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1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

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1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

Old 01-03-2012, 05:03 AM
  #26  
Sethhunter
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

Hi Doc,
I start in the middle with a long strip, and find the angle that lets the strip lay flat on the stringers. Before starting, I planed the "anchoring" top/bottom longerons with a fair flat that gives a flat gluing surface, without causing the strip to "wrap" tight around the longeron. Near the middle of the fuselage, where the fuse radius is large, its fine as-is. Planing is needed towards the tail, where the section becomes a skinny oval and the strips can't bend around the tight rad at the top and bottom. So I plane a flat, glue the strips, then sand the radius into the strips. The balsa is 3/32. I've used thinner in the past, but after sanding even 3/32 can get thin in spots if they're not glued pretty smoothly alongside each other. In cases where it gets thin, I slit it, and push another strip down on top, pushing the thin one(s) inward a bit. Then plane flat. Spiling, or tapering the strips width, becomes necessary where the slope of the sides changes drastically, like near the cockpit, where the sides change from a straight taper (back to the tail) to a constant radius (forward to the firewall). As the strips wrap around that transition, they tend to overlap the adjacent strip, and twist if you force them away. So I cut a taper on the strip to keep it laying straight.
Old 01-07-2012, 02:05 PM
  #27  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

This weekend, I mostly finished the top and bottom hatches, and poked a big hole through the middle (on purpose). Just to start getting a "triplane" feel, I blocked the middle wing in the hole to see how it looks. The lower hatch, which blends into the fairings, just took a bit of patience and lots of bits of balsa, and various sanding devices (mostly a cardboard tube with sandpaper wrapped around it).

I suppose it's worth repeating my earlier disclaimer. The lower wing fairing is not scale. It's bumped on the bottom to contain the wing dowels, and of course the original did not have a continuous wing. I believe it was more DIIIa-like; panels that end at the fuselage, and the fairings sweep down and out of the wing roots - the fuselage should be visible between the fairings. I made these changes for the sake of getting the prototype up and flying by opening day at our field (also the builder's contest day!). I'll fix that on the next one, if I get that far.

I thought my fellow Pfalz fans would appreciate the bottle in the middle - no, I don't drink while building - look closely at the label! A gift from a very kind, fellow modeler, from the Pfalz region in Germany . Many thanks, Andreas!
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:23 PM
  #28  
geezeraviation
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

Is Pfalz a wine region in GErmany?
Doc
Old 01-07-2012, 04:13 PM
  #29  
gabriel voisin
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI



Doc,

yes of course, it's one of the largest wine regions here.



what do you mean where the name comes from, the Pfalz Aircraft bear the name of the region.



Since a short time, the company bears again here original name, "Pfalz Flugzeugwerke GmbH",



http://www.pfalz.de/wein-und-genuss

http://maps.google.de/maps?pq=die+pf...-8&sa=N&tab=wl

Greetings Matz

Old 01-15-2012, 01:47 PM
  #30  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

This week I installed and faired the middle wing. This entailed building and installing a jig that holds the middle wing in the center of the holes in the fuselage sides. The jig fits in the half-round holes in the doublers, and has a cleat on it to rest the trailing edge against (first picture). The 2nd & 3rd picture show the jig installed. I had to shim the wing a bit, on the fixture, to get the angle of attack right, relative to the lower wing. I built in -0.5 degrees. Next step was to glue fairing blocks in the opening between the wing and the hole edges, glued to the wing, top side only (the fixture has to be removed before building the bottom fairing, and the saddles and bolt-support needs to be done before that too.)

I then pulled the wing out, and planed the tops of the blocks to a nice smooth offset from the wing. I put a bigger offset on one side, and tapered them slightly, so the wing would slide in easily (from one side only). I also added some stringers between the fairing blocks, again so the wing would slide through without dropping and bumping. Between the stringers, you can see pads that the nylon bolts will come through. I drilled the bolt holes and put the wing back in the fuselage. I then glued plywood wing saddles to the inside doublers, butted against the top fairings. Before forming the fairings, I built the structure to receive the nylon bolts, aligning it to the wing (after checking leading edge parallelism with the bottom wing). The bolts thread into ply plates, tapped 1/4-20 and CA'd the threads. Those threaded holes are under the tank. Bolts are put in via a hatch on the bottom.

Next, I fitted a strip of 1/64 ply over the fairing blocks on the wing, and glued it to the fuselage. Then I added fairing blocks above the ply, glued to the side of the fuselage. When the stack was done, I rasped and sanded the whole stack down - so the root of the fairing on the fuselage transitions smoothly to the fairing on the wing, and "parts" at the ply. Remember, all this is to have a wing opening in the fuselage big enough to pass the brackets for the struts, and of course to have a 1 piece wing.

Now that the saddles and bolt bracket are in, the fixture sitting under the wing is taken out, and the whole process is repeated for the fairings on the bottom of the wing.

The rest of the pictures show how it came out, the opening in the fuselage, and what the wing center looks like. Hope this all makes sense!!

Next, the tail feathers!!
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:50 PM
  #31  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

A few more pictures...
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Old 01-15-2012, 05:47 PM
  #32  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

The wine is Dopplestick? Should have sent Dreistick!
Old 01-15-2012, 05:50 PM
  #33  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

I'm not a big fan of drei wines. Too acidic.
Doc
Old 01-16-2012, 04:41 AM
  #34  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

Very cool Seth, super clean work.
Old 01-16-2012, 11:38 AM
  #35  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

Fast (and neat) work!

I've got to ask - what's your thinking/planning to building ratio? (I think mine is at least 5:1!)

Martin
Old 01-16-2012, 02:13 PM
  #36  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

Think vs/ build ratio - that's a good question. I never tracked the thinking-time part. Maybe I should. Keep a log in the shower, car, work, etc. It depends a lot on the complexity of the design. My Pfalz DXV was, I think, about 700 hours to build. The plans were fully detailed and probably took maybe 150 to draw. I don't think I could have built the plane without them, and the build went pretty steady. This plane is much simpler and I didn't make detailed plans - just overall layout. Almost no CAD time, maybe 30 hours. I have about 150 in the build, will probably finish by 250, but I'm standing there staring at it a lot, wishing I had detailed plans. So the 150 probably would be more like 100 if I spent another 70-100 hours on planning/drawing. Doesn't seem like a good trade off. But then, I wont have plans for others to build from. I dunnoh.[:@]
Old 01-16-2012, 03:32 PM
  #37  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

For me, the idea of building the model "once in CAD" and then "again for real" would be too much. If you're only building a model for yourself, then all the CAD time seems superfluous. Plus, I sort of like working out a solution "manually."
Old 01-16-2012, 03:36 PM
  #38  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

What I don't like about the manual part, for me, are the unforeseen mistakes - redoing things that could have been built right the first time if I had a layout. Maybe I just can't see far enough ahead. I suppose it's just another aspect of "the challenge", which is all good!
Old 01-16-2012, 09:15 PM
  #39  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

I have always found the "I'll design that part when I get there" approach does NOT work for me. I much prefer getting it sorted out on paper first.

Martin
Old 01-17-2012, 03:15 AM
  #40  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

I agree. But method does influence how we create. I think over 30 years of designing mechanical stuff on CAD (and paper before that) has just made it my natural preference. Plus I do find problems by working it out first that I wouldn't have found until "too late" the other way. My designs seem to have fewer compromises when I invest the time up-front. Lastly, a well laid-out drawing is a piece of art in it's own right - worthy of its own effort. I guess it just comes down to the more effort invested, one way or another, the better the outcome. As I said from the beginning of this project, I'm trying to hit a Spring deadline, so I skimped on the up-front design (and some scale details) as best I could. There's also the aspect this model may be put more in "harms way" than my other crates!

Time to start working on the rudder!

Old 01-17-2012, 04:05 AM
  #41  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

Seth; beautiful, clean work as always! I have a feeling that perhaps you've built wooden model ships in the past??

John
Old 02-12-2012, 04:45 PM
  #42  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

Thanks John! Can't believe it's been a month. Boy life can sure get in the way of a good model airplane build! Yep, I grew up around sailboats in the days when fiberglass boats were rare. Done my share of sistering ribs and replacing planks! (Included a photo below of a boat I built a few years ago)

Well, I don't have much progress to report on the tripe but I did clean up the seams on the wing saddles, apply .5 oz FG to the fuse, cover the tail feathers and solder the wire cores of the cabane struts. Getting there!

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Old 02-12-2012, 05:34 PM
  #43  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

Now I see where your penchant fro diagonal strip planking is rooted, beautiful craft Seth.
Doc
Old 02-15-2012, 10:02 AM
  #44  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

Hey Seth, That is a beautiful boat. I think I'll stick to Kayak's though. Hope you don't mind but I will use this opportunity to thank you publicly for your efforts to help William Bros. to get our 1/3 scale WW1 wheels done. I know you put in many hours working with your CAD skill to help expedite the production of the wheels. Thanks again.
Old 02-16-2012, 06:03 AM
  #45  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

Thanks John! The WB wheels were an interesting project - I designed the front and back plastic halves for an allied wheel, and the injection mold cavities, core pins and inserts to mold it. I believe that wheel is at the mold maker. I'm hoping to wrap-up the German wheel this weekend. The folks at WB gave me the general outlines and scale features they wanted, and I'm happy to have been able to help out a fellow modeler and his U.S. company!
Old 03-19-2012, 04:23 PM
  #46  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

Seems like a long time since I posted. The WB wheel designs are done, and one (out of two) bathroom has been renovated. Finally back to the DrI!!!

So here are a few pictures from rigging the wings, building the struts, painting and attaching the LG. It's starting to look like an airplane!

I hope I have the assembly sequence right. To put this together you need to slide the middle wing into place and insert a nylon bolt through the lower wing opening to secure the middle wing. Then install the lower wing with nylon bolts and secure the back LG struts. Then drop the interplane struts through the middle wing, and secure them with bolts to both the lower and middle wing. Then put the top wing on and slide it forward. Install the locks behind the cabane struts under the wing, and bolt both the interplane struts. Hope that wont take too long at the field.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:26 PM
  #47  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

a few more... It sure has that "up on stilts" look the original had, to swing that BIG 4 blade prop! Most of my flying season repairs are fixing LG problems. This one is simple. No springs. Even the tail skid is rigid. I hope I don't break something else! As you can see, not a lot of scale detail on this proto.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:32 PM
  #48  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

Thats good looking silver, what paint/process did you use?
Doc
Old 03-20-2012, 06:07 AM
  #49  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

Silver color sure makes it look like the Pfalz we've dreamed of in photos! Very nice!
Old 03-23-2012, 05:25 AM
  #50  
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Default RE: 1/4 Scale Pfalz DrI

Thanks! Well, if you saw the finish up close it's not quite perfect since I didn't go crazy prepping the surface. I did a bit of filling with body filler - mostly to fix the bigger dings. But basically I left the weave of the fiberglass (it was put on with minimal resin) and some trace of the strips showing. I did this to get it flying sooner, and rationalized the original had both showing through, so it's scale!! The paint is rustoleum auto primer spray can, sanded with 400 grit, then Rustoleum ALUMINUM 7515 in a spray can. It goes on like chrome - very silver and shiny. When dry, I knock the shine down with fine steel wool. I found on my DIIIa, steel wool did a nice job on the wings giving a weathered wear pattern over the underlying ribs and sheeting. On this plane, the tail feathers are covered with Solartex (I think it was silver). The match is pretty close - close enough that it's actually better not to mask, as the unmasked spray line is pretty subtle, especially after the steel wool treatment. I generally put an overcoat of "Warbirds" satin clear (two part polyurethane) over the rustoleum. It has to be misted on pretty light, repeated coats, since it tends not to wet-out on the silver as well as I've seen it flow onto other paints. I haven't done a real test, but I suspect the silver paint is less resistant to solvents than other rustoleums. I'm not sure of that. I know alcohol in windex takes some of the paint off - so even just for cleaning, I like to have the PU overcoat. I also think the rustoleum silver may be a different formulation because other paint suppliers I've spoken to do not offer silver because it's apparently hard to find a formulation that holds the metal powder properly in suspension. So long as you really shake up the rustoleum, it comes out extremely uniform.

The radio is going in. For redundancy, I'm installing two airborne systems, one for each "side" of the airplane, hence two elev servos, two RX's, and three batteries; left radio, right radio, and ignition. I used conventional carbon tube pushrods, and to keep the two elevator and one rudder pushrods from scraping where they cross in the fuse, the servos are staggered vertically in a "staircase" tray. The batteries with 3 switches and a voltage reg (for the ignition) go on a removable module, under the servos, above a lower hatch inside the LG area. It's a little cheesy, but I just ran the 3 charging jacks to the hatch parting line so I can get to them easily to check the batteries (not shown in the closed hatch picture below). In the next DrI, I'll make a hatch on the side. Maybe equally cheesy, I'm accessing the switches through a finger hole in the same hatch.


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