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Royal Aircraft SE4i 1/3rd scale WWI

Old 09-02-2022, 11:06 AM
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Default Royal Aircraft SE4i 1/3rd scale WWI

Top Secret

Allotted to SO of the AO on the EOA

DECYPHER OF TELEGRAM

From: Assistant to Secretary of Navy Sir David Gibsonton DSO RO RID STP IOU PDQ

Dated: Tallin Estonia 12.30 hours, 13th December 1920

Received: 14.50 hours, 13th December, 1920


__________________________________________________ _________________________________________

My Lord (stop)
As requested our operatives have investigated the use of surplus aircraft sold to the newly established Estonian Air Force. (stop)
One unique aircraft had been, as we feared, accidently turned over to the Estonians in this brokered deal. (stop)
The aircraft in question, however, is not the new prototype of our mono-wing stressed skin fighters but rather an oddity of the last war. (stop)
This unique aircraft has an interesting history. I have instructed our office in London to retrieve the file and include it with this telegram. (stop)
If you are considering defunding our office (stop)

Incident Report August 12th 1917

On or about the 3rd of July 1917 a unrequested prototype fighter plane was built by renegade employees at the Royal Aircraft Factory.
Designers Sir Arthur Seldonton, Greggory Emericklenburg (we are almost positive this individual is not a German spy) and Michael Bealmerol took it upon themselves to prove to their superiors that the new SE5 fighter would benefit from a rotary motor rather than the planned inline water cooled design that had been chosen for it. This proclamation took place after work hours in a pub near the Royal Aircraft Factory London location to a large cheering crowd. Using a rotary motor and cowling borrowed late at night from the neighboring Sopwith Aircraft Company factory they proceeded to rework an SE5 prototype frame into the monstrosity that was later discovered taxing down the low road near Hyde Park. When confronted the pilot, Sir Arthur, drunkenly proclaimed that he was off to "Teach The Bloody Norwegians To Stay Out Of France And Take Their Damndable Fokkers With Them!" From this statement it is assumed that the culprits had indeed demonstratably used their liquor ration for the entire year in a single night. Emericklenburg (could be a spy) and Bealmerol were found to be passed out in a cart tied to the stabilizer wires on the tail. The aircraft was returned to the factory yard and the three miscreants were arrested. Unfortunately they were released the next day in the care of Lady Ronda Seldonton and have since disappeared(we had a bad feeling about that spy Emericklenburg).


What follows is a record of the prototype build of the Royal Aircraft Factory SE4i (i - inebriated)

A few years ago Mike Bealmear gifted me a set of plans for a 1/3rd scale SE5 designed by Roy Vaillancourt. A wonderful gift that he hoped would inspire me to get off my lazy butt and build another R/C plane. Last year I did. For a few weeks. And then I say something shiny out of the corner of my eye and off I went. This year I attended the Hoosier Dawn Patrol event and after sitting on my lazy butt at the event for three days I decided to resume building the SE5....only one problem. I did not have a motor. Art had a great deal for me, a DLE 120 twin for a great price. But says I, it no fit in my SE5. But says he, use a bigger hammer. So, after consulting my conscience, and Mike and Greg, I decided to cut the nose off of my SE5 and make it into a VERY late model SE4. Very.

Since returning home last Sunday I have completed three wing sections and both top and bottom center sections. I should have this freak ready to fly at the Dayton Dawn Patrol Rendezvous in October.

Below is the photographic evidence.










Old 09-02-2022, 11:10 AM
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I have ordered a Sopwith Pup cowl from Fiberglass Specialties and once that arrives I will do serious surgery on the nose of the plane MUAHHAHHHAAAAHHA (GASP!).

The new engine sitting in place...nope, too wide :P (Don't try to talk me out of it....I am in too far now!)

Old 09-02-2022, 11:52 AM
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oh, oh ...... I want to go on record here - I suggested that this might not be an appropriate direction to take for an SE5.
And, by the by, there's a lot of letters after your name and I can't quite figure them all out - although I have tested a few words which may or may not be correct
and I'll keep those to myself.
Old 09-02-2022, 12:31 PM
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As a complete aside to all this, and by way of thanks, I managed to get my login password reset so I could "contribute" to this little tale.

My admittedly very shallow research on this might lead to wondering if this stolen prototype isn't more in line with the Nieuport Nighthawk - a radial engined fighter developed toward the end of the war. There are a number of significant differences, but if one's not being too picky, it's kinda closer than an SE. My two-cents worth, terribly overpriced . . . .
Old 09-02-2022, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by R/C Art View Post
oh, oh ...... I want to go on record here - I suggested that this might not be an appropriate direction to take for an SE5.
What?! Take all the blame myself?!! Heaven Forfend!

Old 09-03-2022, 06:05 PM
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So, how many words are you going to make me look up in the dictionary before this thread is finished!?
Old 09-03-2022, 06:06 PM
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Exactly seven....(ish)
Old 09-03-2022, 07:23 PM
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Pictures of the motor in place. Not terrible but I am not interested in having holes that large in the sides.

Also pictures of the wings assembled. I need to finish the last wing section tomorrow but then I get to the fun(er) stuff, wiring, flying wires, braces, cabanes, etc.








Old 09-04-2022, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Prop Nut View Post
Exactly seven....(ish)
You have five (ish) remaining ...
Old 09-05-2022, 12:31 PM
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Yes Mike, I do indeed plan on having a pilot in my plane. I could not find a drunken WWI bust though


Old 09-08-2022, 02:02 PM
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My stalwart SE4i pilot in full color


Old 09-08-2022, 05:24 PM
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Old 09-09-2022, 07:03 AM
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Old 09-10-2022, 09:44 AM
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Muahhahhaha!!!

Obviously the cowl arrived today so of course I got busy and cut off the front end of the fuse.

I just couldn't wait.





Old 09-11-2022, 03:30 PM
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More progress today. The part that I like the most: cabanes, struts, and flying "wires". Actually 3/32 copper plated brazing rod, but once they are painted it will not be noticeable. The flying wires are soldered clevises at one end and 4-40 threaded clevises at the other. With light thread lock and lock nut to keep them in place.
I still need to do the braces on the landing gear but once that is done I will strip it back down and do the control wires/servo setup and mount the motor. Waiting on 6mm blind nuts to arrive for that.
I have a cowl mount designed to cut out on my CNC router table.
Then final sanding/patching to get it ready for covering. It has been a very long time since I used Sig Coverall Fabric so that should be fun. Ironically it was a 1/5th scale SE5a that I last did unsealed fabric on. Should be a hoot.



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Old 09-13-2022, 10:26 AM
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Ran out of fun stuff to do today so I started on other fun stuff. A cowl mount and motor mount/blind nuts. Also routed the electronic ignition to sit below an access hatch. Which I completely crushed accidently...twice...ARHG!!!. Oh well, a little patience and it was reassembled...undissembled?





Old 09-20-2022, 08:21 AM
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Did I mention that I hate covering?


Old 09-20-2022, 08:22 AM
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Old 09-20-2022, 03:57 PM
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I also hate painting. The base coats are on, need to do touchup, then paint the Estonian Air Force insignias. Couldn't resist assembling the plane to get a picture. My wife grabbed my phone before I had a chance to take the picture myself.


Old 09-25-2022, 04:35 AM
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It is technically flyable, ready for it's maiden flight. Several details to take care of, a machine gun, wood on the landing gear wire, etc.

Unfortunately it will be next weekend at the earliest that I will be able to. It was a rush job, and looks it if you take a close look. But, it should be fun to fly.

My "Someday" list: Add cheeks to the cowl as is found on the actual SE4(a), and perhaps change out the elevator and rudder for those also found on the SE4.





Old 09-26-2022, 12:34 PM
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I'm going to have to say I really like this bird - and it looks like it's going to be a nice flier!! And it also doesn't look that far off of the original SE4!!
Looking forward to seeing you at Dayton!!

Lee McD




Old 09-26-2022, 12:36 PM
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Thanks Lee, as mentioned; I want to bring it more in line with the real SE4a someday. It is, I hope, unique. I would have built another 1/3rd scale Sopwith Triplane but several showed up after I built mine before...and better than mine was

Old 09-26-2022, 04:07 PM
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My 1/3rd scale Vickers machine gun. 3D printed with PetG filament on a Creality Ender 5 Pro. The model was found on Thingiverse. I resized it 170%. It was printed in three sessions; muzzle, barrel and then the breech sides together.












Old 09-27-2022, 10:46 AM
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I had to rig up a way to balance the plane, my left hand has a torn tendon so I could not lift on that side.

12LBS!!! I needed that much counter weight.

So I melted down a lot of wheel weights and built a mold with rods though it for mounting points.


I have pictures but for some reason I get a security warning when I try to do so. Maybe later.
Old 09-28-2022, 05:29 AM
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