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Aug 25, 2012, 05:09 PM
71% of the world is runway . .
Bart83's Avatar
Thread OP
Build Log

Short S23 ''C''class , shadows of Ivan

Here i go . . .

This will become the build log of an Short S.23 '' class '' empire airways flying boat.
The scale will be 1/16.5 , this gives a wingspan of 210cm or 82.6 inch

The Short Empire was a medium range four engined monoplane passenger and mail carrying flying boat, of the 1930s and 1940s, that flew between Britain and the British colonies in Africa, Asia and Australia as well as providing service between Bermuda and New York City. It was manufactured by Short Brothers and was developed in parallel with the Short Sunderland patrol bomber of World War II and the piggy-back Short Mayo Composite .

As an 11year old i got a special issue of MAN from my dad. And thats when i first saw it , the beautifull empire flying boat.
It was Ted Russels 120inch rc model on the cover. Since then i was ever hoocked and decided that i was gonna build myself one , when ? i didn't knew but i was gonna build it.

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Years ( and many planes ) later i was stumbling arround a great fenomenon : RC groups , here where i read lukeZ short solent 400 threath and i was ammazed by it and immediately the ted russel 120 inch s23 came back on my mind.
So i whent to the attic and searched my old magazines and lucky me i still had it.
Now it was time for some serious plans and with the help of internet it was a lot easier then in 1994.After a lot of '' google '' time i had collected myself a pretty big database with everything i could find on the empire flying boats.
The seawings website is a real good site. And i can really reccomend the book ''flying empire's'' by Brian Cassidy
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I got my self a copy of the 1:24 plans drawn by Len Whalley an i got a copy of Ivans short solent 400. The idea is to build an Short S.23 using ivans construction methods.

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Then there was an other idea that came , i was wanted to learn how to desing rc model using CAD , and this was not easy so the past few years i went on and of with this project but now im finally getting t know rhino3d it is going the right direction and i thought it was time t post a thread.

I now have drawn a 3d model of the plane using the 3view and ivans construction methods , airfoil etc.

The model i will be building is the G-ADHM ''Caledonia'' the second boat build by shorts at Rochester.

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The plane is drawn is not exactly 100% scale but i not only want it to be a good looking model , i also want it to fly good so there were some concessions to be made.
Here are the changes i made:

-Used an Selig 7055 airfoil cause i dont know how the gottingen436 airoil will work
- made the fin and stab larger to give good stability
- simplified hull shape to accomadate ivan's construction method
- Scaled cowling and nacelles to give a scale appearance
- changed float struts lengt to give more scale appearance an better water handling

Here are some pictures of what i've done so far , next is to make formers etc.

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If you like i can make a step by step photo report of how this model was costructed in rhino, but i first want to know if annyone will read it cause this is a lot of work..

And now t really get in the 1930's mood here is a collection of film i found on the web , enjoy:

Empire flying boats , Africa 1937.wmv (7 min 2 sec)

Greets ,

Last edited by Bart83; Sep 04, 2012 at 12:58 PM.
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Aug 26, 2012, 03:04 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Subscribed - nice collection of information Bart, I'll get round to mine one day...

Aug 26, 2012, 06:02 AM
What's 3D?
trumps's Avatar
Great project, looking forward to it!

Aug 26, 2012, 01:50 PM
Registered User
LukeZ's Avatar
Hi Bart, this is a very ambitious project, but you seem to have done a great deal of research and preparation. I think you are also the very same age I was when I began my Solent! (I am guessing approx 29)

I don't know how many people will have a copy of Rhino 3D, so I can not tell you how useful a tutorial there would be. But I am willing to bet some people would be interested in a copy of your plans when you complete them!

Best of luck to you!

Aug 26, 2012, 03:59 PM
Registered User
cracksmeup's Avatar
Hey Bart Ivans planes and plans are a big shoe to fit in but you have a great plane choice and a good start ,iam sighned up for the build.Keep it light and good luck . joe
Aug 27, 2012, 07:37 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
If it helps at all, there is this thread in the Waterplanes forum -

Short Empire Class "C"
Aug 27, 2012, 11:50 AM
71% of the world is runway . .
Bart83's Avatar
Thread OP
Originally Posted by eflightray
If it helps at all, there is this thread in the Waterplanes forum -

Short Empire Class "C"
Thanks for the link , but i already read trough the the thread , too bad the project isn't finished.

Greets ,

Aug 28, 2012, 03:38 AM
71% of the world is runway . .
Bart83's Avatar
Thread OP
A colection of photo's to compare

Greets ,

Aug 28, 2012, 10:33 AM
AMA 209854
GLM's Avatar
Very impressed with your Rhino work Bart,

No mean feat to do what you have done. I've been working on a Boeing 314 off and on for the last year. Time and tide...

I have dreams of grandeur of vacuum forming kits of the 314 and the Empire class boats. I have the 3 views of the Empire waiting in the wings (pun intended)

It's just so much work as you know to bring it to flight stage. I almost think it takes more than one person to get there.

My construction method would be a vacuum formed outer hull with a seam forming a top and bottom shell, laser cut former structure and a hot wire cut wing. I'm at the surfaces stage. Some pictures below.

I have the capability to machine the molds for the vacuum forming but the machine envelope is only 30" in x travel - so it means many parts as I want a wing span in the 72" range.

Your Empire cad work is fantastic - I look forward to following this thread and your progress with great interest.


Last edited by GLM; Aug 28, 2012 at 10:44 AM.
Aug 28, 2012, 04:39 PM
71% of the world is runway . .
Bart83's Avatar
Thread OP
@ GLM , Thanks for the compliments , your desing also looks great !!

Pretty advanced construction your planning , hope you post a build thread when you start.


Sep 03, 2012, 04:47 PM
71% of the world is runway . .
Bart83's Avatar
Thread OP
Here's a small update :

I worked out the construction for the floats , there will be a main former in 3mm balsa and cross formers in 1.5mm balsa. The struts are 3mm carbon spars surrounded by balsa.
The floats are covered with 1.5mm balsa sheeting and the nose and tail blocks are shaped balsa-blocks.
I made an interlocking construction for easy assembly.

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Last edited by Bart83; Sep 04, 2012 at 01:00 PM.
Sep 03, 2012, 05:21 PM
Res Ipsa Aviatur
Longhorne's Avatar
Very nice CAD work, Bart! I'm looking forward to the transition into reality.

Sep 04, 2012, 01:01 PM
71% of the world is runway . .
Bart83's Avatar
Thread OP
Moved the pictures to the RCGroups server , now possible to view large.


Sep 06, 2012, 03:19 AM
71% of the world is runway . .
Bart83's Avatar
Thread OP
Mini update :

Made a start drawing the stabilizer construction , not quite happy with how it turnes out. Starting a new ne tonight and see if i can make a better one with more of the parts interlocking:

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Description: 1st attempt stabilizer

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Description: Exploded


Last edited by Bart83; Sep 06, 2012 at 03:29 AM.
Sep 06, 2012, 04:58 PM
71% of the world is runway . .
Bart83's Avatar
Thread OP
Redrawn the stabilizer made the construction interlocking using sub trailing and leading edges.

The only thing missing is the carbon spars to join the halves cause i have not
decided wich size i am going to use.

Here are the pictures:

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Description: Spar

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Description: Ribs

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Description: Sub leading edges

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Description: Sub trailing edge and elevator leading edge

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Description: Leading/trailing edges and centre sheeting

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Description: Tip

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Description: Rendered construction

Greets ,


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