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Old Nov 03, 2015, 05:38 PM
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SBO5 - De Havilland DH103 Hornet, 60"span, by balticS2

I have a susceptibility for the late piston engined warbirds with that “on steroids” look. Hence, my choice for this year’s Scale Build-off is going to be the De Havilland DH103 Hornet.

The Hornet was designed as a fast long-range fighter for the Pacific theatre, but became available too late to see service before the end of WW2. It was highly effective in combat operations with the RAF in the Malayan Emergency of the early 1950s and was applied to carrier operations by the Royal Navy. The design and construction methods evolved from the Mosquito, but it doesn’t seem to have been as durable. I have read of problems with composite delaminating and with wing spars. Sadly, there are no remaining examples.

There are a couple of plans (one definitely stand-off scale) and a few 3-view drawings around. For me, the nicest drawings are by Richard Caruana. However, there is also a recently published vector 3-view by Onno van Braam which I have still to assess. Depending on time, I might use this project to start drawing in CAD.

For the moment, I have gone for 1/9 scale – about 60 inch span – but it is possible I will change my mind and go to 1/8. Either way, this will be a good deal bigger than anything I’ve built before and only the second time I’ve done a twin. Fuselage will either be balsa sheeted foam or fibreglass. There will definitely be some fibreglass. Wing will be foam cores sheeted. So pushing my envelope in quite a few areas.

I prefer the versions of the Hornet with the smaller tailfin so this one will either be built as an F.Mk1 in a high altitude interceptor scheme or as the F.Mk20 prototype Sea Hornet

I expect that this will take a bit of time to get rolling as I am going to need more space to work. Thanks to SBO5 the garage roof is going to be replaced in the next few weeks. It’s only been leaking for 23 years.....
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Old Nov 03, 2015, 05:58 PM
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CH Spring
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Wow! Great subject.

Good luck with it. I'll be watching.

Cheers!
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Old Nov 03, 2015, 06:11 PM
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Also one of my favourites! Good luck with your rendition, it's was a beauty of a machine.
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Old Nov 03, 2015, 06:30 PM
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One of my all time favorites! I think the Hornet even contends for the elusive title of "most beautiful war bird". I have two little things though.

1. I wouldn't be too eager to go with the smaller fin. Sometimes scale warbirds can be lacking in yaw stability and twins can compound the problem. There's a good reason why they enlarged the fin on the real thing.

2. I'm not so sure that the Mosquito was all that durable. It was a great plane but sometimes the British documentaries tended to overlook faults. One of my late uncles was a mechanic who worked on the P.R. Mosquitoes used by the U,S.A.A.F. in the Mediterranean Theater and he was not a big fan. The British-built Merlins were problematical because they were hand finished and didn't lend themselves to the American practice of cannibalizing spare parts. They required the loving care of British mechanics and proved to be a nightmare until "Uncle Warren" and his chums started shipping them to a British repair depot and swapping them for entire rebuilt engines. The wooden structure presented problems as well. They would have to go from the hot surface temperatures, sometimes dry and sometimes humid, to the cold temperatures at altitude and it played Hell with the trim. At its worst; Uncle Warren said that a few planes only lasted for one operation after compounding the problem by flying through rain. Of course; most if not all were handed down from British outfits and had seen their best days slip by. Just a bit of family history.

Cheers!
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Old Nov 03, 2015, 07:10 PM
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Nice choice of subject!
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Old Nov 03, 2015, 08:55 PM
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Great choice of subject, Alec. I'm not certain, but it looks as though the Hornet has less-tapered outer wings than the Mosquito, which will hopefully make for better behaviour at low speed.

I'll add you to the SBO 5 thread and you're off!

Steve
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Old Nov 03, 2015, 09:01 PM
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Good subject Alec. I have a Hornet....... or at least a part of one. The tail section is hanging on my shop wall. Neat thing about it is Dave Platt built it and crashed it on a very short maiden at SEFF several years ago. I asked for the tail and he said "Sure because they told me to get all the rubbish off the field."

J
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Old Nov 03, 2015, 09:06 PM
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Hey J,

Kinda looks like a fishing trophy of the one that got away...

Steve
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Old Nov 04, 2015, 09:23 AM
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Oh good! There will be folks looking in who know what they are doing. I had hoped that the Hornet would lure in some help. I’ll need plenty!

CH – you were in first day last time. Glad to have you along for the ride.

Pete – welcome aboard!

Peter – I see the sense in what you say. I guess this one should have a rudder. And the props will be contra-rotating. Great story about maintaining the Mossies too. Unless this stuff gets written down it’s all going disappear very soon.

John – I promise I will get back to the Meteor too!

J - You were a brave man asking DP for that! If mine augurs in on the maiden, I’ll send you the pieces. Then you can have a “brace”!

Steve – and there you weren’t sure there would be interest for SBO5! See the attached test flight report. They couldn’t get it to stall. So hopefully we can replicate that as a scale feature!

I was on an Air Serbia flight yesterday and, I kid you not, the safety announcement included “In the unlikely event of a CRASH ....
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Old Nov 04, 2015, 11:29 AM
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Oh no, not again!
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A Mosquito on steroids. This should be great fun to follow Alec.

Carry on!
Jeff
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Old Nov 04, 2015, 06:10 PM
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I had to look very carefully to see the reg on that Polikarpov, when I did I cracked up, good one!
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Old Nov 09, 2015, 05:20 AM
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I am in too - will be fun to do a Mosquito myself while following your Comet. Maybe we can learn something from each other
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Old Nov 09, 2015, 06:05 AM
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I'm sure we will Jorn, even though we will have different construction methods. But they are both beautiful aircraft. Like you I followed most of what John was saying over the weekend. If I can extract the remaining 5%, I think I will have doubled my knowledge of aerodynamics!

I still have to decide whether to go for a flat-bottomed aerofoil like the plans I have seen or a more scale-like semi-symmetrical. However, I have what I think is a good wing root drawing and I will plug it into Airfoil Tools to see what we get.
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Old Nov 09, 2015, 07:32 AM
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I think you would be happier with the flight characteristics if you go semi-symmetrical on the airfoil. Flat bottom airfoils tend to create too much lift with power increase that requires constant trim changes. Just my 2 cents.

J
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Old Nov 09, 2015, 11:39 AM
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Thanks for the confirmation J. I've come to recognise that tendency to climb with small power increases on some of my models, and it can be hard work just flying a level circuit. I'll do some digging to better understand the risks and trade-offs.

All the best

Alec
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