I’ve owned a set of Wendell Hostetler’s 30% Super Decathlon drawings for probably over 10 years now and just haven’t had the time to build one for myself. I actually built one of these for a customer back in 2008 (build pictures can be seen under 2008 Projects at the left) but it was only built to a point where the customer was comfortable finishing it. The kit that it was built from was a somewhat botched hand cut kit from a cutter out of New Jersey that had to be re-worked extensively. During that process I had made several changes to the design that will be incorporated into the laser cut short kit that we plan to offer. These changes in no way infer that the Hostetler design is flawed and were purely cosmetic or personal preference in nature.
Please be patient as we work out the details and permissions required that will allow us to offer a line of quality laser cut short kits. In the meantime, follow along with the test build of the Wendell Hostetler 30% Super Decathlon which will showcase the quality that we intend to be a part of any kit that we offer…
At this point I have 34 hours of total build time in this project and should have no problem having it framed up for display at a local RC flea market coming up in 4 weeks. After building hand cut and/or die crunched kits for the better part of 32 years, I can’t say enough about the speed and ease with which a laser cut kit goes together. Combined with CAD drawn parts and plans, the laser cut parts fit together perfectly…the first time…with no sanding required. The charring on the wood edges can mostly be removed with a few light strokes of 120 grit sandpaper (the thicker plywoods require a bit more elbow grease) if you so choose but it has no effect on the ability of glues to soak into the wood for a good bond.
The left wing construction continues below and then picks up with the center section construction. I did not take any pictures of the right wing panel construction as it is simply a mirror image of the left. the important thing is that you remember to build one right and one left panel.
The Decathlon took 63 hours to frame to this point. There is still some work to do before covering but that will be up to its new owner as they fit the motor and electronics.