Peter Rake Fokker D.VII - RC Groups
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Jan 14, 2005, 10:10 PM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar

Peter Rake Fokker D.VII

Guten Abend Alle:
After my highly successful Mike Roach DH2 build, I thought it would be best if I get back to something with some black crosses, as my moniker suggests. Peter's D.VII that appeared in FSM late last year has been gnawing at me ever since I first laid eyes on it. So I think I'll get to work on it. It'll be slow going, with work, kids, and part time University studies, but I'll plod along.

First off, if anybody has read the article and studied the plans, you will notice what a great job Peter did in keeping the wing structure scale, in that the bottom surface tapers in thickness upward towards the tips, forming dihedral, whilst the top surface of the wing stays level. This requires ribs of varying height. Peter's plans show a root and tip rib. Sandwich the proper number of rib blanks between the root and tip templates, get out the sand paper, and a while later you have a stack of tapered ribs. Nothing wrong with this method, works a treat. For those who prefer to see each individual rib and draw it out on the sheet stock and cut them all out, I have prepared bitmap images of all the ribs not shown on the plans. If you like, you can download the zip file which contains both sheets. When you print them out, ensure that the quoted measured distance is the same as that shown on the drawing before cutting wood. I have omitted the root and tip ribs, as they are on the plan. I have numbered them sequentially from the root out, so the Root rib is R1, R2 is next, etc.

By the way, the airfoil is almost identical to a GOE624. Peter assures me that the airfoil has been scientifically engineered to ensure the flying qualities of a miniature replica will closely parallel the characteristics of the original, using a highly advanced TLAR calculator.

Well, that's a start anyway. I imagine it may be several weeks before there is more to add.
Last edited by vonJaerschky; Jan 15, 2005 at 07:11 AM.
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Jan 14, 2005, 11:09 PM
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Greg Knipp's Avatar
Vonjaerschky, thank you so much for taking the time to do this. It will be a great help once this plane hits my building board. I can't wait to see photos of your work. Thanks again....Greg
Jan 14, 2005, 11:56 PM
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Greg D's Avatar
Was that a "free" plan from Flying Scale?
Jan 15, 2005, 02:58 AM
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Great job mate, thanks for all your effort. As anyone who got the plan files will have noticed, now that I use CAD, I do draw the individual ribs. However, time, and accuracy, meant hand drawing just root and tip ribs - plus me feeling idle might have some bearing on the matter.

At least on the DVII you only have to worry about taper in thickness, the DVIII was a real pain because the wings taper in both thickness and chord. Worth it though for making the builder's life easier. The sandwich method is still possible, if that's what you prefer, but so is the ability to get the ribs laser cut because each one is shown. Hmmm, now there's an idea.

Jan 15, 2005, 07:09 AM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar
Greg: - Yes, that was the free plan included in FSM.

Peter - Thanks for the kind words. Kurt Bengtson of Aerodrome R/C already has a D.VII laser cut short kit, so that is available for those that don't want to do all the cutting. It is a tiny bit smaller than your version.

I got a great deal on a Model Motors Mini AC1215/20 and a 3:1 gearbox from Icare R/C here in Canada, so that will be the power system, along with LiPos. Motocalc says this should give it lots of power, and long relaxing flights when throttled back.

I probably won't really get into construction until mid February.

I plan on using silkspan and nitrate dope for covering, and then acrylic paints for the color. I'm going for Lothar von Jaer, errrrr, I mean Richthofen's D.VII, with the yellow nose and black & white checkerboard tail. Yes, it does mean duplicating the lozenge, but it has been done before so it can't be as impossible as it first seems. Kurt's great website has lozenge templates for free download, so that is a big help.
Jan 15, 2005, 08:33 AM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar

Aileron Cable Routing

Does anybody know how Fokker routed the aileron cables on the D.VII? I have looked at a lot of photos, but still can't see how they get from the fuselage up to the wing. Do they run inside the cabane struts? I ask because I would like to use a scale pull/pull for the ailerons, as well as the tail feathers.
Jan 15, 2005, 10:20 AM
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I'm tackling scale aileron routing on a Dare D7 right now. The aileron cables on the real thing exit the top of the fuselage sides slightly aft of where the rear cabane struts attach to the fuse. The cables enter the wing very close to where the rear cabane struts attach to the wing. The white dot on my fuselage side is the cable entry grommet.
Jan 16, 2005, 08:20 AM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar
Thanks for the pictures, Mike. Thatís a nice looking D.VII. I just found a great detail shot in one of my references. Notice the aileron cable just under the Spandaus. Also notice the big oil/fuel stain underneath the filler caps, and how it carries on back along the wing root. There is also lots of chipped paint along the bottom edge of the metal shroud where it meets the top of the fuselage. And the wrinkles in the covering! Funny how we strive for a wrinkle free finish, yet the real aircraft generally took a huge beating and had wrinkles and stains galore! The small scoop underneath the aileron cables was an add-on to try and prevent the ammunition from overheating and bursting into flame.

I may try using just one cable to actuate the aileron, and have the other end of the aileron cable from the control horn attached to a small spring inside the wing, to provide the return force. This method has worked great on my DH2 and has proven to be reliable. (The DH2 had the spring on the outside of the upper wing,) For the scale sticklers, I could still run a dummy cable from the fuselage to the top wing alongside the working cable.
Jan 16, 2005, 08:16 PM
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That's a great detail shot. Most of what we usually get to work from in detail shots are antiseptically clean restoration subjects. It's nice to see wrinkles on a real plane. I'm sure we spend a lot more time fussing over the deatails on our little models than they did on the real thing.

The spring return on the aileron is a clever idea that would simplify things.
Jan 16, 2005, 11:29 PM
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Pat Daily's Avatar
Speaking of wrinkles--look at some photos of SE-5s or DH2s. Wear and tear and rips and dents and patches and mud. All the things we forget on WWI models. The panels fit poorly--especially after some maintenance in the field. After all--these planes had very short operational careers. Many were repaired after nose overs, broken landing gear, and other assorted crunches. And then there is the oil! Everywhere!

Nice DVII--I am pleased to see the wing taper from 15% thickness at the center to 7% at the tips. Some day I want to build one with the proper undercamber. Often wondered why Fokker's designer built a tapered thickness wing with constant chord--every rib was different. Must have been and expensive thing to produce compared to constant thickness wings.

Pat Daily
Jan 17, 2005, 01:26 AM
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Brian T's Avatar

Great Job!!!


What great thing to do for everyone who wants to build this plane from that plan. I to have scratch built this plane as well and spent many a nights dreading cutting those ribs

Peters plans are the best for building and the flying of these planes although I'm a beginner I've built quite a few now, a search of my name and you'll see

Brian T
Jan 27, 2005, 09:19 AM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar
Very little progress to report, Iím afraid. Just too busy with non-modelling stuff, including snow shoveling. Anyway, I did get the motor, a Model Motors Mini AC1215/20. Itís amazing how small it is! Hereís a photo with a Speed 400 for comparison. The gearbox should be arriving shortly.
I have done a little more planning. I am going to mount all the servos as far forward as physically possible, except the aileron servo which will need to be more or less at the location where the aileron cables exited the fuselage. Ailerons will definately be done with one servo and 1 cable going out to each aileron, with the other aileron cable leading from the aileron horn to a spring inside the wing. I think this airplane will be a really good flyer, with lots of power. I should be able to shave a few ounces off the prototype, which will make for an even better flyer.
Jan 27, 2005, 05:07 PM
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Rekitter's Avatar
Barron Von Frank:

Good luck on the new project... you will have a winner no doubt. I like you ambitious color scheme.

Feb 05, 2005, 03:50 PM
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I guess I started too soon, it would have been nice to have those rib templates.
I'm just finishing mine up and was wondering what PR D-VII builders have been using for control throws.

Feb 05, 2005, 04:04 PM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar
hey VonZipper - That's the same colour scheme I was planning on. Your's looks great! Where did you get the reference for the colours, and how did you do the lozenge?

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