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Aug 05, 2018, 09:26 AM
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Mike, Beautiful! About how many hours per day do you put in on a project like this?
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Aug 05, 2018, 12:34 PM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Thanks George and Jim. Freddy, I have been keeping an hours build record since day 1 (which was 70 days ago) and it comes to about 2 hours a day. I can hear my wife's hollow laughter as I write this, because I have really been putting in the time on this build. With the hot weather I'm up at 5:45 and get two hours before breakfast, so I don't really know how the figure is so low. Flying weather has been good lately though, and I do a fair amount of dinghy sailing.

I'll do a full breakdown of hours per structure at the end: at the moment the nacelles and associated parts are easily in the lead!
Aug 09, 2018, 07:10 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
I had a couple of hours of fun with the cockpit, copying as far as possible the real thing. Just half close your eyes please.

I edged all the nacelle/wing joins with strips of covering material. This makes subsequent covering much easier. The nacelles are covered in halves and don't look too bad at a distance.
Aug 09, 2018, 09:17 AM
Registered User
Everything looks great at a distance! (LOL)
Aug 11, 2018, 03:50 AM
Registered User
ivves's Avatar
An other one built in Sweden !
Aug 11, 2018, 11:00 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
I could not open the link Ivve, but I saw the model on the Hall of Fame. I think mine will be the fifth, if you count the enlarged one. And Ivan's, of course.

Did some more covering today. Why is it always the very last piece of the session that turns bad and has to be redone? Or ignored until it stares you out?
Aug 18, 2018, 10:38 PM
Registered User
Update to item #28in this thread.
There were three DH86s that came to NZ in 1935 for Union Airways, which is now Air NZ.
All three aircraft were taken over by the RNZAF in 1939.
ZK AEF and ZK AEG both had taxing accidents during the war when in RNZAF service.
ZK AEH crashed on takeoff and was written off.
I am interested in the story of a cover up by UK Authorities.
My Uncle was one of the first eight pilots to join Union Airways in 1935 and did a lot of flying in the DH86.
Last edited by Fly Tusk; Aug 18, 2018 at 10:47 PM.
Aug 19, 2018, 01:26 AM
Come friendly bombs ....
balticS2's Avatar
Very nice work Mike. Looks like you will have built yourself into the shed by the end.

Aug 24, 2018, 08:35 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Originally Posted by balticS2
Very nice work Mike. Looks like you will have built yourself into the shed by the end.

The Express was in company at the BIMBO weekend when due to the high winds we assembled all 18 Ivan's models in my garden and handed out the BIMBO mugs to the builders. I think only NIck Chud has the complete collection. Sadly, Lynn Sparks the potter has closed the shop so next year will have to be a different design.

I had a cunning plan which I have started to put into effect Alec, involving battens and better use of the roof space.

The model is almost covered now and final detailing is keeping me busy. Little things like the pitot tube, the aerial mast, rudder mass balance and most of all the interior. With all that window area, the view into the model is very good, so something had to be done. At the moment it is restricted to seat backs and a Ministry of Aviation observer. He had a pilot's license at one time until he crashed the Bristol 142 (entirely his fault) and was nudged sideways into this desk job. His wide eyes betray his state of mind.
Aug 25, 2018, 11:28 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar

Ready to fly

Well, after 3 months building she is ready to fly, although not finished by a long way. Tuesday looks promising, but then we are off for a few days holiday, over what looks to be a very good flying weekend!

I assembled her in the garden to do a run-up and fittings check. A good thing I did, because I found a few stoppers: the aileron plug had the Futaba lip on it which needed to be cut off, the previous model on #7 was a delta and I had forgotten how to access the Wing Type on the TX to clear it back to normal...

A 5000mAh 3-cell fits in the nose and balances a bit forward of Ivan's mark. An inch and a half back and she balances just right. I shall do the first flight at the slightly forward setting I think. All throws are to spec, all props go round in the right direction. Missing are the spinners (I've glossed up some old GWS indoor ones which fit quite well and look OK), all the markings, some passengers perhaps. That's about it.

The pilots are the best the agency could come up with at short notice: the relaxed rather camp-looking dude in the sunglasses used to drive a B-N Islander and the nervous-looking fellow in the RH seat flew Hurricanes in the B of B. I hope they have done their homework.
Aug 25, 2018, 01:07 PM
Registered User
thnilsen's Avatar
She's a beauty .

Best of luck with the maiden.
Aug 26, 2018, 03:12 AM
71% of the world is runway . .
Bart83's Avatar
Beautifull Mike ,amazing what you have acomplished in 3 months!
This will be a very nice slow flying airplane i'm sure.

Aug 26, 2018, 09:19 AM
parkcityskier's Avatar
Really looks great, Mike. Lots of wing struts on these old bipes

Aug 26, 2018, 05:02 PM
Father by day, hacker by night
JornWildt's Avatar
3 months? Impressive! Nice work - and good luck.
Aug 28, 2018, 08:01 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar

Maiden Flight

All I can say, after four flights with the Express this morning, is "perfect". The maiden was so uneventful it could have been its hundredth flight, she took off straight, climbed gently up, turned gracefully, flew back along the field, turned again and kept on flying up and up. No trim changes, the stall was very gentle and the balance seemed fine. She was so easy to fly I came down and did a low pass and climbed out again before the 5 minutes was up and I lined up for a landing. Just a little power brought her floating in for a gentle touchdown and a taxi back to the flight line.

The SCs and motors were cool, the UC was stil in place, all the struts were still attached despite not having magnets. The 3-cell 5000 was showing 11.7v having started at 12.5 and 5 minutes flying plus a bit of taxying

That was at 9:30am and there was only one other flier on the patch who arrived as I was flying. He took all the photos and the video, so thanks Christopher for an excellent record of the second flight despite the very monochrome weather. I had two more flights. What a great morning!
Last edited by Sopwith Mike; Aug 28, 2018 at 08:37 AM.

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