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Beta 1400

Beta 1400 is a foam plane that is made and sold by RCM Pelikan. Being an electro-glider with a push propeller and huge wing area it has many pros: it is fairly forgiving, rather easy to fly and difficult to destroy.

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Landing gear

I’ve equipped my Beta 1400 with a hand-made landing gear. First reason is that there isn’t much really flat grass fields on which I could land around my place (terrain is used either for agriculture or for growing some exquisite plants), but there are some flat and concrete lanes, perfect for landing. Second reason is that I simply like landing on wheels much more ;-)

The landing gear is made of steel wire, wheels (Graupner light wheels 45mm diameter) and some carefully grated pieces of wood that made it possibly to attach the wheels to the bottom of the wings.

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The wooden parts are glued to the bottom of the wings using UHU Por glue. This concept proved to be quite robust and survived many good and fatal landings ;-)

And here is one of successful landings using the landing gear.

Finish

Beta 1400 comes with a finish that I really disliked. I appreciate pros of foam – strength and ease of processing – but I can’t stand its look.

I chose to finish the plane using Oracover and that was a good choice. It’s fairly tricky though to put the foil perfectly – especially on tips of the wings and other sharp places. Oracover’s manufacturer advises to put a layer of underlay firstly (they have a solution for that) but – following some advices – I just used polymer glue dissolved in ethanol as the underlay and let it get dry over the night.

The Oracover turned out to be fairly robust and good-looking despite its habit of detaching on moving parts – especially on wings. Fortunately this is easy to fix using hot air.

 

(TODO – PHOTOS)

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