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        Nieuport N11 "Bebe"-- a Peter Rake design

#1 Zhack Apr 06, 2003 10:00 PM

Nieuport N11 "Bebe"-- a Peter Rake design
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Well after a couple of years of hanging from my office ceiling, I finally pulled the N11 down and finished her properly. I added scale wheels and struts and did a little more painting.

Here are the specs and some photos in my backyard.

WS: 32.5"
Area: 270 sq in
AUW: 22.2oz
Loading: 12oz/sq ft
Motor: Multiplex 6v s400
Gear: Maxx products 2.5:1
Prop: APC 10x7 SlowFly
Battery: 8 x HECell 1100NiMH
Rx: FMA Tetra
Servos: Cirrus CS09 (1 aileron in each panel, elevator pull/pull)
Covering: Buff Litespan (BalsaLoc)
Markings: Handpainted with Acrylic

It is a rendition of this N11 on display at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. Built by Gordon and Kay Bainbridge with an original 80 HP LeRhone rotary engine and instruments, this aircraft is currently finished in the colors of the aircraft flown by Victor Chapman during the First World War. Chapman was a local Hudson Valley, NY hero who flew with the Lafayette Flying Corps and was the first American pilot to lose his life in World War I:

I'll have to get around to adding the Lewis gun, exhaust stack and dummy engine...in all my spare time:(


#2 Zhack Apr 06, 2003 10:02 PM

More Pics
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Another view:

#3 Zhack Apr 06, 2003 10:05 PM

One More
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Last one:

I have been asked about the wheels occasionally. They are hand built. Tires are from latex surgical tubing.

I can post close-ups of them or any other particular areas if anyone is interested for similar projects.

#4 Zhack Apr 06, 2003 10:06 PM

Couldn't Resist
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#5 Goge Apr 06, 2003 10:33 PM

That's your backyard? I'm envious.

That's your model? I'm envious.

Very nice, have you flown her yet?


#6 Zhack Apr 06, 2003 10:45 PM

Wait...There's more!
Check this out if you like the back yard:


#7 Robert Stinson Oct 19, 2003 03:34 PM

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Mine's ready to fly tomorrow...

#8 Robert Stinson Oct 19, 2003 03:35 PM

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some of the detailing still needs to be done, but it has to show me it can fly before I take the time..

#9 PETERRAKE Oct 19, 2003 05:16 PM

Very nice looking model, I trust your patients were suitably impressed.
I quite agree, they don't thrash around the sky with masses of power to spare, but then it wasn't supposed to. It's a case of "horses for courses" I guess. If you want a model to fly like a Nieuport, then pick a Nieuport, If you want it to fly like a sport model, don't pick a Nieuport.

Undeniably also a nice model, but you are cheating a little.;) Your model is half as big again. Have you had a chance to test fly her yet?


#10 Cush Oct 20, 2003 06:31 AM


Very nice Ė what did you use for covering?

I have an un-started Peter/AerodromeRC N11 kit that Iím dying to get my teeth into -looks like thatís what you built yours from? Unfortunately, a house move, decorating and work and the summer have all got in the way. Hopefully this winter will see it done. I canít believe I have had this kit for 10 months.


#11 Robert Stinson Oct 20, 2003 07:32 AM

Cush - yes, that's the kit.

I used Solartex to cover it, in complete disregard of the instructions. I like the way it looks so much I'm willing to take the weight penalty. Also, it's wonderful to work with. It responds so well to heat, and comes out so wrinkle free, it's my favorite materal. I tried litespan once, got so frustrated with it I threw it away. I saw a plane covered with it recently. There were wrinkles everywhere.

Hobby Lobby advertises a relatively light weight fabric covering called Superfabric. It might be worth looking into.

Regarding the kit itself, the only place I departed from the instructions was with the cabane struts. I was unsuccessful in bending the rear strut - three acute angles, all having to be precision matched to achieve the right wing incidence - I couldn't do it. I bought some spruce and built my own structure. I also put in functional rigging with non-stretchable 50lb test kite string, to strengthen the structure in lieu of the aluminum struts.

#12 Cush Oct 20, 2003 09:22 AM

Ah! Solatex Ė one of my favourites Ė very easy to use and very strong. I had been sacred that it would shrink too much for such a light structure, or just be too heavy. But you seem to have proved both worries unnecessary. I was going to use Litespan which I have had success with on smaller models. I know others, including Mr Rake himself, favour the use of film flattened with Prymol Ė not something that appeals to me I must say.

I would be interested to know how much more yours weighs than the target weight. Iím not too worried about a lack of power as Iím going to use a 17 turn motor and 6:1 gearbox. However, I am worried that too large an increase in wing loading would destroy the planes flying characteristics.

Iíll have to do some research on ďSuperfabricĒ


#13 Ian Easton Oct 20, 2003 11:27 AM

I used Solartex on my Sopwith Swallow and although it came out looking good it ended up far too heavy.

#14 dottney Oct 20, 2003 01:37 PM

Try coverlite (litespan) guys. The stuff looks good and is light. Personally I love Solartex but its a bit heavy for most of our applications.

#15 Robert Stinson Oct 20, 2003 02:11 PM

Re: Solartex - apparently at one time it was made lighter, I'm told. Maybe mine was the older, semi-transparent covering, or maybe it was Polytex. The reason I'm not sure is that it was in an unmarked bin at the LHS.

Superfabric is advertised as being light. Anybody who tries it, let us know.

My first flight was this morning - quite successful. I'm using an Astroflight 15 geared motor with 12 cells and a 12x8 prop. My ROG was about 40', very reasonable, perhaps could have rotated sooner. It took a bunch of trim in the sky, mostly I think because of the torque in the motor. A more efficient motor, brushless, would help.

Turns in the sky were fairly flat. I'll be adding in rudder mixing. Landing was smooth as silk.

One bad habit; it ground-loops like crazy. I had 6 aborted attempts before I could get a straight run. I imagine the small rudder and no vertical stab plays a part in this.

Now to horrify Mr Rake: Weight without batteries was exactly 3 lbs. The 1 lb, 11 oz battery pack (2600 nimh's) puts it around 5 2/3 lbs flying weight. Heavier than average? The wing area will easily support this weight, but I'll have to be careful not to apply too much g-force...

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