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May 23, 2009, 12:44 PM
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SKY KING's Avatar
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Peter Rake 1/5 Andreasson BA-4b

It starts! The BA-4b is a plucky little homebuilt bipe designed by Björn Andreasson. It featured fairly modern construction techniques when launched after the the pre-war version (BA-4) in 1966. Stealing some data from the internet reveals these stats:

General characteristics

Crew: one pilot
Length: 4.67 m (15 ft 4 in)
Wingspan: 5.64 m (18 ft 6 in)
Empty weight: 295 kg (650 lb)
Gross weight: 460 kg (1,014 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Continental O-200, 75 kW (100 hp)

Maximum speed: 240 km/h (150 mph)
Range: 523 km (325 miles)
Rate of climb: 6.1 m/s (1,200 ft/min)

The laser cut parts arrived yesterday - and I have to say, next to Balsam, bakeries and coffee factories - laser cut Balsa is one of my favorite smells..

Prior to receiving the parts from Manzano I got a start on the empennage. It's nice building a scale model of a homebuilt with simple lines. Aside from the cowl and the fact that summer is just about here, things look like they should go quickly. I haven't completely decided on a finish - but I have it in mind to back-paint Doculam for this one.
Last edited by SKY KING; May 23, 2009 at 06:02 PM.
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May 23, 2009, 05:01 PM
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That's the only problem with a homebuilt that's gone through so many incarnations, lots of variations. The plan is based on the earlier one with ailerons on the bottom wing only, no spats and DEFINITELY no canopy. Later versions, usually with ailerons on both wings, appear to have more curve to the rear of the cowl too.

I did consider the counterbalances on the elevators, which you can fit if feel so inclined, but thought they looked a bit fragile. One landing in long grass and they'd be likely to swipe off - or take a lump of elevator with them.

May 23, 2009, 06:32 PM
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portablevcb's Avatar
Nice start Sky. How big do you think that canopy is? We have some different size ones laying around. Sparky does too for that matter.
May 23, 2009, 06:34 PM
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portablevcb's Avatar
PS since when were we world famous? We do appreciate the compliments and will pass them on to Vicki.
May 28, 2009, 07:24 PM
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SKY KING's Avatar
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Pete - I might risk the counterbalances. I hadn't thought of getting caught in the grass though.

Charlie - you'll just have to accept it: Manzano Laser *is* world famous. I may forgo the canopy more simply as I don't care for it too much. We'll see how well things progress. If it feels like there is a details "void" it may come back up.

Here is progress on the fuselage so far. Pretty straightforward stuff: One side is pinned down over the plan, glued up and then flipped over to provide a flat surface to build the second side (with wax paper in between). From there formers F2 and F4 are carefully glued @ 90º to the built sides. Next up, the "UC" piece (bottom) is pinned down and the sides were carefully glued to that - all the while making sure everything remains straight. After this is set up, the tail is joined & glued. Theoretically, this should come out perfectly if you use the same wood stock for both sides of the fuselage and match everything up lengthwise. I do have slight twist at the tail which shouldn't be to difficult to twist back with the covering.
May 28, 2009, 10:22 PM
a.k.a Maltone
Pat Lynch's Avatar
Nice to see you back in print Alby and a good start. Funny, the construction method looks suspiciously the same as my Peter Rake Powell - then I suppose the designs were only a few hours of drafting apart

Jun 03, 2009, 07:07 PM
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SKY KING's Avatar
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Small update

Yeah Pat - it seems Pete has added a few new elements to his signature style -it's as though he's getting more fond of curves..

I am slowly making progress - added the fuselage reinforcement stock (1/16th material) that helps secure / position the struts and started sheeting.
Last edited by SKY KING; Jun 03, 2009 at 07:15 PM.
Jun 03, 2009, 09:03 PM
Neophyte hacker
portablevcb's Avatar
Don't get too excited about Pete's new style. It's just cause he can draw all those nice curves to be cut with a laser instead of a bandsaw

I almost wish he couldn't draw so fast and I'd be able to keep up with him on the parts cutting

Jun 03, 2009, 11:37 PM
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Mark Winstanley's Avatar
SkyKing; Nice looking build so far. I have always liked the Andreasson - nice simple lines and good proportions - designed by Pete - how can it not fly well?

Charlie/Vicki; stop being modest - of course you are world famous - I am in Germany and I know of you and have used your services and bought your kits many times! Keep up the good work - both of you.

Jun 15, 2009, 08:02 PM
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SKY KING's Avatar
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Slowly moving along

Well Pete, I hope my subtle hint regarding summer wasn't missed. Tis' the season for painting, landscaping, piano lessons, birthdays, mountain bike racing, vacations etc. I'm somewhat relieved that you have so many other builds happening.

Upper & lower wing contruction has begun - firstly with the upper wings (no ailerons) which went perfectly as expected:

The trailing edge was pinned down, marks were made indicating notch placement to receive the rib "tails". Notches were then cut out and the trailing edge pinned back into position. From there the wingtip was glued against the trailing edge and pinned down - and ribs were added along the way-paying close attention to number / sequence. The leading edge was added last.

The lower wings started out quite similar to the upper - with of course the addition of a few more bits. Pete, we have run into a small deviation with parts R9 & R11 - both are slightly off. As this kind of thing is usually me, I checked several times - let me know if you need further details.
Last edited by SKY KING; Jun 15, 2009 at 08:23 PM.
Jun 15, 2009, 08:37 PM
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Gerry Markgraf's Avatar
Sky King

Heres a few photos for inspiration. Its a little BA-4B that I have had for a good many years now. I bought it from Dymond Importers at the San Diego Winter Electrics. I forget who the manufacturer was - probably Czechoslovakian. Anyway, it was supplied as a nicely built and sanded uncovered structure. The modeler added motor and systems and covered it to choice. I used Litespan and a sp 280 geared. Its a real fun little airplane - lot'sa fun just shooting landings. When you and Pete are done with this new design, I will be be temped to go build another. Its a real fun little airplane.

Jun 16, 2009, 03:08 AM
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Sorry about that, I reckon R9 got inadvertently 'scaled', while I was moving things about because R11 on the plan is as it should be. Typically, figuring that both ribs were basically the same, I used R9 during the parts layout on the cut sheet, just removing the hole from 6 of them.
The plan and cut file are corrected, but I'm afraid you have a little rib trimming to do.

Jun 16, 2009, 03:14 AM
Registered User
Just to explain Alby's comments about R6/R7, the dowel holes are slightly lower in R7. This is so that straight dowels can be used and the ribs themselves will set the dihedral on the lower wings once they are fitted over the dowels.

Jun 16, 2009, 07:17 PM
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SKY KING's Avatar
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Wow Gerry, that looks awfully familiar! Your description of the flight characteristics are exactly what I have in mind - simple fun flying with a few touch and goes, maybe a snap roll thrown in and of course some nicely timed hammerheads.

Pete, no problem, so far very few issues - scaling does explain how even the curvature didn't quite match the other ribs. I have quite a few templates available to cut by hand.

Must get back to work - unfortunately not airplane work, "work-work" - why am I the guy who fills in for anyone who is on vacation?
Last edited by SKY KING; Jun 16, 2009 at 07:25 PM.
Jun 28, 2009, 09:57 AM
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SKY KING's Avatar
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Cowl musings & tail fairings

Everything but the cowl is framed up & shaped on the BA-4b. Pete - any chance you have photos or some reference that the drawing was based on? As you mentioned earlier - there are significant variations. Most of the images I have found on the web represent the forward upper fuselage line as either straight or opposite that on the drawing.

Here are some photos of the tail blocks in process. I did this one "right" and faired the blocks in advance. The contrast between the old yellowed balsa next to some fresher stock really shows who is the fairest of them all.

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