speed needle at 2 1/4 turns open. Transitioning was fine so no adjustment to low end idle needle was required.
4-26-2006 Maiden flight (see flight log).
   ________________________________________________________________

Construction Details

I basically just followed the manual, so I'm only going into detail on items that were additional or contrary to it.

The manual mentioned a doubler but didn't supply it so I just made one from spare lite-ply. This helps the servo tray mount at a more level angle, and provides more wing surface area to glue down to.

I had some red fuel proof lacquer paint so I painted the mount before installing servo.

Instead of silver soldering on clevises, I just made a 90 bend and used some "quick-connects". You can also make a Z bend instead.

Using the supplied wooden Aileron Positioning Guide, now is a good time to make some preliminary adjustments.

Even with the wing all the way forward (when trying to install it the first time) the aileron torque rods wouldn't clear the body. Used a Dremel tool to cut small grooves just deep enough to allow wing to clear fuselage and seat down properly. Painted slightly exposed wood with red fuel proof lacquer paint.
The manual talks about silver soldering ends on the main pushrods, but instead supplies twist-in connections for both ends of both rods. To help strengthen nylon pushrod outside the plane, I slid a small piece (only about 2 1/2 - 2 3/4 in.) of metal pushrod (left over from aileron servo install) inside the nylon pushrod, before twisting-in cleavis. Be sure nothing is binding.
Completed tail section.

If you don't like the nylon control rods, I've read where people often just replace them with standard metal ones with success (but tubes don't criss-cross so be sure they don't bind). It shouldn't be a problem as long as the antennae is mounted as suggested (outside the plane) or an inner antenna tube is added.

After a little notching for muffler and needle valve, painted engine compartment wood with red fuel proof lacquer paint. Thunder Tiger .46 Pro (Ball-Bearing) engine installed (with OS A3 glow-plug). The mounting holes on the T.T. are smaller than on an OS .46, so suggested (but not supplied) 6-32 hardware will not fit. Mounted engine with 4-40 hardware (1-1/4" allen socket head cap screws, No.4 flat washers, and nylon insert aircraft type lock nuts).
Since the lower servo tray is closed underneath, I epoxied a bendable soda straw to the side to route the antennae wire through. Seemed like a good way   to keep the wire away from linkages and anything metal. Wire-tie (plastic strap) a regular #64 rubber-band from balsa Fuel Tank Retainer to unused switch hole to hold foam wrapped receiver and battery in place.
Cockpit The 1/6 scale Williams Bros. pilot (at 0.75 oz) helps to balance plane. After gluing together and hand-painting, a light-ply base was cut, formed, and glued inside base. He was then mounted with a small amount of canopy glue and a .5" self-tapping screw from below. Red trim tape was added around canopy edges and inside on brace indentation.
Even with the battery all the way back, the plane was still a little too nose heavy, so I added another 0.75 oz. of weight, inside fuselage radio compartment, towards the back. Kit comes with wheel pants, but left them off because it would make plane even more nose-heavy (and require more counter-balance weight).

Here is the Four Star 40 after 4 flights.

Front
   ________________________________________________________________
Activity Log
 
Date Field Type Equipment Details
Wednesday
4/26/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Maiden flight of FourStar40.
Flight 1: Basic flight to get used to plane. Seems much more responsive than the NexStar. Balance is good and no major trimming needed. Good landing.
Flight 2: Flight with basic maneuvers. Good runway landing.
Thursday
4/27/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Flight 1: Flight with basic maneuvers. Good runway landing. Plane is noticeably faster than NexStar.
Flight 2: Flight with basic maneuvers. Did 3 consecutive tight loops, some rolls, and a couple of fairly low, down-wind, full throttle high speed passes. Good runway landing.
4/29/06   Maint   Programmed in -20% Exponentials to elevator and ailerons. On the Futaba 6exa series radios, it's a secondary function off of the main Dual Rates programming.
Monday
5/1/06
Windy & Gusty
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Flight 1: Flight with basic maneuvers. Left, right, and figure-eight patterns. Mainly just practiced flying in windy conditions with this new plane. Good runway landing, but in gusty wind, had a little trouble steering back to pits.
Flight 2: Flight with basic maneuvers. Did the 3 consecutive tight loops maneuver, 2 consecutive rolls, tried some Immelman turns, and high speed passes. Fair runway landing and taxied back. Flying with expos is better.
Wednesday
5/3/06
Windy
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Total of 3 Flights: With all learnt  maneuvers (see above). Practiced first (ever) stall turns. 2 good landings (with taxi back to pits) and 1 poor ... no damage.
Friday
5/5/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Total of 3 Flights: With all learnt  maneuvers. 3 good landings.
Monday
5/8/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Flight 1: With all learnt maneuvers. First time flying inverted. Good landing.
Flight 2: Most learnt maneuvers. Flew inverted again, this time, all the way across field. Good landing.
Tuesday
5/9/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Total of 5 flights: All with good landings. Performed the following maneuvers.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Touch-and-goes and 5 good landings
- Loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Roll and 2 consecutive rolls
- Immelmans
- 1/2 cuban eight
- Inverted flight
- Stall turns
- Snap roll and up to 3 consecutive snaps
 

Thursday
5/11/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Total of 3 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans
- Inverted flight
- Stall turns
- Snap roll and up to 2 consecutive snaps
- Touch-and-goes
- 2 good landings. 1 fair (less than ideal approach, but had to land anyway due to low transmitter battery warning)
 

Saturday
5/13/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Total of 6 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans
- Inverted flight
- Stall turns
- Snap roll and up to 2 consecutive snaps
- Touch-and-goes
- 6 good landings.
 

Monday
5/15/06
Windy & Gusty
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Total of 4 flights: Performed the following maneuvers. Highest wind and gusts to fly in at this field to date.

- Loop and 2 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Stall turns
- Snap roll and up to 2 consecutive snaps
- Touch-and-goes
- 3 good landings. 1 poor (no damage)

High winds and gusts were challenging to fly in. Made one of the worst take-offs ever with this plane (wind tossed the plane around a few feet off ground). One aborted landing resulted in a knife-edge 20 ft. across the field but with the wing tip only a few inches off the ground the whole time. Finished same flight with one of the worst bouncy landings (somehow ... no damage for today).
 

Saturday
5/20/06
Windy & Gusty
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15% -
New Gallon (10x6-MAS)
Total of 2 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Loop and 2 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Snap roll and up to 2 consecutive snaps
- Touch-and-goes
- 3 good landings. 1 fair.

Wind and gusty conditions hampered flying. Made an extra landing, turn-around, and take off in the middle of both flights to practice landing in windy conditions.
 

Tuesday
5/23/06
Windy
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Total of 4 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Loop and 2 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Stall turns
- Snap roll and up to 2 consecutive snaps
- Touch-and-goes
- 6 good landings.

A little windy, but straight down runway so no worries. Made extra landings and take-offs (for practice) during last 2 flights. Good day at field.
 

Thursday
5/25/06
Light winds
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Total of 4 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Loop and 2 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Stall turns
- Snap roll and up to 2 consecutive snaps
- Touch-and-goes
- 7 good landings.

(In the late morning) overcast with very light winds, straight down runway (perfect flying weather). Made extra landings and take-offs (for practice) during last 3 flights. Another good day at field.
 

Tuesday
5/30/06
Light winds
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Total of 3 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Stall turns
- Single snap roll
- 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- Touch-and-goes
- 6 good landings. 1 poor (no damage)

Light winds, straight down runway. Made extra complete landings and take-offs (for practice) during flights.
 

Friday
6/2/06
Calm Winds
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Total of 6 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Stall turns
- Single snap roll
- 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- Touch-and-goes
- 10 good landings. 1 fair landing

Made extra complete landings and take-offs (for practice) during flights.

 * * *  Total of 51 flights so far  * * *

Tuesday
6/6/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Total of 3 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Stall turns
- Single snap roll
- 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- Touch-and-goes
- 6 good landings. 1 fair landing

Made extra complete landings and take-offs during flights for practice.

Saturday
6/17/06
Windy
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Total of 3 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Stall turns
- Single snap roll
- 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- Touch-and-goes
- 2 good landings. 1 poor landing (no-damage)

Didn't compensate enough for high winds stalling plane on last landing. Plane slowed and stopped in mid-air about 3 ft. off runway ... only partially recovered control ... somehow, no damage.

Thursday
6/22/06
Windy
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15%, (10x6-MAS)
Total of 6 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Stall turns
- Single and 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- 1 amazing landing, 3 good, and 2 fair

Calm but as afternoon progressed it got pretty windy (and started shifting to a cross-wind). On the last landing, landed harrier/ heli. style ... put it down like a feather and plane didn't even bounce or roll forward ... taxied back to pits and called it a day.

Tuesday
6/27/06
Calm
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15% - New Gallon, (10x6-MAS)
Total of 4 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Stall turns
- Single and 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- 7 good landings, and 1 fair

Wind was mostly either very calm or light direct cross wind, so in addition to above maneuvers, I practiced extra take-offs into and landings from alternate, less used direction.

Friday
6/30/06
Calm
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15% , (10x6-MAS)
Total of 4 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

- Split S
- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Stall turns
- Single and 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- 5 good landings, and 2 fair (little bouncy)

Learnt and practiced a new maneuver (Split-S). Made extra complete landings and take-offs during flights for practice.

Friday
7/7/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15% , (10x6-MAS)
Total of 4 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Split S
- Stall turns
- Single and 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- 3 good landings, and 1 fair (bouncy)

Wednesday
7/12/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15% , (10x6-MAS)
Total of 3 flights: Performed the following maneuvers and made extra landings.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Split S
- Stall turns
- Single and 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- 7 good landings, 2 fair

Wednesday
7/19/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15% , (10x6-MAS)
Total of 3 flights: Performed the following maneuvers. Practiced extra landings and making shorter landing approaches.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Split S
- Stall turns
- Single and 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- 6 good landings, 2 fair landings

Tuesday
7/25/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15% , (10x6-MAS)
Total of 3 flights: Performed the following maneuvers. Practiced extra landings and making shorter landing approaches.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Split S
- Stall turns
- Single and 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- 5 good landings, 1 fair

Thursday
7/27/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15% , (10x6-MAS)
Total of 3 flights: Performed the following maneuvers. Practiced extra landings and making shorter landing approaches.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Split S
- Stall turns
- Single and 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- 8 good landings, 1 fair

Thursday
8/10/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15% , (10x6-MAS)
Total of 3 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

Tail gear (metal hinge and wire axle) ripped out / fell off while turning for another take-off on last flight.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Split S
- Stall turns
- Single and 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- 7 good landings, 2 fair

8/12/06 Shop Repair   Repaired damaged tail-wheel assembly.

- Cut through CA hinges and removed rudder and tail wheel.
- Carefully dug out CA hinges from rudder and stab.
- Glued balsa piece back on and sanded to repair chipped rudder . Recovered section.

Repeated original building steps to reinstall tail wheel assembly and rudder (with new CA hinges). Repair complete.

Thursday
8/16/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15% , (10x6-MAS)
Total of 4 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

Repaired rudder and tail-wheel work fine.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Split S
- Stall turns
- Single and 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- 7 good landings, 1 fair

Thursday
8/24/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15% , (10x6-MAS)
Total of 2 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Split S
- Stall turns
- Single and 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- 5 good landings

Saturday
9/2/06
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Byron 15% , (10x6-MAS)
Total of 3 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Immelmans and 1/2 cuban eights
- Inverted flight
- Split S
- Stall turns
- Single and 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- 4 good landings

    Repair  

- Gas tank leaking. Removed and checked. Only lose rubber stopper (tightened).
- Reinstalled receiver and checked throws.
- Reinstalled aileron servo that had been "robbed" and used elsewhere.
- Retightened prop., prop-nut, and spinner.

Friday
4/18/08
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Omega 15% , (10x6-MAS)

Total of 1 flight: First flight for me in 7 weeks. First flight at new ARCS field.

Engine started and ran good for as long as it's been in storage. Leaned it a few clicks. New runway not finished so it was a little challenging to roll straight and pick up speed on rough surface. Managed to find a big rock to scratch my wing under-side on take-off.

Plane ended up needing excessive (10 clicks) right aileron trim and a little up elevator trim to fly level (kinda scary). Flew around for a while and did a couple of loops and rolls. Decent runway landing.

Rich says my wing is slightly warped, and is probably the reason for needing the excessive aileron trim. I don't know how this happened unless it's just due to 1-1/2 years in garage.

    Repair   - Flexed wing and retightened UltraCote with hot air gun to remove warp. Look at wing trailing edge 8 ft. back to check.
- Patched small 1/2" tear in wing under-side.
Monday
4/28/08
ARCS
AMA flying field
Flight Futaba 6-Ch,
TT .46 Pro, A3, Omega 15% , (10x6-MAS)
Total of 2 flights: Performed the following maneuvers.

- Low (full-throttle) high speed passes
- Single loop and 3 consecutive tight loops
- Rolls
- Inverted flight
- Stall turns
- Single and 2 or more consecutive snap rolls
- 4 good landings (make extras)

         
   

 

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