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Author Topic: Top Flite Nobler ARF  (Read 1742 times)

Offline John Skukalek

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Top Flite Nobler ARF
« on: February 29, 2020, 05:56:22 PM »
I finally found a Nobler ARF (NIB) the other day after looking for quite a while. I am a beginner/intermediate flyer without a ton of building experience. Wondering about practical straight-forward modifications. I plan to use a Brodak 40. Appreciate any suggestions?

Offline Craig Beswick

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Re: Top Flite Nobler ARF
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2020, 08:44:40 PM »
Hello John,
I replaced the control system with Tom Morris control system. You may want some help with this though, it is not straight forward! I find my controls incredibly smooth and responsive. The controls in the kit are notorious for failing!

I think your Brodak 40 might be too much engine for it! Mine has an Evo 36 in it and I struggle to slow it to 5 seconds laps. It was originally designed for a Fox 35 and today's engines are way more powerful. You may want to reconsider your engine choice. But I am only a novice.

I also beefed up the engine bearers with epoxy and ply triangles to add support.

Properly fuel proofing the engine and tank areas.

Spend some time working out what tank you are going to use and what space there is, it is tight! I forget if I have a Sullivan or Dubro 4oz clunk tank but it is tight and hard to shim to adjust.

I am happy with the modifications I made and really happy with the way it flies now, except with the speed! I am thinking about replacing the Evo 36 with an Enya 29 I have just got.

All the best, I hope this was of some help.
Craig
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Offline Dan McEntee

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Re: Top Flite Nobler ARF
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2020, 09:24:58 PM »
   There should be volumes, several evening worth of reading, on assembling the ARF Nobler in the ARF section here.Try the search function, for ARF Nobler, and then select "this forum".  Make yourself a snack and favorite drink and get comfortable for reading. Basically, you are concerned with the controls, including  the lead outs, for proper construction and components. And the Brodak .40 is an excellent choice and just needs to be properly propped. Flight testing and trimming are typical and straight forward. The main things always apply to any model, make it straight as you can and as solid as you can and pay attention to small details. Even built as per instruction but with upgraded controls, then do perform well for any level pilot.
  Good luck and have fun,
   Dan McEntee
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Offline Dave Hull

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Re: Top Flite Nobler ARF
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2020, 12:32:37 AM »
Everybody has their own ideas about modifying a Nobler. Lot's to read before you decide.

Most people would tell you to look closely at (and replace) the controls and the fuel tank. I would agree.

I would say that the Brodak .40 is an excellent choice for your Nobler. It is a light, tractable and suitable engine. It has nothing at all in common with an Evo .36.

Check the alignment carefully when you install the surfaces (wing and stab). The igNoblarf is a very good flyer when built straight.

Best of luck,

Dave

Online Ken Culbertson

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Re: Top Flite Nobler ARF
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2020, 06:26:25 AM »
The controls have to go.  I got one of these to get back into flying a few years back.  Powered it with a 40 year old OS35s.  Got me back to flying decent patterns but it is no match for the current breed of PA ships.  I redid the control ratio to give me less flap and replaced all of it with Morris stuff.  Motor mounts are a joke.
Flies fabulous.
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Offline katana

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Re: Top Flite Nobler ARF
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2020, 11:07:38 AM »
The controls have to go.  I got one of these to get back into flying a few years back.  Powered it with a 40 year old OS35s.  Got me back to flying decent patterns but it is no match for the current breed of PA ships.  I redid the control ratio to give me less flap and replaced all of it with Morris stuff.  Motor mounts are a joke.
Flies fabulous.

I'm a bit out of the loop with this subject not having seen / had any experience with the TF ARF plane - I built a Brodak Nobler (yet to fly it as UK flying sites are few and far between) but off my own bat, I doubled up the bellcrank mount with ply plates top and bottom and used the kit flap and elevator linkages, neither of which looked 'iffy'. But at the end of the day its a 60+ year old design so of course it can't compete with modern designed / built planes ( I loathe calling them 'ships'!) same as a 60's Ford GT40 wouldn't compete with a modern Ford GT!

What is wrong with the motor mounts? Aren't they beech wood bearers as used forever by just about everything? I built mine to scratch an itch and get a plane that will do aerobatics on any given day not for competition, but just for fun!

Offline Dave Hull

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Re: Top Flite Nobler ARF
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2020, 04:40:34 PM »
Guys,

John said he was a "beginner/intermediate" without a lot of building experience. So let's avoid gacking up all over his Nobler ARF project and telling him about the state of the art in PA battlewagons. It isn't helpful. A good straight Nobler that is out at the field getting flown is more useful than an overwhelming rebuild/modification project. And to a beginner/intermediate, it is a wonderful flyer. Trust me. I can remember back when, because it wasn't that long ago that I got my hands on my first one. I still have my second one, and it flies really well.

All John should be worrying about is getting it together straight, with solid controls. With a reliable engine setup that is suited to the size and weight of the plane. And a tank that is suitable, without rocks 'n rust (early ARF tank) or split seams (later ARF tank). I think he has a really good engine selected so he's way ahead already.

The comment on the engine mounts is a useful one. The wood used in the two I've had seems odd to us. In other words, it's not maple. Didn't look like any kind of beech I've seen, either. It is highly ring-porous, and if you hit the ground it may split. Ask me how I know. But what does survive full contact with the pavement? For now, I'd just look at it to see if it looked solid or not. Well glued in. Add the gussets if you'd like. If they don't get in the way, it helps spread the load to the firewall and into the rest of the airframe. But if the bearers look ok, I sure wouldn't cut them out of the plane so that it looks more "pro-stunt." Remember, the guy who's asking is a beginner/intermediate with limited building experience. Let's get him flying with a slightly tweaked, solid, airplane with a good engine/tank/prop combination.

And by all means, go ahead and look at all the modification threads here on Stunthanger so you can decide just how much you want to get into surgery and modifications. As Ken said, these really can fly fabulously--and to a beginner, fabulously right out of the box.

Respectfully,

The Divot

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Top Flite Nobler ARF
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2020, 05:01:01 PM »
What Dave said.  Put an engine in it, fly it.  If the motor mounts fail, whack them off even with the firewall and use RC motor mounts -- it works a treat.

The points about the control system are valid -- I have an ARF Nobler that's in three or four pieces because the control system bound up in the air.  But as shipped, the control system is better than the Skyray 35 that my brother in law built when my nephew was 10, so there's no reason to assume that you want to burden a beginning builder with a control system swap.

John:  Stick the @#$% thing together and go fly, unless you really feel up to doing a control system swap.  If you're still going through planes on a regular basis, get in some building experience by starting another plane as soon as the Nobler's ready to fly.
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Offline John Skukalek

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Re: Top Flite Nobler ARF
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2020, 06:26:49 PM »
I can't tell you how much I appreciate the advice guys! Outstanding. I think I will minimize the surgery, make sure everything seems solid and focus on getting it STRAIGHT.

Offline John Skukalek

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Re: Top Flite Nobler ARF
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2020, 06:30:33 PM »
Love the idea of getting the Nobler ARF in the air and starting construction of my next stunter. Any suggestions for that build?

Online Ken Culbertson

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Re: Top Flite Nobler ARF
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2020, 07:52:56 PM »
I'm a bit out of the loop with this subject not having seen / had any experience with the TF ARF plane - I built a Brodak Nobler (yet to fly it as UK flying sites are few and far between) but off my own bat, I doubled up the bellcrank mount with ply plates top and bottom and used the kit flap and elevator linkages, neither of which looked 'iffy'. But at the end of the day its a 60+ year old design so of course it can't compete with modern designed / built planes ( I loathe calling them 'ships'!) same as a 60's Ford GT40 wouldn't compete with a modern Ford GT!

What is wrong with the motor mounts? Aren't they beech wood bearers as used forever by just about everything? I built mine to scratch an itch and get a plane that will do aerobatics on any given day not for competition, but just for fun!
Mounts are too small and not braced to properly transmit vibration.   I don't know what wood they are but they are not maple. Smelled like Obeche when I drilled the mounts.  Sorry if you don't like the word "ship" used for a plane.  Quite common here in the colonies.  Dave Hull pretty much covers why I made the "PA" comment.  We are dealing with an intermediate and a TF ARF Nobler will certainly be adequate to improve to advanced. but when that time comes it is time to get into a modern PA.

Ken
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Offline Dave Hull

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Re: Top Flite Nobler ARF
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2020, 09:11:35 PM »
John,

Before I would  be willing to recommend a "next airplane,"  I think you should give us some info on where your flying skills are at today. Can you loop? Both ways? Can you fly inverted? Lazy eights? If you can do most of the stunt pattern, which maneuvers are you still missing?

For example, we don't know if you can consistently fly inverted. If you're not there yet, then you need a plane that will take a beating--one that does not take too long to build or cost too much--to master inverted flight. I might immediately suggest a SIG Skyray. With the right engine/tank/prop it is very capable and since it does not have flaps is a lot easier to build.

On the other hand, if you are already doing the full pattern, or maybe just short a maneuver or two, then you are going to want something as good as the Nobler (as long as you are not constantly hitting the ground), although it definitely does not have to be a full fuselage plane.

As far as building skills, generally those go thru a learning curve too. We're not sure where you are at right now on building skills either. What else have you built? Or, how many ARFs have you assembled?

A few things to consider:
1. A profile plane is always quicker to build. It is easier to get the controls into, and since they are more exposed, it is easier for someone to help you trim and adjust the plane as well as catch any building mistakes. You can always post pictures here of the plane as you are building it if you think something is not quite right
2. If you keep to approximately the same size planes, then when you get a really good engine/tank/prop/muffler combination, you can move parts between planes in case of mishaps. You can buy spares if you can afford it, but if you can quickly switch tanks or engines or props, or..... then you might still be flying instead of fixing a bunch of very different planes at the same time.
3. A plane that is initially quicker to build is also generally quicker to rebuild. Full blown PA stunt machines are very, very cool but take a lot of skill/time/money to make them that way.
4. There are plenty of great planes out there for the intermediate level. Everyone has a favorite. You will hear endless discussions of the SIG Twister--with a whole bunch of mods that some feel are mandatory, or else the Wright Bros might never have gotten one off the ground. People like the Twister for good reasons. It is a solid, mid-level performer out of the box. So is the Banshee with a few caveats. But ya gotta build all of one of these. No ARF Twisters out there. It is one of the easier full-size stunt planes to build, so for learning building skills it is perfect. The only things easier are likely to be some 1/2A sheet jobs. Some of those actually work ok for beginner training too. And at a far lower cost, if that is a factor. If you fly over grass, then they are very survivable.

Good luck with your project(s),

The Divot

Offline Fredvon4

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Re: Top Flite Nobler ARF
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2020, 07:34:10 AM »
do not forget Tom Dixon UKIE 35 OR 40.....basically a very quick build ARF
or Phil Cartier (corehouse) Rugged Stunt Trainer (RST) also a tad more build but still nearly an ARF

both in the hundred buck range and each will take a lickin n keep on ticken
"A good scare teaches more than good advice"

Fred von Gortler IV

Offline John Skukalek

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Re: Top Flite Nobler ARF
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2020, 06:25:18 PM »
Good points Dave. I can scratch my way through each of the maneuvers without crashing. The shapes are not pretty and my airplane usually wants to fall from the sky going over the top in the hour glass. I think I need a airplane and engine combination that won't hold me back. Seems like the Nobler ARF can do that.
As far as building experience I have built a few sport profiles but nothing like a competitive stunter. I have covered them in monokote. I have a couple Brodak 40s, one FP 40 and a Tom Dixon os46sf which i purchased used many years ago but have never used.
Thanks again   

Offline Dave Hull

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Re: Top Flite Nobler ARF
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2020, 06:44:26 PM »
John,

Then you're actually pretty far along in both flying and building skills. Not sure how the .46SF was set up by Dixon, but if it is detuned for stunt as I suspect, and not a piped deal, then you might want to look at a Pathfinder for it. The ones I have seen fly did so very well. You might also consider the Cardinal, if the styling appeals to you more--or if you just can't stand tricycle gear on the Pathfinder.

Less common, but also a great flyer is the Shameless. A club member had one of these and it always impressed me. It looked really good in the air. That would be a scratch-build since I am not aware of any kits out there. A few others that our club members have built and campaigned are the Excaliber and the Trophy Trainer. Both were gorgeous and flew really well. But this is probably just scratching the surface.

A little bigger (and maybe a touch harder to build?) would be the Imitation. You can read a pair of design/build articles in the AMA archives. And there isn't any question about how well it flies. You can almost certainly get expert level trimming advice right here on the 'Hanger for that one....

The Divot

Online Ken Culbertson

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Re: Top Flite Nobler ARF
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2020, 08:23:28 PM »
The shapes are not pretty and my airplane usually wants to fall from the sky going over the top in the hour glass.
You have hit on one of the most overlooked things that keeps upcoming fliers from progressing - overhead line tension.  The TF ARF Nobler, properly trimmed can have great overhead tension.    If you are worried that the plane will not stay out on the lines you will not ever get the shapes down and probably develop some bad habits and bad wind placement.   At your level, don't worry so much about a little extra yaw or a bit too much tip weight.  Make it tug over 45.  The newer airfoils and designs don't have this problem if properly trimmed but the Nobler, in spite of the slightly better airfoil on the TF ARF still needs a little help up top.

If you have the right color Monokote, then remember these words - adjustable leadouts.

Ken
« Last Edit: March 02, 2020, 10:02:19 PM by Ken Culbertson »
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