Peter Rake 48" DH-6 prototype build - RC Groups
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Mar 21, 2010, 05:22 AM
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Dan Parson's Avatar
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Peter Rake 48" DH-6 prototype build

Now that the Pfalz is complete, only needing a maiden, its time to get going on a new project.

I had a few discussions with Pete about what to build next, and found out that all of a sudden this was available again!

This will be by far the toughest build for me so far, but I wanted to do it for a couple reasons.

First, I am going to learn a lot, and second I really like the plane, so it was a good fit.

This won`t be an ordinary build for me, I expect it to take much longer, if I`m lucky I`ll get the maiden in sometime before winter, but I`m not going to rush it just to get it done!

That said, here`s some info on the plane:

Development and Operation

At the end of 1916 the RFC recognized the immediate need for new training planes if it were to fulfill its commitment for expansion. It realized that there was an immediate need for an aircraft, which was safe to fly, capable of quick and easy production, and easy to repair.

Capt. Geoffrey de Haviland responded to this request with a 2-seat tractor biplane, of very elemental design, with a communal cockpit. The fuselage was in two parts--the front part covered in plywood and the rear section of conventional wooden box-girder construction. The square-ended wings were of conventional construction with the upper and lower wings being interchangeable. The aircraft was powered either by the RAF 1a or the Curtiss OX-5 engine. By the end of 1917 the D.H. 6 was replaced as a trainer by the Avro 504K.

At the end of January 1918 the Admiralty requested additional aircraft to perform submarine patrols of the coastal waters from the Tyne to the Tees. At the end of March 1918 two Flights of D.H. 6's were supplied. They were based at Cramlington. Eventually 23 Flights of D.H. 6's, a total of 192 aircraft, were used in this role. Five of these Flights were used by the U.S. Navy in patrols off the Irish Coast.

Airco D.H.6 Specifications
Country: Great Britain
Manufacturer: Aircraft Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
Type: Light bomber
First Introduced: 1917
Number Built:
Engine: R.A.F.1a 8-cylinder, air cooled V, 90 hp
Wing Span: 35 ft 11 in (10.95 m)
Length: 27 ft 3 in (8.32 m)
Height: 10 ft 9 in (3.27 m)
Empty Weight:
Gross Weight: 2,027 lb (920 kg)
Max Speed: 66 mph (106 km/h) at 6,500 ft (2,000 m)
Crew: 1
Armament: 100 lb (45 kg) of bombs

I expect to get started on it within a couple weeks, as I still have to wait for the cut parts.

In the mean time, I have already purchased the motor and battery,printed out the plans, and also got the balsa and bass for the spars,L/E,T/E and the 1/8" L/g wire.

I`m also going to try my hand at carving the four blade prop! That ought to be an experience!
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Mar 21, 2010, 11:40 AM
Headed to Naval Flight School!
PiperCub49's Avatar

That information is wonderful. I have been looking for information everywhere and haven't had much luck.

Here's my 3ch peanut version from Walt Mooney plans:
Mar 21, 2010, 11:44 AM
North East England
Originally Posted by Dan Parson
At the end of January 1918 the Admiralty requested additional aircraft to perform submarine patrols of the coastal waters from the Tyne to the Tees. At the end of March 1918 two Flights of D.H. 6's were supplied. They were based at Cramlington. Eventually 23 Flights of D.H. 6's, a total of 192 aircraft, were used in this role. Five of these Flights were used by the U.S. Navy in patrols off the Irish Coast.
That's near where I live, Dan - in the Tyne area. I knew they operated from coastal stations on sub patrols and shipping escort. Some good history there.

This should be a good build, so take your time and if it flies as well as the 36" version I built, you'll love it; I would chop the throttle on the final turn and it literally glided down level by itself. I assume yours will have ailerons?

Look forward to the build

Mar 21, 2010, 11:47 AM
Übung macht den Meister..
Deuce's Avatar
Excellent! Several (many?) months ago, I offered to do this one, but realized time constraints would be a problem, so I begged off when another Groupie offered to build it. I will watch this with interest, as I would still like to build this one when my queue allows!

Mar 21, 2010, 04:21 PM
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Dan Parson's Avatar
I just realized that the battery ALONE, weighs more than my Pfalz!

I figure this beast will be lucky to come in at 35 oz, by far the biggest, heaviest plane for me so far.

Yes, this is a great reference guide, theres eight pages of three views, and at least 17 black and white photos!
Mar 21, 2010, 04:28 PM
Headed to Naval Flight School!
PiperCub49's Avatar
I hate to ask this, but could you maybe throw in one of those photos every once in a while along the way?

Or better yet, maybe I should go buy the book for myself?!

Mar 21, 2010, 08:55 PM
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Dan Parson's Avatar
It wasn`t that much, just $15 plus shipping from

Well worth it for all the info, and it covers some other planes I like too.
Mar 21, 2010, 09:53 PM
Headed to Naval Flight School!
PiperCub49's Avatar
Awesome. Thanks for the info. You can bet I'll be following along!
Mar 22, 2010, 08:08 AM
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farnboro flyer's Avatar
Dan, Will be following with interest, so good luck!

My DH6 is almost ready for test many other projects!!!!


Mar 22, 2010, 09:26 AM
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Dan Parson's Avatar

Fuselage construction begins

Seeing that I can`t get the cut parts yet, I decided to get going on what I could do.

The fuselage rear is all 3/16" hard balsa sticks,so its a natural place to start.

After getting one side done (minus the one cut part that will be added later), I called it a night.

These bigger sticks are actually easier to work with, no worries about accidently breaking them by sticking a pin in them!.
Mar 24, 2010, 07:19 AM
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Dan Parson's Avatar
I decided to hold off on finishing the rear section for right now, I`ll finish it up when I get the cut parts.

Next I got started on the elevator, this turned out to be a pretty easy task.

All I had to do was cut the 1/2" x 3/16" hard balsa sticks off close to the correct sizes and lightly sand each piece with my miter sander until the fit was right.

Seeing that my local hobby store didn`t have the 1/16" x 3/16" balsa sticks for the cross members, I ended up just using my balsa stripper and making my own.

Eleavators complete now minus the cut parts, which I`ll add when I get them.

Next the rear rudder section was built, I didn`t have any 3/8" x 3/16" sticks(darn hobby store!), so I ended up laminating some out of some 3/16" square sticks I had left over from building the fuselage sides.

Once the frame was built, once again I stripped the crossmembers to size and now this is complete minus only one cut part.

I think I may have found a use for the Dubro hinges I bought awhile back, I`m not sure I can trust CA hinges on this bird.

Any opinions on this?

I really don`t have much else I can get started on right now, so I guess I`ll have to take a bit of a break for a few days.
Mar 24, 2010, 07:40 AM
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Dan Parson's Avatar
Pete, I need to pick up the 3 mm carbon rods and aluminum tubes for the wing mounts and the closest tubes I can find is 5/32", is that going to work ok, or do I need to find tubes that fit tighter?

Also on the root rib, the print says "set root rib for 1" dihedral", can you please explain what that means?

I`m guessing the rib needs to be leaned in a bit?

I`m thinking of picking up some Hitec HS-81 servos, I`m afraid my HS-55`s might not be up to the task on this one.

Mar 24, 2010, 02:39 PM
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vintage1's Avatar
one inch at each wing on 48 inch span is one in 12..about 5 degrees cant.

55's fine for ailerons, and, probably rudder. You might play safe on the elevator though.
Mar 24, 2010, 06:08 PM
Registered User
Yes mate, you need to make sure the tubes are a good fit over the carbon rods. Otherwise the means of setting the dihedral doesn't work as well as it should.
By way of explanation, the tubes are angled in the wings, so straight joiners give the correct dihedral angles, but only if the tubes/joiners are a matched fit. So, either search for tubes to fit 3 mm carbon rod, or rod to fit the available tube. Of course, using larger sizes means opening up all the holes in the wood part - ACCURATELY.
1/8 i.d. would be close, not exactly 3mm, but close enough.

Like Vinto says, just angle the root rib, but half the amount he suggests - 2.5 degrees. Alternatively, leave fitting the root ribs until last and pack up each wing panel while fitting them. No angles to measure, just 1" of packing under each tip and a set square to set the rib angle.

Mar 24, 2010, 07:21 PM
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Dan Parson's Avatar
Ok, that seems straight forward enough for me to grasp.

Another question, are the wings going to be removable? Or is this just a sturdier method of attaching the wings?

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