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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Background
This will be a fun build - The Astron Skydart II. It first appeared in the 1973 Estes catalog as K-57. Larry Renger was the designer. He also developed the classic Falcon Boost Glider. Pop Pod boost gliders were pretty new then. The first Citation Bomarc and was a pop pod glider. With a "pop-pod" ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 1, Parts
What's really different is the pop pod assembly and all the centering rings. Parts of interest: On the top is the self-adhesive clear tape for the elevator hinge. There are five washer weights. Also in the bag is the nylon elevator adjustment screw. White elastic to raise the elevator. In the ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 2, Centering Ring Prep
The thick ring didn't have flat sides. Considering it sits flat against the washer weights I sanded the raised rings even and smooth. The cut of the engine mount tube wasn't clean. This was also evened out with the sanding block. I don't like to force centering rings over body tube ends. These ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 3, Pop Pod Assembly
Combined, the five nose weight washers weigh 0.57 oz. Here's the thick 5/50 centering ring even with the top of the short BT-5 tube. The washer weights butt up against it. A 5/20 ring glues against the bottom of the weight stack. The last 5/20 ring is glued even with the low end of this short ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 4, Balsa Prep
The large, flat wing is assembled using four pieces. The laser cut sides are a slight wedge shape. One side of the cut is wider than the other. To see the difference, check the widths of the laser cut lines on one side, then flip over the sheet and check the lines on the other side. If the wing ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 5, Elevator Hold Down
The original kit used a pre-bent wire to hold the elevator down during boost. The new kit uses three pieces of laser-cut balsa. Here's a dry fit of the assembly. I don't sand these down before gluing. The will be sanded flat and even after the glue is dry. Glue is applied to the flat sides of the ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 6, Wing Piece Fit
When dry fitting, I was surprised by the gap between the wing pieces. I didn't over sand the sides when cleaning up the burnt edges. The center triangle piece was glued on first using the burnt in center alignment line. Here's a close up of the stepped edge. The back end will be sanded even with ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 7, Wing Gluing
The wing pieces were glued together on a flat kitchen counter top. Glue was set on the edges and the pieces pressed together. I used a Sharpie barrel on the joints to press the tops down and even. I used my cutting board as a even weight over the wing assembly. One side of the cutting board has a ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 8, Nacelles
TIP: I filled the seams with CWF and used primer filler before splitting the body tubes to make the nacelles. It would be harder to fill the seams if the tubes were cut in two first. The cut tubes would be flimsy. TIP: Use the yellow engine block spacer tube to reinforce the tube end when cutting ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 9, Nacelles
I used the aluminum angle to cut and split the BT-50 nacelle tube. Be very careful when cutting. Keep the angle held steady and the blade angle at 90 degrees. First sand the cut tube sides flat on a sanding block. Then knock off just the inside edge of the cut tubes by sanding around a BT-50 or a ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 10, Filler Weight
We all know that filler and paint can shorten a gliders air time. That's where I have a problem, this isn't a competitive glider. I like my models to be smooth and shiny, like in the catalog pictures. How can you expect the supplied decals to stick on a rough surface? I was curious to see how much ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 11, What Happened?
It seems every kit has an added adventure! As normal, I'm making two Skydart models. Look what happened to the second model when the CWF filler dried. The forward wing piece split away! The first wing stayed together after drying. I've never seen this before. The outside piece was warped and ...
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Buzz Nau's Skydart
Buzz Nau sent me a link to the revision he made in his Skydart elevon. It gives a more direct, straight-up pull up on the elevon. The check out Buzz' website, CLICK HERE Push pins in the trailing edge of the elevons. Note the "U" piece of music wire glued to the elevon adjustment tab.  With ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 13, Gluing On The Wing
The center line of the wing was sanded for a stronger glue bond. I wrapped some old 220 grit around a round pencil. The eraser end gave a good cushion for sanding. The primer was scraped off the glue line. A line of glue was ran down the body tube. On the left side is the glue line formed using ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 12, Primer / Filler
All the wood parts got a one good shot of Duplicolor Primer/Filler before assembly. The rudder in the back is before sanding, the rudder in front is after sanding with 400 grit. Where some builder look at primer as a paint prep, this primer/filler is used for a final wood grain fill. Enlarge the ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 14, Ends and Edges
I added a fillet of Titebond M & TG to the front and rear of the wing. I didn't do a fillet along the inside down the tube wing joint. I've learned from past experience that a deep fillet won't dry without plenty of bubbles. The elastic holes in the rudder and elevator were rounded using a ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 15, Lug Cut and Gluing
Cut a launch lug with a knife alone and you'll end up with a crooked and crushed end. In the past I have cut launch lugs by sliding a dowel inside the straw for support. This is probably a better idea. TIP: Mark the cut line all the way around the lug. Turn and slide a Q-tip into the lug until the ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 16, Rear Ring and Hold Down
I misplaced the split rear centering ring. I had to cut one from a spare 20/50 ring. (And of course, right after I glued on the replacement ring I found the green split rings from the kit.) TIP: If you ever have to cut a notch out of a centering ring for engine hook movement - Don't cut near the ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 17, White Paint
I had to compromise on painting this one. I wanted it smooth and gloss white but use a minimum of paint to keep the weight down. Years ago I had the Estes Citation Bomarc, the first design was a pop-pod boost glider. I painted it as normal (with spray paint) and it glided very well. I'm not ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 19, Elevon Hinge
Here's all the instructions you get to set the hinge. The parts list calls the Y piece the "Clear Decal". It's more like a thick strip of packing tape. Because it is a clear hinge it should be placed after the model is painted. A plastic hinge is better than a paper one. Paper hinges (like on the ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 18, Elevon Hinge
It's hard to turn the adjustment screw with your fingers. I used a Allen head jeweler's screw driver. Line it up with the trailing edge angle of the stab to reach the screw head. Raise the screw almost all the way out to tie on the elastic. Tie an overhand knot and feed it through one side of the ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 21, Decals
The N3003 decal was placed on the stabilizer like in the original kit placement. Notice the tape still on the adjustment screw. This was placed so no white spray got on the screw threads. The screw was also turned all the way down so no paint could get in or near the hole. Set the door and window ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 20, Decals
Instead of going with the new decal placement, I went with the original kit layout. To see the instructions from the first kit: CLICK HERE Always do a dry fit to figure out the visual spacing. The canopy decal goes slightly forward from what is shown in the picture. The stab decal sports the ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Step 22, Pop Pod Parachute
The instructions show the typical chute attachment where you slide the canopy through the shroud line loops. I wanted a better attachment with no tangled lines. All three of my line loops got a small overhand loop knot at the center point. After removing any turns in the line, the three knots were ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Step 23, C/G Balance Point
On the back of the smaller Parts List is the glide trimming directions. The balance point (without the pop pod inside) is 5" from the back of the body tube. This was a hard picture to take! I pencil marked the body with a pencil at the 5" point. Here the model was balanced on a straightedge. The ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Step 24, Pop Pod Chute Packing TIP
There's not much room for the parachute and shroud lines between the BT-20 pop pod and the BT-50 main air frame body tube. Careful packing can insure a good ejection and quick opening of the chute. My first attempts at packing the chute were frustrating. Rolling a chute around a pop pod will take ...
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Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Finished
This build was a bit of a conflict for me. I like my balsa grain filled and paint smooth. I did my best to keep it light, it did finish out at just 3 oz. without the engine. This model didn't end up with my usual glossy finish. The face card says the weight should be around 3.1 oz. It may not be a ...
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