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  1. #1

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    TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    Well...it is time to put a Piper PA-25 Pawnee together. But before we begin I want to thank the person for making this all happen and let you know why I am the lucky guy to get the first kit ever made of this award winning model.

    Tom Martin is solely responsible for bringing this model to us in kit form. Tom is the owner of tmrcsailplanes.com and is largely into sailplanes with an impressive line-up of Schweizer sailplanes. As we all know things in this hobby are getting larger everyday, sailplanes are no exception. That is what led Tom Martin to search for a tow plane, but not any tow plane, a scale tow plane. Tom is a "scale freak" and looked far and wide for a tow plane that would satisfy his taste. There are many planes to choose from, but none better than the 1980 NATS winning Dick Graham design Piper PA-25 Pawnee. Which is where I come into the picture.

    I was the lucky guy to reply to Tom's thread in which he was looking for Dick Graham's plans. I had a set of those plans and replied to Tom, the rest is history as we often say, but not before hours and hours of work. Tom and I spent many a late night on the phone or emailing back and forth working out details for the plane. The relationship between us seemed to work very well as I live next to the "Largest Soaring Center East of the Mississippi River" and they employ a small fleet of Pawnee aircraft, four to be exact, with one more in the restoration shop. So with me living next to all of these subjects I could offer details and photos that Tom needed to help this project along. But still that wasn't enough for Tom so he went on a search and actually found Dick Graham himself and bought the original 1980 NATS winning Aircraft.....

    Shown below are some of the ingredients for the next TMRC/Graham Pawnee. These are the laser-cut parts only, and that is a 4'x 8' building table.

    I will start building soon and keep all informed, so stay tuned.

    Tim Wieber

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  2. #2

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    Tim, thanks for all of the help. It's the least I could do to offer you the first kit for all of your effort and your enthusiasm for the Pawnee is contagious.

    I have your landing gear wires prototype kit from SIG in the car and will mail today. Your spruce parts kit will be arriving today from AB Spruce. Inspect and mic them and let me know right away if anything needs to be corrected.

    I am also casting the wing strut fairings in just a few minutes so I can attempt to pull some copies of those for you. The top hopper hatch cover I will have to carve tooling for and then coat out with West System and filler. It can be vac formed from .040" or even .060" ABS but I may want to make a male and female clamshell mold from those parts to produce them from epoxy glass as original for the scale builder too. The glass part can be part of the laser cut hopper kit.

    Have fun,
    tm
    Tom Martin
    \"Home of the Schweizers\"

  3. #3

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    That is so cool building those planes. Real neat laser cut parts. Good Job Guys and enjoy

  4. #4
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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    Guys - Can't wait to start seeing the results of this really cool project. Not often we get to see a new scale kit come out and see it built. Hope to have one of these kits soon as well. The 4*120 I bashed into the AirTractor 802F is still my favorite kit, and I would really like a true scale bird along the same lines as well.

    Good luck to both of you on this adventure
    ****** Gregg******
    Rule one: No matter what else happens, fly the airplane.
    Rule two: Fly it until the last piece stops moving.
    You know you've landed with the wheels up when it takes full power to taxi.

  5. #5

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    The fuselage sides were started yesterday. They are a straight forward "build-over-plans" truss with plenty of braces. Very simple and strong.

    Tim

    Please ignore my color coded plans. It was done by me when I was making the wood list for the kit. The plans that come in the kit will not look like that.
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  6. #6
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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    Is this Kit available for general sale; I didn't see it on the 'tmrcsailplanes' website (or I wasn't looking at the right place)?
    P-40 Brotherhood #3
    P-47 Brotherhood #32
    Spitfire Brotherhood #29
    Citabria/Decathlon Brotherhood #58
    Not so scale, Almost ready to fly, Soon to be scrap,
    Warbird Brotherhood #58
    Top Flite GS P-51, P-40, FW190
    and Great Planes 30cc CITABRIA
    Future Project:Top Flite GS A6M ZERO
    RIP: H9 Spitfire & H9 P-47

  7. #7

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    This plane will be available shortly! I am building the first kit to insure all the parts fit as they are suppose to. If there are any changes needed I will send templates to TMRC for modification. Then the kits will be available for sale.

    Tom Martin will be updating his website soon to include the Pawnee, but for now this is the place to watch the beta build of this plane and get information on it.

    Tim Wieber

  8. #8

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    The upper and lower rear fuselage cross braces are now installed. Things are taking shape.
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  9. #9

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The first former is in now and everything is still square and looking good. Things should pick up speed now that the hardest part is done.

    I did plan on starting the build with something a bit easier like a wing or stab but the custom cut spruce was delivered broken. I am actually happy the fuselage is being done first because it is for sure the hardest part of the model to build. Even though it is the most difficult I figure there is only about 3-4 hours of work into it so far. It has taken me a lot longer because I do not have a manual, it is being written as I build, which is time consuming.

    Tim
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  10. #10

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    Its great to see this model being built. I for one will be purchasing one of the first kits available.

  11. #11
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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    I'll settle for the second kit...
    This already a great thread and it's only going to get better. Keep up the good work!!

  12. #12

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    Had my 1st plane ride in Piper Pawnee sitting in back on a over turned 5 gal pail. Scared the peewad out of me when Bill came to the end of the corn rows, pointed the nose to the sky, then did a stall turn, and the nose pointed to the ground, where he leveled out 5' over the corn to spray the next rows.

  13. #13

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    Taildrager,
    That sounds like one heck of a ride!

    Hello All,
    It may seem like I am a slow builder...well I am but not as slow as it may seem. During this build it is my responsibility to write the manual for this plane, and more importantly, make sure the fit and finish is good.

    A manual is the first thing everybody will sit down and at least skim through when they get their kit. To Tom's and my knowledge there isn't a manual for this plane so I agreed to write one as I was doing the assembly, which is what I am doing, what wasn't realized was how much it slows thing down. Pictures here, pictures there, text here, and text there. To make thing slower it was decided to start with the fuselage. The fuselage is surely the most labor intensive part of this aircraft. Once everything is compiled, we (my good friend who writes and produces manuals/video for General Motors) will sit down and condense it into a easy to read material, for those that buy the kit.

    Having started with the fuselage(the most difficult part) brings me to the next topic of why things are going so slowly. These plans are at minimum 25 years old, not that easy to read, and require way too much wood for this size aircraft. So it is also my job as the beta builder to submit changes to Tom that I see, not only necessary and structurally to the airframe, but also more along the lines of a modern kit. These changes will include items like, laser-cut locking pieces, reduced weight, and study landing gear blocks. Don't think we (Tom Martin and I) are re-designing Dick's plane, we are not, what we are doing is modifying it to build easier and weigh less, something we have grown to expect in a modern kit. This is something that can be done easily with today's modern building tools, glue, and knowledge. By no means will these changes compromise strength, outer lines, or durability of this model. Plus the modifications being made will benefit the builder with a straighter, lighter, and easier to build Pawnee.

    I will continue on with the build of this kit per Dick Graham's plans and post photos for all to see, but what you see is not what you will get in your kit. Tom Martin is drawing the change at this time and will be cutting them for the 2nd generation beta. This will not take long and should not delay the kits release date. It will however be a much easier, lighter, straighter, and stonger model for you to build.

    Tom and I want to say that we are in no way saying Dick's design is faulty or bad. It is just not modern. Dick... I am sure would have loved to use laser-cut locking pieces had he had the chance 25 years ago or so when he designed, built, and won the NATS with this plane.

    Tim Wieber
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  14. #14

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    Yeah ,it was fun watching one of the plane that was spraying the field last year so close to power lines and goes up and turn and down it go and spray so close looks so hairy to watch LOL love that sound of the engine roaring as it goes up

  15. #15

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    Well,

    It sure is nice to be onto something else other than the fuselage and designing parts for it. While waiting for the spar-box epoxy to cure today I manage to whip out a rudder!

    The laser-cut parts for the rudder fit like a glove. It went together in about 10 minutes. That was so easy I thought I might as well do the vertical stab, also about 10 minute assembly time. I knew the laser cut ply would be harder to sand that what I was accustom to so I was a bit more aggressive and hit it with the belt sander first. It worked great and took me no longer than usual to get the nice round look. I also sanded off all the laser "burn" so that it won't have a chance to bleed through the cloth during paint. The vertical stab will be fit after the horz. stab is built. Look for that on Saturday.

    In the photos you will get a peek at the new fuel tank compartment. It doubles as a landing gear leg/brace and additional firewall support. It also allowed the recommended 1/4 aircraft ply lower "tank floor" to be virtually eliminated. It will still be there but look for it to be 1/8 lite ply and lightened.

    I haven't actually had the pleasure of looking the original Graham Pawnee over, so I do not know what Dick did for his fuel tank, but there are no provisions for it on the plans. This was one of the reasons the new tank compartment was designed. I don't think you guys would appreciate paying good money for a kit that did not include a spot for you fuel tank. So the pleasure was all mine to make a fuel tank compartment. It has been submitted to Tom, and will be included in the kit. The compartment is in the perfect place for the glow guys, but not for us gas guys. We will have to improvise, especially if you want to add the hopper to your plane. The hopper is located on the Center of Gravity. Which happens to be right were I want my fuel tank.....oh well....can't have it my way all the time I guess. There is enough room for the gasoline guys to slide the tank back to just in front of the CG, so it won't be to bad.
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  16. #16

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    Hey Tim,

    I'm r3eallyimpressed and enjoying your posts on the kit build. I've had the pleasure of doing a maiden flight test for a mate in our local club who has scratch built a Pawnee (about 65" wingspan), powered by a .52FS and she flies really nicely. I'm keen to get one for myself when these kits come out.

    Dave

  17. #17

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    I'm even impressed Tim! The parts fit? I must be getting better at this after a year-and-a-half of practice.

    Just a quick mention for the UK and mainland European flyers, I spoke to Leon at our distributor Belair Models in England today and he will be stocking several from the first production run. The goal is to get our kits overseas and provide sales and support close in as well as reduced shipping costs due to economies of scale. I am still working on a source for you guys down under. At least one modeler and I are in discussions to import to AU. If you know of a good distributor or retailer of premium high quality kits, you might ask them why they aren't carrying our products. Save some shipping!

    We hope to offer it as a laser cut parts kit with wire gear legs and strut fairings and cowl or as a complete kit with all the hardware and long stock as posted and listed in another thread which increases the cost by nearly triple. Both the hardware paks and long stock kits will also be available separately with all the same high quality products selected to fit the build and just the right amount of quality spruce and balsa to complete the build, both standard sizes and our custom cut spar and strut stock included.

    Tom
    Tom Martin
    \"Home of the Schweizers\"

  18. #18

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    Hello All,

    After a long weekend in the shop assembling the Pawnee the order of building is starting to become apparent to me. I started with the fuselage because that was what I had parts for, it will not be the first item for build in the manual.

    The manual will follow this order:

    1. Wings ( I know, I know....I haven't built one yet, but now I need them before I can attach Horz. stab.....incidence)

    2. Horz. Stab and Elevators ( Took me a couple of hours....still simple)

    3. Fuselage ( This will wake you up after building those easy wings.)

    3. Vert. Stab and Rudder (20- 40 minute job....a nice break after the fuse.)

    This order will give you a big job then a little job, plus keep things in order. Not to mention the wings are on the same plans sheet as the Horz. Stab/Elevators. Furthermore you will need the wings and Horz. Stab right after the Fuse is built to set the incidence on the Horz. Stab in relation to the main wing.

    Don't do it like me, I am *****backword.

    Here are some more pictures for you guys to enjoy.

    Tim Wieber




    Reason for edit was spelling.
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  19. #19
    outacontrol41's Avatar
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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    I'm impressed and enjoying the posts, too! Keep up the good work. It's just like being in your shop and watching.

  20. #20

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    Any new progress to report? I am very curious....

  21. #21

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    Looking good Tim, any more progress to report, as its building season in Mi.

  22. #22
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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    Did this project get finished?
    Did it get canceled?


    All it takes is time and money!
    Julius Miller Little Rock, AR www.rcfarmclub.com

  23. #23
    outacontrol41's Avatar
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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    It got canceled. As I understand it, Tim took on a job somewhere else and had to stop working on the Pawnee. He sold it to another guy at an unfinished stage. The new guy probably finished it but does not disclose his progress or the result. I have no clue who he is. Maybe someday that prototype will show up somewhere....who knows?

  24. #24

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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    Want to order a Pawnee. Not sure if I'm going to get it. In South Africa.

  25. #25
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    RE: TMRC/Graham Pawnee PA-25 Build

    Anyone out there heard anything on the Pawnee kit? I have the original plan and want to build it this winter.
    Mark
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