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Old Jul 09, 2013, 11:20 PM
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United States, KY, Taylorsville
Joined Mar 2010
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Bonzo!

This ain't Ronald Reagan's monkey! Steve Wittman, the greatest race plane pilot of all time, built Bonzo for the high powered class of races like the Thompson Trophy Races of the '30's. He never won the 'big one' with it but came mighty close a few times. Bonzo was the first aircraft donated to the EAA museum which is located on the airfield named in Mr. Wittman's honor, Wittman Field.

I started this model quite a few years ago and decided to finish it. I'm waiting for perimeter tapes for my Goldberg J-2 so decided to put Bonzo back on the board. It is 1/4 scale which puts the wingspan at 54". The J-2 will get painted after tapes put in place. I finished the tail feathers' construction and just need to cover them. I'm going to pull molds off sections of the current home made cowl to try and lighten things a bit by laying up thinner parts. The molds will come in handy for future iterations. Yes, I plan on building better versions because I think this airplane is so cool! The flaps and ailerons are torque tubes within torque tubes. There are detachable square drives on the ends of torque tubes so the wings can plug-in. A lock ring/ spacer keeps the square drives from interfering with each other. The wings are wire braced. I'm thinking of using ~80 four stroke sized engine. I have to come up with that funky 'holed' spinner or build the all red spinner-less version.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 06:34 AM
GEE,...it BEE model time
piperjoe's Avatar
Interlochen, MI
Joined Dec 2009
1,536 Posts
Great subject! Looks like a mini rocket with wings. Best to you in your finishing this Bonzo model.

Soft landings,

Joe
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 10:11 AM
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United States, AZ, Litchfield Park
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 11:19 AM
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What drawings, if any, are you using? I have Bob Sonnelietner's effort which was made while Steve was restoring the original for display at Oshkosh. Quite good, at 1/12 scale. Very detailed and lot's of dimensions and sections. IMHO very accurate. Happened upon them about an hour ago, while of course, looking for something else!

Bob also did an equally outstanding effort of the EAA's set of unique P-51 skis(!!??). These were made Don Luscombe of Monocoupe and Model 8F fame.

I got mine directly from Bob, but maybe the EAA museum has copies available?

Anyway, GREAT project. I too !!
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Old Jul 12, 2013, 09:05 PM
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United States, KY, Taylorsville
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Piperjoe- most of Wittman's cohort s kidded around saying Wittman's airplanes look like the box from which they came! Thanks for checking in here, fellas. I have a few builds going right now but will get them all finished soon enough.
Packardpursuit- what would it take for me to get a copy of your drawings? Unfortunately for me, an EAA member, the EAA isn't very helpful when it comes to things like this. Offering nice donations did not improve chances of getting info for airplanes on display in the past. I built a 'Jackrabbit' and Brown B-1 and could have used a little more documentation. Oh well.

I'll get pics of covered tail feathers tomorrow. I started finishing the cowl in preparation for pulling molds from it, too!
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Old Jul 12, 2013, 11:58 PM
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It'l cost you PLENTY, pal!. Cost of reproduction and postage. Is that "too much"?

Send me your snail mail in a PM and I'll get back to you.

Wow, somehow missed your earlier scale drawing statement!!??
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Old Jul 13, 2013, 06:37 AM
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United States, KY, Taylorsville
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Done! I won't forget 'gas and aggravation' money, either! I am going to try and get a machine shop to make the spinner for both the 'Bonzo' and 'Chief Oshkosh'.
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Old Jul 13, 2013, 07:46 AM
Hamburger Eatin' Fool
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Traverse City, Michigan
Joined Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARUP View Post
Done! I won't forget 'gas and aggravation' money, either! I am going to try and get a machine shop to make the spinner for both the 'Bonzo' and 'Chief Oshkosh'.
You always seem to come up with the "neat stuff." As usual, your choice of a subject to model is excellent !
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Old Jul 13, 2013, 10:39 AM
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United States, KY, Taylorsville
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Thanks for lookin' in, Mr.TC! I like the odd ball airplanes but sometimes they don't fly so good.
Tail feathers covered and started painting the cowl so I can 'slick it up' real good for mold purposes. I think I'll paint this Bonzo like the 1939 version that is all red, no spinner, black registration numbers and white '4' racing numbers on wings and fuse. Gonna start getting the cockpit enclosure built this afternoon after a nice long bicycle ride.
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Old Jul 13, 2013, 04:51 PM
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ARUP,
Nice Bonzo.
What kind of British sports car goes on those wheels?
Chris...
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Old Jul 13, 2013, 09:44 PM
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United States, KY, Taylorsville
Joined Mar 2010
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Hi Chris, Thanks for looking at Bonzo. I have a '58 MGA. I bought this one in 1991 and had a '59 for about 6 years. I'm slowly bringing the '58 back to life. The front and rear axles including brakes and steering are totally refurbished... you can eat off of them but I'd rather drive off them! I even changed the final drive ratio for better Hwy cruising. I tend to keep a lot of projects going which keeps me out of bars! I'll just drink my oatmeal stout at home!
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 07:29 PM
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United States, MD, Elkton
Joined Oct 2011
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I understand your multiple projects.
I want to take a moment to applaud Packard pursuit for being the helpful guy he is...He was instrumental in getting me 3 views of the Monocoupe,and his word is his bond....That's rather rare these days.Thank you.
Mean while- continue...

I like that unique aileron/ flap engagement system too.
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Old Jul 17, 2013, 11:01 PM
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United States, NC, Roanoke Rapids
Joined May 2008
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Looks great!

Bob Underwood built one back in the 70's....appeared to fly quite well. Now I dating myself! http://www.flickr.com/photos/ojc/776...n/photostream/
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Old Jul 18, 2013, 12:03 PM
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United States, KY, Taylorsville
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Thanks Jeff... and this is your second post so I'm very honored! Looks like those photos are from a Mint Julep which is a scale qualifier held in KY. If so, that one was at the Rough River State Park field(?).
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