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Posted by J Cowles | Jun 05, 2017 @ 08:22 PM | 4,014 Views
Nieuport 28 Sunset Flight (1 min 7 sec)
Dumas Nieuport 28 Landing Gear Modification

After building and flying the Dumas Nieuport 28, I was a bit concerned about its ground handling. I fly the plane from a baseball diamond. Standing on second base I have a two runway intersection and four clear departures and approaches. This aircraft doesn’t need much room to take off or land in but I like to hold it on the ground with a little down elevator for a more scale looking take off. By just easing the elevator back to neutral it lifts off beautifully and floats nicely in ground effect as the air speed increases and climbs away. The problem is, this infield isn’t Fenway Park, and though it is well kept for a small school ball field, it’s far from smooth. I was noticing how jarring it seemed on an airframe weighing 11.75 ounces and built from a pile of sticks, and I was thinking it might not hold up to the terrain too long.
I have modified a lot of the kit to be as close to the original design plans as I could already. Torque rod ailerons, pull pull rudder and elevator. I was intrigued with the design and the genius of its simplicity. Though I had looked briefly into the landing gear design, but it didn’t hit me until I saw how my plane was handling on the ground. Again, the genius of its simplicity struck me, and how simple it would be to duplicate it on to the existing landing gear.

1) I cut another .062 wire the same length as the original axle
2) Then I...Continue Reading
Posted by J Cowles | May 14, 2017 @ 06:20 PM | 3,984 Views
#35 The finished plane weighed in at just over 11.5 ounces, and with the battery velcro-ed to the back of the firewall and the receiver velcro-ed to it, the center of gravity was just about perfect.

#36 Conclusion: This is an excellent kit of a beautifully designed aircraft. The plans are very well done and the laser cut parts all fit perfectly. I haven’t built an RC aircraft in 32 years and this is the first laser cut kit I have ever built. It was a thoroughly enjoyable build. I also haven’t flown an RC plane in 32 years and, when I eased this beauty off the ground on it’s first flight, I felt like I hadn’t missed a light wind sunrise flight in all that time. Like riding a bike, I guess. The wind was a steady 6 knots and the plane was very stable and predictable. No real trim adjustment was needed and it made beautiful controlled turns. It cruised nicely at less than half power, and would settle into a nice descent on final just easing off the throttle. Its roll out is only a couple of feet in the grass and I couldn’t keep the tail down when it came to a stop. Always ended tail in the air but, as I have said, it’s been a long time since I have flown RC.

Added better flight video:
USN NIEUPORT 28 TEST FILGHT 1920 (2 min 2 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by J Cowles | May 14, 2017 @ 06:13 PM | 3,761 Views
#31 At this point, the cabina mount and landing gear fairings have been shaped and mounted and the rigging wires are installed. It is important to note that I made twisted wire turnbuckles mounted to the wings, fuselage, rudder and elevator. There are 22 of them in all. This allowed for wing alignment adjustment with the rigging. Quite a bit of tension can be applied to where you want it this way.

#32 The prop is painted and mounted, and the wheels are made and mounted as described in the plans.

#33 Wheels are done and mounted as described in the plans.

#34 The entire plane is sprayed with clear acrylic satin to take the shine off the microlite. Done!
Posted by J Cowles | May 14, 2017 @ 06:03 PM | 3,655 Views
#23 I laid out and framed the top wing.

#24 With the top wing framed and the cabina wires bent and fitted, the top wing is test fit.

#25 I then covered the top wing. The next time I do this, I will leave the top of the upper wing uncovered until after it is mounted. It would be a lot easier to cover the wing mounted on the plane, and easier to adjust the wing with the guide wires, before it was covered.

#26 I shaped and fitted the interplane struts and tested the fit of the top wing.

#27 I trimmed the cockpit opening using wire insulation that I slit and heated with a heat gun to make it pliable, and fit around the cockpit opening. I made a head rest by cutting an 1/8” piece of balsa sheet using a 30 carbine case mouth as a cookie cutter.

#28 I taped off and painted the cowl using silver and flat black enamel. I made the battery compartment by coating file folder with microlite and screwed it on, instead of using the cover provided in the kit.

#29 I added the markings, which were stickers from the Dumas Curtis Helldiver kit. As I mentioned before, it would have been easier to have left the top of the upper wing uncovered to this point.

#30 The canopy was made using file folder. The templet provided in the plans was different from the windshield shape of the USN version of the plane in 1920. I made up a new templet and painted the inside flat black, covered the windshield opening with doculam,, and painted the cockpit trim and headrest brown. The...Continue Reading
Posted by J Cowles | May 14, 2017 @ 05:49 PM | 3,865 Views
#14 I cut off the ailerons next by sawing each rib between the torque rod and the blocks that seal off the wing. They simply remove by sliding the torque rods off the end of the wing tip. 1/16” blocks are then added between the ribs on the ailerons above and below the torque rods. You can see the single hinge at the end of the ailerons.

#15 I then covered the ailerons, using silver microlight. The kit comes with colored tissue as covering, but I used silver microlight for the whole airplane.

#16 I then bent and assembled the landing gear wire according to the plans, and tested the cowl for fit.

#17 I covered, taped, and painted the rudder with flat enamel.

#18 I then covered the elevator and tested the rudder and elevator for fit.

#19 It was now time to cover and mount the bottom wing. I then mounted the elevator and rudder, and installed the servo tree.

#20 I then hooked up the control wires and adjusted the control surface throws. I used Kevlar thread for the control wires. This is when the servos failed, one at a time. Better here than in the air. I got a lot of practice in the technique of unhooking the control wires and removing the tree, but it worked.

#21 I finished framing the fuselage with all the 1/16” x 1/16” formers. I cut and fit file folder to make the cockpit opening with the template provided in the plan. I thought the vacuformed head rest fairing provided in the kit was a little big, so I decided I would frame in my own and...Continue Reading
Posted by J Cowles | May 14, 2017 @ 05:30 PM | 3,851 Views
#9 The lower wing is framed and dihedral jigs are in place.

#10 The bell crank assembly is installed, but not glued, into the end of the torque rod.

#11 The wing is now test mounted onto the fuselage. The interesting detail in this shot is that it shows the tail block I made using the two pieces of 1/8” x 1/2” balsa instead of the solid balsa block at the tail of the fuselage.

#12 The lower wing, elevator and rudder are tested for fit.

#13 Next I designed the servo mount. I wanted it to be on a single column that could be removed with all of the servos attached, out through the cockpit opening, in case I needed to replace one. As it turned out, this was a good thing because two of the five servos I bought never made it out of the test phase and wound up in the trash can. This photo shows the aileron servo connected to the torque rods, mounted to the lower forward part of the tree. The rudder is behind it at the same level, and the elevator is above it and will operate pretty much the same as the control stick in the original plane.
Posted by J Cowles | May 14, 2017 @ 05:19 PM | 4,712 Views
Dumas Nieuport 28 Build Log

This is, in my opinion, an extremely nice kit to build. I am sure all who have built these Pat Tritle designed kits would agree, but bear in mind, this is the first RC kit I have built since the mid 1980’s and the first Dumas kit I have ever built.
Dumas offers a link on their web site to a very nice build log by Pat Tritle, but the best place to access it is on his site, “Pat’s Custom Models” because, along with other build logs, there is a “build tips” section that is excellent.
My intention in this log, though the instructions are clear and easy to follow, is to show how I assembled this kit in 33 steps, and the order I constructed them in, in an effort to help someone who may be interested in building, what I believe to be, a beautifully designed and historic aircraft. This kit provides graphics for Rickenbacker’s plane. I chose to build the USN version, flown by Lieutenant Alfred Pride, that became the first US Navy aircraft to be launched from a USN ship, the USS Oklahoma in 1920.

#2 The first step I chose was to put the cowl together. Make sure not to use CA glue on these parts. I didn’t read about that until later on, but was able to reinforce it with epoxy.

#3 The fire wall and motor mount were done next. Because the kit is built around a geared motor that apparently no one uses any more, I came up with this motor mount design to fit the Suppo 2208/17 1100kv I chose to use.
I laminated 3 pieces of 1/8” x 1/2” balsa...Continue Reading