1/6th Scale F-16 Operational Nozzle/Turkey Feather System Manual


Thanks for purchasing the Details 4 Scale Operational Nozzle System for the 1/6th scale F-16. The nozzle system is adaptable to the following F-16 airframes; 1/6th Skymaster F-16, 1/6th Fei Bao F-16 and the 1/6th scale Jet Legend F-16.

Requirements for operation. 1 spare radio channel plus 2) 240+oz in standard case digital servos are required for actuation of the nozzle system. The system comes complete with a digital nozzle controller that controls both the end points for open and closed. This is NOT a proportional system. The nozzle is either open or closed and is designed to give the maximum scale effect of an operational nozzle on the 1/6th scale F-16. Coupled with our 112mm Afterburner Lighting system and the scale effect is spectacular.


Tools required for assembly:


Dremel rotary tool with the following bits: 1 small conical point grinding bit, 1/8" Straight Tuff Grind carbide bit, 1/2" sanding drum, 1/4" sanding drum

standard or cordless drill with the following bits: #60, #58, 1/16", 3/32", 3/16"

flat Tough Grind Fine Grit File (or equivalent)

small vise

tack hammer or lineman's pliers

small flat needle nose pliers and pin vise capable of holding a .040 pin

.050 allen driver, 5/64 allen driver, 3/32 allen driver, #0 & #1 phillips head screwdrivers, X-acto knife with #11 blade,

Medium CA, 20-40 min. Hysol

Testors Model Master (or equivalent) spray paint colors: Titanium (buffing metalizer), Aluminum (buffing metalizer), Stainless Steel (buffing metalizer)

BVM Hot Section Colors: Titanium and Transparent Blue for heat section details

Ultra Fine Sharpee Pen




Outer and inner turkey feather sub-assemblies:


Begin by first checking all the assembly bags against the supplied list of parts. Be sure everything is in hand before beginning; this will make the assmebly go much faster if you are organized.

1.Locate bag 8 and remove the contents. Separate the corrugated inner turkey feather pieces and the 15 rod guides (they look like space invaders see photo below).




Keep these close by as they will be installed shortly.




 Orient the 15 corrugated pieces so that the small notch in the center separation bar are all facing one direction. Using a ruler, mark the opposite end from the notch exactly 25mm back from the edge as shown in the photo below.










Carefully grind the center rail as shown in the next photo to prepare the surface for the activation rod guides.












Using the same conical bit, grind the center of each notch (in the opposite end of the rail) and drill a 3/32 hole aligned with the center of the rail.












Set these parts aside for now.

2. Remove the 15 outer turkey feather pieces from bag 9, keep all the hardware in their separate bags for identification later.

Using the supplied mylar template and a ultra fine sharpee pen, mark each outer turkey feather where shown in the photo below.





You will be marking both the front pivot tab location and the 3/32 aluminum tube support holder at the same time on each turkey feather piece. Note the small hash marks on the template; the marks for the front pivot blocks should be "U" shaped so as to define both the rear and side edges where the blocks mount.









Once the marking is completed, carefully rough grind within the boundaries of the marks using a 1/4" drum sander and dremel tool. Be sure not to grind away the pen marks as it is very important to get both the aluminum tube blocks and the pivot blocks mounted accurately.

Get the rod guides and carefully sand the inner surfaces of each guide using a flat file. You can also use a piece of 80 grit sand paper folded over for this step.








Sanding the inside edges makes them rough for the Hysol to stick well.







Once all the pieces have been ground, mix up a small batch of Hysol and mount each of the blocks on all 15 outer turkey feather pieces as shown in the next photo.









You'll notice that the pivot block seems a little crooked, but this is necessary for proper operation on the outer feather pieces when connected to the inner feather slider pieces.



Next, mount the rod guides exactly as shown the next photo. Set all parts aside and allow the Hysol to fully cure.










Be sure the rod guides are mounted behind (on the right side) of the 25mm mark as shown here.




Activation Rod/pivot base assembly:

Remove the contents of bag 3, assemble all 15 of the rod/base pairs by pressing the rods into the pre-drilled 1/8" diameter holes in the pivot bases as shown below.


Tack each pair of parts using a very small amount of thin CA right where the rod meets the pivot base. Repeat this step for all 15 pairs of parts. Use kicker to set the CA. ***NOTE***AVOID GETTING EXCESS CA ON THE FLAT SIDES OF THE PIVOT BASES.


Remove the operating rod ring from bag #1 and bellcrank "T" brackets from bag #2. Leave the remaining parts in the bags. See photo below.




Operating rod ring completed w/ bellcrank "T" brackets





Bellcrank "T" bracket








You'll notice that one side of the bellcrank is flush where the vertical riser meets the base and one side has a slight raised edge where the vertical meets the base. The raised edge is positioned as shown to the left; it faces the outer edge of the ring with the flush edge going against the rod pivot mounts shown in photo below.





Rough sand around perimeter of ring and the bottom of each "T" bracket using 80 grit sandpaper.






Apply each "T" bracket where shown to left using Hysol applied to the bottom of each "T" bracket. Allow the Hysol to cure completely without disturbing the ring.




Installing the 3/32 X 1" bellcrank/rod pins:


Remove the rod bellcranks and 3/32" X 1" roll pins from bag #4. Orient all the bellcranks so they are positioned as shown below. All 15 must be assembled in the same direction.











All 15 sets must have the pins pressed in from this side only!


Start a pin into one of the two holes using a small tack hammer or the flat edge of a pair of pliers. Once the two pins have been started, use a small vise to press the two pins into the full thickness (depth) of the bellcrank. Repeat for all the bellcranks. See photo below.




Press each set of pins until the pins bottom out against the opposite face of the vise.







Ring Actuator Assembly:



Using a pair of channel lock type pliers, carefully press each of the 15 outer turkey feather overlap pins in place. Be careful not to bend the tubing. Repeat for all 15 pins.



Using a pair of needle nose pliers, carefully bend each of the 15 pins as shown in the photo to the left and below. Set aside for later.
















using a 3/32" drill bit (2.5mm) drill a bolt clearance hole in each of the 15 blocks as shown in the photo to the left and below. ***NOTE*** drill only thru the first block and not across into the thread block.
















Using a step drill, make a pilot hole for each of the 15 pivot assemblies by drilling thru the junction point where the "T" block and the pivot bases meet. There is already a slight groove in the pivot base for locating the hole. Drill holes only just large enough for the pivot bolt head to clear.













Using a ball type allen wrench, install all 15 pivot rod assemblies as shown in the photo to the left. Tighten the bolts only to secure the pivot blocks into the pivot base (DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN) the pivot rod assemblies must be allowed to rotate freely.














Using a 1/16" (1.5mm) drill bit, drill thru the base of each "T" block. There are holes on either side of the base. Once the holes have been drilled, install the 30 #2X7/16 flange head screws as shown to the left.
















Carefully spread each bellcrank pin set using a pair of standard pliers (smooth jaw pliers work best). This allows the pivot rods for the turkey feathers slide freely inside of the roll pins.










Install all 15 bellcranks as shown here using the 4-40X3/8" cap screws.









Completed pivot ring assembly, ready to glue into nozzle attenuator.










Gluing the pivot ring assembly into the attenuator



Rough sand the petal attachment plate using 80 grit sandpaper to prepare the surface for the inner ring













Align the pivot ring assembly by carefully inserting all 15 pivot rods thru the front petal base as shown to the left. Be sure all 15 rods line up with the cross drilled holes in each outer petal attachment base. Tack the inner petal ring in place using CA so that the 15 small notches in the inner ring line up with the pivot rods. Carefully flip entire assembly over so that the back of the attenuator and ring are visible. Be careful not to allow the assembly to shift position.















Carefully check the alignment of the rods to the center of each petal plate hole to be certain the rings didn't shift position. Tack the entire pivot ring assembly to the inner side of the attenuator using CA (allow there to be a 1/8" gap between the rear of the attenuator and the back of the pivot rod ring assembly).  Apply a bead of Hysol all around the ring/attenuator joint and the inner petal joint shown in the photo below allow to cure overnight.

















Installing the outer turkey feather attachment blocks to the inner sliding petals.



Carefully clean up the edges of each of the 15 outer feather pivot blocks. This will allow the pivots to rock freely.

















Install all 15 outer turkey feather rocker blocks to the inner slide petals using the .040 X .25 stainless roll pins. It is necessary to drill the holes using a #58 drill bit in order to provide clearance holes for the pins as the holes are quite tight as molded. Be sure the two larger overhanging portion of the small rocker plates faces to the left in the photo.


Note: The roll pins install one from the left and the other from the right.










Glue each inner slide petal assembly to the outer turkey feathers as shown in the photo to the left. The inner slide petal should extend approx. 1/8" beyond the narrow end of the outer turkey feather (top left in the photo). Be sure the opposite end of the slide petal (lower right corner of photo) is exactly centered within the width of the outer turkey feather. Use clothes pins to hold the parts together while the Hysol cures (overnight).













Cutting the outer petal pressure plate slots


Using a #58 drill, carefully drill one hole at the end of each pressure plate slot scribe line as shown in the following 2 photos. The first shows the close up of the holes and the second shows how they will look when completed.














Cut each slot using the diamond cut-off wheel being sure to stop when the hole is reached. There are 15 small "U" shaped cut  outs as well and the center of these cutout when removed, reveal the outer petal attachment plate holes.







Installing the inner fixed petals




Install all 15 inner petal as shown to the left using the #1X3/8" sheet metal screws provided.

















Using a diamond cut-off wheel, cut all 15 inner petals off at the rear edge of the front ring as shown here.











Painting the turkey feathers

There are 2 templates for painting the turkey feathers. Template one is for making the titanium mask on the outer left edge of the turkey feather. The second template is to make the "No Step" mask near the two ends of each feather. See the photos in the next section for proper placement of the paint.


Installing the outer turkey feathers


This photo shows how to start inserting an outer turkey feather between the rod transfer plates.








Further installation of a turkey feather.
















A good method for centering the holes before installing the screws is to use the end of the .050 allen driver tip to align the holes. It is then easy to install the screws.













Trim the sliding petal to match the inner fixed petal (one shown un-cut). Proceed to next step.
















Cotter pin/pushrod installation


Install all 15 pushrods using the cotter pins as shown in the photo to the left.

The bent (cranked) half of the pushrod is attached to the cotter pin end. The straight half of the pushrod assembly attaches to the push/pull ring assembly









Push/Pull assembly



Assemble the push/pull plate assembly as shown in the photo to the left.

The brass tubes are first inserted thru the lower plate and tacked in place from the bottom side. Then slide the white tube stiffener blocks over the brass tubes. If the holes are too tight, simply drill them out with a slightly larger size drill bit than the hole. Glue the white stiffener pieces in place with Hysol (move to the next step as all needs to be completed before the Hysol is allowed to cure.

Step2. Sandwich the black inner attachment ring between the two ply laser cut rings. Be sure the inner ring's edge is aligned with the two ply ring's inner edges and that the holes in both ply ring line up before tacking them in place with CA. Once tacked, run a bead of Hysol around the connections between the 3 rings. (see photo).

Step3. Insert the carbon fiber rods into the holes in the ply rings being sure that the rods extend thru both ply rings. Tack the rods in place between the two ply rings only with a single drop of CA. DO NOT OVER DO IT WITH THE CA!



Step4. Assemble the carbon rods into the brass tubes. The rings will only align one way very well. Rotate the rings as necessary until the smoothest operation is achieved.

Step5. Once the rings are in the smoothes orientation, apply Hysol to each rod between the ply rings only. See photo. compress the assembly until the distance between the double plywood plate assembly is approx. 1/2" from the ends of the brass tubes. Allow the Hysol to cure over night.



Installing the nozzle ring attachment plate

Separate the push /pull ring assembly making sure to mark it's orientation for ease of re-assembly. Once the assembly is apart, insert the ring attachment plate. It looks the same as the push/pull ring except it's slightly larger in diameter with four 1/2" holes.

Slide the plate over the fixed ply laser cut plate with the white stiffeners on it. The 1/2" holes are to be aligned with the white stiffener tubes. Slide the new plate over the white parts until it contacts the ply laser cut plate. Tack the new plate to the laser cut ply plate using CA. Be sure the plates are making even contact all the way around as this will affect the final position of the completed nozzle assembly. Once tacked, run a bead of Hysol all around the connection between the two plates. Allow the Hysol to cure once again.


 Run a bead of Hysol around the attachment plate you just completed. (See photo to left) You can see the fixed ring for the push/pull assembly on the inner edge of the attachment ring.

Flip the push/pull ring assembly over and install it onto the rear of the nozzle assembly. The inner fixed ring will fit down into the pivot ring assembly on the nozzle just between centers and the plate attachment plate (with the glue bead) should contact the rear of the pivot ring assembly. The pushrods should then be aligned with the screw holes in the center black push/pull ring assembly. (See next photo below) Allow the glue to cure overnight. 

When gluing the push/pull ring assembly in place, be sure the pushrods are all angled towards the center of the nozzle.












Pushrod holes line up with the holes on the inner black pus/pull attachment ring. Once the Hysol has cured on the plate attachment, carefully mark each point where the push rod makes contact with the inner ply attachment ring. Using a 1/2" diameter sanding drum and a dremel, groove out the ply attachment plate so that all 15 pushrods will clear the plate without ANY binding or rubbing.
















Fully compress the push/pull ring (DO NOT FORCE IT)

Before installing the pushrod screws, turn each of the pushrods in or out so that each of the holes in the pushrods line up perfectly with each corresponding hole in the black push/pull center ring. Then install all 15 screws. Do not over tighten the screws. Install the push/pull blocks where shown on the photo exactly 108 degrees apart using Hysol. Allow the Hysol to cure overnight.












Modifying the fuse and installing the new rear fuse bulkhead ring

Using a ruler, measure 3/4" forward of the rear of the fuse and place a small mark. Repeat at 1/4" intervals al the way around the fuse. Connect the marks to form a circle and cut off the rear section behind the circle using a diamond cut-off wheel. Rough sand the inside of the fuse forward 1" using 60-80 grit sandpaper and wipe with paint thinner, then acetone to get ride of any wax or release agents inside the fuse.

Install the new rear bulkhead with the "B" on the ring facing the bottom of the fuse. Be sure the distance from the rear of the fuse to the ring remains constant all the way around and tack in place using CA. Apply a bead of Hysol to both the inner and outer ring/fuse connection joints. Allow the Hysol to cure overnight.




Completed rear ring installation. Note the holes thru the ring 90 degrees apart. These are the holes for the attachment dowel pins for the nozzle blocks. Next step. Check the nozzle attenuator for fit to the rear of the fuse. It should barely fit into the rear of the fuse. Rotate the nozzle until a good fit is made. If the fuse appears to tight a fit, remove a small amount of the fuse glass until the nozzle fits perfectly. Be sure as before to make the amount taken off the same all the way around the fuse.








***NOTE: The small molded blocks shown to the left have been replaced by hardwood blocks for the production nozzle kits.

Alternate set screw install: You can follow the installation of the hardwood blocks below and face the set screws towards the outside of the fuse instead of the inside and provide 4 small holes that allow access to the allen head screws to tighten the nozzle set screws. This method is the least scale, but it is the easiest for fixing or removing the nozzle from the airframe.

Before installing the 4 hardwood blocks into the fuse for the nozzle dowel pins, drill a 3/16" hole thru each of the 4 blocks  as shown to the left. Next, drill a #43 hole thru each block at 90 degrees to the first holes and tap each hole using a 4-40 tap. If you don't have a 4-40 tap, drill the holes using a 3/32 drill bit and the screws will self tap. Drill 4 holes starting at top dead center on the rear ring  in approx 3/8" from the outer edge of the ring. Drill 3 more holes 90 degrees apart at the same distance in for each hole as the first. The holes should be slightly larger than 3/16". See photo above for what the holes should look like from the rear of the fuse. Use a 3/16 dowel to line up the large hole in each hardwood block and the hole thru the rear ring. Tack glue each hardwood in place using CA. Sand the blocks as necessary so that the blocks clear both the outer edge of the fuse and that they do not protrude into the inner space of the new rear ring. The rear rings inner diameter has to remain clear or it will interfere with the push/pull ring on the nozzle. Once the blocks are fitted properly, glue them in place with Hysol and allow to cure overnight.

Once the Hysol has cured, carefully mark  the pivot nozzle ring for drilling four 7/32" holes to accept the 3/16" diameter dowels that will affix the nozzle to the fuse. When marking for the holes, be sure before drilling any of the holes that the two side hole at 3 and 9 o'clock are in the exact line with the push/pull blocks (the blocks that attach to the forward servo pushrods). Also be certain that the holes will not extend into any of the pivot bellcrank areas. The holes can be rotated approx. 10 degrees off center of the push/pull blocks without any pushrod problem to avoid hitting the bellcrank areas or any screws in the nozzle assembly.

Before placing the 4 dowels into the holes in the back of the rear ring, apply 2 coats of wax the entire area around each hole using a Carnuba type wax, allowing each coat to dry completely. Install the dowel pins and tighten down the set screws so that the pins do not move. Trial fit the nozzle (with the 4 holes drilled) onto the rear ring/pin assembly. Be sure the pins only insert into the pivot ring approx 3/8" so that the pins do not stick out into the bellcrank area. Once satisfied with the fit, apply Hysol to the ends of the dowel pins only and install onto fuse. Tape the nozzle in place and allow the Hysol to cure completely.


Once the Hysol has cured, loosen the 4 set screws (this is why the outside holes make the most sense) and remove the nozzle. Once removed, mark the top of the nozzle so that it will be very easy to reinstall.

Drive servo installation.

The servo installation is very easy. Simply install the servo mounts provided just behind each side of the main gear bulkhead leaving a 3/4" gap from the front edge of the servo mount and rear side of the bulkhead. The servo mounts should be installed on the lower side of the fuse where the round lower fuse transitions to the side fuse extension where the wing attaches. The top edge of the servo mount should be flush with the lower fuse transition joint. Rough sand the fuse using 60-80 grit sandpaper and apply Hysol tot the backs of each mount and glue them in place. Tack the mounts with CA so they do not move. Allow the Hysol to cure overnight.

Install the servos with the arms facing closer to the rear of the fuse. Be sure to mechanically center the servo arms before installing the servos into the mounts. Both the servos will have the arms facing towards the center of the fuse. Two 1/4" carbon rods and needed for the pushrods (not supplied). Install the pushrods as if they were driving a control surface with the arms centered within the servos sweep rotation. Use ball links for both ends of the pushrods. 4-40 balls are more than adequate for control. Once these pushrods have been made, DO NOT install the forward (servo end) of the pushrods until the nozzle controller has been set up.


 Click here for nozzle controller set up.


If you have any questions about the installation of the operational nozzle, please e-mail us at support@details4scale.com



Dan Gill