Fun Build 5 - 51" Lancaster B X in Depron - RC Groups
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Dec 04, 2011, 08:39 PM
The "pro" in procrastination
Steve85's Avatar

Fun Build 5 - 51" Lancaster B X in Depron

Despite my hit-and-miss record completing my build-off and funbuild entries, I'm going to toss my hat into the ring one more time. I've always admired the Avro Lancaster and the brave men who climbed into them night after night, knowing they might never return. I decided I'd build one after I saw one of the two airworthy Lancasters in a Battle of Britain fly-past a few years ago when we lived in Ottawa. It was the Mynarski Lancaster, flown by the Canadian Warplane Heritage in honour of Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski, RCAF, who won the Victoria Cross posthumously for his actions attempting to save the tail gunner in his burning Lancaster. The majesty of that aircraft slowly carving its way through the sky is a sight I'll never forget, and that's what I want to replicate with my model.

Making a model bomber fly like a bomber (and not a fighter) means keeping the wing loading low and resisting the temptation to over-power it. I had decided my Lancaster would be 1/24th scale, giving it a 51" wingspan and about 2.25 square feet of wing area, so keeping its wing loading around 10 ozs per square foot led me to set a weight limit of 25 ounces ready-to-fly. Having bought Sparky's building with foam book, I was planning to build her from pink foam, but Sopwith Mike convinced me that my best chances of success lay in building out of Depron. Now, they don't come much more dyed-in-the-wool balsa bug than me, so it's taken some time for me to come to grips with a Depron build, after all, I've only used Depron for lamination forms, and now I'm building a four-engined bomber out of the stuff! Thankfully, guys like Mike and eflightray and Pat Mullen have been generous in sharing their techniques, and I hope to emulate their work. Following Mike's advice, I've drawn a structure based on 6mm Depron structural forms, covered in 2mm Depron sheeting. I haven't started building yet, although I have built a trial outer wing panel to get used to building with Depron. It'll take a little getting used to, but balsa construction techniques are a good basis for building in Depron.

At my target AUW, I think I'll be able to power the Lanc with four GWS IPS A brushed motor gear drives on 3s. I've had good success with them in my fighters, driving 7 inch props on 3s, and for the Lanc I'll try GWS' three blade props. I'll need to bench test the new props on the IPS drives, but I've been getting 25 watts and almost seven ounces of thrust out of the two-blade 7x6 props on the same setup. This should translate to a minimum of 100 watts for the whole setup, and around 60 watts per pound for the model as a whole. It'll definitely be a calm air bird!

I'm going to have to be really careful with weight. Once the IPS drives, six servos, 1500 mAh 3s, retracts, and other miscellaneous electronic and mechanical bits are all accounted for, I have only 10 ounces left for the airframe. It's a good thing Depron is so light!

Wish me luck, and please chime in with observations and suggestions, since this is new ground for me!

Last edited by Steve85; Dec 27, 2011 at 09:52 PM.
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Dec 04, 2011, 08:52 PM
Dog is my co-pilot.
mrdj's Avatar
There's a great set of pictures of VR-A doing a fly-by in Saskatoon. I'll see if I can fing them. It's great seeing a majestic bomber buzz the tower like a fighter.
Last edited by mrdj; Dec 04, 2011 at 08:59 PM.
Dec 04, 2011, 10:40 PM
The "pro" in procrastination
Steve85's Avatar
Wow, what great pictures! The BoB flypast I saw was nowhere near that exciting!

Dec 22, 2011, 03:13 PM
Warbirds Lover
Dreamcatcher's Avatar
Hi Steve,

I wish you Good Luck with the build of this wonderful WWII Bomber.

I have some in flight pictures of the Lancaster "Phantom of the ruhr" i have taken at Duxford Airshow, Uk - if they can help you... just ask.

There is also this nice HD video from "Tigersnose" available on Youtube :
RAF Waddington Airshow 2011 Avro Lancaster - Flying display and on the ground.m4v (7 min 4 sec)

Enjoy your build

Subscrived !

Best Regards
Dec 22, 2011, 10:31 PM
The "pro" in procrastination
Steve85's Avatar

Merci, mon ami! That video was really inspirational.

I'm ready to start cutting Depron, having spent a fair amount of time drawing the plans. The usual Christmas preparations have so far prevented me from getting started, but it's only a matter of time now.

Dec 23, 2011, 12:40 AM
Registered User
Jugjock's Avatar
On your frequency, Steve. This will be a most interesting thread to follow.

Dec 23, 2011, 01:57 PM
No such thing as overpowered
Wilit run? 353's Avatar
Hello Steve

Good luck with this build, I watch with much interest!

Dec 23, 2011, 02:58 PM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Very best of luck Steve...I'll be watching with interest. The C-Class is in the "paint and detailing" shop at the moment and looks good for flying in the New Year.

Have fun!

Dec 24, 2011, 10:26 AM
The "pro" in procrastination
Steve85's Avatar
Hey guys,

Thanks for the interest! I'll get started on the build this afternoon and may even be able to post a few pics before setting out Santa's milk and cookies...

Dec 25, 2011, 05:16 AM
Warbirds Lover
Dreamcatcher's Avatar
Great News Steve !

We stay tuned

Merry Christmas !
Dec 25, 2011, 06:50 AM
It's a Great Day to Fly
LenBFP's Avatar
Looking forward to your first pics. This is an interesting subject.

Dec 26, 2011, 12:16 AM
The "pro" in procrastination
Steve85's Avatar
Stuffed with Christmas turkey, I finally got to cut some Depron and get the Lancaster started today. Following Sopwith Mike's advice on Depron structures, the fuselage has vertical and horizontal keels of 6mm (1/4") Depron, and I drew them so that they fit together with slots and tabs, making for a remarkably rigid fuselage sub-frame to which I'll glue formers made of more 6mm Depron. The bomb bay will be a removable hatch, and I plan to put the battery, receiver, elevator and rudder servos in there.

I've got the formers drawn on Depron ready to be cut, but this took longer than I expected because some of them needed to be re-drawn to ensure they fit properly. More to follow tomorrow!

Dec 26, 2011, 01:10 AM
Registered User
Jugjock's Avatar
Thanks for the progress photos, Steve. What's your Depron source and what type of glues are you using?
Dec 26, 2011, 10:02 AM
The "pro" in procrastination
Steve85's Avatar
Hey Chris,

I haven't actually glued anything together yet , but I intend to use a foam-safe contact cement called Uhu-Por, Gorilla Glue and good 'ol carpenter's glue depending on the application. I think I'll use the GG for gluing the keels together, but I should be able to use the contact cement for the formers.

As far as a Depron source, I'm fortunate to have a very well-stocked LHS twenty minutes away, and it sells 3' x 4' sheets of Depron in 2, 3 and 6 mm thicknesses.

Y'know, now that the "Crown Castle Wall" is finished, I'll bet you've got time for a Fun Build entry.... Maybe Longhorne could send you a beta kit of that B-25 he designed last year...

Dec 26, 2011, 11:49 AM
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