Shaka is a balsa flying wing designed for slope and thermal flying.
It features a simple wooden design combined with carbon fibre spars and a leading edge.
This construction makes it easy to build and extremely durable while flying.
At the current version, it’s designed as a 2-channel RC glider which requires some glue, sand-paper, covering film, and some basic building skills.
Follow this Shaka assembly guide to learn the process of building this model step-by-step.
Please, follow this instruction and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section or in the RC Groups Tread.
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Part 1: A Fuselage
Part 2: A Fin
Part 3: A Wing
Cut and sand the leading edge of a servo mounting plate slightly to make a curve.
This will let the covering film create a smoother shape stretching from the leading edge compared to the default.
Part 4: Wing Joiners
Some CF rods/tubes may have a very tight fit, which will make it difficult to assemble and dissasemble your model.
So, consider wet sanding the 4mm rod/tube slightly to make a fit lose and avoid the wing joiner from stacking inside the spar tube.
Part 5: Elevon Servo Installation
Center the servos and screw on the control horns. Then test fit the clevises, wrap the servos with some lining and glue them in place.
Advanced Servo Installation
Advanced builders can also attempt for a cleaner servo and pushrod installation.
It uses the same 1.5mm carbon rod and the ball link that comes in the kit but will require some extra 2mm balsa sheeting, shrink tube, and a music wire z-bend which are not provided.
The installation below uses PowerHD DSM44 servos, however, you can use any servos that will fit and move freely underneath the future covering.
Please see the pictures below for reference.
Part 6: Covering, Elevon Hinges & Pushrods Setup
For an explanation on how to create slop-free hinges, please, refer to this thread on RCGroups or watch the video below:
Please note: There are different types of ball linkages provided with the Shaka KITs. Find the examples of a ball link installation on a control horn on the pictures below.
Please, make sure to use a thread lock, some epoxy or thin CA glue for securing the ball on the control horn after installation. This part experience light spinning forces and may become loose with time if not locked in place.
Pro Tip: You may not use the M2.5 nut from the KIT, but glue the thread into the plywood body of the horn for a cleaner installation.
Simple Canopy Hatch Holder
Once your fuselage and the hatch canopy is covered, you might wonder about how to hold it in place.
We recommend creating a sticky tape ring that doesn’t weight a thing and let you access your pod easy and fast.
Start with applying about 10mm of sticky tape on the fuselage, then, pull it slightly to have a sticky side facing outwards and wrap the fuselage and a canopy hatch.
Then, wrap the newly created ring with another strip of the same tape, facing the sticky side inwards this time.
Lastly, twist the ring, to release the 10mm of tape you applied to the fuse in the beginning and slide the ring from the fuse and get access to the pod.
Note, sanding the fuselage down to a slightly steep shape will make the best use of this method.
For better convenience, check the video below that shows the process from start to finish:
Part 7: Radio & Setup
Please note, that you will need a transmitter that allows for delta wing/elevon mixing for flying Shaka.
FrSky and other OpenTX powered radio users can benefit from using a Wingy template provided by RC-Soar.
It will help you setting up your Shaka avoiding a “famous” OpenTX learning curve.
Also, some basic settings are also shown by Andrew Newton in his vide below, starting at 5:25.
Neutral flaperon position
One note about the wing construction – for better stability, it’s designed with a slight washout on the wingtips.
You can clearly see it on the model from the tail.
Considering the above, in the Neutral position the elevons should align with the wingtip and form a straight line. Please see the picture below for reference.
Considering that the flaperon is straight and flat, it will create a little reflex in the root while aligned with the wingtip.
Use this as your starting position for a maiden flight.
Note, that you might need some corrections during the maiden flight as the neutral elevon position strongly depends on the CG location. Even a few millimeters can affect the neutral.
For Elevator throws, start with approx. 10°-15° and adjust according to your CG and flying style.
For Aileron throws you can go more, up to 30° from the neutral position.
Additionally, we recommend setting up a positive Aileron Differential (to make the ailerons travel less down than up) to 25-40%.
This is not mandatory but will help to keep the altitude in turns.
In rolls, though, it will require some down elevator correction when inverted for keeping the altitude as well.
Center of gravity
For your convenience, the recommended CG position is marked on the bottom sheeting of the wing. Please, refer to this mark while setting up your model for the maiden flight and then adjust according to your flying style.
Then, choose some flat and safe field and give it a light toss before taking it on the slope.
Make sure all the controls are working as expected and the CG is in the right position.
If everything is good, find a nice slope and throw it into a lift to have some fun!
Hang Loose!.. with Shaka.