SAIL - Assembly & Mounting
During the design stage, it was proposed to completely remove the sail on the Permit class boats to reduce underwater drag. However, the impracticality of having to tow the submarine out to sea at the beginning of each patrol due to the near zero freeboard quickly negated the proposal. Instead, the sail was designed with a minimum height. The sail planes were mounted as high as possible in an attempt to increase depth control close to the surface. The final design was so narrow, one could almost reach through the sail via the maintenance access plates.
1. For radio controlled operations, it is necessary to open up a hole in the top of the sail to allow trapped air to escape during diving. Study the plans, then choose an area to open such as a mast or the bridge clamshells. For this project, the VLF loop antenna opening was selected.
2. Using a very small grinding bit, grind out the VLF loop opening with the Dremel. NOTE: periscope and mast assembly/ installation will be outlined later.
3. Using round and half-round needle files, file out the VLF opening to the scribed lines.
4. Here you can see the opening through the sail top. It is important that the hole accesses the interior void of the sail otherwise air will remain trapped inside. By working files at an angle, the interior side of the hole can be beveled wider.
With the VLF opening complete, we can turn our attention to the sail planes. Because of their small size in 1/96 scale, the kit's sail planes afford minimal control influence during r/c operations. Therefore I mounted them in a fixed position. However, if active sail planes are desired, skip steps 5 - 7 and use the plane connecting rod as your control shaft. By mounting a bellcrank on the shaft and running the linkage through the sail and into the hull, you can effectively animate them.
5. Locate the planes and test fit them in the pre-drilled mounting holes. They should fit snugly against the sail and protrude from either side of the sail at a 90° angle. Both port and starboard planes should be aligned with one another through the sail. Slight filing of the mounting holes can correct any variations in alignment.
Apply cyanoacrylate to a plane with the supplied connecting rod inserted. Apply glue only to the surface which will rest against the sail side.
6. Slide the connecting rod into the pre-drilled hole and glue the plane to the sail. Slip the other plane on the opposite side in order to check the alignment of the two planes as the one dries.
7. Apply glue to the opposite plane and slide it onto the connecting rod and against the sail. Hold it in place until the CA dries, then set it aside.
8. Moving to the upper hull, locate the two sail mounting bolt dimples in the upper hull. They are at the forward and after end of the scribed sail outline in the hull. Use a 7/64 bit and drill out the mounting hole hull dimples.
9. Switch to a 3/16 bit and drill two drain holes on center between the mounting holes. Be sure to keep the holes within the scribed outline of the sail. The holes will allow air to escape more quickly from the lower hull during dives and will quickly drain the sail during surfacing. NOTE: there is no scribing or dimples to indicate placement of the holes. Just select a spot within the sail outline on the centerline of the boat.
10. Slip the mounting bolts of the assembled sail into the holes in the upper hull. Don't apply glue to the sail or upper hull. Install the nuts on the mounting bolts and tighten until snug. Be careful not to overtighten. NOTE: using the mounting bolts without applying glue enables the sail to be removed for transportation and greatly reduces the risk of accidental damage during trips to the pond.
11. Turn the upper hull over. The sail should be firmly mounted and rising vertically from the hull. If the sail leans to port or starboard, unfasten it and gently sand the underside of the sail to remove the high spot and bring it into proper alignment. As always, be careful not to remove too much material at one time.
It's now time to work on the essential hull appendages used in radio controlled operations. First, the rudders...