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Old Jun 09, 2004, 10:35 AM
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It's not another Sopwith Triplane - Austin Triplane build thread

What! Not another triplane, The Austin..

Hi all.


Once again the urge to build something unique has crossed my path. I made a request a few weeks back about 3 views for an Austin Triplane. Now I know very little about this WWI fighter, except from conjecture that it's a possible prototype that never made it to the front. It's physically bulkier than the Sopwith Tripehound and I'm assuming the performance on whatever rotary engine was not outstanding. It also has two MG which informs me that it's a somewhat later model than the Sop Tripe, probably a contender for the job the Sopwith Camel got.

I drew up these plans from the 3 view picture posted in my request, they're no where near complete in detail, but I'm getting started early to see if it goes together OK. The thing is, triplanes make friends where ever they're flown. It's the novelty I guess and the fact that my Sopwith flies soooo slow. It has panache. (It also has a bunch of rigging wires and six vortexees..)

It also looks a heck of alot easier to build than the Armstrong Whitworth FK 10 quadraplane.

The Austin will be similar to my old Sopwith, scale rib positions, stick built, low weight, although my arbitrary choice of size makes it closer to 1/12 than my usual 1/14, so it's going to be sp 400 powered, I'm hoping for about 13 to 14 oz. AUW, it'll be just R/E, but I will include the ailerons as cut outs in all three wings.

I've also got this B/W image of the prototype, that's going to be my main guide for rigging and coloring, (Well, it's British.. What other colour could it be but PC10 with some aluminum bits and some tricolor circles and a tail flash.?.)

The JPG of the plan is rough, I'll try to find more images, but the only one so far is from Rosebud's extensive WWI photo website.

Cheers

Looee
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Old Jun 09, 2004, 03:11 PM
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Here's the image of the real thing from Rosebud's. I have to wonder, concerning the amount of set time to get this photo, if the guy holding up the tail had to stand there for a bit.
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Old Jun 09, 2004, 04:44 PM
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Loo,

That looks great!

I have to agree that a triplane will make friends wherever it goes - it just seems to attract favourable comment.

So then, is the start of the "official" build thread?

FWIW I'd guess that the apparent light weight of the tail (as demonstrated by the bloke in the pic) will give some clue as to it's ground handling characteristics.

tim
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Old Jun 09, 2004, 10:11 PM
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Yes Tim, this is officially the start. I'll get some pictures here soon. I've already got the sides made, gotta cut out the fuse formers and then we make 94 ribs.
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Old Jun 10, 2004, 09:05 AM
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Looooeeee,

Great looking subject. Looking forward to your build. Especially as to how you are going to get a sp400 down to 13-14 onces.

On a side note, the other day I happened across a show on the Wings channel on SPAD. They had a very interesting early war design for a mid engine bipe. It was a two seater with a gunner pod in front of the tractor style engine. I wonder if anyone would be brave enough to tackle that odd-ball.

Jim
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Old Jun 10, 2004, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMA
Looooeeee,

Great looking subject. Looking forward to your build. Especially as to how you are going to get a sp400 down to 13-14 onces.

On a side note, the other day I happened across a show on the Wings channel on SPAD. They had a very interesting early war design for a mid engine bipe. It was a two seater with a gunner pod in front of the tractor style engine. I wonder if anyone would be brave enough to tackle that odd-ball.

Jim
You know MA from several years back had an article about this SPAD mid engine fighter. The neat thing about the prototype was that the engine was a rotary and the engine and its mount were part of the structure between the gunners pod and the main fuselage. Can't say I'd envy the man in the gunner's seat in any kind of nose over or accident. The model in MA was powered by, (get this..!) an un throttled, GEARED, Cox Medallion .09 glow engine. The builder had the forthought to make an elaborate cooling system with a little fan on the front and some balsa ducting to keep the cylinder in the breeze. I'm hoping he also added extra castor to the fuel. Apparently the model flew.

As for weight, am I a bit optimistic? I've not built much in the way of actual sp 400 can motor powered models, my wing span is going to be about 34" with just under 400 sqare in. of wing.. I might be better served by a deeply geared sp 300 drive, eh?

Looee
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Old Jun 10, 2004, 10:18 AM
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For that size, my Bristol Scout with 32" ws is way over powered with a GWS 300c C gearing and 7 cell 1000 nimh. AUW is 15-16 onces. At your size, I would definitly go to a GWS 300.

Jim
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Old Jun 10, 2004, 03:06 PM
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But then again, you may need the weight of the sp400 to get the plane to balance. My Sopwith Strutter may need some weight added to the nose to get it to balance as a result of using a GWS 350. Now that I think about it, you could go either way.

Jim
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Old Jun 10, 2004, 03:11 PM
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If you need nose weight be sure and stay away from the MPJet gearboxes. They are really nice, but, have a really long nose and puts the motor further back. Use the Maxx gearbox with multiple pinions (2,2.5,& 3:1). Puts the motor right up there. Also gives a degree of flexibility in selection of props when you wring it out. The Dare likes a 2.5 or 3:1 with a 9 or 10 in prop.
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Old Jun 10, 2004, 03:49 PM
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Instead of the Maxx, I like to use the Great Planes gearbox. The Maxx has brass bushings instead of bearings but the Great Planes gearbox has ball bearings. Only drawback is that the Great Planes comes in only 3:1. It worked great turning a 10x7 APC prop in my Sperry Monoplane. I started with a Maxx gearbox and quickly wore out the bushings. They are essentially the same as far as dimensions and mounting.

Jim
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Old Jun 11, 2004, 08:29 AM
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I'm using rather stiff, (and slightly heavy) Midwest balsa as the stripwood, 1/8"x1/8" square, for most of the framing, spars and leading edge of the wings. I've got an old Graupner 2.3:1 box with a 6v. motor, it's not the cheap one, but it is heavy. My concern is I want to run a 10X4.7 prop, and I'm certain this is too much prop for this gear, even at 7 cells.

Looee
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Old Jun 11, 2004, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Looooeeee!
I've got an old Graupner 2.3:1 box with a 6v. motor, it's not the cheap one, but it is heavy. My concern is I want to run a 10X4.7 prop, and I'm certain this is too much prop for this gear, even at 7 cells.
Looee,

With that same set-up, I have good results with both the MA 9x5 wood, and APC 9.5x4 props. Both draw around 10 amps.

As an aside, the awful old Mini-Olympus g/box will keep the weight of the motor well forward (and you could always put the cells within the cowl....).

tim
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Old Jun 11, 2004, 10:16 PM
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Loooo, the secret to success in any WW-I design is to keep the back half light!!! The nose to tail ratio is usually arount 5:1, so a little at the back takes ALOT at the front to counter.
PAT
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Old Jun 15, 2004, 03:35 PM
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OK,

Here's the start of the actual build piccies. Got the sides joined and the front formers are glued and sanded to rough shape of the front cowling. This should be like all my other builds, in that it's pretty similar in construction. I'm using some split C/F rod for the longerons,(again..)

I do have to retrack something about the scale size of this model, the cowl looked to be larger in the print preview than it came out in print, sooo, the WS on this model is actually closer to 28", a little more wing area and structure than my Sopwith Tripe, but scaled pretty close to my normal 1/14" scaling. So this ship would be fine for a smaller power system like the GWS EPS sp 280 "A" drive. I do have a rescaled copy of the plans that is 34". I just chose to print the wrong one.

Looee
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Old Jun 15, 2004, 09:21 PM
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You have to admit, What the?!'s piccies are sharper and better lit than mine.

No problem mate, I was going to give you a PM but Tim is a considerate moderator.
I'd say you can post here as long as you give us fair announcement that images are from your Dare build. Now we gotta get Pat Tritle to do an Austin tripe.


Looee
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