[Headline: New year, new project]
Wow, 2014 was an exciting year in Scale! We saw an uptick in the number of competitions and events, as well as builders. Some of the fliers/competitors were young and others were “classics.”
I also finished my Pietenpol Air Camper in 2014. I’m waiting for some decent weather in which to fly it.
After I assembled the cowling, I realized by looking at the photos of the full-scale aircraft that the cowling was too short. I added 21/2 inches to the firewall’s length.
This Pete (as the airplane is sometimes called) uses a Continental flat four-cylinder rated at 85 hp. The full-scale aircraft was powered by a Ford four-cylinder engine with the radiator mounted in front of the pilot. Some redesigning on the forward area was necessary for my Pietenpol.
I received several photos and ideas from modelers while I was building the Pietenpol. I appreciate all of them.
There were several areas of the aircraft that had to be changed. Some I realized and changed before construction began and others … well, I had to change them after the fact. Some of the changes included the firewall mount, the wing supports in the fuselage, and landing gear mounts so they would be in line with the upright supports instead of behind them. I built a three-piece wing instead of the straight 84-inch, one-piece wing.
One Pietenpol Air Camper photo I received was from Nelson Carpenter of Omaha, Nebraska. Nelson built his Pete from Radio Control Modeler plans. It’s powered by a Saito .71 four-stroke. He covered the aircraft with Solartex antique fabric, and trimmed it with hunter green Rust-Oleum spray paint.
Nelson added nose weight to the model to improve its flight performance. He said this has become one of his favorite aircraft to fly. To see a short video of Nelson’s Pietenpol in flight, check out his YouTube video at the link listed in “Sources.”
After finishing the Pietenpol, it was time to start my next project. First, I needed to organize the shop and put all of the parts, the engine, the balsa, and the plywood together. My Cessna C-165 Airmaster will have landing lights, navigation lights, as well as flaps and a full cockpit interior.
It was time to plan the assembly and fabrication. I examined the plans and determined that when I start constructing the fuselage, I’ll have to build the cockpit interior and instrument panel first to get all of the components into the cabin.
The full-scale Cessna C-165 had an interesting way to enter the cockpit. There was only one door on the right side of the aircraft, so the right front seat had to slide as far to the back of the fuselage as possible to access the left front seat. This was just one of the quirks of some airplanes built in the 1930s and 1940s.
Another aspect of the full-scale aircraft is the carved and shaped fuselage turtledeck behind the wing. I have included a photo of a full-scale Airmaster being restored with the fabric off. Viewing the full-scale construction can give you good insight for your model.
Control systems are another component that you should take a long look at before you start cutting wood on a plan-built or scratch-built model. The saying, “measure twice and cut once,” is tried and true!
Jerry Bates Plans
If you haven’t decided on your next Scale project, consider flipping through the Jerry Bates Plans catalog. There is a great selection of aircraft.
Jerry has recently posted a new group of plans on the site. They include the Dewoitine D.520, a French World War II fighter; the Saab B 17 dive bomber with a wingspan of 1083/4 inches; the Macchi MC.202 Folgore with an 833/8-inch wingspan; a Curtiss C-46 Commando with a 144-inch wingspan; a Douglas SBD Dauntless with a wingspan of 124.5 inches; the Yakovlev Yak fighter; the Curtiss-Robertson Robin (this one is huge with a wingspan of 123 inches); and the Vultee 72 Vengeance dive bomber. There are others on the way. I can’t wait to see a Vultee BT-13 with a 126-inch wingspan!
Bob Holman Plans is cutting most of Jerry’s kits or short kits. This is where my clean, laser-cut Cessna C-165 parts came from. The short kit includes all of the shaped or formed parts such as the fuselage formers and landing gear mounts, as well as the wing ribs and in some cases, the wingtips. You can select your own supplier for the sheets and sticks to complete the model.
Some modelers go to home improvement stores and select the fuselage longerons and wing spar material, and rip these parts at home to save money. This helps if the parts needed are longer than commercially available components. Check out Bob’s website and see what he has to offer.
The 2015 Top Gun Invitational Tournament will be held April 29 through May 3. Look for the best of the best at this year’s Top Gun.
We saw one of the largest international contingents of competitors ever at Top Gun 2014. For the first time, a team from Japan competed and took first place in the Pro-Am Sportsman class, flying a 1/3-scale radial-powered A6M5 Zero. Jets, civil aircraft, World War II fighters, and bombers were all there for a full week of great airplanes and pilots.
Held in Lakeland, Florida, at Paradise Field, the venue features paved and grass runways. Check out the promoter, Frank Tiano’s, website for updates.
The Scale National Aeromodeling Championships is set for July 17-19, 2015, and will be held at a familiar flying site, the International Aeromodeling Center, in Muncie, Indiana.
The Ironman 70.3 Muncie triathlon will not be held at the same time as the Scale Nats this year, but I still suggest that you book your motel room early. We should have great weather and plenty of flying this year. There will be unofficial events and AMA official events, and fun activities are planned for Friday and Saturday evening. Don’t miss it!
Fair skies and tail winds.[dingbat]
National Association of Scale Aeromodelers (NASA)
Jerry Bates Plans
Bob Holman Plans