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Oct 08, 2018, 10:24 AM
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Curtiss SB2C Helldiver


I don't usually do much in the way of war birds, but when the opportunity came along to do the Curtiss Helldiver it was just too good to let it go by. It all began with a set of mediocre 3-views, along with ordering a 1:72 scale plastic model for reference. The model kit came along shortly after the drawings were pretty well laid out, so did a few cross checks and found the 3-views and model kit to be a good bit different. As it turns out, the fuselage on the 3-views was significantly shorter than the model, And being that the Helldiver is a bit short coupled anyway, thought it best to stay with the dimensions taken from the model kit. Then once all that was worked out the plans were finished up and the parts nested. And now, with parts and plans in hand it's time to get the build underway.

Since this is intended to be a "Park Flyer" style model I also opted for simplicity on the project. The model is designed for 4 ch. control with fixed gear and no dive breaks. Retracts could be added by the builder, but the split dive breaks are a bit too complicated to be practical on a model with only a 48" span. The plan for power is the Suppo 2217 outrunner, with the cell count to be determined once it's closer to time to fly. So for now, lets get started.
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Oct 08, 2018, 10:26 AM
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Building the Wings


The main and rear spars are built up using ply doublers in the center section. The spars are assembled, then the center section built up over the plans.
Oct 08, 2018, 10:46 AM
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Starting on the Outer Panels


With the center section in place, the outer panels are built up individually. With the panel under construction pinned in place on the building board the spars on the opposite panel are supported with foam blocks to prevent them from being accidentally broken during construction. The ribs are dry fitted onto the spars, and when all are in place the aileron spars, leading and trailing edges are added. To make the wing easier to shape after it's built up, the leading edge is cut from 1/8 balsa. The first layer is glued in place, then the second layer glued in place on both sides when the other panel has been completed and the wing is lifted from the board. The ailerons are assembled in place, then separated from the wing and sanded to shape.

Then with the first side done, the wing is lifted from the board, blocked up, and the other panel built up in the same fashion. When the framing is done, the wing is lifted from the board, the second layer added to the leading edge, the blocks added at the inboard end of the aileron bay, and the assembly sanded to shape.
Oct 08, 2018, 10:53 AM
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Finishing the Basic Wing Assembly


With the wing assembly sanded to shape, the leading edge fairings were cut from file folder paper and glued in place to complete the basic wing assembly.

The landing gear block were cut from bass wood and the vertical support glued in place. The blocks were then drilled and grooved to accept the landing gear struts. The blocks were glued in place using 5 minute epoxy, and once cured, the landing gear struts were dry fitted and adjusted to their final shape.
Oct 08, 2018, 11:02 AM
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Building the Rudder


Rudder construction begins with assembling laminating the spars and the lower tip of the rudder. The rudder hinge spar is laminated from 1/16 x 3/8 and 1/8 x 3/8 balsa. The angles at the top are scored, bent, and glued in place. From there, the leading edge and outline are pinned in place over the plans using 1/8" shims to center them around the assembly. The ribs and diagonal bracing are added next, then when completed, the assembly is lifted from the board, the leading edge fillet added and sanded to final shape. And finally, the tail wheel strut is fitted and glued in place, and the hinges are cut in and dry fitted.
Oct 08, 2018, 11:15 AM
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Building the Horizontal Stabilizer


The horizontal stabilizer is probably the most complex structure on the whole model -- probably because it tapers in so many directions at once.

Construction starts with laminating the main and elevator spars. From there, the assembly keys together on the front and main spars. The leading edges go on next, followed by the tip bows, center sheeting and outer ribs. The elevators are built up using shims to center the trailing edge. The diagonal bracing was added using 1/16 sq. bass wood. When completed, the assembly was lifted from the board, the center sheeting added to the other side, the elevators separated, and the assembly sanded to shape. With the shaping done, the control horn support/ corner gussets were added and sanded flush with the bottom of the elevators. And finally, the hinges were cut in and dry fitted in place.

Next up, the fuselage.

PAT
Oct 08, 2018, 04:14 PM
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Subbed. Nice looking project.

Jim
Oct 08, 2018, 05:54 PM
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Super cool...
Latest blog entry: In flight
Oct 08, 2018, 07:27 PM
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I always enjoy your projects :-)

Daniel
Oct 09, 2018, 10:18 AM
Veni Vidi Volavi
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Pat

Very nice, was wondering when we would see some stuff on the Helldiver.

Watching with interest.

Brian

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
Oct 09, 2018, 06:07 PM
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I love watching these builds!
Oct 12, 2018, 10:03 AM
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Subbed in

raipe
Oct 12, 2018, 01:44 PM
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Getting Staarted on the Fuselage


The fuselage is framed with an internal truss and stringered external formers. The basic "box" is built up first. . . . .
Oct 12, 2018, 01:48 PM
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Adding the External Formers


The formers are aligned and glued in place around the fuselage frame. Then because the 3 center top formers are so tall, and a bit easy to break, the strings were added right away.
Oct 12, 2018, 01:53 PM
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Adding the Stringers


A few stringers were added, then the wing saddle fairings were added. Since the fairings never come out right when drawn first, paper patterns were made directly on the fuselage for the fairings, then the parts cut from 1/16 balsa and fitted to the fuselage. The patterns were then traced and added to the plans so the builder won't have to deal with making patterns. From there, the last of the stringers were added and the wing mounts were fitted and glued in place.


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