HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Reply
Thread Tools
Old May 05, 2013, 04:48 AM
Sky Captain Of Yesteryear
Joined Nov 2008
97 Posts
Build Log
- Albatros D.Va - 38'' Scratch build Final Stages

Well, its been a year but i am finally trying to wrap up this Albatros project i started. Being my first true scratch build i probably could have picked a simpler plane to start on an impulse but after my DVII was finished i couldn't help but see about half a dozen other WWI planes i needed to find plans for.

I did the best I could so far, but im at the point where i could use some help. Mainly with the covering, but as with most of my projects it seems like every little thing wants to fight me. (spinner, undercarriage, struts, etc...) I decided to finish it in a varnished fuse, lozenge wing and tail scheme similar to a display model i found on The Flying Mule flown by Freidrich Ritter Von Roth of Jasta 23b. I like the overall color scheme but am going to make it my own.

- I need to choose the covering for the wings and was thinking that since the lozenge would be painted going with Litespan from A2Z Corp would be the way to go. I've never used it before but it seems easy enough, and might work better around the curves than iron on film.
I haven't ordered it yet because im concerned about the toughness of it compared to something like Parklite. Obviously puncture resistance wont be as good but between the balsa loc, paint, and clear coat im hoping it will be good enough for what always seem to be a few sketchy first flights.

The other option im considering is painting over an iron on like Parklite. This would be lighter and tougher i think,but the covering sagging could be a problem. The iron on covering i used on my DVII doesn't sag at all, either in the sun at the field or in storage and is really great stuff - too bad i don't have any left and cant remember what it was called.

Painting over the plastic covering wouldn't be a problem, I found this all purpose acrylic at the local Micheal's that comes in all the colors i need. Its basically an acrylic enamel that sticks to pretty much anything, even glass. I did a test on a scuffed piece of monocote and it only ever scratched off when i used something harder than my fingernails and doesn't flake off even when i crumpled it.

- The fuselage on the other hand, will be sheeted in 1/16 balsa and stained after pre-stain conditioner is applied. I know how bad balsa can stain sometime so if it doesn't look good i'll just paint it.
I was also thinking about removing a few stringers to keep the sheeting from flat spotting. I don't think it would really effect the strength of it.

These are just a few of the problems keeping me from completing this project. Sorry if this was a little long, Any help and insight that I can get will be greatly appreciated.
Max Powers is offline Find More Posts by Max Powers
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old May 05, 2013, 06:11 AM
Registered User
Joined Oct 2012
217 Posts
Lovely looking plane, Max. If you can scratch-build an Albatros, with all it's curves then there's not much you won't be able to build!

I can't speak for the other coverings, but I've used Litespan for many years on my WW1 and vintage models and it's worked well. It's surprisingly strong and puncture-proof in normal use and doesn't shrink aggressively. Unlike plastic films, it has a woven 'grain' running through it so make sure you use it in the correct way - ie grain running spanwise for wings.

One side is matt and the other has a slightly shiny finish; apply it either way you like, but most use it matt-side out. Litespan takes paint beautifully - I use either matt enamel or acrylics and I always hand-paint roundels, insignia, etc.

If you cover the sheeted fuselage of your Albatros with it, it adds great strength and makes a good base for painting - I've painted woodstain thinly over cream Litespan before to simulate wood panels and it looked good.

Have a look at some of the WW1 builds in this forum and you'll see Litespan is used a lot.

Regards
Harry
Harry Rule is offline Find More Posts by Harry Rule
Last edited by Harry Rule; May 05, 2013 at 06:21 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old May 06, 2013, 04:49 PM
Sky Captain Of Yesteryear
Joined Nov 2008
97 Posts
Thanks Harry

I think I'll give it a go and order some litespan soon. My main concern at this point is weight, as I seem to have ignored it for a good length of time during the build.

The air frame without covering, paint, sheeting, finished undercarriage, and all the little details comes in at 13.6 oz, while the power setup and electronics adds another 13.5 oz, totaling around 1.7 lbs. That's a bit heavier than my finished DVII of the same size, which has an AUW of just under 1.5 lbs and has about the same wing area.
Max Powers is offline Find More Posts by Max Powers
Last edited by Max Powers; May 06, 2013 at 05:07 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old May 06, 2013, 11:48 PM
Kansas is windy.
pburress's Avatar
Wichita, KS
Joined Jun 2003
1,528 Posts
Nice airplane. You can do some little things about the weight before you cover. For example do you really need shear webbing the full span of both wings? Start making little tweaks and shaving weight.
pburress is online now Find More Posts by pburress
Reply With Quote
Old May 08, 2013, 06:15 AM
Registered User
bmutlugil's Avatar
Turkey
Joined May 2002
2,172 Posts
Looking good, are you working from your own plans?

Bulent
bmutlugil is offline Find More Posts by bmutlugil
Reply With Quote
Old May 08, 2013, 08:36 PM
Sky Captain Of Yesteryear
Joined Nov 2008
97 Posts
"Nice airplane. You can do some little things about the weight before you cover. For example do you really need shear webbing the full span of both wings? Start making little tweaks and shaving weight."

Guess I did get a bit carried away with the shear webbing. I only added it because I wasn't going to install wire rigging and was concerned about how much twist the wings had. Also because this plane has V shaped interplane struts rather than the more solid N struts.
The struts on the D.Va did have a metal brace coming off the front of the IP struts and attaching to the leading edge of the wing to help control lower wing flutter. I was going to add this to keep two connection points on both the top and bottom wings, but decided to leave it off for weights sake. It would be easy enough to add later if i wanted to.
This came about when i decided to omit most detailing from the from the build. The plane isn't going to have anything that isn't immediately noticeable. The biggest thing is the fake engine, and that's just carved balsa. It will also get balsa wheels and maybe a pilot carved from pink foam.
Also thinking about permanently mounting the rudder to remove the servo and pushrod. I was originally going to use a pull-pull setup but the tail lacks the room for it.


"Looking good, are you working from your own plans?

Bulent
"

Thank you. I'm working off a high resolution very detailed 3-view of the real plane. After I enlarged the parts and printed them out full size, I used the measurements to hand draw my own set of plans to work off. Believe it or not I actually had to do this twice.
Max Powers is offline Find More Posts by Max Powers
Reply With Quote
Old May 08, 2013, 09:27 PM
Sky Captain Of Yesteryear
Joined Nov 2008
97 Posts
Another setback.
I snapped the wire trying to correct the slant in the undercarriage today. Even though I took my time and made sure the two sides of the gear legs and the mounting holes are identical to each other they just don't line up. I should have drilled the holes in the fuse the 1/8'' higher instead of trying to rebend them.
I'm out of 3/32'' musicwire so I'll have to order some more. I also snapped off the tip of my good soldering iron while doing the initial assembly, leaving me with a cheap radio shack iron that couldn't melt room temperature butter.

I'm gonna end up placing an order with Balsa USA to stock up on materials again. There is also a 32'' Dr.1 plan I drew up that needs some wood and musicwire.


The spinner is taking shape now. It is going to be vac-formed plastic with a wood reinforcing ring that will be screwed to a backplate.

Ran into a problem with this as well. The 1/8'' light ply backplate I cut out is balanced but it seems to be too flexible. At anything above half throttle it starts warping and vibrates way too much. I'm thinking that having the completed spinner screwed to it would strengthen it a bit and stop the warping.

I might try losing the ply altogether and going with a 1/8'' backplate made out of laminated 1/16'' basswood.
Max Powers is offline Find More Posts by Max Powers
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sold Albatros D.Va 25e ARF by E-flite mnahmia Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 3 Apr 28, 2013 12:26 PM
Sold Parkzone Albatros D.Va / Eflite UMX Gee Bee (AS3X) dhaizli Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 5 Apr 27, 2013 10:20 PM
Discussion Parkzone Albatros D.Va mguido6 Electric Warbirds 27 Apr 18, 2013 09:07 PM