Peter Rake's 44" DFW-CV - RC Groups
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Apr 25, 2011, 06:43 PM
Charles Sherman
csherman's Avatar
Build Log

Peter Rake's 44" DFW-CV

Hello everyone. I'll be starting on this build soon. Have the plans and am waiting for my schedule to clear a bit before I can get going.

Peter has drawn up plans for a 1/12th scale version of the German DFW-CV. The plane will have a wingspan of 43.5” and length of 25”. The power system will by either a 370 or 400 slow-fly motor running off a 3 cell battery – 800 or 1300 depending on weight required in the nose. Hoping for an AUW of 24-27oz (all things going to plan). My last plane came out tail heavy so I’ll be paying extra attention to that on this build.

Peter’s plans call for 5g servos to be mounted in the upper wing to control the ailerons. I’ll be modifying things slightly by moving the servos to the fuselage and rigging up more scale like ailerons. The plans are drawn up to allow for easy access to the aileron servos when mounted in the wings for those who wish to use that method. My decision is not an opinion about what is the better way – I had intended to build an Albatross and go that route because I’ve never done it before. As a matter of fact, this will be only my third build so there may also be a few other things in this project I’ve never done, such as vacu-forming some parts and perhaps using silk and dope on the wings.

The builder can easily modify the plane to show more engine detail by removing the cowl and adding a dummy engine and by moving the radiator to the front of the top wing to change the plane to a later type.

The wings will be fabric covered, the fuselage skinned with 1/16th sheeting. Paint scheme will most likely be light green and mauve on dark green. The plane was used for recon and bombing so builders could choose to add the appropriate gear to outfit their plane for those roles. I’ll be adding service panels, step, mg’s and a little cockpit detailing. Hopefully I’ll also be able to find a good pilot and rear gunner to finish this off.

A little history on the DFW CV:

The DFW CV was a 2 seater plane capable of fulfilling multiple roles - generally the workhorse of the German air force from late 1916 to the end of the war.

The plane was equipped with a single forward firing Spandau mg and a single Parabellum mg manned by the observer in the rear cockpit.
The DFW CV was not a plane that was an easy mark for allied pilots. It had excellent handling characteristics and was well powered. A skilled pilot could dogfight with any allied plane in service at the time and come away the victor.

Approximately 3250 were built, but only a handful survived the armistice. Those that did survive were repainted in other air forces’ colours, so exact color data is sketchy. The Windock Data File on the DFW-CV does have many excellent images. Some later planes did incorporate the lozenge pattern into the camo scheme.

The only major visible modification made to the plane was made early on when the radiators were moved from the side of the fuselage and a single radiator was placed in front of the top wing.

In many pictures the plane is seen without the engine cowling in place. The exhaust stack also varies slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer but always retains the same overall shape. I did come across an image, or two, of early models (had the ear radiators) with a horizontal exhaust pipe. Not sure why this was not continued but there must have been a good reason for sticking with the vertical stack.

The best colour images I could find came from the game Rise of Flight. Not sure how accurate they are, but hopefully they researched things well and are close.

Last edited by csherman; Sep 07, 2017 at 02:32 PM.
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Apr 25, 2011, 08:09 PM
Registered User
Whilst Charles intends to go the scale aileron route, there's second builder (who will no doubt make himself known once he's ready) who has promised to follow the plan in this area. It'll be handy to see both methods used.

Here are a couple of profiles from Wings Palette, one early, one not so early.

Apr 28, 2011, 04:27 AM
Homo Modelicus
BaZsiX's Avatar
I wish you every success in this project!


ps.: I have also this game.
Last edited by BaZsiX; Apr 28, 2011 at 04:34 AM.
May 14, 2011, 03:07 PM
Charles Sherman
csherman's Avatar

Let the Build Begin

Finally started!

Received the balsa and ply from Manzano Laser Works a few weeks ago, have all the electronics, have covering (hopefully enough) and have the wrong scale guns - another order to Wright Bros will fix that.

Here is a list of the balsa I purchased to complete the plane:

36" sticks:
2 - 1/8
3 - 1/32 x 1/8
11 - 1/16 x 1/8
2 - 1/8 x 3/16
4 - 1/8 x 1/4
1 - 3/16 x 3/16

24" sticks
4 - 1/8 x 1/4 Bass
4 - 1/8 x 3/16 Bass

36" sheet:
1 - 1/16 x 3

I'll try to remember to update that list if need be.

The plans for this plane are pretty straightforward. After going over them a few times to plan out the build, you'll find that Peter has incorporated many design features to help the builder keep the various structures squared and in alignment - even guides to set the dihedral.

The leading and trailing edges for the wings have been cut from bass. Most of the main formers in the fuselage have been cut from ply.

I threw all of the parts and wood on a scale and it came to 21oz. That was with the parts still in sheets of wood and full length sticks so that measurement is on the high side. AUW should come to 24-25oz.

*******************************Updated September 6, 2011********************************************** *

Here is the list of parts used to complete the build and also some specs:

Motor - Power Up 400 1050Kv
Prop: SloFly 9x5
Rx: 6 channel - used the 6th channel to set up aileron differential
Battery: 3s 1300
Servos: 4x 9g - because I'm running control cables to the ailerons from fuselage. If you are building to plan then 2x 9g and 2x 5g
ESC: 30 amp - 18amp ESC would be fine for this prop and motor. Used a bigger ESC for more flexibility with prop choices

AUW: 25 oz - ~3.5 is battery

Watt meter data: pulls 13amps @ 137watts ~87watts/pound

Flight Time: ~10 minutes

Throws in MM
Ailerons: +10 / -4
Rudder: +20
Elevator: +15
Last edited by csherman; Sep 20, 2011 at 09:43 PM.
May 14, 2011, 03:15 PM
Charles Sherman
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Tail Done

The first section I worked on was the tail control surfaces.

Straightforward, build over the plans.

Because the scale is 1/12th, bending the balsa was a bit of a challenge. The tail fin and rudder was built using four sticks of 1/32 x 1/8th and the horizontal stabilizer was build using three sticks of 1/16 x 18.

The curves on the horizontal stabilizer are out a hair but both sides are exactly the same. Non one but us will know.

Be starting the fuselage next.
Last edited by csherman; Sep 07, 2017 at 02:32 PM.
May 14, 2011, 03:26 PM
What's 3D?
trumps's Avatar
Cool subject mate, looking forward to the build, especially silking the wings.

May 15, 2011, 01:41 PM
Charles Sherman
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Fuselage 1

As I mentioned previously, Peter's design incorporates some features to make things easier for the builder. The fuselage section came together very quickly and pretty much aligned itself.

The framing for the sides was built over top of the plans and then joined with the the side sheeting. Both of these components together make a light strong side.

This image shows the frame built over the plan, the side sheet and then the two joined together.

Last edited by csherman; Sep 07, 2017 at 02:32 PM.
May 15, 2011, 01:53 PM
Charles Sherman
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Fuselage 2

The next part to be built is the main support structure for the fuselage. Three ply parts F2, X and F4 interlock to form a rigid structure that the frame sides will attach to.

To assemble the three parts, I used the positioning slots in one of the side sections to make sure everything was square. I ca'd the joints in the top facing half of the structure first. After they dried, I test fitted the structure in the other side of the fuselage to check for squareness then glued the the remaining joints.

**********Part marked F3 is F4 *************************************

Using Side to Align Parts:

Finished Structure:
Last edited by csherman; Sep 07, 2017 at 02:32 PM.
May 15, 2011, 01:59 PM
Charles Sherman
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Fuselage 3

After the main support section has been completed, the fuselage sides can be attached. Each side has pre-cut slots for F2 and F3 to join to.

The front of the side panels then need to be formed to the curves in part X.

Side Joined:

Top View Before Sides Joined to Curves:

Last edited by csherman; Sep 07, 2017 at 02:33 PM.
May 15, 2011, 02:10 PM
Charles Sherman
csherman's Avatar

Fuselage 4

Next step is to glue the remaining formers from F5 to F10 near the tail, in place.

F1 - the firewall is not attached yet, nor have I glued in the ring for the observer/gunner's cockpit. These are shown in place in some pictures but won't be glued into place until later.

The time to build the fuselage up to where I am now was under an hour.

Some sticks will be added to the bottom for support before the bottom is closed up. I'm leaving as much access as possible available.

The brace for the tailskid has also been placed in the fuselage, but not glued in yet. I think this will need to be re-enforced as the balsa is soft and there isn't a lot of surface the tailskid is connected to.

With Formers

With Firewall and Ring

Top View

Last edited by csherman; Sep 07, 2017 at 02:33 PM.
May 15, 2011, 02:19 PM
Charles Sherman
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Next Step - Fitting in the Electronics

In my first post I said that I was going to try to move the aileron servos to the fuselage to make this more scale like. I played around with the plans and everything looked good.

Well now that I have the real thing to work with, I can see that it's just way to tight to do that (Peter did tell me that - should listen to my elders).

Be back later in the week with the next update.
May 15, 2011, 04:54 PM
Registered User
Looks great!
Just shows how rapid progress can be if you start with Lazer-cut parts (a lesson learned for me there).

Looking forawrd to seeing the top and bottom decking taking shape.

May 15, 2011, 07:06 PM
What's 3D?
trumps's Avatar
It is coming along very nicely, are you going to sheet or plank the top of the fuse?
As Hugh says, these laser cut kits do go together quickly, and accurately!

May 15, 2011, 07:42 PM
Charles Sherman
csherman's Avatar
Thanks guys.

I'll use sheeting for the top and bottom.
May 15, 2011, 08:32 PM
Registered User
I'm so pleased to see the new fuselage technique turned out okay. The real test will come with fitting the decking around that gun-ring.


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