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Apr 16, 2014, 01:22 AM
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Orline Fokker D7 build

Hey guys,

Decided to move this thread here so I hope this is where it will stay.

Purchased this Orline Fokker D7 kit and finally have some time to build it.
It's been awhile since my last build - a Pilot Tiger Moth back in the eighties!
Someday when my building skills are up to it I have Gary Allen's plans for his 1/4 scale Fokker D7 but until then....I'll warm up with this!

I guess this plane was kitted up in the late 70's or early eighties. It is old and is no longer in production. It is not a 1/5 nor is it a 1/4 scale. It is 1 to 4.75 with an advertised 72 inch wing span.

For a 30+ year, no longer produced kit, it was in pristine shape. The plans and instruction book were discolored slightly and the heavy duty ABS cowl had a slight crack in one of the corners and one of the leading edge pieces had a nice chunk splintered off. All the wood was excellent except for the plywood dihedral braces which had delaminated. All in all pretty good!

The plane is a "fun fly" so It's not very scale, more of a stand way off scale.
I do not want to turn this into my life's work and correct all the scale inconsistencies. I do want it to look respectable and still be a quick building and fun flying aircraft.

Some casual observations:
The cabane struts are totally different, so is the nose, aileron tabs, tail skid, airfoil, N struts, spar taper, spar placement, bla, bla, bla....
The front fuselage abs cowl, especially the radiator is so different it more resembles a SE5a than the dvii.
Dihedral in the lower wing looks odd, the top wing is way to far away from the fuselage and the machine guns are propped up off the fuselage kinda weird.
The landing gear inter-plane wing bears no resemblance to the original. Good news is that the wheels are so far out to the side that when you ground loop you might never drag a wing tip!

The wood in the kit was real nice. The die cutting was pretty good - some very minor cutting of parts.
Accessories/hardware is fantastic. Plans and instructions are nicely done.
My plan is to bash where I can and leave it alone if its to much of a pita.

A short list of mods-
Lower Wing: No dihedral.
Top wing: Framed up aileron counter balancers vs. the stock heavy plywood. Lower the top wing, and machine guns. There both up to high.
so stock, it looks kinda funky.
Sheet the middle section, top and bottom of both wings.
Install the forward cabane struts. The dvii has some distinctive looking struts from the fuselage to the upper wing. Rework the "N" struts to fit and look somewhat "right".
Fabricate some engine side panels to a somewhat more scale-like shape and look.
Might keep the landing gear stock, maybe not. As I said before, it's nowhere near original looking and it's to far forward... which might be good for the propellers though!
Working tail skid bungee system.

Engine will be a gasser. Not sure if a DLE or Saito 4-stroke. My wallet likes the DLE, my ears and inner self wants the Saito.

Since it's not in production, I don't know how valuable a build thread would be... At the least, I'll post a few build pic's now and as I go along.

So, has anyone built this kit? Love to hear about your build and how it fly's!


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Apr 16, 2014, 06:13 AM
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md6364's Avatar
There were two airplanes from Orline that sort of went together, this one and a Sopwith Pup. They were advertized as 1/5th scale, maybe 1/5th stand off scale would have been more correct. I always wanted to build the Pup as it looked like it would be a fun airplane to fool around with. I was partial to 1/5th scale WW 1 Aeroplanes, back when this airplane was available as this size could use readily available power and standard servos. As I recall the Pup and DVII came out in the l;ate 70s, early 80s. Orline also had an airplane called a Deweyville Special that a buddy built. He didn't think much of the kit; however, he had built many Bridi (later) Great Planes kits, who at that time where the best at providing simple- easy to build models. His review "took the wind out of my sails" for building something from Orline. However, I now regret that I didn't build the Pup. Enjoy this kit, it will take you right back to the 80s!

Visit this thread in Aircraft General, Scale Drawings and Three Views:
Last edited by md6364; Apr 16, 2014 at 06:20 AM.
Apr 16, 2014, 07:46 AM
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Thanks for the reply md3634.
I do remember reading about the pup and maybe something on the Deweyville special from Orline. Never much talk on the flying qualities.
I can imagine that a .60- .90 2 stroke would have a hard time pulling a big, drag ridden, heavy biplane around. It's so easy to build tail heavy, then having to add lead to the nose to boot!

Speaking of weight, let's get rid of some lard.

I reduced weight several ways.
I replaced the solid balsa vertical stabilizer and the 2 side rear fuselage pieces with a framed up ones
The horizontal stabilizer had a spar of hardwood attaching both half's of the elevator.
Replaced that with a full piece of light balsa laminated on three sides with carbon fiber for strength
Replaced the solid plywood aileron counter balancers with some light balsa framework.
The 1/8th plywood fuselage side pieces were stout but heavy, running from the nose to the trailing edge of the lower wing. So I cut out three rearward bays of five between the balsa vertical frames.

Apr 25, 2014, 08:04 AM
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Hey guys,

Made some progress on the D7

As this is a stand off scale fun fly, I found a 13" plushy figure of Muttley (sidekick of Dick Dastardly) who will make a great pilot. Some of you are old enough to remember the "wacky races" and "yankee doodle pidgen from Hanna Barbara cartoon fame from the 1960's.
Muttley comes with a sewn flying helmet, googles and a red scarf.
Should look real fun!

Mocked up the new location of the upper wing with some convenient tuna cans. Set the top wing incidence at -2 deg.
Purchased some 5/32 wire so I can fabricate my cabane struts and get them relocated more or less in the stock locations.
Fabricated an operational rear skid. Used some brass tubes and a small bungee. Used metal from an acid brush to plate the bottom of the skid. Turned out nice!

Made some engine panels out of 1/32 ply. Free-handed the panel onto wax paper and cut them out. I will add some louvers and an access hatch for fueling/charging/ on/off switch to complete them. I think it will add a lot to the look so it won't be so stand offish.
Decided not to have the aileron servos in the fuselage cause I will have to remove the wings for transport. So spent some time sorting all this out.
All the structures are now complete and the 1st round of sanding done.

Starting to get the batteries, servos and fuel tank location sorted.
The DLE 20ra will be here today so I can get the firewall located, glued and pegged into position. Should start covering next week!!!

Apr 25, 2014, 05:28 PM
I fly, therefore, I crash!!!
SteveT.'s Avatar
Looking good!!

Latest blog entry: My shop....
Apr 26, 2014, 06:06 AM
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md6364's Avatar
Yep, looks like your having some FUN, building this airplane! In post number three, there is a photo of what looks like a 3/8ths inch thick chunk of plywood shaped somewhat like your rudder. Was this a mold for laying up a laminated strip outside frame to the rudder?
Last edited by md6364; Apr 30, 2014 at 06:10 AM.
Apr 26, 2014, 08:02 PM
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md6364 -

The solid round shaped plywood is the stock aileron counter balancers. Just to heavy!
I framed them up after checking on the original shape from other documentation and just penciled it onto the plan until it looked right.

I would hope that Reinhold Platz would have nodded in approval.

Rudder was as per plan with die cut parts, just beefed it up a bit more at the glue joints.

Mocked up the DLE 20ra and firewall. 3 deg down thrust and about 2 deg. right thrust. Engine has plenty of room.
I almost stuffed a 35 ra in it. It fit fine! But reality jarred me out of my power stupor after sleeping on it and I went with the 20ra. It has more than enough power.
The 35ra will go into the Gary Allen 1/4 scale and be much more efficient.

Here are a few more pic's.

Thanks for posting!
Apr 30, 2014, 01:29 AM
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Muttley has arrived. What a hoot!
He looks so funny in the aircraft. I decided to toss my scale improvements and just have some fun. I thought I wanted it to be more serious and correct some (what I thought) glaring faults but after seeing Muttley in the cockpit I just had to laugh.
I can be more serious with the excellent 1/4 Gary Allen D7 plans.

Servo tray is pretty much on the cg. Servo tray is just a mock-up. Another will be made that's better.
So far all is looking good. Starting to rig the pull-pull cables. Throws all look good - got plenty. Still have to sort all the wiring and make it all tidy. The cabling will run from the servo tray, threw some golden rod tubing to specific points forward of the empennage where they will make their exit to the control horns. Bought a cool rx battery pack voltage monitor and a nice dual on/off switch/gas fill/recharge port. We have 2 -12oz. tanks. Figure I'll plumb it for smoke someday. Pencil shows where the cg is.
Stuffed everything I could forward of the cg and it payed off as we are slightly nose down with Muttley on board.

DLE 20ra started up fine after a shot of fuel down the sparkplug hole. Tweeked the low idle screw a few clicks lean after a couple of tanks of gas were run through it. Runs like a top.

Vulture squadron will fly again!

Last edited by bbs428; Apr 30, 2014 at 02:06 PM.
Apr 30, 2014, 06:21 AM
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Wow, you are really going to town on this thing!

I would agree, replacing the plywood counter balance makes sense! What was Orline thinking? The plastic cowling looks like it could use some detailing; or, maybe even replacement, since you are adding a bunch detailing and improving the scale looks of the airplane. My Electri-fly Fokker DVII's cowl is far more realistic.
Apr 30, 2014, 02:36 PM
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Agreed about the cowling.

I know that Orline had about the same shape cowl for some of their other biplane kits, so it was a cost cutting, one size fits all approach.
I bought some ABS plastic sheets to replace/modify the cowl but as it stands now, it's such a whimsical build my thoughts are, "why bother"?

I will see how I feel as I go on. If it bugs me enough I'll mod it.

Like I said - I can be more serious later on with an aircraft plan that deserves the extra attention. This kit is so far from scale that their is really no point correcting it unless it's just for the shear fun of bashing and improvement for improvements sake.

With all that said, it is a good warm up for bigger and better kits to come.
Who knows! This plane might be a great flyer and the family's and kids that visit the flying field will enjoy it also... some of the older kids might too!

I should be flying it soon and I'll fill you all in on the details as soon as it happens!

May 08, 2014, 01:10 AM
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Have come to the conclusion that this particular kit is NOT worth any time trying to scale attempts whatsoever.
However it has been a great kit at honing my build skills after a 19 year absence from the hobby.
So in fun - I have decided that the plane is different enough to have an airframe designator change. So I will reference the plane as a Fokker D7g. The last change that I know of was the D7f which had the high compression BMW engine. I know of other mods in other countries but that's a bit beyond the scope here.
I guess one could say that since the aircraft is going to be flown by a cartoon character then it's not too far off base to say this airframe was modded by a bunch of dyslexic comic characters!

Anyways, I digress. Here are some of the latest build pic's....

"N" struts were way to big imo for the plane so I ripped them in half. Looked much better.
SEM high build primer I had laying around from a mustang restoration worked well and the Insignia Blue lusterkote applied nicely to it. A miracle!!
Baffled the engine and added a vent to the bottom hatch.
5/32 music wires are NOT fun to bend. Was a pita to lower the wing and bend up all custom cabane struts. It all turned out good and the plane looks much better imo.
Added some basswood reinforcing blocks at cabane attachment points and started to get my wiring under control.
Added some aluminum tubes and flying wires to the rear stabilizer which stiffened things up nicely.
Not too happy with the landing gear. No provision for shock absorption. The plans SAY it has it because they use rubber bands to hold the interplane on the LG but it's a joke. Very weak point of the kit imho.
We will do something about that in the next few days.

Last edited by bbs428; May 08, 2014 at 01:18 AM.
May 08, 2014, 01:16 AM
I fly, therefore, I crash!!!
SteveT.'s Avatar
Looking good!!

Latest blog entry: My shop....
Jun 10, 2014, 08:52 PM
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Covering seemed to be more of a pita than I remember.
I used solartex and monocote back in the 80's and I could do a good job of it without to much hassle. So I bought a bunch of monocote and started in on the tail surfaces.
Did the tail and rear half of the fuselage in white, the nose and front half of the fuselage in Insignia blue. The top of the wings in Pearl blue and the under wings in pink. Good thing I bought a bit more than I needed cause I needed it all!

All went on well enough but man oh man that Pearl blue was a workout to get on and look good. Seems the the pigment and the glue are mixed and then applied to the film. The solid colors of white, insignia blue and pink just went on better and shrunk better. If you start pulling or heating the pearl blue to much you smear the coloring!
To make matters worse, it would sag as you heated it and attach to the surface of the wing before the wrinkles were out. Really?
After using a whole roll to learn on and tossing it in the dumpster, I finally got it on where it looked good...not perfect mind you but good.
I ended up pulling the covering tight and working out all the twists with blue painters tape. Then when it was laying on the surface as good as it could get, I would then tack it down and started slowly shrinking with the iron. Only brought the heat gun in when I had a tough area .
Way too much work imho.

More in a bit...

Jun 10, 2014, 09:08 PM
I fly, therefore, I crash!!!
SteveT.'s Avatar
The color of Monokote and Ultracote has always been mixed with the adhesive, as they are one and the same. Adhesive=color, color=adhesive... That said, I too have found that the Monokote of today is nothing like the Monokote of yesteryear. I have some old rolls of Monokote and some new rolls of Monokote, the new material does not act the same as the old rolls do...and...the new material smells like the vinyl material that used to be used in kids "blow-up" swimming pools when heated. The older material doesn't. And....I used to be able to take patterns that were cut out of the material lay on them on a sheet of glass and using the edge of my iron I could seal them together and then apply it as one large sheet, even on open bays like wings. I can no longer do that. When you apply heat, it releases like Ultracote does.

Latest blog entry: My shop....
Jun 10, 2014, 09:49 PM
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Well I finally got her all covered up and radio set up correctly. Waiting for the side decal to be cut by a fellow rc bud. Installed some trim and sorted out some more wrinkles.

Unfortunately Muttly has been demoted do to he was just too fat and heavy. So in a last minute roster change, Ltn Teddy Thom will be manning the controls.

Had a bit of a scare with the LiFe 6.6v ignition battery.
I had just ran the engine for two - 1/2 hour runs. Recharged the batteries and all was good. A few hours latter noticed the pack was swollen and hot! Changed them out for a fresh NiMh 5 cell pack. Not sure what happened. Was charging on a real low amp setting. Only took 158mah to top off a 2100mah pack.
I have read more than one thread about Lipo's and LiFe batteries burning up or malfunctioning. I'd hate to see teddy bail out with no chute do to a class charlie fire. Maybe it's an over-reaction, maybe not. We will see.

All in all this was a good plane to cut my teeth on before more serious scale planes are built. Sure learned a lot.
I'll let you all know how the maiden went here shortly - if the rain will just stop for a few days and let the field dry out.

Thanks for reading along and safe landings to all.

Last edited by bbs428; Jun 10, 2014 at 10:41 PM.

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