My paper and foam Chilton DW1 - RC Groups
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Jun 06, 2005, 03:32 AM
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Graham Smith's Avatar

My paper and foam Chilton DW1

Here are some photos and plans for my 17.5” span Chilton - with a paper fuselage, which should make a good first scale model, as it's quite simple to make and is a steady stable flier.

I originally built the model with a fuselage out of folded 0.5 depron, for a ‘Bit car’ radio set up. A recent thread on using paper for airplanes started my experiments with paper for a free flight version and I was also influenced by the late Mike Hetherington’s experiments.

The paper version has a fuselage made from one sheet of ordinary A4 size 80gsm typing/photocopier paper (5grams), which has the fuselage shape and colour markinqs printed on it using an ink jet printer, it is then given a coat of thinned dope on both sides to help stabilise the paper and to prevent the colour smearing when flying over damp grass etc.
(The red paper parts of the finished model have recently been given a thinly brushed coat of gloss lacquer (model aircraft gloss fuel proofer) to give it a more realistic gloss finish. This really transforms the model and brings the colours to life, although it adds 1 gram to the weight of the model. The lacquer might be better applied before cutting the paper parts out, possibly using a spray aerosol). The paper is then cut out and folded into a box shape and stiffened up internally with a few foam formers. I was suprised at how light and stiff a structure this creates, and the prepared paper is still lighter than 2mm depron. Paper strength doesn’t compare with depron, when flat, but once folded into a box and a few formers are added, produces a really stiff structure. It also produces a very realistic looking model, as the paper panels simulate the thin ply panels used in the construction of the full size aircraft. The wings and tailplane are made from depron.

The completed model, minus motor and radio equipment, weighs 13.3 grams.
The 4.5 ohm pager motor gearbox and prop used, adds another 3 grams.

My free flight model uses three 50mAh cells (10.5 grams!), and the finished
model weighs in at 26 grams, with pilot and it flies quite well at this weight with the 4.5ohm pager motor.

I feel there is considerable scope for experimentation with this technique. I have recently started experimenting with Epson Photo quality glossy paper. Weight 141g/m2 , thickness (0.17mm). I originally avoided using this paper thinking it would be to heavy. An A4 sheet is 3.5 grams heavier than ordinary typing paper. But once the typing paper has been given a coat of lacquer there is very little difference in the weight. To my mind though, the semi gloss finished typing paper looks more realistic than the highly glossy photo paper. Thinner 80 gsm photo paper would be plenty strong enough, and maybe 40 gsm for the turtledecking. I don’t know if it is available though.

This plane would be ideal for the new Plantraco radio, and would be many grams lighter than my model, so should be a good performer.
There’s plenty more information on construction and finishing shown on the very detailed plans.
So get ‘printing’ and ‘cutting’ to make this pretty looking ultralight!

The other Graham

PDF plans files are:
Page 1 Wings and tail
Page 2 fuselage layout + formers
page 3 Coloured fuselage template
page 4 Curved panels and U/C
page 5 Photo construction sequence of fuselage
page 6 Photo construction sequence of nose
page 7 Photo construction sequence of wing fairings and lettering

Nice web site, with pictures of the full size aircraft at:
Last edited by Graham Smith; Jun 06, 2005 at 04:25 AM.
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Jun 06, 2005, 03:43 AM
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Graham Smith's Avatar

PDF Plans file


File 'C.pdf' should say: 'file 4 Curved panels and U/C'
for some reason the lettering has disappeared
Last edited by Graham Smith; Jun 06, 2005 at 03:58 AM.
Jun 06, 2005, 03:46 AM
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Graham Smith's Avatar
pdf files 6 and 7
Last edited by Graham Smith; Jun 06, 2005 at 04:07 AM.
Jun 06, 2005, 04:09 AM
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Graham Smith's Avatar
This is the only flying shot which I have at the moment.
Jun 06, 2005, 09:52 AM
derk's Avatar
very nice. the landing gear reminds me of the northrop alpha with those wheel pants.
and again a nice set of free plans too. where do you find the time?

Jun 06, 2005, 10:13 AM
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What a fine job you did in organizing and laying out parts!

Jim R
Jun 06, 2005, 07:06 PM
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FFFlier's Avatar
Beauty of a plane. Reading your plans is like reading a detailed magazine build article with better pictures. How far did you get with the foam version? (just for comparison).

I'll probably try a smaller 13" version. I have had pretty good
results with formers from 1mm foam plates that are painted with polyurethane
glue for strength after they are assembled.

I want to use dried grass tubes but there's lots of ticks, lyme disease this time of year in Mass. so hafta steer clear of the tall grass until fall. Boston Globe articls said lots of outbreaks right now locally so be careful picking through the grass. (Next door neighbor got it couple years ago).

Jun 06, 2005, 08:49 PM
Gone Flyin'
Wow, another neat technique. Very nice looking build and all those detailed and well put togther plans and directions that require a very close look and study.

I bet this has got a lot gears turning and thinking of the likes of Fiddlers Green paper planes again (or still).

I like working with balsa but have used thin foam. Problem is that depron is not easy to get except by post at high costs expecially when sent internationally. I have used some paper "panels" on balsa and stringer models but have never taken the idea any further. Time to do some more experimenting.

Something else that some FF types have used is molded tissue. Tissue paper molded over a carved form (like for turttle decks) using dope or white glue. I tried it but it wasn't to my liking, very light but also very delicate.

cheers, the other other Graham in Embrun near Ottawa Canada
Jun 07, 2005, 02:40 AM
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peter frostick's Avatar
Another terrific plan of a very nice aircraft ---- this is definitely on my "to build" list; hopefully with Plantraco guidance! I just love that smooth gloss finish too.

If you are forced down the stick and tissue route there is a download plan for the Chilton on I dont think it looks quite so good without the smooth curved decking however?

Last edited by peter frostick; Jun 07, 2005 at 03:03 AM. Reason: wobbly spelling!
Jun 07, 2005, 03:30 AM
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Graham Smith's Avatar
Bill, I have relatives in Canada who suffer from Lyme's disease so know how serious it is, so it's an important point that you have made.
It was the foam version of the Chilton that I made before the paper version. for 'bit radio', picture below. Actually I used the same wings and tail for both models. The curved turtle decking and cowl panels were made from 'paper foam' (this is what Iv'e heard it called), which is of a similar thickness to paper and only about half the weight. Its great to use, as it can be formed into curved panels because its so thin, which you can't do with the thicker stuff. The paper foam was used 30 years ago for lining walls, before beaded foam came into use, I found a roll in the attic. It isn't generally available now, but recently it was mentioned by a Japanese contributer to a thread.
The red was brushed on using a thin coat of humbrol enamel, it looked a bit streaky, so I gave it a couple of thin airbrush coats. I think it weighed about 21 grams with bit radio and 145 lithium cell

The other Graham
Last edited by Graham Smith; Jun 07, 2005 at 04:01 AM.
Jun 07, 2005, 03:58 AM
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Graham Smith's Avatar
The molded tisue is delicate, it survived the trimming of the free flight version over grass. but got damaged with a full power into the ground through an incorret rudder setting. It 'CA ed' back together though. It might be an idea to glue the tissue directly onto the foam noseblock as an easy way of getting a nice smooth finish, and leaving the noseblock as part of the finished structure. The weight gain would be very small.

Mike,s flying scale models also have a free download of a stick and tissue Chilton
Jun 07, 2005, 09:35 AM
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peter frostick's Avatar
The web address I gave is actually the recently updated one for "Mike's Flying scale model pages" which you mentioned ---- always worth a visit for forum members, and lots of good technical articles sometimes hard to find elsewhere!; like moulding clear canopies etc.

Jun 07, 2005, 06:47 PM
Gone Flyin'
I have visited Mike's web page many many times. It is easy to get lost in all of the pages and details and photos and more. One of the best sources for this type of info going, a true labour of love.

cheers, the other other Graham in Embrun near Ottawa Canada (not the Graham who the quote below was addressed )

Originally Posted by peter frostick
The web address I gave is actually the recently updated one for "Mike's Flying scale model pages" which you mentioned ---- always worth a visit for forum members, and lots of good technical articles sometimes hard to find elsewhere!; like moulding clear canopies etc.

Last edited by planophore; Jun 07, 2005 at 06:48 PM. Reason: badly grammar
Jun 09, 2005, 08:55 AM
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Plans have been downloaded and scaled up 135%. Started building last night. One wing done now.
Jun 09, 2005, 10:25 AM
in persuit of low wing loading
Gordon Johnson's Avatar
This is simply a terrific plane. It looks good standing still or flying. And, your plans and construction files are superb as well. I'm adding this thread to the "Micro Thread Index." Thanks for sharing. Excellent work.


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