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Old Jan 27, 2013, 08:35 AM
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Plans-finding, and using them.

Once in a while, the subject of plans comes up......where to get them, how to cut parts, and how accurate are they ?

I'm building a Monocoupe elsewhere, and since I'm an experienced "scale " builder, I can offer some insight.

In my experiences, I try to use several sets of plans, 3 views, and factory drawings, if any or all of them can be found.

I compare all against each other, and form an opinion of which ones to go with.

One thing that comes up, is the fellow who gets a "1/4 scale" plan, measures it against the full scale numbers, and declares it 'scrap' if there's a deviation from the actual numbers.....

Scale means different things to different people.....You can build a working model from those plans,and be totally happy with it, even if it measures 1/2 " under or oversize.
All those parts on that plan will fit each other....

In my comparisons,I'll have all the plans available 'sized' to each other..I just had my first experience with "tiling" with the computer. Someone sent me plans that needed printing , and I learned how to do that.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 08:46 AM
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My intention was to make all the plans the same size,and lay them directly over each other...This can be done at any convenient size, since we're just doing the comparison.
Severe deviations from scale will become evident.

This is a disclaimer so as not to offend anyone.....

In this example, the W.E.Technical plans have severe wing tip and stabilizer tip shape issues.....If a specific full sized model had these shapes, that information should have been included, that the plans represented a particular model.
Comparing the Executive Designs plans and the Ikon Northwest plans, showed they are nearly 'dead on' with factory 3 views.

Once more- you can build a perfectly good flying model from any of these plans-you only need to choose how scale you want it to be...
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Last edited by epoxyearl; Jan 27, 2013 at 09:22 AM. Reason: add pics
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:00 AM
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Folks oftentimes bemoan the prices of some plansets. Stick with reputable designers and you won't be dissatisfied. One of my all time favorites was Vern Clements. If you wanted a GeeBee R-1 or a Rearwin Skyranger, Chester Goon, Hall Bulldog and a host of many others you could pay upwards of 75 bucks and that was 10 years ago. What a bargain if you've ever had the pleasure! He lets you know how he arrived at his 'numbers' and the parts are drawn with reference lines, cradles and etc. so you know they are aligned and fit. He consulted with the designers of the full scale item in many instances. Colors, various details and changes of items per full scale are noted, also. I haven't built any models from his plans, yet. I felt I haven't been good enough to do them justice but I think I'm close, now!
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:13 AM
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Ahhhh- experience !
30 years ago, I built this model with a gas engine,and flew it 100 miles an hour.

Now, I'm qualified to build it ,and do it justice, with a glow engine 1/3 rd the size.

I don't want to limit this to scale-we're going to discuss BUILDING from plans,and knowing how to be sure they're good for what we want.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 12:17 PM
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I've been n the "scale game" for as long as I've been modeling. I started at age 5 in 1955. By 1960, my work bench was next to dad's Waco INF out in the garage. So I've always appreciated an affinity between my modeling and real aircraft. As a part of that afinity (including scale ) developed a keen interest in drawing plans. I started at about 9 years old but had a major break thru when my older brother brought home a drafting board and T-sqaure from high school. When I was a freshman, I was way ahead of the others, 'cause drafting class WAS for me to make better model plans! By that time too, I'd already started collecting published scale drawings.

One has to be carefull when considering a body of work by one or more noted draftsmen. Vern Clements has done some truly great stuff. He's also offered some that was less than stellar. For example, EVERY model plan that I've done, as an adult, in some way has been inspired by his plan of the Culver Cadet (1/12 scale FF). For me it imbodied everything a plan should be.Complete, yet consice. However,his scale drawing of the Hall Bulldog doesn't seem to me to stand up to close scrutiny when compared to available photos. Now, I've been personally involved with two full scale building projects that started as Vern Clements drawings, a GEE BEE R-1 and a Bulldog. The R-1 is in a museum(cool, but not our original intent- we do have aircraft in several museums around the world that were!), the Bulldog remains unfinished at this time. But that ddn't mean our research and conclusions were wrong. Just that they differed from what Mr.Clements thought was correct.

At this time I would like to point out that full scale builders of rare and classic/historical aircraft often find themselves in the SAME dilemma as the scale model builder. Namely a lack of reliable data, or worse, a flood of questionable data. I would have to agree with Earl's thought about using original data being superior to a mere 3-view, but it has become very apparant in many instances where the original data is not what was actually built. So original dimensioned data, along with period photos is, in my opinion, "best".

Guys like Westberg, Karstens, Bentley, Clements (again be causious!) certainly raised the bar. But even guys that have been generally discredited , need not be ruled out. Wylam, Nye, Nieto, etc., need to be reconsidered on a subject by subject basis. For example I don;t care for Wylam's treatment of either the Great Lakes trainer nor Beech 17 Staggerwing.Both offer glaring errors of the fuselage profile. Both are misunderstandings of major structural elements in both dimention and angles. Yet other subjects such as the Boeing 100/P-12 are rather less error ridden, and comprise the only drawings I know of certain early variants.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 12:48 PM
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I can't make drawings available, because of the glaring errors I make in measuring the full scale subject.I can meticulously measure from root to tip on the Monocoupe, ,and when I total the rib spacing, to the total length, be off by 1/2" !
Try building an aileron from MY drawings !

However,I don't do precision scale,so close enough is....well, close enough.

I do measure radii, when scaling flying surface tip shapes, and record, so the model can be scaled from it.

We build too nicely,our models, compared to the full scale subjects.I made a cardboard pattern of one of the J-3 Cub wing tips in our area. It's not the same shape on the opposite wing ! Checking two others resulted in the same thing.....six tips-all moderately different shapes- that's when "Good enough became-you know.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 01:24 PM
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I just did an article (FM, Jan 1013) regarding building sport scale models using only 3-views. "Close enough" kept turning up as the theme. There's a place for museum scale, and there's a place for "close enough" - build to the level you desire!

Andy
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 01:49 PM
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Rag wing Piper tips are notorious for being different. It 's usually because the fabric pulls them out of shape as it tightens (dope, heat etc) and the wood often breaks at a support. Another reason is when rebuilt, the interior braces are usually broken at either fitting end. Instead of replacing the the thin chanel as per new, the expedient thing is to bend one end(possibly both) to make new 1" mounting flange. Thus the braces get progressively shorter and no longer hold in same manner as when factory new. Finally, the tip rib that forms the aileron space tends to corrode badly at the TE, where the wood bow attaches. Quick and dirty practice is to simply shorten the rib until good aluminum allows for attachment. I usually grafted a small rib extension bent from sheet aluminum, to get mount back where it belongs There is also the fact that no two repairs, even if made by the same mechanic, seem to be exactly the same. I recently had factory NOS Ash tip bows that were given to me because typical aftermarket bows are slightly larger/stronger. I used those on a friend's Tripacer and they came out pretty good,IMHO. We will have to see how they look in 10 more years!

I measured this Ryan M-1 (M-1 #I) when we were working on it. One wing is shorter than the other by 1" . This is as it came from the factory after it's previous rebuild( 1927) . We had the spars as preserved in cow dung from the pasture where it crashed and sat for MANY years near San Louis Obisbo, CA. Pencil lines and notes by Ryan employees still quite discernable! All the original fittings re-used. http://www.museumofflight.org/aircraft/ryan-m-1

Another of "our" (Dawn Patrol Aviation) efforts. http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/fac...t.asp?fsID=370
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 02:07 PM
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Andy is quite right. One should build to what ever level of accuracy is desired. And we often hear a quite a few state that one effort or another is "scale enough for me" But do you suppose anyone ever purposely, from the point of inception, actually desired a crappy non accurate representation when they were dreaming of thier ultimate scale modeling goal? As each of us determines where we want to put our "good enough standard/threshold " we might also realize there is a vast difference between "striving for" and "settling for".
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 03:43 PM
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Not me !

Oh good lord ! And all these years I fretted about the small things,afraid the "Expert" would point out my glaring errors.!

Ease up on yourselves guys.-Build as well as you want or are capable of..

I promise to see the "good" in your efforts......at least if you paint the inside of the model grey.

I built the first Coupe in 11 days,ready to fly,forced together, and monocoted,I Quadra 35 powered, very little of the cowl left. That was the early 80's...This is me now,happy to work until the parts fit, knowing I'll enjoy it for years, if the Gods smile on me.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 05:48 PM
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I've found with tiled plans that the end quality is affected by the printer. I printed out a couple of sets of tiled plans on my el cheapo home printer and I had a tough time lining things up. After getting tired of that, I finally took the .pdf files up to Office Depot and had them printed out on their professional laser printers. Made all the difference!

As for me... I'll probably only build to "stand way off and squint" scale, but I'll be happy with that!
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 07:41 PM
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Vern Clements was a Free Flight Flier so you know his plans, even the sport designs, will pretty much fly without surprises. Those things separate the 'good' from the 'bad' and 'ugly'! Bob Holman even advertises whether a certain plan has been built and flown so that is a good thing to know.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:25 PM
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BIg iron 357 brought up a point of discussion that we'll address further, in upcoming sessions, "tiling".....

While talking of 'scale fidelity' and 'tiling' in the same sentence is futile, if you are building to your own level of quality, tiling is an acceptable substitute.......If a model is built from those plans, all the parts will fit.

Shapes may be off and scale lengths may suffer, but a flying model will result..

Even the high dollar digital copiers can fudge a wing length, due to a slipping roller drive belt on the printer......nothing is infallible..my center section was 1/4" shorter on the right, because of that...Measuring,and a simple cut and slide of the plans, by that amount rectified the problem...
Trust nothing !....verify it !
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epoxyearl View Post
BIg iron 357 brought up a point of discussion that we'll address further, in upcoming sessions, "tiling".....

While talking of 'scale fidelity' and 'tiling' in the same sentence is futile, if you are building to your own level of quality, tiling is an acceptable substitute.......If a model is built from those plans, all the parts will fit.

Shapes may be off and scale lengths may suffer, but a flying model will result..

Even the high dollar digital copiers can fudge a wing length, due to a slipping roller drive belt on the printer......nothing is infallible..my center section was 1/4" shorter on the right, because of that...Measuring,and a simple cut and slide of the plans, by that amount rectified the problem...
Trust nothing !....verify it !
All true... but there is one point that I'd like to add. Not all RC aircraft are scale models of full sized planes. So, there is no scale fidelity to worry about for those planes. My current Dick's Dream build is but one example. There are plenty of others out there as well. RC pattern planes, trainers, sport planes... all can be built from modestly accurate plans without concern over "scale" fidelity.

But as you say, copiers and printers can indeed effect plan accuracy which may effect flyability or construction during a build. Even cutting out the tiled plans and taping them together correctly can lead to errors.

As I'm typing this, my wife is forming the leading edge rib gaps and we made sure to carefully measure each wing half before cutting. And yes, we did find about a 1/16" difference between left and right wing halves and corrected that before the saw was put to work.

So, even though scale fidelity isn't always an issue, plan accuracy might indeed be problematic if the plans aren't fully up to snuff.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 05:28 AM
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A happy medium

The previous post by BigIron357 is well thought out, and more along the lines of what we want to say.

I'm a scale builder, but we want to discuss ALL plans....even the ones with kits...

Here comes the "sticky wicket"....."My diecut parts don't match the plans".-When you lay a wing rib over the plan drawing, they aren't a match.Or- my precut spars are off by a little, compared to the drawings.

The paper, plans are printed on ,can expand and contract, with humidity.Hah-you can build a 'bigger' model in the summer,because the plans are expanded from humidity.
If you could build the model without the plans, all the parts would probably fit, and you'd be able to build a very flyable airplane. But we DO use the plans, and there will be variations.Most times, the difference isn't significant-(1/16") and won't cause any harm.
We need to develop a 'tolerance' for these differences...My tolerance is the "close enough" theory....Let's face it honestly....most of us don't actually check the length of our wing panels from the center to the tip.And in my humble opinion,for they way most of us fly, a 1/4" difference in a 60" wing will not be noticeable in flight.
Pattern flyers and 3-d'ers are exempt.- they can 'feel' the slightest variation in performance.
The Park Flyers and performance flyers must be accurate-the smaller airplanes cannot tolerate 1/4" difference in wing length.

Build to your level, and try to get it right-make YOUR "close-enough"....close.
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