1/12 Noorduyn Norseman, Take 3! - RC Groups
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Apr 10, 2007, 11:26 PM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar

1/12 Noorduyn Norseman, Take 3!

OK, I've started this project twice before, and bailed out both times. I reallly want a Norseman, so I'm at it again. This time, I think I have ironed out the problems where I went wrong before. I've been waiting for a while to post pictures in case it all wound up in the rubbish bin again.

The fuselage is made of formers and stringers. The wings will be a 2-piece design, plugging into the fuse sides. I plan on using some Dean's 3-pin connectors for the aileron servo wires at the wing root. Plugging in the wing will automatically connect the aileron servos.

Wingspan will be 51.5". I'm hoping to use my Nippy 1812/100 for power. I'm hoping to achieve a flying weight of around 30oz (including battery) for a wing loading of 12.5oz sqft.

I'm going bit by bit, so progress won't be rapid, but I hope to fly it this summer!

If people following the progress of my previous attempts here notice I'm slacking off or about to throw in the towel again, please harass me until I finish it this time!
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Apr 10, 2007, 11:46 PM
Leave me alone!
Martin Hunter's Avatar
You've got until the end of August Chilliwack meet to get her flying. GO!

Apr 10, 2007, 11:49 PM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar
Geez I wish, Martin! Although the time frame is right, my folks are visiting from Ontario that weekend, so I won't be able to make it. I'm hoping to get the time off work to at least come out at the end of May with a bunch of WW1 stuff, but that's looking iffy, too.
Apr 11, 2007, 04:27 AM
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Milhafre's Avatar
Looking forward to following this one—the full-size has lots of character, and no lack of choice for colour schemes.

Apr 11, 2007, 09:07 AM
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portablevcb's Avatar

The ribs will go in the mail tomorrow!

Apr 11, 2007, 09:13 AM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar
I'm sticking with the Saskatchewan Air Ambulance colours of 1947. There is a great book entitled "Wings of Mercy" by Don Campbell that covers the history of the service. He was one of their pilots. Some pretty interesting flying. They started out with some Norseman aircraft. There is also a 20 minute documentary made by the National Film Board of Canada in 1947 with the same title. I'm going to get a copy soon. There is a short clip of the movie with some brief shots of the Norseman on the NFB website here . (Real Player required to view).

For wing ribs, I designed the wing using "Profili". Once you have all the spars, sheeting, and lightening holes input into the program, it spits out a rib pattern you can export in .dxf format. I sent that to Charlie, and he is laser cutting the ribs. It's my first go at having something laser cut, so we'll see how I did shortly!
Last edited by vonJaerschky; Apr 11, 2007 at 09:29 AM.
Apr 11, 2007, 05:47 PM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar
A bit more progress. I used contest grade 1/4" sheet to make the top of the cabin. Once sanded, it's about 3/16" thick at the thickest point and then tapers to almost nothing, so it's quite light.

I fit some 1/16" sheet in between the formers and stringers in the fuselage in the area that the windows go. I think I won't actually cut out the windows until after the covering is on.

The paper rib template is where the root rib that gets glued to the fuselage side goes.

In case you wonder what happend to the bottom half of the fuselage, I'm in no hurry to put it on yet. It's much easier to work on everything else when it sits nice and flat on the table.

Too bad you can't all see outside my house right now. There's a formation of 9 CT-114 Tutors whipping back and forth over the roof at low level. The Canadian Forces Snowbirds Air Demonstration Team come to here to Comox for 3 weeks every April to warm up for their summer airshow season. They fly 2 complete routines a day. We're a good place for them to practise, as we have all sorts of terrain which they may encounter during the year - mountains, ocean, open, etc.

Norseman, Tutors, a real bastion of Canadian Aviation!!!!
Last edited by vonJaerschky; Apr 11, 2007 at 06:02 PM.
Apr 14, 2007, 09:29 AM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar
Slow but steady progress. The top continues to take shape with some more light balsa, carving, and sanding. The root ribs are attached to the fuselage, and the wing root fairings are beginning to take shape.

I actually built the stab and elevators first, I just didn't' show them. I started with a core of 1/32 sheet in the outline of the stab and elevators. I then used 1/16" X 1/8" pieces of sheet glued on top of the core as ribs. 1/8" sq balsa is glued along the edges. Then the whole thing is sanded to an airfoil shape. I really wanted to avoid a flat plate stab and rudder, as I think that would take away from the (hopefully!) scale appearance of the model.

The fairings at the rear of the fuselage are made from 1/32" balsa. After cutting to shape, I soaked the pieces in ammonia for 30 minutes and then bent and twisted the fairings to shape and held them in place with pins. If you haven't tried ammonia for bending balsa give it a try, it turns the wood into rubber. Once it dries, there seems to be no aftereffects on the wood at all. Once they were dry, I removed the pins and the balsa held its shape. Then I glued them into place. I had to mount the stab now so that I could get everything looking right at the back end. I hope I don't break it off while working on the rest of the model.

Off to work to watch the Snowbirds again. Life is rough. I love my job, I love my job, I love my job!
Last edited by vonJaerschky; Apr 14, 2007 at 09:40 AM.
Apr 14, 2007, 11:45 AM
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Steve Merrill's Avatar
Come on Frank, get er done
Apr 14, 2007, 04:45 PM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar
All in good time, my man!
Apr 14, 2007, 07:20 PM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar
Bottom formers in place. The large gap will be filled by one more former that the landing gear will be attached to, and I also need to build a hatch in there for battery and radio access.
Apr 14, 2007, 10:18 PM
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Frank, What brand of ammonia do you use, and where do you get it? All the stuff I find is "detergent" type and I have never been happy with the results.
Apr 15, 2007, 09:52 AM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar
It's "VIP" brand. The label says "Household Ammonia. No phosphate, all purpose cleaner". I bought it at my local grocery store (Quality Foods) for about $2.75 for a 1.82L bottle. The distributer is in Mission BC, so you would think it would be widely available in the province. You really gotta watch the fumes, though. One good whiff gives you a pretty good whammo. I now know why smelling salts work as well as they do!
Apr 16, 2007, 12:41 PM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar
Things are proceeding nicely. Before sheeting up the nose, I made a battery tray out of 1/8 lite ply. I drilled a bunch of holes in it mainly to allow more air around the battery. I also glued in a bit of white foam so that the battery will have some cushioning against the firewall. A Velcro strap will keep the pack from sliding out.

The landing gear is a real PIA, and was one of the stumbling blocks on my last attempt. I made a former out of two layers of 1/16 ply, laminated together with epoxy and a layer of fiberglass cloth sandwiched in between. This former is in the shape of the sponsons that stick out from the fuselage. Once the airplane is covered, I'll use blue foam to make the rest of the sponsons. The former gets glued in place, and then the vertical struts will be made from 1/8" music wire and attached to the ply former. I don't know if that hunk of ply is overkill or not, but it's the only way I could figure out, and I didn't want the gear ripping off.
Apr 18, 2007, 03:24 PM
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vonJaerschky's Avatar
The airplane is really starting to come along. I think it is look very Norsemanesque. I'm happy with the way the belly hatch worked out, as it is pretty much invisible. I will have a problem with the landing gear sponsons, as I may need to make them in two parts so that they can separate, because the rear half of the sponsons stretches all the way back over the hatch. I might re-do the hatch to make it smaller. I haven't decided which way to go yet.

The airframe in the picture weighs 6.9oz. Still need to add the cowl, elevators and rudder, sponsons, and wing mounts, so weight will creep up some more. I'm a worry-wart when it comes to weight. I may wind up a bit heavier than I had hoped for, we'll see. The fuselage is really bulky, so I don't think I'm doing that badly. I really want the airplane to be a slow and stable flyer so it looks scale in the air. The Norseman was no speed demon.

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