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George Miller scratch builds a F-14 "TOMCAT"

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George Miller scratch builds a F-14 "TOMCAT"

Old 01-31-2016, 10:27 AM
  #26  
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Subscribing! Definitely tons of stuff to learn .
Old 01-31-2016, 11:40 AM
  #27  
George Miller
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Default Very, very true

Originally Posted by buckarooo View Post
Hi George,

I like the Panther lines too, although I am a sucker for anything with tip tanks. I will keep the wood fuselage for this build, if only to get it done quicker. Your Tomcat will be my first attempt to pull a layup off a plug, that is after I learn how from you.

By the way, Air Sally is one of those talented builders I spoke about. He makes beautiful inlet shrouds for various model fan units. They can be used in lieu of inlet ducting or for bench testing. The radius around the edge of the fan shroud smooths out the air coming in and greatly improves the efficiency. Many of our fellow EDF jet modelers have used them in their builds.



His son Corsair Nut is also a great builder. You should see the beautiful job he did converting a Byron F-15 to electric. Its one of the best looking and flying electric jets I have seen. I think he is following along. Maybe he will chime in and say hello.

Seeing how this Tomcat will be such a complicated build I am hoping to see all the best of the best here. What a great place for us all to share our techniques and experiences.

Dean
"Absolutely"

Back in my kitting days, I spent many hours experimenting with intake ducting for my kits. I found the only thing it did was add more weight to the aircraft.

The Byron fan did have this bell shape at the front of the fan.

And it is the key to that. If the fan you are using does not have this shaped bell on the front of it, I highly suggest you get in touch with "Air Sally" and get one for your fan.
Old 01-31-2016, 04:41 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Castel View Post
Subscribing! Definitely tons of stuff to learn .

+1
Old 02-01-2016, 07:35 PM
  #29  
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the inlet lip added @1.5 -2 lbs of thrust depending on your set up . pm me for details if any of you need one
Old 02-01-2016, 10:31 PM
  #30  
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Awesome project!!! I'm subscribed
I'm a huge believer in good ducting and it's served me well , with better performance and flight times
Old 02-02-2016, 06:01 AM
  #31  
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Thanks George, Great job going on here. I'm working on my own F-4 with 120mm fan and you are helping re-enforcing methods and giving me more hope for a finished model. I'm realy look forward to seeing the details on your glass method off the plug, can't wait!!!!!!!!

Thanks, Dave
Old 02-03-2016, 10:31 AM
  #32  
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I just saw your pm George, If you could post that copy here that would be appreciated
Guy
Old 02-03-2016, 01:04 PM
  #33  
George Miller
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Default T-38 - F5B as you equested

Originally Posted by GUY89ZX7 View Post
I just saw your pm George, If you could post that copy here that would be appreciated
Guy
Hi Guy,

In 1991 was contacted by "Dream Quest", A special effects company in Hollywood. They knew I did special effects for "Industrial Light & Magic" and wanted to contract with me to build T-38's, come down to maintain them, and fly them for the movie they were doing the special effects for called "Hot Shots".

Well needless to say, I was under contract with "George Lucas" and he would not let me do that. However, I was able to completely build the aircraft for them and did that much. I have no idea who they got to fly them.

Here is the magazine article of my T-38/F-5B kit which does have the plans in it. The plans in a fiberglass/foam core kit do not amount to much that you can actually build from scratch off. And I do not have a copy of the Instructions. Everything went to the company that bought my business.

I will say this: My T-38/F-5B was a tremendous success and really flew great. Sold many of them and flew many of them at Fan Flys.



Here are a few photos for you.

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Old 02-03-2016, 01:15 PM
  #34  
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Thanks George.
Old 02-03-2016, 03:05 PM
  #35  
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Default Continue

I have the fuselage finished now and ready to be used as a plug. It has taken me a lot of time, but it did turn out great.

As you can see in the one photo, it did come out at the weight I projected it would. 5.91 pounds.

It does have the 1/4" dowels and the ply for threading them still in it along with the some of the scrap ply that I glued to some formers where they were very thin and I felt it would help them hold their shape. But there were 11 of these large formers that had duplicates of them that were to be laminated to their matching formers for more strength and I did not use them.

So I feel the weight of this fuselage is pretty accurate to what this fuselage would weigh if being use for the model.



Now that I am ready to glass a fuselage, all I have to do is wait for this Tennessee weather to allow me to do that. I have a separate shop where I glass and paint that is off my garage which is separate from my house. It is difficult to heat it and ISO resin requires warm weather to work well.

I am going to mention one thing here being I am at the glassing stage.

Some of you are waiting to see how this is done and I will be showing this. However, a few years ago I did a thread on this very procedure. It is titled "Fiberglass Work". It gives a pretty good description of how this will be done. I do not know what section this thread is in. I tried to figure that out, but couldn't.

I have also finished sheeting the wings and have them sanded and ready to be glassed. I cannot finish the front corner of them until I have fitted them to the glass fuselage in order to get their shape right.



I am going to take some time here to explain and show some of my building techniques as they relate to wing construction and actually some other areas of construction as well. I am sure a lot of you modelers out there already know most of this stuff and also have your own way of doing it. But I feel it is something that can be shared with fellow modelers and maybe help to some.

I use thin CA for almost all my construction. It's capillary action being this thin penetrates your glue joints and strengthens your wood in this area at the same time. Medium or thick CA does not do this. And it adds no weight to your model. Try that with any other type of glue including epoxy what will really add weight to your model.

Most wing constructions are built while attached to your flat table. Once I have completed this, I use those long aluminum sanders to block sand my ribs. This is going to make your sheeting come out smoother.

I never sheet a wing with 1/16" balsa. I use at least 3/32". Try measuring the difference in weigh. It's a wast of time. The reason I do this is because when doing the block sanding on a wing sheeted with 1/16" you will find areas that you have sanded down to 1/32" or even thinner. 3/32" allows me to not run into doing that.

Also when you sheet with 1/16" and the spacing of the ribs is around 3", no matter how much block sanding you do, when you look at your finished model and sight down the wing, you will see the ribs. Shrinking of your finishing materials cause this.

I always glue the top sheeting on first. Duh?? When I have removed the wing form the table, I re-glue all the ribs, spars, leading and trailing edges again from the inside.

"Baking Soda" and thin CA go together like toast and jam. Any glue joint that you want to strength or fill gaps, just apply a little baking soda with your finger, leave a tiny fillet and apply CA to it. Forget using that think CA. Example: your sheeting is usually butt glued to your leading edge. A possibility of this joint being weakened when sanding the shape to the leading edge. A little fillet of baking soda on the inside of your wing structure will eliminate this. Like said before: CA, and even baking soda does not add weight to your construction. I do not spare the CA. The one thing with this baking soda is that it is difficult to sand so I do not apply it to the outside of glue joints any more than I have to.

Because of thin CA's capillary action, it will also strengthen any balsa that you have that is too soft. Just apply a coat of CA and wipe it off with a paper towel.

If you have small parts that you have carved to add to your model and you want to eliminate the wood grain on them, here is a easy way. Take .5 oz cloth and wrap it around it and twist the excess so it is tight on your piece. Now apply thin CA and wipe off immediately with a paper towel. Sand it and that is all there is to that.

Alright, you are now applying your bottom sheeting to your wing. Going to be a little difficult in some areas to glue it to the ribs and spars. My trick here is I have marked the leading edge and the tailing edge with a pencil where the center of the ribs are. I apply my sheeting and glue it down the best I can. I now take a pencil and draw a fine line across the sheeting where my marks show where the ribs are. Along these lines I take a large "T" pin and poke holes through the sheeting and into the ribs. I apply thin CA to these holes. The capillary action of this thin CA goes right down the holes and glues the sheeting to the ribs. You don't believe me, try it.



Hinging ailerons and elevators to wings and stabs. I almost always only use two methods for this. And I have attached a drawing here to show them. I am not going to get into the scale hinging where we want the scale action of a actual flight surface as shown on the drawing. If you want me to, just ask. But I have my own modification to the standard way of hinging a control surface.

We all see them all the time. That proverbial "V"d gap where they meet. Always looks like hell if you ask me. Now I ask you one thing. How often does a fellow modeler get to see the bottom of your aircraft other than when it is in the air? Right? So I move the "V" to the underside of the aircraft. And I also don't make the "V" any wider than the travel I want on the control surface. Sure seen that a lot too.

Look at this drawing. See what I have done there and how easy it is to do. And of course, I always use CA hinges. They allow you to just about butt the two surfaces together and not have to worry about gluing a hinge point. I also make all the slots and fit the control surface, but I only glue the CA hinges to the Aileron or stab until I have finished glassing everything

I had to use this type of hinging on the wings of the F-14 because of the section that I am not making move and I want the gap to look the same as the moving aileron. Go back and get a close look at that finished wing above. Even this type of hinging can look scale.

I also end cap my ailerons and the wing in that area with 1/64 ply to keep those ends sharp



Well that is about it for now. I will go into another pet peeve of mine which is control horns later when I do them. I hope I have not bored you too much.
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Last edited by George Miller; 02-03-2016 at 03:10 PM.
Old 02-03-2016, 07:00 PM
  #36  
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George you are so right about the thin CA and baking soda. You gave me that tip twenty years ago and I haven't stopped using it since. I actually love it when it smokes off, even when I get a whiff of it. I guess I sort of learned to like the smell of it.

Here is the link to your thread on "fiberglass work"

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/tips...lass-work.html

Dean
Old 02-03-2016, 08:54 PM
  #37  
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George your T-38's were awesome flyers ...my son was very young,when we saw them flying at EDwards BITW fan flys, but it must have made an impression as a few years ago he scratch built a Twin EDF T-38 1/4 scale it was 144" long and it really flew nice . im working on a smaller version that Wow planes Sells (cnc foam kit ) I make the inlet and exhaust duct for the WoW planes T-38 kits.
F-14 is looking good .enjoying watching your build and and the old IC DF stories from back in the day.
Old 02-04-2016, 09:17 AM
  #38  
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George, forgive my ignorance, I see the beautiful and somewhat small F-4's on the white shelves in the background of the pics you posted in post # 2 pic # 13 of this thread.

Are these planes your kits, plastic models, what if anything are they powered with. They look very nice.

Thank you. Love this thread!
Old 02-04-2016, 10:41 AM
  #39  
George Miller
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I looked up the Wow T-38. Interesting. The same size as my kit T-38.

With retracts and all, am I to understand that you will get good performance out of this size aircraft with only one 90mm fan? I would love to see that.

And that is going to require some serious foam shaping. A lot of work.

And to think, when you are done doing all that major work you have a T-38 "one shot deal".

Now to harp on a subject I do all the time:

When you are finished shaping this fuselage and have a layer of glass on it. You are looking at a plug. I really wish I could get some of you modelers out there to really realize just how easy this making a fiberglass fuselage off a plug really is. And the T-38 is a easy one to do.

It takes a good part of "one" day to lay it up. It takes most of another day to sand the glass fuselage smooth. It takes a few hours to pop the fuselage off the plug, tape it together, and seam the two halves together with seaming tape and resin.

Two and a half days. And now you have a fuselage that is strong, light, hollow, etc. etc. And again, over in the corner of your shop sits this plug if you wanted to do another after a crash, a fellow modeler who wanted one, sell one to a modeler who doesn't want to do all the foam carving, etc.etc.

"When will they ever learn"
Old 02-04-2016, 10:56 AM
  #40  
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Default How about some photos?

Alright you modelers who are responding to this thread !!!!

Please start attaching some photos of what you are working on, or what you have built. Photos speak and are enjoyed by all.

Yes, this thread is titled "George Miller Builds a F-14 Tomcat" And that is what I am building. But it doesn't have to be just about that.

I love hearing about what you are doing, have done, and seeing photos of it too. I also love sharing ideas and experiences we all have had through the years.

Guy sent me a PM wanting to get plans for my T-38. I did that here.

Jet head wants to know about those tiny little F-4's in the background. I will respond to that.

Buckarooo is making a awesome Panther.

This is great stuff !!!

Last edited by George Miller; 02-04-2016 at 11:01 AM.
Old 02-04-2016, 12:44 PM
  #41  
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Default Somewhat small F-4's

Originally Posted by Jethead View Post
George, forgive my ignorance, I see the beautiful and somewhat small F-4's on the white shelves in the background of the pics you posted in post # 2 pic # 13 of this thread.

Are these planes your kits, plastic models, what if anything are they powered with. They look very nice.

Thank you. Love this thread!
Thank you "Jethead", glad you are enjoying the thread.

NO, they are not my kit F-4's that I used to sell. They were 74" long and used a single Byron fan. They were awesome. I manufactured and sold over 1000 of them. And I have over 1000 flights with them over almost 20 years of attending 10 to 15 fan flys a year.

I think just about everyone who watches movies has seen one of my R/C F-4's. I built two of them for "Die Hard II" along with some other aircraft. And if you watch closely at the end of the movie, you will see me too.



And I give a gold star to anyone who can tell me what this aircraft is:



Photos of my kit F-4's



The one's you see in the back ground are my EDF F-4's. I do not like any EDF F-4 that is out on the market. Just too out of scale for me or too big.

I am not into this giant model aircraft craze. I do not want to haul a "Featherlight" trailer to the flying field and have aircraft that are too big for my shop.

I was two years developing my EDF F-4. My first was 45" long and had two fans from Hong Kong. When finished and tried to fly, I discovered these cheap fans had thrust, but not high enough tail pipe velocity to fly my F-4. Very disswapointed and it was not pretty in either of my two attempts.

I then decided to go back to my old school and fit a single fan in it. I used a 90MM fan.



I named this one "NO FUN". Who wants a EDF this size that flies at 130+ MPH and you spend the whole flight trying to keep it in viability range. It was scary. Even brought it to our club Fan Fly. It really impressed those turbine guys, but they didn't have to fly it. I sold it here on RC Universe.

Back to the drawing board. How big can I make a F-4 and still use a 90mm fan?

I like the 90mm because it is the largest fan one can get and still use a 6 cell battery and also get a 7 minute flight out of. Any fan bigger takes a monster amount of cells , a huge ESC, gives a very short flight time and cost a fortune.

My calculation came to 55". I actually wanted to make it 58" for 1" scale, but the overall proportions that size just didn't work.

So here I go again. Making a plug for a F-4. Just about one of the hardest aircraft to make there is with all those different shapes and angles. And the F-4 is not one that can be glassed off a plug. I have to make molds again.

Now I have only done this job about five times. I did my Kit F-4 three times, adding more detail and scale to it until I got it totally correct.

When finished I decided to make three F-4's at the same time because I had a couple fellow modelers who wanted to get in on this project.




I flew the first one before it was ever painted. No sense to do all that work until you have it tested out.

I want you to know it left the ground and I was amazed. I really nailed this one. This F-4 performed exactly like I wanted it to. Total amazing ability to do any maneuver asked of it, the speed I wanted it to fly, etc.etc.

I am five minutes into the flight and this HI-Max fan I have in it goes up in smoke. I had this happen once in my little F-4, but this time the motor seized and fried the ESC too. (I learned about BEC's from that flight)

I have lost radio and it was not pretty from there.

However all I lost was the left wing and part of the nose. Built a new left wing and grafted a front section onto the fuselage and I am ready to fly again.

And I went to "lander's" 90 mm fan. Now that's a fan. Complete 6 to 7 minute flights and it is almost cold when you land.

It did not work out with my fellow modelers who wanted in on this project. One scared the hell out of him on his first flight and the other never found any time to finish his. I wound up with both of them back. sold one for a small fortune.

So I have two now. The VMF-531 "Grey Ghost" has been flown many times now. My son wants it when I pass on, so I do not fly it anymore.

VMF-333 "Flying Shamrock" is the one I am flying now. I wish I had more time for it but other projects keep me busy so it doesn't get flown as much as I would love to.

I hope you still like them even though they are not big enough for you.



Now fellow modelers who are watching this thread: If these types of post are not wanted by you on this thread, please let me know.
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Old 02-04-2016, 06:12 PM
  #42  
Jethead
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George, wow, thank you very much for the detailed response. I am in awe of your work. What a talent to have. Thank you very much.
Old 02-05-2016, 06:56 AM
  #43  
Tiporarefun
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George found this, and I'm enjoying all of your comments and great info...Learning a sorts of good stuff even the rocket tube trick for my F-4 I'm building... I'm at work at the moment and not much time at the moment to say all I have in mind!!
http://www.wdarc.org/articles_files/Fiberglassing.pdf

Thanks, Dave
Old 02-05-2016, 12:44 PM
  #44  
70 ragtop
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Great thread! Looking forward to seeing your glassing methods.
You had me wondering about isophthalic resin. I rebuilt a crashed Yellow Aircraft P-38 (poly fuse), finishing it up for the 2015 flying season. I started out using US Composites 435 resin, and it worked great. When I ran out, ordered another qt, and even though it was the same product number it was different stuff.....typical thick, heavy, drys too fast poly resin. I then tried the 404 tooling resin, which is a Isophthalic poly resin, and it works great (same as the earlier 435 did). It is a great product, and final curing with a IR heater, or heat gun does work great.
Heres a couple before and after shots of the P-38.


Big F-4 and F-14 fan. Have a Cook F-4 project on the back burner, a couple Yellow F-14s waiting in the wings, and currently working on a Cook ME-262, a Yellow F-18 twin, and a Starfire. There are a couple threads on RCG for the F-4 and F-18 builds. I was looking for one of your F-4 kits for some time, but wasn't having any luck and ended up buying a Cook F4. That plane turned out to need a lot more than initially planned
The Starfire is the first new kit I have built in years. I really love the "classics", late 80s-90 jets and warbirds...pretty much all the stuff I couldn't afford back then. ARFs, and building step by step from instructions really doesn't do it for me...just loose interest

Here's a link to US Composites
http://www.uscomposites.com/polyesters.html

Anyways, looking fwd to your next installment

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Last edited by 70 ragtop; 02-05-2016 at 12:46 PM.
Old 02-05-2016, 04:05 PM
  #45  
buckarooo
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Beautiful P-38 Ragtop. What is your electric setup?

+1 on the US Composites isophthalic 404 tooling resin. I am using some now and even though they list a 6 month shelf life mine is almost a year old with no signs of catalazation. I also ordered the surfacing wax "modifier-C" as an additive for a finish top coat with a rock hard surface.

Dean
Old 02-06-2016, 06:28 AM
  #46  
70 ragtop
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Thanks Dean

Right now is has 160s on 10S with 18" Vario props

Here a link to the thread http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2274813

Mike
Old 02-06-2016, 06:51 AM
  #47  
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Hi George,

Like all of your other projects that I have had the pleasure to follow, your F-14 is coming along beautifully. I definitely encourage other visitors to this thread to have a look at those other aircraft, all unique. The link is on your first post, but here it is again:

http://www.poweredmodelairplanes.com...rgemiller.html

Looking forward to more updates on the F-14!

Paul
Old 02-06-2016, 06:21 PM
  #48  
GUY89ZX7
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George is this the same f 14 you are building
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
F14 Fuselage.pdf (1.08 MB, 7332 views)
Old 02-07-2016, 10:18 AM
  #49  
George Miller
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Originally Posted by GUY89ZX7 View Post
George is this the same f 14 you are building
That is one of the PDF files I was able to get in my research to build this F-14. These drawings belong to "Jim" at Hobby Barn and they are copyrighted. That is why I have not shown them on this thread. They were sent to me by someone who actually should have known better than to send them and I am sure "JIM" would not be happy if he knew who that was.

NO I am not building from these drawings or the one you show. If you look at it closely, you will see that it is for a "A" version of the F-14, is actually inaccurate in some areas, and the whole engineering of it is completely different that what I will be doing. The construction techniques he uses are as old as this drawing. 1988 And trust me, there will be no glo powered Turbax's in my F-14.

I did however start this project with the lazer short kit that was made from these plans. I have covered already in this thread how successful that was. LOL

Hang on !!! You are not going to see any F-14 built like this one I am building.
Old 02-07-2016, 10:21 AM
  #50  
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Ok George, I will be following this thread. I have the full set of plans along with the instructions. I plan on building 1 in the future,so I will have to copy this thread when you are done with the f 14.

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