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May 05, 2008, 06:00 AM
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Build Log

How Bout an R/C Dakota Biplane "Homebuilt"

Call it Fantacy Scale, or maybe Proposed Homebuilt. Either way, the first time I laid eyes on Joe Wagner's Dakota Biplane I could see the possibility for a full scale airplane tooling around low and slow over the Iowa cornfields. And finally, the time has come to do just that -- in 1:8 scale

The design is not an actual enlargement of the original Dakota design, but is based on it, being re-proportioned in the areas that needed altering to accommodate the pilot, and to fit the 1:8 scale cowl and dummy engine from the L-4. The landing gear is also Cub style with the wheel pants from the Aeronca Chief.

In the end, the design worked out to 36" (24 scale feet) with the wing area at 400 sq. in -- same as the L-4. The cabin is also roughly the same size as the Cub. The basic Dakota moments, wing and tail outlines were retained so's not to loose the charm and flying qualities of the early design.

So, with the plans in hand, let's get building..........
Last edited by P. Tritle; May 05, 2008 at 06:10 AM.
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May 05, 2008, 06:06 AM
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Framing the Fuselage

The fuselage is a simple stick frame, requiring only 4 laser cut parts to complete. The forward boot cowl and window frames were made from yellow file folder paper.
May 05, 2008, 06:08 AM
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The Tail Section

The rudder is a simple set up with the tip laser cut. The horizontal stab uses a bowed outline. Otherwise, all standard stuff.
May 05, 2008, 06:21 AM
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Building the Top Wing

The top wing is identical to the bottom, with the exception of the ailerons. A servo is mounted in each wing connected with a Y-lead.
May 05, 2008, 06:23 AM
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Building the Landing Gear

The landing gear is basically J-3, modified to mount the wheel pants. The wheel pants from the Aeronca Chief wire built up and the seems puttied up.
May 05, 2008, 06:29 AM
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The first Dry Run

With the framing basically done, the model was assembled to check for alignment. The cabin configuratiopn makes setting up the model a breeze. The wings mount to the fuselage, and the interplane struts align the wing panels. It just doesn't get any easier then that. And the best part is the cantilevered wings, no rigging is required.

And with that having gone well, the rudder and elevator servos and pushrod was installed, making the model ready for cover.

Meanwhile, the cowl is assembled and the color coats applied. Engine details and covering are already underway. More pictures coming soon.

May 05, 2008, 07:19 AM
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Oh my...........Joe will be pleased I'm sure. Very nice Pat!

May 05, 2008, 07:32 AM
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Joe will be pleased I'm sure

Dale, I sure hope so. I had the pleasure of meeting Joe at SMALL many years ago, and I can tell you that he is a first class kind of Guy. The plan is to get the model finished and flown so that I can ask Joe to sign it at SMALL this year. Would be the perfect addition to a great little model.

There's just something about the Dakota design that spawns creativiy amoung those who have built and flown them. I get pictures all the time from guys who have built and modified them for both R/C and free flight, though I haven't seen one built for U-Control yet. In fact, this one will be my third "re-design". The first was a 60" 3 ch. version with a Saito .45, the second a 1:1 scale stick framed version in the early days of electric where heavy bulky motors and overweight batteries and servos were the state of the art -- but flew great anyway. And that's why I think this one will be a winner too.

May 05, 2008, 08:41 AM
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My Stikota

It was one of a very few built from Tom Hunt's "Stickota" plans some 6 years ago. It was powered by a 6 volt S400 in a Mini-Oly box with a Graupner 9" "slim prop" and 8 500AR nicads. (If I can find a pic, will post here). I had a heck of a time getting it to "straighten up and fly right" but after changes to thrust settings, incidences and cg, and learning how to finesse it off the ground, it became a decent flyer. I think that it's peculiar free flight moments and nose high stance made it a serious ground looper and would recommend a longer tail wheel leg and/or shorter main gear. Your version will be a ton lighter and should behave better. It is one of those designs that look good with Trexlers and no pants. Somebody should make litefoam wheels with the Trexler look.

It was attractive with transparent yellow wings and tail surfaces and red fuselage. It was converted to confetti by a large aerobatic Extra IC model out at El Toro OCMA field. The other guy said he never even saw it. A piece of my covering clung to his wing.
May 05, 2008, 09:44 AM
Expat Canuck
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Pat The first thing that came to mind when I saw the title of the thread was this:

It was a bit of a disappointment to open it and find that there is another by that name…

May 05, 2008, 11:04 AM
Triplane addict
edi's Avatar
Now I love this one, Roly!

Any chance of a triplane variant here?
May 05, 2008, 04:20 PM
Dave Segal

Big Dakota

Randy Wrisley designed a .60 sized Dakota Grande in the November, 1981 issue of Model Aviation. BTW, the late, lamented Model Builder magazine had picked the original Dakota as the greatest sport free flight model of all time.
May 06, 2008, 09:36 AM
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Getting the Cover On

The model was covered with red and cream Litefilm with black trim. The cown and wheel pants were sprayed with DuPont base/clear.
May 06, 2008, 09:39 AM
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Finishing the Landing Gear

The landing gear assembly was finished up the painted. The wheel pants were trimmed and glued in place. Since the model will be flown from gress in AK I desided to pack a 2 1/2" wheel into the pants. They just did fit!

The side windows were glued in with Tacky-Glue and held in place till the glue got sticky.

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