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Oct 29, 2007, 10:11 PM
a.k.a Maltone
Pat Lynch's Avatar
Build Log

A Prototype Albatros DII by Peter Rake

A couple of months ago, Peter asked would I be interested in another prototype build but asked me if I had any preferences. After a few suggestions, an early Albatros fighter was chosen as it had some features which I'd never tackled before - notably a plywood skin to the fuselage!

This early Albatros had fairly flat sides to the fuselage and the ply panel lines looked as though they could be replicated with a little care so I agreed to give it a go.

The DII model had wings of similar size and standard inter-plane struts unlike the V struts of later variants. I was also attracted to the 'ear' radiators mounted on the fuse sides. This meant that there were no radiator hoses to disguise servo leads to the upper wing so with a big sigh, Peter designed the ailerons (top wing only) with control cables as per the original and a central fuselage-mounted servo. Sounds like fun

Other minor departures from Peter's 'standard' designs are optional scale airfoil sections on the tail surfaces. These are quite pronounced on the Albatros family and should look good.

Charlie and Vicki at Manzano produced a box full of bits as shown in the photos - 10 sheets of balsa of various thicknesses, 3 sheets of bass and assorted ply bits. It all looks yummy

The model is about 42" span and will stand around 13" high - it should fit in most cars assembled. I would imagine the weight to be 24-26oz - the 1/64 ply skin will not be the lightest construction.

Sadly, the DII was never given the wild decor of the DV aircraft - mostly a plain varnished fuselage and fin with pale blue undersides and camoflaged upper surfaces. Some had interesting personal or group motifs on the fuse sides.

There will be a short delay before starting as I've recently sold our second car and now have half a garage to set up as a workspace More storage and accessibility will be most appreciated. BTW - it was Liz's car that I (we) sold

Last edited by Pat Lynch; Oct 29, 2007 at 10:16 PM.
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Oct 29, 2007, 10:20 PM
Formerly "vonJaerschky"
Wolpertinger's Avatar
The world can never have too many Albatri! I'm looking forward to seeing how she comes together. I think the DII will likely be the better flying airplane compared with the D.III/V because of the wing area. And a varnished ply fuse has a charm all its own.
Oct 29, 2007, 10:27 PM
Registered User
portablevcb's Avatar
Don't worry, there's a DIII in the works too

Pat, Yummy? Never heard balsa and ply bits referred to this way

Oct 30, 2007, 12:02 AM
a.k.a Maltone
Pat Lynch's Avatar
You cant understand a 'yummy' model kit? - Charlie you're losing your boyhood romanticism - I will too when I grow up

Last edited by Pat Lynch; Oct 30, 2007 at 12:54 AM.
Oct 30, 2007, 03:01 AM
Registered User
Come on mate, own up, the DII only came about because you needed something on which to mount a dummy water cooled, in-line engine.
Just as you mentioned the aileron linkage, something that has been bothering me because of the need for a central servo, I was struck by the idea of a servo in each lower wing. It could go in the same bay the cables exit from, but would require very short output arms. Probably why I discounted it in the first place, but it could be made to work.
For those worried about setting up this system, conventional upper wing mounted servos are also shown. Late DIIs even had a wing mounted radiator, providing you with a coolant hose to disguise the extension lead.
Of course, it's all very well talking about these things, there's a long way to go before we get to them and only time will tell if I got the bits right in the first place.

I know the M1c has visited the flying field, but was that just a 'show and tell' type affair, or did it see air time? Or is there a more sinister reason for the lack of a flight report? I always get twitchy when a design approaches flying. Yes, more twitchy than normal.
BTW, what's growing up?

Oct 30, 2007, 03:10 AM
a.k.a Maltone
Pat Lynch's Avatar
Fear not Peter - the M1c was on a PR mission! It actually got a few of the 'models only come out of coloured boxes' brigade talking about early aircraft and cable-operated control runs etc. It only got a beat around the pit area to show that a hand-made prop does work

About my only reservation with it is that rather narrow UC on my rough field - but I imagine it will be airborne quickly. A video ofthe Shuttleworth machine showed it wobbling a bit too.

As soon as it is finished and photographed, it will fly. I have a mortal fear of destroying a prototype build before it is finished so........

Growing up? - I hope it never happens.

Pat (in 3rd childhood (at least))
Oct 30, 2007, 05:30 AM
Registered User
floss's Avatar
Seems that the Albatros is getting some attention lately, I'll be watching eagerly not only because its always been one of my favourites but also because I'm building a scratch DIII. WS is 38" and target weight is around 26oz with a 3S 2250mah onboard.

Oct 30, 2007, 04:16 PM
a.k.a Maltone
Pat Lynch's Avatar
Looks good Steve. You seem to be using very light balsa sheeting - 1mm?

Peter's design does not sheet the tail surfaces but I am tempted to sheet the fin as it is varnished but even .4mm ply may be too heavy at the tail end so balsa is an alternative.

Are the various metal struts plain aluminium tube or is the steel wire reinforcing - I apologise for so many questions but not point reinventing wheels

Oct 30, 2007, 05:50 PM
Registered User
floss's Avatar
The sheeting is indeed 1mm and the oval section aluminium LG struts have a carbon fibre rod through them. The cabane stuts are just aluminium with fibreglass board fittings. It will be fully rigged with the tiny braided steel rope that I used on the pull/pull system so strength wing-wise will not be a problem. The balsa tail is solid.

Oct 31, 2007, 03:15 AM
Registered Abuser
fooesboy's Avatar
Originally Posted by maltone
Looks good Steve. You seem to be using very light balsa sheeting - 1mm?

Peter's design does not sheet the tail surfaces but I am tempted to sheet the fin as it is varnished but even .4mm ply may be too heavy at the tail end so balsa is an alternative.

Are the various metal struts plain aluminium tube or is the steel wire reinforcing - I apologise for so many questions but not point reinventing wheels

Hi Pat,

This will be a built that I will follow with great interest.

On my aerodromerc Albatross I have sheeted the tail with 1mm balsa, but I have found it to be a little too soft. When sanding the sides smooth the balsa bends in between the frame and cross braces. If I was doing it again I think I would use 1.5mm balsa and sand down. I would also use thinner balsa for making the frame , I didn't do this and it looks a little odd with the rudder being thinner by 2mm, but I am not going to change it because I think (hope) that it will not be noticeable when the aircraft is complete.

There is no need to wish you luck with this build, your work is truly amazing, instead I wish you "viel spass" (lots of fun)

Oct 31, 2007, 03:28 AM
a.k.a Maltone
Pat Lynch's Avatar
Chris - thanks for the info. I will weigh some 1/64 ply and compare with balsa. The balsa would need grain filler etc so I might get away with that little bit of heavier ply!

Yes - I intend to have fun and Vielen Dank für das Kompliment

Pat (Kiwi living in Oz trying to speak German on an American site to a Swiss!)

PS My mother's father was Swiss (Utiger)
Oct 31, 2007, 06:10 AM
Registered User
vintage1's Avatar
I did this once = 1/64" ply about the same as 1/8" SOFT balsa.
Oct 31, 2007, 11:06 AM
Registered User
Martin Irvine's Avatar
I found the same as Vint. Different sources of ply will vary in weight a bit but if you think 6-8lb 1/8" balsa, you'll be pretty close.

Oct 31, 2007, 01:28 PM
North East England
Pat - I remember you saying you are (or were) a ship modeller, so that ply skin should pose little problem for you (just don't paint a waterline along it...). In case you don't already have it, I have the Signal Publication 'Albatros Scouts', with some good detail pics and sketches of the D11, such as radiators, control runs, etc. Just yell if you need anything!

Looking forward to this one.

Oct 31, 2007, 03:22 PM
a.k.a Maltone
Pat Lynch's Avatar

Fin Musings

Only thinking out loud here - given that 1/64 ply is a lot tougher than Litespan or 1mm balsa skin, it may be possible to minimise the internal framing to cut the weight.

I may make two fins and compare. I could do that now before I start building - I would really like the fin to be of the same texture/finish as the bare fuse.

Unless anyone can find a DII reference with a painted fin - I havent seen one.

Of course it is also possible to "stick-to-the-plan" and then try and match the painted fin to the fuselage

Steve - I've already made some test runs to see if CA could be used - it would make skinning so much easier. Thin CA soaks straight through the ply and onto fingers but the medium variety works fine. Just have to be careful not to get any on the surface - makes the staining look awful!

Last edited by Pat Lynch; Oct 31, 2007 at 03:33 PM. Reason: not sure what a 'pinted fin' was!

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