[Headline: Ready, set, build!
This issue contains builder-oriented features, and I know there are some special treats in this issue for the readers!
October is the beginning of the building season for many across the US. It’s time to return to the shop, although I like it there anytime. Many of us have a list of models we want to build and/or finish soon. You have to think about where you will store the model, where you will build it, and the expenses.
I’m finishing my Pietenpol Air Camper and have been collecting bits and pieces for my new Cessna C-165 Airmaster. This high-wing civil aircraft has a radial engine with cowling, wheel pants, and a striking paint job.
The 1/4-scale plans are Jerry Bates Plans, and the short kit is from Bob Holman Plans. I’ve purchased all of the sticks, sheets, and some plywood sheet to complete the kit. What I like about Jerry’s plans is that the engines, hardware, etc., are all listed, removing some of the guesswork from the building process. I look forward to starting this model. It should require few or no modifications, so I likely will finish it faster than the Pietenpol.
The full-scale aircraft had a combination of steel tubing and wood construction throughout, much like the Ryan NYP (New York to Paris) Spirit of St. Louis that Charles Lindbergh flew to Paris. With a wooden wing and spar, the steel-tubing fuselage was fabric covered, except for the cowling. In the 1930s, aircraft manufacturers were still designing and building biplanes for military around the world.
I struggled with engine choice for the Cessna C-165. I had originally purchased a DLE-30. When I received the engine and measured it, I found that the rear-mounted carburetor made the engine too long. For radial applications such the Cessna and others, I could cut out the aircraft’s interior, but that would ruin the cockpit’s appearance and make access difficult.
I attended the 2013 Toledo R/C Expo, and in preparation for my Cessna C-165 build, measured several of the gas engines there. Many of the 26-30cc engines were 6 inches or longer, which is too long. I eventually selected the engine originally mounted in the prototype model of the Cessna C-165 Airmaster, the Hangar 9 ZP-26cc gas engine. With a side-mounted carburetor, it will fit in the cowling without having to remove any of the aircraft’s interior.
One of the problems we face as modelers when choosing engines is that not all manufacturers publish their engines’ measurements. Most of the measurements are included in the manuals for DLE engines and Hangar 9 engines, and can be downloaded from the Internet. Some manufacturers list the measurements in inches, while others have it in metrics, which is a problem when researching an engine. It would be nice if they could all agree.
Pietenpol Air Camper Cowling
The cowling has been constructed from balsa blocks carved and covered with fiberglass cloth. This is a one-off cowling, so there is no ready-made unit from a supplier. As each aircraft is built, the builder/owner chooses the engine type, which alters the cowl’s shape. The original Pete had a Ford Model A engine, but most of the newer ones have a Continental C-85 flat, or similar, four-cylinder engine.
The Pietenpol’s cowling is made from Balsa USA balsa sheets that were purchased as a bag of blocks. Sticks can also be purchased in bulk, and there are no definite sizes. (It helps to keep these around because the gremlins [aka grandkids] like to get into my stash of balsa.) You can hollow out the balsa blocks after you get the outside shape to the correct contour. Magnets hold the cowling in place.
The four struts are made of pine from The Home Depot. I measured, cut, and shaped them to be identical. I used a thinned coat of epoxy to seal the wood and then sprayed all struts with black paint.
It’s getting late in the season and snow will soon be falling, but Scale events are still being held at a few locations.
One such gathering is the 2014 National Association of Scale Aeromodelers (NASA) Scale Classic. Many modelers have qualified for this event in RC and CL Scale Opens held across the country. Pilots will meet in Muncie, Indiana, at AMA’s International Aeromodeling Center on October 3-5. Plenty of activities are planned.
Haven’t received an invitation? You can still fly in Fun Scale, as well as the World War I Scale event. Check out the details on the NASA website.
The One Eighth Air Force Fall Scale Fly-In will be held October 18-19 at the Cave Buttes Field, in Phoenix. It’s located at Cave Creek and Jomax roads. Many fliers arrive a few days early to get in some extra practice before the event officially begins.
Check out the One Eighth Air Force’s website. The fly-in is a great time, at a great site, with great people![dingbat]
One Eighth Air Force
Gene Peterson (CD)