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Apr 13, 2019, 02:57 PM
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George Miller's Avatar
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George Miller scratch builds a FA-55 "Angel Shark"


I think most modelers out there will get a real kick out of this thread.

Any modeler who knows me, knows that I scratch build almost all of my model aircraft. Been doing it for all my life in model making.

What most do not know is that I also enjoy the art of designing my own aircraft. It is a real interesting part of building model aircraft and not a whole lot of modelers do it.

I have been what I would call: "very successful" at it. Some of them have taken a lot of work to get flying right. Many modelers who fly at the fields I fly at have had some real exciting flights to watch and got a real laugh out of them. I am sure a lot of them went home joking about another: "George Miller Foley" only to later be coming up to me and remarking at how good the aircraft flies.

I have attached some photos of my scratch built designs. As you can see, most are quite unique.

If you have any questions or interested in the story behind any of these, feel free to ask.

I was on the net about a year and half ago and came across a drawing of a aircraft called a F/A-45N. I didn't even realize at the time that it was just a fake drawing and not really of a prototype done by Grumman.

I fell in love with it and decided that I just had to have one of these. So I downloaded it and started to do 3-views and constructions 3-views that I could work with. I drew them up in size so I could use a pair of 90mm EDF's .

Of course the first thing I did was draw the color 3-view and changed the Navy unit to VF-111 instead of the VF-1. Any aircraft called "Angel Shark" must have the shark nose on it and VF-111 has that.

To be continued . . . .
Last edited by George Miller; Apr 13, 2019 at 03:25 PM. Reason: add photos
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Apr 13, 2019, 04:35 PM
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Seems like a merge of a raptor flying surfaces with the fuse of an F-14. The latter does not have as much stealth radar evading features.

I've been working on an F-23A twin 90 fan model very slowly for the past little while. This is supposed to be the production version of the YF-23 that Northrup developed to compete with the Raptor. Also on the internet I found what is supposed to be the navy version designated as F-23B, which was shown to have canards for increased slow speed control over carrier deck. Don't know if these are actual proposals to DOD as the 3-views seem to indicate, or just hoaxes? Perhaps you may be interested in the F-23B if it was a real project? Your skills & talent can get such project to the finish line much sooner than I can .

Phil Lin
Last edited by Phil Lin; Apr 14, 2019 at 09:12 PM. Reason: grammar; corrected MOD
Apr 13, 2019, 04:49 PM
2019 EDF Jet Jam June 13-16
Robert Belluomini's Avatar
Very cool design George. I would love build something similar about 80” in length.
Phil looking forward to seeing more progress on your YF-23
Apr 13, 2019, 05:35 PM
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Hi, Bob! You mean F-23A? I've got laser cut parts for the tail feathers, redesigned the forward/cockpit area for Down & Lock gears as the initial Eflites wud require about 3/8" higher stance with min. Robarts strut length. Getting all my taxes done then will post some progress photos soon. (sorry to go off topic, George).

Phil
Apr 13, 2019, 09:33 PM
2019 EDF Jet Jam June 13-16
Robert Belluomini's Avatar
Yes Phil F-23A
Apr 14, 2019, 10:48 AM
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George Miller's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Lin
Hi, Bob! You mean F-23A? I've got laser cut parts for the tail feathers, redesigned the forward/cockpit area for Down & Lock gears as the initial Eflites wud require about 3/8" higher stance with min. Robarts strut length. Getting all my taxes done then will post some progress photos soon. (sorry to go off topic, George).

Phil
Phil,

There is no such thing to me of "going off topic" on my threads. I even encourage it very much. This is a building thread. And I even "go off topic" on my threads myself

Build threads should be just that. Any post about building, going to build or even thinking about building is great. And any project one is doing that with is nice to read here. Photos are very nice to see.

A open thread about building is the idea here and it could make it easier for some to show their projects without having to start a thread to do it.
Last edited by George Miller; Apr 14, 2019 at 10:52 AM. Reason: add text
Apr 14, 2019, 11:22 AM
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George Miller's Avatar
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Fuselage


The first step in construction after all the art work has been done is the fuselage.

I have to scratch out the fuselage plug. Like everyone knows, I make my fuselages out of fiberglass. If I was making them out of balsa, we could call this the fuselage instead of the plug. But having a fuselage for a jet with all those formers inside makes all the future construction much more difficult. And you have a much heavier fuselage than one out of glass and it will not hold up as well either.

Being I am making this aircraft just for me and probably will not need more than one fuselage, I fiberglass right off the plug rather than make molds. And this too makes a better fuselage and is easier to make than taking the time and effort to make molds and having to lay up in them. The only thing this does require is that you work with laminating resins. The Isophalic resin I use is just that. Between it and using "S" fiberglass cloth instead of "E" cloth gives me a very strong fuselage. And unlike using Epoxy resin, CA glues to it like a weld. So not having to use epoxy for gluing also makes my aircraft lighter.

The plug is made out of 1/4" formers and 1/8" balsa strips. After I have finished making the plug and have it sanded to shape, I give it a coat of 1/2 fiberglass cloth applied with 15min epoxy. I sand that smooth and give it another coat of just epoxy. Sand it and I have my plug.

Now I give it at least three coats of mold release wax and then brush on a coat of "PVA" mold release.

I then glass myself a fuselage, sand it smooth, and pop it off the plug.

To be continued . . . .
Apr 14, 2019, 12:48 PM
EDF rules... :)
AirX's Avatar
Wow, beautiful work.
Thank you for posting this.

Cheers,
Eric B.
Apr 14, 2019, 06:22 PM
AKA Terry Till
ex-racr's Avatar
Dumb question:
Is the weave filled on the exterior of the shell, when using this technique, or is there a texture that will be later sanded/filled?
Apr 14, 2019, 06:40 PM
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George Miller's Avatar
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No, there is no weave to be concerned with.

I use 6 ounce cloth. It is a very fine weave. So there really isn't any weave to deal with. I do two layers. And according to the size of the aircraft I am building, if it is small enough I sometimes use one of 6 ounce and one of 3 ounce.

Either way, after I have laid the second layer of cloth and applied the resin to it, I then wait for it to cure and apply another layer of just resin. This gives me a coat of resin to sand on instead of even sanding through to the cloth.

This Isophalic resin is so thin that it penetrates the cloth completely..
Last edited by George Miller; Apr 14, 2019 at 06:50 PM.
Apr 14, 2019, 07:28 PM
Classic jets rule
AIR SALLY's Avatar
How do you "seam" the two halves back together?
Apr 14, 2019, 09:08 PM
AKA Terry Till
ex-racr's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Miller
No, there is no weave to be concerned with.

I use 6 ounce cloth. It is a very fine weave. So there really isn't any weave to deal with. I do two layers. And according to the size of the aircraft I am building, if it is small enough I sometimes use one of 6 ounce and one of 3 ounce.

Either way, after I have laid the second layer of cloth and applied the resin to it, I then wait for it to cure and apply another layer of just resin. This gives me a coat of resin to sand on instead of even sanding through to the cloth.

This Isophalic resin is so thin that it penetrates the cloth completely..
Thank you for your answer!
Apr 14, 2019, 09:35 PM
Registered User
Thanks for your generous absolution of my transgression on your thread.

You are blazing on with lightning speed progress. impressive to watch.

I'm attaching the drawing of a naval version of the F-23 below; but unlike the F-23A 3-view I purchased on the net (from Scott Lowther), I'm not sure this naval version was not someone's imagination & not a serious proposed a/c.

Phil
Last edited by Phil Lin; Apr 15, 2019 at 10:22 AM. Reason: clarify
Apr 15, 2019, 09:04 AM
EB-66C Team Member
J Morgan's Avatar
My God, that is a beautiful plug!

J
Latest blog entry: Ziroli A-1H at 100"ws
Apr 15, 2019, 01:24 PM
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George Miller's Avatar
Thread OP

Seaming fuselage


Quote:
Originally Posted by AIR SALLY
How do you "seam" the two halves back together?
After I have sanded the fuselage on the plug I will wait about three days before removing it off the plug. Isophalic resin will continue to cure for about a week after being used and will continue to get harder.

This fuselage required me to part it on the sides and produce two halves.

There is a lot to do before seaming the two halves together.

I cut out the front hatch in the canopy area. This gives me access to the inside of the fuselage for seaming.

I make templates from the area where the retracts go for the formers that will go there.

Now I take 50 grit sandpaper and sand the areas where the retracts and doors will be. This rough of sandpaper gives you a good rough area for the gluing of formers. I also use this sandpaper along the inside edges where the two halves will be seamed.

I then use masking tape and tape the two halves together. Now I take my Isophelic resin and with a 1" wide brush I apply a coat of the resin and let it cure. Being a laminating resin, when it cures it is very tacky to the touch.

Next is the 1" wide 12 ounce seaming cloth that I apply to the resin inside the seam. This cloth sticks to the resin and the edges of it are laced so it doesn't unravel when applied. I have attached a photo of this seaming tape.

Another layer of resin on the tape, let it cure, then a coat of PVA on the resin to make it cure past it's tacky state, and the fuselage is seamed.

The next day I will wash the inside of the fuselage to remove the PVA.

To be continued . . . .


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