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Old Jan 09, 2014, 02:47 AM
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Pietenpol Air Camper (Peanut) - CO2 Powered

Freeflight scale building & in particular CO2 motor bug have just hit me hard recently. What better way to do it by building the Pietenpol Air Camper.

I'm using the Pietenpol Plan by David Collins scaled to 13" span (Peanut).The plan appeals to me as it has great amount of scale details that can be incorporated into the flying model. I am giving it an additional scale detail in the form of my very own self-made spoke wheels.

I will mainly use 1mm balsa sheets for the build to keep the overall weight low to suit the power of the Gasparin G14 CO2 motor and the 4" prop. The model will be purely for indoor flying only and the occasional not so frequent outdoor field or backyard flying.

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Old Jan 09, 2014, 02:58 AM
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I'll be going for either the blue & silver colour scheme or the red & silver colour scheme which have spoked wheels, and the level of scale details such as struts, riggings, and engine details are just suitable for the level of scale that I am attempting.

Currently, I am favouring the Blue & Silver Version 1 (1st Choice) but my version will be slightly different in a sense that the front nose & top cockpit cowls will be painted silver instead of all blue as I imagine the final model will be quite striking when finished.


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Old Jan 09, 2014, 03:07 AM
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1st up the scale spoke wheels. Pictures below explained the process quite well.

Balsa wheels/rims outlines from 1/16" balsa lainated together (cross grained) for strength, and the wheels axial from 2 different sizes of aluminium tubing with the inner tubing longer that the outer tubing at both ends by approx. 1/16" cyano glued together to prevent from slipping.

Then I placed/pinned the balsa rim on a jig and started lashing away the spokes using black "glazed" thread. Do not use normal cotton thread else you will end up with flurry spokes. I work the thread up and down the balsa rim and tightening round the aluminium axial. Finished one and went on to do the other by repeating the steps.




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Old Jan 09, 2014, 03:15 AM
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Laminated the wheels both sides with 1/20" balsa rim cut-outs to represent the side rubber and sanded to shape.

Later on, I proceeded to air brush the spokes and inner rim silver. Later on, I found out that I ran out of thinner so I couldn't air brush the flat black paint on the wheels but instead I used a black Sharpie, final result is abit crude. Since it was my first time building a pair of spoke wheels, I am happy with the overall results.

Added some scale details to the wheels which I think you would have spotted it by now.


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Old Jan 09, 2014, 03:19 AM
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I wasn't quite satisfied with my 1st set of spoke wheels as the finishing with 1/16" laminated balsa is too thick and rough, so I went on to do a new set of wheels using thinner 1/32" laminated basswood instead of balsa.

Basswood is tougher and stronger, so cutting out thin outlines for the spoke wheel rims is not an issue compared to normal balsa. The basswood has not much visible grains unlike balsa, and is much smoother, hence finishing will be better. The thin basswood rims looked more ideal as spoke wheels, IMO.

So now I have 2 sets of spoke wheels - the thinner basswood one for the Pietenpol Air Camper; and the thicker and bigger spoke wheels for a WW1 biplane (also Peanut Size) that I intend to do later for rubber powered freeflight, most likely either a Nieuport 11 or 17.

Next up, I'll be starting on the build-up of the balsa wing, stabilizer and rudder.

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Old Jan 09, 2014, 03:23 AM
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Stripped some balsa strips for the wing LE & TE, stabilizer and rudder strip wood, spars and longerons for the fuselage. Also, I printed-out the ribs patterns on paper (had to do a few print-outs of the 2 ribs on the plan and arranged them in an orderly manner - need about close to 30 ribs) and pasted on 1mm balsa sheet, ready for cutting.

I did some re-thinking too about the ribs (we freeflight flyers normally do this, its an inherent thingie and is second nature to us ) and those number of ribs will definitely add alot of unwanted weight to the model. I reckon if I were to go build the ribs differently using sliced ribs (curved and straight strips), I should be able to save some weight. Lightly built freeflight models are better flyers than heavy ones. So, that is the approach that I will be adopting for the build, another variation from the David Collin's plan.

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Old Jan 09, 2014, 12:32 PM
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I built the Peck Polymer kit in the 70s. I had Hungerford wheels on it. I misplaced the wheels over the years. I'm still upset about that.
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Old Jan 09, 2014, 08:15 PM
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Will be a very nice model!! thanks for share!!

Keep posting!
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Old Jan 09, 2014, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trisquire View Post
I built the Peck Polymer kit in the 70s. I had Hungerford wheels on it. I misplaced the wheels over the years. I'm still upset about that.
me too
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Old Jan 09, 2014, 09:48 PM
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The spoked wheels came out great for the first time building them! I use the same method using thin monofiliment. They will get easier and better each time you build a set. My first ones came out with a nasty wobble in them untill I supported the center mandrel to keep it from moving while wrapping the thread.
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Old Jan 11, 2014, 11:37 AM
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Trisquire & KKphantom, the Hungerford spoke wheels were really work of art and the finishings were just perfect. I see why you guys missed them so much.

Thanks for the compliments, Colibriguitars and Steve SW, thanks for the tip. I bet my wheels will be wobbly too. But I shall improve on the next set of wheels using your tip.

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Old Jan 11, 2014, 11:39 AM
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I used the wing rib profile of the plan to cut-out and shape the plywood template. Before slicing the ribs, I applied some Zap CA on the edge of the plywood template (1/32 birch ply).

Then I started slicing the ribs out of a similar sized 1mm balsa sheet blank by running the exacto blade along the plywood template.


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Old Jan 11, 2014, 11:41 AM
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Then I worked on building the main wing. Pictures below are self explanatory.

I'm glad to use the sliced ribs method as I believed I have saved quite significant weight just on the main wing. Next up, I will work on the stabilizer and rudder before going on to the fuselage.


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Old Jan 11, 2014, 01:49 PM
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Was lustfully admiring your wheel builds.
Just as a random thought : could one substitute a thin ring of sliced off Ali tubing for the rim ?
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Old Jan 12, 2014, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bare View Post
Was lustfully admiring your wheel builds.
Just as a random thought : could one substitute a thin ring of sliced off Ali tubing for the rim ?
Hey Bare, that will be a splendid idea as the rim will be aluminium smooth just like the real thing although I suspect it will be slightly overweight.

Might try it the next round I make a pair of spoke wheels.

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