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  1. #1

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    ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Planning stage.
    After I'm done with the Panther, my next project is going to be the P-61.
    (Panther thread:
    http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_90..._1/key_/tm.htm
    )
    I've got a complete kit, all the FG parts, canopies and ABS parts.
    Also a set of robart retracts.
    I've got the wheels and brakes on order from Darrell.
    I don't see too many of these at all the flyins that I go to.
    I only saw one at last summers CARDS flyin up in Michigan that Harold Morris flew.
    I'll be putting two G-62's in her.
    This may sound like 'over kill' but that's what Harold had in his and it flew very scale.
    The original plans call for G-38's: those sound a little too small and 45's would probably be a good size.
    It's interesting as the G-38's have dimensions of 170 mm long by 130 mm wide by 215 mm high and the G-62 has 162.5 mm long by 140 mm wide by 185 mm high (taken from my Zenoah manual).
    I've got some of Dick Bennett's G-62 thin carb mounts and mufflers so that will significantly reduce the width needed for the G-62.

    I thought I'd get this thread started early to get input so when I start the build, I can 'hit the ground running':
    I'd appreciate any suggestions on the build, especially from those who've, previously, have done this kit.
    I plan on having fully functioning doors and spoilers.
    I heard that the ailerons should be made larger for more response (won't be scale but more functional!).
    Checking the plans for the G-62's, it looks like 32 oz tanks will easily fit in the booms.
    The kit is hand cut from aeroworks by Chuck Gill.
    I haven't looked through all the wood yet but I'm hoping the critical ply is aircraft ply to save me the extra work that I needed to do on re-enforcing the Panther's ply.
    I also haven't decided yet on making the main center parts as one or bolts together (ie: booms, center pod, center wing and horizontal stab).
    Making it as one piece would make it lighter (in theory) but for any future work, it sure would be nice to disassemble it into it's major components.
    Most twins that I've done saved a ton of wiring by using two receivers so I'll probably go that route.

    pic 1-3:
    A 34 lb box of balsa, canopies, FG and ABS parts

    pic 4:
    Servos, mufflers and thin carb mounts.
    (I still have to buy the engines)

    pic 5-9:
    The five plan sheets (I'm going to have to buy another hollow core door for this baby: at 114", she's big!)

    pic 10/11:
    a plastic model.
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    G. Samuel Parfitt

  2. #2
    SIMCO's Avatar
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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Looks like a fun project. Trying to finish my "Z" ac-47 gunship. You mentioned the airlerons might not be effective enough? Since your building anyway from a kit try maybe fit in the flight spoilers. Worked on the 1/ 1 scale! 2cents

  3. #3

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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    G'Day Sam.
    What sort of meds are you on mate ? I will need 2 lots to keep up with you and I'm just reading!!

    Regards.
    Bill

  4. #4
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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Subscribed!!!

    Good luck with that!! Good to see someone take the Queen on...

    I'm sure pretty shortly Mark will chime in and deliver his .02. There is no "overpowered" there is only underpowered. This gives you the opportunity to put nice 3-blade (close to scale size) on that bird. Keep in mind this is not a gloss black - also not a semi gloss black. It is Jet black - something in between. I found Nelson Hobby Paint has the best match for that.

    Nice project! Hope we can fly together one day...
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    G-Pete
    Owner of WERK77 and Fritzdezings

  5. #5

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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Simco:
    Even though I'm putting spoilers in (kit has spoiler parts), I'll probably go with the larger ailerons also (difficult to enlarge them AFTER the build!).

    Bill,
    Yo mate,
    You got that backwards: with all the fun building, I don't need drugs to get high: nothing beats building things with your own hands.
    "IF IT DOESN'T GET DIRT, GREASE OR BLOOD UNDER YOUR NAILS, IT'S NOT A HOBBY."

    G-Pete,
    I've got a 3W 4blade 20X12: if the G-62 can swing that, I'll get another one.

    =================
    Inventory:

    After glassing the Panther, I couldn't sleep so I thought that I'd see what goodies are in that large box!

    pic 1:
    Fuse parts (center pod) laid out on the plans.

    pic 2:
    Nacelle parts (booms) parts.

    pic 3:
    wing and spoiler parts.

    pic 4:
    1/8" and 3/32" sheeting, spars and stringers.

    pic 5:
    miscellaneous stuff.
    I've found where all the parts in the box go except some items labeled OL- (I have not idea what those are!...maybe for the cockpits but I'll have to check later).
    I now have to reverse the inventory and check the plans to see if parts are missing.
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    G. Samuel Parfitt

  6. #6
    Doolittleraider's Avatar
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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Holly $hiittake Sam!

    You are a building animal! You need to start doing is listing the planes your working on the bottom of your posts so I can keep up. Its funny, everytime I day dream about a future project........there goes SAM starting a build thread on it! Which is good because now I know online manuals are aviable for almost every plane I want to build! Good luck!
    I will be watching this too...
    All the best

    Peter
    \"To Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, you would have enjoyed this airplane and it would have enjoyed you -\"
    Chuck Yeager

  7. #7

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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Yo Peter,
    Glad I can be of service.
    As you probably know, I lost my B-25 last summer when one engine went out just after take off.
    I just got back the rebuilt G-26 engines from Dick Bennett on Thursday.
    My next project (after the P-61) will probably be the B-25.
    I was going to build from scratch but I picked up a used one, that was cheaper than starting over, that's been stripped and ready for re-doing.

    My other 'to do's':
    Yellow P-40 in the box with gear and a DA-50.
    Ziroli P-51 (B model): with short kit but bought all the balsa that's needed to finish her with gear and Brison 5.8 (that should pull her!).
    I've got to finish up my comparf F4U (90% done: put in engine and paint plus a few other minor things).
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    G. Samuel Parfitt

  8. #8

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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Hi Guys!!!!....SAM!!!!BUT WHEN YOU HAVES!!!!!..I LOST THE NUMBER TO YOURS AIR MODEL!!!
    THAT is an great start!... don't forgot to take new news soon ok!...
    see you soon!
    http://img208.imageshack.us/my.php?image=2008p38ir2.jpg

  9. #9
    Doolittleraider's Avatar
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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Sam, I have the small ziroli B-25 with two G38's flies great. I bought it rtf and just "re-miadened" it a few weeks ago. I had an airline blow off the nose gear and the gear didn't lock as you'll see from this video. No damage, fixed the line and second flight was flawless. It flies great as long as the engines are both running. I really enjoyed flying it. I am worried if anything happened it be tough to replace without a lot of work (ie building another one). If you ever want to sell that comp arf corsair I'll take it. I can finish it for you

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBi1b...layer_embedded
    \"To Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, you would have enjoyed this airplane and it would have enjoyed you -\"
    Chuck Yeager

  10. #10

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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Peter,
    She looks good. Looks like the Marine color version.
    Nice belly landing.

    ====================

    Inventory (cont)

    I took each plan and put all the parts needed for that assembly and all parts were there (pretty impressive kit).
    All the critical ply parts are just three ply: For gear formers and wing tube ribs, I'm going to sister some aircraft ply to them.
    It'll be easier to 'sister' them as I won't have to have exact duplicates.
    The outer wings only have one full ply rib (inner most one F-8) as ribs F-9/10 are only balsa with a short rib ply for the wing tube for F-10.
    With a 45 lb plane, those outer wings should get some stress so I'll shear web the spar.
    For such a large and 'complicated' looking plane: the build really doesn't look like it'll be bad.
    Each component is built individually but there will be a lot of planking.
    The only thing different is the double supports to the wings in the booms.
    The hinges for the rudders and elevators are cool as ply hinges are supplied and a long wire will be used to connect the moving surfaces to the plane.
    There were a lot of plastic bags and some had parts for different components in one bag so each plan now has all it's parts (save the general balsa stuff: ie, stringers, planking, etc) and I'll just bag and mark each for their respective plan.
    There are lots of maple hard mounts for wings to booms and center fuse so I'm sure that I'll now go for the 'dis-assemble' version (besides, I doubt if I could get it out of the basement as one piece!).
    I see no provision for a removable horizontal stab but that should be an easy mod.
    (correction: I see screws on the plans for the elevator to booms and the end ribs are ply so the elevator is also set up for dis-assemble.)
    It appears that there is only one servo for the elevator: I'm going 'how I did the Yellow P-38' and use two servos as 1) safety in case one servo 'goes out' and 2) it seems like the elevator would 'warp' at the far end with only one control horn at the other end.

    pic 1:
    Center fuse plans/parts.
    About 4 formers are split in half versus the plans: I assume the kit cutter did this to save on ply.

    pic 2:
    Booms.

    pic 3:
    Never did find any 'OLT' parts on the plans but maybe they are for the gear doors!

    pic 4/5:
    wing.

    pic 6:
    The kit has a spare bag of ribs for the extra long ailerons (which I'll be using just in case the spoilers stop working or do not function 'as planned').

    pic 7:
    Spoiler parts.
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    G. Samuel Parfitt

  11. #11

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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    great leading!!!...
    http://img208.imageshack.us/my.php?image=2008p38ir2.jpg

  12. #12

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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    AT-6:
    thanks.
    G. Samuel Parfitt

  13. #13

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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    no problem is true!
    http://img208.imageshack.us/my.php?image=2008p38ir2.jpg

  14. #14
    kram's Avatar
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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Sam:

    It is I, chiming in as predicted by Pete!

    Except, I think I may have at least $0.04 worth on this topic.

    In addition to the VQ-61, I fly two Ziroli-61's built by other guys, one by the famous and stellar Bill Fuori, who might serve as the best resource/contact on building this bird.

    I am thrilled to see you start this project and I will follow with great interest. I can't think of anyone better qualified or skilled or dedicated and I'm sure you will teach us a thing or twenty.

    BUT FIRST , a couple opinions and experiential observations from yer Uncle Mark:

    1) Early on, why dontcha call up Darrell at Sierra and beg him to make a set of gear for this plane. Please? I've been after him for a few years....offered to buy two sets, but I don't think there's nearly enough volume demand to justify the start-up.

    2) My green one has G-38's, flies nicely and sips gas, but has not an overage of power. My Blackie has G-62's, which hang out of the cowls like crazy and guzzle fuel, but swinging 20 X 10 Mejlik 3-blades, it is an attention-grabbing, snarly monster on the flight line and in the air. Perhaps my favorite plane (hence the avatar).

    3) My first one (Blackie with the G-62's) was built very prettily, but was not airworthy in many ways, so I spent a lot of time rebuilding it and that taught me a lot about the airframe. One of the big things was fuel tanks. It came equipped with 14 ozer's. Ain't that funny for G-62's?! I had a lot of trouble finding a big enough tank that would sit in the boom behind the firewall and in front of the tail servos. Check those plans again to make sure you're accounting for the space needed to allow the main gear to retract and the servos. I tried some custom glass tanks which didn't work very well (in fact were the cause of the engine-out filmed below), before finally settling on the short-axis 750 cc Graupner tanks, which give me a dependable 10-12 minutes of high throttle on the G-62's. Blackie was badly damaged in a rough landing (pilot error) two years ago and I am just finishing the rehab and conversion to 2.4GHz.

    4) My newer, green one, built by Fuori, is not super-scale detail (no rivets or guns), but best I can tell is perfectly built. On Carburation Day before maiden, I couldn't find ANYTHING to adjust, much less fix. If you wanted close-up pix or tech specs on any part of that one, let me know.

    4) Both mine have dual elevator servo's. I haven't looked at the plans in a while, but hard to imagine how ONE servo could ever be trusted for anything other than static display.

    5) The plane flies great with the spoilers and the small ailerons, just like the real one. I suspect it would fly great without any ailerons at all, but just like the test pilots of the 1940's, we would be loathe to try.

    6) As an experienced P-38 flyer, I'm sure you will enjoy the gentler flight character of this plane and the fact it looks just as "mean" in the air. About the only thing it doesn't have over the P-38 is the wealth of war history.

    7) Below are a couple of still photos from me flying the green one at our Multi meet this September and Blackie near completion of rehab last week in my shop. Also, a couple of youtube links for the video of my green maiden in Owatonna this summer and the engine-out flight of Blackie three years ago.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=hke9xzsj9H4

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tqliETnWOI


    OK, I'll shut up now and enjoy this thread. Call or email me if you have any questions. As you know, I am much less a scale and detail craftsman than either you or Pete, but that's more of a time constraint thing. I do love watching you guys work yer magic!


    mt
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  15. #15

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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Yo Kram,
    Wow, thanks for the cool videos and wealth of info.
    I really appreciate you giving me input on this baby.
    Thanks for the tank info: the graupners would be 25 oz which is good for G-62.
    When I checked with the dubro 32 oz tank, I just stuck it in the former and didn't look on the plan to see where the servos are and they are just behind the tanks so that's a good point for me to check before the 'glue up' of the booms.
    I've got the VQ P-61 that I built/flew back in 2005: with that large wide wing, she was an 'easy flyer'.
    That first year, I put about 26 flights on her and she's been in the hanger, 'ever since'.
    I love flying twins and really enjoyed flying my C-45, last summer: The C-45 is always a 'crowd pleaser' so taking both of these planes to flyings will be fun!
    I've got Darrell doing my wheels and brakes but I'm going to stick with the robarts as 1) I already have them and 2) those babies are expensive and I don't need two pair!
    That green with strips sure looks like it would be easier to see in the air than the black: I plan on going with the black scheme and hope the size makes her more visible in the air!
    As mentioned before, I'm doing the G-62's but those G-38's on your green one in the video sure sounded good; You must have different mufflers on them as my C-45 twin beechcraft with G-38's is very quiet with stock mufflers.
    Where did you get the spinners as the P-61 shape is very unusual?
    The plans call for 6.5" wheels with 4" nose but Darrell says he's making 6" and 4.5" B-25's so I'll be getting those: it slightly alters the pitch on the ground but should be OK.
    That's another reason why I'm going with G-62's: more scale props.
    I see that you're using 20X10 three blades: Mejzlik is very efficient so my idea of using two 3W 20X12 4-blade props probably won't work as it'll be too much of a load on the G-62's.
    Scale ailerons would be nice but I'll feel more comfortable with the larger ones in case the spoilers go south on me, I'll have the ailerons as back ups.

    pic 1/2:
    a few pictures of my VQ P-61.

    pic 3:
    I've put all the individual major parts in their own box so when I start building, it will save me a lot of time (I spent several hours just sorting and organizing everything!).
    Building will probably start shortly (a week to two): the panther's fuse is glassed, I need to hinge the wings and then glass the wings, stab and moving surfaces. After that, I need to prime her: I use two part epoxy primer, which I do outside due to its toxicity, but the weather for the near future is in the 30's, which is too cold for painting so it probably won't be long before the P-61 is on the 'board'.
    A logical sequence seems to be
    center fuse
    booms,
    center wing,
    stab and/or outer wings.
    Send me your email and phone to samparfitt@fuse.net as I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions.

    Again, thanks for all your help.


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    G. Samuel Parfitt

  16. #16
    kram's Avatar
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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Sam:

    Yes, the big one flies about the same as the VQ, although a little "heavier" and smoother, as is typical with the big twins. Compared to a P-38, it turns much more crisply and stays up in the turns with less power. Installing the larger ailerons will theoretically give you more drag in the turns, but I doubt you will be able to tell on the model.

    I use that prop a lot with G-62's (and my old BME- 61). I get about 7,300 rpm at 900 ft altitude and an abundance of power. The high needle is not super-tweaked, just to be safe. I'm sure you could get a little more out of the G-62's. I have zero experience with 4-blades, so I can't help you with that.

    After a considerable amount of search, I settled on Tru-turn's P-51 profile spinners, which in a small size come pretty close to scale look. You may be able to find something closer to scale, but hard to beat their ease of attachment and replaceability.

    Yes, the green with the invasion stripes is hugely more visible in the air than Blackie. It may be more about the invasion stripes than the green, if you can find a black original with stripes. You can see maiden day was actually dense overcast. I would NEVER have flown Blackie on such a day.

    Don't get me wrong here: I love the feel of the G-62's, but I know you like the scale look: take a look at how much of the bottom cowl is cut out on Blackie and make sure you're OK with that. I don't see how you could get around it.
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  17. #17

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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Hi Sam i haves the photos paint for the yours P-61....
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    http://img208.imageshack.us/my.php?image=2008p38ir2.jpg

  18. #18
    G-Pete's Avatar
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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Sam, one more...

    You have to get this Book

    click here for the Queen

    this is one of the best books what I own!! A must have for P-61 fans. 368 pages, the book is 11x8 inches, tons of pictures and details, even some pictures of the P-38M. Where, who, when she flu and all the squadrons listed. Many of the squadron insignias.

    You will not regret the buy - promise!
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    G-Pete
    Owner of WERK77 and Fritzdezings

  19. #19

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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Pete try to look that... http://airwar.ru/other/draw_fw.html#7 i take to that.
    http://img208.imageshack.us/my.php?image=2008p38ir2.jpg

  20. #20

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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Kram,
    The visibility with the invasion strips will delay my decision on which color to do!
    I'm sticking with the G-62 and I'll have to order those props (along with the engines!).
    They didn't look like P-51 spinners from a distance: plans call for 3 1/2" diameter ones.
    Actually, I might have some old left over spinners in my parts box.
    I almost forgot: previously, I was checking the FW-190 spinners and they look pretty close:
    Skyshark looks pretty good (if they have them!)

    http://www.skysharkrc.com/shop/?shop=1&cat=15

    G-Pete:
    I'll be ordering that book.

    AT-6:
    thanks for the pictures.

    ================
    Building boards:

    pic 1/2:
    I went to HD and picked up a 36" wide hollow core door, cut in in half (length wise) and screwed them to an open frame table in my basement. They will be great for doing each boom while my original 36" wide core door will be for the fuse and wings.
    (in case you're wondering, those hollow core doors have cardboard as stiffeners between the two surfaces: at 23 bucks, you get what you pay for but good enough for building boards!).

    pic 3:
    FW-190 spinner:

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    G. Samuel Parfitt

  21. #21

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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    no problem Sam you are in welcome! but for first try to look that link http://airwar.ru/other/draw_fw.html#7 .. i'm sure which that can help you!
    http://img208.imageshack.us/my.php?image=2008p38ir2.jpg

  22. #22

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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Nice website and great offerings, but they left out the Grumman F3F-1?

    Gee.

    Charles
    Owner: CFC Graphics. "Model Airplane Graphics from a Model Airplane Builder." cfcgraphics.com

  23. #23
    drifter's Avatar
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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    ORIGINAL: samparfitt

    That green with strips sure looks like it would be easier to see in the air than the black: I plan on going with the black scheme and hope the size makes her more visible in the air!

    Here are a couple that appear to be black with the invasion stripes
    It came out of Osprey Combat Aircraft #8

    Squadron's P-61 in Action also has a couple
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    Why do they call it "dead weight" if it keeps your airplane alive?

  24. #24

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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Good to see this build. The P-61 is my favorite American multi-engined aircraft along with the A-26.

    You use the same style build boards I do... they work great!

  25. #25

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    RE: ZIROLI P-61 BLACK WIDOW BUILD

    Drifter,
    Ahhh, thanks; that's just the picture that I needed: black with invasion strips.

    AT-6:
    thanks,
    I downloaded those pictures to my PC.
    Just noticed that one of the color plates has invasion stripes on the black scheme.

    Merlin,
    Yep, I'd like the A-26, also.
    It would be nice to build a 'gasser'.
    I see that easytiger has a B-26 but haven't heard of anyone getting one.
    G. Samuel Parfitt


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