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Old Mar 04, 2009, 10:03 PM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Just a quick mock-up with the progress of the P-47 Thunderbolt. I didn't put the tail section on but it is ready.

Say Cheese

Mike
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Old Mar 08, 2009, 03:04 PM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Canopy Framing

I decided it might look nice to have a weathered effect on the canopy and parts of the p-47. I used foil tape that I bought at Harbor Freight. I was looking for the thinnest foil possible, but they only had 1 type. There are no markings as to how many millimeters thick it is but I am estimating it is about 5 ml. It is very very very hard to work with. It wrinkles easy and is hard to apply without having flaws. I think that a thinner mil would make it easier.
Here is my first attempt.

Once the canopy framing is painted, I will flake away some paint to reveal the framing underneath........

Mike
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Old Mar 08, 2009, 05:51 PM
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United States, MI, Roseville
Joined Dec 2000
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Looks great Mike . Will look fantastic with the canopy open on a flyby.
Mark
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Old Mar 13, 2009, 09:37 AM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Wing Sheeting Part 2

So the wing completion has been done over several posts spread out over a 3 week period. The reason for this is that Mark & I get together 1 day a week to work on the P-47. So, to use our time wisely, we may have to be multi-tasking. Glue takes a while to dry, so why not work on something else.... and there ya go......

So, just to bring those lurkers up to speed, Wing Cores Cut - Post 99 & 100 and [http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...ount=120]Balsa Sheets Made - Post 120[/URL] bring us to gluing the balsa sheets onto the foam.

The foam wing cores were in 4 sections. Rignt inner & outer section were glued together. The left inner & outer section were glued together. Now, I sanded both the right wing section and the left wing section using a 10" flat sanding plank. Using a hatch pattern and keeping the sanding plank horizontal to me, I sanded from lower right to upper left like this \ and then after a few times, I went the other direction across like this / until the foam was completely smooth and had a dull finish. After that I sanded the glue joints on the balsa sheets so they were perfectly smooth.

Mark cut out the drawing of the wing section and we used that as a template. Laying it over the balsa plank, Mark cut two bottom wing pieces (see pics below).

Now it's time to glue! We used Dave Brown Southern's Sorghum contact cement and brushed the lower pieces so they were completely covered. We did the same thing for the bottom of both wing cores. The stuff goes on looking like yellow carpenters glue, but when ready to bond, it looks clear.

While the glue dried, Mark got the upper wing beds out and secured them to the building counter top using pins and tape. These beds will help protect and secure the foam cores while the sheeting dries. So, we lay the wing core in the bed and simply align the wood sheet to the leading edge of the foam. As soon as this wood comes in contact with the foam, it sticks! This contact cement is very very sticky. You must make sure your alignment is correct....... you will only get one chance.

Making sure the bottom sheeting has come in contact with all of the foam and is laying flat, we took the bottom foam wing beds, laid them on top of the sheeted wings and put some weight on top of them to hold them in place over night.

Mike
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Old Mar 13, 2009, 05:42 PM
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Sydney, Australia
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Looking very good - can't wait to see this one complete. Well done guys!
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Old Mar 13, 2009, 07:37 PM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Hi Gree, I looked over your blog. I love your choice of planes....... Your Top-Flite P-47 is coming together very nicely. I appreciate the time you have spent detailing your build! I will be excited to see yours when it is all together. Thanks for stopping by

Mike
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 02:47 PM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Building is fun, but flying is more fun. Mark wanted to give me an idea how my P-47 will fly once it is done. We went out to the field and tossed his P-51 Mustang. It has a similar wing aerodynamic and it's behavior should be real close to the P-47 Thunderbolt.

Mark threw it, made sure it was trimmed and then handed over the controls to me. "Wow, this is smooth........ nice........ nice........... Oh yea, this is sweet" It flew straight and very smooth. I had my cell phone and tried to capture some video to share..... I know it is a crappy quality video but it is the best of what I had at the time. Just play it in this window.... keep the viewer small.

Mark Rittinger P-51 (1 min 49 sec)


The Mustang has over 150 flights over the past 7 years since he build it. My hope is that I can get that many flights out of the P-47

Mike
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 07:50 PM
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Sydney, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tr6world
Hi Gree, I looked over your blog. I love your choice of planes....... Your Top-Flite P-47 is coming together very nicely. I appreciate the time you have spent detailing your build! I will be excited to see yours when it is all together. Thanks for stopping by

Mike

Thanks Mike. Funny, my favourite planes are all german WWII ones, but I don't seem to own many! Wish my '47 was going as smoothly as this one of yours! Anyway I'll be here lurking away keen to see the next step!
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 11:17 AM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Wing Sheeting Completed

Finished up the wing sheeting. I included a pic of the finished sheeted (right) foam wing. Next will be to cut the the wing tips, ailerons and then install the control rods. Once all of that is done, the wings will be joined . I was surprised how strong this wing is. No flex or fear of breaking this during flight. Amazing..... I am sold on this wing building concept.

Mike
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 12:05 PM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Ailerons & wing details

Many models have the aileron servos or control rods exposed on the outside of the wings. This design will conceal all of this. One servo will be used and move the control rods embedded in each wing. This will allow for a nice clean look. My carl goldberg piper cub uses the same concept and it has been reliable and trouble-free.

Entire trailing edge of the wing is removed
First is the ailerons. These are measured using the drawings Mark made. Using a fresh xacto blade, the aileron was cut and set aside.

Blocking off the aileron and wing
Next is the rest of the trailing edge. After that is cut off and set aside, we cut off another 1/8" from the aileron from the aileron. We did cut the aileron 1/16" deeper on our original cut anticipating we would be doing this. We are adding a 1/16th balsa sheet back onto the exposed foam of the aileron and wing to block it off. Once sanded, it will look like the wing is a solid balsa wing
The Control Rod For The Ailerons
This plane will have a solid 3/32" music wire control rod inserted into the aileron. It will be sandwiched between the inner trailing edge piece we just cut off and the wing. (see pics) The music wire is slid inside of an aluminum tube which will allow the wire to move without binding on the wood & foam. We cut a grove in the exposed foam along both the wing and trailing edge for the tube & rod to rest, glued it in place and glued the trailing edge back on to the wing. (see pics)
The Wing Tips
Using a block of light 1 X 3 X 12 balsa, Mark cut the block in half, laid the pieced on top of one another and then placed the template for the wingtip on top of them held on with pins. He then used a disc sander to shape the outer dimensions of the tips. We glued the tips in place and will shape them once they are dried. (see pics)
Leading Edge
A 1/8 strip of balsa was glued along the front leading edge of the wing. Once dried, it will be sanded to a nice rounded profile.
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Last edited by tr6world; Mar 21, 2009 at 10:23 PM.
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Old Apr 01, 2009, 09:31 AM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Wing Sanding

Been really busy and have not posted in a while. This project is really moving along. The wings are now sanded and finished ready to join. This is a really strong wing! The foam core and balsa sheeting make this a solid surface that weighs hardly anything. Well, maybe not anythings, but it is very light. Now that all of the pieces are cut and the surfaces are blocked off where the foam was exposed we can begin to sand. After taking off the tape that was holding wingtip, leading edge and other balsa pieces in place while they dry, the wing looked really chunky. See my first couple of pics..... and you will see what I mean.

Sanding is pretty straight forward. Using 220 grit and my sanding block tool, I sanded down all of the aileron area and the leading edge. The leading edge was kept to a nice rounded nose, no sharp edges. this will help the plane behave nicely when using up or down elevator.

To me, the wingtip was the intimidating part of this process. I really didn't want to screw it up. Mark suggested that I sand along the length of the wing over the tip. I want to make sure that I follow the natural curve of the wing as I sand and the tip will match nicely with the wing. Once the top and the bottom of the tip have been sanded to match the curve of the wing, I can then start to shape the tips to a nice narrow edge. I did this by drawing a line around the center of the outer edge of the tip. From front to back and then began to sand down the balsa to meet that edge.

I started out with a very coarse sandpaper to knock down the balsa to closer resemble the shape of the wing. Maybe 80 grit, then moved to 220.

Now that both wings are finished, it is time to join them together!
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Old Apr 01, 2009, 09:46 AM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Wing Joining

The P-47 Thunderbolt has a 6 degree dihedral. We determined that in order to have about a 5-6 degree angle, each tip should be elevated off of a flat surface 2". Sanding was done using both a sanding disc turned by hand ( no power) and a sanding block. Slowly, we took off some material then measured, took off more, then measured and finally took off a tiny bit more and ..... perfect. We did this for both wings and tested our measurements.

Looks good. So, we taped the bottom of the wing to create a hinge. flipping the wing over, we can now mixed the 5 minute epoxy, apply it to the inner wing and then fold the wings together. the tape adds a piano type hinge so that when we lay the wing down on its bottom and elevate the tips, it is being held together by the tape. We laid a brick on top of the wing while it was drying. This kept pressure on the joint while it cured.

Once it was dry, we then took some fiber cloth and epoxied that to the center joint for added strength. This wing joint is strong.
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Old Apr 01, 2009, 09:54 AM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Getting close

This project is getting close to completion. Meeting 1 night a week to work on this has been a lot of fun. Mark promised that this would be a crash course in Model building...... and he was right. The wing is ready for covering.... the fuselage is ready to be covered in Fiberglas. The tail surfaces are ready to be covered. Here is a quick mock-up of where we are at.
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Old Apr 01, 2009, 10:56 AM
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It is coming together nicely. Great job of building and explaining. I look forward to seeing the finished product and the maiden flight.

Tony
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Old Apr 07, 2009, 03:42 PM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Wing Fitting & The Fuselage

Once the wing is covered and the fuselage is finished in Fiberglas, the wing will be permanently fixed to the fuselage. Before we do that, we need to make sure the wing saddle and the wing fit perfectly. The better the fit, the more fuselage & wing material will be able to be bonded together. If the saddle was wavy, less surface would be adhered to the wing making it weaker. We want to have a perfect match for optimum adhesion.
Mark showed me a trick to accomplish this. With the wing placed in the saddle of the fuselage, take a piece of sandpaper, lay it face up from the wing, lift the fuselage up slightly to allow the paper to slide under the saddle and then put the fuselage back down on the sandpaper & wing. Now, pull the sandpaper from under the saddle. As you do this, it will be sanding the high spots of the saddle so they will become the exact shape as the wing. See pictures for more details.
We were able to get a perfect fit with no gaps between our wing and fuselage using this technique..... Pretty cool
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