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Old Nov 27, 2011, 11:58 PM
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Peter Rake's Morane Saulnier Racer

The Morane Saulnier Monoplane is an example of the vintage aircraft of the decade between 1910 and 1920. It was built in various configurations including a single and two-seater and was adapted to wartime use. It was one of the aircraft to use wing warping instead of ailerons. Some versions had the fuselage completely covered while others showed the exposed wooden frame from the pilot back. Peter Rake asked for volunteers to prototype several of his recreations of our historical flying machines and I was glad to give it a try. I love the simplicity of the early designs combined with the engineering judgement and creativity of their builders. Using Peter's plans, I'll begin by using the materials I have on hand. I could have purchased laser cut parts from Manzanos and if I fail in my own attempts that is still an option. The photo shows the rough cut wing ribs and some layout on the balsa.
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 03:57 PM
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Since the wing ribs were hand traced and cut, I stack them together and sand the bundle to a uniform profile. Next I mark the spar slot and cut a pilot channel with the coping saw and then use an emery board to enlarge the slot and fit it to the wing spar. I've searched the web for pictures of this plane but haven't found much to give me a good idea of a finished color scheme and markings. I think I'd like to stay with French markings though it was marketed to Russia and other European countries. I would welcome a picture to try to emulate.
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Last edited by pafusion; Nov 28, 2011 at 04:14 PM. Reason: Add help request
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Old Nov 29, 2011, 02:47 AM
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Not being a military version, my guess would be clear doped fabric, polished aluminium and painted u/c/pylon. I know the Russians used the type G but didn't think this particular version saw anything but racing use. The one reference I have seen to it (in Jane's 1912 or 1913) say it was doing the circuits.
This model, like several of my other designs, was inspired by a Walt Mooney plan and it came as quite a relief to finally discover a reference to the prototype that was instantly recognisable as the model I'd drawn up.

Whilst there's absolutely nothing wrong with tracing rib blanks and cutting spar slots 'in block' - the traditional approach, the printed patterns could be spray mounted to the balsa/ply to create a sort of printwood kit. Just enough spray mount to hold them, but allow the paper to be peeled off after cutting.

Pete
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Old Nov 29, 2011, 08:51 AM
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Pete,

I do like the printwood kit method, but, I am a klutz when it comes to that. I use too much or the wrong adhesive, or let it stay too long, and I can never get all the paper off. Yes, it is my technique. If I did it correctly it would work great.

My solution is the plywood template. Usually out of 1/16ply. Then a sharp knife and I start cutting. I can usually get away with two templates per wing. If I need some aileron ribs I just make the full size ones first, then cut off the 'tail' of the template and cut the shorter ribs.

Here I am telling people how to avoid buying laser cut parts Oh well.

charlie
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Old Nov 29, 2011, 07:36 PM
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Have you settled on what version you're building? You mention some having an exposed rear fuselage, some being 2 seaters. Do you plan to incorperate the wing-warping? This should prove an interesting build & I'll certainly be following.
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Old Nov 30, 2011, 02:39 PM
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Since this is a proto build for Peter, I'm trying to stay as true to design as possible. As I understand the fuselage from the pilot back is open frame so unless Peter tells me otherwise, that is how I'll do it. Once it is completed and flown, I can consider changes. I like the white canvas motif or buff.
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Old Nov 30, 2011, 06:27 PM
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There is no open fuselage on this particular type. It's just a sinlge seat racer with a fully covered fuselage. Although wing warping should, in theory, be possible, at around 34" span the fuselage would be pretty restricted for space to fit fit the extra servo. The model was never intended to use it, but it's possible - in theory.

I suppose the best way to describe the type is to say it's very similar to a type G or H. But, of course, you'd need to know what they look like before that means very much. A Pfalz E1 is, to all intents, a type G built by the 'opposition'. A sort of mid-wing MS type L. Somewhere on here are threads for the E1 and the type G, but the forward decking is slightly different on this one.
My understanding is that this particular type never saw anything other than service as a racer.

Pete
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Old Nov 30, 2011, 06:33 PM
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The H, which it most closely resembles.
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Old Nov 30, 2011, 09:07 PM
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I can't get enough of this aircraft history. Don't know about you but I sometimes find myself thinking of earlier generations as intellectually backwards but 99% or more of the engineering principles I studied in school were developed many generations before I was born. We just try to come up with new ways of using them. I glued the wing frames today so I should have more pictures tomorrow. The advantage of CA over the balsa glue I grew up with is the speed of assembly but the disadvantage is I don't have as much time to think about the next assembly steps while waiting for the glue to dry. Charlie, I don't think you need worry about losing business for your kits. Any one who has built these the old way can appreciate how much more convenient the laser cut parts are. I'm only about half done with the framing and I'm sure I've spent at least 4 hours just cutting parts. Not an efficient use of time. One advantage to the old method of cutting parts is that I can close fit the parts to the stock sheet and not have as much waste. I don't need to allow for the kerf.
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Last edited by pafusion; Nov 30, 2011 at 09:34 PM. Reason: add material
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Old Dec 01, 2011, 05:19 PM
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Love it! I'm a sucker for those wirey type. Peter, I built your 50" Ponnier, and it was a fun build and a great flyer. Details not exactly to scale, but with the very limited numbers of photographs to work from kinda gave me the liberty of being able to say 'Well, prove that it didn't look exactly like this." Anyhow, enough from me. Pafusion, she's looking nice; keep up the good work.
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Old Dec 01, 2011, 07:32 PM
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Nice looking Ponnier. No wing warping I take it - I think I can see fixed rear cables at the top pylon? To be honest, I couldn't see any difference between flying with rudder and using the warping. Turns were much the same in either case.
Are those Top-Flite wheels?

Pete
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Old Dec 01, 2011, 09:44 PM
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Yes sir, 2 cables are fixed at the pylon & 1 that runs thru for landing wires. You are correct : the wheels are top-flite, and they're a bit on the heavy side but I'll make the trade in a few extra ounces for the decent look. I did buy the spoke wheel kit that gets built on a jig...unfortunately this isn't one of my specialties and the end result was disasterous. All up a fun little plane.
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Old Dec 03, 2011, 12:16 PM
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Progress photos of wings and control surfaces. Notice the uneven light under some of the wing ribs in the pinned photo. This showed that I didn't have some of the spar grooves cut deep enough. After adjustment and adhesive the results are shown in the next photo. I often leave the ends untrimmed until after gluing so I can get the curve more even. The block of foam insulation works well as the substrate for gluing parts. Sometimes the thin CA penetrates the wax paper and glues to the foam but it can usually be separated without too much trouble.
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Old Dec 04, 2011, 04:29 PM
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Is that a small dowel between the elevators? She's a lookin' good
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Old Dec 04, 2011, 06:13 PM
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Looking good! I usually place the wings bottom-to-bottom and sand them as a unit to get the wing tip curves to match. A really nice build so far...
Paul
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