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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:57 PM
start slow and taper off
falconhob's Avatar
Victoria, BC
Joined Sep 2004
246 Posts
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96" Grumman Albatross

The Albatross has been on my "to build" list for a long time. When I was a kid (like under 10) we had one of them fly low over our boat while patrolling the San Juan islands, which left a rather lasting impression. I've had Ivan's plans for a couple of years, but just couldn't muster the jam for another scratch build after doing his Martin Mars a few years ago. When I saw Zeke's goat, it looked like the perfect answer, the right size, and all the cutting already done!

I ordered the kit and a few weeks later my new Parkscalemodels Albatross arrived. I must admit that when I saw the box my first response was "where is the rest of it?" I'm used to seeing my new toys arrive in much larger boxes...

I had to wait until Saturday to start, as Friday had been one of those everything I touch turns to days, so a glass of wine and the tv remote was all I could handle - the kit would have to wait. I must admit I did cave a bit and unpacked the box on my bench, and found it stuffed with sheets of laser cut ply, various neatly sealed bags of balsa of varying thicknesses, and a pack of tubes and rods for various connections.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 02:10 PM
The Hun in the Sun
vonJaerschky's Avatar
Canada, BC, Comox
Joined Nov 2003
7,430 Posts
Nice! I have Ivan's plans too, and hope to get around to building it eventually. I didn't know that Parkscale had this kit. Looks very nice. Get busy and have it ready for Chilliwack at the end of May!
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 01:11 AM
71% of the world is runway . .
Bart83's Avatar
Nederland, ZH, Oostvoorne
Joined Jun 2009
1,772 Posts
Nice kit !! Got me siting first row following this.

Good luck with the build.

Cheers,

Bart
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:26 AM
Übung macht den Meister..
Deuce's Avatar
United States, OR, Fairview
Joined Jul 2006
3,019 Posts
Not many Grumman aircraft I don't like, and their "boats" in particular pique my interest!



James (One of these days, I'd like to do up a ~48" span Duck...)
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 10:10 AM
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campbelltf's Avatar
United States, NH, Bedford
Joined Jan 2012
227 Posts
Oh what to choose? Build the Ivan version from his plans or spring for the kit... Did you go all in and buy the pre-cut planking? This will be fun to watch.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 10:26 PM
start slow and taper off
falconhob's Avatar
Victoria, BC
Joined Sep 2004
246 Posts
Neat to see some interest! Not a chance of making it for May, this one's going to take me a while. I sprung for the planking kit, but in hindsight, it's really not necessary. The design and cutting is beautiful.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 10:34 PM
start slow and taper off
falconhob's Avatar
Victoria, BC
Joined Sep 2004
246 Posts
Planning...

Since the building manual isn't quite ready yet, the first job was to lay out and survey all the parts to figure out what they might be. Basically, it's a huge puzzle! The are some clues, in that each piece is engraved with an alphanumeric reference, and the letters start to make sense after a few minutes of thinking.

I should point out that I intend to build a slightly different version of the Albatross. This kit is based on the HU-16A model (or SA-16 if you prefer), but has been stretched to B version dimensions to make a better sport scale flyer. I would like to build a correct B version. A little research shows that the B version had longer wings with a bit of a jag in them outside the nacelles, a larger stab, fin and rudder whose control surfaces do not go out to the tips, and the fuselage pretty much the same. And because I'm a glutton for punishment, I decided I would like to put retracts in this bird as well. So basically what should be a stock straightforward build is going to be way more complex and time-consuming just because I like it that way.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 10:36 PM
start slow and taper off
falconhob's Avatar
Victoria, BC
Joined Sep 2004
246 Posts
Sponsons

This is where I must comment that this is by far and away the best laser cutting I have ever seen. The parts are almost free with just 1/32nd" tags holding each piece in place. Most will fall right into your hand, while a few need just a gentle touch with the X-acto to free them. Putting this thing together is like assembling a snaplock or Lego kit. The fit is absolutely perfect, the centering works out beautifully and you can literally have a freestanding assembly ready for CA in minutes. The fit is so good that thin CA will be used for most of the build, with med for those areas where angles inherently leave a bit if a gap.

Since there are very few parts of the kit that I won't be modifying, I thought I would start with the sponsons first. I located and freed (almost) all the parts. You'll notice I forgot the keels in the pics; once I located them it made a lot more sense! These can be assembled "freehand"; I just used small square blocks to make sure the bulkheads were at 90' to the keel. Ten minutes later viola, ready to sheet sponsons! You’ll have to sand the side/keel to be even with the bulkheads, and then sheet the bottom with 1/16 cross grain. Once I figure out how I'm going to attach it, I'll plank the tops.
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 10:51 PM
start slow and taper off
falconhob's Avatar
Victoria, BC
Joined Sep 2004
246 Posts
Empennage

On to the next structure, the fin/rudder and stab/elevators. Much like the sponsons, the fun part is finding the pieces, then figuring out how to assemble them. I had to refer to the original build thread and eventually had everything ready to assemble. Since I plan to fully sheet the airplane, some modifications to the ribs would be required, as the kit is designed with the sheeting covering about half of the chord.

I needed to trim off 1/16” of the ribs that were originally designed not to be sheeted, so I used my trusty monokote trim tool, which has a setting to trim a 1/16" overlap, to trim down the ribs. As with the rest of the kit, everything locks together nicely. Since I’m doing the B version, the rudder and elevators have been tweaked to not go all the way to the tips. In both cases, the final rib is close enough to correct (out by ¼” on the stabs, good enough for me) to lay out the revised tips. On the full scale, the flying surfaces are actually fabric covered, which works out nicely :-)
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Last edited by falconhob; Feb 16, 2013 at 10:57 PM.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 06:59 AM
Registered User
sarkantyu's Avatar
United States, MI, Lake Orion
Joined Feb 2004
293 Posts
I love well designed kits.These days some simple ones could be used as therapy.
Joe
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 10:25 AM
Airplane crasher
CapMike's Avatar
USA, CT, Shelton
Joined Jan 2008
2,732 Posts
Falconhob I am watching to see how you do yours. I have the second prototype but have not finished it yet. I need to planke the nacelle's and just finish sanding everything. Most of my time has been spent lately getting the second Anderson Kingfisher completed. I am glad you have posted a build thread on this one. I have been wanting to see someone build this collaboration between Zeke and I.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 10:55 AM
start slow and taper off
falconhob's Avatar
Victoria, BC
Joined Sep 2004
246 Posts
Nice Job

Hi Mike,

Not sure who did what in the collaboration, but the end product is great! I know Zeke is hard at work on the build manual for the Albatross, and it sounds like you're digging in on the Kingfisher - keep up the good work! Just don't let it take the fun out of the hobby

And Joe, I completely agree on the therapy concept. This beats the heck out of anything else I've found to get away from life for a while.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 12:36 PM
Airplane crasher
CapMike's Avatar
USA, CT, Shelton
Joined Jan 2008
2,732 Posts
Falcon, there was a lot of work in the design, and I can not take a responsiability for any single part. The instructions manual is coming along. I have passed some of the illustrations to Zeke for the manual. I think all that is left is the Fuselage illustrations and then writing the instructions.
As far as the Kingfisher I have enjoyed the entire process from the design phase to doing the illustrations right down to the building of both planes. The prototype ended being a rush job to get it in the air and test flown. This one has taken me just over a month to get put together and covered. It will be completely finished today, and ready for a maiden when the weather clears and the water isn't hard anymore.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 08:57 AM
ParkScaleModels
zbrubaker's Avatar
United States, PA, Loganville
Joined Feb 2002
4,208 Posts
Great to see your thread started, it's great to see the first production version of the Albatross kit under way! Very clever idea to use your trimmer to alter the ribs for full sheeting.
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 09:01 PM
start slow and taper off
falconhob's Avatar
Victoria, BC
Joined Sep 2004
246 Posts
Some small progress...

I was going to start on the wing next, and in fact had removed all the wing parts one evening, but after thinking on it, decided to go for the fuse instead. I'm going to need the fuse to mount the wing to in order to design the retracts, so it made the most sense to go fuse first.

The first step was to punch out all the pieces. They are all numbered, and although they have different suffixes (e.g. F11B) just group them by number and you'll have everything you need to create the formers. The pieces just snap lock together, and in literally less than half an hour, you'll have a complete set of fuselage formers.

Putting together the sides was just as easy. Once you've got the pieces all laid out, just some thin CA over the joints (which are perfect tight), a quick touch with the sanding bar and you'll have your new fuse sides.

If you built the kit stock, I wouldn't be surprised to see it framed up in a week of evenings. I'm going to build the fuse a bit different than the kit is designed (what else is new?) so I'll be setting it up on the magnetic building board for my next step.

The parts for the wing remain under the watchful eye of my buddy Oliver, ready to mix the pieces with the swish of the tail.
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