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Jul 15, 2009, 10:29 PM
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Build Log

Peter Rake Morane Saulnier Type N prototype build


Having taken a break from the building board after the Messenger and making a small dent in line of models awaiting minor repairs; I'm ready to start work on the Morane Saulnier Type N.

The Type N originated as a pre-war racer following the well regarded Types G and H. As such, it sacrificed tame handling qualities for speed. Bear in mind speed is a relative term when referring to 80 hp Le Rhone powered aircraft. It was never well liked by it's pilots as it took constant attention to keep it under control.

It is a myth that Roland Garros put a forward firing gun and deflector plates on a Type N. Garros was conducting his experiments on the parasol Type L and it was in a Type L that he went down and was captured. Guns and deflector plates were later installed on Type N machines, but the French used very few of them since their poor handling qualities made them all but useless for combat unless piloted by an experienced expert.

The British equipped several squadrons with the Type N. RFC Type Ns were armed with stripped down Lewis guns and deflector plates. At a time when the syncronized guns of the early Fokkers were ruling the air over the Western Front, the forward firing Type N was tolerated, but never liked by it's pilots. As the Fokkers were replaced with superior biplanes like the Halberstadt and Albatros, the RFC Type Ns were quickly withdrawn back to "Blighty" and used as training machines and squadron hacks well into the war.

The Russians used Morane Saulniers, but they used the Type I which, while appearing similar was powered by a 110 hp Le Rhone and had a syncronized Vickers gun. They also lacked the external rib battens used to hold the fabric to the wing ribs on the Type N. The Type I machines used conventional rib stitching and tape for this purpose. This model can be finished as either a Type N or Type I.

As with most pre-war designs that found themselves pressed into service early in the war, the Type N's major contribution was to point out the need for airplanes specifically designed for military use. The Morane Type Ns were followed on by French Nieuports and British Airco and Sopwith designs. The back and forth one-upmanship in aircraft design and performance between the Allies and the Central powers continued right up to the Armastice and has characterized aviation development, both civil and military, throughout the 20th century.

Pete's design of the Type N promises to be a challenging build. There is a 5.25" diameter spinner to scratch build. The model is quite big with, I believe, a 54" span. That is misleading as this is a kingpost braced monoplane with bracing wires well above and below the fuselage and wings. Anyone who has wrestled an Eastborne Monoplane or Fokker Eindeker in and out of a car without twanging one or more of the wires will understand. Pete's signature front box structure is there, but burried inside a keel and former fuselage which is built as upper and lower shells. The main U/C wires are 1/8" and will require more than my 2 pair of pliers, fit and fiddle method of wire bending. To top everything off, it can be built as R/E/T or R/E/T/WW as in wing warping for lateral control. After some e-mail discussion with Pete, we decided to wait on deciding on which one this will be. Fortunately the design allows the model to be completely boned up before that decision must be made. None of this is by way of a complaint. The airplane is a difficult shape to model and in light of that Pete has done so with his usual economy of parts which Charlie and Vicky at Manzano Laser Works have produced with their usual high level of craftsmanship.

This will be a relatively slow build as I am attempting to write a step by step manual as I go along. I won't inflict that on this forum, rather I'll keep my posts to progress reports, unique features of interest and pleas for help recovering from inevatable blunders.

sp
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Jul 15, 2009, 11:36 PM
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Dan Parson's Avatar
Mighty interesting plane, I`ll be watching with much interest!
Jul 16, 2009, 03:02 AM
North East England
Good choice. Another reason the Morane N wasn't liked was due to it's high (for the time) landing speed. A very sleek and mean-looking aircraft though; I had a plan for a glow version by Arthur Searle, another noted scale designer from the 70's which was about the same size, though I never got round to building it...where do these old plans go?? can't ever recall lending it out or throwing it away!

A scan of Pat's Bristol M1c thread should give you some good tips on making that big spinner. Look forward to your build.

Steve
Jul 16, 2009, 03:13 AM
Registered User
Steve,
I'm glad you mentioned that spinner, we have Pat standing by in the wings, in case Steve has trouble with the spinner. He's determined to have a go though, before calling on Pat's experience.
Not only a spinner to produce from glassed foam, but a cowl too. Lucky chap.

Pete
Jul 16, 2009, 05:57 AM
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Thread OP
Yipes! I'd forgotten all about the cowl. On the bright side, it's stationary and there are no critical balance issues. :-)

sp
Jul 16, 2009, 09:49 AM
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Martin Irvine's Avatar
That big spinner will be a good reason to look at something like Vint's "square" scale props - keep the RPM down. Then build it out of foam and just lightly glass it. Motor bearings are much happier with slightly out of balance LIGHT spinners than they are with slightly out of balance HEAVY spinners. Also it's easier on the airframe when you do Lomchevaks

Martin
Jul 16, 2009, 10:51 AM
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farnboro flyer's Avatar
Great choice, I will be watching this thread with interest!.

I recall making a 1/72nd static model in plastic , was it REVELL???.............dunno, but as a kid, I collected all my box tops and cut out the fantastic redition of the model by that famous graphic designer. B. KNIGHT.
The Morane-Saulnier 'N'..............enjoy.

Ian
Jul 16, 2009, 11:27 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Ian:

I also had a go at the Revell MoS N which I converted to a Type I of the IRAS 19th Air Detachment. Ray Rimell of Windsock Datafile fame had written an article listing the corrections that needed to be made to the old Revell kit and I followed his instructions. Here is a URL to the build article which appeared in Internet Modeler some years back. http://www.wwi-models.org/IM/French/sp_mosi.html

sp
Jul 16, 2009, 01:56 PM
North East England
Revell seemed to make all the WW1 models that Airfix didn't - including a rather nice DH2, EIII and DVII, I'm sure they also did a Nieuport Triplane too, but I wouldn't swear to it. The box artwork was superb on a lot of these old kits, very tempting to a small boy trying to decide what to buy with his pocket money.

Steve
Jul 16, 2009, 02:29 PM
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farnboro flyer's Avatar
Steve, my pocket money was spent on Airfix , Revell, Aurora and others.....
My full collection is all Great War stuff.


Ian
Jul 16, 2009, 03:18 PM
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Thread OP
OH Boy! Those boxtops take me back. Mowing the yard for pocket, (model), money and then riding the bike down to the Rexall drug store to buy the next model.

{Thud} sound of me kicking myself for not keeping the box art :-)

sp
Jul 16, 2009, 06:45 PM
Blade Butcher
smitty240's Avatar
YAY!!!!

It's finally on the board. I can't wait to see what you have in a couple of weeks when I return from Oshkosh.
Jul 16, 2009, 07:13 PM
Registered User
Somehow I thought smitty would be dropping in sooner or later. Welcome aboard mate.

It was the Sopwith Tripe that Revell did, not the Nieuport. That just has to be one only a mother (and Edi) could love. Not so much designed, more thrown together. It looked as if it had flown into something before ever moving.

Pete
Jul 16, 2009, 07:19 PM
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smitty240's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PETERRAKE
Somehow I thought smitty would be dropping in sooner or later. Welcome aboard mate.

Pete
Thanks for the welcome. As soon as Steve has the "bones" assembled that's proof enough for me to bug Charlie to cut another kit. Thanks for designing this bird. I know I've been a pain in the derriere about it.
Jul 16, 2009, 07:23 PM
Or current resident
glewis's Avatar
Signing in. I really want to see how you make the spinner. I could thermoform one from your mold but not sure it would be strong enough at that diameter. Maybe the cowl could be formed plastic? What is the diameter?
Glenn


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