94 in w/span F7F tigetcat from built dispaly aircraft to an electric powered flyer
I recently purchased this 94 inch wingspan F7F Tigercat. It appears it was just for display purposes. It has some retracts installed that appear to be designed for RC flying but they were never mounted solid enough, will barely support the weight of the plane sitting on them without collapsing the mounts. The nose section from the bulkhead behing the nose gear forwarsd was so weakly attached, it has broken loose and I have begun securing it back in place. It will Take some carbon fiber and epoxy to make it structurally sound. The center wong section is the most questionable and will be the toughest to make as strong as it needs to be. I will have to use an insoection mirror to further inspect inside the wing to see if it can be strengthened as would be required. Again, some ply, balsa, epoxy and carbon fiber will be required to make it airworthy. The outer wing panels are made to use round tubes to hold them and align them, the fit is not great and I think I will redo them using carbon fiber or new aluminum tube for structure. There is already pull-pull connections at the elevator and rudder so if they are secure, that should be easy to get right. The props and spinners are not airworthy items. There was a really nicely made alumin tube and base mount attached to the engine firewall to insert another aluminum tube into to attach the 3 blade props, the fiberglass spinners and delron back plates for the spinners. The hinges for the flaps, gear doors are not strong enough in my opinion. Actually, the hinges are machined aluminum, but the attackment is not strone enough. This project is different than any I have taken on before. I have built several kits, done some giant scale scratch building but this is so different. This plane is so complete, I will have to try to build from the inside out. The Giant RC airplane equivelant of building a ship in a bottle. Luckily, the ribs have nice big lightening holes that I can use to inspect the internals. I have some small aircraft inspection mirrors and even some endoscopic inspection and tools used for operating on people that will be helpful to evaluate the strength of the structure. This is a big plane, with two 160 Outrunners on it, it will not only be big but fast, safety will be first by far. I would rather burn it than take a chance on anyone or anything being hurt because of a structural failure. So now, the next step is a thorough inspection and evaluation of the structural integrity of whats already here, next if I deem it practical to solve any structural issues, I will begin formulating a plan to upgrade the airframe before worring about servos, motors, retract actuation and such. I thought I would do a build thread on this unusual project. I know not many would take on such a project and many feel its not worth it. Oh well, I am gonna give it a try!
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