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Half Scale Aircraft That Aren't Quite R/C

Old 07-01-2021, 05:29 AM
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Fyg Leaf
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Default Half Scale Aircraft That Aren't Quite R/C

Let me apologize up front. I'm going to post some photos here that are very scale, but not the least bit R/C.

I am or was a regular poster on the R/C Pattern thread for many years. I have some recognition or maybe notoriety on that thread. I've been retired for 10 years now and am very much out of the loop in R/C designing, building and flying these days. I have only a modest shop carved out of a corner of the garage.

But I still very much have the urge to design and build. I have come up with an approach (technique?) that appears to be unique. I say that based only on the fact that everyone who has seen it has stated that they've never seen anything like it. And that includes a major online scale modeling forum in Great Britain (Scale Modeling Now).

So let me add some photos and I'll try to explain them.















The models are made of music wire and brass tubing and sheet. They are soldered together. They aren't very big. The frames you see are 14 in. by 9 in.

I start by loading a 3-view drawing into PowerPoint. I then proportionally scale it down to a fuselage length around 9 inches. I then use the sized 3-view drawing to create bending and sheet metal diagrams.

If you study the photos you will see that they are built very much like the real thing; with spars, ribs, bulkheads, etc. I do borrow the occasional prop, wheel, spinner or decal from a plastic kit.

The major shortcut I employ is that I only build the left half of the airplane. The photos also reveal that the half-model is mounted on a mirror. This not only saves time, but it also means only half a wing is sticking out from the wall where passersby can bump into it. The enabler for all this is acrylic mirrors. They are light weight and you can drill through them with a regular drill.

The models are actually built over the plans on a 3/8 plywood sheet the same 14 x 9 dimension as the mirror. Every other bulkhead has tines protruding into the plywood. When it's all done, including painting, the mirror is bonded to the plywood work board.

The tine holes are then transferred to the mirror by drilling through from the back side of the plywood. Then it's mounted in the frame just like a photo or a painting.

Again, I apologize for being off this thread's topic, but I didn't know where else to go with it.

I have done somewhere around 25 of these. They take a month to six weeks to complete based on complexity. I'd be happy to post more pictures if it's of interest. I'd also be happy to shut up and go away if that's more appropriate.

Ken




Old 07-01-2021, 07:58 AM
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PopeyeCharlotte
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That's cool! Keep posting, please!
Old 07-01-2021, 08:34 AM
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Fyg Leaf
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Glad you like them. Here are a couple more, but I'll wait for more feedback before adding any more.







Old 07-02-2021, 07:54 AM
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This is so interesting, I'd like to see more. I recognize only about half of them so it would be nice if you'd name them.
Old 07-02-2021, 01:44 PM
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I'm glad there's at least some interest in them. But it seems to be from you and one other person.

In the order that they appear on this thread they are:

Curtiss Condor
Fairchild C-119 "Flying Boxcar"
Vought V172 "Flying Pancake" [Flown one time by Charles Lindbergh in a promotional event]
Northrop P61 "Black Widow" [On a black mirror because it was a night fighter]
Fleet Model 50K "Freighter"
Bristol Type 170 "Wayfarer"
Miles M.39B "Libelulla" [Carrier concept that the British Navy tested, but did not buy]

The sailplane on the RC Gliders thread is an "Elixsoar IV" an original design of mine.

Ken
Old 07-02-2021, 02:03 PM
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Ken, This is the kind of "art" that I find very appealing. Take a look at the number of views on this thread and it indicates that there are a lot of people interested in your work. Please show more.
Chuck
Old 07-02-2021, 02:09 PM
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Fyg Leaf
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And here's one I did because a guy at a craft show asked me to do it for him. He had learned to fly in an Aeronca Champ. But he wanted the whole thing with no mirror.

So I did it and I still have it because I never saw or heard from him again.



Old 07-03-2021, 04:09 AM
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I just realized I misremembered the Aeronca guy encounter. "The Mind's a Terrible Thing to Lose"

He liked the mirror thing and wanted an Aeronca done like that. So I had to explain to him that it wasn't possible.

The one thing you can't do with this approach is a centerline propeller. Think about it. If you do half a prop span-wise, you can only mount it perpendicular to the mirror to get the appearance of a straight, continuous propeller. But the half in the mirror will have opposite pitch and the prop wouldn't produce any thrust. If you split a prop lengthwise, you can only mount it vertical and each half of it would have opposite pitch in the mirror. It would not only have no thrust, but look ridiculous.

You can picture all these prop/mirror problems just by looking at the Aeronca photo I posted.

So when I finally convinced the guy that it just wasn't possible, he asked if I could do a whole one. Flattery is a dangerous weapon and I agreed. And as I said earlier, I still have it.
Old 07-03-2021, 06:37 AM
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Here is one everybody should recognize.



I did this one for a coworker when he retired. It was and is his favorite aircraft.

I've just finished reading Ben Rich's Skunkworks book and I have a new appreciation for how groundbreaking the SR-71 was.

I thought the 'Blackbird" was an odd favorite at the the time of the retirement, but the retiree was a propulsion expert and I get it now.
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Old 07-03-2021, 09:01 AM
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I mis-typed Skunk Works. Also the Blackbird is on a 21 x 9 inch framed mirror, the only one that isn't 14 by 9. It's so long and narrow that I had no choice.
Old 07-06-2021, 08:29 AM
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Here are a few more. It's not the last of them, but it's getting close. Unfortunately, I lost several of the older one's photos to a hard drive crash.

I'll post these without identifying them just yet. One of my friends like to try to identify a new one when I finish it and send him a picture or two. I'll follow up soon with their identities.
















One of these is a prototype that never went into production. Another is an aircraft with only three examples left in the world and one of those has been converted to a restaurant.

Happy hunting.


Old 07-08-2021, 04:38 PM
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Here are the makes and models of the last five in top to bottom order:

Armstrong Whitworth Whitley AW38 MkIII. [ British workhorse in WWII ]
Fokker T.V. [ Built for the Dutch by the Germans in the late 1930s ]
Liores et Olivier LeO451 [French medium bomber, WWII ]
Societe Aeriennes Borderlaise AB-20. [A 1- 0ff French lifting fuselage prototype. Followed by AB-21, the same plane with a cantilever wing and no wing struts. Also a 1-off. ]
Breguet 763 "Deux Ponts" [Deux Ponts is French for two decks. This airliner was the first passenger aircraft with two seating levels. The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser was the second. One of the last three of the 763s is now a restaurant outside Paris at a small airport. ]
Old 07-19-2021, 12:09 PM
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Wow.... Just WOW!
This is wonderful 'Leaf.
So creative and beautiful made... These are just great.
Congratulations.
Old 07-19-2021, 06:36 PM
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Thank you for the kind words, David. People at the Arts & Crafts shows I attend (not for going on 2 years now thanks to Covid) do seem to enjoy them. Quite a few of them look behind the frame to see if the rest of the aircraft is back there.

Here are the rest of the photos I have left:
























! will identify them in a couple days.

Old 07-21-2021, 05:16 PM
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Here are the identities for the last group of photos from top to bottom:

Zeppelin Staaken R.VI [Each nacelle had a mechanic sitting in it to tend the four engines inflight]
Heinkel He219 Uhu
Short Brothers Skyvan
deHavilland DH89 Dragon Rapide
Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina
SNCASE SE.100 [Two French prototypes built before German occupation ended its development]
Pitcairn Eclipse
Supermarine Skyrocket

Identifying the last two is an unfair challenge. Neither aircraft ever existed, not even as a prototype. That's because I designed them and named them.

The field of aircraft candidates I can model this way is limited by the centerline propeller exclusion. I have to do multi-engine aircraft, preferably with twin vertical tails. And being a geezer, I strongly prefer prop airplanes to jets. (Recall, I did the SR-71 for someone else.) But bombers are bombers and they don't vary much, except for the very early ones like the Staaken above. That still leaves a large selection, including airliners,, but I have done a few and haven't found one lately that interests me.
As you've seen from the photos, I also like oddballs and one-offs. But I've dipped into that pool several times already and haven't found one that I'd like to do recently.

So I designed my own. The Pitcairn Eclipse is obviously inspired by several deHavilland aircaft. The Supermarine Skyrocket is my take on what a twin engine Supermarine Schneider Trophy racer might have looked like. And if you look at my posts in the R/C Gliders forum, you'll find a sailplane of my own design that I modeled this way.

Thank you all for the kind comments and encouragement. Who knows? I might find a candidate tomorrow and start drawing up a bending plan.

Ken

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