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Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Old 01-26-2007, 12:31 PM
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Default Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Lockheed Orion 9
If you are interested in a thread to scratch build a Lockheed Orion 9, please chime in.
Specify if you are interested in a:
1/6 scale: Span 85.5 inches, Cowl 9.375 inch diameter .120 4 cycle 10-12 lbs
1/5 scale: Span 102.6 inches, Cowl 11.25 inch diameter .180 4 cycle or quadra 50, 16-18 lbs

I scratch built this plane back in 1988 from my own plans as a 1/9 off-scale (see below). This one will be scale. I have found out from good sources that the Orion had two configurations in the moments in the CG to nose layout. I am going to go with the Orion that had the long nose layout.

The plane would be all balsa and ply using standard build up techniques. The Cowl is round in front and oval at the rear, so a build up cowl would be used. A market standard 90 deg retract would be picked for the plan although my own retracts will be custom. (Note: The scale retract layout is a nightmare of tubes, precision moving parts and cables). With flaps and retracts it would be 6 channels with 7 servos. However, it could be made as a 4 channel airplane to fly without flaps and retracts.

I have purchased the Wedell Hostetler plans of his 1/5 Lockheed Sirius to get ideas about structural design and proper strength. I have it historically confirmed that the Lockheed Sirius, Vega, Express, Altair, and the Orion were basically the same plane except the wings and cockpits were moved around to produce various configurations using different engines and options.

At this time I am gathering data to get accurate historical data. John Odel of Aero Museum Services has been invaluable with his help as he has vintage hard copy prints and legacy information on these "wooden wonder" designs from the early Lockeed Corporation. The Paul Matt picture below looks good but is not very accurate in certain respects.

This thread would take 1-1/2 years and start around Christmas of 2007. A half year to design and a year to build. I can only find so much time with kids and all. If this is an aircraft you would ever be interested in building, respond to this thread and let me know.

Check back on this thread as I will be updating it as I go along.
Below is a link to pictures of the only existing Orion.
http://www.luftfahrtmuseum.com/htmi/ite/l9.htm
Also check out the Wikipedia article for a short history.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_L-9_Orion
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Old 01-27-2007, 06:55 AM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

very coolproject!!!! I vote for the 1/5 scale.
Mike
Old 03-14-2007, 09:19 PM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Ron, I have been eyeing this Airplane for about 2 years! I also have Hostetler's Sirius plans. I will do a 1/5... I have Wylam's book, and drawings. I also have "Revolution in the Sky", By Richard Allen. It's a great Book, and is a good source for documentation! The retracts would be simple but not very strong if built scale..
DOC
Old 12-26-2007, 10:06 PM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

UPDATE 12/26/07
Because of the interest of a fellow who wanted the 1/9 scale (.30-40 size - 57" span), I went and made CAD prints of that design and now am able to offer scratch builder prints with all the templates of that model. It is (2) sheets 24" x 72". I made the design scale except for the airfoil.
Below is a sample of sheet 2. Cost for these plans is negotiable at this point.
Please consider that Copies cost $6.00, mailing tube $2.75 and shipping is $7.00 in lower 48. What is my time and gas worth to get copies made and mail them out, plus what is the work in my drawing worth? Make me a fair offer.

I am going to start on a larger scale next. I have to consider what size most people might actually build. Whereas true scale builders also like big planes, they only represent about 10% of flyers (no offence). A 1/6 scale would need a gasser or a 180 4-cycle. Not alot of flyers into that kinda stuff for obvious reasons (time plus $$$). The most difficult aspect of this project is finding a off-the shelf retract. This plane had whopper wheels that came down from center wing to align forward of the leading edge ( a 1/6 scale would have a 6" dia wheel with a retract costing around 400.00 - kinda scary). Kinda tough to figure that out. I am working on it.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:34 AM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

wow, time sure does fly. I have not made any progress on the larger scale model. I am stuck on the retracts, as well as finishing off my college education. College is hard at 52 years old!Free time has been rare. The Orion was the first aircraft with retracts, or at least one of the first. For that reason the retracts are unusual. When retracted, they lay parallel to the spar. You will not find that on any other retract. On deployment they come down 95 degrees and advance forward to place the front of the wheel just forward of the leading edge. I show the Altair layout below, which is identical to the Orion. The retract companies do not make one that does this. I am hesitant to layout a non scale retract position, i.e. like for a AT6 or a staggerwing retract. Anyway, that is just an update on my project that is going nowhere.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:48 AM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Hi oldflyer !

I'm watching this topic for so long that i almost forgot it eheh :-)

I'm drawing too a Orion 9B from scratch.
As i live in Switzerland, i have access to the only survived Orion in the world, that's nice

Some inspiration for you, this is a 1:7.5 model of the orion, made long time ago by a swiss modeler, and it is now shown on the Luzern Transport Museum.

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Old 06-28-2011, 09:12 AM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

The retract lay out is very similar to the Hawker Hurricane. Possibly a Hurricane unit could be made to work? Sierra makes a unit for Hurricanes which rotates about 15 degrees so that the wheel will lay flat in the well when retracted. Might be worth a look anyhow.

Old 06-28-2011, 10:10 AM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Gosh I thought this project was dead !
I think The retracts are doable, but I have too many irons in the fire right now, including my 50th wedding anniversary.
DOC
Old 06-28-2011, 06:38 PM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Dave I have the detail museum photos of that Swiss Orion.they work on a pullup cable and jackscrew. these were the first Retracth and were invented by Gerald Vultee, he and jack Northrup both worked for Lockheed at the time. They were flimsey and not reliable. They had no oleo and the cable would slip off the pulley. 5 belly Landings in one month led to hydraulics !
Enough history..... The retracts actually go up < 85 deg.(the lower wing dihedral is 6 deg. so an 85 deg. retract unit will work fine. The forward rake angle is 14 deg. and the retracts sweep back 17 deg. similar to the P-47.
Let me work with these angles and I know I can come up with something !
Old 09-18-2011, 05:46 PM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

A little correction there lads

If the web page comes back up you can take a look at all the photos. Link is http://www.aeromuseumservices.com

There was never any jack screw - an invention of Matt or Wylam, but not Lockheed.

There was always two hydraulic cylinders to work the cables (with the sole exception of Y1C-25 Altair that was later modified to include them to replace hand cranked cable movement). One in starboard outboard nose of wing was 60" stroke that did the lifting.

One in center section on front face of rear spar, much shorter stroke, did the diagonal strut moving.

What none of the gifted illustrators could figure out was that upper end of the inboard diagonal strut had to move outboard before the lifting could commence.

System was designed by Richard Palmer (later designed Hughes Racer) and patented by Vultee.

Early production version had very short oleo (2 1/2" stroke) and a simple tubular truss between spars at gear (like a "N" strut laying down). Late production version was a great improvement and had a 6" stroke oleo (Aerol Strut) laying down at an angle in a large fabricated "support rib" between the spars. Orion 9C in the Swiss Museum of Transport has this late system and I photographed it in detail in 2001 and put those photos, with drawing numbers, on my web page, so they could function as an assembly aid to building the real thing.

John Oder (mispelled earlier in this thread)
Old 09-18-2011, 06:25 PM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Either size or both is fine with me! I just absolutely love airplanes from the '30's. I have the Loughead book!
Old 09-18-2011, 11:33 PM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Hi John, it's a pleasure to see you here, your website is a mecca for me ! Your pictures and research have answered many questions i had about this airplane, THANK YOU so much !!

David
Old 09-19-2011, 06:12 AM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Hello John Oder, I had on idea this information was still available. Thank you! That is what these threads are all about. Great photos.
Dennis OConnor
Old 09-19-2011, 06:37 AM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Glad to help some. I realize some "give aways" have to happen in a Model, but it would seem nice if the model maker knew for the first time in well over 75 years just what the real thing consisted of. The famous illustrators made real pretty drawings, but a considerable portion of their technical information was just made up - like Wylam's flat bottom ribs, non parallel spars and just plain wrong rib spacing.

Check out the Files section on the web page and open up some pdfs of both original drawings and drawings I made. These scans are just a teeny portion of the collection related to this aircraft. The larger drawings cost a bunch to scan, so there are not many of them yet.

Here are some progress photos of Tom Haueter's Altair DL-2A being built full size from scratch from drawings in the collection.

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...der/DL2AParts/

As an aside, the 9C in the Swiss museum started life as a DL-2A Altair.

John Oder

On edit: Here are some more 9c photos the Swiss did for me:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...kpit%20Bottom/

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...ckpit%20Front/

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...ockpit%20Left/

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...ockpit%20Rear/

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...ckpit%20Right/

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...0Well%20Front/

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...20Well%20Left/

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...0Well%20Right/

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...20Well%20Rear/

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...%20Well%20Top/

Old 09-19-2011, 12:17 PM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Have you still your contacts on the museum John ?

I've contacted one personell of the museum last year, trying to have a close look at the aircraft, but the only pictures i was able to take is the exterior details.

What really struggle me, is how the interior is done, and over that, how the wing is connected to the fuselage. It is true that the main spar pass through the fuselage ?
From the Wylam drawings this is not easy to understand.

I've also meet one of the peoples that restored it from Swiss Airlines, but he also had not many informations for me, only a booklet with some pictures that you can find easily on web and the history of this aircraft.

for who doesn't know : this aircraft was owned by Jimmy Doolittle , THE Jimmy Doolittle of "Doolittle riders", surely the American friends know who he is :-)

John can your contact make interior pictures of the passenger part ?
Old 09-19-2011, 12:34 PM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Hi Dave: The folks I was in contact with were Christine Bosiger, Archivist and Damien Amstuz (or similar) This was ten years ago now. I know Christine is still there, but not if Damien is still there. I think it was Damien taking the photos. (I think I was charged for the effort, but am not sure)

Look at Tom's progress photos in the link above and your will see the heavy #4 and #6 Diaphragms (fuselage rings) in progress. The large fittings on the lower end of these assemblies attach to fittings on top the spars - so, yes, the massive spars pass thru the bottom of the fuselage. The front spar immediately behind pilot's seat (which is raised, and sits on an oil tank), and the rear spar thru the passenger section - wasn't a problem, some seats were on top the rear spar. The spars centerlines are 40" (slightly more than a meter) apart.

As may be known, the wing is one piece, and weighed 800 lbs (about 364 Kg) with retract gear installed.

John Oder
Old 09-19-2011, 12:41 PM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Oh yeah ! Christine was the woman i've contacted when i was searching for info's

Ok, i should insist again, maybe i can convince her to let me enter the museum when it's closed, so i can walk around and inside the airplane
Old 09-21-2011, 05:00 PM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Here are a few more 9C photos I took. It is rather plain inside the passenger compartment - the seats being about big enough for big children or small adults. After all, the largest Diaphragm (fuselage ring) is #5 which is only 45" X 60"

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...20Misc%202001/

John Oder
Old 01-06-2012, 01:07 PM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Hello All,
Wow, it has been so long since I viewed this thread. I feel like I have let you all down because I started the thread and kind of crapped out.
However, I am just finishing a bachelors degree at my age of 53. It has kept me busy for the last few years along with a full time job and family.
I also started a new job at Tolerance Masters as a manufacturing engineer. They have all the major cad and machine support I need for a project like this.
Soooo, I am going to be looking into starting the solid modeling on a 1/6 scale. After that I will make the layouts for the laser cutters and compile a bill of materials.
Then I have to build the darn thing so that I can make adjustments to the parts and the bill as needed.
This is a huge project. I respect the guys who do this full time. It must take a ton of cad and labor hours to produce an kit or ARF that will function well.
Obviously there are levels of design. Some r/c plans need 20 years of building experience and a ton of imagination to get a plane made from them. I want to avoid that type of print.
What has me really excited is the advice for the landing gear from the hurricane above. That has been one of the biggest things keeping me from this project; where to get
off the shelf gear that is close to the Orion configuration.
Anyway, thanks to all for putting in posts. I promise to finish this before I go to my grave. I love this plane. Indeed, the wikipedia artical is 90% mine.

P.S. I have a photo file archive for this aircraft, plus many of the Altair, that is huge. In addition, it includes most all of the photos that can be had for the Swissaire Orion.
If you are interested, I can make a cd rom and mail it to anyone interested for $8. That basically just covers the cost of the disk and priority mail plus a buck for me. Just send me a private email.

Ron Jesberg
Old 01-06-2012, 05:06 PM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Hard to believe anything but this massive fork would look right on Orion/Altair, so I am at a loss as to why anyone would select a Hurricane gear. Without the totally unique Lockheed gear leg and inner and outer diagonal struts, it is just another low wing monoplane

http://www.adastron.com/lockheed/altair/h51vhusb.htm

http://www.adastron.com/lockheed/altair/h42vhusb.htm

John Oder
Old 01-07-2012, 02:54 PM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Very true John,
The hurricane gear may be a bad choice for exact scale, but at least it is something that has been manufactured for r/c. It is worth looking into.
R/C models have many compromises because they have to, not because the designers were unaware of how the full scale was actually built.
Very few, and I mean very very few r/c aircraft, even the so called "true scale aircraft" have true-to-scale landing gear, or any other complex part true to scale for that matter.
In r/c, scale is always in the eye of the beholder (or builder). No model can ever be true scale. You will always find a dimension off a tad or a detail missed.
Very few r/c scale modelers are interested in a museum level of scale. They comprise probably 1% of all builders. Even the National AMA scale masters do not judge on absolute scale but on many factors and considerations. People come to the scale masters every year with the "perfect model" and lose every time because they failed to consider what the judges were looking for.
If I put hundreds of hours into designing plans and templates for an Orion, I would desire to see it built by as many interested modelers as possible. For that reason an off-the-shelf retract is a must. Even at that, an off-the-shelf retract system from Robart with all the components would run around $500 for 1/6 scale. I do not wish to design a model that will be respected by a very few highly discriminate people but is so complex it is rejected by hundreds who wished for something manageable.

John, I appreciate any input you can give. Your experience and advice is unmatched for full scale aircraft. As a museum operator who wants to build full scale I would expect nothing less bur precision and fidelity from you. Yet, this is r/c, and my design criteria follows that of Don Smith, Nick Ziroli, Wendell Hostetler, Dave Platt, Bob Holman, Jerry Bates and others who are giants in the industry of R/C model aircraft design. I am interested in designing a model of a cool airplane for a popular market. R/C modeling and design has its own culture and considerations that are unique because of the nature of the industry.

Please, keep giving advice, it is highly respected and appreciated, but hopefully this helps you understand why someone would use a less than perfect scale retract.
Old 01-08-2012, 06:05 AM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Sounds reasonable to me.

Here is a rare shot - the gear is partially retracted. You can see that the upper ends of the inner diagonal struts have moved a little outboard of their down and locked position. Before the gear can be lifted, these upper ends of the inner diagonal struts have to travel fully outboard. The lift cable attaches to the inboard end of the axle. Paul Matt has these cables wrongly labeled brake cables in his drawing posted above in this thread.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...Gear/dnasp.jpg

Photo compliments of that long time researcher Tim Kalina - thanks Tim!


John Oder
Old 01-08-2012, 07:01 AM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Personaly I want to see a " Flying model "! I'm not intrested in a hanger Queen, not an everyday flyer, but a model that is easy to maintain, flys well and is "Scale". I think this is what is desired by most modelers. There are fewer of us every day. A scale gear isn't a problem but an off the shelf unit is what an average modeler wants.
MY View!
DO'C
Old 07-26-2012, 12:15 AM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

G'day oldflyer123,
 I read a great story on the orion, if i recall correctly ( Canada Mail owned )  and that the retracts were manually cranked so you needed a fair amount strength.  you'll need a big chunk of lead in the nose of that model with it being so short. 
cheers and hope to see her flying. bbc
Old 07-26-2012, 02:32 AM
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Default RE: Who wants to build Lockheed Orion 9

Actually no. You hand pumped a hydraulic pump with a long lever on the right topped by a Model A Ford gear shift ball.

Here is the cockpit on that side. The yellow lever with the black ball on top. The directional selector lever (up/down) is beside the pump lever

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...ckpit%20Right/

Funny what stories get made up.



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