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Old Nov 26, 2007, 10:25 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,587 Posts
Build Log
Peter Rake 44" Albatross DIII Prototype Build

Greetings All

Peter Rake has been kind enough to ask me to do a prototype build for his new Albatross DIII design. It is very similar to the Albatross DII build that Pat Maltone is currently doing so I would suggest you check Pats work out also. His work is outstanding!!!!

The DIII differs from the DII mainly in adopting the narrow chord, shorter span lower sesquiplane wing similar to that used on the Nieuport fighters of the period. It also adopted the single V type wing strut in place of the two separate fore and aft struts used on the DII. It was an attempt to increase the maneuverabilty of the Albatross to match that of the new Allied fighters. While the design change was successful in that aspect, the sesquiplane wing suffered from structural problems as did the Nieuports. The wing could be overstressed easily resulting in loss of the leading edge, the upper surface covering or complete failure. Attempts were made to try to correct the problem but the redesigns were never completely successful up through and including the final DVa aircraft. DIII pilots learned to be careful to not overstress the airframe as the increased maneuverability was a big advantage.

Peters' design follows his usual design criteria. He specs in a 100 to 125 watt bell type outrunner and an estimated weiaght of 24 to 30 oz. I will have to dig through the motor box to see what I have. Battery at this point is looking like a 2 cell LiPo.

As mentioned above, Pat Maltone is doing a DII build. He is covering his fuselage with sections of 1/64" ply that will be stained and sealed to match the clear finishes used on many of the Albatross aircraft of the time. As Pat is covering that aspect, I will be using a sheet balsa fuselage covering and painting the fuselage. I picked up a copy of the Squadron Signal book on the DIII to learn more about the plane and to scope out possible schemes. There is a nice DIII scheme that has a black and white fuselage, light blue stab and wing undersurfaces, a green fin/rudder outlined in red and the wing and stab upper surfaces are a combo of a light mauve (purple) and a dark green. Very striking!!!!!

The parts were provided by Charlie of Manzano Laser and are his usual high quality. The wood selection is also outstanding. There are a number of laser cut balsa sheets, some lite ply and basswood sheets. These are what Pat calls the yummy bits!!!!!

Construction will start with the lower and upper wings and then move on to the fuselage.

I would appreciate any comments or suggestions along the way.


Brian Allen

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
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Last edited by Brian Allen; Dec 22, 2007 at 07:34 PM. Reason: A tad big on the wingspan!!
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Old Nov 26, 2007, 10:29 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,587 Posts
As noted above the construction will start wing the wings. I have framed out both lower wing panels and will post some pictures tomorrow.

Brian Allen

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
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Old Nov 26, 2007, 10:55 PM
a.k.a Maltone
Pat Lynch's Avatar
Australia, NSW, Goulburn
Joined Jan 2005
6,965 Posts
Welcome aboard the Rake express Brian My DII is having a short break until I've got a few other tasks under my belt so dont be surprised if you pull ahead

I'll be keen to see the differences in build and techniques used - I will learn a few things I'm sure.

Pat
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Old Nov 27, 2007, 02:07 PM
North East England
Joined Feb 2004
3,181 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Allen
I would appreciate any comments or suggestions along the way.
Please work non-stop, without food or rest until it's finished This is one of my all-time fave planes - looking forward to the finished model. (Same goes for you Pat!)

Steve
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Old Nov 28, 2007, 02:03 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,587 Posts
Greetings All

Thanks for the kind note Pat, been following your build with interest.

Steve, can't promise nonstop work, I do have to eat, sleep and go to work on the odd occasion

Have been a bit busy the last day or so and as a result I did not get a chance to post the pics from the lower wing panel construction. I have finished both lower panels, aside from some sanding, so the build is as follows.


Peter's design uses some laser cut basswood for the wing panel trailing edge and wing tip. There are 2 1/8" x 1/4" basswood spars. The spars go over the wing tip piece so the bottom edge of each spar needs to be notched 3/32" so it lies flat against the wing tip. It is also a good idea at this time to taper the top side of the spar end from the last rib to the end down to zero. Much easier to to before it is glued in place. So don't ask me how I found this out!!!

One starts by pinning the trailing edge in place and then glueing and pinning the wing tip in place. The spars are then pinned in place and glued to the tip. The ribs are then glued in place. Rib R1 is 1/8" balsa, R2 and R3 are all 1/16". It is easy to mix up R2 and R3 so check carefully, R2 is shorter in height by 1/32" and the nib that goes on the trailing edge is also shorter. I got these mixed up and had to cut the R3 I glued in the R2 location out and put the correct rib in. So be sure to check the ribs and number them accordingly. Rib R4 is 1/8: and has a pocket cut into it for the strut mount. One must glued some scrap 1/8" on each side and then sand to the upper airfoil shape to form the pocket. Again, much easier to do before the rib is glued in place than after. Don't ask.

Once all the ribs are in place the 3/16" square balsa leading edge is glued in place. The sheeting that is glued on R1/R2 is made up from a piece of 1/32" ply. I found it helps to precurve the piece by bending and rolling it over a round surface. If you don't do this it is hard to get it to stay down while glueing and it has a tendency to pull the ribs off of your building board, thus messing up the wing build.

Once the ply sheeting is in place you pop the panel off the board, sand the bottom smooth and round the leading edge. The end of the ply needs to be feathered into the trailing edge, some balsa colored filler helps here. I then rounded the wingtip and added the two small pieces of 1/8" dowel into the holes in R1. These are locating pins to allow proper alignment when the panels are glued to the fuselage.

Now lather, rinse and repeat for the other panel.

Each one took about an hour to complete while watching Dirty Jobs. An easy build with no surprises. You could probably knock each panel out in 20 minutes or so it you really paid attention to it!! Each panel weighs about 1 oz as completed.

Next step is on to the top wing and then the fuselage.

Some pictures follow.
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Old Nov 28, 2007, 10:24 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,587 Posts
Greetings All

Well I started on the upper wing tonight. It consists of two panel that are then joined at the center using some ply dihedral braces. Construction of each panel is similar to the lower panels in terms of materials, ribs etc.

The only major differences are that the upper wing has 1/16" balsa sheeting for the center section and the ribs that are used to form the strut pockets are laminated from a 1/8" balsa core with two 1/16" ribs on either side instead of the 1/8" rib with scrap to form the pocket.

Construction is similar to the lower panels. You start by pinning down the basswood trailing end and wingtip pieces. The wingtip is made from two pieces of basswood that are glued together. There are 2 1/8" x 1/4" basswood spars that are notched to clear the wingtip and then tapered as in the lower wing. They are then located on the plan and pinned in place. The aileron sub spar is made from a section of 1/8" sheet (I used a piece of leftover 1/8" sheet from the laser cut sheets to strip off the piece) and is pinned in place and glued to the traing edge and wingtip. The ribs are added one at a time.

The strut rib is made from a 1/8" center piece and is glued to two 1/16" balsa ribs on either side, ribs R6 and R7. This assembly, when completed is glued in place.

When all the ribs are glued in place the leading edge is added. This is a piece of 3/16" x 1/4" balsa.

The center section pieces CS are laminated from some laser cut pieces of 1/4" balsa to make a 1/2" thick piece. This will get glued to the rear center area after the panels are joined.

Tomorrow I will get the center section 1/16" balsa sheeting added, the panel popped off the board and sanded and the leading edge shaped and start on the other panel.
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Old Nov 30, 2007, 09:32 PM
a.k.a Maltone
Pat Lynch's Avatar
Australia, NSW, Goulburn
Joined Jan 2005
6,965 Posts
Brian - this is great - I build a prototype and can refer everyone over to your thread for the top wing Assuming my DII top wing is much the same. Not only that, I read your notes to find out how to do it!

Pat ( being lazy!)
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Old Nov 30, 2007, 10:28 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,587 Posts
Pat

I think the top wings are the same, Peter could probably answer that for sure. Built up the aileron tonight while watching some football on the tube. Hopefully will be able to get the other top wing panel done tomorrow and get the panels joined and the center sheeted.

Will post a few pics tomorrow.

All is going well so far, looks like you are doing well also.

Brian Allen

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
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Old Dec 01, 2007, 01:31 AM
a.k.a Maltone
Pat Lynch's Avatar
Australia, NSW, Goulburn
Joined Jan 2005
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Brian - thought I'd jump in before Peter I think the DII wings are quite different - only the fuse is much the same. The DII had squarer tips and the centre cut-out is a different shape. So I'd better describe the DII myself! Ah well...

Pat
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Old Dec 01, 2007, 08:45 AM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,587 Posts
Pat

You are correct re the tip and center section shape. I was thinking that the basic construction of the wings between the DII and the DIII were very similar. At least it looks that way from your shot of all the parts in the top wing when compared to the DIII wing. Looks like the tip and aileron shape are different but the construction is about the same. Figure an hour tops (if you aren't watching TV at the same time!!!) to get it together.

Brian Allen

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
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Old Dec 01, 2007, 04:42 PM
Registered User
Norfolk, England
Joined Sep 2001
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As Brian says, although the tip and c/s shapes differ, the basic structure is much the same for both DII and DIII - and most of the other models I've designed.
For those wondering why the strut rib is laminated from three ribs, rather than a single rib with scrap balsa around the strut sockets, it's because when using the scale style aileron linkage that provides a slot for the front of the horn.

Pete
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Old Dec 01, 2007, 05:50 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,587 Posts
Peter

Thanks for the comments. When assembling the right top panel today the light bulb finally went off and I realized that the laminated rib was for the scale horn setup!! Since I will be using a standard type of aileron servo in each panel setup it did not click right away.

Have finished the top panel except for the center section sheeting and sanding the leading edge. Also have to build the right aileron. Figure I spent at most 90 minutes building the top wingso far, it goes together real quick.

Some photos to come.

Brian Allen

Veni Vidi Volavi

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Old Dec 01, 2007, 10:21 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,587 Posts
Did some more work on the top wing this evening.

Aileron construction was next on the list. The leading edge is stripped from a piece of 3/16" balsa. I made it somewhat taller than needed so it could be sanded to match the top contour of the aileron ribs when completed. It was pinned in place and the basswood trailing edge and tip added. The horn block was pinned in place and all the ribs added. When completed, it was popped off the board and the leading edge sanded to match the ribs. Then the aileron leading edge and wing aileron sub spar were trimmed and sanded from the last rib down to zero at the tip. Next is to bevel the aileron leading edge and hinge.
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Old Dec 01, 2007, 10:36 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,587 Posts
Next I started the right panel of the top wing. This can be done two ways. The panel can be assembled separate of the left one and the two joined later. Or as I did it, I used the back side of one of the plan sheets so I could draw extension lines for the spars and leading edge to allow the left panel to be alighed properly with the right panel plan. I then pinned the left panel in palce and started construction on the right panel.

Only thing to be careful about are the two 1/4" x 6 3/4" long 1/16" ply dihedral braces. I added these to the left panel when it was pinned to the board. The slots in the center area ribs may require some trimming to get a good fit (as I had to do). One must be careful when doing this as it is easy to break the R1 and R2 ribs.

Once the slots for the braces in the left panel are cleaned up, the braces are glued to the left panel spars. Then the right panel is assembled just like the left one was. It is important to make sure you have nice solid glue joints between the spars and the braces. Some clothes pin clamps or similar help here.

Once the basswood trailing adge and tip pieces are in place and the basswood spars added (don't forget to notch the ends and trim to the tip!!), the ribs and the leading edge can be added. Also do not forget to laminate the strut mount rib assembly.

When all the ribs and the leading edge are added, the center section sheeting can be added. One of the 1/16" balsa laser cut sheets had a considerable amount of unused balsa on it so I cut the sheeting from there and glued it in place. When done the laminated center section block can be glued in place.

The right aileron is then constructed as the left one was and when done, the entire wing popped off the board. The aileron leading edge is then sanded to match the contour of the aileron ribs.


I then trimmed and sanded the aileron sub spar to match the contour of the ribs. The right aileron was then checked for correct contour against the sub spar and the end of the aileron leading edge and the sub spar tapered and sanded.

Next step is to shape and sand the wing leading edge and the center section block. Then it is time to sort out the aileron servo mount and add the small pieces of brass tubing used as the cabane wire mounts.

Stay tuned!!
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Old Dec 02, 2007, 10:00 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Sterling, VA
Joined Jan 2002
2,587 Posts
Well after helping my younger daughter with some of her 9th grade science project (last minute of course!!) I decided to get started on the fuselage. As Pat Maltone has clearly described in his DII build, the basic fuselage structure consists of a lower section and an upper section each framed up on horizontal keel pieces. Formers are added and longerons and stringers complete the structure. Once finished, they can be partially sheeted and the two halves joined to form the complete frame.


Construction begins by removing and labeling all the various laser cut bits and pieces and separating them into the upper and lower part piles. I decided to start on the lower fuselage section first. The horizontal keel pieces K1B and K2 are pinned in place over the plans and glued together. Then starting from the rear and working forward the formers F12B, F10B, F8B, F7B, F5B and F3B are glued in place using a small triangle to make sure they are perpendicular to the board. The two pieces FS1B are then added to each side, making sure that the lower wing dowel holes are located in the proper posistion. Formers F2B and F1B are then added, followed by the rear pieces FS2B. This took about 30 minutes or so while watching SUnday Night Football!!

At this point I decided to stop for the evening. Next step is to add some 1/8" x 3/16" balsa longerons at the corners and a couple extra formers on the bottom side. Then a few extra stringers and keel pieces plus the landing gear lite ply pieces and the basic structure is complete. That will be tomorrows work.

Some pics follow.
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