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Jul 22, 2011, 07:38 PM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar
Ohhhh..... more socks! The boys just can't wait to see you again!
Last edited by vonJaerschky; Jul 22, 2011 at 07:45 PM.
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Aug 11, 2011, 10:41 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Thread OP
After a long absence caused by heavy involvement with our annual sailing regatta, I at last got some more done on the fuselage. The interior details should be "interior green" which is a pale chrome green, if I remember rightly. All I had was some old face-paint from a granddaughter's birthday party which seemed good enough. It does need two coats though.

Then I filled in the cockpit at shoulder level with old cornflakes packet card, airbrushed with Tamiya flat black. No-one is going to look inside when it's flying around!
Sep 05, 2011, 09:39 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Thread OP

Now to the wing

"Now" is the day after the BIMBO weekend. I took the Auster fuz and tail to the meet to line up with all the other Ivan's planes (10 in all) and you can see it lurking in the group photo-call. The cornflakes packet false floor raised a lot of amused comment and even some little scorn, but it is very good quality card which takes paint well and it is free!

The wing survived it's 30 ft vertical smash into the ground remarkably well. Considering it had been attacked by a rogue tree last year, the fact that only one complete rib needed to be replaced is extraordinary, and says a lot for the "crumple zone" construction philosophy. Some LE sheeting had split and a section of LE has had to be reinforced, but another afternoon's work should see it ready to cover.

The old split flaps will just be glued shut and new flaps made from balsa. I've decided they don't need to work, just look pretty.
Oct 23, 2011, 10:34 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Thread OP
Back at last to the Auster, and covering has begun. I'm using Solartex partly because is has the dark green shade I wanted, and partly because I really like working with it. Having a material that conforms so well to the shape of the structure, seals down easily and shrinks evenly and not too strongly makes the slightly tedious covering process much less frustrating than usual.

I'll add rib tapes later and yes, those are authorial socks to give scale to the build.
Oct 28, 2011, 04:47 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Thread OP
Once started on the fuselage I did find a number of things that should have been done earlier, but after only one silly mistake and "tear the covering off in a rage" episode, she is starting to look good.

After his earlier accident, Kiwi Pete has been stripped of his licence to fly and is serving out his time as an Observer. Unfortunately it is proving difficult to find a pilot who is prepared to fly with him...some people's reputation precedes them!
Oct 31, 2011, 10:23 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Thread OP
Time marches on and slowly the Auster seems to be coming together. The wings were pretty easy to cover - much easier than I remember last time was - but there is still quite a long list of short jobs to do before it will be flyable.

I still have not found a pilot who is prepared to drive Kiwi Pete round the sky, but I'm looking.

The flaps have totally the wrong linkages, I know, but there is nothing on the market remotely like the real thing and just got tired of looking at them. You and I know they are wrong, 50 metres up, they won't be able to tell the difference.

I'm really looking forward to flying the Auster again, but next week looks to be a washout. A good thing, perhaps!
Nov 09, 2011, 10:45 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Thread OP

"And get that ****** fag out of your mouth airman!"

Kiwi is resigned to his Observer status but determined to make the most of having few responsibilities and much less rank. As an ex-smoker I can sympathise with him. I sneaked a fag in many unauthorised places before I saw the light and gave up. But word has reached his unit that a pilot has been found and will be posted to the Squadron after leaving his current job at eBay. His name? Pongo Pete. He and Kiwi should get on well.

Some of the lumps and bumps on the cowling, and the cowl front itself are ready to paint, but the local store has run out of air in cans. I know I should really have a compressor and a grown-up's airbrush but as usual the initial outlay is slightly daunting.

While waiting for the air to arrive, I'll have a go at the struts.
Nov 09, 2011, 03:01 PM
Complete the Illusion!
35Mhz's Avatar

With the cost of aircans you will soon recoup the investment. I never regretted it all those years ago.
Nov 16, 2011, 12:27 PM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Thread OP
It was "paint a pilot" day at Sopwith mansions today. here is Pongo Pete giving the once-over to Kiwi Pete.

They are from the same Pete's Pilot, with a few pollyfiller additions to change the shape of Pongo's face. Removing his goggles left a large goggle-shaped hole in his head which was filled with a bodge of depron and more pollyfiller.

It's not till you see the result in close-up that you realise how rough it looks. Still, they have been on Ops for a week or so...

Note: it's not too late to make your donation to SPNOKA. Not you Frank, you've done your bit thank you.
Nov 23, 2011, 10:23 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Thread OP

She flies!

Frank emailed me and said "is there such a thing as a bad-flying Auster?"

Well, yes if your TX goes mad on you - Trevor knows all about it as he had to hide under his tailgate the last time I flew this plane!

But today she was a pussycat and sauntered round the sky at a third throttle looking very green and new. There's still a lot of work to do getting her up to show condition, but with a new fuselage and rebuilt wing, she's the same very pleasant and relaxing model.

By the way, Paul BW, "your" tree is in the background in the flying shot. Do you recognise it? Kiwi Pete the observer is having a good look to see if there are any model parts still up there. The pilot assures me that the apparent closeness of the house is an optical illusion!

Thanks to Trevor for the pictures, Ivan for the plan and the AAC museum for the details.
Nov 23, 2011, 10:55 AM
Visitor from Reality
Hi Mike
Good to see she's back in the front line and flying again.

This thread idly pushed today's relative trivia to the fore. Way back when I was still in the RAF and England, we had a pretty hefty RAF model aircraft association. One of our regular visitors was actually a member of the Army MAA - or perhaps he was the AMAA! He'd been in their flying side for years, before shuffling off to a ground job, but the cute part was that after he retired from the Army, he was the head curator at the AAC Museum. Their museum Auster was well featured in our buddy's flying log book and the pilot figure in the museum display also wore one of his old flying suits.

The standing RAF joke was that all he needed to do for completeness was to don another old flying suit, sit in the Auster's front seat and wave to visitors!

On a relevant track, it is good to see a small high winger that's not a Piper Cub!

Good luck with the project, and keep her away from that tree.


Nov 23, 2011, 11:11 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Thread OP
Hi Dereck,

Good to hear from someone who knows the Auster. At the field today one of the Club members said his first flight was in an Auster on the Isle of Wight. It's going to look much better when it has the camouflage scheme painted up and all the markings done. 35MHz has done me a set of markings including all the stencilling (Lift Here, Turn to Open, First Aid: all the things the average Army Pilot needs to know!)

That tree certainly is big, but it's well outside the field boundary. I have to say these things, because I have a certain reputation... In fact this Auster in its previous incarnation spent a happy hour or two 50ft up at the very top of a tall tree, and was only rescued by Pentaxman, a ladder and a very long pole.

It's had an eventful life so far!
Nov 23, 2011, 10:34 PM
Student of Ivan
mountainman2442's Avatar
Congratulations Mike! Great to see the Auster back in the air.

I've had a few bumps with my Auster, all caused by pilot error mind you. Caught a curb and ripped the gear and lower fuselage off a few months ago but had her back in the air within a week. Sure thought I had enough room to take off but the curb proved otherwise...

One of the BEST flying airplanes I've ever had. Definitely in the top two anyway.

Here's wishing you many lazy, uneventful flights with your Auster.

Jun 24, 2018, 06:06 AM
Gorilla glue rocks
Spit100's Avatar
Beautiful flyer, like taking your great Aunt out for a Sunday drive...

Very sedate.


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