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American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

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American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

Old 02-27-2010, 11:31 PM
  #1  
ben.roper
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Default American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

Last September I crashed my B-24 at Bomber Field in Monaville Texas. I hate to say this but it was because of pilot error and not because of the plane (stress of flying at an airshow). Anyway, I've started building my new B-24 and I thought it might be good to post the build. I'm not an expert builder but this will be my second time building this plane. I learned a lot from the first plane and hope to make this second plane better and lighter. For example the first B-24 came out at 40 lbs. exactly without any lead weight in the nose. I believe I can make it even lighter this next time. I also plan on adding more detail like a retractable turret, rivets, and panel lines.

I've attached a couple pictures of the first B-24 I built and I've attached a picture of what the new B-24 looks like right of the box from American Eagle.

Please have patience with me on this build. My first B-24 took almost three years to build. This second one shouldn't take as long, however, I'm still going to school for my MBA. We'll see how long this one will take.

Thanks.
Old 02-27-2010, 11:38 PM
  #2  
ben.roper
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

Well, I've been able to work on my fowler flap hinges for the B-24. Here is what I've come up with. I had AK Models laser cut the hinges out for me. Derek (who did my CAD drawings) and AK Models did an excellent job. I would totallyrecommend them for laser cutting your parts. I've also been working on the wing joiner box and I'll get pictures of that posted soon too.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:33 AM
  #3  
butlern
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

Ben, sorry to hear about the loss of the first model. I agree, there's no doubt that you'll able to construct the second model (relatively) rapidly because you've already done all the problem solving on the first.

I ended up selling my AE B-24 kit to another guy (Marc) in my club up here in Iowa. I told him to contact you regarding the build. Maybe he's already been in touch with you? I have not seen his progress, but he tells me that it's glassed and he's working on the final finishing before paint. He was also struggling with the fowler flap hinges for a while (several months ago). I assume he worked through this, but I'll still be sure to tell him that Alex (from AK-models, also here in Iowa City) has your design plotted and ready for cutting.

Good luck with the second, and be sure to update this thread as often as you can.

Noah
Old 03-15-2010, 12:03 PM
  #4  
ben.roper
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

I've been able to work a little on it so far. I've got the wings together and I'm cutting out the landing gear area.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:53 AM
  #5  
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

Hi Ben , I was at bomber last year and talked to you about the B-24 i also have the A/E B-24 i have been working on it on and off for the last few years , glad to see your building another one keep the pic,s coming maybe it will get me fired up to finish mine
Old 07-07-2010, 09:09 PM
  #6  
Spurs
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

when are you going to post some progress pictures?????????
Old 07-11-2010, 01:11 AM
  #7  
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

I was looking at the robart site and see they have discontinued the gear for this and many other aircraft
i,m glad i already have mine
curious about this since this kit is still in production
i wonder whats going on at robart
Old 07-13-2010, 10:56 AM
  #8  
ben.roper
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

Sorry guys, it's been a while since I've posted anything. It's been a busy summer with work and vacation. I'll try to get some pictures up this week. I'm almost ready to sheet the wings. Since they don't sell the Dave Brown's Sorgum, I'm going to sheet the wings using 4 hr. epoxy. This should give me enough time to lay down a very thin coat and press it really good. I've seen this technique used before and I think it can come out very light weight.

I've added some twisted (CAT 5) wire in the wings so I can install some super bright LEDs. I figured there are around 14 lights or morefor navigation, landing and bomb drops. I took a knife and put a small slit in the foam and laid the wire in out to the wing tips. My dad is really good with electronics and he's helping me make up a board that will control the LEDs so they come on when the landing gear is down, when the bombs are dropped and when I want the nav lights to come on. I'm also going to follow Dave Platt's suggestion to make some tear drop shapped lens covers. He carves out the lens covers out of tooth brush plastic and then dips them in MEK which gives it a clear finish.

As for the comment on the Robart landing gear being discontinued, it's actually a good thing. Just to make it clear, I really like Robart and I use them for everything. However, the landing gear they offered for the American Eagle kit was not correct at all. In fact it is a pain to use but since I already have them, I'm going to use them. If you notice the wings have a dihedral angle to them. The Robart landing gear was set at 90 degs. which means you have to angle the landing gear box to have the structs come out straight. Since the box on the landing gear is so bulky it comes really close to coming out on the top of the wing. It's really tricky to get it just right. I wish Robart would make the landing gear with the structs a few degrees offsite so the bottom of the landing gear box would be flush with the bottom of the wing. Also, the nose wheel has such a long struct you have to cut a huge opening in the bottom front of the plane so the wheel can swing down and out. The opening isn't scale at all. But it's what I have and will use.

I'll get some pictures soon.

Thanks,
Ben
Old 07-13-2010, 01:47 PM
  #9  
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

i know what you mean on the landing gear , mine were robarts first set specifically for the A/E kit
on the first try the mains were too long and the nose gear in my opinion is the nose unit for another aircraft
doesnt fit the A/E 24 dimensionally
but as you said have to work with what you have
i changed the wing a bit on mine by adding two spars and two wing spar boxes for strength
my landings are not that great
i also cut out a large area between the spars to install a large landing gear box for strength but also
to work out the gear angles you mentioned
i,m still very early in my build
Ben did you use the plans location for the main wheels when down
if so did your plane have the proper weight to hold the plane on the ground while taxing without
bouncing the nose wheel and also rotate smoothly on take off without a lot of elevator input
Old 07-13-2010, 01:58 PM
  #10  
ben.roper
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

I did use the plan's location for the main wheels. It shows on the plans where the hinge point is and I matched that. I had put my wings as far back as I could to make sure I didn't come out too nose heavy. This worked out great and the plane was balanced perfectly. However, pushing the wings far back moved the wings down which pointed the nose of the plane downward a bit. I never had any bouncing while taxing. I did a 3 degree incidence with the wing and elevator. I'm not sure if I liked that. My plane, on take off, would roll down the runway without taking off by itself. I had to give it up elevator and then it would have a step take off. I would like to see the plane slowly lift off on take off. My new plane, I plan on putting in a 0 degree incidence which should help with that. Other than that, I really liked the way my previous B-24 handled on the ground and in the air.

Old 07-24-2010, 08:56 PM
  #11  
ben.roper
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

Yeah, I finally have some pictures. My neighbor and good friend came over and helped me finish things up on the wings so we can sheet them. In the pictures you can see I added some carbon fiber tape for strength. I'm sure its not needed but I like the extra strength and it can't hurt. Also, I've got the flaps half way done. I plan on sheeting the bottom of the wings then glueing in the finished flaps and then sheeting the top half of the wings. This way I'll be able to bring the sheeting down to where it should be on the flaps. I'm trying to make it look more scale like especially since I've got the fowler hinges done. Anyway, I'm sorry thing build is taking so long for those who have been waiting.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:22 PM
  #12  
b17freak
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

Hey Ben, I was there the day your plane crash. Have your ever thougth of using electric motors. Just kidding.
Old 07-25-2010, 11:53 PM
  #13  
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

a multi engine bomber with electric motors is just wrong
there is nothing like the sound of four engines
Old 07-26-2010, 12:31 AM
  #14  
ben.roper
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

That's what b17freak and I have been laughing about. When I crashed my last B-24 at bomber field, I had someone come up to me and tell me I did it all wrong by putting gas engines in my plane. He went on telling me it wouldn't have crashed if I had done electric motors. Yes, I agree that electric motors on a four engine bomber is just wrong. 4-stroke engines sound so good when running together. It's what keeps me building these planes. Plus, it was pilot error and nothing to do with the engines. In fact, all four engines were still running moments before impact. This new B-24 is going to be much better.
Old 07-26-2010, 07:48 AM
  #15  
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

I agree, the sound of four engines is awesome. Sorta like a harley davidson !
Old 10-21-2010, 04:35 PM
  #16  
ben.roper
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

I'm so sorry guys I've taken so long to build this plane and post anything. Well, I've got a lot done lately. I had built out the flaps with the fowler hinges, fiberglassed them, painted them with panel lines and everything. However, I didn't double check my work and built them thicker than the wing. Oh, I was so upset with myself especially since I've already built this plane before. I've redone the flaps and i like these second ones much more. They're more scale like and look really cool. I need to fiberglass them and paint them. Then I can glue them into the wings and sheet the top half of the wings. Here are some pictures of where I'm at.
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:15 PM
  #17  
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

Lookin' good.

No need to apologize, Bombers definetly take alot of time to build.
Old 10-21-2010, 09:45 PM
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

looks good Ben
Old 10-23-2010, 07:52 AM
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

Ben it's looking great!! One of my favorite bombers. We applied our aluminum product to the same kit for a customer more than a year ago and I think he is still working on it so as for your progress in my eyes your moving along nicely!! I will enjoy watching this build and it's first flight

Ron Randall
metal- morphous Inc
Old 10-23-2010, 01:00 PM
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

Ben , i,m very interested in your flap design/method , please post as many pic,s of thier
construction as you can i would appreciate it
Old 10-23-2010, 01:27 PM
  #21  
ben.roper
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

I'd be happy to share my flap design/method. I spent a long time on this. I used them in my first B-24 and they worked great. No problems at all (of course it took me 5 times trying to get it right). This time I messed up again by making them too big again but was able to fix it. First what I did was use Robart's pdf drawing as a template. I wanted to use Robart's fowler hinges but they're too big and they only make one size. I also have the plans for Dan Palmer's B-24 and I noticed he used triangles instead of the design Robart has. I liked Robart's design more because it looked more scale like the real B-24s (or other flower hinges).

I took that template and drew them up in AutoCAD 2010. I then found out I did them wrong (still too tall) so I sanded them down quite a bit instead of having new ones laser cut again. I sanded the bottom tabs off so they're completely flat going across the whole hing length. I then sanded the top rail to help cut down on height too. Only the last two hinges going towards the tip of the wing needed to have the topssanded down a bit because the wing gets so thin out there. I used a 1/8" wire I had cut up into quarter inch pieces and used that rod in between the wood pieces to run on the track. I used 1/32' plywood sheet as spacing so they were too tight on the side pieces. I then used epoxy to glue the rod in place on the ends.

Let me know if you have more questions or would like a copy of the CAD drawings.
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Old 12-04-2010, 07:39 AM
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Albert Din
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

Very interesting build Ben-Roper, I my self am building the Smith B-24, I enjoy seeing your build especially the Fowler Flap setup. Keep up the great work and pictures.

I am Enjoying the build.

AL
Old 10-30-2011, 05:00 PM
  #23  
ben.roper
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

I'm sorry everyone I've taken a long time to respond to this post. This plane had to take a back burner for a while. I've had to focus on finishing up my MBA. I'm graduating this April so it'sbecome crunch time. Afterthis MBA, I'll have all thetime in the world to focusongetting this plane done this summer. I'll get more pictures and posts done then. Thanks for following the post. It isn't dead (yet).

Thanks guys,
Ben
Old 11-19-2011, 12:27 PM
  #24  
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

Hi Al,
I am starting out on a Don Smith B-24 Liberator, scale 1/9, full wood kit.
My kit has arrived at home and I will join it in 3 weeks (overseas at present).
How did your B-24 turn out? Any tips on getting started?
Did you build a single aerofoil or build it in 2 parts like the plans say?
Old 11-19-2011, 01:00 PM
  #25  
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Default RE: American Eagle B-24 Liberator build

I got a BSEE in 1963 and a MSEE in 1965. I lived like a monk all those years. No women. No building. It was awful. As soon as I got out of college I made up for it with a vengeance. It was well worth it. Dan.

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