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Old Jan 26, 2012, 06:30 PM
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glewis's Avatar
USA, FL, Tampa
Joined Jul 2002
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Funbuild 5 Stinson Model A Tri-motor

After a lot of indecision, I finally decided to build a Stinson Model A Tri-motor.
IMO this is a really great example of the art deco influence on aviation designs.
This thing has a cool, almost sinister gothic/art deco look to it and will make a great hangar mate for my converted Comet SR-7.

I saw this aircraft at the Sun and Fun a number of years ago and had no idea what it was. I knew Stinson made a high wing tri-motor but was completely unfamiliar with this one.
I was looking in the window when a gentleman started talking to me. He gave me the grand tour of the aircraft. Must have been quite an experience flying any distance in that thing!

The model will be built from Paul Lindburg's plans in the traditional stick and tissue style. The plans were downloaded from the plan thread over in the Vintage and old timer forum.
Wingspan is 31". Power to be 3 htx 1811-2000 10 gram motors spinning 5" props.

The board is clear and the plans are taped together so let's get started!

Glenn
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 06:55 PM
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E-Challenged's Avatar
United States, CA, Garden Grove
Joined Oct 2000
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I have the Cleveland plans for a much larger Model A. What's not to love, it's a Stinson. Good luck with your build.
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 06:55 PM
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United States, GA, Brooks
Joined Mar 2005
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Great airplane.

I remember this one flying over my house when I was a kid. It had just been restored from an Alaskan wreck. It was great watching it going over low and slow from the local airport.

Even in the jet age (perhaps especially so) it was a magic airplane for a kid to watch.


DJM
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 07:27 PM
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glewis's Avatar
USA, FL, Tampa
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E,
Somehow I figured I would hear from you. Just mention a Stinson and you're there! I agree, I love those Stinsons too. Almost went for the high wing but it looks too much like the Ford to the casual observer.

I thought about ordering the Cleveland plans since there is a 30% off sale until the end of the month. I bet they are very detailed since it is a platinum series plan.
If I were to buy the Cleveland plan it would have to be for a bigger version.
This means buying the motors and esc's too.

Since I already have three 1811 motors and 6amp speedies figure I'll build this one and use the stuff I already have. I even have a roll of dark blue solite to cover it with.

DJM,
The aircraft flew over your house? How cool! I bet it has a very unique sound!

I've started cutting wood now.
Glenn
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 10:47 PM
It must have a machinegun
Scaledown's Avatar
Perth, Western Australia
Joined Sep 2004
1,262 Posts
Nice subject.

One thing I just noticed, the pic of the real plane shows the centre motor with a cylindrical cowling, but the plan and the model in the other pic have a tapered cowling which fits the nose contours better. I wonder what that's about. Personally I thing the cylindral shape is more "sinister".

Are you going to fit landing gear?
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 06:00 AM
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I haven't decided on the cowl yet. I agree though, the cylinderical one does look more sinister! I like the scheme with the red on the cowls and the pics I have it looks like it has the tapered cowl. Maybe I'll do a hybrid.

Yeah, it'll have landing gear. It's almost mandatory at our field due to the rocks. Nice smooth runway but don't try to belly land out in the 'grass' unless you want to repair something.

It does have some ugly 'legs' though so I might have to think of something better..... We'll see.

Got the basic side frames made up last night out of hard 1/16" balsa.
Was going to use bass but the balsa strips seemed harder.
Next is to make them into the box frame.

Glenn
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 08:57 AM
Fly, dangit!!!
Led Zepplin's Avatar
Little Rock, AR USA
Joined Jan 2007
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Glenn - Watching with interest! When you talked about a Stinson Tri-motor, I was thinking of the big, boxy, high wing too. This one is very cool, can't wait to see how it turns out! Those little motors you have are pretty powerful, it ought to have plenty of get up and go.

Good luck!

J. B.
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 09:04 AM
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danrc's Avatar
Rockford Illinois
Joined Jan 2008
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Glenn. I'm glad you decided to go with this one. It's a real looker!
I think that those chicken legs could be emulated with some sort of elastic material hooked onto small retracts. The alternative might be to fashion some sort of track, etc, which may be a bit complicated.
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 09:24 AM
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Steve85's Avatar
Canada, ON, Kingston
Joined Mar 2004
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Subscribed!

Steve
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 09:27 AM
It's a Great Day to Fly
LenBFP's Avatar
Melbourne Beach, Florida
Joined Jan 2002
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Glenn - It is a beauty. It looks to me like the outboard cowls taper but the center one doesn't. I think the landing gear is part of the package, unique but appropriate. Might be tough to duplicate though. I'll certainly be watching.

Len

- looking at the first photo, it doesn't look like any of the cowls taper.
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 10:25 AM
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I was just looking at the pics found here,
http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&s...ult_group&sa=X

There seems to be only one that shows the tapered nose cowl. That's the one I posted at the start of the thread and it appears to be a model.
The plan also shows the tapered cowl, odd.

Anyone have a 3 view or other documentation that shows the tapered cowl?
E-Challenged, you're Mr Stinson, any idea?

Think I'm going with the straight one.
I do like how the tapered one blends in with the shape of the fuse though.
Also see a lot of pics of cowlings with and without the bumps. I like the bumps better, but that's an awful lot of them to make!!!

Glenn
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 10:42 AM
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United States, CA, Garden Grove
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Looks like there were variations in cowling, some with and some without rocker box bumps. I like the bumps. There was a recent major scale contest winner Model A, the builder probably can answer cowl taper and bump questions. I'd go dig up my Cleveland plans if I knew where they are, but that wouldn't give a firm answer either. If you go for the bumps, there'll be some 27 of them. I would build a 30" version much too heavy to fly well.
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 11:11 AM
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Only 27 bumps? Isn't there 2 bumps per cylinder?
That's more like 54 bumps!

With my record of about 50% scrap when I carved the ones for the SR-7, I'll be whittling a LOT of bumps! Bumpity bump, I'll have blisters on me fingers!

Might be better to make one, then vacu-form a female. Pour plaster into the mold to make a bunch of duplicates. Glue all the bump plugs to a substrate and vacu-form a bunch at one time.

I might consider vacu-formed cowls too. Wonder if Sparky or Golden Age has a dummy engine 2" in diameter? Or if I get really ambitious I could add engine detail to a cowl plug. Looking at the pics it looks like the center cowl is the same size as the outter ones? that would make it a lot easier. Two molds, the cowl and one for the bumps.
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 11:27 AM
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Yup! 54 bumps. Here are some good pics of a restored A with non-tapered no-bump cowls. Looks like cowl bumps were gone in later models. We'll forgive you if you omit bumps but they add to the gothicness.

http://rodb.gofreeserve.com/Av09/Gol...eum/Index.html.
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 11:42 AM
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United States, CA, Garden Grove
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Here is great video of Max Merkenschlager's big IC powered Model A, no taper, no bumps. Gad, the sound of three motors and graceful flying, hard to tell from the real thing.

Stinson A1 Trimotor de Max Merckenschlager F4C WC 2010 (5 min 26 sec)



More of Max's Model A

Stinson A1 mit Weltmeister Max Merckenschlager (5 min 42 sec)
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