60" Douglas TBD Devastator - RC Groups
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Oct 27, 2017, 01:36 AM
Res Ipsa Aviatur
Longhorne's Avatar
Build Log

60" Douglas TBD Devastator


Well, people, I'm going to cave in to peer pressure. Not long ago a few of you (notably St. Martin and JIMA) started poking at me to design a TBD Devastator. Initially I thought, fat chance. That is one homely airplane and its service record wasn't exactly stellar.

Then I read The Battle of Midway where the story of the Lost Squadron was told in detail. As many of you already know, the Devastator crews flew into nearly certain death. In some cases they had inadequate fighter cover and in other cases they had none at all. But while they were nearly wiped out to a man, the Devastators drew aerial defenses away from the Japanese carrier group. This allowed the Dauntless dive bombers to go to work, and go to work they did. The result was the destruction of four of the Imperial Navy's seven carriers and the reversal of power in the Pacific.

The Lost Squadron refers to Torpedo Squadron VT-8. Of their 30 crewman of VT-8, only Ensign George Gay survived.

Interestingly, I just stumbled across this video from 1942 memorializing VT-8. There's some nice color video of the Devastator followed by shots of many of the crewman--including Ensign Gay:
U.S. Navy Torpedo Squadron 8 - 1942 Educational Documentary - WDTVLIVE42 (7 min 18 sec)


I'm going to kick this thread off much earlier than I normally would for a couple of reasons. The first is because if I start a thread then I'm pretty much bound to finish the project. And second, because I've been asked quite a few times recently to talk more about the design side of my projects. My gut feeling is that the CAD part is a big yawn to a lot of folks here. But if those folks check back in a little later on we'll be into the building part.

The pace of this one won't be too fast. The plan is to focus on the construction of the Hawk but pick away at the Devastator CAD during the lunch hour. With that said, the move from the keyboard to the building board will probably happen around December.
Last edited by Longhorne; Oct 30, 2017 at 11:55 PM. Reason: Nailed down the wingspan
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Oct 27, 2017, 02:10 AM
Registered User
raipe's Avatar
Subbed in! Always thought that the Devastator was a beautiful aircraft. Have you locked the size down yet?

raipe
Oct 27, 2017, 02:35 AM
Res Ipsa Aviatur
Longhorne's Avatar
Hi Raipe--really!?!

Lol--I think she's shaped like a big guppy. And when you add the giant Mark 13 torpedo angling down from the belly--wow.

But with that said, the ol' girl has really grown on me. I've been collecting photos and boning up on TBD history for a couple months.
Oct 27, 2017, 03:21 AM
71% of the world is runway . .
Bart83's Avatar
Very nice subject! Looking forward to see both the design and building phase


Kind regards,

Bart
Oct 27, 2017, 06:58 AM
EB-66C Team Member
J Morgan's Avatar
Always loved the Devastator. If you're like me you'll enjoy the way it flies. I built one a few years ago and underpowered it. Flew just like the real thing, slow and lumbering around. But that thick wing likes to fly like that. Looking forward to your rendition Paul.

J
Oct 27, 2017, 07:45 AM
Big gov never Works
St. Martin's Avatar
I'm in..
Oct 27, 2017, 10:32 AM
Retired and Lovin' it!
TPfingston's Avatar
I agree, not the sexiest airplane but she did her part. I'll be lurking in on this one too.

Tony
Oct 27, 2017, 11:03 AM
Parkcityflier
parkcityskier's Avatar
I had the good fortune to meet George Gay, the only survivor of Torpedo 8. He had a front row seat to the battle. It’s always nice then to be seeing a model of the Devastator built and and the history it made being part of the build. A must see movie for the plane is the epic “Dive Bomber”, lots of good shots of the plane in its pre war colors flying over North Island NAS in San Diego.

Jim
Last edited by parkcityskier; Oct 27, 2017 at 03:15 PM.
Oct 27, 2017, 12:47 PM
EB-66C Team Member
J Morgan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by parkcityskier
I had the good fortune to meet George Gay, the only survivor of Torpedo 8. He had a front row seat to the battle. It’s always nice then to be seeing a model of the Devastater built and and the history it made being part of the build. A must see movie for the plane is the epic “Dive Bomber”, lots of good shots of the plane in its pre war colors flying over North Island NAS in San Diego.

Jim
I did too Jim. Met him and Pappy Boyington twice at Oshkosh. Bought Gay's signed limited edition prints too.
Still enjoy seeing them on my shop wall.
George was a really nice unassuming guy. Pappy was ..... well, Pappy was Pappy.
I'll be enjoying this build.

J
Oct 27, 2017, 01:36 PM
Registered User
JIMA's Avatar
Paul, you caught me off-guard with the early announcement. I am glad you did though because I am one of those who have been interested in the mechanics of how you get from 3-view to plan. I have some experience using 2d Turbocad but to transition to 3d looks like quite a learning curve. Not to mention the expense. But the freedom of design you get with 3d looks like it might be worthwhile. Several years ago I did a cursory look at Sketchup but it looked like it did not have all the features needed to design aircraft without searching out a bunch of plug ins.

Jim
Oct 27, 2017, 01:49 PM
I may be some time ....
balticS2's Avatar
Hey Paul! When I saw the kick off of the Hawk thread I thought that we can forget about the Devastator for a couple of years at least. Well what do you know? This will be great. Like Jim I've been fiddling around with TurboCad in 2D for the past couple of years. Any insight or inspiration on making the jump to 3D will be sopped up happily here too.

All the best

Alec
Oct 27, 2017, 03:40 PM
Res Ipsa Aviatur
Longhorne's Avatar
Wow--looks like this one is striking a chord! That's a good thing.

Bart--not sure that you'll learn anything new here

J--should have known that you have already done a TBD. Its getting hard to find a box you haven't checked! But I'm glad that you did because you are on my list of folks to discuss those crazy corrugations with. Of course, anyone is welcome to chime in on that subject, as they are a defining feature of the Devastator.

I'm blown away that two of you met George Gay! I hadn't heard that he did the airshow circuit. I vaguely remember meeting Pappy at a show when I was a kid. My recollection is that he was seated with a Japanese pilot. Saburo Sakai?

And Dive Bomber--Errol Flynn and Fred MacMurray. Great flick.

Fuzz and Jim--glad to have you two instigators on board with us

Ok--kicking off the first lunch time session. All projects begin with some research--particularly for scale drawings. Other plans can be useful too. Photos of course. But the main thing is the drawings. I usually spend a few months mulling this part over. Happily, I started mulling a few months ago.

Now I'm going to let you in on a secret. A lot of the stuff on the internet is crap. That's a true story. In this case, that mainly applies to the drawings you'll find. Some look good, but when you plug them into your CAD program you find out that the top and side views don't line up. Or maybe the cross-sections are bogus. If these problems become obvious after you've roughed out your solid model, well, that can be frustrating. What I'm really suggesting here is to make sure you pick the right drawings before you get started. Rework is always worse than work.

One good resource for drawings is airwar.ru. There is also a nice repository here on RCG:
https://www.rcgroups.com/scale-drawi...ree-views-860/

Here are a few drawings to get us going, along with some comments.

Paul
Oct 27, 2017, 03:45 PM
Res Ipsa Aviatur
Longhorne's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by balticS2
Hey Paul! When I saw the kick off of the Hawk thread I thought that we can forget about the Devastator for a couple of years at least. . . .

All the best

Alec
Alec--lol, I thought so too. I don't like to have many irons in the fire. Its usually one build from start to finish for me.

The only problem with that is that by the time I finish all of the CAD work, I'm sick of CAD and I really want to be building. And when I'm deep into the build, I miss doing the CAD. So, for a change, let's try this design at lunch and build at night thing. I'm pretty excited about it.

Thanks for your interest!

Paul
Oct 27, 2017, 04:29 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Brian Allen's Avatar
Paul

Will be watching closely. The TBD is one of those aircraft you just gotta love like the F-2A Buffalo. Should also consider doing an SB2U Vindicator, the TBD's stablemate!!

Brian

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
Last edited by Brian Allen; Oct 27, 2017 at 06:13 PM.
Oct 27, 2017, 04:55 PM
Manzano Laser Works
TomJacoby's Avatar
Looking forward to this one - especially interested in how you solve the corrugation problem!

-=Tom=-


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