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1935 Curtiss Condor, from static model plans, 200%, converted to electric RC ...

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    1935 Curtiss Condor, from static model plans, 200%, converted to electric RC ...

    The starting point of yet another adventure. Here's a thumbnail of the plans I've received...



    The original plan, from 1935, appears to be either for static display, or a 'chuck' glider, as there is no mention of power at all, and (obviously...) no radio. The plans are for 1/48th scale, but this is too small for my clumsy fingers, so I've had 'em 'blown up' 200%, so 1/24th, which gives a span of 1m22 (that's 48" in old money...). The control surfaces are, however, marked out on the plan, and even mobile, with bent pins..! It's a bi-motor, which will bring its own challenges when I try to fit a pair of small electric motors in the cowlings. I'll probably settle for Rudder, Elevator, Throttle for RC. Here's a picture of what the result should resemble...



    Progress will be slow, so be patient, please.
    To be continued...
    Last edited by Dad3353; 08-17-2018, 11:14 PM.

    #2
    In order to build this, I need to sort out some space in my 'den'. This involved hanging the present hangar of 'planes on ... hangers..! They can be seen in the background as I prepare a new, low-cost, building table. It'll be a pair of trestles supporting a frame, with a board laid on top. Here's the basis for the frame being cut and notched ...



    ... like so ...



    ... and the top ...





    So; down to the business in hand. The fuselage consists of an inner square stick frame, with formers on the outside to give the rounded shape. I'll start off by making one side of the inner frame, shown by dotted lines on the plan ...



    In order to make the two sides as identical as I can, a second frame is built over the first...



    Looking hard, the scraps of baking paper can be seen between the glued elements, to prevent the upper frame from becoming stuck to the lower one.
    Here's the result ...


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      #3
      Whilst the fuselage sides are flat, I'm going to build the flank formers, which, with the stringers, will give the slightly bulbous shape to the 'plane. Each former is, in fact, four pieces, so they need individually to be cut out from blank 3mm sheet. This arrived today, so here's the first one, as an experiment.
      The shape has to be transferred to the balsa, and I'm trying this using carbon paper (You remember typewriters..? Yes, it's that stuff...). Here's the first trace done; I've chosen to start with a middle former (Station 5...), as it's the biggest...



      I note which former this is ('S', for side, 5...), and also the position of the the stringers and the centre datum line. Orientation 'Up', too for good measure.
      Once I have one cut out, I use it as template for a second one, and pin them together to copy across the relevant marks...



      I'll cut the stringer slots now, for these formers at least, but may leave the others until they're all lined up on the fuselage. Possibly; I'll see. Here, they're cut, and tested with scrap 2mm stringer pieces (they're a reassuring snug fit...) ...



      No point in cutting more until I've made sure these will do their job, so they get glued straight onto the fuselage. Some of the Littl'un's Lego bricks are pressed into service as clamp assistants, to maintain the formers square...



      Before you ask, I'll come clean... Yes, I took the photo before the gluing up; it's just a dry run. Just as well, as, just in time, I realised that I was about to glue the second former on the inside of the fuselage. An easy mistake, maybe, but it would have played havoc with the covering..! I dodged that trap, then, and the gluing-up is in 'mirror' format, as it should be.
      That's two cut'n'pasted then; only thirty-four left to be done, and they'll be smaller and more fiddly each time..!



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        #4
        Here's what I've done so far; I'm still thinking about how I'm going to attach the cross-pieces...

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          #5
          Well, I've cut out and glued up all the side formers, checking alignment with the centre datum line, and using a long 2x2 to try to get the stringers lined up as best as I can. Here, the last two pairs are setting in their Lego clamps...



          I'll change the plan on the table to prepare for the 'plan' view, for setting out the width framing, and see about sorting out some templates or dummy formers. I'll need a bit of patience here, I think; checking all the time for square and true, and trying hard not to create a banana.
          To be continued...

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            #6
            In order to continue the fuselage of the Condor, I wanted to be able to integrate the mid-section of the lower wing. As the original is a static model, the wings are simply stuck onto the sides; this won't do for a flying version, still less at 200% size..! I'll adapt the fuselage to accept the mid-section, and so need some ribs. I want these 'key' ribs to be 1.5mm ply, but didn't fancy cutting these out by hand, and have therefore acquired a jig saw (or scroll saw, if you will...). I didn't want to encumber Our Eldest with the task of cutting these out with his bandsaw, and have now a certain autonomy, at least for most modest cutting required for the type of building I favour. Here, then, is the first 'rough-cut' rib...



            ... and, twenty minutes later, the others I'll be using for this section...



            Yet to be trimmed and notched, they were 'interesting' to produce. The saw is not sophisticated, with no spotlight, nor vacuum suction, but that's probably just as well, as it keeps the complications down to a manageable minimum. I've only the one blade, so was extra-careful not to rush through; I've ordered some Dremel blades which I believe correspond to those required.
            Pleased, then, with the modest result so far, and at modest cost, too (the blades cost more than the saw..!). All the ribs are of the same outline, so, later, I'll be making small stacks of balsa to cut several at a time. The next step, though, will be to trim these ribs to shape and work out how to build them into the fuselage. Hmm... A cup of tea first, methinks...

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              #7
              I've been busy of late, gallivanting around Brittany and the UK, visiting an old buddy and family. The Aeromaster build has taken up much of my time, too (and will continue to do so...). Still, progress has been made, mostly whilst waiting for the glue to dry elsewhere..!
              I've managed to create a small stack of ribs, sanded to shape and notched; they can be seen to the left of this layout of spars on the plan. This for the centre section, lower wing, which will, somehow or other, be incorporated into the fuselage...



              ... and here is a 'dry run' of the assembly, just to be sure that it all fits together...



              I'll be gluing it up tomorrow, probably, and will then see about modifying the fuselage to accept this intrusion. Improvisation, of course, but 'Softly, softly; catchee monkey', as the saying goes, so I'll be doing this in baby steps.
              More tomorrow...

              Comment


                #8
                This looks amazing, I'm learning a lot from your photos (total novice here). I notice you use a scroll saw to cut out your parts. When I made models 50 years ago I used a razor blade; do I need to invest in a scroll saw? I also found your use of leggo blocks to ensure that the ribs of your wing are glued perfectly at right angles a great idea, now I need to pilfer a few from my grandkids... Also I have never seen the blue clamps you are using, did you get them in the UK or on line? I live in Australia. There is no way I would start on a project like this. I realize that I need to start with a much simpler design, but with my experience in wood work, I know that many procedures from simple to complex are the same and I would like to make sure I do them properly from the start. I love the look of the 'plane in your first photo, biplanes have always been my favourite. mauricepaul

                Comment


                  #9
                  Good afternoon, Maurice (or should that be Paul..?)...
                  Thanks for the very welcome words of encouragement; they really do help things along when I get tired and weary. To answer your questions... No, a scroll saw is not at all a necessity, just (in my case...) a rather inexpensive luxury, bought locally second-hand. Useful, if one has the space, but I've been doing stuff for quite some time with,just hobby knives. A propos, I can recommend these blades as being long-lasting, giving a high quality cut. They fit most standard office-type 9mm cutter bodies.

                  OLFA 9mm - 30° (See link below; you may find a more local supplier, of course...)

                  Lego bricks..? Yes, our grandson, 4, nearly 5 years old, has been an unwitting donor (he lives in Paris, so I have free use of his toys when he's not visiting..!). I'm looking into how they may be adapted to contain neo magnets, as an option for using a magnetic building board for some stuff. On the back-burner for now, but I'll be doing some experiments.
                  The clamps were a lucky find on t'web. They do, indeed, come from the UK, but I had 'em delivered here in France with no problems. Cheap enough, and very useful in their two sizes. I'll order some more, as one can never have too many clamps..! The link to their site is below, too (don't know how to post better links, sorry...).

                  https://www.proopsbrothers.com/model...rge-3092-p.asp

                  Enough for now; back to the 'den' for the next instalment of this adventure. Yes, it frightens me, too, often enough..!
                  Thanks again for your comments; hope this helps.

                  PS: In all honesty, I'd have to class myself too as a 'beginner', despite my advancing years. It's only become possible to do this stuff since retirement a few years ago now, and I've yet to really fly any of the 'planes I've built, what with being old and doddery, with less than perfect health. Still, I live in hope..!
                  Boite de 10 lames de rechange cutter OLFA 9mm - 30° | Loisirs créatifs, Scrapbooking, arts du papier, Scrapbooking | eBay!
                  Last edited by Dad3353; 10-18-2018, 10:47 AM.

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                    #10
                    I've glued a rib to each fuselage flank...





                    ... tried it out on a 'dry run' again on the lower wing centre section of the plan ...



                    ... then glued it all up on the upper wing and fuselage part of the plan. The wings are, luckily, vertically aligned, so I can use this view, where the fuselage frame is marked out, unlike the lower wing view...







                    It doesn't look much like a 'plane yet, I'll admit, but I'm trying to keep the sides square until the cross pieces are ready. One more wing spar to go in and I'll start on the cross pieces.
                    This will make the wing/fuselage into one whole piece; I don't know yet how I'm going to cover it, using laminating film. I'll get to that later, but it'll need some improvisation at the root/fuselage join. I'll leave that for another day, though. S'all for this evening.

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                      #11
                      Catastrophe..! My own clumsiness. Darn it..! Just as I was preparing to install the horizontal cross-pieces..! I was seeing how to hold 'em in place, and released a rubber-band clamp too brutally. Snap..! It doesn't take much to bust 3mm balsa..!Immediately a fuselage longeron broke. T'wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't glued up the fuselage to the lower mid wing section; I could have laid it flat, or even remade the whole side. As it is, it'll be a patient game of patching up. The structure is very delicate in its present state, and attempts to simply glue back the broken piec were completely ineffectual, so I've taken on a major reconstruction of most of the damaged longeron, to try to get as much 'strength' back as I can. Here's the operating theatre, with the edifice lain on its side; it can be seen that the lower (in the photo...) longeron is somewhat lacking in length...



                      The repair will have to be done in stages; here, the first splice is being glued up, under the clamp, whilst the pin holds the uprights parallel ...



                      The scarf joint set, the forward uprights can be set in place again ...



                      That's be set for tomorrow, when the missing upright will go in, followed by the most forward uprights. Not the prettiest of 'bodges, and there may well be need for further reinforcing. Once the fuselage sides are joined, and the stringers in place, the structure will be much more sound; until then, I'll just have to be more careful. Ho hum...

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                        #12
                        Now the foremost uprights are glued and pinned into place ...



                        ... and finally the missing upright, which brings me back to where I was two days ago, before the disaster ...



                        Enough for today; tomorrow the upper crosspieces, if I don't break it any more..!

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                          #13
                          The upper crosspieces are in place now...



                          ... and I've since fitted the leading edge of this centre section. Just waiting for that to set before adding the next crosspieces. Once they're all in I can cut out and add the stringer formers. I'll have to start thinking of how to incorporate the electronics soon, and how to access the inside. Hmm... More to think about...

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                            #14
                            Another crosspiece installed...



                            ... keeping a constant check on the rectitude. Once these crosspieces are all in, I'll be able to gusset them all, which will strengthen these very weak joints. Soon, very soon...

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                              #15
                              With the colder weather, the Titebond I'm now using is a bit more sluggish to set. I've a minimal radiator which keeps the room from freezing, but the evenings are far fresher than last month. I'm gluing in, one cross-piece at a time, then following with a pair of gussets when that's set. Things will speed up slightly once I've got this main structure framed up; in the meantime, here's another couple of shots of the pieces going in, albeit slowly...





                              For the moment, I'm quite pleased with the rectitude of the fuselage, and take precautions at each step to keep it that way.

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