Hurst Bowers' Farman Moustique - RC Groups
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Dec 02, 2007, 10:23 AM
DPlumpe's Avatar
Build Log

Hurst Bowers' Farman Moustique

I've just started construction on Hurst Bowers' 39-1/8" span Farman Moustique, originally kitted by Flyline and now the third build in my series of the late, great Hurst Bowers' designs:

- Buhl Sport Airsedan (34-5/8" span, April? or May? 1964 Aeromodeller magazine). (Build thread starts here, and continues here)
- Kinner Sportster (39" span, Flyline kit design). (Build thread)
- Farman Moustique (39-1/8" span, Flyline kit design)
- Lincoln Sport (30" span, June 1975 Flying Models magazine)
- Fairchild 51 (44" span, July 1972 Model Builder magazine)
- Stearman C-3B (35" span, Flyline kit design)
- Great Lakes Trainer (40" span, Flyline kit design)

These are my seven favorites of his many designs (I've listed all 76 that I know of at I've had parts lasercut and shaped the strip stock for all seven, but so far have put glue to just the first three. I'm very pleased with how the Buhl and Kinner turned out, except that I want to lengthen the Buhl's fuselage a couple inches for yaw stability. As if seven weren't enough, I've recently laid out parts for his 47" Fairchild 22 and am beginning to lust over some of the others, like his 36" General Aristocrat and 34.5" Bellanca Skyrocket. But gee, there's so many! I'm like a kid in a hobby shop (no intention to denigrate candy shops).

Hurst says right on the Moustique plans that ailerons aren't needed, but I like to horse around so I'm putting them on anyway. I'll use a single aileron servo in the fuselage driving torque rods to the ailerons. The torque rods will need to separate at the wing roots 'cause that's where the wings attach - that complicates things a bit, but has to be done before I can do much else.

Servos will fit under the pilot's platform, with the aileron servo in the middle facing up (near the torque rods) and the elev & rudder servos on either side, facing down toward the bottom hatch. Rudder & elevators will be either pull-pull or pushrod-driven (I don't make commitments easily).

My lasercut parts are fitting fine except that on one of the 1/8" sheet fuselage sides the two holes for wing mounting dowels are about 3/32" out of place - wierd. So I simply glued the 1/16" ply "Butt" rib (which had the holes correct) in place and cut to match, then fixed the drawing. Those 1/8" sq. balsa longerons looked sorta skimpy, so I used 1/8" sq. "spruce". "Spruce" is in quotes because I cut them from a piece of scrap firring strip that's fairly light (28 lb/cuft), has nice close grain and looks to me like it may well be spruce. Oh, and a 1"x2"x8' firring strip cost about $1 and contains a lot of longerons and spars hidden within. The only difficulty is finding firring strips with really close grain - it's not good to cut 1/8" square longerons from wood with 1/4" grain!

- Dave
Last edited by DPlumpe; Jan 08, 2012 at 08:25 AM.
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Dec 10, 2007, 01:36 PM
DPlumpe's Avatar

Aileron torque rods

Here's the aileron torque rod system. A little hard to see in there, but the photo shows the servo, horns and separable joints. This photo is from the rear, looking forward toward the back of former #5 at the rear of the cockpit.

The aileron servo is mounted upright in the middle of the fuselage. The rudder & elevator servos will mount on either side of it, upside-down. Pushrods (not installed) drive the two .040" fiberglass horns epoxied to wheel collars clamped onto the 1/16" wire shafts which run in 3/32" brass tubing bearings.

The outer ends of the 1/16" wire shafts are soldered to 3/16" long pieces of 1/8" square brass tubing. To transfer rotary motion into the wing, fittings of 5/32"sq. brass tubing slide snugly over those 1/8"sq. pieces and are attached to 5/32"D. aluminum tube torque rods which will run through the wings to the ailerons and form the inner pivots for the ailerons.

The barn-door ailerons have a very wide chord, so any small slop will produce relatively large motion. Right now the square tubing pieces fit nice and snug, but I'm expecting to have to slit the 5/32"sq. pieces so I can squeeze them tighter. Also, to keep from binding if the dihedral is not perfectly aligned, I might have to file down the 1/8"sq. tubes so that only the outer 1/32" of their length is the full 1/8".

The .040" fiberglass horns, incidentally, are 8 layers of 4oz. cloth & epoxy resin, molded by clamping between two aluminum plates covered with waxed paper. Don't forget the waxed paper.

I've also mounted the firewall and am molding 1/16" planking for the nose top, but it's time to start the wings!

Last edited by DPlumpe; Dec 10, 2007 at 02:25 PM.
Dec 10, 2007, 02:02 PM
Registered User
Pat Daily's Avatar

You really do nice planes--I really enjoyed perusing the Bowers list on your website--and all of your planes. Still haven't forgotten the offer on the Hawk and F4B-2.

Dec 10, 2007, 02:20 PM
Or current resident
glewis's Avatar
Dave, your attention to detail never ceases to amaze us . Canít wait to see how you construct the engine on this one. You went to the trouble to laminate your own .040 glass for the control horns?
Dec 10, 2007, 02:59 PM
DPlumpe's Avatar
Yep, I remember you were talking about doing an F4B-2 this winter and I thought Hurst's 60" one from 1969 RCM would scale down to a nice smaller electric with very few changes. Have you started that yet, or at least is the pondering part getting serious? I could help get drawings scaled to your liking, if you wish.
I also remember saying I'd really like to see you publish your Inland Sport and Curtiss F6C-3 Hawk and I'd be proud to help get the plans into AutoCAD (keep in mind that I'm slooow). The Inland is especially special (??)because of your family history.
BTW, I just updated my list of Hurst's plans from September to November versions. Not many changes, but deleted a duplicate Farman 192 (sure wish I had a better scan for that one) and found a new 31.5" FF Polikarpov PO-2 quite different than the 48" gasser he had in April'77 MA. That new plan is from AMA/Pond, but they have it erroneously listed as the April'77 one. Also got plans for some I knew of but didn't have.

Don't know what I'll do about the dummy engine. I'd REALLY like to do it more quickly than my history would indicate, but..........
The 25HP AVA engine is a 4-cylinder, but at least it's only 2-cycle, thus no rockers or pushrods!
About the fiberglass horns, it's easier, quicker (not counting overnight cure time) and 3 gallons of gas cheaper to lay up a 3"x3" sheet of fiberglass than driving to the hobbyshop 30 miles away. I'm lazy and tight!

Last edited by DPlumpe; Dec 10, 2007 at 04:15 PM.
Dec 11, 2007, 08:58 AM
DPlumpe's Avatar

Molding planking

While I'm poking holes in wing ribs for the torque rods, I'm also molding 1/16" sheet balsa to fit the compound curves over the nose. I decided on 3 pieces and added two 3/32" stringers to support formers #2 & #3 and hopefully back up the glue joints betwixt the 3 planking pieces.

One piece at a time, I soak 'em in plain old water for an hour or so, occasionally bending it back & forth to help the water penetrate. Then I just bend it over the formers, pull it down with rubber bands, add scraps for point pressure where necessary, and go back to poking rib holes while the water finds its way back into the atmosphere.

Dec 16, 2007, 11:02 AM
Registered User
CaptAhab's Avatar
Dave, hows the Farman coming? Between moving to a new home and the holidays my new workshop is nonexistent as of yet.
Merry Christmas to all.......
Dec 16, 2007, 12:04 PM
DPlumpe's Avatar

Left wing's abuildin'

Here's the left wing on the bench, with my normal clutter. Usually I straighten things up for a photo so's not to distract from the subject, but today I thought I'd show you what this, the cleanest one-sixth of this 4'x8' bench, normally looks like.

I'm gluing aileron ribs to the trailing edge. They're separate from the main ribs, but the T.E. is still uncut to promote alignment, a useful characteristic. Lengths of hinge bearing material are inserted to align the end ribs while the glue dries. The outboard bearing will be .139"OD DuBro nylon antenna tube which fits nicely over .075"OD Sullivan yellow nylon pushrod sheath used as hinge pins. The inboard bearing will be 5/32" brass tube, over 1/8"D steel rod ends for the torque tubes. The outboard hinge pin is purposely flexible so I can install & remove the ailerons just by withdrawing the torque tubes.

Next I'll temporarily glue some scrap across the aileron ribs near their leading edges to hold alignment, cut the aileron T.E. free, then add the aileron L.E. and fill in the wing rear at the ailerons.

Then will come the wingtip, 7/32"D alum. tubes for wing alignment dowels, 1/32" root planking, and hard points for flying wires. Then the right wing.....

CaptAhab - How can you POSSIBLY celebrate Xmas without a shop?

Dec 17, 2007, 03:06 AM
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CaptAhab's Avatar
I know ! It's UNBEARABLE ! And actually I like seeing that clutter on others workbenches with thier own array of tools and weapons, you have some nice hunks of metal there, must know someone at a metal working shop.
Your Farman is coming along nicely, wish I could be there for the ops check on the ailerons, bet they're going to work like a charm !
Dec 17, 2007, 04:23 PM
DPlumpe's Avatar


Well, if you like clutter, here's some more. This is a wider view from the same spot as the last photo. You can see the Farman wing & fuselage on the near corner of the 4'x8' bench in the middle of the floor. This bench is just some plywood on a 2x4 frame, but is where I do most of my actual building. At the far right corner of that bench is my main shop computer where I do most of my AutoCAD stuff, post thread replies, etc. The big white thing sticking up from the floor at the left edge of this bench is the tail of my not-yet-finished-but-still-working-on-it 66" GeeBee modelE (FS.70 power). Gotta finish that!

Along the wall behind this bench is the metalworking side of this shop. From left to right along the wall is a 4x6 horizontal bandsaw, a mill-drill, then some shelves above a 3'x6' bench with small drillpress, SU carb (getting rebuilt) and red bench vise. Right of that bench is my ancient 9"x36" South Bend lathe - love it! Some air hoses hang on the wall above the hidden compressor. Then is a rack with 1/6 scale Top Flight S.E.5, red & white Tsunami pattern plane, 1970 Jr. Falcon, and some others hidden from view.

Planes hanging from the ceiling at the top of the photo include a Sterling F4U Corsair, Super Ringmaster, 1967 Li'l Esquire, and a late-1960s rubber-powered IForgetWhat with Albin rcvr and magnetic actuator. On top of the shelves are a Sterling Mustang from the early 1950s and a Heathkit RC car.

The white GeeBee tail is overexposed because it's facing an 8' sliding glass door overlooking Lake Keowee. Life is tough. Also out of view, to my left in the corner, is a 3'x7' bench and shelves for painting, plus a window and exhaust fan. Also on this bench, next to the sliding glass door, is a TV and a tarp to cover it while painting. Along the wall behind me and to my right is my main model bench with 36" wide drawer for balsa & wire, more shelves, a bandsaw and scroll saw. Next is a door to another shop. Then more shelves for kits, longer balsa, covering material and glass cloth. Further along there's a door to the basement foyer, then a laundry tub, circuit breaker box, an area for broken airplanes (full), and step ladder. And that completes the circuit back to the airplane rack with the S.E.5. This shop goes all the way from the back to the front of the basement, along one end wall.

Next door (through the first door mentioned above) is my household and woodworking shop. It's a bit wider but shorter than the model & metal shop and has things like tablesaw, jointer, planer, belt & disk sander, more workbenches and lots of shelves. All my shop shelves, BTW, are 1"x12" red oak which I surfaced from 1,000 bd-ft of rough-sawn and finished with polyurethane; very strong & nice. Due to lack of model shop space, I also keep here my file cabinet of model and scale data.

Beyond the wood & household shop is what was supposed to be a rec room, but instead of finishing it I have my HO gage layout, flat drawing storage (ping-pong table), and lots of shelves for old magazines. Under the "flat drawing storage" is spare rough-sawn oak. I'd love a map file for my drawings, but don't know where I'd put it unless I get rid of that spare oak.

The household/woodworking shop and "rec room" are also along the basement back wall overlooking the lake, but stop short of the front wall. In front of the "rec room" is a smaller shop, about 10'x13,' for electronics (I was an electrical engineer in a former life). This is filled with meters, signal generators, scopes, ham gear, gobs of parts, older computers and my 36" wide pen plotter. In the middle front of the basement are the 1/2 bath, stairs and our 1965 green refrigerator (green is the color, not eco-friendliness) for storing various chemicals, including beer.

For all of my adult life before we retired and had this house built, all my shop activities had to share a very small space with furnace, washer & dryer, water heater, etc. Thinking back, I'm always amazed how much I accomplished in that small space, but when I designed this house I wanted more, lots more. Perhaps you can tell - I like my shops

Last edited by DPlumpe; Dec 18, 2007 at 07:28 AM.
Dec 17, 2007, 06:18 PM
Or current resident
glewis's Avatar
Now, there is a shop with character . If my shop were that neat I would never find anything . You guys with a basement donít know how good you have it. Here in Florida if you dig a hole 2í deep it fills with water so no basements here, unless you want an under house swimming pool. Houses have a puny attic and a garage that ends up being the storage area while the cars sit outside getting baked in the sun.
I'm going to have to try the aileron gap configuration you posted above, it looks easier to make (and lighter) than my method.
Dec 19, 2007, 12:02 PM
DPlumpe's Avatar

Aileron hinged

I've finally finished the aileron on the first (left) wing. The outboard pivot is a pin of .075"OD Sullivan yellow nylon pushrod sheath riding in a bearing of .139"OD/.077"ID DuBro nylon antenna tube (similar to inner NyRod, but fits better over the pin).

The inner pivot is 1/8"D mild steel rod CA'd into the 5/32"D aluminum tube torque rod and riding in a bearing of 5/32" brass tube. A 1/8" wheel collar (brass in the photos) epoxied to the aileron rib clamps the aileron to the steel rod.

Feels good (ummmmm). Very little slop or friction.

Still have to plank the root section and add hard points, then on to the other wing. Gotta remember to flip the plan - I want this to be "the first (left) wing", not "the first left wing"

Dec 19, 2007, 11:02 PM
Registered User
CaptAhab's Avatar
Dave thats a nice setup you have there. My father has a full wood working shop and sometimes I go over there with large sanding tasks to use his 6" belt sander. I have the Micro Mark miniature drill press and will get the XY table for it soon. This is about as close to a metal shop I can get.
lookin good so far.......
Jan 18, 2008, 10:35 AM
DPlumpe's Avatar

Framed up!

Another test passed - all the major parts fit together without, for instance, making two left wings instead of one each

I wondered if those big barn door ailerons might be too much load for the tiny HXT-500 servo, but deflections are small, flight speeds low, there's very little friction and they statically balance each other. I considered using an HXT-900 for ailerons, but I'm using 500s for the tail and wanted to mount all 3 servos on common rails athwartships.

After considerable cogitation, I'm about to make actual progress on a bunch of things. I'm laying out bending templates for the landing gear, and that should come next. I want groundhandling so have decided on a tailskid pivoting with the rudder (nonscale location and a bit tricky keeping it from loading the sewn hinges). Engine cowling will be magnetically attached and likely balsa vs. my usual fiberglass. And I've ordered some plastic rod to machine those strange finned semi-spherical cylinder heads on the 4-cylinder, 2-cycle (yes, TWO cycle) AVA 25HP engine.

Speaking of the AVA, does anybody have any idea about the purpose of the things sticking out the side of the cylinder heads (sticking up from lefthand heads in the photo)? They look like they could be ball valves, with individual handles, and a rod or pipe linking the pair. I presume there's a similar pair on the bottom of the opposing cylinders. They're not carbs, 'cause there's a common updraft carb beneath the engine. Maybe they're just dummy fittings from the plumbing shop put there to confuse the competition........and modelers.

Jan 18, 2008, 12:32 PM
Registered User
lake flyer's Avatar
Don't know for sure , maybe to let off some compression to make it easier to start by spinning the prop ??

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