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May 13, 2009, 10:54 AM
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Build Log

Peter Rake Sperry Messenger Prototype Build


It all starts with an e-mail attachment.

I went down to the printshop and had copies of the plans printed and then by the LHS for some wood, wire and CF tubing.

The balsa butchery starts this evening.

sp
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May 13, 2009, 11:07 AM
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The Sperry Messenger was designed in 1920 by the US Army as a, get this, messenger plane. The idea was to use them to facilitate communications between Army ground units. A quantum leap over the motorcycles or runners performing the same function at the time.

The Verville Sperry company got the contract and built 42 of them. They were designed to take off and land on dirt roads and unimproved fields. Lawrence Sperry attracted attention by buzzing the Capital building and landing nearby. Like to see that pulled off today :-)

Messengers were also used in experiments on the feadability of parasite fighters on rigid airships. A trapeze arrangement was mounted over the top wing. This paved the way for the graceful Curtiss Gosshawks.

Lawrence Sperry was demonstrating the machine in the UK when he went down over the channel. Apparently he drowned while trying to swim ashore.
May 13, 2009, 01:54 PM
Or current resident
glewis's Avatar
Cool. That engine should be fun to build. This one will look good with a carved vintage1 prop too .
Glenn
May 13, 2009, 02:26 PM
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This one will look good with a carved vintage1 prop too .

Yeah, right up till I land 6" short on the cement "fantail" there at Osceola.

OTOH, I'll (ab)use all you'll carve for me. :-)
May 13, 2009, 02:53 PM
Design > Build > Fly
Qrome's Avatar
OH, I like the looks of this plane. Looking forward to the build.
May 13, 2009, 03:19 PM
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These days I'm into doing anything I can on the cheap. I decided to hand cut the parts in order to use up wood on hand, speed up the process and save a few bucks, (nothing personal Charlie, just too broke to afford the luxury of laser cut parts)

Hand cutting parts is not such a hassle as it sounds. I glue the patterns to the sheet balsa with a glue stick. Cutting through the paper seems to cancel out the tendency of the wood grain to fight the direction of the blade. It is very easy to cut a smooth, accurate part. Not nearly as good as Glenn's hand parts, almost as good as laser cut parts, but way better than the average die cut part.

The paper pattern usually peels right off, but where it doesn't a light sanding cleans it right up.

sp
May 13, 2009, 03:29 PM
Or current resident
glewis's Avatar
I've had a prop in my flight box to give to you for a while now. We just never seem to have a good weather day to meet at the field. It's a V1 9x7 Sopwith. Carved, sanded and stained, all you will have to add is the wbpu finish. It could be reshaped easily for the Messinger.
Hand cut parts, I trace the patterns onto the balsa with a soft .5mm pencil. No glue residue to deal with doing it that way.
Glenn
May 13, 2009, 04:04 PM
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Glenn:
You could cut the parts freehand and they could use the scraps to calibrate a laser cutter.

(If you haven't seen Glenn's work up close, you might think I'm exagerating a little, I'm not)

I appreciate the prop, I'll have to make a little frame for it so I can mount it on the wall :-) I have a kit for a set of wire wheels that has been waiting for a trip to Osceola for weeks. I hope the weather is good Sunday.

sp
May 13, 2009, 06:30 PM
Übung macht den Meister..
Deuce's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sperry
The Sperry Messenger was designed in 1920 by the US Army as a, get this, messenger plane. The idea was to use them to facilitate communications between Army ground units. A quantum leap over the motorcycles or runners performing the same function at the time.

The Verville Sperry company got the contract and built 42 of them. They were designed to take off and land on dirt roads and unimproved fields. Lawrence Sperry attracted attention by buzzing the Capital building and landing nearby. Like to see that pulled off today :-)

Messengers were also used in experiments on the feadability of parasite fighters on rigid airships. A trapeze arrangement was mounted over the top wing. This paved the way for the graceful Curtiss Gosshawks.

Lawrence Sperry was demonstrating the machine in the UK when he went down over the channel. Apparently he drowned while trying to swim ashore.
Here's the vid!

http://www.bbcmotiongallery.com/Cust...f-b12e38f63d1e

James
May 13, 2009, 06:33 PM
OCD: Old, Cranky and Disgusted
challenger_i's Avatar
A Rakian Sperry Messenger? Bloody cool! I'm in!

What size is she? Power requirements?
May 13, 2009, 06:53 PM
Registered User
Oh b****r. I've just realised I missed the diagonal struts off the drawing. I blame it on being in a hurry because the guy who does my dwg to pdf conversions was going on holiday. Still, they'll only be streamlined hardwood, glued in place.

Pete
May 13, 2009, 07:22 PM
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Pete
I was wondering about those struts. I think i can handle it :-)

James
That is a cool video. He ran that sucker right up the front steps.
sp
May 14, 2009, 02:38 AM
Registered User
Two chain lines and a note took care of that oversight in fairly short order.

Model scale is 1/8, resulting in a 30" model for 'bell' motor power and four function control. This is a pretty little plane, with minimal detail, so I can quite easily see it getting enlarged to 1/6 (40") and possibly even 1/4 (60"). Should it happen, I'll be looking for volunteers for those too. However, it won't be just yet, I'm deeply into drawing up Gerry's Martinsyde at the moment.

Pete
May 14, 2009, 07:48 AM
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bmutlugil's Avatar
Wow,

It is nice to see progress, I hope you will have a nice and enjoyable build.. I hope I can finish my current model soon and start on a Sperry. When the time comes, I may be interested in a larger size one.

Scratch building from a pdf file suits me fine, I never built from laser cut - or otherwise cut - kits

Bulent
May 14, 2009, 10:22 AM
Übung macht den Meister..
Deuce's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PETERRAKE
Two chain lines and a note took care of that oversight in fairly short order.

Model scale is 1/8, resulting in a 30" model for 'bell' motor power and four function control. This is a pretty little plane, with minimal detail, so I can quite easily see it getting enlarged to 1/6 (40") and possibly even 1/4 (60"). Should it happen, I'll be looking for volunteers for those too. However, it won't be just yet, I'm deeply into drawing up Gerry's Martinsyde at the moment.

Pete
Ikon N'West has kitted the Messenger 1/4 scale, but I heard somewhere they are no longer in business. All the links on the site seem to work fine, though...

While Ikon's kit is intended for IC-power, a design expressly for E-power could be built into a wonderful little floater! Even at 5' span, it could still be darn near a park flyer!

James


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