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REFURBISH an Old SIG Smith Mini Biplane

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REFURBISH an Old SIG Smith Mini Biplane

Old 02-07-2015, 12:48 PM
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Default REFURBISH an Old SIG Smith Mini Biplane

Hi, I just wanted to ask a little about this Sig Smith bipe, and anyone who has built, owned, and flew them. I picked this up from a fellow club member, but he never flew it, came from an estate. It's a .40 size with a 44" W/S, and is fairly light. I cleaned it up(dirt,dust,wrinkles), and it looks decent. It's completely bare- no servos, tank, servo tray, and cowl needs some cracks repaired. I have an HB 40PDP, 2 stroke that I'm going to install, along with a 14oz fuel tank. I haven't flown a .40 size for a while, so I'm thinking that a 10/6- 10/7 prop would be about right. I'm going to change the L/G for an aluminum one with a little wider spread. I have the wing struts for it, but one is broken so I'll probably make a new set.
If u have owned and flown one, please chime in on its flight characteristics, and ground handling. I wanted a small bipe that I could leave assembled to throw in the back of my van. I think this was a good buy for $30.00. Any ideas, comments, and suggestions would be extremely welcome. Thanks-- Dean
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:57 PM
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Hi again- Well, I made some progress today-- got the servo rails and servos installed. I made up a fuel tank(14oz), and got it trial fit, as well as a different motor mount. The HB 40 fit perfect between the mount rails, and I measured the distance from firewall to front of cowl. Got it drilled and mounted, fit a Pitts muffler, and made up the throttle linkage. I have all the throws set, and all looks good. I made a new aluminum landing gear assy, and got it mounted. I use old stop signs that a friend gave me, as they are tempered aluminum, and flex nicely when landing.
I ordered 2 new cowls from Sig a couple days ago, and they arrived today, so I have to epoxy the 2 halves together, and cut out the vents and prop shaft opening. I went to the local auto parts store today, and picked up a can of metallic brown paint to paint the cowl and landing gear. I took a piece of the dark metallic brown monocote with me, it's not a perfect match, but close enough. I'll pick away at it again tomorrow. -- Dean
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:57 AM
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That's a really nice airplane you got there. I really like the colors.
Old 02-09-2015, 08:55 AM
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Thanks-.I got a few more things done today- made new N struts out of basswood, and just have to put attachments to the ends. I filed out the wheel pant openings for the new tires, and got the aileron servo mounted in the wing, and tested. So far, so good, everything coming together nicely. Pulled out a 10 oz tank out of stash, and have to assemble it. I'm going to test run the engine tomorrow, and make sure it's tuned and adjusted. All that's left is some trim work, and final cleanup. Dean
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:47 PM
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I assembled the 2 cowl halves today- kinda a PIA, but did get the wife to help me getting the splice strip glued in. I hate 2 pc cowls, but did manage to get it assembled. I have to trim out the vent holes, and dress off the motor opening. I have to install the aileron servo in the wing, drill the L/G for axles and wheels, and I'll run the motor on the test stand to tweek it out. I'll keep u posted on finishing touches-- Thanks again-- Dean
Old 02-10-2015, 06:54 AM
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Default Smith Biplane FINISHED !!!

I just wanted to show you the finished product of my re-furbishing the Smith Mini bipe. I spent the best part of a day cutting, drilling, trimming, and filing out all the cowl holes and vents, and kept checking fit and alignment on the fuse. Everything done, fit good, time for primer and paint. I had a hard time finding any kind of metallic brown paint, so a trip to Auto Supermarket was in store. I looked through every auto mfgr paint colors, and only found one, an old 80's GM metallic brown. I sanded and primered the landing gear, and struts, and sprayed them 1st. The finish was close, and only a hair darker, but matched the fuse pretty close. Well, I only bought 1 can of paint, and there wasn't enough to do the cowl. These touch up spray paints are only 8oz cans. I went back and was lucky enough to find the last can they had. Well, it must have been a different batch, and the color came out a little darker, so i just have to be satisfied with it for now.
I wanted to add some accenting color to the bland fuse and wings. I was lucky enough to find a brand new older roll of Super Monokote on Ebay that was the metallic brown, and bought it. I cut the wing stripes, and ironed them on. Then I decided to add a few stripes to the fuse sides, and got them ironed on. I had my wife find a pic of stars on the internet, and she found this one, so I printed it out, laid it on the Monokote, and cut it out. I wanted the cockpit looking better, so i had some instrument panels in the junk box, and trimmed and fit it in.
I got the tank, radio gear, motor and muffler mounted, and that about finished it up. Soon as the weather breaks here, I'll get it maidened. Thanks for ur interest, and comments on the project-- Dean
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:28 AM
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I always liked the look of this plane. Years ago one of my best flying buddies buiit one. Flew great. One day a new guy shows up who also had one. They put them in the air together, and after a while started flying around crazy doing mock dogfight. I told my buddy maybe they out to chill out on that as they were getting a little crazy with the dogfight. He says "what are the chances?" I just said I would not risk such a sweet looking plane. I turned and started walking back to my truck to get something, and heard a sickening crunch. Spun around and looked up just in time to see the carnage of the two Smith Miniplanes plummet to mother earth. Damn !
Old 03-05-2015, 07:31 PM
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That's a Bummer- I wouldn't risk doing anything crazy with mine, although, it is cool to see 2 or 3 bipes flying together. I just want to have a safe maiden on this bird, and can't wait for this miserable winter weather to go away.
Old 05-12-2015, 09:59 AM
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Well, have you test flown it yet? Good luck if you haven't. Just proof you can really enjoy this hobby without getting a second job.
Old 05-13-2015, 09:28 AM
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Just saw this thread. There is one of these hanging up in our local hobby shop, the owner built it many years ago. It's a beautiful plane and I recall it flew pretty well, a lot of fun. I think you got a winner here, especially for $30!! Looks you are doing all the right things. Have fun.

Rick H.

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