Telemaster Construction Log

My second Telemaster will be scratch built, and size-wise, it will be midway between the Mini-Telemaster and Telemaster Electro offered by Hobby-Lobby.  Initial modifications to the plans will include little or no dihedral, a battery hatch, a slightly wider fuselage to accommodate all of the innards, super-bright LED's for night flying, and drop mechanisms on each wing. Later, a removable belly will be added to accommodate interchangeable modules; the modules will be for bomb-bay style dropping, aerial photography/videography, and whatever else (within reason) my 5 year old son can dream up.

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November 6, 2007

At this point, I have the kit, the lighting system, the power components, the servos, the receiver, and the motivation to start.  But I don't have the time to start it.  I'm finishing up a Sig Kiwi for my step-brother, and I plan on delivering that over the Thanksgiving weekend.  All of the Kiwi's sub-assemblies are essentially complete, and the only tasks that remain are: attaching the tail feathers, radio installation, engine, and landing gear installation.  I could have been closer to completion than I currently am, but the local Hobbytown has had some issues and didn't order the materials I paid for 10 days ago.  I got a refund yesterday and ordered the stuff I need from TowerHobbies.  I'd also like to finish up the last bits of assembly of my Mini FuntanaX before I jump headfirst into the Mini Telemaster build.

November 8, 2007

New page title and new intent!  I have been wondering all along how to cram all the planned goodies into the Mini-Telemaster, and the problem was solved when I found an electronic copy of telemaster plans (a current set can be found at the bottom of this page).  I've scaled the drawings for a 60" wingspan, midway in size between the Mini and Electro sizes Hobby-Lobby offers.  

This will now be a scratch build instead of a kit build.  The only parts that need to be made are the wing ribs, firewall, and the liteply pieces for the bolt on wing; the rest is just sticks and sheets.

November 10, 2007

 A link to the plans can be found at the bottom of the page.  Any time there is an update to the build, the most up-to-date set of plans will also be added to the link.  I bought a $40 pile of balsa and spruce last night.  I will have to go back for a piece of lite-ply and a few more sticks (I cleaned out their stock in two different stick sizes), but it's about 85% of the material I need.

November 18, 2007 - Wing ribs

I started forming the wing ribs.  I haven't worked on the plans in quite a while, and I don't even know exactly how many ribs I'll need.  I did, however, finalize the wing cross section, with respect to the size and placement of the leading edge and trailing edge stock, and the main wing spars and the turbulator spar.  I also finished building the Sig Kiwi, but I still had an itch to make some balsa dust, so I got to work on the ribs.  I cut 3 sheets of 3"x36"x3/32" balsa into 24 rectangles, each measuring 9"x1.5".  I'm assuming the ribs will be spaced at 3", so 24 should leave me with a few to spare so I can include extra ribs at the servo mounting locations and near the center of the wing.

An Elmer's glue stick was used to adhere mirror images of the template to each side of the block, and the templates were lined up with each other using a carpenter's square.

I started the rough shaping with a razor and switched to a file as the parts started to take shape.  I did get a little carried a way with the razor, and I removed too much material from 3 or 4 of the ribs.  It wasn't much, but I may decide to replace them before building the wing.

By the time midnight rolled around, I had a light dusting of balsa dust on the floor, and a set of wing ribs that are about 85% complete.

I received most of the equipment for the Telemaster a few days ago.  In the box from Towerhobbies were:  a Great Planes Rimfire 35-36-1200 brushless motor, a set of Great Planes .19-sized aluminum landing gear, Dubro 2-3/4" main wheels, Great Planes 5/32" axles, a Dubro 1-1/4" tailwheel, a Great Planes tailwheel assembly, two Fourmost Bomb Releases, and a few propellers.  I've ordered a 60-amp BP brushless ESC which should arrive shortly, and two weeks ago, I bought a Dimension Engineering 6V ParkBEC to power the receiver and servos.  I already have all of the servos that I'll use: two Hitec HS-81's for the rudder and elevator, two Hitec HS-55's for the ailerons, and another HS-55 to operate both bomb releases.  A few smaller parts are also in the mail, and I 'll have to spend another $20 or so at HobbyTown before it's all said and done, but the only major item I still need to buy is a 4s 14.8V lithium polymer battery.


I worked on the plans a little, and the plans linked below have been updated.


Over the long weekend, I finished the wing ribs and made all 5 of the plywood parts.

I also worked on the plans a little more, and it turns out that I will need 4 more wing ribs.  I only have a little more work to do on the fuselage, and the plans will be fairly complete.


I worked a little on the plans, and I finally started building! I put most of the wing framing together: wing ribs, top and bottom spars, turbulator spar, and the leading edge.

I still need to make a few parts for the wing: the outermost wing rib for each wing (they extend all the way to the trailing edge of the wing), the wingtip 'rib' (the same as the last rib, but stretched height-wise so they sit at a 45 degree angle and still match the wing depth), and the dihedral guides necessary to attach the innermost wing ribs at the correct angle. (Pictures will be added soon.)

In addition to the parts I need to make, the trailing edge, aileron hinge blocks, and the ailerons still need to be attached. 

The CA (besides sticking 3 of my fingers together) filled my little building room with fumes pretty bad.  It's too cold out to work outside or even with the window open, so I'll have to find another adhesive to use during the build.


Construction of the fuselage started tonight! I plotted the fuselage on 5 sheets of 8.5x11 and got to work. I picked up a bottle of Elmer's wood glue at the store last night and gave it a try. I think I like it! The only downside is the 30 minutes it takes before you can handle the glued parts, but it gave me plenty of time while waiting for the glue to dry to sand subsequent parts to a good, tight fit.

I had to deviate a little from the member sizes currently shown in the plans to make sure I had enough wood to finish both sides of the fuselage. I'll have to check again at the hobby store to see if they've restocked any of their balsa. My guess is that they still have the same warped sticks I rejected on my last shopping trip. 

I almost finished one side of the fuselage but stopped a little after midnight. The only parts remaining are the rear-most vertical member between the upper and lower longerons, and the sheeting that goes inside the last 'bay'.


I finished the other fuselage side (see picture above).  I think the fuselage is almost ready to be assembled!


The fuselage halves were joined today, and everything looks very good so far.  There are a few balsa sticks that were CA'd to the fuselage sides, and four plywood parts were epoxied in.

The firewall in the picture above is just holding the fuselage sides square while epoxy holding the plywood former and landing gear mount plate is curing.  Those little quick-grip clamps come in handy when you only have two hands.

All of the plywood fuselage pieces are shown above epoxied into place.  A fair amount of work still remains to complete the fuselage:  sheeting all necessary areas, battery hatch on top and 'module' hatch on bottom, install a battery tray, install the servos and pushrods for the tail, and install the LED's.


Motor: Rimfire 35-36-1200


BEC:Dimension Engineering 6V ParkBEC

Propeller: APC 9x4.5

Receiver: Berg 7P

Battery: 4s 4000mAh Lipo

Servos: Two Hitec HS-55's, Two Hitec HS-81's

Flying Since December 2007


Wingspan: 66 inches

Wing Area:627 square inches

Weight:3 pounds (estimated)

MY RATING (out of 5):

Instructions -

Materials -

Construction/Assembly -

Appearance -

General Flight -

Flight Capabilities -