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Old Sep 18, 2013, 03:53 PM
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Spirit of St. Louis plan build

I have recently received plans for the Spirit of St. Louis (Flying Models plan 494A). This model has a 93 inch wingspan, a 14 inch chord and uses a .40 -.71 for power (per plan article). Designed by Don McGovern and Tony Lombardo and published in Flying Models magazine January 1979.

This is a model that has been on my mind ever since reading the original article in Flying Models so the build will be something I'm sure to enjoy. There will be no marathon build here and, using a dedicated build table in my shop, I'll make an effort to accomplish something on the build each day. Lots of parts to cut out, items to purchase and wood dust to create. I'll be adding detail to enhance the realism of the model although the model will be not be a contest plane.

Right now, it's time to locate reference material and form a materials list. Then I'll start making up a "kit" of hand cut parts. Photos will be taken of the various steps along the way and posted. Feel free to post photos of your Spirit of St. Louis builds...the thread will have an open and welcome format.

Are you interested in this build? If anyone has built this particular model and has helpful comments as to construction, materials or flying characteristics please post your thoughts. I'm particularly interested in comments, from someone who has built this model, as to how the model handles in the air with the tail sized as per the plan. Is the tail group effective as sized on the plan or should the tail group be enlarged 10% -15% for better flying purposes?

Soft landings,

Joe
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Old Sep 18, 2013, 06:56 PM
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I'm in! I have an enlarged Flyline Models plan version framed up and waiting to be finished. I used scale sized surfaces but can't comment otherwise since it isn't finished.
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Old Sep 18, 2013, 07:20 PM
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Hi Arup. Until coming across these FM plans I'd given a lot of thought to that Flyline Models plan as it is real nice. Glad to have you on board and feel free to post photos of your project as I'm sure it's a beauty.

Soft landings,

Joe
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Old Sep 19, 2013, 08:45 AM
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Old Sep 19, 2013, 10:26 AM
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Hi Tom, thanks for the Brougham photos; that should be a nice looking model at the flying field. As for the SSL (Spirit of St. Louis) landing gear...have not given it a whole lot of thought at this time. Actually, I'm clearing (finishing) a couple of models to get them on the storage rack right now for next Spring. Most likely though, I'll follow the plan design and add a few details along the way. Will study the plan some more and go over whatever reference material I find while making up a "kit" for constuction and I'm sure some changes will occur as the model is built. Whatever the case, I plan to enjoy the journey on this build and do the best I can as I've waited a long time to construct this favorite of mine.

Soft landings,

Joe
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Old Sep 19, 2013, 10:30 AM
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,m,
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Old Sep 19, 2013, 02:12 PM
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Thanks, Tom. I would be interested in checking that out later.

Soft landings,

Joe
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Old Sep 19, 2013, 03:05 PM
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Here are a few photos I just took of the instruction copy included with the plan. These are photos of B&W photos from a printed copy of the original Flying Models January 1979 issue and are presented here to give an idea of the design and size. Note also in the photo showing the SSL taking off...the type indicates the tail surfaces have been enlarged for model purposes so this is good. Tom, I took a quick peek at the landing gear and it looks like a couple of pivit points and a spring (simplified description for now) and the landing gear will articulate...will see what I can design.

Soft landings,

Joe
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Old Sep 19, 2013, 03:13 PM
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A lot of wing ribs in that wing!

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Old Sep 19, 2013, 03:17 PM
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aaron, I think I just counted 51 wing ribs but I'm not sure...I passed out when I reached that number...LOL

Soft landings,

Joe
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Old Sep 19, 2013, 03:49 PM
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I///
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Old Sep 19, 2013, 05:37 PM
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I love building wings! Someday I hope to build a Ziroli Beechcraft D17; it uses 200 ribs!!!!!
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Old Sep 19, 2013, 06:32 PM
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You'll be da MAN, aaron!!

Went back and recounted ribs and each panel has 25 ribs and there is one center rib...or is it 25 center ribs each and one panel rib...each...anyway it's something like that.

Tom, thanks for the offer but I'll only be cutting out the plywood rib patterns as required. Then I'll stack the rib blanks and carve/sand the balsa ribs to match the patterns. A method I've used for years with nice results.

Soft landings,

Joe
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Old Sep 19, 2013, 07:23 PM
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Here's my 049 powered CL 'Spirit' I built some years ago and gave to my nephew in Houston, TX. He hung it up as a display model even though it was built to fly. You can even see 'Lucky Lindy' in the cockpit as he is attached to the elevator pushrod. I love the movie and watch it frequently!
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Old Sep 19, 2013, 07:51 PM
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You did a real nice job on the Spirit, ARUP. Who knows what dreams and ambitions your nephew will have as a result of seeing that model? I should watch the movie again as it's been a long time since I have seen it. One thing is certain when I look at the Spirit of St. Louis, it sure took a LOT of courage to sit on that flying gasoline can all the way across the Atlantic Ocean and not even be able to see out the front....and Lindy was no little guy so sitting in that cockpit for the duration required must have been grueling at times.

Soft landings,

Joe
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