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Old May 16, 2012, 06:29 AM
RFJ
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"BritKit" Build Off 2012 - Veron Phoenix

With the Frog build off done and dusted it's time to tackle some models for the "BritKit" bash. A few evenings perusal of some old Aeromodellers and the choice was made. First off will be a Veron Phoenix followed by an R/C conversion of the Mercury Crusader control line stunt model.

These won't be Billy Whizz building jobs as I don't usually do much building during what we laughingly call our Summer - flying and other outdoor activities take priority when possible.

The Phoenix kit plan was obtained from Derick at Model Plans as, for some reason, it's not on Colin Smith's Veron list. Phoenix was a rather elegant 60" span open class glider with a flying weight of 16ozs. I intend to put a small electric motor in the nose and use rudder and elevator control. No enlargement will be needed and if I can build it to around 24ozs I will be happy.

Ray
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Old May 16, 2012, 07:30 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
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OK Ray, duly noted, I'll be watching with interest.
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Old May 16, 2012, 08:17 AM
Sic itur ad Astra
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subscribed and ready for Ray (s.k.a. Billy Whizz) to commence his usual rapid fire entertainment! bring it on.
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Old May 16, 2012, 08:55 AM
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I had one of these when I was a kid, I'll be watching this one with interest.....I was hoping to be first to finish a model but now you're getting started I may have to settle for second!
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Old May 17, 2012, 05:55 AM
RFJ
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Quote:
I had one of these when I was a kid
I didn't and a look at a contemporary Roland Scott ad (at that time my mail order supplier) showed why. The Phoenix kit was 35/- whereas the KK Caprice was 15/9. I got a Caprice. Had to be careful with the pocket money back then and 35 bob was a fortune.

Back to business. One slight problem is that the kit plan does not have a full size fuselage drawing because these parts were provided spindle molded from solid balsa - hence the high kit price I guess.

Fortunately in the top left corner of the plan there is a small side view drawing of the fuselage which I was able to scale up full size so only had to make a guess at the width and cross sections. Actual structure will not owe much to the original as I have my own preferred ways of doing things.

With that done I can now make a kit of all the major parts and gather together the hardware needed before actually starting to build.

Ray
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Old May 17, 2012, 06:43 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
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The Caprice was probably a better bet from a flying point of view anyway Ray - as a F/F model, though I'm sure the Phoenix will make a very nice electric job. I had four Caprices when the kit was first launched and managed to lose three of them - at 5 ounces or so the D/T didn't have much effect if they were in a brick lifter! Twenty-five years later when the Avro Lancaster club decided to run some evening club F/F glider comps (we had the use of Woodford airfield) I built two more in a week and, in the evening air, they blew all the A/2s away easily. Great little aeroplane.
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Old May 21, 2012, 08:19 AM
RFJ
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Yes George, I remember my Caprice as a very good flyer but I quickly moved on to a Contest Kits Inchworm which I liked even more

With a kit of all the major parts cut, it's time to get out the glue and start building. For interest, a shot of the glues I use for 90% of my building. Over the years I've tried many different types of epoxy, pva and cyano. Everyone has their favourite brands but these are the one's I trust.

As usual I start with the tailplane for that 1/3 finished feeling when it's done. All the sheet parts are from 1/32", full depth spar from hard 1/8" and leading and trailing edges 3/16" square. The original did not have any leading edge sheeting but glider tailplanes tend to get knocked about on landing so I thought it prudent to beef it up a little. It is attached to the fuselage with a 4mm nylon screw. The rib section is shaped after assembly and the tapered elevator razor planed and sanded from light 3/16" quarter grain sheet.

You may notice a difference in the tips between the covered and uncovered shots. I decided I didn't like the look of the conventional rounded tips so cut them of and replaced them with the triangular type as used on many later Veron designs - much nicer.

The prototype's yellow and white colour scheme is described in the instructions and this is what I will use. Finished weight of the tailplane as shown is 1.8 ozs.

Wing will be next.

Ray
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Old May 25, 2012, 05:12 AM
RFJ
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The wing is shown on the plan as two panels with tongue and box attachment but, at only 60" span, one piece will be stronger and lighter. Leading edge sheeting on the original was on the top surface only which I always think is structurally a bit pointless so I will use a full D-box for better torsional rigidity. Wing section is 10% flat bottomed - I don't like undercamber.

Once again a kit of major parts is prepared. Ribs and sheeting are 1/16" plus a 1/8" hard, tapering full depth spar with a lower spruce cap. There are two 1/16" ply dihedral braces, one glued to the front of the spar out to the third rib and one on the rear of the spar out to the first rib. Tips, as on the tailplane, are made using the Veron triangular technique. Slight wash out (1/8") was used on each tip. All straight forward conventional stuff resulting in a light, rigid structure.

The wing fairing is roughly formed from very light 1/2" sheet sides and top but cannot be accurately shaped until the fuselage is built. Ah yes, the fuselage.....now the fun really starts
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Old May 25, 2012, 06:13 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
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Billy Whizz is alive, well and living in NI!
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Old May 29, 2012, 05:58 AM
RFJ
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As mentioned in the opening post there is no full size drawing of the fuselage just a small side view. No problem - this was scaled up to full size and a guess made as to the width and cross section. I did extend the nose length slightly to aid balance which is shown as 50% MAC on the original.

This is basically a pod and boom fuselage and I suppose I could have used rolled balsa or even a carbon tube for the boom part but I chose to just make a 1" square box with 1/8" top,. bottom and sides and 3/16" square hard strip at each corner. This will be shaped to the required circular cross section after joining to the pod. The rather small fin and rudder are from 1/8" sheet with rudder half the total area.

Pod has 1/8" sides and bottom and 1/2" triangular bottom corners with the removable canopy hatch from 1/2" sheet sides and top with 1/2" triangular corners. It will be held on with the usual front tongue and rear magnet. The top of the boom will be added after installing the wire in tube pushrods. These attach to the servos using tiny Multiplex screw in connectors and with Z-bends at the control surface horns. Servos are a pair of Hitec HS-55s which only just fit in under the rather low set wing.

Having built a couple of Keith Humber designed slope soarers in the past this building method is one I have used before. It does involve a lot of carving, sanding and filling but it's very satisfying when the finished shape finally emerges.

Ray
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Last edited by RFJ; Jun 05, 2012 at 08:32 AM.
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Old May 29, 2012, 02:51 PM
Sticks, Tissue & old Diesels
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Looking very nice Ray
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Old May 29, 2012, 03:04 PM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
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Thoughtful interpretation of the kit techniques to produce an authentic looking result as always Ray. The fuselage looks very similar to the later "Big Eagle" R/C soarer, hardly surprising I suppose given that they are both the work of Phil Smith.
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Old May 29, 2012, 03:27 PM
RFJ
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Thanks guys - work continues. Up to my ankles in balsa shavings and covered in dust.

For those who may not be familiar with the model George mentioned, here are some rather fuzzy shots from the 1968 Radio Modeller review. That's Dave Hughes, the magazine's co-editor, launching the model. I should have looked at these construction shots before I build my fuselage . They would have been helpful but I had forgotten all about the Big Eagle. What were we saying about memory as you get older................

Ray
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Last edited by RFJ; May 31, 2012 at 03:07 PM.
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Old May 29, 2012, 04:31 PM
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The Big Eagle looks pretty contemporary for a 68 design, except for the tongue and box wing attachment.
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Old May 30, 2012, 05:14 AM
RFJ
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All the rough cut, built up blocks are tack glued in place. An hour or so whittlin' away with a knife,razor plane, sandpaper and filler and the shape emerges. I don't know how close this is to the original but it looks about right and at least the pod blends smoothly into the now circular boom. The Big Eagle seems to have had a more abrupt transition between pod and boom than the Phoenix. Not good from a stress concentration point of view.

Next I will fit the finished shaped wing center section block in place and then cover the wing.

Ray
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