1/10 scale R.A.F Se5a build - RC Groups
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Mar 30, 2012, 06:51 AM
Tally Ho Chaps!
Chompwat's Avatar
Build Log

1/10 scale R.A.F Se5a build

Hi there. Chompy here, I am a newbie to both this site, and the world of planes in general. Apart from a couple of Guillows small scale rubber powered planes for my boys this is my first attempt at building.
I have thrown myself in at the deep end and started with a build from plans of a David Boddington designed SE5a.
I am already a couple of months in to the build which I am finding both a great source of pleasure and frustration at the same time.
The fuselage is almost complete and the centre sections of both wings are roughly in place.
The original design was powered by a .010 glow motor with 3 channel controls.
I have adapted the design myself to run electric with 4 channels.
I love the look of late WW1 biplanes from both sides of 'no mans land', both on the ground and in the air.
I look forward to conversation with anyone with similar interests and hope to provide an entertaining insight into my attempts at building something which not only looks the part but flys the part too.
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Mar 30, 2012, 04:01 PM
Registered User
Welcome aboard, you'll find lots of helpful advice here. True, some of it may be conflicting advice, but that's the nature of the beast. We all have our own ways of doing things.

From your comments, I take it you have yet to learn to fly radio models? Don't even think about learning with this model or your modelling career may be very short-lived - about 60 seconds if you lucky and only 5 seconds if you are unlucky. Scale models look great, but make terrible basic trainers.

Boddo's models almost always fly extremely well and he knew his stuff. Therefore, stick with the thrust lines he suggests and aim for a motor to match the power level of a .10 wet and smelly.

The thing with wet models is that they are built to withstand starting stresses and vibration. Neither should be an issue for an electric model, so you may well find you can lose much of the heavy reinforcing. I know Boddo's models and he seemed inclined to not using one part if he could use ten. My own SE5a design, also 1/10 scale comes out at around 20 ounces completely ready to fly and that's a good weight to aim for.

Mar 30, 2012, 04:32 PM
a.k.a Maltone
Pat Lynch's Avatar
Welcome Chompy - as Pete suggests, no scale biplane makes an ideal trainer but having said that, the SE5a (I've built a couple from his plans) is a fairly easy model to fly but probably after some previous experience

You mentioned the rear stringers - the real machine did reduce the number of stringers about halfway back - most decent 3-view drawings show this so it would be a good idea to have one as a reference. The SE5a is quite a simple design but has some quirks around the cockpit forward deck area which add to its character.

Keep posting photos and descriptions AND take some time out to read other threads - esp. on the same aircraft (even if not the same design). If you've got nothing more exciting to do, click on my 'maltone' name and there should be some links to my SE5 builds.

Keep up the good work

Mar 31, 2012, 05:10 AM
Tally Ho Chaps!
Chompwat's Avatar
Thanks guys for the warm welcome.
My trainer is a Hobbyzone Super Cub which is Spektrum equipped.
The SE5a is a building exercise, although I am hoping to progress through the warmer months with the Cub to a point where I feel confident enough to fly the bi-plane.
I have a test pilot lined up for the SE5a when the time comes.
To be honest I am enjoying the building so much that chances are once this one is complete I will be moving straight on to the next one. Probably something in 1/6 or maybe another 1/10. I can't go any bigger due to lack of workshop (dining room) space. Also helps me keep within budget.
It's good to know that the resources of so many skilled builders are at hand, and if I may pick your brains from time to time would be great.
Pete, the motor I have is a Park 450 890kv, through a Turnigy Plush 20a ESC. Prop size is 9x5 for starters. Power is from 1300mAh 3S Lipo.
Thanks again.
Mar 31, 2012, 01:14 PM
Registered User
I doubt you'll need full throttle with that combination. You may well get better results from a 2s pack.

Having had a quick look at the specs, 150 Watts does sound a bit excessive.

Last edited by PETERRAKE; Mar 31, 2012 at 01:25 PM.
Mar 31, 2012, 07:19 PM
Lori, hey, you're home early
CarreraGTSCS's Avatar
Going to be a great looking model. Nice work.
Apr 04, 2012, 12:29 PM
Tally Ho Chaps!
Chompwat's Avatar
What would be a more appropriate output? Am I correct in thinking a 2s pack would bring this down to about 100w?
Thanks for the comment Carrera, appreciated.
Apr 05, 2012, 03:50 AM
Registered User
I usually aim for about 60 watts/lb, so 100 watts is ample for a 24-26 ounce model. Being 1/10 scale, I'm assuming it's around 36" span, so that sort of weight is at the upper end of what I'd expect for scale-like flight.

Apr 07, 2012, 08:23 AM
Tally Ho Chaps!
Chompwat's Avatar
Thanks Pete, the wingspan is 32.5". Looking at specs dropping to a 2s 1200 mAh will save a couple of ounces in weight too, 1000mAh a bit more. As I've converted the front cowl to carry a battery its forward weight too. It's difficult to estimate accurately the all up weight at the moment as I don't know what the covering will weigh in at, plus a couple more servos for the ailerons which are a mod from the original. I'm looking to save weight where I can. The advice is very much appreciated as I do not have the previous experience of my own to fall back on.
Apr 08, 2012, 08:20 AM
Tally Ho Chaps!
Chompwat's Avatar
Silly Question No1
I am assuming that the brass tube joiner in the upper wing is cut in three pieces with the joint between the wing ribs R3 and the tube glued into the ribs on either side The joint being made passing the piano wire through the entire length of tubing!
Are the faces of ribs R3 then glued to one another to form a permanent one piece upper wing?
If that is the case why could it not be made in the same way as the lower wing with a plywood dihedral brace forming a permanent joint.
Or is the joint meant to be detachable being held in place by the struts and bracing wires? Not sure I like the sound of that and seems a little unnecessary as the wingspan is so small!
I'm confused.
The lower wing I've got sorted and seems to fit well in the dowel mount on the fuselage.
Any comments/suggestions greatly received.
Apr 08, 2012, 07:23 PM
Registered User
Obviously the top wing panels are designed to be removable, but I would have expected the lower panels to follow suit. actually, I think the probably are intended to be the same, the dihedral brace only being there to join the inner panel to the stub outer panels.

Personally, I'd make it a one-piece model and join the top panels permanently to the centre section. Of course, if access is via the lower c/s, you'd also need to arrange a way to get at the gear.

Apr 09, 2012, 06:11 AM
Tally Ho Chaps!
Chompwat's Avatar
The lower wing is definitely one piece and attaches to the fuselage by two dowels on the l/e and a single bolt passing up through the rear of the wing into a single captive nut. The u/c is fixed by two saddles at the front and swings backwards allowing the wing to drop out for access to servos.
Though I'm sure it must still be a bit fiddly once all the bracing wires are in place.
The plan shows the rear of the u/c is fixed by brass tubes bound and glued to a cross brace. I'm considering using nylon saddles all round for ease of removal and dropping the gauge from 12swg to 14swg. Weight saving and ease of bending. 12swg does seem a bit overkill.
The centre section of the top wing is permanently attached to the cabane struts, but I really cannot see any great advantage in removable top wings when the w/s is so small.
I appreciate your views Pete, so fixed it will be.
I'll probably replace the brass and wire fixings for two ply braces glued directly to the front and rear spars. I should save a bit of weight this way as well as more accuracy in setting the dihedral, not to mention strength.
Incidentally the lower wing only has a brace on the front spar as the rear spar is set forward in the centre section and forms a nice lap joint on the rear spars of the main sections.
Right, that's enough talking, time for work! More pics soon hopefully!
Jul 04, 2012, 05:58 PM
Tally Ho Chaps!
Chompwat's Avatar
At last following a little inspiration from phillip57 and his Albatros thread some progress has been made at last.
First up I had a go at making my own wheels following a guide on Peter Rakes website.
I'm pretty pleased for a first attempt with a little finishing off still to go.

This attempt at a Lewis gun will probably not make it on to the plane. Just playing around with some offcuts. Room for improvement. Again thanks to Peter for the article.
Jul 04, 2012, 06:13 PM
Tally Ho Chaps!
Chompwat's Avatar
The fin, rudder, stabilizer and elevators are all constructed from 1/8" sheet balsa as per the plan. The pin hinges were a bit tricky and involved a little filler where I broke thorough. However the Solartex covering covers this nicely.
The paint will have to be rubbed down and repeated due to creep under the masking tape. Not too pleased with that. I got a bit carried away with the shaping around the bottom of the rudder, which is now a tad smaller than it should be.

The tail skid is made up of 1.5mm ply and 1/16" balsa sandwich, however I added a small strip of copper cut from copper pipe, annealed and bent to shape. This is fixed with epoxy. I am hoping that this hasn't added too much weight to the tail end.
A bit more tidying up once the epoxy has hardened.

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