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Old Nov 17, 2015, 03:27 PM
SeismicCWave is offline
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AMA 46133
Hawaii
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Slow flying profile fuselage Spitfire build. (Flight video included)

Well I wanted to make a Spitfire model that flies slow enough for my backyard. My friends gave me an idea to make something like the Ikarus "Shockie" from a long time ago. So I started to create a Depron foam profile fuselage Spitfire. I don't want a plank wing because I wanted to see how it would fly with a 2 degree washout. So it will be a built up foam wing.

I have been building and flying RC airplanes since 1968. I built quite a few balsa kits and some of my own scratch builds.

My CNC router can handle up to 12" X 18" so it will have the most a 36" wing span.

So a profile fuselage foam Spitfire started to take shape.

I am not good at working with foam. Never liked that stuff. I rather sniff balsa dust but I do have a pile of Depron. In Hawaii you pay paradise tax. One sheet of foam cost the same in shipping as a whole bunch. So when I order things for my hobby I order in bulk. I have a bunch of 3mm and 6mm foam sheets so that's what I will use.

Bought me some 6mm X 6mm square pultrude carbon tubes to stiffen the fuselage. The spar for the wing will be some round carbon tubes.

Building models to me is a continue process of fix-ups covering my screw-ups. I rarely can go from start to finish without messy up somewhere.

First it took me many tried to get the foam cut on my CNC router. Then when I tried to joined the wing panels together the spar tubes did not line up. Apparently I had a couple of different rib files and I used the cut sheets from the different files. Nevertheless , a friend told me to glass the center of the wing panels with 2 ounce glass to make the wing skins take the load of the spar. So more fix-ups.

The foam was getting dinged and dented as I built. Everything it touched turned into a dent. Can't stand that stuff. So I decided to fill it with some Durham Rock Hard putty and Spackle to give it some strength. Then I decided to put some paint on it to make it even stronger. Of course Depron will melt with rattle can Krylon paint. So Tamiya water base acrylic it is. My airbrush was way too fine and it took me a long time to cover the entire plane.

By the time I got it framed up and start mounting the equipment the short nose made the plane way too heavy. So my original planned motor went to the side and I used a heavier motor. That was not enough so I increased the battery size. I hate using dead weight for balance. So I had to use something useful.

Finally got everything working but now the plane is getting heavier and heavier. My original target of 19 ounces flying weight is out the window. It wound up a whole 10 ounces heavier. With only 282 square inches of wing I am getting really worried.

Not only am I worried the damn plane looked like crap. It has to be the ugliest Spitfire I have laid eyes on. The paint job is ugly. It is mottled and the color is not quite right. The profile fuselage sure didn't help things. All the darn equipment are hanging out.

I was going to catapult launch the plane and had a hooked glued in on the bottom of the plane. I just had a mishap with catapult launching a FMS 800 mm Spitfire so I quickly installed some landing gear on the profile fuselage Spitfire for ROG.

The redemption came when I test flew it this morning. Even at 15 ounce per square foot wing loading it flew exactly as I envisioned it. It flew very slow and the stall is very gentle. The landing is perfect for a small backyard (1 acre) like mine.

So here is my ugliest Spitfire. No videos yet. I have to find a competent person to video the flight.
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Last edited by SeismicCWave; Nov 23, 2015 at 11:44 PM.
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Old Nov 17, 2015, 03:35 PM
BHOFM is offline
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Looks great to me. Like the paint job.
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Old Nov 17, 2015, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BHOFM View Post
Looks great to me. Like the paint job.
I rushed too much and put on some Minwax polycrylic before the Tamiya paint dried completely. It has been raining for many days here and the moisture didn't let the paint dry as fast as I anticipated. So the polycrylic did something funny to the paint. It must have faded out the color and mottled it.

I have a set of decals on the way from Callie. I am thinking about putting on more paint then applying the decals. That should improve the looks a little bit. The fuselage outline is scale. The horizontal stabilizer is way too big which probably contribute to the stability.
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Old Nov 17, 2015, 06:50 PM
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Flying Models for 52 Years!
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Nice Spitfire! Great job building and painting it
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Old Nov 17, 2015, 06:57 PM
SeismicCWave is offline
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Hawaii
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Originally Posted by Sixter View Post
Nice Spitfire! Great job building and painting it
Thank you. I have only been flying models for 47 years. A bit shy of your 52 years.

The plane is hung up getting re-painted right now.
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Old Nov 17, 2015, 07:19 PM
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I really like the weathered look!
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Old Nov 17, 2015, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BHOFM View Post
I really like the weathered look!
Hahahaha.....it is really weathered. For some strange reason the Minwax Procrylic did not do its job. Each flight after I land I get water on the wing from the grass. The paint job got more water stained.

So I stripped all the equipment and just finished repainting it with polycrylic as a top coat. It is still weathered but not quite as bad.
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Old Nov 18, 2015, 04:20 AM
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Mike's Ma Maaaaaaaaan
Paderborn DE
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Sorry to contradict you…….

As the spitfire is WITHOUT DOUBT the best looking aircraft ever built it could never be ugly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nice build and very identifiable, if that was me I would be happy as Larry and pretty proud of the result.

Paul
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Old Nov 18, 2015, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by PaulB View Post
Sorry to contradict you…….

As the spitfire is WITHOUT DOUBT the best looking aircraft ever built it could never be ugly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nice build and very identifiable, if that was me I would be happy as Larry and pretty proud of the result.

Paul
I have to agree with you about the full scale Spitfire. It is the prettiest aircraft in my eyes. I collect them. None of the commercial kits/ARFs fly slow enough to be "scale" like for my taste. So I decided to create my own.

Thank you for your compliment. It is looking better and better now that it flies well. I also repainted it and put on some decals. However I am never a fan of the profile fuselage. I am very proud of the wing and the behaviour of the stall.

My title has a bit of self deprecating involved. I was also pretty disappoint with my paint job. I have done better. Such as a Dynam Mark 9 that I repainted.
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Old Nov 18, 2015, 12:15 PM
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It is looking better now

After another paint job and some decals it is looking a bit better.
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Old Nov 18, 2015, 01:28 PM
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An itch?. Scratch build.
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Profiles can look great in the sky, and generally from one side on the ground.

My Mosquito look fine from on top, and can look like a full fuselage when flying, but turn it over and it is a mess of components and wires.

But then who cares, it's the fun of the build, and the flying.

Ray.
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Old Nov 18, 2015, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by eflightray View Post
Profiles can look great in the sky, and generally from one side on the ground.

My Mosquito look fine from on top, and can look like a full fuselage when flying, but turn it over and it is a mess of components and wires.

But then who cares, it's the fun of the build, and the flying.

Ray.
You are right. the fun is in the flying. Your profile fuselage looks a bit better with the cross pieces. I should have done the Spitfire that way.

Anyway it is a low "emotional debt" airplane and it flies well.

I did manage a flight video:

Profile Spitfire (1 min 58 sec)


Edit: Sorry, I didn't realized the video was set t private. It is fixed now.
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Old Nov 23, 2015, 11:51 PM
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Title change

I have been having so much fun flying this profile Spitfire I can now take the "ugliest" title off officially.

It can fly pretty slow and the stall characteristic is extremely gentle. So this is my everyday backyard flyer as long as the weather lets me fly.
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Old Nov 24, 2015, 04:27 AM
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Allways the hard way!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eflightray View Post
Profiles can look great in the sky, and generally from one side on the ground.

My Mosquito look fine from on top, and can look like a full fuselage when flying, but turn it over and it is a mess of components and wires.

But then who cares, it's the fun of the build, and the flying.

Ray.
I love profile planes... mostly cos' i'm a lazy bastard!

Some clever additions and the profile quickly dis-appears. The pic attached of my F22 is prob the best example that i have of what I (and Ray) is trying to say...

Especially when its just a tiny spec in a big picture against a BIG sky
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Old Nov 24, 2015, 05:10 AM
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“There’s no place like Foam”
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Great Job 'Wave !!!
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